Best Family Board Games

19 August 2022
What are the best board games for the whole family? A family comes in all shapes and sizes, and so too do the games that might suit them. Whether you’ve got the younger family to entertain, the older generation to involve, or just early gamers, there’s no better way to get people together for an afternoon of quality time, and we've got the best family-friendly games to do it with.

Written by Charlie Pettit

1. Pokemon Battle Academy 

Gotta Catch ‘em all! The lasting power of Pokemon is really rather phenomenal, but where many will remember wanting to find a shiny Charizard, far fewer of us actually played the game. It’s a quick, family friendly affair, that you can learn in a very short period of time, and play with just a few decks (which you can buy complete if you would rather not build your own). Pokemon’s Battle Academy is our recommendation here – the great thing about it is the step by step instructions and pre-constructed decks that make it up, because these are perfect for young and old alike to begin playing, and playing confidently. Family proof from Grandma to any reading-age kid, it’s a great way to get playing a fun game in record time.

You can buy the Pokemon Battle Academy on Amazon

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2. Mycelia

Mushrooms are the name of the game here – any parents playing are almost certainly going to make a fun-guy/Fungi joke at some point – but these are cute, illustrated humanised mushrooms who invite you to learn how to play a deckbuilding game. Each turn you'll be trying to remove tokens from your board, but doing so places them onto a central tree-stump like feature, that you then rotate when it's full to spill all back onto the table. It's got enough beauty and interesting components to keep the attention of all ages, is simple enough for new and young players to grasp quickly, yet it also has enough depth for a more hobbyist gamer to still enjoy. A perfect family game. 

The game box for Mycelia, the Ravensburger family game. Mushrooms are on the cover in an illustrative cartoon style, with colours of pink and blue

You can find the family friendly Mycelia on Amazon!

3. Overboss

One for the older aged family (though the age rating is 8+), Overboss is a tile laying game from the same universe as Boss Monster. Both utilise the retro graphics of early computer games, making it a perfect way to lure kids away from their own screen, but that’s where the similarities end. In Overboss, you’ll build your dungeon based on the tiles available to you, attempting to maximise the points you gain for those you lay. There are ways to interfere with other dungeons, but it’s a much calmer competitive game than others, and there’s something innately satisfying about a well built dungeon that resonates with anyone. 

Buy Overboss on Amazon

4. Kingdomino

If Overboss is too complex or too fiddly, Kingdomino is the family crowd pleaser. It's a game that's similar to dominoes, making it universally easy to explain and mostly familiar to play so you can get to actually playing it in record time. Essentially, you want to expand your kingdom by using the matching tile pieces, up to a 5x5 grid where possible. Of course, you’ll gain points for connecting tiles, but also for coveted crown pieces. It can get surprisingly strategic or can be a comfortable matching game, depending on the ages and comfort levels of the players. Grandma will love it, guaranteed. 

Find Kingdomino on Amazon

5. Dobble

Sometimes, classic games are classic for a reason, and Dobble is a perfect family game. We all know how to match one shape to another, but it takes us a few moments longer when there are multiple different shapes on entirely different cards. Your fellow players are trying to place their own matching symbols down, so you’ve got to be quick to place yours before the playing field changes once again. A huge benefit is that there's no reading required for Dobble, so younger family members or not-confident readers aren't excluded, and don't need to pair up with an adult to play. Nicely, the game also comes in multiple flavours, so you can avoid potential disputes by offering familiar characters, and different game modes can change up the pace to suit the players. 

Buy Dobble on Amazon


6. Horrified

It doesn’t sound the most family friendly of names, but you’d be surprised! This is a cooperative game (see: no arguments), where classic film monsters are terrorising the town, and you’ll need to stop them. You’re the hero of the story, with special perks, picking up and delivering items around the board to slowly take down the monsters, and save the villagers from peril. It’s never too complicated that people can’t pick it up, nor are the decisions too perilous, and yet it has enough depth to it that it won’t bore the more engaged younger family members. Plus, it’s cool to win against Dracula. 

Buy Horrified: Greek Monsters on Amazon

7. Pac-Man Quoridor

Whilst we've gone for the Pac-Man variant to give us more options, Quoridor or Pac-Man Quoridor are both perfect family games. Quoridor is a long famous abstract game, where your only goal is to move your piece to the other side of the board. Of course, your opponent is hoping to do the same, so each turn you have a choice – either move your piece one space, or place down a wall to either aid you or block your opponent. With very few rules, no reading skills required, and feeling like it sits in the family of other abstract games like Chess, and Drafts/Checkers, it's an easy win for all kinds of gamers within the family. 

The Pac-Man variant uses the same board, but instead is a one player vs many game, where one plays as Pac-Man trying to eat the power pellet, and the others as the ghosts trying to catch Pac-Man. The game becomes a hugely conversational one, with ghosts trying to strategise catching Pac-Man, and Pac-Man hearing this and trying to avoid their plan. This, alongside the above which you can also play with the Pac-Man box, represent easy to learn, fun to play, super family friendly games – and one players will be asking to play again!

8. Catapult Feud

Dexterity games are an easy win for family based games, because whilst there is admittedly a dose of skill involved (or so I say when I am declared victorious!), a huge amount of luck is often more helpful. Catapult Feud is one such game, where you’re given catapults and projectiles to send flying at your fellow players perfectly built and armoured fort. Of course, you have your own fort, and they, their own catapults, so it’s a race to knock out the guards.  With very little learning curve - “Build a fort. Fire catapults. Knock minis off”, there you go, you can play now – it’s suitable for family play, even if you choose to level the playing field by teaming up an adult and child. 

By Catapult Feud on Amazon

9. Dodo

Welcome to the island of Mangalopanesia, where the Dodo has laid her egg at the top of the mountain, and you’re going to need to stop it rolling to the bottom. It’s brightly coloured, hugely eye catching, and feels like a good mixture of a traditional game – like the nostalgia of seeing Kerplunk on the table – and a game hobbyists can get behind. With a pleasing concept, familiar to most children, it’s all about your teamwork and your speed, leading to a frantic, somewhat silly, afternoon to share with the family. 

10. What Next

A game we can’t help but come back to, What Next is a mixture of so many different types of games that it’s hard not to consider its wide appeal. Essentially, you’ll have three different cases that contain sets of cards. Overturning these, you may have a decision to make, which will tell you to head to another numbered card, as you begin to unfold the story. You may also have to complete a challenge, which are party game like in theme - drop a card from a height through the arms of another player, identify this piece from a draw bag, pick something up using only the cards of the game… soon you’re hurtling through a quirky story whilst giggling at the challenges set. A great way and reason to get the family together, and though youngsters would need a little extra help, there’s nothing stopping a parent and child duo. 

Buy What Next? On Amazon!


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