Board games have experienced a huge boom in popularity over the past decade.
While many people might still think of Monopoly when they hear the term "board game," the options are actually far more plentiful (and way more fun). From word games to card games and everything in between, modern board games include options for all ages, skill levels, and interests. This makes "game night" an especially great choice for family bonding. But what games should you bring to the table? We're here to help you pick.
Sushi Go is currently one of the best family games on the market––it's simple to learn, adorably designed, and holds up during subsequent play sessions. Sushi Go is a strategic matching game, so even the youngest players can quickly grasp the core concepts. Gameplay involves players drawing hands of cards, picking one, and passing the rest along until no cards are left. Then everyone tallies up their points and starts again. Games go fast, allowing for many rounds in a single sitting.
An excellent game for any casual group setting, Spyfall puts players into the roles of secret agents trying to oust an enemy spy in their midst. Every player except the spy are informed of a secret location to rendezvous at. Everyone then takes turns asking each other questions in order to discern who doesn't know the secret location. If the agents identify the spy, the spy loses. But if the spy guesses the location first, the spy wins.
Codenames is a team-based word game where players split into two groups and try to get their teammates to identify a series of codewords on a shared board. Players need to be careful to avoid words belonging to the enemy team, but also a secret "bomb" word that will automatically lose their team the game if triggered. One of the best aspects of Codenames is that it scales to any group size, so everyone can always participate. That being said, it's best suited to slightly older children, as younger players might have difficulty with the word variety.
Possibly the most gorgeous game ever made, Dixit is a storytelling game that revolves around a deck of beautifully designed, fantastical art cards. Players take turns telling brief stories which lead into one of the cards in their hand, which is played face down. Afterwards, other players submit their own cards that might fit the storyteller's tale. Then the cards are revealed and everyone guesses which belonged to the storyteller. It's a fun experience glued together by amazing imagery, making it a great choice for anyone with a creative streak.
In Takenoko, players step into the roles of royal gardeners curating a bamboo garden in ancient China. The game revolves around completing various personal objectives surrounding bamboo formations, and encouraging a cute little panda to eat your opponents' carefully arranged bamboo before they can complete their own goals. The game involves a surprising amount of strategic depth, but the design is light and fun enough that it never feels overly competitive.