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5 Modern Tabletop Classics – Gaming with the Family, Part 1

5 Modern Tabletop Classics – Gaming with the Family, Part 1

For me, there’s nothing better than getting to have a ton of free time that I can play games with those I love. Games always bring people closer together, even if you’re arguing about who gets to play as red. So, from mine to yours, here are some of the most requested games at my family gatherings. Happy gaming!

Codenames

codenames 2

Why Your Family Will Love This Game: What is there to say about Codenames at this point? The massive hit released just a few years ago has been crazy popular and now even comes in Disney and Marvel versions. If you’re going with the classic, I suggest the XXL edition so everyone can see the cards without squinting and leaning over the table too much.

Why Your Family Might Fight playing this game: Codenames has high highs and some low lows. When clues are flying and people are riding the same wavelength, everything is fantastic. Sometimes though, the words just don’t cooperate and you’re stuck waiting for a clue while your dad is trying to figure out how to connect Moscow, jack, and copper.

Why You’ll Want it on your game shelf all year long: There’s a reason Codenames has been such a smash. It’s addictive and there are plenty of cards in the game to keep things interesting, even if you’ve seen all the words before.

Publisher: Czech Games Edition
MSRP: $39.95 (or $19.95 for regular size)
Players: 2-8+
Playtime: 15 minutes

Space Base

space base

Why Your Family Will Love This Game: There’s nothing like the thrill of rolling dice and Space Base is all about playing the odds. Having your numbers hit is always exciting and the best part is that you get stuff even when it’s not your turn. This keeps the game continuous engaging, making it even better with its full player count. (Check out our full overview of the game here.)

Why Your Family Might Fight playing this game: There are a lot of cards out on the table to explain and keep track of. Not understanding what’s out can be frustrating for new players, so you might have to explain things more than once.

Why You’ll Want it on your game shelf all year long: There hasn’t been a single person I’ve introduced this to that hasn’t asked to play “that space dice game” again. There’s a moment in everyone’s first play when you see things click for them and they get so excited about all the potential combos.

Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
MSRP: $39.99
Players: 2-5
Playtime: 60 minutes

Trapwords

trapwords

Why Your Family Will Love This Game: If your family is into team-based word games like Taboo, Trapwords is ready to become a part of your holiday traditions. (Read our full overview of the game here.)

Why Your Family Might Fight playing this game: Deciding on which words to include as traps can lead to some debates over who thinks they know the other team better.

Why You’ll Want it on your game shelf all year long: Trapwords isn’t just a game for family. It’ll work great with friends or your game group. With the option to play general or fantasy words, there’s plenty in the box that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Publisher: Czech Games Edition
MSRP: $19.95
Players: 4-8+
Playtime: 30 minutes

Junk Art

junk art 2

Why Your Family Will Love This Game: Everyone is familiar with Jenga – the deconstruction game so popular you see giant versions played at bars and wedding receptions. But it’s time for your family to upgrade to a better dexterity game. In Junk Art, you go on a tour of three cities, each with its own rules. Points are cumulative and while being the best artist is nice, the joy in the game is stacking all the impossible pieces in ways that seem to defy the laws of physics.

Why Your Family Might Fight playing this game: Woe unto anyone who bumps or elbows the table while you’re delicately stacking your next piece. Clumsy families may find this game more frustrating than fun, especially when you need to do the delicate work of measuring your art piece to see whose is tallest.

Why You’ll Want it on your game shelf all year long: With a wooden and plastic version, there’s no excuse not to have this fantastic game on your shelf. I’ve yet to play this with anyone who isn’t immediately enthralled by the colorful pieces and whimsical shapes. Junk Art doesn’t just bring out your inner artist; it brings out your inner child.

Publisher: Pretzel Games (http://www.pretzelgames.com/en/18-junk-art)
MSRP: $69.99 (or $29.99 for plastic version)
Players: 2-6
Playtime: 30 minutes

Azul

azul

Why Your Family Will Love This Game: Azul has a simple ruleset and a fantastically colorful presentation that is sure to grab anyone’s attention. Five minutes into their first game of Azul, my parents accusingly asked me why I hadn’t introduced them to it before then. My bad.

Why Your Family Might Fight playing this game: Unfortunately, Azul only accommodates four players, so you may have to take turns rotating people in and out of games.

Why You’ll Want it on your game shelf all year long: Azul is so easy and smooth to play, it’ll easily become a go-to game on any flavor of game night.

Publisher: Next Move Games
MSRP:
$39.99
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 30 minutes

What are some modern classic board games for families that you love? Tell us in the comments!

More Family Gaming Goodness!

Image Credits: Grace P.

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