12 Favorite Family Board Games – Mom
Moms are plenty busy. That’s why it can be hard to get her to sit down and play a game.
After all, taking time out to play a game means that something around the house isn’t getting done, right?
That’s why we enjoy it when mom feels relaxed enough to sit down and play a game. And in those moments, of course we’re going opt for games that she’s interested in playing.
In looking over mom’s updated Favorite Games list, you may note that only 3 games from her 2012 list have made it to this 2015 list. While she still enjoys all those games, these are the games she currently enjoys the most (in alphabetical order).
Mom’s 12 Favorite Games:
Ages: 10+, Players: 2 – 7, Time: 30 min
7 Wonders continues to be one of mom’s favorite board games. We have a pretty good method of getting mom to sit down and play a game. We just have to set up 7 Wonders on the kitchen table and it’s on! Looking at a finished game of 7 Wonders with colorful and icon-full cards spread all over the table can appear a bit intimidating. But once mom sat down and tried 7 Wonders, she caught the bug. Not only is it a game she loves to play, but she comes out on top quite a lot.
See our full review of 7 Wonders.
Ages: 7+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 30 min
Can’t Stop is a press-your-luck dice game. It’s been around for years, but it’s still a great game. If you’d like to find out how risky or risk-averse your children are, just sit down and play Can’t Stop with them. You’ll find out pretty soon by seeing how they approach their dice rolls in the game. In addition, the components in Can’t Stop are terrific. The board is a giant stop sign – like the game is taunting you as well to stop and not press on – and the traffic cones to mark progress fit in very well with the theme.
See our full review of Can’t Stop.
Ages: 8+, Players: 3 – 6, Time: 60 min
I don’t think we really need to explain the board game Clue. It’s a board game that’s been around so long that everyone in the world is familiar with it. It’s one of those key parts of our modern culture. Just mention Colonel Mustard and everyone will finish, “…with the Candlestick in the Ballroom.” But even though it’s an oldie, it’s still a goodie in our family.
The new entrant on the Clue scene for us however is Harry Potter Clue. We got our copy from a game trade at SaltCon this year. And just as I anticipated, it’s been a hit in our family. We enjoy Clue and we love Harry Potter – so a game matching the two seemed like a great potential hit. Of course, with that expectation, it could have also been a big strike-out. We’re happy to report that it came through with a big thumbs up.
Harry Potter Clue is based on the popular game play elements, but also adds in some unique twist and turns – literally. Secret corridors change which rooms you can hop between during the game. And all players start with House Points that they can lose during the game with random die rolls and card draws. So make sure you solve the case before you run out of House Points!
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no one dies in Harry Potter Clue.)
(Another tip: It’s out of print, so look for trades or ebay for best pricing.)
See our full review of Harry Potter Clue.
Ages: 10+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 60 min
Code 777 is the game we’ll reach for if mom’s in a ‘thinky’ mood. It’s a great deduction game where players have to correctly guess the 3 tiles in front of them. Your tiles are facing all the other players so they can see your numbers, but you can’t. You’ll need to deduce what’s in front of you by the answers they give when it’s their turn.
Once a player has guessed their code correctly, they get a new set of 3 tiles (again without seeing them). In order to win, a player just must guess their code 3 times. It’s a mental exercise that keeps you thinking the whole time. And while there may not be a lot of table-talk going on during the game, everyone walks away loving the experience.
See our full review of Code 777.
Ages: 6+, Players: 3 – 12, Time: 30 min
Dixit is a game that’s all about creativity and imagination. Players take turns being the “Storyteller”. When it’s their turn, the player looks at the images on the 6 cards in their hand. From one of these, they state a word or a sentence (without showing the card to the other players).
Each other player then selects a card from their hands that they believe best matches the statement and gives the selected card (unseen) to the Storyteller. The Storyteller shuffles all the received cards and then places them face-up on the table. Then every player has to guess which picture was the storyteller’s. Points are awarded based on the guesses and play moves to the next Storyteller.
See our full review of Dixit Odyssey.
Ages: 9+, Players: 3 – 10, Time: 45 min
In Duplik, players must draw a picture and score points based on what they’ve drawn. Now, lest you think you need to be an artist for this game, rest assured that’s not the case at all.
Players take turns being the person to describe a drawing. They pick the top card of the stack and while the sand timer runs down, that player has to describe the drawing on it. While that person describes the drawing, everyone else quickly draws what they hear.
