How to Play Some of the Very Best Board Games for Families (and Adults)

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As 2021 approaches faster than ever, and we’re locked in our houses for the 29456th time this year, we’re running out of things to do. By now, we’ve absolutely rinsed our Netflix libraries, completed all of the pub quizzes on Zoom, finished approximately 17 master class courses, and are now all professional bakers and gardeners. The fact of the matter is, we all need something new.

Introducing: board games. If you think about it, this isn’t something new at all. In fact, with a strong hope of finding things to do, we’re actually resorting to old-school methods of entertainment. But they’re the best! Right?

Playing party games with the people you love is more than just -wait for it- fun and games (yes, we went there). When you play party games, you invite creative and strategic thinking, teamwork, cooperation, and of course, an opportunity to kick some butt and gloat for days after.

So, with that being said, we’re throwing it back with our top 5 board games to play while stuck inside. Read on to find out exactly where to buy, a brief summary of how to play them, and an in-detail description of each.

#5 Codenames

I love words, and in fact, I love words so much that I use them every single day. I use them to talk, and there’s nothing wrong with talking, right? Simply because I am not a spy. If I was a spy, I’d have to dial my word use right back because saying too much could not only blow my cover, and my mission, but it could also get me killed. 007, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, none of them are huge talkers. They only say what is absolutely necessary, and that’s why they survive.

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about words and spies, and why I like to use words because I am definitely NOT a spy. Even though we all love a good mystery, I’m going to go ahead and solve this one for you now.

So, imagine – two teams of super spies have come in from the cold, but a whole bunch of their fellow agents didn’t get the memo because they couldn’t tune in to the number station, or they were too busy talking with too many ‘words’ to know that the boss has some questions about all those casino cashier expenses they’ve been under-reporting. You and whoever you’re stuck at home with will take on a new persona as you go undercover as secret agents, and the chosen spymasters will need to recall the delinquent field agents. However, it won’t be easy, because we only know the… codename.

How to play:

  1. It starts with grouping into teams. Each person takes turns and tries to guess the secret identities of their agents. However, you work off only a single word clue given by your spymaster.
  1. Agents then go on and attempt to guess which codename(s) correspond to the present or previous clue(s) given.
  1. If your team’s agent is revealed, then your team has guessed correctly and you’re able to guess again. However, you cant receive another clue.
  1. If the agents contact the wrong color, then the turn passes and the agent is revealed for the other team.
  1. If a bystander is revealed then the turn is passed.
  1. If the assassin is revealed then that team loses instantly. The game is over.
  1. Winning the Game – You win the game by successfully contacting all of your agents. It is possible to win on your opponent’s turn if they contact your last agent for you.

This is a board game that creative minds will really enjoy. Codenames is a teamwork playing game for 4 or more players. Throughout the game, you play as numbers of two competing spying networks as you communicate codes to contact your secret agents while avoiding the deadly assassin. The goal of the game, like any, is to win. You win by being the first team to contact all of their secret agents.

The super fun Codenames party game is available to purchase through Amazon in three different versions. Check them out below:

Don’t get caught, or do… who cares! Just have fun!

#4 Blockbuster: The Game

The bad news, Blockbuster is long gone. The good news? This board game for families isn’t going anywhere. Straightforward and fast-paced, Blockbuster should be anybody’s go-to choice when looking to kill time.

How to play:

  1. This board game starts with a head-to-head round.
  1. Two players will be handed a category like ‘’movies with a shootout’’.
  1. They’ll then take turns to yell out examples.
  1. Failure to come up with a response with the 15-second timeframe will result in utter disappointment from your parents and loss.
  1. However, this is when the real game begins.
  1. The winner will then draw six cards, act outs, quotes, and distribute three of them to their team.
  1. The loser will receive the remaining three cards (which will probably be the worst ones because people are evil).

Receive delivery straight to your front door by clicking the link below:

#3 Catan

Wind back the clocks and get lost in the wonderful world of Catan. Claim your unchartered islands, build your cities, civilize your wild frontier with towns, roads, and most importantly, trade. As the landscape switches up each time you play, you’ll have to keep your wits about you when deciding where to root up.

Resources are manipulated by probability and dice rolls. However, certain locations are much more likely to yield goods. Prepare for battle as everybody is sure to fight for the ‘best’ spots on the map. If you want building materials, get ready to negotiate through sweet talk as you build your Catan empire.

As Catan requires some deep explaining, it’s probably best to do it the interactive way. Click here for an interactive how-to in order to better understand the game and its rules.

With so many fun versions of the Catan board game out there to play while stuck inside, you’re likely to find many cool alternatives to try if you get bored of the original. Below, you’ll find links to the original game, and just some of the different versions to try along with a few incredible expansion packs:

#2 Scrawl

If there was ever a board game for adults out there, it’s Scrawl. This party game has been described as a unique crossover between Telephone and Pictionary. To sum up simply, you receive a ridiculous prompt card and have to draw exactly what it tells you. Be warned, there are some seriously odd suggestions on there, such as ”photocopying your balls” or ”licking people’s shoes”, but this game is truly hilarious.

Your doodle will then get passed on with absolutely no explanation as to what the drawing represents. The person beside you has to write what they think it is. After that, the player beside them draws whatever it is their neighbor has written, and so on. Your original drawing will get so bent out of shape that it will eventually become unrecognizable.

Yes, the board game is filthy-minded. But the dark humor also makes it totally hysterical. This is a board game for adults that is not safe for work, but still very much recommended.

Buy yours here:

#1 Pandemic

Your back is against the wall, and all odds are against you from the get-go. Introducing: Pandemic. This cooperative board game is truly never less than fascinating. The teamwork, along with the ability to think on your feet leaves you with your only hope of winning. This game is considered hard to initially master by many, but when you get to grips with it, you’ll find that it’s the best board game for families that you’ll ever play.

Why is it so amazing? Simply because the game never feels vindictive. Your mind has transformed into a world where you’re given the responsibility to hold back a clutch of super-diseases from spreading across the planet. But, it doesn’t end there. You’re fully armed with unique abilities that can help them turn the tide. So, how do you deal with all that power? Should you prioritize containing outbreaks? Or would you find it easier to root out one strain before moving on to the next? There’s no definitive answer, which ultimately leaves you with room to carve out your own strategies.

How to play:

  1. The player with the highest-population city card in their hand goes first.
  1. Each player’s turn is split into three phases:
    • Player actions
    • Draw player deck cards
    • Infect cities
  1. Draw player deck cards – Once you have performed your actions, you’ll get to draw two cards from the player deck. The player deck contains city cards, event cards, and the dreaded epidemic cards.
  1. Infect cities – The last step of each player’s turn is to infect more cities. To do this, flip over as many infection cards as the current infection rate indicates. This will increase with each epidemic card you draw.
  1. End of the game and how to win – Pandemic ends as soon as players have found cures for all four diseases. (You do not need to eradicate any diseases to win.) Because it’s a co-op game, everyone wins!

Do you think you’re able to do a better job than most governments around the world right now? Find out by clicking the link below to purchase the Pandemic board game, ironically, to play while stuck inside:

So, there you have it! 5 of the very best board games to play while stuck inside. Stay safe and have fun!

Author Bio: 

John Kester is a writer at DrinkUP, which provides fun apps for any social gathering. 

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