My husband is a board game fanatic. He enjoys the camaraderie and skill that board games evoke, finding them challenging while relaxing- depending on the game. And he has amassed quite the collection, with a variety of games that range from family-friendly to adults only.
While having a four-year-old inhibits the ability to have a successful ongoing family game night, we do have a selection of games that prove enjoyable for us, and these games will only continue to offer quality playtime as he gets older.
If you’re looking for new and engaging games for the whole family, we’ve rounded up our favorites for you to enjoy your next family game night!
I’ve linked the games on Board Game Geek, a great website that offers an in-depth description and review of any and all board games on the market.
If you’re looking to purchase any of these games, they offer a marketplace selling gently used copies, or we suggest you first check with your FLGS- friendly local game store, which sadly, are a dying breed.
Ticket to Ride & Ticket to Ride First Journey
Easy to learn and fun to play, Ticket to Ride is an enjoyable way to learn geography and map reading while making connections. The goal is to claim railway routes in North America using various types of train cards collected during play, earning more points for longer routes. Destination Tickets add another element for earning points with goal-oriented tasks associated with them- connecting specific cities, making the longest continuous route, and more. Whichever player gains the most points wins.
Ticket to Ride First Journey is essentially the same, just scaled down with more colorful and dynamic graphics for younger players.
Instead of a points-oriented goal, this game is won by completing six tickets. Our son, who is 4 years old, has a blast playing this game and enjoyed its easy instructions.
Sushi Go & Sushi Go Party
A super-fast and fun card game, Sushi Go teaches hand management and set collection.
Your goal is to grab the best sushi combinations as they whiz by you at the restaurant and score the most points. Opportunities abound for collecting points thanks to different scoring combinations that will challenge you to think on your chopsticks!
If you have a big family or are having friends over, upgrade to Sushi Go Party for more fun with a variety of scoring options.
Forbidden Island is an awesome cooperative game, where players must work together to solve a problem, i.e. getting safely off a sinking island!
This game is not only beautifully made but will entice players to think strategically to get off the island. Tiles are placed and the island begins to sink as cards are drawn and pawns are moved to collect treasures. As the game gets more difficult, players will have to make decisions on how to get off the island safely and altogether.
This game is great with two players as it is with four players!
7 Wonders Duel
A perfect two-player game, 7 Wonders Duel is a card drafting, strategy game that teaches civilization-building. With three ways to win, this game offers players a challenging way to construct the 7 wonders of the world while gaining resources and advancing their scientific and military development.
With multiple awards and honors, this is a robust game in a small box that offers hours of entertainment.
Considered a grown-up version of Battleship, Sonar is a great game for older kids and adults to play that uses deduction and line drawing to hunt your opponent’s submarine underwater.
Two teams will compete against each other, mapping actions, managing movements, and hunting the other team’s submarines through trial and error and deduction. The team to deal two points of damage to their opponent instantly wins the game.