Our family loves to play pretty much any and all kinds of games. And we are
a little bit extremely competitive. To the point of yelling and screaming. Except for hubby, who just shakes his head and says things like “I can’t believe you didn’t pick my card, you don’t really know how this game works.” Then the eye roll. Except for the one time when he actually did raise his voice. At his mom! Yep. Competitive.
We have a few go-to games that always come out when we are all together. Some cause more arguments than others, but all of these are tried and true for our family. If you haven’t played them, maybe this will help you and your family to “unplug” for a little while and have some good old-fashioned non-electronic fun.
I have put them in alphabetical order except for the first one, which is by far one of the most fun games I have ever played. It goes to the top of every list. 🙂
Marbles and Jokers
Marbles and Jokers is our absolute, number one, go-to game. We LOVE it. And it has been known to run into marathon game nights of 4-5 hours. We purchased ours through Wizard Woodworks. It is a beautiful, colorful, very well made set. They run about $64.00 a set, but I promise it is worth every penny! There is a learning curve to this game, but don’t worry, there is a video tutorial for playing and there are moves/rules cards included with the set. You can play with 2-8 people and you can play teams.
Honestly, over the Christmas holidays our family probably played this game more than 20 times. It is so much fun and can be a little cut-throat. If you are competitive, you will love this game!
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a game of analogies and comparisons. A topic card is chosen by the “judge” and the other players play cards that describe the original card. This is the game that has hubby shaking his head and the one that once caused him to yell at his mom. Our kids still bring that up every time we play, which is pretty much every time we are all together at their house. This is a great game for middle grades and up. There is also a Junior version for younger players. So if you have a group ranging from ages 12 – 112, this is a surprisingly hilarious choice for around $25.00 ($15.00 for the Junior version).
Cards Against Humanity
Where Apples to Apples is great for all ages, Cards Against Humanity is not. This is not a game you want to play with multiple generations. It probably isn’t a game you really want to admit you play. But I can tell you that once you get over the “I can’t believe I just played that card” feeling, you get into it and your little dark side comes out. I also have to say that there are some cards that we felt were over the top and we tore them up. We can be a little dark, but we are not blasphemous, so those cards went into the trash. That being said, hubby shakes his head at this one, too. A whole bunch! At around $25.00 it is absolutely worth the money, but if you play it for 8 nights straight, you begin to know the cards by heart and may need to buy some expansion packs.
Also known as Shanghai Rummy, Crooked Rummy is a good bit like Phase 10, only you play this with regular decks of cards. We were introduced to this game by the friends that I talked about in this post and when we get together we still play this (along with Marbles and Jokers). There are 10 phases that you have to complete. You can play two ways: One where you do not move ahead until you phase or one where you move ahead each round. Either way, it takes a good while to play the game. There was one night that 10 of us were playing and the last hand took 4 hours to finish. And then it was only because someone may or may not have cheated. Let’s just say that J is no longer allowed to play this game with K! 🙂
LCR (Left Center Right) comes with 3 dice and a few plastic chips. If you are under 10, play with the chips, but if you are older, play with money. It is so much more fun with money! Everyone starts with 3 one dollar bills (or higher denominations if you are the recent lottery winner). The more people you have playing, the more fun it is. You roll the dice. If you get a C, you give a chip or dollar to the pot. If you get an L, you give one to the person to your left and so on. If you are out of money, you are not out of the game. No one is out until the final roll and the one with the last chip or dollar left wins the pot. Lots of loud fun for about $10.00.
Mancala is a board with holes in it in which rocks or stones are placed. The object is for one person to move his/her stones around the board and knock out the other player’s stones. There is some logic involved. To be honest, my favorite way to play is on my phone. My daughter and I play it often while waiting in restaurants for our food to arrive. The board version of the game can be purchased from a number of places for a variety of prices. Amazon has a wooden set for around $10.00. It can also be played using an egg carton and jelly beans as seen here.
OK. Just to warn you, Quelf is a game for people who have no self-esteem issues. You may have to walk around clucking like a chicken. You may have to yell out some random phrase every time someone talks. You may have to rearrange all the furniture. All in the name of the game. It is loud, strange and hilarious fun for 3-6 players ages 12 and up. The cost is around $30.00, but if you have a large group who likes to have fun, it is well worth the money.
Our family has played Rummikub for a really long time. This is a pretty inexpensive game (around $20.00) and can be played by young and old alike. It is like playing Rummy except instead of cards you have plastic rectangles that look somewhat like dominoes. If you like to play Rummy, definitely check out this game, you will like it. And instead of holding cards, the tiles sit on shelves like in Scrabble.
An old favorite that has withstood the test of time. It has even gone digital and you can play it online. But playing the live version of Yahtzee with friends and family and hearing the dice hit the table and yelling Yahtzee is much more fun! And for less than $12.00, it is not only fun, but inexpensive. Play can be a little slow at times, but you have a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper that you can doodle on. What more could you ask? Besides, this games allows time for some really good conversations!
So if you like games and have folks to play with, try some of these. I really hope you like them. If you have tried them, which one is your favorite? If you have others that you think we may enjoy, please leave a message and let me know. You can never have enough go-to games!