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Board games offer plenty of benefits for families, ranging from teaching children certain social skills to enhancing communication with family members. This overview highlights some of the best family board games available in the market.

Sequence Board Game

It represents a combination of two types of games; a board and card game. It comprises of a playing board containing two decks of cards as depicted in the background of the board. The playing chips come in three different colors- blue, green and red, totaling to 135 chips. Typically, this game can be played individually by two or three players in teams of two’s and three’s. At the start of every round, the team is dealt a particular number of cards and a set of chips of one color. To win, the team has to place chips of similar color sequentially, onto the corresponding pictures of cards. The end-goal is to create a row of their colored chips in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal position.

Apples to Apples

This board game is fun for adults and children alike. It comprises of two decks of cards- Things and Descriptions. In each round, the active player has to draw a Description Card, which has a descriptive word scripted on it such as “hairy” or “messy.” The other players then have to choose a card from Things category of cards and place them face-down on the table. These players choose cards, which best fit the first description card that was drawn. Afterward, the active player reveals all the cards that were played and selects the best Thing card that matches the Description card. The player, whose card wins the matching game, becomes the new active player in the following round.

Catchphrase

The catchphrase is another exciting board game suitable for families. The game-play involves dividing into different teams. In each round, one player from each team has to get his members to guess a particular word correctly without actually speaking out the term. The catch of the game is that the team has to do this, in a timed duration. If time elapses and there is a member of your team still holding the disk player, the opponent team advances on the board.

Catchphrase comes with a set of rules to govern the game. One of the principles when giving clues is that you are permitted to use physical gestures and verbal cues. However, you should not say any word that rhymes say the first letter or part of the guessing term. If a team player breaks any of the rules, the timer is stopped, and a point is awarded to the other team.

The Game of Life

Originally, the Game of Life was developed in the 1960s. More than five decades later, fans of this family board game have a fully featured, 3D version of it. The Game of Life has each player winding down a path across a playing board using an automobile. Typically, it involves a passage of life starting with education and culminating into retirement. Along the way, the player has to acquire a job, pay taxes, get married, have kids, navigate through the stock market, endure catastrophes and pay bills. You can try to accumulate as much property as you can. But, it’s your pocketbook, which establishes your win or loss.

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Board games have been in existence over centuries ago. The oldest known board games trace as far back as 5870 B.C. This just proves the human necessity to be entertained and challenged at the same time. Board games, more than any, requires mental strategizing. Unlike sports, where the mind is challenged as well but concentrates more on the physical capabilities of the player, board games requires the competence of the player’s thinking process and quick-wittedness to win. This is one of the attributes that set apart board games from many other games.

Board Games Live and Die

This does not mean, however, that all board games are successful. Board games live and die depending on their popularity. If there is an art in playing them, there is even greater art required in creating them. Senet and Mehen are board games traced back in ancient Egypt, but their existence in contemporary or popular culture is almost nonexistent, but their evolution can be more recognizable today. Truth to be told, it is the applicability of the game towards the modern times that, most of the time, decides if the game will live on or wither away.

Grandparents of Board Games

Backgammon, Go and Chess are probably the oldest games still played today. Backgammon is considered as a race game. It requires moving one’s pieces across to the other side of the board. This game needs to roll dice to determine the moves of the game. This game dates back to ancient Egypt, around 3000 B.C., and it’s believed to have evolved from the ancient game of Senet.

Go is believed to have originated in China back in mid-2000 B.C. specifically, it can be traced to Emperor Yao, and subsequently its popularity spread to Korea and Japan. Chess, on the other, was believed to have originated in India in the 6th century. Scholars consider chess to have evolved from an ancient game called Chaturanga.

Clearly Go predates chess a few thousand years back, but they have their similarities. Each only requires two players, and they have to outwit one another. It is not surprising to know that chess originated from India, a country that shares a border with China. However, one glaring similarity both Go and chess have is that they are both war games.

Ancient forms, yes, and nearly incomparable to the war strategy games modern times have to offer in video games. It is believed that both these games came from tribal warlords who used same looking pieces to strategize their attack plan.

In retrospect, having war games as the oldest, still popular board game in present times does give people an idea why it is still applicable today.

Modern Times, Contemporary Board Games

There have been countless board games that have come into existence in our time. But little have the shelf life as the most popular board games still being played today. The exclusive list includes:

* Monopoly

* Clue

* Risk

* Life

* Snakes and Ladders

* Checkers

* Scrabble

Of course, Monopoly is almost recognizable across the globe. This is strange because Monopoly isn’t exactly the easiest game to understand. Yet, despite this, the Guinness Book of Records recognizes Monopoly’s worldwide appeal, with over 750 million having already played the game. To think that it has been in existence since 1935, Monopoly’s staying power is a testament how real estate, business, banking, and investment is applicable in our times.

Clue, on the other hand, relies on murder and mystery to keep players interested. Risk is a perfect example of how ancient games like chess came about and Go have evolved to adjust to their cultural environment. Life, in contrast, predates Monopoly. It was created in 1860 and simulates, well, life. Marriage, career, and so on are part of the game, and people find it enjoyable to imagine what life would be like, or what life could have been, in this game.

