Great games to play with kids

Great games to play with kids

There are a multitude of great board games, dice games and card games out there just now and the hobby has never been in a better place. Lots of people get together regularly to play table top games whether at home, at a club or even at the pub. What are the kids up to while you play games with your friends? Playing on consoles or watching TV maybe? Reading a book or doing homework ( fat chance )? Maybe they’re nagging at you to let them join the game but you are reluctant to dumb down a good game you and your friends are enjoying.

Perhaps an answer to getting peace to play with your friends and also satisfy your kids curiosity about the games you play is to play more games with your kids. The type of games you play with kids will probably be different from those you play with adults due to complex rules and strategies. There are some great micro games that are just as fun with adults as well as kids and there are some great gateway games to introduce kids to board games. So what are some great games to play with kids?

Gateway games

There is a great choice of games available that are fantastic at introducing kids to board games and are lots of fun. Games to consider should be easy and fun to learn but also easy to teach. A good variety of games will keep the kids interested and keen to have another session.

Forbidden Island is an excellent co-op treasure hunting game that is a perfect gateway game to introduce players to Pandemic. The game is lots of fun and the selection of characters with different abilities and the random layout of the island tiles each game adds to the replayability. The kids get a buzz out of this game as the tension mounts as the waters rise and the island starts to sink.

Storytelling games such as Once Upon A Time are great ways to introduce kids to role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The basic set of D&D is probably the simplest and most fun version of a role playing game for kids of 10+. Other games that encourage using imagination and logical thinking such as Dixit are great family games that the kids will have lots of fun with and they’ll be able to compete with adults on an almost level playing field. My kids will play and teach their friends Dixit and they always have lots of fun, I can hear them humming tunes and telling stories to describe their cards and there’s plenty of laughing and not too much fierce competition.

Micro Games

These are absolutely great games to play with kids and they’ll have a blast as they’re quick and anyone can win.

Welcome to the Dungeon is my kids’ favorite game of the moment. It’s a fast and fun game and you can win by being the boldest and conquering the dungeon or by being safe and letting the others in the game lose by dying in the dungeon. Very easy to learn and teach and lots of fun.

Other micro games that my kids love are Looterz and Love Letter. Both are quick games which I think is a must for kids as they would soon grow bored with a long and heavy game. The artwork of Looterz is cool and the gameplay is simple but lots of fun as you try to gather gold and prevent the others from doing so. Love Letter is easy to learn and teach but playing with kids is a bit more of a random guessing game than the card watching duel of the game with adults.

The future of the hobby

Encouraging kids to play board games ensures there is a good future for the hobby once us old farts fade away and by teaching our kids how to play games there will always be someone willing to play a game with you, even if it is in a care home.

It’s probably for the best not to let your kids join in with you and your friends playing Scythe or Mansions of Madness but by letting them watch for a while and by having your own game nights with them you will keep them happy and on the path to playing these more complex games when they’re a bit older.


Best date night board games [two player games for a night in with your partner]

Best date night board games

When you’re having some quality time with your other half and want to stay in then perhaps a game or two is in order. There are plenty of games out there that are great, and sometimes better, with just two players making the best date night board games. Even if your partner isn’t the board game enthusiast that you are there are a lot of fun games that are not too deep and complicated that make for a fun evening.


The first game i’m going to mention is Jaipur, a game about trading goods in India. It’s very easy to teach and each game lasts about 30 minutes.

At the start of the game, both players are dealt a hand of cards. The cards represent various goods such as spice, silk and leather. Camels cards are used to make the trades.

On your turn you can do one of two things, you can take cards or sell cards, that’s it!  To get goods, you can either take cards from the middle    (the market) and replace them from your hand or take a card from the market and replace it from the deck. If you sell goods, you’ll cash in all the goods of the same type to be replaced with tokens representing money. The value on the money tokens goes down as more and more goods are sold, so you want to sell quickly to get the best price.

There are bonus tokens that add a bit of spice to the game and stop players selling fast to get the best prices.

All in all it’s probably the best trading game I’ve ever played and a perfect two player game for date night. No complex rules, lots of fun and replay value.

Agricola: All Creatures big and small

A two player only worker placement style game based on Agricola. No need to worry about feeding your family or butchering animals as the goal is simply to get as many sheep, pigs, cows and horses on your farm as possible.

Although it sounds simple, it’s very engaging, easy to learn and fun. A great date night game that is sure to become a favorite.


Carcassonne is an area control tile placement game. The goal is to develop the countryside and earn the most points. In Carcassonne players take turns drawing and placing tiles to complete roads, cities, farmland and cloisters. Each player is given a number of “follower” pieces (meeples) and once a player places a tile they may place one of their pieces on one of the tile’s features in order to score points.

An engaging game that takes about an hour to play, again is simple to learn and teach and, although we’re recommending it as a good date night two player game, it can play up to five.

Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle is a two-player, card driven, game simulating the Cold War. The players choose either the USA or USSR. The game starts at the end of World War 2 when Europe is rebuilding after the titanic struggle to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan has been subdued with the most terrifying weapon of the day.

Twilight Struggle is a fast playing game (sometimes analysis paralysis ensues), easy to teach and learn and is not too complex but quite deep. The game board is a world map where players move units and exert influence.

The theme is not for everyone and the game can take 2 hours to play. This two player date night game is definitely not for casual gamers so if your partner is not a serious gamer go for something else. If your partner is a keen board gamer then this is a must!


This game can be played with up to four players but is great with just two. It’s a card game where you play your hand then discard all your cards in to a discard pile then draw a new hand for the next turn. There are lots of expansions for the game which all add a lot of quality and replay-ability. People who love CCG’s will love this game due to the actions on the cards.

Dominion is an amazing, simple game that will have you hooked from the first game.

Exit-The abandoned cabin

The background story- Your car breaks down and you take shelter in an abandoned cabin for the night. When you wake you find the door locked and the windows barred preventing you from escaping. You find a strange disk and a book…

In EXIT: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin, players must crack codes, solve puzzles, collect objects, and earn their freedom bit by bit.

The game can be played by up to 6 players but I recommend a maximum of 3. It’s perfect for two and a great choice for a date night game.

One final note-This is a one shot game as you will cut, tear, fold and write on the game components in order to win.


Enjoy your date night how ever you do it, whether it be a night at the movies or dinner at a restaurant or even, just maybe, a night in with a bottle of wine and a board game.