If you haven’t read My Family’s 2013 Top Suggested Family Boardgame List, Part 1, please feel free to stop by there first.
Here’s the second half of what my family currently feels are the best all-around family boardgames.
King of Tokyo
(Joe, Kai, and Misa. Minimal reading. 30 minutes to an hour.)
This is a dice rolling game. You’re playing monsters, aliens, and robots – and you’re trying to destroy Tokyo. And each other. Lots of dice rolling. Lots of fun.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
(Joe, Misa. Lots of reading. Hour-ish.)
Kai didn’t put this on his list, but he loves it, too. It’s a deck-building game where you collect superheroes for your deck and have them fight against the supervillains. The theme also appeals to a lot of people – Marvel is very big right now. The mechanics feel very nice.
The Magic Labyrinth
(Misa. No reading. 15 Minutes.)
We got this when Kai was three and don’t play it as often anymore, but it’s still quite enjoyable whenever we pull it out. For a kids’ game, it’s REALLY good. You move your character across the board, but there’s a labyrinth below that you can’t see. You can change up where the walls are every time you play. And it uses the power of magnets. Pretty cool stuff.
Want some kind of convoluted directions? Kai, who was a little less than a month from turning 4 when the following video was taken, tried to tell my sister how to play. It’s pretty accurate, actually.
(Kai. No reading. 20 minutes.)
Made by the same people who made Magic Labyrinth, in this game, each player must deliver all of their ingredients (marbles) to the central pot and light it with a fireball (also a marble). Uses magnets, too.
(Kai, Joe, and Misa. No reading. 30 minutes-ish… see below.)
In this game, you flick little disks with car stickers on them around a customizable track. The game is LOTS of fun, but it does have a fair amount of setup time. I usually won’t pull it out for less than half an hour of game time. It’s great for parties and holidays – a lot of people can play at once. Sometimes, we only race one round around the track, other times, we do more. It’s up to you.
(Joe, Misa. Moderate amount of reading. 45 minutes.)
Quarriors is like a deck-building game, but with dice. Each die corresponds to a card on the table. It’s lots of fun and is often easier for kids than a deck-building game.
Ticket to Ride
(Joe, Misa, Kai. Moderate amount of reading. 45 minutes to an hour.)
Players use cards they collect to place routes across the board. There are several expansions and stand-alone versions. Kai likes this game, but occasionally gets mad that all the train cars on the cards look like boxcars.
(Joe, Misa. Minimal reading. One hour.)
In Tobago, you’re adventurers, trying to find treasure. Joe often refers to this as a “multiplayer minesweeper”. I tell people it’s a lot like a logic puzzle. More and more information about where pieces are located is revealed, using things like “Not next to the ocean.” (But in pictogram form.) This game is stellar. The pieces are pretty incredible (except for the jeeps – but the statues and other pieces more than make up for it). The play is great. It’s a LOT of fun.
(Joe, Misa. No reading. 15 minutes.)
Tsuro is a tile placement game where you’re trying to extend your path and stay on the board as long as possible while simultaneously trying to send others off of the board. This is a fun, lighthearted game that plays out in 15 minutes or less and can support up to 8 players. This is often used, at my house, as an “in between” game – while we’re waiting for something or inbetween bigger games. Also, the game pieces are great to hold and to look at. All the pieces here will hook up to all the other pieces, so it’s great for kids… though sometimes, it sends them places they don’t want to go! They learn to pay attention to where everything is going, though. This is my “go-to short game”.
That’s everything on our list. If there are any games I mentioned that you’d like to hear more about, please mention it in the comments and I’ll make a future post about it.