Top 10 Family Board Games (with 5 bonus because we couldn’t all agree) 2016 Edition

Top 10 Family Board Games (with 5 bonus because we couldn’t all agree) 2016 Edition

I own around 70 board/card games. Some are simple card games that take about 5 minutes to play other are elaborate affairs with multiple boards, miniatures, and pieces that can take hours and hours to play. My family is finally old enough for all of us to play a board game and stay engaged. We play a whole bunch of games, and since my son has a YouTube channel we thought we would make a top 10 list of our favorites to play as a family. Well, we ended up with 15 because there were games that got pushed off the top 10 that we still wanted to play.

These are all games that would work well with a family of 4. In the review we talk about how certain games work better with different player counts and what type of family game that it is. So if you are interested in the full review watch the video below. For just a quick list of the games here you go:

  • 15: Kingsburg
  • 14: Dixit
  • 13: Clue
  • 12: Dominion
  • 11: Lords of Waterdeep
  • 10: Rise of Augustus
  • 9: Sushi Go
  • 8: Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
  • 7: Lanterns
  • 6: Splendor
  • 5: Camel Up
  • 4: Sheriff of Nottingham
  • 3: Ticket to Ride
  • 2: Carcassonne
  • 1: Qwirkle

Risky Behavior Signatures Game

Risky Behavior Signatures Game

Games where you must go around and get signatures have been staples of youth ministry from back in the days when church were debating whether listening to Stryper made you a Satan worshiper. We opened our Dangerous Prayers retreat with a version of this game that looked at risky behaviors. Our setting was for youth and adults so there was a better chance at finding someone who had been in the service and as such had maybe been shot at.


How it Works

  • Print the Risky Behavior PDF or make your own sheet using the text below.
  • Pass out the papers and a pen to each participant.
  • Instruct participants to walk around the room getting people to sign if they have engaged in the risky behavior listed.
  • Each person may sign a paper only once.
  • Give a time limit of 5-7 minutes and play some loud music while people move around the room and get signatures.
  • At the end of the time limit award a small prize to the person who gets the most signatures.

The Text

Walk around the room looking for people who have engaged in the following risky behaviors. Have them sign their name beside an activity they have done. Each person can sign your paper only once.

  1. __________________  I have been bungee jumping
  2. __________________  I have driven over 90 miles/hour
  3. __________________  I’ve sent a gift to someone as a “secret admirer.”
  4. __________________  I have shot a gun
  5. __________________  I’ve lied to my parents
  6. __________________  I’ve snuck out of my house
  7. __________________  I have eaten lunch without washing my hands
  8. __________________  I have jumped off a high dive
  9. __________________  I’ve told a friend that his/her significant other was cheating
  10. __________________  I have been shot at
  11. __________________  I have ridden a motorcycle
  12. __________________  I’ve drank milk after the “sell by” date
  13. __________________  I have been scuba diving
  14. __________________  I have cheated on a test
  15. __________________  I have been rock climbing
  16. __________________  I’ve taken time to look and think about it when a girl asked me “do these pants make me look fat?”
  17. __________________  I have been in a drag race
  18. __________________  I’ve been to the mall on Black Friday
  19. __________________  I have jumped out of an airplane
  20. __________________  I’ve texted while driving

New Super Mario Bro Wii

No big spiritual lesson here but I am digging on playing a 2D platformer again, especially one as beautiful as Mario. Last year I spent some serious time with Braid (a 2D platformer that is wicked hard, but ultimately very rewarding) but other than messing around on my SNES with Nathan it has been years since I have played a game like this.

Within moments I was holding down the “1” button so I could run fast and letting my thumb press the “2” button to jump as I ran. It took probably 2 worlds for me to really remember how to play these sorts of games, but once I did I found myself taken back to those days right after high school sitting with my Nintendo or my SNES and finding ways to get through castle after castle.

It may not be a perfect game, and it is very hard in a few places (the addition of Luigi popping up to show you how to beat the level if you die a bunch of times in a row is pretty cool) but all in all it has been a fun few days playing games like those of my youth.

I bet in 20 years someone is going to make a game just like Modern Warfare 2 and all my students are going to gush over how much fun it is to play a game like that again.

Life-Sized Bop-It

Life-Sized Bop-It

Suddenly we got a new channel on our cable system called “The Hub.” I don’t know where it came from, but it has classic Transformers and G.I Joe cartoons, Fraggle Rock, and this interesting double dare-ish game show called “Family Game Night.” The show is just a blatant commercial for the Hasbro board games, but my son likes it so it is something that is fun to watch for the whole family.

One of the games on the show is this big Bop-it inspired octagon that has 8 different stations where people whack, pull, and bop things as they are told by computer voice. My son thinks the game is great and will often walk around the house saying “bop it, kick it, pull it, etc.” One day when we were watching the show my wife says, “You should play this with your youth.” I agreed and at the first chance I could set up my own life-sized bop-it game.

The game is pretty simple, get 5 or 6 things that students could do, play a music loop of some driving music and start calling out the actions. Be sure to rotate stations from time to time and when one student misses just add in another one. If you don’t have a music loop you could just get everyone to clap to give the beat. That would also fix one of my problems which was that I had no way to speed up the music so the game stayed too easy.

Anyway, I set up 6 stations:

Stomp it = a drum set kick pedal against a trash can

Twist it = a hula hoop

Bop it = a djembe drum

Shout it = a microphone

Pull it = a rope tied to the ceiling

Ring it = a cow bell


The game was a decent success and I used it as a jumping off point to talk about studying the Bible. In the game you had to listen for your instructions or you would be out. Our world is full of competing instructions and it is important that we listen to the Bible to know how we should act. (or something like that).