The world today is very different from what it was in the day and the same can be said for teenagers today that are barely close to their parents anymore. Gone are the good ol days especially when little sally now has a nice iPad that’s much more fun than the dad jokes from her lame dad.
You can try talking to them but that can sometimes be stressful and more often than not doesn’t work. However, in my opinion, board games are one of the best ways to reconnect with teenagers.
Best Board Games For Teens
When you think about board games for a teenager or older kids there isn’t much that comes to our mind because this isn’t exactly a highly advertised market.
Fortunately, there are quite a few board games for teens and older kids they tend to play longer and most at least an hour or more but are guaranteed to result in a great experience for all its users. In this article, I will be talking about the best board games for teens that will help you and your kid get closer in a fun and exciting way.
1. Quelf – Best Board Game for Teens & The Whole Family
A funny, fast-paced game perfect for playing with people of all ages ranging from teens to grandparents. This makes it a family favorite as it’s got something for all the members of the family.
What I particularly like about Quelf is the learning curve is non-existent you simply open the box, pick a character – Queen Spatula, perhaps or super Ninja Monkey and prepare for a wild ride.
Beware this game is quite unpredictable as you can sometimes find yourself wearing an impromptu snorkel while battle bees, rapping about tomato soup, singing operatic arias in a made-up language. All in all the game is widely popular among teens and college kids.
2. Taboo – Fun Board Games For tweens & Kids
Taboo is one of my all time favorites and a favorite of many kids. It’s fast paced and a good combination of humor and words making it fun and educational at the same time. Moreover, the new version is revamped with relevant cultural phrases.
One of the highlights is the “buzzer” that allows you (or your kid) to keep the other team and trust me kids simply love this.
3. Apples to Apples – Fun Card Board Games For Teens & Adults
This is another popular choice among teens and 20-something crowds and also many families. It’s basically a gold standard by which they judge all the other board games.
Places are given seven nouns – places, faces or pop culture icons and they have to compete to pair them with an adjective card supplied by a highly subjective judge someone who awards points based on entertainment value. On the whole, the game is hilarious, easy-to-learn and quickly draws a crowd.
4. Cards Against Humanity – Best Party Game For Teens
Another hilarious card game inspired by ever-popular Apples to Apples, to learning in the terms of the game place wherein you match the cards for comic effect and the most hilarious combination wins.
However where Apples has you coupling nouns and adjectives with Cards against humanity you are offered questions and answers of the most outrageous sort.
5. Forbidden Island – Adventure Table Top Board Game For Teens
Unlike the above two card games, Forbidden Island offers you a different sort of fun. With this card game, you need teamwork to rescue the four sacred treasures (Crystal of Fire, Ocean’s Chalice, the Earth Stone, and the Statue of the Wind) hidden on the mystical forbidden island before it sinks beneath the waves.
It’s a breathless mad dash of a game and requires teamwork to win the game making it a good game for those looking to connect more with friends and family.
6. Settlers of Catan – Best Tabletop Games & Expansions For Teens
When it comes to board games Settlers of Catan is a common name especially among fanatical teen and young adults. Would-be settlers conquer territory on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads across a variable playing field of 19 hexagonal tiles.
This game is so popular game shops hold regular Settlers of Catan nights for teen and adult players as it’s a great board game that keeps users engaged throughout the whole game.
7. Pandemic – Adventure Tabletop Board Games For Teenagers
A co-operation game needs a worthy opponent. A few things can make it as challenging as four viruses on loose causing a pandemic. The players of the game Pandemic, act as epidemiologists/scientists, fighting four deadly plagues wreaking havoc on the planet.
The Pandemic board game is tough and takes around fifteen minutes to understand the rules. While the publishers claim anybody above eight years of age can play, the game is complex. It can accommodate up to four participants making it perfect for a family. This game can last up to an hour.
