Best Board Games of 2013

2. November, 2013 Life No comments

Though video games and other high-tech toys are more popular than ever, classic tabletop board games are experiencing a renaissance as well. A longtime favorite on family game nights, the best of the bunch continue to grow in popularity and production values as well. Looking for the top new board game picks available today? Here are several of the choicest selections of both new and classic experiences worth adding to your collection:

Monopoly by Hasbro – No list of board games would not be complete without Monopoly, so what better game to kick things off? Though there is a good chance you’ve played Monopoly before, there is an ever-growing list of variations to discover, and we don’t just mean themed versions based on a variety of pop culture staples such as Nintendo, Marvel Comics, The Lord of the Rings, and Dr. Who. Monopoly Empire, for example, introduces a tower to fill with billboards featuring such brands as McDonald’s, eBay, and Xbox, while Monopoly Millionaire challenges you to reach one million dollars first. Other variations include the app-enhanced Monopoly Zapped and the streamlined gameplay of Monopoly Electronic Banking.

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG by Goodman Games – Rather than placing you in the role of hero, this role playing game allows you to take on a darker and more sinister persona, from reavers to cutpurses, heathen slayers, or even those creepy warlocks who guard secrets long since forgotten. Dungeon Crawl Classics promises fast, old-school style gameplay with modern rules which govern your use of sword and sorcery as you seek to claim the treasure that is so rightfully yours to take.

Pass the Popcorn by Mattel  –  How well do you know your movies? That is the question posed as you’re challenged to beat your friends to the punch as you race to guess the names of various films based on such clues as actors, characters, story snippets, or even memorable quotes. A 50-card booster pack adds numerous films from the ’80s and ’90s, and the first player to complete their category tiles is declared the Best Actor… er, winner.

Family Business by Mayfair Games – If you have under an hour you need to kill, this resource management card game will make sure your boredom sleeps with the fishes. Up to six mobsters compete to become the last family standing as you put out hits on other players and use a little bit of the ol’ “family influence” to save your own, all in the name of survival. After all, pushing up daisies isn’t good for business, capiche?

Descent: Journeys in The Dark Second Edition Board Game by Fantasy Flight Games – This revision of the popular dungeon-delving board game brings more of what you love with rules that have been streamlined, new heroes and monsters, class-based gameplay, and more. One player takes on the role of the evil overlord, while up to four others must stand together to overcome his/her treachery.

Words With Friends by Hasbro – First, there was the crossword board game Scrabble from Hasbro. Then came the online and mobile game Words With Friends by Zynga. Rather than fight, the two instead came together to produce the Words With Friends board game. Use your seven-letter tiles to form new words across the board vertically and horizontally until there are no more tiles left to determine a winner. The first person to run out gets to add the points of the tiles from the remaining players to their own score. For those familiar with Scrabble‘s board layout, Words With Friends features a different setup, providing some variety.

Age of Cthulhu: Death in Luxor by Goodman Games – The year is 1924, and your team of archaeologists has arrived in Egypt to investigate the legends of a great and evil terror which Ramesses III sacrificed his very empire to seal away beneath the sands of Luxor for all time. With death now roaming the city’s streets once again, it is up to you to succeed where even the mighty Pharaoh himself once failed in this globe-spanning adventure for horror role-playing game favorite Call of Cthulhu.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition by Fantasy Flight Games – Based on the fantasy novels of George R. R. Martin and the hit HBO television series which it inspired, this game calls for three to six people to rise up from one of the six Great Houses to converge and form armies to march across the Westeros map as you attempt to forge new alliances with your opponents, all in the name of taking control of this ever-changing political struggle. All the while, detailed artwork ensures you’ll be able to enjoy the series’ most memorable elements as you strive to shift the balance of power in your favor.

Blokus by Mattel – A strategic board game which has won the Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity, the goal of Blokus is to fit all of your Tetris-like game pieces onto the game board. Of course, it’s not as simple as setting your pieces down and calling it a day; certain rules must be adhered to, such as the requirement of a new piece touching a played piece of the same color, but only at the corners. Other players may attempt to thwart your progress by laying pieces that can block your moves, just as you can do to them, leading to a game which is easy to understand, yet pits your wits against those of your family and friends.


Cards Against Humanity –  Self-described as “a party game for horrible people,” this smash-hit game for adults may bring out a surprising side of your friends and family. As you go around the group, each player draws a card from the deck featuring a question or a sentence with one or more words left blank. The remaining players must then choose from the cards in their hand a word they think provides the funniest answer, and you’ll be amazed by how abstract-yet-fitting or surprisingly on-target some of the answers can be. Just be sure to perform due diligence and research the game further before purchasing it, as it may not be right for everyone or every situation.

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Scott Steinberg

High-tech parenting and small business expert Scott Steinberg is the creator of the bestselling The Modern Parent’s Guide and Business Expert’s Guidebook series. The CEO of business consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, he’s among today’s top strategic consultants, keynote speakers and expert witnesses.

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