ⓘ The Elder Geek makes mad bank (receives a commission) if you buy something using a link on this page.
You’re bored. You’re smart. You’re surrounded by equally bored and smart friends/family, but have no idea how to entertain yourselves.
Here’s an idea: Break out a board game, and kiss that collective boredom goodbye.
Ever since ancient Egyptians played Seneca, which is presumably the very first (and probably easiest) board game ever, board games have evolved over centuries to provoke strategic thinking and provide tabletop entertainment.
From checkers to Catan, board games can include simple rules, game pieces, and fields of play (i.e., “the board”), or deep rule systems, immaculate game pieces, and 3D boards to offer more immersive, more challenging gaming experiences.
And to top it all off, they’re more fun with — and often made for — multiple players.
Have friends with little motivation but a need to indulge in communal entertainment? Do said friends also enjoy friendly competition and a desire to leave fate to quirky cards and unpredictable dice?
Then check out the following list for game board lovers, and immerse your friends in a box full of rule-filled fun.
Board Games for the Entire Family
A selection of games the entire family can enjoy (until someone screams “cheater” and throws the popcorn bowl).
It’s fun! It’s quick! It’s challenging! It’s other cool adjectives according to the box! In SEQUENCE, your mission is to complete a sequence of game pieces determined by drawn cards. It’s fun. Trust us.
Push the dice bubble to move your game piece. And then keep pushing it, because honestly, that’s the allure. Sure, there are rules, but rules limit the number of allowable bubble pushes per turn. So, you decide: rules, or making dice dance?
Featuring over 2,400 questions, your goal is to answer correctly, collect wedges, and move to the center of the board. And don’t worry — correctly answering one out of every 75 questions is a statistic worth bragging about.
Who killed Toby Flenderson? It’s your job to determine the strange (and probably silly) death of Michael Scott’s low-energy enemy. If you’re a fan of Clue, The Office, and the death of everyone’s least favorite HR rep, we recommend reveling in this popular game of delightful deduction.
Protect your new home — the mall — while battling zombies, collecting weapons, and completing objectives. Just make sure you’re checking the perimeter, or your new shopping center home will host brain-eating shoppers.
These two-player games definitively determine the superior player.
Hasbro Connect 4 Game
While not technically a board game, it’s been associated with literal board games since everyone assumed it was close enough to being a board game. The rules: Align four sliding chips in a row and the game is yours. It’s a very easy way to determine who cooks dinner.
You know words, so test your word-knowing with Scrabble! Spell words on the board and receive points per letter. Place them in a clever manner and receive extra points for clever placement. Inside Tip: “Irregardless” is not a word.
Teach your kids the financial fundamentals with this engaging board game. Teach children the importance of assets, liabilities, investing, and financial stability with this incredibly helpful game that also teaches adults!
This classic get-rich-through-amassing-property-industry-and-utilities game extends its popular gaming mechanics to beloved properties and popular programs.
Let’s kick things off with a classic. Your job? Amass property, utilities, etc., and then bankrupt your opponents through horrendous rent! Yes, they’re crying, but you’re stuffing a pillow with play money!
This collector’s edition Monopoly game replaces those boring game tokens with HALO-inspired pieces like the Chief’s helmet and the always tumbling Warthog. And the board? Filled with familiar locations found in the hit series of HALO video games.
Featuring game pieces and a gorgeously illustrated gameboard inspired by the episodic Star Wars saga, this Star Wars-stuffed Monopoly game features more Star Wars per square-inch than any Star Wars-based board game.
Build resources, create civilizations, conquer foreign lands, or defend your own in these seriously involved world-building games.
Catan the Board Game
Tame the remote island of Catan! Farm the land, discover vast resources, and trade with nearby settlers to maintain your budding civilization. Avoid robbers and vigorously expand your domain in order to win (i.e., dominate).
Now you control seafaring settlers who happen upon the islands of Catan — an uncharted island cluster stuffed with unknown treasures and untapped resources. Build ships, enact trade, and expand your more sea-worthy civilization.
You’re one of several corporations tasked with making Mars livable for cosmic, colonizing humans. But like Earth, corporate competition is fierce, so do your very best to expand humanity’s galactic infrastructure.
Your checkers? Fancy, fashionable, and a little hoity-toity. Handcrafted from genuine black and white marble, this exquisite checkers board features alternating, indented squares and smooth, sandblasted surfaces.
Explore deep, dark dungeons and battle fantastical, usually-quite-hungry creatures in these immersive dungeon crawler board games.
Gloomhaven Board Game
Go it alone or team up with other likeminded (or foolhardy) adventurers in a quest to clear dungeons, amass loot, and upgrade abilities and weapons. This ever-changing game is made so by the decisions you make, and the paths you take.
Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition Cooperative Board Game
Explore ominous mansions, gather treasure, tools, and weapons, and battle horrific monsters in this app-driven board game. And if you manage to stave off insanity, you might actually win the game. Sort of.
