- Articulate! is a popular party game in Britain that encourages large groups and is quick and easy to learn.
- Jenga is a widely popular game that requires players to extract blocks from a tower without it falling down, and it can be enhanced with questions and challenges.
- Snakes and Ladders is a classic board game with simple rules, providing quick reality checks and great highs and lows.
Playing board games is a popular way of spending free time. With thousands of board games on the market and hundreds of new ones coming out each year, players have a lot of options to choose from, depending on what they’re looking for and which genre they prefer. Some games place more emphasis on strategy, while others are all about luck.
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Fans of exceedingly complex board games should take a look at these examples.
But if the player is just starting out with board games and wants to try some of the more simple-to-understand yet entertaining ones, there are a lot of those that fit the description. Some of the best board games prove that fun lies in simplicity.
Updated January 3, 2024, by Alexandra O’Leary: The board game world is an incredibly expansive one, ranging from complicated TTRPGs to social games that rely on good liars. There’s something for everyone, but sometimes, players just want an easy-to-learn game that the whole family or friend group can enjoy. For some, fewer rules the better, especially for younger players. Luckily, there’s a great selection of simple board games that will have the game well underway in minutes.
Explaining Things To Your Teammates
- Created: 1992 (Andrew Bryceson)
- Players: 4 to 20+
Articulate! is a great party game that works perfectly for both small and big groups. In fact, the game encourages large groups since it adds to the chaos. It’s a popular game in Britain and is routinely one of the most popular games there every year, likely because it’s quick and easy to learn and loads of fun.
The Articulate! board is made up of a circle with various categories on each space, and in order to move, players must draw cards from the pile and describe the word from that category without saying it. Players can keep going until the timer runs out, and the amount they get right dictates how many spaces they move. The rules include not being able to say derivatives of the word and not saying what it rhymes with or what letters are in it. It’s fast and is incredibly easy to pick up.
Carefully Maneuvering Blocks From A Tower
- Created: 1983 (Leslie Scott)
- Players: 1+
Jenga is easily one of the most widely popular games ever, particularly since many people adapt the game to feature questions and challenges. In essence, the game is very simple and doesn’t even require multiple players, although it’s a bit more fun with others.
The only goal of Jenga is to extract one of the blocks from the tower without it falling down. As the game progresses, it becomes increasingly harder to do so, and eventually, the tower will tumble over. Some players like to write prompts on the blocks for players to answer/perform when they draw them, which can be a fun addition for parties, but either way is just as enjoyable.
8 Snakes And Ladders
Moving Up the Board And Slithering Back Down
- Created: Unknown (Ancient Origins)
- Players: 2+
Snakes and Ladders is an all-time classic board game, and for good reason. It’s a simple, easy game with great highs and lows, albeit not too much strategy.
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Tabletop games can be a great deal of fun, and even more so when those playing decide to role-play.
To play Snakes and Ladders, players only need to roll the dice and move their counter. If they land on a ladder, they can move up it to skip loads of spaces, but if they land on a snake, they must slide back down to the bottom of it. Barely any other game can provide such quick reality checks the way Snakes and Ladders can.
7 Really Loud Librarians
Quick Thinking And Lots Of Yelling
- Created: 2023 (Exploding Kittens)
- Players: 2+
Really Loud Librarians is a new game from the creators of Exploding Kittens that keeps the same level of chaos while adding new parameters. The tagline is literally ‘think fast, not hard,’ which is exactly what players want from a simple board game.
To play Really Loud Librarians, one team must draw a card that supplies a category and look at the board (which has a selector on it) to see what letter they’re on. Players must yell things that apply to that category that also begin with the letter selected. They can then move the selector along to the next letter and keep going. There’s a time limit for each round, and the idea is to race the opposing team to get their librarian further and win. It’s fast-paced and simple and is likely to make for a very loud and frantic board game night.
