Best Family Board Games For 2017

Best Family Board Games 2016

Grab popcorn and invite family and friends over. Here are the best new family games of 2016.

When kids are growing up, family game night is a great way to bond with them. Not only is it totally fun, but it allows parents to secretly instill values that are important. We are talking about values like sportsmanship, honesty, planning, following rules, and the importance of having fun whether you are winning or losing. We always say that the family that plays together, stays together.

Sure, some of the best board games of all time include classical board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Chess but adding fun new games to the rotation keeps things fresh.

What are the best family board games of 2016? In 2016, we have seen amazing cards games, party games, cooperative games, strategy games, and 2 player board games. Some of the most popular family games this year took us on spy adventures, made us explode kittens, sent us to a galaxy far far away, and slammed pie in our face.

Grab some popcorn and invite family and friends over, here are the best family board games for kids of all ages from toddlers to teens. Many of these made our Christmas toys list.

Overall Top 10 Family Board Games

2016 has been a remarkable year for board games with board games for just about everyone. Whether you wanted the hilarious simple game play of Pie Face, or the unique game play of Pandemic Legacy, this year had you covered. We kick things off with our overall best board games for 2016.

Pie FaceAges 5+Pie Facecheck price

Pie Face has been called the must have board game for Christmas. In the game, players load the hand with whip cream. Then they take turns spinning the spinner. The fun part comes when you have to put your head in the silly contraption and turn the little rod. At any point, you could end up with whip cream all over your face as the hand goes off.

Exploding KittensAges 7+Exploding Kittenscheck price

Meow! Exploding Kittens was one of the most successful kick starter projects ever. It is a card game sort of like Russian roulette with exploding kittens. Inside the deck , there are 3 exploding kitten cards. If a player picks the card they are out unless they can diffuse the card. There are also action cards that help players manipulate the cards so that they can avoid the exploding kitten. Some of these cards let players shuffle the deck , look at the upcoming cards, and more. The drawings are hilarious and the game is an explosion of fun.

Codenames GameAges 14-15Codenames Gamecheck price

How would you like to be a spy? In this party board game, players first decide whether they are on the red or blue team. The cards are laid on the table like a grid. Then each team is assigned certain words. You are trying to get your team to guess your team’s words by giving them just one word clues to point to multiple words. For example, say you use the one word clue “shape.” Then your teammates would try to find all the cards that are shapes like square, circle, and so forth.

Star Wars Death Star PerplexusAges 8+Star Wars Death Star Perplexuscheck price

Star Wars and Perplexus? If you have never heard of Perplexus, it is a transparent sphere with a maze inside. You have to twist it and try to make the ball make it through the maze without falling off. Now it has been given a Star Wars makeover complete with lights and sounds. It really looks like the Death Star.The coolest part? You have to pick up the ball with the XWing controlled by a magnet and fly it through obstacles. How awesome is that?

Bugs in the KitchenAges 6-15Bugs in the Kitchencheck price

Get that bug! Here’s a very unique board game that combines the fun of Hexbugs with a board game. In Bugs In The Kitchen, the object is to lure the creepy crawling Hexbug into your trap. Up to 4 players can play. The game board is made up of plastic utensils that form a maze. Player take turns rolling the dice to see what utensil they can turn to lure the bug into their trap. It’s frantic fun, because the bug is running around while you are playing.

Pandemic Legacy Blue Board GameAges 13-15Pandemic Legacy Blue Board Gamecheck price

This is one of our favorite board games of the year. If you have played Pandemic, go buy it. We don’t want to spoil it. It’s just like Pandemic. The game starts out with a group of scientists trying to stop a series of highly contagious diseases. The big draw about the game is that it unfolds like a story and it ends much like a videogame or your favorite TV show.

Houdini Brainteaser GameAges 8-15Houdini Brainteaser Gamecheck price

Who wouldn’t like to be Harry Houdini? He was one of the most interesting escape artists of our time. Now Thinkfun has created an awesome escape puzzle game around him. The cutest part? It comes with a little plastic Harry Houdini. This is one of the most unique puzzle games that we have ever come across. There are 40 different escape challenges that involve trying to slip Harry Houdini out of the trap. You have to make it through ropes, rings, and the lock. When you make it out, you really feel like Houdini.

ThinkFun Rush Hour Shift Board GameAges 8-15ThinkFun Rush Hour Shift Board Gamecheck price

Honk, Honk, You are in my way! In this strategy game, you will have to slide, shift, and move ahead your car to beat traffic and your opponent. This update to the award winning Rush Hour is better in almost every way. Why? The game is built for 2 players. The idea is to get your car through the other side of the game board before your opponent. The only problem? There is traffic in the way. Players draw cards that allow them to shift vehicles and even the grid to clear a path. Just like rush hour traffic, it will take some thinking to get out of the traffic jam.

