Last week when I wrote about our weekly at-home date nights, I was shocked at the number of you who responded and said you’re into board games as well. I knew I had some awesome readers but I didn’t know so many of you were into gaming!
I had a blast reading the comments and seeing your suggestions, and several of you asked about our favorite games so I thought it might be fun to write a quick post about the board games we love, then open it up for y’all to share your favorite games as well. We are always looking for suggestions!
For those of you out there who have no clue what I’m talking about and who haven’t heard of any of these games, just trust me on this and give one or two of them a shot. I highly recommend Wil Wheaton’s show, TableTop to give you an idea of what some of these games are, and I promise you that once you try these games you’ll never want to go back to playing Monopoly or Life again. I included links to the TableTop video for all of the games that have one – I absolutely love watching Wil and his friends play the games, and it gives you a good idea of what the game is like!
So let’s jump in – my top 10 favorite games we’ve been playing lately.
Ticket to Ride (TableTop video)
This is a great introductory game for anyone who is just wanting to try something new. The rules are very simple and it’s fun to play with just two people or with more. This is a game where you don’t really know who is winning until the very end, which I always enjoy – it adds to the suspense! I also love playing the iPad app – it’s a nice low-commitment way to try the game out if you’re curious… I play it a lot while I’m nursing Jackson! The app also has a function where you can play with someone else via wifi, so Corey and I will play together sometimes as well.
Carcassonne (TableTop video)
I wasn’t sure about this one until I actually played it, but it’s so much fun! Corey and I haven’t had the chance to try it with more than just us yet, but it’s a great two-player game and I imagine it would be even more fun with more people. The concept of the game is very simple – it’s just laying tiles and scoring based on how you lay them, etc. but it’s a blast.
Alhambra (TableTop video)
This one is my current favorite. In this game you get to build your own little “house” and you score based on how many of a few different types of tiles you have in it. This one is kind of a pain to set up for two people, but it works well – and we’ve played it with four people and had a lot of fun, too, so it’s versatile!
Settlers of Catan (TableTop video)
This one is always a favorite at our house. Catan requires at least three people but it is so! much! fun! It’s one of the nerdier games that we have, but once you get the hang of it, it’s absolutely addicting. I have the iPad app for this one as well and play it all the time. This is one that has a lot of expansions to make the game different, and Corey and I just recently bought the two-player version (it’s a card game but has a lot of the same mechanics as the main game, just adapted to work for two people).
Formula D (TableTop video)
We’ve only played this one once but I loved it. In it, you’re playing a race car and your goal is to be the first to finish a lap (or more, if you want a longer game), but there are some elements added to make it more complex, such as gears and a requirement to stop a certain number of times at each turn. I believe it can be played two-player (we don’t own it, but have played with friends), but it’s super fun with four! Corey blew up his car and got kicked out about halfway through the game when we played it, which was wildly entertaining for everyone.
King of Tokyo (TableTop video)
I hated this game the first time I played because I got my butt kicked, but I love it now. It was one of the first board games we tried with our friends, and now that I’ve played it a few more times I’m a big fan. This is a fun game if you like to get really competitive and attack people (in the game, of course).
Forbidden Island (TableTop video)
This is a cooperative game, meaning everyone wins or everyone loses. It has a very different feel than most of the other games, since you’re all working together, but it’s very fun! The concept of the game is that you’re trying to collect four “treasures” and get off the island before it sinks – it’s fun to problem solve with everyone and figure out how you can accomplish your goal. I hadn’t ever played cooperative games until recently, but I’m a big fan!
This one is a new favorite in our house. It’s probably the simplest game that we own – it’s a card game with only 16 cards, and the goal of the game is to end each round with the highest numbered card. I always feel like people think I’m crazy when I explain the rules because it takes less than a minute to explain, but it’s strangely addicting. I keep this game in my purse for Corey and I to whip out when we are bored or waiting (like at a restaurant or something), and we have a blast with it!
Fluxx (TableTop video)
Corey got this one for me for Christmas a couple of years ago, and we still play it all the time. It’s an incredibly fun card game where the rules change constantly, and it can last five minutes or thirty. Almost every time we introduce this game to someone new they spend the whole time complaining about how confused they are, but as soon as we finish they always say they want to play again. This one has a ton of different versions, each with different themes – we only have the base game for now, but I want the Wizard of Oz one!
Betrayal at House on the Hill (TableTop video part one, part two)
This one is here for those of you who are already into playing board games because it’s not really for beginners. We just bought this game recently and are completely in love with it. We’ve only been able to play it once, but it was so much fun and I’m obsessed. In this game, you build the board as you go (meaning it looks completely different each time you play) and at some point in the game one of the players becomes a “traitor” and begins playing against everyone else. The best part about this one is that there are about a million (okay, fifty) different ways the game can end, and the goal of the game changes just about every time you play. It’s hard to explain (and the rule book is super long!) but it is an awesome game and we can’t wait to play it again! A special note about this one is that it has been out of print for a while. Apparently they stopped producing it right after it was featured on TableTop, so it’s become incredibly expensive. Our local gaming store got a few in recently, so we were able to snatch it at a much lower price, but it’s pricey on Amazon right now. If you can find it locally, though, I definitely recommend it!
(All links are Amazon affiliate links – meaning if you click and purchase I’ll get a small percentage. But know that I wholeheartedly recommend each and every one of the games above! All images above are via Amazon as well.)
And those are our favorite games! What games have you been playing lately? Any awesome recommendations for two-player games? We’re always looking for more!