Disclosure: this page contains affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, we will receive an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
One of the ways our family enjoys spending time together is by playing board games. It’s our way of finding ways to interact and laugh together. Every year we add games to our collection and with the holiday season right around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the games we played this year. If you’re interested in games from past years, you can check them out here.
Summary: turn-based; 1-5 players, ages 10+; 40 minutes
This game is so far my favorite for 2021. You’re a naturalist, discovering birds in your three habitats. Players collect food and eggs to attract/play birds. The artwork is exquisite and the bird cards have fascinating facts. They *almost* convince me to pick up my binoculars and go bird watching. Player interaction is pretty low, with a shared bird feeder and pool of bird cards.
Summary: casual, turn-based; 2-8 players, ages 8+; 15 minutes
Players take turns playing tiles that advance their token around the board, trying to outlast the other players. Play a tile that connects any player’s token back to the border in order to remove other players from the game. Last one surviving wins! Very fast to play. We usually play several sessions. It says 8+ but the bottom end could be lower, it’s so easy.
Summary: cooperative, trick-taking strategy card game; 2-5 players; ages 10+; 20 minutes
A sequel to The Crew, this game is set in the inhospitable depths of the sea. Players work together to accomplish a broad range of missions. There’s more unpredictability in the missions, but everything else will be familiar. There’s only 35 missions of escalating difficulty, unlike 50 in the first Crew. A full game will likely take multiple sessions, but it’s super easy to pick up where you left off.
Summary: turn-based, highly competitive; 2-6 players; 14+; 45 minutes
You’re collecting fantasy races, gaining control of territory and bonus points, struggling to keep ahead of the other players. Nearly every aspect of this game is competitive: collecting the races, the territory, and the bonus points. But there’s not really space for maliciousness. There are so many ways to score points, making this a pretty complex game to play.
Summary: casual, turn-based tiling game; 2-4 players, 8+; 30 minutes
You’re collecting beautiful tiles to adorn your palace walls. Players score for combos and patterns. The game ends when the first player completes a row of all five tiles. Being super easy to learn and fairly low strategy makes this a great game for all ages.
Summary: puzzle; unlimited players, 10+; 30 minutes
Recommended to me by the Frugal Professor, this puzzle/game has been a lot of fun. Every player looks for a route for the robots to ricochet off walls and the other robots to find its way to collect the token. Once one player finds a route, the other players have one minute to find a more optimal route. Sometimes it takes as few as two or three ricochets, sometimes as many as twenty. It’s a bit of a mind bender, favoring those with spatial awareness. Not every player enjoys a mind game.
Summary: card- and turn-based game; 2-8 players, 8+; 15-45 minutes
Your goal is to race the other players by replacing the 12 cards in front of you until you have lowest total points. The first person to reveal their last card ends the round and low score wins. Played over successive rounds for a complete game. Another easy game that can be played by all ages and ability.
Summary: word-based, party game; 2-12 players, ages 7+; 15 minutes
Get your team to guess the clues with only one-syllable words. Use more than one-syllable and you get bonked in the head and negative points. Expect lots of raucous laughter. From the designer of Exploding Kittens.
We love playing games! I look forward to my oldest being home from college in a few weeks and playing games with her and everyone else.
What games do you like to play? Have you found any games this year that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!