Choosing games by number of players
It seems pretty obvious to select a game that accommodates your anticipated number of players. It's nice to choose one that all members of your household enjoy, but what if you have guests over? To ensure that your game night continues without a hitch, you might want to double up on certain games like Twister or pick up expansion decks for games like Apples to Apples.
Luck vs. strategy games
Luck-based games are generally fast-paced and have a pretty level playing field. Since winning doesn't always boil down to who plays better or smarter than other players, it's fun to let the games unfold. Children benefit from playing games with an element of luck as it helps foster decision-making skills and adaptation to unexpected circumstances.
Strategy-driven games are a bit more cerebral, but it doesn't mean that only older children and adults can play them. There are plenty of kids' games that require some strategic planning, like Monopoly Junior or Stratego. Since these games are more involved and essentially have more moving parts, they take longer to play and require better attention spans.
For budget-friendly family games, you can find a variety of board games and simple card games for $10 and below. Classic board games are typically priced between $10 and $20, and newly popular indie family games cost between $20 and $40.
Q. What kinds of games are better for a mix of adolescents and adults?
A. Themed board games are a good option, as are trivia games. These involve a combination of strategy and teamwork, so they're more engaging options than some classic board games. Card games with advanced rules, such as poker, also work.
Q. What kinds of games are better for a mix of young children and adults?
A. Picture-based games and card games are fun, especially if kids aren't independent readers yet. Classic board games with familiar characters from TV or movies help kids better connect with the game and understand its rules.
Family games we recommend
Best of the best: Exploding Kittens' Card Game
Our take: Funny fast-paced game for those with a quirky sense of humor.
What we like: For two to five players. Gameplay is a mix of strategy and Russian roulette that intensifies toward exploding kittens the longer you play.
What we dislike: If you're adding new players, there's a bit of a learning curve to get everyone caught up on the rules.
Best bang for your buck: Hasbro's Jenga
Our take: Budget-friendly, all-ages game. Taps into skill, strategy, and coordination.
What we like: For two to six players. Games are short and setup is simple with block holder.
What we dislike: Some quality concerns with blocks and block holder.
Choice 3: Mattel's Apple to Apples Junior
Our take: Kid-friendly version of the engaging word/card game. Fun for all ages.
What we like: For two to 10 players, sometimes more, considering deck has almost 600 cards. Rules are easy to learn and decks can be combined with other ones.
What we dislike: Reading is required, so it might not be best with younger players who aren't independent readers.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.