Play board games with your family or even with a friend to test your knowledge of the game and see if you can beat their best play-board game.

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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Board Game

The best board games are those that capture a players interest and provide a fun, challenging experience. Before making a purchase, consider the following factors.

Age Group

Board games span generations, from childrens games like Sorry! and Candy Land to more advanced titles like Risk and Monopoly. Younger gamers may find some of the older styles too difficult, but they will likely enjoy other titles in the series.

For teens and adults who prefer something less intense, there are plenty of options for younger audiences. These lighter games tend to involve simple matching or location rules and do not require much strategy or thinking. For seasoned gamers, there are also plenty of titles that fall into this category.

Number of Players

The size of the group determines the type of game that is played. For two people, there are plenty of options that only require a single board and pieces. However, as the number of players increases, so does the complexity of the setup. More than three players means multiple boards and/or multiple sets of pieces.

When four or more people play, the complexity increases even more. Not only do you need multiple boards, but you’ll likely need multiple sets of pieces as well. This is because while it would be easy to increase the number of available spaces, you’ll want to make sure they’re all occupied before the game starts.

Game Type

Like many hobbies, board gaming spans a variety of types. The most common type is called an abstract board game, which can be compared to a jigsaw puzzle. The object is to put together a set of pieces that fits within a grid on the board.

Abstract board games are often the easiest for beginners to pick up and play. They dont require any special skills to set up or any complicated rules to follow. These kinds of games are popular because they can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

Other types of board games focus on specific themes or have additional features such as dice, cards, movement, and storage areas. These games can get a bit more involved, but they’re usually worth the effort.

Intended Audience

While board games are popular with all age groups, they’re especially popular with certain demographics. Children tend to love these types of games because they’re often easy to grasp and understand. Teens and adults tend to appreciate the challenge that these games offer.

These days, even adults who prefer simpler games will probably spend a few hours searching for the perfect gift for their board-gaming lover. With dozens or even hundreds of board games to choose from, its easier to buy a couple of favorites that fit together rather than search for a unique present.

Aesthetic

The best board games should not only be fun and challenging, but they should also look nice sitting on a table during gameplay. Luckily, most board games share a similar aesthetic. Most are white, black, or gray, with red, blue, or green accents for scoring purposes. Some have wooden or metal frames, while others might use plastic or rubber moldings.

Beyond the colors and materials, the design of the board and pieces can vary greatly between games. Some feature iconic symbols or images, such as a baseball diamond, a dollar sign, or a house. Others might use a more minimalist approach, with basic geometric shapes and numbers.

Versatility

One benefit of buying a couple of board games rather than one huge selection is that you’ll get different results based on your needs. If youre looking for a quick and dirty board game that doesnt take long to play, then a lightweight title that can be picked up and put down is more versatile than a heavier game that requires a sturdy hand and wrist. Likewise, if youre shopping for a gift for a child, a kids game is more versatile than an adult title.

On the other hand, heavy or bulky board games are great for those who want to sit and concentrate for a longer period of time. These games help reduce muscle fatigue and strain, which is particularly helpful for elderly players or those with limited mobility.

Ease of Setup

The best board games should come together quickly and easily. While some titles take a little longer to set up than others, most modern board games can be ready in under an hour.

As mentioned above, the complexity of the setup depends on the number of players. For smaller groups, a singleton setup is sufficient; however, for four or more people, a double setup is recommended. A double setup has two boards side by side, with each player having their own stack of tiles.

For a double setup, you’ll need two sets of markers, two sets of colored tokens, two score sheets, two stacks of playing pieces, two or three cups, and two or three extra chairs (if needed). You can find printed versions of these items at online retailers, but it might be easier to buy a couple of games that come with everything you need.