Wink Board GameAges 8+Wink Board Gamecheck price

In this hilarious game, players have to secretly wink at other players without anyone noticing. If you get caught, other players can steal your points. The game is actually simple to play. There are 2 decks. You lay out one deck of cards on the table and the other deck is dealt out to all the players. Then on your turn you pick any card on the table. You have to figure out which player has the card without other people finding out. (wink)

Blue Orange Gobblet GobblersAges 5+Blue Orange Gobblet Gobblerscheck price

Tic Tac Toe is fun but Gobblet Gobblers is even more fun. Here is a fun twist on the classic game of Tic Tac Toe that adds a ton of strategy and replay. You’ll need memory, logic, and planning skills. The idea is still to get three in a row. However, the pieces, called Gobblers, come in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. The smallest size can be gobbled by the medium and large size. The coolest part? The pieces can be moved around on the board as long as they are on the top. This means that pieces underneath can suddenly come into play. 

Best Board Games For Kids Ages 1 – 5

It’s never too early to start playing. Here are the top rated board games for toddlers and preschool children.

Seek-a-Boo GameAges 18mt+Seek-a-Boo Gamecheck price

There aren’t too many board games made for young toddlers so Seek-a-Boo is a welcomed surprise. This is a great first game and a nice spin on the classic memory game for kids. The pictures are big and colorful with items that toddlers will love. The game comes with 36 large “seek me” cards and 36 smaller “find me” cards. The idea is to turn over one of the smaller “find me” cards and have your toddler find the matching “seek me” card. The coolest part? All of the cards are categorized and color coded. It’s great for building early memory and vocabulary skills.

Shopkins Big Roll Bingo GameAges 4-15Shopkins Big Roll Bingo Gamecheck price

What girl isn’t obsessed with everything Shopkins? Bingo just got a whole lot more fun with a Shopkins twist. All of the bingo boards have been completely redone with cool Shopkins figures. The only problem? There are no Shopkins figures.

Best Board Games For Kids Ages 5-12

School age children had a lot to play this year from the hilarious fun of Pie Face to catching bugs in the kitchen. Here are the best board games for kids between 5 and 12.

Pie FaceAges 5+Pie Facecheck price

Pie Face has been called the must have board game for Christmas. In the game, players load the hand with whip cream. Then they take turns spinning the spinner. The fun part comes when you have to put your head in the silly contraption and turn the little rod. At any point, you could end up with whip cream all over your face as the hand goes off.

Bounce-Off Game Ages 7-15Bounce-Off Game check price

It’s time for bounce off! In Bounce Off, players race to copy a pattern by bouncing a colored ball into the game board. The player that succeeds first wins the round. While it is fun to play with 2 players, with 4 players it is even more chaotic fun.

ThinkFun Rush Hour Shift Board GameAges 8-15ThinkFun Rush Hour Shift Board Gamecheck price

Honk, Honk, You are in my way! In this strategy game, you will have to slide, shift, and move ahead your car to beat traffic and your opponent. The update to the award winning Rush Hour is better in almost every way. Why? The game is built for 2 players. The idea is to get your car through the other side of the game board before your opponent. The only problem? There is traffic in the way. Players draw cars that allow them to shift vehicles and even the grid to clear a path. It will take some thinking to get out of the traffic jam.

Bugs in the KitchenAges 6-15Bugs in the Kitchencheck price

Get that bug! Here’s a very unique board game that combines the fun of Hexbugs with a board game. In Bugs In The Kitchen, the object is to lure the creepy crawling Hexbug into your trap. Up to 4 players can play. The game board is made up of plastic utensils that form a maze. Player take turns rolling the dice to see what utensil they can turn to lure the bug into their trap. Its frantic fun, because the bug is running around while you are playing

Wink Board GameAges 8+Wink Board Gamecheck price

In this hilarious game, players have to secretly wink at other players without anyone noticing. If you get caught, other players can steal your points. The game is actually simple to play. There are 2 decks. You lay out one deck of cards on the table and the other deck is dealt out to all the players. Then on your turn you pick any card on the table. You have to figure out which player has the card without other people finding out. (wink)

Blue Orange Gobblet GobblersAges 5+Blue Orange Gobblet Gobblerscheck price

Tic Tac Toe is fun but Gobblet Gobblers is even more fun. Here is a fun twist on the classic game of Tic Tac Toe that adds a ton of strategy and replay. You’ll need memory, logic, and planning skills. The idea is still to get three in a row. However, the pieces called Gobblers come in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. The smallest size can be gobbled by the medium and large size. The coolest part? The pieces can be moved around on the board as long as they are on the top. This means that pieces underneath can suddenly come into play. 

