As we face a long winter trapped in our homes during lockdown why not get the family together to play a few games? We love family table games in our family and these are my tried and tested recommendations.
This summer due to covid I have started playing some online with my brother and sister. There are some sites where you can do this for free in a limited way and other that you subscribe to. I play on boardgamearena.com which doesn’t have a huge range but it’s pretty cheap in comparison to buying the actual games to play. If you do want to buy games please consider purchasing from your nearest board games cafe as small businesses like these are really struggling at the moment. I often buy them nearly new from eBay, you just have to check they have all the pieces.
My personal favourite, Carcassonne is a strategy game made up of tiles and meeples (player’s characters) . The tiles connect to create cities, roads and fields that score point for the players that build and claim them. You can get various expansion packs which are good fun too.
For 2-5 players, from age 7 upwards (My son has played it from age 6) 30-45mins
Exploding Kittens is my son’s favourite as it’s combines two of his favourite things; cats and silliness! Collect or use the cards to avoid blowing up or to try and blow up your opponent. I generally lose at this game!
For 2-5 players, from age 7, 15 mins
Our most recent purchase, Jaws is already a firm favourite. Based on the classic film and with a double sided board the game takes place over two acts with players being the shark or the main characters. Don’t be put off if it seems complicated at first, it’s great when you get the hang of it.
For 2 – 4 players, from age 10, 60 mins
Dobble is a fast reaction game where players have to spot the matching symbols between cards. It has several variations that can be played and younger players are often much better at it. A great game for a quick play.
For 2-8 players, from age 8 (my son played this much younger) 15 mins
Survive: Escape from Atlantis
Survive; Escape from Atlantis is a board game where you have to get your meeples off the island before it sinks and without getting eaten by the hungry sharks. This is easier said than done as other players can strategically make things more difficult. I love that the board gets smaller as the island sinks adding to the tension.
For 2-4 players, from age 8, 45-60 mins
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With this Rhino Hero card game each player has to build a layer of the building, force other players to build or take cards and sometimes move the rhino hero too. A game of steady hands and careful balancing where you definitely need a solid table! How high can you get the tower without it collapsing?
For 2-5 players, from age 5, 5-15 mins
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a board game that comes in different versions covering different areas of the world. Players have to build their railroads to connect cities across the continent using routes specified on their tickets. Simple to play but not so easy to win! (or maybe that’s just me)
For 2-5 players, from age 8, 30-60 mins
Sushi Go! is a fun card collecting game. Combining different cards to get points, cards are passed on after each go the next player. So keep an eye on what they are trying to collect too while deciding what to collect and what to pass on. Quick to learn and very cute.
For 2-5 players, from age 8, 15 mins
Forbidden Island is another game where the board starts to disappear but this time all the player have to work together to collect all the treasures from the island before they all sink into the sea. Each player has special abilities to use but the water levels can rise fast!
For 2-4 players, from age 10 (my son played it from age 8) 30 mins
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a card game with an app soundtrack to direct you. Each player has a role with a special ability that is unknown to the others. You have to decide between you who the werewolf is. This is one for those who have a good poker face! Fast and fun.
For 3-10 players, from age 8 (my son played it from age 6) 10 mins
I hope you enjoy playing these family table games as much as we do and would love to hear any recommendations that you have too.