Top 3: Board Games for People Who Don’t Play Board Games

Would you rather watch a movie than play a game together? That might be the fault of the games you’ve played.

Think outside of the Candy Land and Monopoly box. Here are my top 3 board games for people who don’t play board games (which hopefully will change after you give these a try).

Game_SettlersofCatan1. Settlers of Catan
Age: 10+ (also 4+ and 6+ versions)
Players: 3-4 (5-6 with expansion packs)
Time: 45-90 min.

It’s the gateway drug of good board games. It’s well balanced, fast, fun, easy to “get,” and has just enough luck to help even the playing field. There’s also an app that can walk you through how to play it, so you don’t even have to read the game rules!

Ready to kick it up a notch?
Try Puerto Rico or 7 Wonders.

Game_Bang2. Bang!
Age: 8+
Players: 3-7
Time: 30 min.

It only takes a half hour—and doesn’t even have a board! At the beginning of a game, each player get a secret role assignment (sheriff, outlaw, etc.) all with different goals … against each other. So in addition to light strategy, you have mystery and storytelling, too. Plus, there’s a sheriff’s badge. Show me someone who doesn’t like to wear a sheriff’s badge, and I’ll show you a liar.

Ready to kick it up a notch?
Try Gloom or Fluxx.

Game_ForbiddenIsland3. Forbidden Island
Age: 10+
Players: 2-4
Time: 30 min.

Two people can play this one, which is hard to find in a board game. Plus, it’s only 30 minutes, so what do you have to lose? You work together to escape an island that’s “sinking” (pieces of the board are removed as you play). Again, each player is randomly assigned a role, which adds a bit of storytelling and makes it different each time you play. Best of all, it’s cooperative! No more sinking each other’s battleships or real estate moguling (with the tiffs that inevitably ensue).

Ready to kick it up a notch?
Try Pandemic or Castle Ravenloft.

Have your own board game recommendations? Please share them in the comments.

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11 thoughts on “Top 3: Board Games for People Who Don’t Play Board Games

  1. I would add in Tsuro. I totally agree on Forbidden Island. We have the equivalent of a small game store in our basement, and I get so frustrated when we try and play. See, my hubby has played them all, and he’s really impatient about explaining how to play to others. I always end up feeling like the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, so i just say “I don’t like board games” and leave it at that.

    1. Ooh, I haven’t tried Tsuro! I’ll have to look for it. I’ll also dig up my notes from PAX Prime. I went to a great talk by a panel of parents, and they recommendeded a game for toddlers that intrigued me. Stay tuned …

  2. I need to get the 6+ version of Settlers of Catan. I have heard amazing things about this game. Thanks for these recommendations. We love games in our house.

    I am visiting from Bloggy Moms April Blog Hop. Glad I found you and this post!


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