Sheltering in-place can be a tough way to spend your days, even when you know it’s necessary. However, the best way for us to get through this time is to maintain social connection even when we are social distancing. If you are staying in with family, games can be the perfect way to fill time, find joy, and bring your family closer together. Here are a few of our top picks to get in some good old family fun beyond the classic fare:
SkyBound Superfight a Card Game of Absurd Arguments (ages 8 and up)
Create crazy battles with scenarios beyond your wildest daydreams in this game, and win by using your most strategic or your zaniest tactics. You and another player each get a card with a character (ex. Abraham Lincoln, your Mom, or even a K-Pop Star) and one card with a crazy power or ability they get. It is your job to argue and convince the other players at the table which one of the wacky combinations comes out on top in a Superfight! Loads of combinations are possible, so this game can keep going as long as you need it to. These are the most fun arguments you will ever have!
Betrayal at House on the Hill (ages 13 and up)
Ever thought you would do better than the movie character about to make a dumb choice in a haunted house? Now you get to find out. Wizards of the Coast brings you this super customizable game that lets you build a haunted house tile by tile as you explore it with surprises waiting behind every door. There are 50 playable scenarios that change the goal of your characters every time you play, meaning you can play this game all day, and it never has to be the same. Are you brave enough to uncover the secrets of the House on the Hill?
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment (ages 10 and up)
Now may not be the time to take your family to your local escape room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the escape room to you. What better way to bond than to work together to solve puzzles and beat the clock against a mad scientist trying to turn you and your family into werewolves? This immersive game comes with 19 physical and mental puzzles to stump you and your comrades. Put your family’s cooperation to the test and see if you can best the mysteries in this box. This one even connects to Alexa for extra features!
High Society (ages 12 and up)
Get out your fans and lift your pinkies because this game’s about to get all kinds of fancy! This is a beautifully illustrated, bidding card game with a few twists. You can bid against the other players for items that will surely give you the social prestige you crave. However, don’t relax just yet, because there might be a few scandals that could tarnish that precious reputation you’ve cultivated. The player who has achieved the most prestige points through the items that they’ve won without going broke is crowned the winner and is at the tip-top of High Society, indeed!
Telestrations (all ages)
We’ve all played Telephone and been baffled by what people wound up with after the words have gone ‘round, but what if you took that to a new level? Telestrations has people in a circle receive words that they then have to draw to the best of their ability in 60 seconds, pass to the next person, then that person has to guess the word that was drawn, and the next person has to draw what the last person guessed the original drawing was in their own way. Everyone passes until the books make it to their original places, and then the ludicrous miscommunications are revealed. No actual artistic skills required. In fact, it’ll probably wind up funnier if you don’t have them!
Spontuneus (ages 10 and up)
Are you a family of music lovers? Are you just shower singers? Doesn’t matter! Because in this looney game of tunes, you don’t have to sing it well. You just have to think of it faster. One player is the tunesmith tasked with timing and judging their fellow players. They have to say a trigger word, and the first player to score by saying at least 5 words of a lyric to a song that contains that trigger word rolls a dice to advance on the board. Look out! There are some board spaces with crazy challenges to complete, too. Shout it, sing it, whatever you need to do, but bring on the competition and the laughter with this award-winning game!
Labyrinth (ages 7 and up)
A fantastical labyrinth full of treasures ripe for the taking? Say no more! But, not so fast! This is no ordinary hedge maze. It’s full of traps, shifting walls, and mythical beasts to keep you and the other players on your toes. You must tread carefully and plot the most efficient courses to your bounty even as the landscape shifts around you turn by turn. Can you make your way to the prize before getting mired in labyrinth and before your competitors? Put your strategic mind to the test. It’s a different challenge every time you play!