The disease infects nine cities across the globe, and the players decide the allocation of various actions. They have to choose between moving to cities, building research centres, treatments, knowledge sharing with other role players and discovering a cure. This game demands a lot of discussion and teamwork among the players to choose a course of action.
Every player holds a maximum of seven cards, which he has to trade or discard. The players take steps to reduce the infection that grows with every turn. The difficulty of the game can change by adding more epidemic cards to the deck. The pandemic comes with several expansion packs, which furthers the complication, making the game more challenging. It is one of the must-haves in your portfolio of board games.
8. Invasion from Outer Space – Sci-fi Adventure Tabletop Board Game for Teens
This is a board game for teens that dig sci-fi horror think saving humanity from Martian attacks kind of a game and while wearing a tutu and dancing on a ball. Invasion from outer space is a perfect do-or-die battle against plastic aliens. It’s silly, addictive and overall a great game for collaborative strategizing and scenario shifts.
9. Ticket to Ride – Fun Adventurous Board Game for Teenagers
A deceptively simple board game but one that can get teens addicted. It’s perfect for the college crowd and is fine for even just two people although it’s much better with a crowd.
The game’s story is from a bunch friends gather around in 1900 to celebrate the anniversary of a fictional character Phileas Fogg’s. It’s an epic race around the world with new challenges involving railroads and a breathless week-long race.
10. Gloom – Funny Board Games For The Whole Family
Another hilarious card game perfect for teenagers who are more grown-up and specifically lemony Snicket fans.
The game is based on the idea wherein players (up to 5) compete to make each other as miserable as possible. Each player has a dubious character and is, on the whole, a family of five. It’s the perfect game for a pair of stressed-out roommates (or quartet of them) There are also expansion packs if you more players want to join in.
11. Last Night on Earth – Tabletop Board Games About Zombies
A zombie board game that breather the zombie apocalypse theme. It has a ton of roleplay wherein each player battles on a bunch of flesh-eating, undead hordes with mind twists, strategic challenges and on the whole should be engaging for teenagers that love zombies.
12. The Game of things – Family Board Games For teens & College Students
The game of things takes is a better version of the old “loaded questions” game, in fact, it takes it to a whole new level there is simply no comparison. The topic cards are simply hilarious and overall a good board game for teenagers looking to pass time with something fun.
13. Tiki Topple – Fun Board Game For Kids
This fast-paced tactical game is a combination of strategy, betrayal and a ton of plastic tiki heads. The idea is to maneuver your tikis into a super-secret combination to sabotage fellow players efforts who are trying to do the same.
14. Azul – Fun Board Game For The Whole Family
You’re a tile layer set out to design the walls of a Royal Palace. It is the theme behind the abstract strategy board game. Anybody above eight years of age can play this game. It can accommodate up to 4 players, and a game can last up to forty minutes.
Azul is one of the easiest board game to learn and to set up. The game lasts several rounds. Every player has a game board and a marker to record points. From four randomly-placed mosaic-tiles in the factories, the participant chooses a mosaic-tile from the factory and fills the game boards.
The game board has five rows accommodating up to a maximum of five tiles in the last row. A row can accommodate mosaic-tiles of similar styles. The strategy is figuring out the combination of tiles in rows to gain maximum points. The game continues for several rounds. After every round, the unused tiles return to the factories, and they carry a negative point.
While the game sounds simple, it gets complicated with every round. One has to plan on ways to fill rows, to claim bonus points, and deny your opponents of their requirements. For its simplicity in setup, gameplay and the progressive complexity makes Azul a modern classic.
15. Catan: Cities & Knights
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The game Catan: Cities & Knights takes the popular German game Settlers of Catan up a notch. The gameplay includes city walls, knights, barbarians, development, and politics to the existing islands, settlements, roads and cities of Catan.
It can accommodate up to four players. Despite the complexity of the game, publishers claim it to be playable for anyone older than twelve years of age. A single game takes around 90-120 minutes to finish, which can raise eyebrows. Ignoring the duration it takes, this is a compelling game of strategy, collusion, etc.
The game adds three more commodities besides the resources paper, cloth and coins which comes from forests and mountains. Players can use these commodities to trade and improve their city. The game uses the roll of dice to draw city improvement cards, which adds the chance to complexity of the game.
In addition, of Knights to the game, with a variety of functions under his belt, incentivises decision-making. The city walls, merchants and City upgrade calendar are all new additions in this version which has improved the game to a greater extent. The player who gets thirteen victory points becomes the winner.
16. Tiny towns
With power comes responsibility and as a mayor of a town, you’d have more. In the board game tiny towns, each participant acts as a mayor of a small town. They have to build a town with limited space and resources. It is their responsibility to optimise the usage of resources and put every material to use.
The Tiny towns game can accommodate up to 6 players. The designer suggests the game works for anybody older than fourteen years of age. The game takes close to forty-five minutes to complete. Each player gets a 4×4 board representing a town.
There are several cards denoting buildings and five types of resources at your disposal. Players have to pick one resource every round. They use it according to the blueprints of the buildings placed in the centre. The player can construct the building as he gathers sufficient resources and scores victory points for every completed building.
Whenever a player reaches a moment of inactivity and cannot build any more, it’s game over. As all the players stop their play, we calculate their points. The empty squares will cost you a negative point and completed buildings earn your victory points. The player with the highest scoring town wins the game.
This game inclines towards being simple but it does have elements of complexity. Skills of effective communication, decision making, and management skills balances the game. Tiny towns is an engaging family game. The adults can use the game to inculcate, improve skills and qualities in their kids.
17. Magic Maze
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One of the cooperative games on the list, which takes the entire team to emerge as the winner. No single player loses or wins. The players choose a fantasy character, rob a shopping mall for adventure equipment, and escape before the time runs out.
The first seven of the seventeen scenarios takes you through rules and the rest being additional challenges. All the players get tiles with instructions and activities to do throughout the game. The players enter the mall, move their characters inside the equipment shelves and get out. A sand clock acts as a timer as this is one of the real-time games.
Anybody over eight years of age can play the game, and it can accommodate up to eight players in total. This a real-time game which emphasizes the importance of teamwork to move towards a common goal.
If negotiation is your strong suit, this game is test for for your skills. The players act as Chinese immigrants in New York, America during the 1960s. There are six rounds of play in the game represented by the years 1965 to 1970. This game can accommodate up to five players and works for anyone above twelve years of age.
The game aims to develop an empire of income-generating shops in china town. Every player starts with 50000 dollars. Each round comprises dealing building cards, drawing shops, trading between the players, placing shops and making money.
While the building and shop involve luck and chance, the trading is the crux of the game. It decides the placement of shop tiles, which translates to income. Player aims to increase the size of the business, which leads to more income. After six rounds of gameplay, the player with the highest income wins. While the design of the game might seem stereotypical, the gameplay overshadows the flaws in the design.
19. Stone Age
Will you be able to survive the challenges of the stone age? The stone age is a game to find out the answer. Can you prove your mettle by acting as a tribe leader and lead your group into prosperity? The game can accommodate up to 4 players, with anyone is over ten years of age.
It is a game of strategy and luck. The players use a die but the game involves decision making, foresight and resource optimisation. As a stone age player, one has to guide to the community to gather food, construct buildings, feed people.
The gameplay comprises several rounds while each round has three phases. Assign work to your tribe members, complete the actions and feed the tribe. The players collect civilisation points depending on the cards. Task completion gets you cards. The game ends if the hut pile goes empty or if the card market runs out of refill cards.
The dice rolls decide limits control over certain parts of the game, working around it makes the game challenging and involving. Your decisions to send tribe members to hunt food or love shack or a tool shed changes the course of play to an extent.
