17 Board Games You Could Be Playing Right Now and Having So Much Fun

Board games are called “board games” because they often utilize a “board,” except sometimes they don’t use a board. One thing’s for sure, there’s nothing boring about playing board games!

Throughout our lives on earth as women and as human beings, we have participated in many activities. One of those activities is playing board games. Board games get more and more complicated as time goes on and the world turns around like relative to the sun or whatever, but today we are focusing on the Timeless Glory Board Games, the Best Board Games of All Time, The Board Games that put the “O!!!” back in “Board” and the “AHHHH” back in “Games.” You follow?

(Some of the) Best Board Games of All Time

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Guess Who?

by Lindsay, Writer


Guess Who? probably seems like a weird choice because a game takes all of five minutes if you’re past ‘being-able-to-master-basic-logic’ skills and the original 1987 board was pretty male-dominated (later editions have attempted to rectify the issue of gender inequity in Guess Who?). But there’s something about those little red and blue game boards that will always beckon to me when I pass a well-worn box at someone’s house or at one of those coffee shops with a board game collection.

Maybe it’s the feeling of accomplishment that still comes with a Guess Who? victory. Maybe it’s the universality of it (as I’ve noticed here, the US and UK versions are pretty much identical). Maybe it’s the memories of childhood family gatherings where we’d play Guess Who? before the Airing of the Grievances. Or maybe it’s the convenience of it, the fact that you can wrap up two rounds in 10 minutes, that makes for effortless ice-breaking when dealing with new people / situations. But whatever it is, I will always sit down for a game of Guess Who? and no, my person does not have a moustache, guess again, brah.

Also, ‘These Eyes,’ by similarly-named Canadian rock band The Guess Who, is a total jam.

Scattergories

by Intern Laura & Riese


Laura:
If you ask anyone in my family about Scattergories, they will roll their eyes and tell you about the Long Island Iced Tea Incident. The Long Island Iced Tea Incident happened on Thanksgiving eight or so years ago when my cousin wrote “long island iced tea” as his answer for the category “drinks” when the letter was “i.” He then had the audacity to insist that his answer should not only get a thumbs up (my family votes on every questionable response) but get double points. My uncle started yelling, chaos ensued, and everyone ended up leaving my Grandma’s house in a huff before dessert. Despite this, we still play Scattergories all the time.

Scattergories has everything a good game should have: you have to think creatively, you get to judge your family and friends, and you have more fun when you’re making other people laugh. Riese is really good at Scattergories and the only person I’ve met who takes the rules as seriously as my family. The only rule we don’t follow is that the game is for 2-6 people; it’s much more fun with at least 10. Wikipedia says that Scattergories was a game show in 1993 and that it regularly featured a player named Chuck Woolery. I don’t know who that is, but his name is really similar to mine.

Riese:

I am really really really serious about Scattergories. Nobody appreciates my adherence to the rules besides Intern Hot Laura and occasionally my girlfriend, but only because she’s so serious about the rules of Scrabble so it’s a trade-off. Honestly I don’t see why the rules are so confusing to people, but maybe it’s just sad for them that I always win.
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Trivial Pursuit

by Riese, Editor-in-Chief

I think Trivial Pursuit revolutionized Education, because every time I was forced to study something I perceived to be boring/irrelevant, I’d reassure myself that this might come in handy next time I play “Kyle Wins,” which is what my family calls “Trivial Pursuit,” because Cousin Kyle always wins (FUCKING SPORTS!!!!!) I wouldn’t have survived American Diplomacy or Biology had I not pumped myself up with positive ideas about how much better I’d be at yellow/green this holiday season.

There are about ten billion versions of Trivial Pursuit and at least ten “Genus” editions which you inevitably mis-read as a “Genius” edition, amirite?

Older versions result in a lot of questions about The Andy Griffith Show and the 1975 Olympics, but we recently played the 20th Anniversary Edition and Jesus Christ was that shit a mess, maybe the worst game of all time. As many Amazon.com users attest, the questions were “absurd,” “so obscure that there is no way anybody would have known them,” impossible for even Harvard graduates to answer, often incorrect, “mis-worded” and “well beyond the definition of trivia.” These things are true.

