Best Family Board Games of 2018 – Article

I was going to do a ‘you should buy this for Christmas’ post, but time has gotten away from me, so consider this more of a family games that released this year that you should try to play – and / or buy – in 2019.

Ok let’s kick things off! These are the games I’ve found pretty awesome (so far) for 2018 and games that I think would work great for family / beginner play.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

The Mind card game best family games 2018

The Mind

THE MIND:
First up I’m including The Mind card game. Whilst reviews have been polarising, I definitely fall onto the ‘try it’ side of the fence. It’s an interesting game – or perhaps experience – and can be a LOT of fun, if you’re playing with the right person or people. I’ve had games of this that have come right down to the wire and led to fits of laughter when some poor person screwed up a great run. It’s also a very small box, so great for travel.

Can you get into The Mind of the other player(s)? Simple to learn, teach and play!

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 15 Min
Age: 8+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

The River board game best family games 2018

The River

THE RIVER:
The River from games publisher Days of Wonder is next. Days of Wonder are – usually – known for quality board games, only releasing one game or so a year. This year it was light worker / tile placement game The River. It’s gorgeous to look at and has gameplay that really anyone can understand and get into. This would be a great introductory worker placement game for families. It also has the lovely little touch of the ‘wild’ pieces being wild turkeys, little turkey meeples, who doesn’t love that.

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 30-45 Min
Age: 8+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

luxor board game from queen game

Luxor

LUXOR:
Another pretty light family game I really enjoyed this year was Luxor from Queen Games. Take on the role of a treasure hunter (tomb robber!!) heading into an Egyptian pyramid to try and beat the other players to the best loot! Be the first to make it to the sarcophagi in the centre and you’ll get extra points!

A thematically sound game with a really nice look and randomised setup, Luxor is easy to learn, teach and play. There’s also some cool little rules that really make this a neat game that’s clever, but not too taxing. Definitely worth some consideration.

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 45 Min
Age: 8+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

gizmos board game

Gizmos

GIZMOS:
Next up we’ve got Gizmos! Marbles! Who doesn’t love a game with marbles? Gizmos is a tableau building game in which players use energy spheres (marbles) to power certain gizmos. Build up your gizmos by adding new attachments (cards) that trigger chain reactions, making each gizmo more powerful.

It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t for the most part, you pay for new gizmos with energy, add them to certain areas, reap the rewards. The marbles give this one nice table presence and if you’ve played Potion Explosion to death, well Gizmos might be right up your alley.

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 40–50 Min
Age: 14+ (I would suggest lower, 10+)


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

drop it game

Drop It

DROP IT:
Not a board game per se, Drop It from KOSMOS games is an action / dexterity game in which players drop various shaped / coloured pieces into a vertical / transparent play area. When they land you don’t want them touching certain other pieces. You have to try and land in specific areas to accrue points, oh and it’s a real blast to play!

As with the other games I’ve chosen for this list, Drop It is super easy to learn, teach and play. A definite suggestion for a great family game from this year. Oh and it looks cool on the table. I’ve taken it to numerous game events and people were always intrigued as to what it was and then wanted a turn… then another… then another.

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 20 Min
Age: 8+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

Welcome To... board game

Welcome To…

WELCOME TO…:
A roll and write game next, well in this case I guess it’s more of a card and write. Welcome To… from Bluecocker Games is a fantastic little city building title that plays 1-100 players, it’s true!! This little game has seen me pondering over my little town for many many hours this year and I’ve loved it every time. Such a simple premise, but so cleverly executed.

Flip some cards, choose what house numbers you’ll use, fill it in on your little pad in the best way to score. Try and get multipliers for parks, pools and other things. Most points wins! It’s a real classy little title, with more coming in 2019 I believe. Definitely recommend Welcome To… if you haven’t yet played it!

Specifics:
1-100 Players
Playing Time: 25 Min
Age: 10+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

Tags board game - Best Family Games 2018

TAGS

TAGS:
Like trivia games? TAGS might just be for you. A clever board with large black or white marbles on each spot (do I have a thing for marble games? Maybe!) is the centrepiece of TAGS. Two sides of the board feature topics and letters, cross referencing them leads you to a particular marble. Each turn you have a mere 15 seconds to call out as many matching as you can, remove the appropriate marbles and put them in your little bowl for scoring. The game continues until all marbles are gone or no one can think of any for the remaining topics.

That’s it, it’s super easy, looks cool, features a mechanic I’ve not seen before and is so easy anyone can play it. It also leads to a few laughs when players really reach for silly answers.

Specifics:
2-4 Players
Playing Time: 20 – 40 Min (I’d say 40 is a stretch)
Age: 10+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

Reef board game - Best Family Board Games of 2018

Reef

Reef:
The first thing you’ll notice about Reef is its table presence, large brightly colored plastic pieces! As with the other games I’ve chosen for this list, Reef is simple to learn, teach and play (though for transparency, the first time I played it I fluffed a rule.. oops!).

In Reef players play ‘the Reef’, building up different colored corals in an effort to score the most points. It’s essentially a pattern matching game, you get certain pieces to try and match specific patterns on your player board to try and score the most points. It sounds simple and as I said, it is, however that doesn’t mean there’s no depth, trying to link things in such a way that you’ll score massively is a lot of fun.

Specifics:
2-4 Players
Playing Time: 40-35 Min
Age: 8+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

Thanos Rising board game

Thanos Rising

THANOS RISING:
My number one – surprise – family game for this year is probably Thanos Rising from USAopoly. I really wasn’t expecting a lot from this one and purely bought it because it was on sale and I’m a Marvel fan. Thanos Rising might seem like a silly IP money grab, well it is USAopoly, but hold up! This box contains something that’s actually pretty fun for the entire family. Stop Thanos getting his infinity stones and build an awesome Marvel team as you go.

Not only does Thanos Rising look great, it plays great too. You can even paint the Thanos figure by following my handy Thanos repaint tutorial if you want to give Thanos Rising a little upgrade from the terrible color he comes in (the games one downside really, and it’s not that big of a deal).

Specifics:
2–4 Players
Playing Time: 60-90 Min
Age: 10+


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​

Obviously I didn’t play EVERY game that released in 2018, but of those I did, these were my family favorites (good entry level games). What family level games have you really enjoyed this year? Were they a surprise to you, or were you expecting to enjoy them? Hit the comments and let us know. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays folks! We’re on a break until the new year, so see you again in 2019 for more amazing board gaming goodness.

Author: GirlyGamer

Old school nerd. Tabletop RPG'er from way back, board gaming superfan, video gamer, Nerf modder, science-fiction TV fangirl and all things geek! Catch me on YouTube/Nerfenstein

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. Don’t get The Mind not even a game imho. The rest of your choices are pretty good though. Gizmos can be a total brain burner if you’re used to deck builder combos.

    This year I’m looking forward to Tidal Blades, not sure it a family game, but looking good.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *