Favorite Board Games for Family Game Night

My boys and I are headed to PAX south Saturday. Got me thinking and curious. Considering the quality of my fellow glowforgers I would be interested in knowing what your favorite board/table top games are for a family game night. For me it’s my wife and I and my two teens. Besides, I need to do something to help me pass the time until my glowforge arrives :smile:, so I might as well find something fun to do with the family.

Some of our current favorites are:

Man Bites Dog
Ticket to Ride
Monopoly (my oldest son collects Monopolies, but my youngest son usually wins)
Chess, etc…


We play a lot of games, my wife my two boys and I. Our favorites have been:

Pandemic Legacy
Ticket to Ride (regular and Marklin)
Mechs vs Minions
Love Letter: Batman

My older son’s favorite is Viticulture. Youngest son’s favorite are Red November and Klask. Wife’s favorite is Takenoko. All of the above are great for families, find ones whose theme appeals to your kids and have decent ratings (7+) on BoardGameGeek.


I had forgot about Pandemic. Haven’t played it in quite a few months. Love the cooperative play.


Forgot about Exploding Kittens and Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game. Those are the games the boys got for Christmas. Both have been fun.


Myself, wife, son 16 and daughter 14

Stone Age
Ticket to ride
King of Tokyo
Sheriff of Nottingham

For sale
Code names
Lost cities
Sushi Go

Have fun at PAX South! I fell in love with the Geek Chic tables at PAX a few years ago and ended up making a basic gaming table last winter. Fun project.


I never heard of Klask until I saw a Facebook post about a game just a few days ago. It looks like it could be built and customized on a Glowforge. For an “official” sized table you’d need a passthrough though. Just a little too big for a Basic. Might have to buy, 3D print or modify the playing pieces.

Looks fun!



My kids are very young so we don’t play any board games with them yet, and we’re often too tired to play most nights. When we do have the energy we usually play Carcassonne and toss in a couple of random expansions to mix it up.

But I got together with a group of 7 friends and played a full game of Captain Sonar last week and it was a fantastic time. If you can get a group together of that size I strongly encourage you to do it. There’s a great walk through of it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjo4iXyDPtw.


I’m a big fan of Small World myself! Very little luck is involved and the dynamics of play are constantly changing. Managing the pieces is a bit daunting though, especially considering all the expansion sets there are.

The Game of Thrones board game is a lot of fun in my opinion as well. The rules are, fittingly, quite complex (which is something I really like, though I can see how that could sour the game for some).


The classic Risk, Rack-O , pictionary games are fun (Scriblish) ,Apples to Apples is the one game my sisters insist upon playing when they come into town - Hilarious, Spite and Malice is fun card game, Hand and Foot, Euchre (for 4 peeps), Clue… just a few of my favorites.


Love it! I’ll throw in some that haven’t been said. Worker placement games are quite fun. Two of my favorites are:

  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Champions of Midgard

Deck-building card games are fun and some are more on the lighter side:

  • Star Realms (can be played four player if you have two starter decks)
  • Flip City

Tikal is my absolute favorite board game. A new version should be coming out this year, but the original can be found.


We’ve been digging Hive Mind lately - great family game by Richard Garfield (of Magic:The Gathering fame) published by Calliope Games (the owners of whom happen to be early Glowforge investors).


Race for the Galaxy
(Both of which are very good 2 player games as well)

In our house we either play light games (Catan, Talisman or Arabian Nights for instance)
Or hard-core and i bring out the Avalon Hill collection (Kingmaker, Civilization, Advanced Squad Leader)


Our girls are too young for most games, but when company is over we almost always end up playing Dixit. Very approachable to learn, and the artwork on the cards entertains everyone.

If you’re looking for a game to play with a 5 year old, we do recommend Outfoxed.


One of our favorites is a modification of Rummikub. We call it RummiRumble ™

Everyone plays at once. You can draw whenever you want to. First one out wins.

If you put your finger on a run on the table, you own it and no one else can mess with it until you are finished with it.

Advanced version: flicking tiles out of opponent’s hands is fair game.


As I run a games shop and service business I could talk at length about games. However, I’ll limit myself to one. Potion Explosion. To do it an injustice I would say that it is like the board game version of Candy Crush Saga however it is much more fun than that. Marbles represent potion ingredients, which allow you to brew potions, which in turn you can drink to get more ingredients.

Great fun plus I can’t help thinking that the marble holder for the game could do with some glowforge improvements :smiley:


We’ve recently acquired Potion Explosion and have been enjoying it quite a lot!


Some of my favorites are:
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Galaxy Trucker
Code Name (for parties)
Sushi Go (also for parties)
Lords of Waterdeep has been my parent’s favorite and opened them up to new types of games.


I’ve got a wife and three kids 19, 11, and 8. Our youngest being a tested genius, he easily handles any board game we’ve ever thrown at him.

Forbidden Desert™ is a fun little game I picked up at a Con for like $15. One of the things that make it unique is that it’s co-op! It’s your group against the elements and time! I think it took us 2 or three times playing before we won a game. Fun for the whole family.

Betrayal At House On The Hill is a great game. We very much enjoy games where you build the world as you go. This is one of them. The game provides different scenarios (haunts) where either the team or the traitor wins it all.

Kill Doctor Lucky is seen by many as an opposite of Clue where players attempt to kill the master of the house, Doctor Lucky. You collect weapons throughout to make your attacks stronger and the real trick is to not get caught.

I have more suggestions. Need to be at home with my game shelves. :wink:

  • Tom

Great responses. Now my list of “to buy” games has grown significantly. I forgot to add to our list:
Buck Rogers (old bird game I bought in college. Like to pull it out and dust it off every once in a while.)


Splendor Simple rules, easy to play. But yet it still is a oft requested game even among my more hardcore gaming friends.

Dixit with or without expansions. A surprisingly simple game that is just prints of artwork on cards. I’ll let the fact that it ranks #150 overall and #13 party game on board game geek speak for itself as to how good it is.

Qwixx. An easy dice game that costs less than $10, or you can print your own from the files on board game geek. Its the game Yatzee wishes it was. Every time I introduce someone new to this game I end up having to make myself a new copy because they take mine.

And I have to agree with the comments above, some great games have been suggested. These three are just ones that without knowing your target age group, give more depth of play than Candyland, so your not bored. But not as heavy of a game as Arkham Horror, so your kids will enjoy playing. All of the three I suggested you can learn to play in less than 10 minutes.