However I think heaven would be a place on earth if I could spend the rest of my life playing Trivial Pursuit: Book-Lovers Edition and Scattergories forever and ever AND EVER.

Mouse Trap

by Stef, Music Contributor


OK to be fair it’s been a really long time since I’ve played Mouse Trap and I don’t think my parents even ever owned Mouse Trap. I think I played at the house of the kid up the block whose parents were [ALLEGEDLY] in the Mafia and had a ton of money and thus a ton of cool toys my parents would never buy, like a huge Ghostbusters play house and a red Power Wheels Jeep that the kid used to drive me around his driveway in while a thick line of drool dripped down his face onto his Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls. A fitting precedent for the rest of my life. I digress.

Mouse Trap is awesome because the trap makes no sense. The objective is to race your mouse around the board, build the trap piece by piece and be the last mouse standing by the end. It’s a perfectly terrible way to catch a mouse, and the game is really just boring and pointless for kids anyway (Roll the dice! Collect cheese! Avoid cats!), but the trap itself is awesome. There’s a shoe and a bucket and a red bathtub and a little diving guy and a metal ball that rolls down a staircase for some reason and somehow after all this, a cage falls down over where someone’s mouse ought to be but usually isn’t. Nothing that happens in the actual game itself is important, but the problem solving/trap building part probably is. I don’t know. Maybe I learned how to follow assembly instructions from playing Mouse Trap. That’s the only valuable life skill I could possibly have developed from this game. Years later, when my grown-up apartment had mice, we got a cat, and that seemed to work too.

Monopoly

by Chloe, Contributor


There are many reasons to adore Monopoly- the cute little silver pieces, bellowing “DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200 DOLLARS”, subtly stealing colorful little monies while playing banker. Most of all I love Monopoly because it is a competitive outlet for me, someone who has never excelled at any athletic activity whatsoever, to kick ass in. Another admirable aspect of monopoly is the commitment requirement; when a participant sits down they silently pledge to stick through Monopoly’s long, arduous haul no matter how bored they become or how deeply they want to smack the other participants. I find that sort of of long term pledge admirable if somewhat daunting. Y’all can buy Monopoly here. Or if you want to spice things up there are countless Monopoly remixes and editions to select from.

Life

by Laneia, Executive Editor


When you’re a goal-oriented, wannabe over-achieving child, the Game of Life is where you feel most at home. No game made me feel more accomplished than Life, and I didn’t even need another person to play with — the game of Life was just as satisfying when played alone. In fact, it was probably more enjoyable because there was no one to take the doctor career card before I could. Life is like the board game version of MASH, which is arguably the best non-board game for daydreamers who dislike the burden of agency.

The best part of Life, aside from the wads of cash you receive at regular intervals, is the fact that you get a car right from the start. I CALL THE YELLOW ONE. The yellow car is mine.

**Special Gender-Neutral DIY Modification: Do you have issues with the gendered blue and pink pegs used to represent boys and girls in the game of Life? Here’s how to make your own Life pegs!

Make two little bricks out of Fimo clay. Press a peg half-way down (horizontally, duh) into both pieces of clay. Bake those mothers until they harden. Lightly — really lightly — oil the inside of the peg impression in each brick. Or maybe dust it with cornstarch instead. I’m leaving that up to you. Using whatever color you’d like to represent your gender-unbiased self, press a smallish blob of clay into the peg impression in one brick. Make sure there’s some clay left on top and smash the other peg-indented brick against it. Carefully pull the bricks apart and really gently ease the peg away from the brick. Cut away any excess clay and bake. Gender-neutral Life peg! Bam!**

Scrabble

by Julia, Contributor


Contrary to what anyone else in this post might tell you, Scrabble is actually the best game ever. And I’m not just saying that because I have finally gained the necessary skills to beat my mother at it. Or because I am contemplating buying an iPhone in large part so I can have 24/7 access to Scrabble. Scrabble is just that good! It has everything: words; tension; little letters; ridiculous fights over the acceptability/meanings of words; points; giggling over rude words; dictionaries; strategy; tactics; and the ability to feel really really smug when you get a super high-scoring word. What more could you possibly want?

