Bored at Home? Here are Five Board Games to Play with Friends and Family

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The best board games are nothing like the dusty old games that many of us played with as kids. Board games today are developed around engaging themes that pair with smart ways of playing, keeping you engaged even when it's not your turn, making the entire experience more engrossing and pleasant. 

I challenge you to put away the technology and gather around for a good old-fashioned board game while we spend more time at home during the pandemic. You'll appreciate the break regardless of which game you want to play. Some of these entertaining board games are best enjoyed by more than 4 players, while others are best enjoyed by two, and some of the others are best enjoyed by a small family. There's something on this list for everyone, whether you're looking for critical thinking and competitiveness or just plain fun and laughs.

1. Pandemic

In Pandemic, the odds are stacked against you from the start, but that's part of the fun. This co-op epic is never less than thrilling, and victory requires teamwork, as well as the ability to think on your feet. 

Despite its difficulty, Pandemic is also incredibly approachable. This is due to the fact that it never feels hopeless. Despite the fact that players are entrusted with preventing a slew of super-diseases from sweeping the globe, they are equipped with special skills that can help them turn the tide. 

Making decisions about what to do with those abilities is part of the enjoyment. Is it better to focus on limiting outbreaks first, or is it better to focus on eradicating one strain before going on to the next? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you must devise your own tactics. It also promotes healthy dialogue, which strengthens the bonds between individuals seated at your table. This is especially true in the Legacy versions, where the results of one match are carried over to the next.

2. Cranium

This game is one of the classic favourites since it involves the whole family singing, sketching, solving problems, and thinking. There's no getting around it: to win a game of Cranium, you and your team must go all the way around the board and accomplish all of the tasks. Cranium is a fun party game geared at non-gamers, although it may equally be enjoyed by gamers. It's lighthearted and entertaining, and it makes a lot of people laugh. The four categories keep things interesting from round to turn, and the cards offer plenty of diversity.

Each colour along the game path denotes which of the four card categories you must choose from in order to progress. You get to roll a die and progress that number of spaces if you successfully complete the task indicated on the card. You'll be stuck until your next turn, when you'll have to try that category again if you don't finish the task. The game board has three different rates of play, which is a nice feature for time-crunched families.

3. Catan 

Catan transports us back to the period of exploration, with players tasked with settling an uninhabited island before their opponents. Because everyone is trying to civilise the same frontier, deception is the name of the game. As a result, this 1995 classic is one of the best traditional board games available. 

You'll have to barter and trade with your opponents to get what you need because different regions of the island yield different resources. Catan is a strategy game that is appropriate for both adults and older children. The first fight you'll face is determining where to plant your roots. The resources you'll need to construct with are determined by chance - each player rolls dice at the start of their round to see who gets a payout, and some places are more likely to provide results than others. As a result, you'll have to consider carefully about the places you want to claim. 

It's also crucial to have good communication. If you want to get ahead, you'll need to trade with your competitors because you won't have access to all you need right away. As a result, players must do a fun balancing act. While resource shifting gets you what you need, it also pushes your opponents closer to their objectives. 

Catan is one of the best board games for tactical thinkers because there's so much to do. If you grow bored, you can switch things up with different versions or one of the game's many expansions. For example, a Game of Thrones-themed set is now available, as is a massive offshoot called Catan: Starfarers, which incorporates space colonisation and the threat of pirate invasion.

4. Codenames 

While most party games are based on trivia, Codenames takes a different approach: it focuses on getting to know the other players. It's a word-based puzzler that relies on association, and it's one of the best board games for icebreakers. The goal is to contact your team's secret spies first, all while evading an assassin hidden among them. The end result is a breadcrumb trail, in which someone creates single-word clues that lead their teammates to specific cards on a grid.

These tips can be anything from rhymes to synonyms, but you're only permitted to use one word and can't offer any additional assistance. As a result, the spymaster will have to watch helplessly as their team talks itself out of finding the correct answers. It's a hilarious event that will quickly get everyone talking. 

This game also reveals a lot about your friends; learning why someone chose the clue they did allows you to gain a deeper understanding of who they are as people. Anyone who associates the words 'blue' and ‘milk' is most likely a Star Wars fan. As a result, Codenames works well as a warm-up game or with a new group.

5. Jaipur 

The only game on this list where you must choose between gathering gold or camels is Jaipur. It belongs in everyone's library and on any list of the finest board games since it's unique, approachable, and deliciously moreish. 

Your mission, as one of two traders in the Indian city of Jaipur, is to gain an invitation to the maharaja's court by becoming the best businessperson in the country. However, how you go about doing so is entirely up to you. Is it better to acquire and trade cheap stuff fast, or should you save up for more expensive items in the long run? 

Victory comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for lots of experimentation. In either case, it's critical to keep an eye on your opponent. Trading earns you chips with varying point values; the chips at the top of the pile are the most precious, while those at the bottom are less valued. To put it another way, people who wait too long to cash in their possessions risk seeing their hard work go to waste. 

This results in a fascinating balancing act. On the one hand, you could try to amass a fortune by collecting a deck of high-value cards. Your opponent, on the other hand, may be able to outsmart you by trading theirs in first. On the other hand, you can accumulate riches by purchasing lower-cost items, but you won't be eligible for certain benefits. These dynamics elevate Jaipur to the top of the list of the best card games ever made.

The finest board games have exploded in popularity over the last decade because they're a great way to come together with friends and family and spend time together in the real world. Board games are a terrific social activity that needs you to meet in person, as more and more of our social life and connection has shifted online.

 

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