Top eight family games to play at home

John Kopischke
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Liar’s Dice : 3+ players, 30 minutes

This is a great game to practice storytelling, communication, and deductive reasoning. It’s often a favorite with those who play it.

One player can be the dealer.

At the beginning of the game, the dealer mixes the dice.

All players receive 6 dice.

Dice are rolled and the results are one of four things:

  • One of the dice is a special die that gives a consequence to the outcome of that roll. For example, if a 4 is rolled, then all of the players must discard 4 dice. If a 7 is rolled, then the next player to speak a number must drink that amount of beer.
  • The other dice can be given to the opposing players (or yourself). The idea is to not keep any dice that don’t match your numbers. This is to lose points.
  • All of the above or none of the above. The other numbers rolled can be used to gain points and prevent a loss.

The game continues until the las dice are rolled. The game winner is the person with the most points.

Queendomino : 2 to 4 players, 25 minutes

An amazing new twist on one of the gaming world's most beloved games. In Queendomino, you become a queen trying to protect your castle while building it up with succulent gardens and adorable catapults. The goal is to finish with the most points, which are gained by building structures, collecting resources, and defeating the other queens.

Cribbage : 2 to 6 players, 30 minutes

Cribbage is an easy-to-learn, traditional card game. There are a few different cribbage variations, but this one seems to be the most popular.

The goal is to score more points than your opponent by collecting points during the game.

The points are earned by the combination of cards in hands at the end of each play, in a total of one hundred points.

The game is always played between two players, sitting over a table with their cards in a rack in front of them. You must use a cribbage board or track.

Each player is dealt six cards and the turn to play goes clockwise. The player who is closest to the dealer’s left starts the first round.

Each player in every round has to lay the first three cards from his hand face-down into the center of the table. This forms the “pin” that each player needs to move around.

After the first three cards are laid, receive three new cards to your hand.

Then it’s time to add up your points. Every card in hand is worth its number. The ace can be worth one or eleven, so remember to place it face-up. The jack can be counted as eleven or one. The other cards, 2 to 9, are always worth their number.

Qwirkle : 2 to 4 players, 45 minutes

It’s like a combination of Scrabble and Dominoes that was designed to be played with young children. The rules are simple, but you have to be a quick thinker to build up large scoring words. This quick-playing, tile laying game is perfect for families with small kids. It’s fun to play with older kids, too.

Rule Add to Fun

The game is played on a rectangular grid of tiles, made up of 108 pieces in a variety of colors and shapes. In the basic rules, players take turns matching tiles either by shape or by color.

For example, if you’re playing with younger kids, you can make it easier by just playing with the shapes if your tiles, without the colors. You score points and gain more tiles by connecting two tiles that either match by shape or match by color.

Only one person scores points for a connection, unless the connection is made with an extra piece called a King. In that case, both players score points for the connection. The goal is to score as many points as possible before the game ends.

Mafia: 8+ players, 30 minutes

Take turns being the narrator, starting with the first player. The narrator will describe what happens in the scene and the narrator will try to make the acting as dramatic as possible. Other players will have the responsibility of playing the characters in the scene. The narrator will describe how each character feels and try to force the players into expressing their emotions in an open way (without any kind of inhibitions). The narrator will try to add an element of surprise and suspense, and to do so, the players will have to give a very detailed description of their feelings in the scene. If a player becomes too into the scene and forgets about the narrator helping to keep it under control, the narrator may decide to stop the player for the sake of the game.

When the narrator thinks they should do something unpredictable, but fun, they can surprise the players by adding obstacles to the scenes. It might be something as simple as one character having a cold and sneezing, or being attacked by a wild animal, etc. The narrator must try to keep everyone involved in the game and to be creative enough to create a fun and interesting plot.

Jackbox: 3+ players, 20 minutes

Jackbox is a family game that plays with video and phone.

Nintendo Wii: 4+ players, 30 minutes.

The Wii is a graphics console, but there are virtual remote controls with.

Which you can guide a game character by moving your hands and body or clapping your hands to simulate a button click.

Guitar Hero: 4+ players, 30 minutes.

Guitar Hero is a game where you use an electronic guitar that detects your performance and converts your playing into a rock song.

Rock Band: 4+ players, 30 minutes.

Rock Band is a game where you use a microphone, a bass guitar, an electronic guitar, and drum pads. You can play for yourself or sing and play the bass guitar with your friends.

Nintendo Wii Sports: 4+ players, 10-15 minutes.

Nintendo Wii Sports is a collection of five mini-games that uses the Wii remote. The games include tennis, bowling, baseball, boxing, and golf.

Rock Band: 4+ players, 10-15 minutes.

Rock Band is a game where you use a microphone, a bass guitar, an electronic guitar, and drum pads. You can play for yourself or sing and play the bass guitar with your friends.

Guitar Hero: 4+ players 10-15 minutes.

Jenga Giant Edition : 2 to 6 players, 20 minutes

An amazing giant version of the famous building block game. It’s fun, challenging, and exciting. This giant version of Jenga is easy to set up and comes with a handy wood case that makes cleanup a breeze.

Eat Poop You Cat: 5+ players, 20 minutes

Age 10 and up.

The trickster game, famous worldwide, that has found a permanent place in gaming history. This popular party game is great for groups of friends or families.

One player calls out the rule, “Everyone must do what I say,” other players, trying to avoid doing the embarrassing actions.

Once the players have heard the rule, they do their best to follow it while fooling the everyone else.

As in many party games in which players must fool each other, only after a rule has been explained can the players prepare a strategy for the rule to come.