Family game night is a great way to bond without sitting in front of the TV. Fast-paced, easy-to-learn games can get the whole family laughing and having fun together (and screen free) in no time.
We’ve picked out games that have simple rules, relatively short playing times, and well-designed boards and pieces. Here are 10 great games your family won’t want to miss out on.
Otrio is a slightly more grownup version of tic-tac-toe. It’s easy to learn, but much harder to master. Play with two to four players (though four is best).
Review: “Fun new take on tic-tac-toe. My boys love it and I enjoy seeing them think through a more complex system. Four players is a plus.” –Cedell Hendricks
This transcontinental train game can be played in under an hour by two to five players. See who can travel to the most U.S. cities in a week in this fun and (slightly) educational game. Three cheers for geography!
Review: “This game is a hit with my entire family! I’ve never bought a game that has been requested as many times as this one. The board is very attractive and the rules are very easy to understand. This game is easy to understand, fun to play, and fantastically frustrating when playing with more than one other person. To give a comparison, it’s like a simpler and quicker Monopoly, which means it’s well on its way to becoming a classic in my opinion.” –gravityax
Suspend is a Jenga-esque strategy game that’s great fun for all ages. This exciting balance game will have the whole family teetering on the edges of their seats.
Review: “What a fun family game. We played this after my son received it for Christmas and had a blast. The youngest playing was four and the oldest was sixty-four. We all had a great time laughing and watching as each person carefully decided how to hang their piece without making the whole thing topple. And the youngest won as many times as the oldest! A great way to bring the family back together and have some fun and entertainment for an evening. There are several variations to the game. From a basic build largest to smallest, to building the piece you roll on the die. All skill levels can enjoy it and find entertainment for hours. I highly recommend this!” –Amazon Customer
This beautifully made board game works for two to four players (or teams). Rules take just a few minutes to learn and the game takes about 20 minutes to complete. You’ll be surprised by how much strategy and thinking are involved in mastering this addictive game.
Review: “Great game, sort of a a combination of Quirkle and Scrabble, with some extra twists and bonuses! My kids age 6-14 can all play and enjoy. No reading required, stimulating and logic-based, easy to catch on and play! We bought this and liked it so much we got it as gifts for my nephews as well!” –Josh
Journey along the “East Sea Road” to meet other travelers, enjoy fine foods, and visit temples. This relaxing game is unlike any other in the best possible way.
Review: “Great board game, a family favorite. Game is well made, most of the pieces are wooden. Had it for while now, and use it semi-regularly and it is still in good condition. This game is easy to learn and is still fun to play even if you have 50 times before. In my opinion it is well worth the money. I only wish that each game could last a little longer, average game for me takes about 40 minutes with 4 people.” –Kaitlyn Behnke
This hectic game will get a group talking fast—literally. Players have just five seconds to answer a question, such as “Name three super heroes.” Sounds easy, but the time limit makes it a challenge.
Review: “I picked this up as an extra gift but pulled it out after dinner with friends. It was hilarious! We had a great time, and I like the timer. The questions are both easy and hard, although answering them in a few seconds makes it very challenging. A surprising bit of fun, I would recommend.” –Joann MacMaster
7. Settlers of Catan
Chances are you’ve played this classic, but when a game wins a Game of the Century award, you’ve got to include it in your collection. Gather and trade resources while expanding your settlements in this simple yet elegant game.
Review: “Beware! Don’t try this unless you plan on getting addicted. Your life will forever be altered. You’ll find yourself begging strangers to come over to play. Watching youtube videos to improve your game, bribing your children.” –Katie and Tyler’s Mommy
This drawing game helps develop creative thinking and visualization skills, but most of all, it gets families laughing and having fun in the pursuit of the win.
Review: “I got this game as a family gift for my 12 year old nephew. At his age it is all about video games so I was completely surprised that he loved playing this with the family. It was a lot of fun and provided us with a great family game night bonding experience. My kids who are 8 and 9 were also able to keep up and had tons of fun playing it as well.” –M.S.
This updated version of charades has a game-changing twist: A whole team acts out a word or phrase for one player to guess.
Review: “Everyone should get this game!! It’s GREAT for family get-togethers!! You will laugh your butt off!!! Normal charades is one person acting out for another person or group. This is a group acting out the charades together with hilarious results! My new favorite game!” –Amazon Customer
This kid-friendly card game is based on Cards Against Humanity. The mildly inappropriate subject matter engages kids and keeps families laughing.
Review: “Bought this as a gift for my little cousin. She is in her last year of elementary school and many of her friends are headed to middle school next year and find many if the usual games as boring. All they want to do is play on their phones or iPads! This game helped keep things interesting and gave them more of a “grown up” vibe playing. Definitely a favorite!” –cpuhn