UbongoAges 8+Ubongocheck price

Combine Tetris with a board game and you get Ubongo. This strategic game has player racing to solve geometric puzzles. The first player to solve their puzzle shouts like Tarzan “Ubongo” and collects gems. The player with the most gems at the end of the game wins.

Monopoly Star WarsAges 8+Monopoly Game Star Warscheck price

It’s Star Wars! It’s Monopoly! What could be better? For Star Wars fans, this might be the coolest board game in the galaxy. It’s not just Monopoly slapped with the Star Wars Theme. The game moves at a much faster pace than classic Monopoly and has an added element of strategy. Community Chest Cards and Chance Cards have been replaced by Empire and Force cards. You have to first decide if you are a Rebel or a Jedi. To win you will have to conquer the galaxy.

Shopkins Hedbanz Board GameAges 7+Shopkins Hedbanz Board Gamecheck price

Shopkins and Hedbanz? Shopkins fans are going to go crazy. If you have never played Hedbanz, the idea is simple. Each player grabs a card that they don’t look at and places it on their headband. Then players take turns asking each other simple “yes or no” questions about the card on their headband. In this one you have to guess the Shopkins characters.

Thumbs Up!Ages 6+Thumbs Up!check price

Thumbs Up! is fun game of matching, fast thinking, and quick reflexes. You’ll need to test your dexterity with Thumbs Up! Based on the challenge card, the goal is to race and be the first to stack colored rings on your finger. The player that completes the pattern first shouts thumbs up. To keep the action going, there are 50 different challenges of varying difficulty.

Wits & Wagers Deluxe Board GameAges 10+Wits & Wagers Deluxe Board Gamecheck price

How many Native Americans attended the first Thanksgiving? Who the heck knows? Guessing is part of the fun. Wits & Wagers is a trivia game where you don’t have to know the right answer. You just have to know who at the table knows the right answer. The fun part is betting on the guess like you are in Vegas. Now it’s been updated with better quality components including a wrinkle free casino quality table felt.

Scrabble Twist GameAges 8+Scrabble Twist Gamecheck price

It’s Scrabble with an electronic twist. The game gives you five letters. You have to touch the letters to form words that are at least 3 letters long. Then you twist the game unit to lock in the word. You’ll have to work quickly before time runs out. There are several game modes including solo and multiplayer modes. Are you ready to twist?

Best Board Games For Teens

Just about every older gamer was waiting for Pandemic Legacy to be released this year. It lived up to the hype, but there was also a strong showing from Star Wars themed board sets that were more than a board game with the Star Wars theme slapped on. Here are the ones that rose to the top.

Codenames GameAges 14-15Codenames Gamecheck price

How would you like to be a spy? In this party game, players first decided whether they are on the red or blue team. The cards are laid on the table like a grid. Then each team is assigned certain words. You are trying to get your team to guess your team’s words by giving them just one word clues to point to multiple words. For example, say you use the one word clue “shape.” Then your teammates would try to find all the cards that are shapes like square, circle, and so forth.

Pandemic Legacy Blue Board GameAges 13-15Pandemic Legacy Blue Board Gamecheck price

This is one of our favorite board games of the year. If you have played Pandemic, go buy it. We don’t want to spoil it. It’s just like Pandemic. The game starts out with a group of scientists trying to stop a series of highly contagious diseases. The big draw about the game is that it unfolds like a story and it ends much like a videogame or your favorite TV show.

Risk: Star Wars Edition GameAges 10+Risk: Star Wars Edition Gamecheck price

This isn’t really Risk; it’s better than Risk. This lightweight strategic game recreates the epic battle in Return Of The Jedi with the Empire forces trying to destroy the Death Star. It takes about 45 minutes to play. There are 3 battles going on simultaneously: Luke Vs Darth Vader, the space battle, and the Battle of Endor. Players play cards to attack. The Empire forces have to destroy the Death Star and the bad guys have to defend it. Who will win?

Star Wars: XWingAges 13-15Star Wars: The Force Awakenscheck price

Star Wars fans will love this tabletop miniatures game. It features beautifully constructed miniatures modeled after the newest Star Wars movie. With X-wings, TIE fighters, and other ships you’ll have to use strategy to destroy your opponent’s ships.

Best Family Card Games

Card games are some of the best family games. There is nothing more fun than sitting around with family and playing a game with a deck of cards. Here are the best family card games of the year.

Exploding KittensAges 7+Exploding Kittenscheck price

Meow! Exploding Kittens was one of the most successful kick starter projects ever. It is a card game sort of like Russian roulette with exploding kittens. Inside the deck , there are 3 exploding kitten cards. If a player picks the card they are out unless they can diffuse the card. There are also action cards that help players manipulate the cards so that they can avoid the exploding kitten. Some of these cards let players shuffle the deck , look at the upcoming cards, and more. The drawings are hilarious and the game is surprisingly fun.