After the timer runs out, everyone stops. Then the describer (using a red decoder card) reads 10 secret items associated with the drawing. If a player has included that item correctly in their drawing, they score a point. So no matter how crazy your drawing may be, you can still score points if you included things correctly in you drawing.
One of the great things about Duplik is that there are plenty of drawings included in the game. So there’s plenty of replay value. By the time you’d ever get back to a drawing you’ve done before, you most likely will have forgotten what the 10 items/statements about that particular drawing are anyway.
See Brooke’s video review of Duplik.
Ages: 8+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 15 min
At the core, FlipOut is a set collection card game. You’re simply trying to collect sets of 4, 5, or 6 similarly colored cards at a time. But with FlipOut, it’s the game play that makes collecting those sets unique and fun.
FlipOut has beautifully colored and patterned cards that are super sturdy. There are 90 double-sided cards that are random in their color combinations. A card with blue on one side may have blue on the back, or orange, or yellow, or green, or purple – you just don’t know.
Players can see one side of their cards displayed in front of them, but not the back. At the same time all players can see the back side of all their opponent’s cards, but not the front. So switching and swapping cards around to make sets is a lot of fun.
See our full review of FlipOut.
Ages: 10+, Players: 4 – 8, Time: 30 min
What’s the best advice your grandma would give to fry an egg on the sidewalk? Or what advice would a kid give for building a time machine? Well, in Sounds Like a Plan, you’re going to find out.
It’s a game based on the “Apple to Apples” type game play of everyone submitting a card and one player choosing what one they like best. However, one of the reasons we really like Sounds Like a Plan is because more than just one player scores each round. Instead of just picking a winning card, the cards are ranked in order. So the card in the first position scores more points but even those farther down will still score points and move their push-pin pawn along.
See our full review of Sounds Like A Plan.
Ages: 13+, Players: 4 – 12, Time: 30 min
Telestrations has become one of our “go-to” games for family gatherings. We have the Party Pack which plays up to 12 players and we love it. Telestrations is definitely a game where the more players there are, the merrier the game is. Why? Because the more the chain of pictures can get messed up.
Telestrations is like a game of “Telephone” – but instead of whispering, it’s a mix of words and drawings. In Telestrations one person writes a phrase, then the next person draws a picture of that phrase. Then the picture is passed to another person and they write what they think the picture is. Then it goes to another person who draws a picture of that new phrase. And on it goes.
Games of Telestrations always end with a lot of laughter.
See our full review of Telestrations.
Ages: 12+, Players: 3 – 18, Time: 90 min
Time’s Up: Title Recall is another party game on mom’s list that always ends in laughter. The game challenges players to guess the titles of books, films, songs, and more. Players try to get teammates to guess the same set of titles over three rounds. In round 1, almost any kind of clue is allowed. In round 2 no more than one word can be used for the clue. In round 3, no words are allowed at all (just sounds and gestures). The same titles are used in each round, so players will get more familiar with which titles are circulating.
Time’s Up: Title Recall is such a great game that we can still remember gestures we’ve used in past games because of how memorable and the fun the experience is every time.
See our full review Time’s Up: Title Recall.
Ages: 8+, Players: 2-4, Time: 20 min
Ubongo is another very recent game in our collection. It’s also found a permanent place in our game closet because it’s a game that we all enjoy and is one of mom’s favorite family board games. Since the game revolves around fitting Tetris-style pieces into place, I had a good hunch it would be a game she’d enjoy. Seeing it on her Favorite Games list, just confirms that initial hunch.
In Ubongo, players race to complete their puzzle before their opponents. The first in each round to complete their puzzle will get an advantage in collecting gems for scoring. Yet, everyone that completes their puzzle before the timer runs out will also score a gem. After 9 rounds, the player with the most valuable set of gems wins. It’s a quick game to play because there’s no taking turns and no down time.
See our full review of Ubongo.
Well, that’s our opening round of our updated Favorite Board Games lists. We hope it gives you some great ideas for games the mom in your family might enjoy playing as well.
Here are links to the rest of our 2015 Favorite Board Games lists:
- 9 Favorite Board Games – Caleb
- 8 Favorite Board Games – Brooke
- 10 Favorite Board Games – Jaden
- 7 Favorite Board Games – Trevor
- 20 Favorite Board Games – Dad