New Board Games for Family Vacations and Fun with Friends!

Bring your favorite people together.

We have a friend and avid ASE reader, LME, who plays board games as often as she can.  She and her husband play with their children and grandchildren every night of family vacations, and if you are a houseguest, you’d better rev up your board game mindset because that will be the after-dinner activity.  Board games are lots of fun, and they bring together all ages to share the fun together.  Here are recently released current board games, or board games that LME has recently discovered, and has been playing the past six months and highly recommends.

The Mind is appropriate for ages 7-adult. The instructions say two to four people can play, but we played together frequently with 6-8 people. It is a simple game with 100 cards, numbered 1-100, and players must play in ascending order.  Cards are dealt randomly to each player and there is no speaking or communicating during play. Learn to read each other’s minds! Average playing time is 20 minutes. $14.95.

Wavelength is good for all ages and two to twelve players can play.  You must work together to locate the hidden target.  That is done by turning the dial on a screen with a spectrum. For example, your fellow players must decide where you would rate “coffee”, hot or cold?  They adjust the dial on your hidden guess! $31.49.

Pandemic is appropriate for ages 8+ and for two-four players. The average time of play is 45 minutes.

Work together to save humanity during a pandemic.  This is a 2008 game but became popular in 2020 when we had a real pandemic! Four diseases threaten the world and you and your team of specialists must find a cure for each of them before it is too late. If there are too many outbreaks, you lose the game. Interesting game after our Covid experience! $28.79.

Just One is appropriate for ages 8+ and there can be three to seven players.  It is a cooperative party game in which players discover as many mystery words as possible to reveal the real mystery word to the guesser. An example is if the word the guesser has to say is “spy,” players might write on their white boards ‘CIA, LeCarre, secret, spook’ and hopefully these words will help the guesser find the word ‘spy’. Average length of play is 20 minutes.    $20.49.

Herd Mentality is appropriate for ages 10+ and for four to twenty players.  It is the party game for many! Read a question like “What is the best way to cook an egg?” Everyone writes an answer on their own pad of paper – answers might be “fried, scrambled” etc.  If your answer is in the majority, you earn a cow. Try and collect a herd! $20.00.

MicroMacro Crime City is appropriate for ages 12+ and for one to four players. The average game play is 15-45 minutes.  You’re in Crime City where crime is everywhere.  Secrets, robberies, murders happen all day.  The local police can no longer control the situation, so they need clever investigators.  Together, the players solve 16 tricky criminal cases by determining motive, looking for evidence and convicting the guilty parties. Detectives find 16 cases in the box to solve.  $33.38

The Crew – Quest for Planet Nine and a second game, The Crew Mission Deep Sea.  Both are appropriate for ages 10+. Three to five players can play.  Planet Nine is a card game where you need to complete 50 missions as you travel across the solar system. This is done by a team effort, so communication is essential and space travel will be challenging!  $10.89.

Mission Deep Sea takes the action underwater. $14.95.

Pun Intended is appropriate for ages 13+ with a minimum of four players.  It is a great family game. A guessing game of puns, some witty, clever, stupid, hysterical and painful! Divide into teams, pick a card and guess the 6 puns on the card in 60 seconds.  Score points by guessing the puns or by correctly stealing puns from the other team.  $24.99.

Here are three older games with updated editions that are favorites.

Codenames can have as many people playing as you’d like. It is appropriate for ages 12+. The game involves thinking through word associations.  It is easy to understand and become involved in.  $11.99.

There is now a Codenames Online.

The Settlers of Caton came out in 1995. This is the original game and is sold by Mayfair Games.  It is appropriate for ages 10+ and the average length of play is 60 minutes.  It can be played with 3 – 6 players. In the game, players collect resources to build roads, settlements, and cities.  The game map changes for every game making for an endless variety of play. It can be played with two extensions – Legend of the Conquerors for $46.97 and the Catan Extension for $26.39.

The original game -$109.95.

The modern version sold by Catan Studio features several Base Games and Extensions.





The Catan base game is $41.99.






The Catan Starfarers Base Game is $73.50.










A Game of Thrones Catan Base Game is $63.96.



Finally, there is a Catan Junior for $27.99.  This version is appropriate for ages 6+.  Average play time is 30 minutes.


A Ticket to Ride is appropriate for ages 8+ and needs 2-5 players. Average length of play is 30-60 minutes.  Build train tracks across the U.S. to connect North American cities to earn points.  It is a cross-country adventure game with many ways to gain points.  $47.44

There is also a Ticket to Ride United Kingdom $39.98.  Ticket to Ride Europe $47.99, Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails $71.99.

Ginny has just been given the new, 20th edition of Chronology with the recommendation that it is the favorite family game of Nancy and Jock C.  Players draw cards and read aloud historical events, like the invention of decaf coffee and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.  Each player places the event on an individual timeline. The first player to get ten events correctly placed chronologically – wins!  Recommended for two to 8 players, age 14+.  Chronology $17.20



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