While not every game night is as exciting as the 2018 movie with that name, they still can be a lot of fun and create lasting memories for family and friends. The days of Monopoly, Life and Trivial Pursuit have been replaced with a wide variety of fast-moving, fast-thinking games that can either stay PG-rated or cross the line into something more racy.
Whether you’re entertaining close friends, your extended family or new neighbors, there is a game or two that fits the occasion and will keep you thinking, guessing and laughing for hours.
Keeping board games kid-friendly
There are many games designed for the entire family, with age-appropriate topics and easy-to-learn instructions. Other games have targeted adults only, with dark or raunchy themes that may cross into topics and conversations you wouldn’t want your kids hearing.
Many popular games have separate family and adult versions. The packaging is usually distinct, with a subtitle on the box calling out the version. Double-check before purchasing, since it can get confusing with the game’s name being the same.
What kind of game are you looking for?
Are your game nights about relaxing and laughing after a long week of work and school? Or are you planning to gather the smartest people you know for an all-out challenge of knowledge or strategy? Or do you want a game of random chance where skill and knowledge are set aside for pure luck?
There are games that can meet your desired end to a game night. Read consumer reviews and the manufacturer’s detailed description to make sure it’s what you are envisioning.
You may need an expansion pack
Some games that require creative responses using printed answer cards are side-splitting fun at first, but after you have played the game multiple times, the answers can seem redundant. Many manufacturers make expansion packs that provide plenty of new cards to extend the game’s life and give you new things to laugh and talk about.
Best board games for game night
This popular game calls itself the “board game for horrible people.” Each round, one person asks a question from a card pile to which the other guests provide answers from a separate deck of cards that have jaw-dropping, hilarious responses.
With up to 10 players, this two-team game requires a quick mind that can come up with clever clues. A large supply of cards makes each game a different experience. Most games are done in 15 minutes, which makes it great for variety or an add-on to other games.
This popular game is designed for all ages and often a family favorite. It will help you learn more about each other as you figure out who is lying each round. With over 200 cards, each game has its own vibe, lasting between 30 to 60 minutes.
This family-friendly game is easy to play with multiple levels of strategy required. The goal is to build railroads across the country running between some of America’s best-known cities. The interaction with other players can get fast and furious.
For ages 12 and older, this creative game tests your knowledge of your favorite products and brands. How much do you really know about the things we eat, play with and use every day? This game will find out and stir nostalgia for products you knew when you were younger.
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This game will keep you and your guests laughing. It features famous memes and comes with 360 caption cards that each player assigns to the meme on display. The game will take you down many twisted roads of memorable fun.
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This board game requires everyone to work together instead of competing against one another. Your collective strategy and cooperation will determine if you can rescue the world from four deadly diseases as you face challenges along the way.
This timed game requires quick thinking as you roll a die with letters on it that determine which letter your answers will begin with. You will need to be prepared to defend your answers, though, since your playing partners can challenge their validity.
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This game requires excellent strategy as you try to settle the island of Catan. You trade and sell with fellow players . The game is easy to learn, but each game has its own twist and turns, and your strategies deepen the longer you play.
This affordable memory game is easy to learn and set up. Each game only takes 10 to 15 minutes. You and the other players have to play cards that are marked with tacos, cats, goats, cheese and pizzas, but be ready to slap your hands to the table or floor when certain cards appear.
Worth checking out
- Cards Against Humanity also makes a Family Edition when you need to keep the conversation clean for ages 8 and up. But for hardcore players who want to get even raunchier, it has the Nasty Bundle, which takes the game to a level even more debased than the original.
- The popular Exploding Kittens board game uses hilarious drawings in a Russian roulette-style experience. It also comes in a NSFW edition for adults only.
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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