Snake and Ladders is also another popular board game. The trouble with this game is many adults do not find it appealing. That is why it is nearly exclusive only to children. Adults normally find games depending on chance boring. Relying solely on the dice to determine the player’s fate is not as challenging as most adults would want from board games. The player’s fate in Monopoly is also determined by the dice, but unlike Snakes and Ladders, it still requires players to strategize.

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Playing board games at home is a time-honored tradition. Families gather around and compete in classics like Monopoly, Clue, Chute and Ladders and Sorry. After a while buying, all these games can start to add up. Toys are cheap, and it can even be more rewarding, and fun, to make your versions at home. You can personalize them for your family and add fun, unexpected twists to classics. Making your board games at home does not require much in the way of materials and can be a great way to spend time together as a family. It is a great activity to get everyone’s creative juices flowing and is sure to end in many more game nights to come. Just follow these simple steps and get ready to host a game night!

1. The first thing you need to decide are the ages that the games are intended for. Knowing who is going to play the game helps you determine the rules and design it as simple, or complex as you want. If you are designing for young children, you do not want to include rules that involve any complex math or reading. You want to it to be easy to understand and fun. Same thing applies to adults playing the game. You want the rules to be a little more complex to keep it interesting and competitive.

2. Decide on a theme for your game. Is it going to be skill based with trivia questions and logic like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit or more luck and chance slanted like Chutes and ladders or Sorry? You can also pick a theme that your game will revolve around such as Candy Land or Monopoly. Pirates are a popular theme, as are ghosts and monsters. Decide what your theme is and the work around that. Use your imagination and explore different ways to incorporate themes into your game.

3. Decide on Rules and Directions for your game. Try to keep the rules and directions as simple and concise as possible. The most popular games have a few simple rules that are easy to remember and follow. Try to include the rules in the game play like UNO. It has only a few simple rules (colors must match colors and numbers must match numbers) and then has some rules on the cards (such as skipped turns and reverse orders). This makes it easy to remember multiple rules and keeps the flow of the game. Be sure to include the end goal of the game, how the player would win and what is the maximum and minimum number or players allowed to play.

4. Create a rough draft of your game. This will help you determine if you need to include any details that may be missing from the game and find any flaws in your construction. It also helps you make sure you have everything needed to play with cards, dice or tokens. If you have created a game with a path, such as chutes and ladders, make sure you have a beginning and ending square for tokens to travel to and from.

If you plan carefully and use your creativity, you are sure to create a game that everyone can enjoy.

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Cribbage is game that has been played religiously in pubs in Britain, and the official game of the Navel officers serving in American submarines. This classic board game of cribbage has been a widespread favorite for many going back to it was established in the 17th century. A traditional board game that was initially developed for two, but it can work for three just as easily. A small board sits between you and your opponent where you will mark off your score as you earn points. Success in this card game means you have achieved a score of 121 points before your challenger.

You cut the cards, the high card wins as the first dealer. Play can be 5 or 6 cards, 6 if there are two players and 5 cards for three players. With three players one card is dealt down to be included in the ‘crib’ which will contain 4 cards after players discard. To get the 4 cards, two players will keep 4 and discard 2, three players will keep 4 and discard 1 to add to the card turned down. Points are awarded for a number of things during and after play which makes it interesting. There are all kinds of hidden ways to score so your opponent may get some surprises when you tally things up. When you play a card and reach 15 points, or when you reach 31. If you play a card of the same value and create a pair, or a run, or if no one reaches 31 but you run out of cards in your hand, you get points for the last card played. The hand you are dealt can lead to just about anything based on how it’s played out. Even what you have left in your hand after 31 is hit has value. It’s rather intense and while it sounds complicated with the scoring, once you get into the game it’s quite simple and moves along quite quickly.

The leader in this game of thought can change in a moment. It is a game that involves terminology, tactics, some luck, and like other board games, etiquette. Using your skills and maybe even some of that luck can turn the course of play quickly in your favor if you were lagging behind. This pace increases the intensity of play and one of the reasons why the classic board game of cribbage is a common favorite among many.

The aim of this game is to find the player who’s responsible for a murder in the household. Players are expected to head through the various rooms of the house in search for clues for the same. You’re expected to head rapid enough to find the clues prior to other participants. The entire game revolves around the unraveling of this mystery and hence, is super fascinating.

Speaking of board games, nothing completes the list more definitively then Scrabble. This is the perfect game for individuals who like playing with words. The basic objective of this game is to create new words from random letters. The longer your word; the higher is your score.

Every player who plays this game is given a wooden tile. Every wooden tile is engraved with a particular alphabet. Using the amount of wooden tiles plus the alphabets imprinted on them, the players are anticipated to create words. All you have to do is always to just put the alphabets in accordance so that they can shape meaningful words. You could additionally employ the alphabets that you have and include them to the current alphabets on the board to shape words. Every tile is allotted some ideas or rates. As you create a word utilizing the wooden tiles, all the point values of the wooden tiles are additional up to shape your score.

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