Real life places/instances in which Scrabble has been awesome:
+ My lounge room
+ On my brother’s iPhone at our other brother’s loooooong graduation ceremony
+ On a boat (magnetic, bitches!)
+ When an ex-girlfriend decided to drop by unannounced and there was all sorts of crazy tension because I was hanging out with a friend, whom that ex-girlfriend had accused me of being in love with during the breakup (untrue, for the record).

Moral of the story: Scrabble is fun, versatile and helps you to avoid dyke drama. So get on it.

Twister

by Lily, Writer


I was a very competitive child—I am still a very competitive child. My family hates playing board games with me because I will do everything in my power to make sure I win (this sometimes includes what other people might call “cheating” but what I like to refer to as “extreme intelligence”). Unfortunately one thing I am not is flexible. Nor athletic. Nor hand-eye coordinated. So the fact that I brought Twister to every single sleepover EVER, says quite a lot about me as a person who likes to be physically close to other girls.

No one else wanted to play Twister. Ever. I basically forced every single all-female sleepover that I ever attended to play that damn game with me. Actual groans could be heard from my fellow eight year-olds when I would enter the room holding my favorite Twister box close to my heart. I must have been very persuasive (or more likely just incredibly annoying) because despite their groans, these slumber party attendees still gave in to putting their right leg on yellow and their left arm on red—suspiciously close to my right leg on green and my left arm on blue. I may have never ever won Twister in the traditional sense (which often pissed me off) but I certainly won in my own special and slightly creepy-now-that-I-look-back-on-it way.

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166 Comments

  1. Apples to apples is great, but to this day am convinced that the last time I ended up throwing up from drinking was because I was the only one who was actually playing by the rules and drinking when they didn’t win the round.

    Equally fun as playing while drinking is playing with people whose first language is not English. Played last summer with a friend from school and a couple of his Icelandic friends, and it was awesome, and then we did it again this semester with the Japanese exchange students. More fun than you know. I think next on the list of priorities is playing this as a drinking game with people whose first language is not English…

  2. I discovered Upwords for the first time when I went WWOOF-ing in rural Ireland. My hosts were a mother-daughter lesbian pair (WIN) and they fed me homemade sloe gin during the game :] Which made it very difficult to play haha

  3. Does anyone know the game syzygy? It’s like banagrams unfortunately worse advertised cousin or something. I’ve been playing it for years and no one knew what was up and then people were like banagrams and I’m all like dude people syzygy. Like you know?

  4. My favourite boardgame ever is ‘Articulate!’. It’s the thing that we would always play with my extended family. Siblings would pair up against siblings and My mum and aunt would always go together and always win cos they know stupid old fashioned words for stuff that we don’t.
    ‘Balderdash’ is always hilarious; one of my other favourites. Anyone else agree?

  5. What about 13 Dead End Drive! You mentioned the awesome boobie traps in Mouse Trap… but no one can say they didn’t enjoy knocking the chandelier off the ceiling onto your opponents head!

    • I got together at christmas with some friends, and we played a whole bunch of boardames from our childhood, including thirteen dead end drive (Which takes longer to set up than it does to play) and this game called “Nightmare” that we used to play at sleepovers when I was ~12 (It involved a playing a tape in your VCR, with a ticking clock and this creepy dude with a rotting face, who yelled and laughed at you, and called you a maggot…any one else remember this?)

  6. god.

    monopoly jr all the way, i think my brain is too melted for the big kid version. it had math in it or something.

    twister wins, on all accounts, unless truth or day counts as a board game.

    or if you can combine truth or dare with twister.

    that would be great.

  7. lol i used to play guess who with my neighbour as a kid. i usually kicked his butt. :D

    my gf and i stopped playing monopoly because it usually ended up in a massive fight. we played both the proper board game version and the ipad version. we also had similar strategies to make it even worse.

    my ex and i used to play scrabble a lot online. she usually won, despite english being her 2nd language (greek was her first). i won once… although i think she was mad at me cos i ruined her winning streak against me. lol

  8. Can I just say that Cranium totally needs to be included on this list? It’s got something for everyone: art, acting, random facts, word abilities…totally fantastic!

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