I’ve always been the game person in our marriage. I would dream of sitting around, next to a crackling fire, playing checkers or cards instead of listening to the TV blare. The hubby, on the other hand, was more than happy to watch TV and movies during our spare time. It’s never been an issue, just a difference, and we definitely watched a lot more TV than we did play games.

Fast forward to this fall and my TV-loving hubby became a fan of games. And when I say a fan, I mean we had to institute a game buying ban in January! They’ve been a ton of fun though, playing together, playing with friends, and playing with family. My family, like me, is into games, but most of our play has been limited to Phase 10 and Uno. He definitely helped kick our game night up a notch! So, here are five games that have made their way into our home and our game nights!

  1. Settlers of Catan

I don’t know what I always expected of Catan, but I didn’t expect it to be fun. My first go was, admittedly, a bit painful. And, also a bit painful, I’ve yet to even come close to winning. But it’s been a ton of fun learning how to play and my family has adored it.

  1. King of Tokyo

This has been my personal favorite. I guess I like simple games and even though I’ve never really played Yahtzee, I’m now convinced I would love it. King of Tokyo is basically Yahtzee with monsters and power-up cards. And for such a simple game, its play guarantees a lot of laughter and groans!

  1. Pandemic

I’m starting to get the hang of Pandemic. I listened and watched as my siblings learned to play, wondering how in the world it could be enjoyable. But the more they played, the more impressed I became at the strategy and critical thinking I was seeing and hearing. As a cooperative game, teamwork also abounds. If they can learn the rules, I think this game is a winner for kids!

  1. Dixit

The one thing I kept hearing about Dixit was that the illustrations were beautiful. Man, were they right! I want to frame these cards and display them in my child’s room one day. Whimsical and lovely. The game itself is kind of like Apples to Apples with images, so there’s a lot of room for creativity and abstract thinking.

  1. Forbidden Island

Similar to Pandemic in the way it’s played, Forbidden Island is another cooperative game that encourages teamwork. It’s a bit less strategic than Pandemic, making it a little easier to learn while still playing within a similar framework. Its compadre, Forbidden Desert is another fun cooperative game that’s fun and relatively easy for kiddos to pick up on.

Game night has become a lot more fun with these games in our arsenal! I encourage you to think outside the box a bit and try out something new with your friends and family!