Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Our 10 Favourite Games

Posted by Rosie

We do like a good game be it a board game, word game or cards and now the boys are older we can, as a family, get our teeth into some slightly more exciting games.  However let me get one thing straight first. I DO NOT LIKE MONOPOLY!!  It is a tedious game based purely on the luck of the die with absolutely no strategy involved at all.  In fairness Tom and Simon do like it and will play from time to time but Ben and I give it a miss.  What do we like then?

Some of our board games


An old classic but still a favourite.  Whilst there is a certain amount of luck involved it gets your brain thinking and frustration levels rising when some-one drags you right across the board when you have just one question left to ask in the room where you were.


A game where you have to fit together coloured tiles to gain points in different colours.  Beware though, the winner is not the person who has the highest points in a given colour but the person who has the most points in all the colours. It all very well getting maximum points in everything except one colour as in that way you will actually be last.


We got this for Tom last Christmas and have played it more times than we would care to admit to.  The aim is to fit together tiles to build fields, roads, buildings etc and gain points along the way.  We have several expansions to both lengthen the game and involve more strategy and I would certainly recommend getting Traders and Builders if you find yourself enjoying this game.


This moving board game comes in various levels and we have just moved up to Labyrinth Master.  It's all about finding artefacts in a labyrinth that itself changes with each move.  It can be exceedingly frustrating!


A dice throwing game but with a certain amount of strategy involved especially as it nears the end and you must decide whether to risk all for the chance of 50 points when you throw 6 of the same dice or cut your losses and risk something easier but for many less points.

Ticket To Ride

We got this for Simon's birthday and love it. Can you get your railway constructed across Europe without another player blocking your way?  Great fun!

Ticket to Ride

These are probably our favourite games to play all together but if Simon and I can pull ourselves away from Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride we are also very partial to word games and one particular card game:


This classic can never really be beaten although we do have to set a few ground rules as to which words we allow.  Qi has always been a bone of contention between us!

Big Boggle

Letter dice are randomly placed in a grid and you need to find as many words of 4 letters or more in 3 minutes. Who could believe 3 minutes could pass so quickly when there are lots of words or so slowly when so few can be found!


This is possibly best described as Scrabble on speed!  If waiting for your turn in Scrabble bores you then you need this game.  You each build your own scrabble board in front of you where you can alter it as you pull new letters from the pack.  When all the letter tiles have been taken, the winner is the first person to have a complete and correct scrabble board in front of them.  Woe betide then if you pull a Q or other hard letter right at the end.  Fast, furious and with no adding up of scores either.  Love it!



This is a popular pub card game and one that often makes no sense if you are watching without knowing the rules.  Listening to the 2 players place cards whilst calling out such oddities as Fifteen - Two, Pairs Four and One for his Nob can be confusing and this only get worse when the same card laid at different times gets completely different scores.  It does make sense though and is a great game.

Simon and the boys also play Risk (both online and as a true board game) whilst Tom and Simon can often be found head to head over a chess board.  This year Tom won the small chess tournament they have at school each year and could become a very accomplished player over time.

Finally a call out to you.  Tom's birthday is coming up in the New Year and we'd like to get him a new board game.  I was wondering if any of you have played Pandemic or Lords of Waterdeep and could comment on either of these.  Or do you have a favourite board game you could recommend to us? Just don't say Monopoly! 

The List


  1. I love Banagrams - it's our game of choice. Must make an effort to play it over Christmas.

    1. We did play but the new Carcassonne expansion rather took over this Christmas!

  2. Othello is a game of strategy that is for two players - Never tire of this especially if two players are matched in skill and strategic thinking.

    1. I have played Othello but Simon always beat me. I reckon Tom would give him a run for his money though.

  3. I'm with you on Monopoly --- never understood the appeal. We like Munchkin (card-based adventure game, combining luck and strategy, also quite funny), Agricola (a bit like Caracassonne, farming-based), and Set (a fast-paced, shorter card game).

    1. I've looked up Munchkin and may get that as a present for one of the boys. Agricola is an option too and I will investigate Set. Merci!

  4. Can I play devil's advocate (not the game - lol) and say that I like Monopoly and I actually think there is a lot of strategy involved. There is a large element of chance, yes, but when you land on say Mayfair/Park Lane and only have £500 left, you have to strategise - do I spend all my money on that knowing I could get a very big return if someone lands on me, even though statistically the orange ones are the one's that are landed on most through-out the game. Just my thoughts.

    I love the look of Ticket to ride - never heard of that before!
    Kat x #TheList

    1. I can see where you are coming from, Katrina, but I still don't like it. DO give Ticket to Ride a go though, it's fun.

  5. I've not heard of half of these!! I tend to shy away from games as I'm somewhat competitive, I struggle to lose graciously!! Recently I sulked for a good while after playing frustration, which is the Monopoly of my luck and no skill!! Ha! Sore loser ;)

    Thanks for linking up love! #TheList xx

    1. LOL - Tom is VERY competitive but we have found that by playing more games he has tempered his killer instinct somewhat. There various collaborative games out there too where all the players have to play against the board. Some of the players may have to be "sacrificed! along the way for the players to win overall so we thought we might buy him one of these for his birthday ;)

  6. I love Ticket to ride, and Carcasone and Ingenious too!:) and Alchemists!:) and so many more.. :)

  7. You have some great games there! Here are some favorites that my son was playing by age 4. Now that his sister is 3, I realize just how far ahead of the curve he was in his attention span for games, but she is beginning to get interested now and picking up pretty well on checkers, dominoes, and Aquarius.


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