20. The Quest for El Dorado
In The Quest for El Dorado, players assume roles of leaders of the expedition in search of gold in jungles of South America. Maximum of four players can play this game. A single game can last up to an hour or further, depending on the players. Anybody above ten years of age can play this game.
The players assemble a team of scouts, scientist, aborigines and equip themselves to reach the golden border. Every player starts the game with a deck of cards that allows them to get better cards and make progress in the map.
It is a game of tactics, strategy and is entertainingly interactive. The artwork, design of the components makes it a pleasant experience. Players start the game with four cards and choose whether to move or add cards during their turns. The colour of the cards determines the movement in the corresponding colour spaces.
The game has bonus tiles, which can offer you a chance to get extra turns, extra cards or extra moves etc.
Whoever reaches the El Dorado wins. In case of a tie, the player with the highest number of obstacles becomes the winner.
21. Exit: The Game – Deadman on the Orient Express
If you’re a puzzle lover who is itching to solve logical puzzles using your deduction skills, this game is for you. Exit: The Game, Deadman on the orient express, based on the novel Murder on the orient express by Agatha Christie is a murder mystery.
The players take the role of a detective Achilles Pussot, who has to solve a murder before the train reaches the destination. The gameplay revolves around searching, observing, deducing and puzzle-solving.
The game can accommodate four participants, but it works best for two players owing to a load of instructions in the booklet. This game is hardest in the Exit’s series game. The publisher recommends this game for anybody over twelve years of age, but it is difficult.
The caveat the game possesses is the components suits for a one time play. You might have to destroy, mark a few components during the gameplay, which takes the fun of the replays.
22. Survive: Escape from Atlantis
Accommodating up to four players, anybody above eight years of age can play this survival game. The game might take up to an hour to complete and is easy to explain for new players.
The players find themselves on a sinking island. Using the limited number of lifeboats at their disposal, the players have to reach the nearby island for safety. The sea has sharks, whales and serpents to slow-down the players from reaching the island of safety.
Each player has to control ten people and take them to safety. The ten people have points allotted to them(1 to 6). Whichever person reaches the safety contributes their point, which leads to victory. The player has to prioritize according to the points in order to win the game.
The game requires memorisation, prioritization, decision-making skills. It is easy to pick up for kids with the guidance of an adult, making it perfect for a four-member family setting.
Why are board games for a teenager a good idea?
Now I know board games for teenagers may sound old-fashioned and cliche but this still works!
Board games offer a fun and exciting way for both kids and parents to bond from learning new skills to spending quality time with family, board games come with many advantages.
Board Games induce Mental Growth
Today board games have evolved into strategic and roleplay simulations that require its players to think logistically and cognitively as well as strategically. Basically, if you want to win a game, you have to think and plan ahead of the opponent and over time this has a positive impact on the mental health of the player.
Board Games result in teamwork and bonding:
Some board games require players to work together and win only after good coordination, negotiation and decision making this helps the users bond better and helps induce teamwork amongst them.
Board Games brings people together
It’s funny how much a simple game can teach you about the other person. Parent’s can learn a lot about their kids through a game and this can also help both kids and parents learn more about their behaviors and traits towards different scenarios.
Bottomline board games are a great fun experience for all its users. More importantly, they tend to bring people of all ages from kids to older aged people together. They also teach its users skills that can be very useful in life. It’s always easy to bring board games along in your luggage while traveling too!
The games like Tiny towns, Azul emphasize the importance of prioritization and would help parents to teach the skills to their kids. China town, Survive: Escape from Atlantis inculcates the competitiveness in the children. While games like magic maze and pandemic insist on the necessity of coordination and team player skills. It depends on the parent to understand their kids, prioritise and play the games. While Corona has guaranteed a lot of indoor time, the situation is apt for parents. They can add the best family board games to their arsenal and spend quality time with their kids.
I hope you found some value in this article do let me know what board you decided to go with and why.
Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API