And welcome to part 3 of my Top 20 Family Board Games series of posts where I bring you some of the most popular games out there at the moment.
In this post we will be looking at 4 more fabulous board games ranked #12 up to #9.
Boardgamesbren.com is reader-supported – When you purchase through the links in my posts I may earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Posts are not sponsored. Read my Affilliate Disclosure here. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
7 Wonders is a great little strategy game for the family. Each player takes on the role of the leader of an ancient civilization and competes with the others to build their wonder. Use your resources to construct buildings, conduct research and build up your military might and earn points. There are many ways to score points and, although it is a game which is very accessible, it will take you time to really master the intricacies of the point scoring system. This gives the game decent longevity as, not only will two games never be the same due to the many combinations of cards, you will constantly be learning to think ahead in order to outwit your opponents.
7 Wonders is a very strategic game – at each point you will need to make quick and careful decisions about which cards to keep, which to discard and which to play, as not only will this affect your own progress but will have consequences for your neighboring civilizations too. The game is played across three ‘ages’ with the final point score determining the winner at the end. The dynamic between neighbours is really fun as at the beginning of each age, players must pass a hand of cards around the table, either taking one for themselves or selling one to the discard pile. This is where hard decisions must be made as you will need to weigh up choosing cards that will benefit your own civilization against the cost of allowing another player to get a card that you will know will help them.
It is definitely a game that you will need to play a few times before you work out the best tactics, but that’s OK because it is so fun you will want to play over and over. And as it takes less than an hour to play, even with 7 players, you are likely to find lots of opportunities to play.
Title: 7 Wonders
Publisher: Repos Productions
No. of players: 2-7
Time: 30 mins
Wingspan is a fantastic engine-builder from the powerhouse of gaming Stonemaier. In the game, players take on the role of nature enthusiasts, building up their collection of birds in their nature reserve.
You don’t need to be a bird-nerd to enjoy this game as the mechanics are so great! Each of the 170 bird cards are completely unique and feature gorgeous artwork detailing real birds so there is an educational benefit to the game as well. The original game features mainly North American birds and there are expansion packs containing birds from other parts of the world.
Each turn has you making tactical decisions about which action to take – will you place down birds into your reserve, lay eggs, collect food or draw more bird cards. There are multiple ways to score points and each time you play a card it changes the dynamics of your actions.
It is a competitive game, in that there is a clear winner at the end, but it is all good-natured as there is not much opportunity to interfere with your opponents’ plans so it is a lovely one for the whole family with not too many ensuing arguments!
The production is very high quality and the playing pieces are cute to handle, especially the eggs – but keep them away from little-uns as they do look good enough to eat!
All in all, a great game and you might even learn a thing or two about some birds you’ve never heard of!
Publisher: Stonemaier Games
No. of players: 1-5
Time: 40-70 mins
Carcassonne is an absolute classic strategy tile game where the players take turns building up a landscape trying to complete roads and cities and using the strategic placement of meeples to gain the most points. I love how the scenery builds up each turn to create a unique map every time you play.
The artwork is really cute, as are the playing pieces and it is really easy to learn and play, so very accessible for younger players. There is a good amount of strategy to keep the brain working and also an element of luck which can frustrate your plans and keep it interesting.
There are a number of ways to outwit your opponent with clever moves and the tables will keep turning throughout the game as to who is on top. There are a number of ways to score depending on where you place your meeples and each turn gives you several strategic options as you have almost free-range to place your tile anywhere on the board.
Although officially 2-5 players, a quick google search will find you the rules for solo play and there are several expansion packs for you to develop the game even further.
I can’t recommend this game enough – lots of fun and lots of re-playabillity!
Publisher: Z-Man games
No. of players: 1-5
Time: 30-45 mins
Labyrinth is another really sweet tile-based game, also really accessible for younger players. This time all the tiles are laid down at the start creating a random labyrinth design. The players start in the corners and must navigate the labyrinth in order to pick up the items shown on their cards.
As the labyrinth has been built randomly, there will be many dead ends and inaccessible corridors which the players will need to get to. This is where the fantastic and novel board mechanic comes into play. At the start of each turn the player must slide the spare tile into the side of the labyrinth and shunt all the tiles up by one place in a single row or column. This is where your spatial awareness and strategy will come into play – you will want to be making your items accessible without giving your opponents a free ride. This mechanic leads to an ever-changing labyrinth which means that, especially with three or four players, the maze will be completely different each time it comes round to your go.
Labyrinth is a delightfully simple and addictive game which is low-stakes, family friendly and lots of fun – highly recommended!
No. of players: 2-4
Time: 20-30 mins
And that’s it for this installment of my Top 20 Family Boards Games. Let me know what you think in the comments section and tune in next time for part 4 or part 5 where I will be reviewing even more great games!