As it is the summer we find ourselves spending a lot more time with our families. Between barbecues, pool parties, and camping trips there are a lot of opportunities to play more games with all sorts of different people. Which brings us to the list, our Top Five Family Games. To us a family game is a game that is simple to teach, works well with a wide range of players, and works well with all ages. These games are games we feel confident bringing almost anywhere and knowing we can teach it and people will have fun. With that being said, let’s get onto the list!
#5 - Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Escape is a cooperative dice rolling game with a wonderful adventurous ‘Indiana Jones-esque’ theme. The title explains the main objective, escape the temple. Being a cooperative game makes it a lot more approachable especially for people who are not very competitive. The best thing this game has going for it is the time limit. There is a soundtrack that plays while you are playing the game which acts as a timer, if you do not escape by the end you lose. This means you know exactly how long the game will be, which also makes it easy to convince people to try as you know it will only be about 10 minutes.
#4 - Ticket to Ride
One of the most popular modern board games, Ticket to Ride had to make our list. While the theme of trains will not catch everyone's fancy, the simplistic rules make this easy to teach. Draw Cards, complete routes, score points. What really makes this game shine however is how much strategy is hidden beneath the simplistic ruleset which causes the game to appeal to all sorts of personalities and gamers. Ticket to Ride has many different versions and maps that you can play on. While we have played the United States and Europe versions which would both work well for families, we have heard some of the maps are much less friendly. That being said the different options open up a lot of opportunities to find the sweet spot for your specific group.
#3 - Mysterium
Mysterium is another cooperative game where one player is a ghost trying to get the other players to guess (in true Clue fashion) a person, place, and weapon of his murderer. The catch is that the ghost cannot talk and can only communicate by giving players cards that all have really amazing yet strange art. The players then discuss amongst themselves to figure out what each of their cards means and what the ghost is trying to tell them. While the theme may be a little dark for younger children, the game really works well for everyone. This is a game that will make you get to know people as you try and figure out how they think.
#2 - Camel Up
Everyone loves a good game about camel racing. Camel Up is a wonderful betting game that is always exciting to play. While the race is going you get to bet on different camels and how well you think they will do. The camels however can end up stacking on top of eachother, riding the camel below it to get further ahead. Does this sound ridiculous? Well it is but that is part of what makes this game amazing. While there are certainly safer bets you can make, anything is possible and there is almost never a camel that is completely out of the race. This creates a game that works well for players who love to play the odds and players who might just want to keep betting on that one camel who is bound to make a comeback any turn now.
#1 - Codenames
Codenames is probably one of the most popular games to come out recently. This is for very good reasons, as Codenames is a brilliantly simple word game that anyone can jump in and enjoy.You have two teams competing against each other to find their specific words in a five by five grid word cards. Each team has a codemaster who knows which words belong to each team but can only give a one word clue to their teammates each turn. This means you want to give clues that work for multiple of your cards but finding what can link them is difficult. There is a catch however, in there is one card that is the Assassin and if either team picks it they automatically lose. This is easy to teach, works with pretty much any number of players, and is played in pretty quick rounds. This makes it work well in any situation and is the very definition of a great family game.