Describing Scenes And Trying To Fool Your Friends
- Created: 2008 (Jean-Louis Roubira)
- Players: 3 to 6
Dixit is the ideal board game for all creative souls and storytellers or simply people with rich imaginations who aren’t afraid to use it. The goal is to get 30 points first before the other players. The players take turns, and each one describes one of the cards they’re holding. Afterward, the remaining players pick a card they think fits the description best. All the cards are mixed together, and each player chooses the card they think the original player was describing.
The game never gets old because every person’s mind works differently, and the descriptions can vary from mini-stories to songs. The only thing that’s forbidden is simply describing exactly what is on the card, as that would take the fun out of the game. The cards are visually beautiful, and they can easily spark the players’ imagination, making the game a good option for fans of fantasy or RPGs.
5 King Of Tokyo
Rolling Dice To Be The Best Monster
- Created: 2011 (Richard Garfield)
- Players: 2 to 6
Which monster will rule the world? Some would say Godzilla, and others would pick King Kong. In the board game King of Tokyo, there is no right answer, as it depends both on the player’s strategy and their luck. The players compete about whose chosen monster will gain control of the city and reach the goal of collecting a certain number of points first.
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These board games have numerous components and take an incredible amount of table space to play, but many are worth the effort.
The game offers a lot of variability since the player can decide whether their monster will remain in Tokyo, get more points but also suffer more damage, or if it will relinquish its place to another monster and be safer from harm but risk losing. The game is colorful and visually attractive, and thanks to the popularity of the monster kaiju movies, it will entertain both adults and children.
Making Words From Random Letters
- Created: 1948 (Alfred Mosher Butts)
- Players: 2 to 4
Scrabble needs no detailed introduction for most people since even those who don’t actively seek out board games have usually heard about it before. Its principle is simple. The players choose a number of letters and attempt to form a word from them to gain the highest number of points possible. The game ends at the moment when all the available letters are used and nobody can create another word.
Scrabble is a popular choice for families because it’s usually quick to play, easy to understand, and fun since players can often come up with the most bizarre or unexpected word options. Scrabble has become such a pop culture phenomenon that it has even appeared in movies and TV shows, such as in The Simpsons when Homer gets angry at Bart after his son attempts to cheat at the game and uses a made-up, nonsensical word.
3 Settlers Of Catan
Building Settlements By Collecting And Spending Resources
- Created: 1995 (Klaus Teuber)
- Players: 3 to 4
There is a reason why Settlers of Catan became a classic family board game and a go-to game for many. It has been tested by time, and players of all ages like to return to it over and over again. The only requirement for players is to be able to count while attempting to build their settlement, preferably one bigger and better than those of their fellow co-players.
Each time, the game is a bit different, as the players can choose a different strategy, and, of course, luck plays its part in it as well. For those who would like to try the game out before buying it, there is also an online version that doesn’t usually take as much time to finish as the board game variant.
Rolling Dice And Moving All Counters Around The Board
- Created: 1934 (W.H. Storey & Co)
- Players: 2 to 4
Sorry! is a classic game that has been around for a while now. The players move their counters based on how they roll the dice. The game can easily turn competitive since the players can sabotage their opponents and send them back to the start over and over again.
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The recent rise in popularity of tabletop board games has created many other excellent games that will give fans of Monopoly a whole new experience.
The first player who gets all of their four counters into the home wins. The game is easy to understand, a bit different each time, and all players need to be able to do is count to six, making it accessible even for small children.
Tour Tokaido In A Leisurely Race
- Created: 2012 (Antoine Bauza)
- Players: 2 to 5
Going on a vacation to Japan is something many people dream of, but not everyone can afford it or have the time to do so. In that case, the board game Tokaido is the next best thing. In the game, players travel through Japan and enjoy all the country has to offer while collecting souvenirs and getting points for their experiences on the journey.
Unlike other board games, Tokaido doesn’t have a competitive feeling to it; it doesn’t drive players against each other. Instead, it helps them relax and immerse themselves in an experience that’s calming and full of interesting discoveries about Japan.
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