Best Board Games

Board Games

What is a Board Game?

1. Pay Day Board Game (Editions may vary)

Pay Day is a board game originally made by Parker Brothers (now a subsidiary of Hasbro) in 1975. It was invented by Paul J. Gruen of West Newbury, Massachusetts, United States, one of the era’s top board game designers. It was Gruen’s most successful game, outselling Monopoly in its first production year. Pay Day is currently marketed by Winning Moves.

Pay Day is played on a one-month calendar with 31 days. During the game, players will have to deal with various bills and expenses, but will also have the opportunity to make deals on property and earn money. At the end of each month, players are paid their salary (the same for each player) and must then pay off all outstanding bills, taking out a loan if necessary. Most money (or least debt) wins after a certain number of months decided by the players (3 months usually takes 30 minutes to finish).

The object is to be the player who has the most cash and savings at the end of the game. The length of the game is decided by the players. With four players, a 3 month game takes about an hour and a 6 month game takes about 2 hours.

Each player starts with $325 (or one $100 bill, two $50’s, three $20’s, four $10’s, and five $5’s). One player is selected to go first. Players roll the die and advances their playing piece from 1 to 6 spaces as indicated on the die. The player follows the instructions shown on the calendar space on the game board. There are 31 days in a Pay Day month.

The player who finishes the game with the most money (cash plus savings or cash minus loans) after all players clearing the set number of months before the play starts is the winner. If all players are “in the negative” (all have loans exceeding their cash), then whoever is the least “in the negative” wins.

2. Qwirkle Board Game

Featuring a massive amount of in-game choices, including three tiles each of thirty-six possible color-symbol combinations, Qwirkle is the perfect game to hone player’s tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. The rules of the game are basic: simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points for doing so. The ability to build complex combinations will keep children interested and engaged, and challenge them mentally. Qwirkle is playable from early ages up, allowing young children and older individuals alike to develop and hone their spacial recognition, planning, and problem solving skills. Great for family game night! Ages 6 and up, 2 to 4 players. Please note: Product contains small parts. Not for children under 3 years old.

Board GamesMix, Match, Score, and Win
Qwirkle consists of 108 wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players attempt to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The simple setup makes this an instant winner for younger kids, while adults will enjoy strategizing to win.

How to Play
A typical game of Qwirkle lasts about 45 minutes–longer when you’re first learning how to play–and players will likely catch on to the rules in no time at all. The game can be set up anywhere, although a large tabletop is best to accommodate the generous number of tiles. The only other thing you’ll need is a pencil and paper to keep track of everyone’s point count.

Each tile has an illustration on the back (circle, eight-point star, four-point star, square, clover, or diamond). Each of these symbols appears in six different colors (red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple). In total, the game has three tiles each of the 36 possible color-symbol combinations. To help make sure you don’t lose any tiles in between games, Qwirkle comes with a drawstring storage pouch.

Straightforward, Easy-to-Follow Rules
As in Scrabble, the game starts with players drawing their own “hand” of six tiles. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. And so it goes until the pieces make up a giant grid. One rule adults will likely need to reiterate to little ones is that duplicate tiles don’t count. For instance, if someone has three diamonds, and two of them are green, they can only count one of those diamonds for points.

As play continues and the stakes get higher, younger kids may need some help deciding where to build to maximize their points. Our testers found that the length of the game may make younger kids squirmy halfway through. To keep them engaged, parents can always distribute half the number of tiles to start. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied.

What’s in the Box
108 wooden tiles, cloth drawstring bag, and instruction booklet.

3. Quelf Jr Board Game

Quelf Jr is the unpredictable game that gives RANDOM a new name. Just like the hilarious adult version, players use their creativity and imagination to answer crazy questions and perform silly stunts. It’s as simple as picking up a card and doing what it tells you to do. Can you say this sentence 3X fast? “I’ll take six salty scoops of super slurpy soup.” But watch out. Mr. Sourface, the cranky old man will slow you down. The good news: Ms. Goody Gumdrops will help you move ahead. The first player to make it to the finish space wins the game. Play the totally silly, nonsensical game of Quelf Jr….the game that constantly challenges players to create a fun and spontaneous atmosphere.

Quelf immediately appealed to 5, 9, and 11 year old testers and adults, who also found it charming. It encourages interaction and is not easy to win. The board seems small at first, but random cards give the game has healthy playing span. Quelf balances physical, mental, coordination and comical tasks.

The average game lasts 15 minutes for 3 persons playing. Quelf is most suited for ages 5-9, so long as each player can read and play independently. Older children became familiar with the cards after playing 3-4 times, and the game lost its luster and, in some games, the children who could read tired of the game, while the younger one found it consistently fun but needed help to play.

The board design is colorful and welcoming, and playing pieces are sturdy. The random and gently punishing humor of Mr. Sourface cards elicited groans and laughter. The Miss Goody Gumdrops cards appear to be rewards, but each may or may not be valuable to the player.

This game is a certainly fun, and it would be strongly recommended for vacations, rainy days, family events, and similar settings.

4. Peaceable Kingdom Stone Soup Award Winning Cooperative Matching Game for Kids

This Peaceable Kingdom game is 100% green: it’s printed with soy-based inks on FSC paper and includes only with recycled plastics. Games that are good for our planet and good for our kids!

Since 1983 play has been the heart and soul of Peaceable Kingdom. Silly play, special play, wholehearted play! We create experiences to help kids play well together, so they can play well in the world. Our games and gifts connect kids and families, encourage learning and self-expression and let imaginations soar. And if a piece of your Peaceable Kingdom game or gift gets lost in all that fun, we will gladly send you a replacement piece – just contact us directly with your need!

Stone Soup – The Yummy Memory Matching Game with Spice! Winner of multiple awards including MajorFun!, Stone Soup is the game drawn from the classic tale of cooperation. In this simple game, players work together to “cook” a soup by making matches of ingredients. Match all the the ingredients before the fire under the kettle goes out and everyone wins! Game includes 1 game board, 24 soup cards, 10 Fire Out cards, 1 Magic Stone card, story and instructions for game play.

Children will learn:
– Memory Skills
– Social Development
– Helping Others
– Cooperation

When play comes from the heart and feeds the soul, that’s Peaceable Kingdom!


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