Compose Yourself Music Card GameAges 6-15Compose Yourself Music Card Gamecheck price

How would you like to write your own music in minutes? Created by Philip Sheppard, the world famous composer, this is one of the more unique card games. The set comes with 60 transparent cards with musical notes on them. You can choose up to 16 cards to create your composition. The best part? Each card can be flipped and rotated in 4 different ways. You can arrange the cards anyway you like and in minutes you’ll have a complete composition. Simply enter the codes from the cards on the website and you can hear your composition performed.

Spot it! Disney Frozen – AlphabetAges 3-15Spot it! Disney Frozen - Alphabetcheck price

Spot It and Frozen? What could be better? Spot It has been given a fun Frozen twist. The game includes 55 cards with Frozen themed images on each card. Between any 2 cards, there is exactly one matching image. The idea is to be the first to spot the match. It’s the perfect card game for Frozen fans who will have a hard time letting it go.

Fluxx 5.0 Card GameAges 8-15Fluxx 5.0 Card Gamecheck price

Here’s a card game where the rules are constantly shifting. It starts out simple enough: Take a card and play a card. From here the game play can change and get more complicated depending on what cards are drawn. There are 4 different types of cards: action, keeper, goal, and new rule. Each of these cards changes the game play. You never know what going to happen. The game is always in flux.

Card ‘N’ Go Seek Game Ages 7-15Card 'N' Go Seek Game check price

This is a fun twist on the classic game of hide and seek. On the count of 3, everyone goes and tries to find an object that has been revealed by flipping over one of the cards. The first player that returns with the correct object wins the round. Sounds simple? With vague descriptions like “can be tied in knot” or “a dog would like it,” the cards are open the often hilarious interpretation.

Boss Monster 2Ages 13-15Boss Monster 2check price

Who doesn’t love retro video games? Boss Monster 2 is inspired after 8 bit retro video games with giant bosses. This card game completely flips the script and asks you to play the boss. As a boss, you must crush video game heroes by using cards to create deadly rooms in your dungeon.

Best Puzzle Board Games

Puzzle games combine spatial planning, logic, speed, and a little luck to deliver challenges that really test your brain power. Here are our favorite puzzles of 2015.

Star Wars Death Star PerplexusAges 8+Star Wars Death Star Perplexuscheck price

Star Wars and Perplexus? If you have never heard of Perplexus, it is a transparent sphere with a maze inside. You have to twist it and try to make the ball make it through the maze without falling off. Now it has been given a Star Wars makeover complete with lights and sounds. It really looks like the Death Star.The coolest part? You have to pick up the ball with the XWing controlled by a magnet and fly it through obstacles. How awesome is that?

Laser Maze Junior Board GameAges 6+Laser Maze Junior Board Gamecheck price

This game proves that lasers make everything more fun. The idea is to create the mazes and shoot a laser through it to solve different logic puzzles. There are 40 different challenges. Simply set up the game board as depicted on one of the challenge cards. Then you have to place additional game pieces including mirrors and beam splitters on the board so the laser lights up the rocket.

Houdini Brainteaser GameAges 8-15Houdini Brainteaser Gamecheck price

Who wouldn’t like to be Harry Houdini? He was one of the most interesting escape artists of our time. Now Thinkfun has created an awesome escape puzzle game around him. The cutest part? It comes with a little plastic Harry Houdini. This is one of the most unique puzzle games that we have ever come across. There are 40 different escape challenges that involve trying to slip Harry Houdini out of the trap. You have to make it through ropes, rings, and the lock. When you make it out, you really feel like Houdini.

All Queens ChessAges 8-15All Queens Chesscheck price

How do you make chess more fun? Remove all the pieces except the queen. This strategy game is actually not a chess game. It’s actually tic tac toe meets chess. The idea is to try to get 4 pieces in a row using the Queen chess piece. You are not killing other pieces, but strategically moving your queens around to get 4 in a row.

Educational Insights RiddlecubeAges 8-12Educational Insights Riddlecubecheck price

Riddlecube is a spatial puzzle game where you have to bend a cube into different shapes in order to solve the 200 different challenges. Inside the box you get 4 riddle cubes so the whole family can play at the same time. These cubes are made out of straw like tubes connected by bungee tubes, which allows you to shape shift the cube into so many different shapes. You will have to pull, stretch, and twist the cube to beat the clock and solve the puzzles. If you love mind bending puzzles, you will love this excellent puzzle game.

Educational Inights Design & Drill Ages 3-12Educational Inights Design & Drill check price

Who knew drilling could be so fun? Your little tool guy or tool girl won’t be able to stop using this real working kiddie drill to create all types of imaginative designs. They will spend hours and hours screwing the bolts into the board. The coolest part? When you flip the switch, all the bolts light up like it’s Christmas.

What Are Your Favorite Board Games for Families?

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