Will you be the evil dungeon overlord commanding dark, salivating minions? Or will you be one of several heroes charged with ending the overlord’s oppressive reign? It’s up to you in this fully realized realm complete with detailed miniatures and 3D game pieces.
Transformed into a mysterious Mage Knight, you spend your time building armies, attacking enemies, and conquering cities, all in the name of the nefarious-sounding Void Counsel. Being slightly evil sounds appealing in this amazing fantasy game.
Board game-inspired home furnishings, accessories, and indoor accents.
Board Game Room Door Sign
Made from laser-cut acrylic, this angular sign sits comfortably upon door and window trims, bookshelves, and more importantly, fireplace mantles. Immediately grant context to a room stuffed with board games with this unique, handcrafted sign.
This set of three prints features the precisely rendered patents of classic, undeniably popular board games. Want to plaster the game room with original plans of America’s premier pastime products? Then purchase this set of prestigious blueprint prints!
This ceramic, 11oz mug features a classic rendering of Monopoly’s miserly money grubber! If you’re a fan of coffee, Monopoly, and stockpiling fake cash until your younger sibling tramples the board, this Monopoly mug is the perfect selfish purchase.
If you’re a fan of Risk and/or wall art, this giant Risk game is the perfect, hangable gift. And while you’re ogling the board’s obvious beauty, be sure to resume crippling military bombardments with the included cards, dice, and Risk-centric game bits.
It’s the epicenter of epic gaming with this custom-built gaming table! Featuring a soft play surface and built-in steel cupholders (for dice, game pieces, pretzels, and cheese curls), this still epic gaming table is the perfect, play-ready surface!
The Rustic Farmhouse Board Game Table, etc.? Yes, it’s certainly impressive, but it doesn’t measure up to THIS board game table behemoth. Custom-built from solid maple, this titanic gaming table features a recessed playing surface and carefully crafted channels to carry convenient gaming accessories.
Keep track of who wins, and who cleans the chicken coup (i.e., loses) with this hangable, handmade game challenge board. Write your name in the slot, and add a colored meeple after each and every valorous victory. The first to reach ten, wins. The last to reach ten? They move a mattress into the coup.
Where to store game pieces, dice, discs, cards, tokens, or meeples of every conceivable color? Why, right inside these colorful board game storage bowls! And don’t worry about transportation — these bowls unbutton, flatten, and fit inside most board game boxes. You’re welcome.
Stop holding cards like an amateur, and start propping them up like a pro. This set of four playing card holders is the perfect alternative to sloppy, inefficient card holding with unpredictable human hands!
With a hard external shell, this Catan carrying case features perfectly measured spaces for Catan-specific game pieces. And those perfectly measured spaces? They’re made from a precision-cut, high-contrast, hard-blue foam. And that soft black foam lining the top of the case? It makes sure those securely held game pieces are infinitely more secure.
Crafted with interlinked, stainless-steel rings resembling the finest chain mail armor, this unique game dice bag (with drawstring) carries all manner of game pieces (while protecting one from all manner of swords and spears).
Would you rather be at the beach? At the dance? In space? Standing over Ben Kenobi’s smoking robes after a vengeful Jedi duel? NO! You’d rather be playing board games! Why? Because the t-shirt says so, and Star Wars isn’t real!
This set of handmade, sterling-silver chess piece earrings is the perfect gift for a chess-obsessed friend, sibling, or significant other. If your beloved chess player is constantly considering the demise of your queen, this pair of earrings makes a perfect, impressive gift.
You already read ridiculously dense and infinitely unfolding rulebooks, so I wouldn’t sweat a book without rules.
The Everything Tabletop Games Book
Get educated! This informative tome boasts serious information on over 100 tabletop games. Learn important details about your favorite games and those worth considering in this heavily researched resource.
Want to learn the origins of board games? Want to know why we’ve been challenging friends, rivals, and frenemies over game tables with rolling, throwable dice?? Want to know why the obsession lasted centuries and not seconds??? It’s all right here in the Oxford History of Board Games.
What’s the perfect reflection of life? A mixture of strategy, quick wits, and sometimes, an awful lot of luck? That’s right — board games. This book looks at the deep psychological connections between board games and real life, and how the complexities of one informs the other.
Yes, you’ve heard that saying two-billion times, but it’s repeated because it’s true. The game itself is where value lies. The fun and camaraderie, and the ridiculous dice throws, card draws, and arrow spins — they’re why you play, and why you’ll play again.
Games are a soothing alchemy of quick wits, long strategy, and hilarious chance that uproots the deepest thoughts. So, if you could use some friends and don’t mind flexing your smarts (which are made irrelevant by dice), we recommend a pastime passed down by Pharaohs, and kept alive by Parker Brothers.
Who would immediately (like, without hesitation) forsake Earth and join Optimus Prime in a last-ditch effort to emancipate Cybertron? That’s right – Tiras. An experienced geek-culture pundit, Tiras regularly consumes and reviews all manner of fantastical, fictional, and high-concept content. He also dreams of ending an eons-long war between two factions of intimidatingly tall transforming robots.