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What are your must-have family games?
Here are some of ours. Whether it’s weather, illness, or lack of childcare that keeps you in family games can be a great boredom-buster. A game can be a fun part of date night at home. And the right game can distract from the craziness of what’s going on in our complicated world – like the current coronavirus situation.
Depending on your individual kids’ interests and abilities, most of these family games are appropriate for kids 10 and up – many as young as 8.
2-7 players, 30 minutes, 13+ years (but we have been playing since B was about 8)
Set in the ancient world, this deck-builder; many ways to score points – so you won’t know who wins until the cards are gone; progress through three different “ages” and build up your chosen Wonder to see if you will prevail
2-4 players, 30 minutes, 8+ years
Build the board each time you play and then change it on every turn. Only you know which treasure you are seeking – each one is so close, yet can become so far. Find the hidden treasures in your deck first and you win.
2-5 players, 30-60 minutes, 10+ years
The setting varies, but traverse an unfamiliar, inhospitable landscape while trying to piece together a way back home. This unique cooperative game series pits your and your teammates against the elements of nature.
4-6 players, 15+ minutes, 12+ years (but again, we have played as young as 8)
Telephone and Pictionary combined into one creative, hilarious game. Start with a word from your card (or make one up) and see what it looks like by the time your dry-erase board makes it around the circle.
3-4 players, 60 minutes, 8+ years
Start with few settlements and roads – go on to build a thriving civilization in the untamed lands of the mysterious Catan. Use your resources to your advantage to compete to be the first to gain 10 points – many ways to earn points, which will work for you?
2-4 players, 30 minutes, 10+ years (but we have played as young as 8)
Using a limited source of gems create a profitable jewel trading business. Earn bonus points by winning nobles to your favor with your riches. The first to 15 points wins this hybrid deck- and token-building game. Highly strategic
2-4 players, 30+ minutes, 13+ years (but we have played as young as 8)
The premier deck-building game. Each game starts with just 10 cards per player and 10 stacks of “supplies.” But those supplies can – and will – change in every game you play. This makes Dominion the most versatile, engaging deck-building game in the bunch – especially when you add in the numerous expansions. When the last Province is purchased, count up your points to see who wins.
3-5 players, 1-2 hours, 10+ years (but we have played as young as 8)
Card-based role-playing game fight through hoards of monsters and mythical creatures to acquire treasure. Each player starts at level 1 and needs to progress to level 20 to win. But not every turn every turn moves you forward – some will take you back. Make deals with or betray your friends.
2-5 players, 30-60 minutes, 8+ years
Build a transcontinental railroad while blocking the paths of your fellow players. Try to fulfill objectives by connecting certain (secret) stations with your chosen railroad color. When someone runs out of trains, add bonus points to your score to see who wins.
2-4 players, 45 minutes, 13+ years (but we have played as young as 10)
For when you need a virus you can have a little more control over – this cooperative game that pits your human team against 4 deadly continent-spanning diseases. Cure them all before time runs out. One way to win, many ways to lose. But here you the chance for a do-over on your response each time you play.
Family games can be a great way to recharge and reconnect – which is why we have several at the Piece of Mind Retreat.
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