Game Nights Promote Bonding with Family and Friends and Increase Brain Function.

Check out the newer popular board games.

Board games played a large role in my youth and young adulthood on vacation with my family.  If we went someplace to “get away from it all” there wasn’t much to do in the evenings, and we resorted to ‘game nights’.  Or, if you were in the Northeast this summer with so much wet weather, game nights became ‘game days’ and playing group games has been an entertaining way to share many hours together. These games are newer, there are no classics in this list.

There are many benefits of playing games with friends and family. Children develop larger vocabularies and have higher reading scores.  Games connect friends and families to each other without screens and teach important life skills and good sportsmanship.  Game playing also creates wonderful memories.

When selecting a board game to purchase and play, here are several key questions to answer:

How old are the players?
How many people are playing?
What kinds of challenges do you want in your game?


Codenames is a word game played in 2 teams, each headed by a spymaster.  The teams compete to be the first one to identify their 25 agents from one-word clues.  It is appropriate for ages 10 and up and can be played by 2 – 8 players.  A newer version is designed to be played by only 2 people called Codenames Duet.  Not many board games can be played by only two players, and this is a popular one.  A game takes about 15 minutes to play.   Codenames $11.35.  Codenames Duet for two players. $19.79





Do You Know Me? is an adult party game.  Each player takes a turn in the hot seat where the player to their right reads five funny yes-or-no questions cards about them.  The group then guesses if each answer is yes or no using their voting cards.  The player in the hot seat then reveals their answers and the player who guessed the most correctly gets a point.  At the end of the game, when every player has been in the hot seat, the player with the most points wins. Time of play is 30-90 minutes, and the game can be played by 2-8 players.  This game is appropriate for ages 17 and up. $19.99.


Werewolf: A Party Game for Devious People is a deduction/deception game that is as much fun to watch as it is to play.  All you need is a deck of cards, but the Werewolf cards are easier to use.  This game needs at least 7 players.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.  $13.95.

Wingspan is my middle daughter’s favorite game currently.  It is a board game about birds.  It was designed by Elizabeth Hargraves, who discovered complex board games as an adult and fell in love with them.  She wanted a board game about something she was interested in, which turned out to be birds.  Not finding one, she designed one herself. Wingspan was released in 2019 and was an instant hit.  When COVID hit and both board games and bird watching became hobbies of the moment, sales hit the roof. Wingspan outsold every other game its publisher made, more than 13 million copies. The main characters of the game are the birds.  There are 170 beautifully hand painted images of birds in action.  Each card gives a few facts about the bird’s habitat and behavior. As the game goes on, it becomes more and more efficient, like an engine building speed.  The goal is to attract the best birds to your aviary. Average game playing time is 45-70 minutes.   For 1 – 5 players ages 14 and up. $58.44.





Exploding Kittens is a highly strategic Russian roulette card game, and all ages enjoy it.  This is truly a family board game as the recommended age is 7 and up.  It needs 2 – 5 players and each game takes 15 minutes.  $19.82.





This is a new game that is quick-thinking and fast paced where you link the pictures to win.  You need to get rid of your cards by discerning what the cards in play have in common. There is no turn-taking, it is a free for all!

For ages 8 and up and 2 or more players.  $30.95.








This game is a friendly word association format.  Pick up a Word Cue card, write the word you want to complete the phrase and try to match it to another player’s word without giving any hints.  It’s easy to learn and quick to play. Recommended age is 8 and up, and for 3 – 8 players.  $15.95.




This is a game of commodity speculation as you build a town in the land of Astoria. Become a business tycoon and make your fortune.  For ages 8 and up.  Play takes 60-90 minutes.  2-5 players.  $29.99





If you have Baby Boomers in your life, this is a fun game.  It is a trivia game geared to the 80 million Baby Boomers in the U.S.  It is recommended for age 18 and up and can be played by 2 – 10 players.  $45.00.

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