Before Buying a Board Game

When choosing what type of board game to buy, you just have to base your choices on two things: age and game types.

Age is always a factor when buying a board game. Not only it ensures the safety of the players, especially kids, it also ensures that the game is appropriate for the skill level of the players. Age recommendations found printed on the box of a board game are a good reference whenever you are choosing which one to buy. But in some cases, especially if you are buying for the family with varied skill levels and interests, limiting your choices to one genre is the better way to go.

Game Types

With thousands of game titles to choose from, choosing a game that is appropriate to you and your family can be let’s just say, overwhelming. To shorten your list or to give you an idea, here are some board games according to their types:

Classic. The best thing about classic games is that everybody knows them. When we say classic, we are talking about games that have survived through the years and still remain popular even though several new games have been released after them. Some of these are Chess, Monopoly, Othello, Sorry!, Pictionary, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi, Battleship, Clue, Boggle, Scrabble, Checkers and Trivial Pursuit. Although some of these games have complicated rules, everyone seems to understand at least a little of how they are played.

Roll and move games. Basically, roll and move games revolve on the concept of luck. Chutes and Ladders, Mouse Trap, Candyland, Ludo, Space Hop, Don’t Wake Daddy, Hey Pa! There’s a Goat on the Roof, and Cooties are some of the games that belong to this category. Luck is introduced by a number of ways such as the use of die (or dice), cards and spinners. These are called randomizers as they try to create randomness that even out the playing field no matter how diverse the players’ skills and ages are. Roll and move games are often associated with children’s games.

Strategy games. Opposite to the roll and move games are the strategy games that rely solely on the strategy of the players in order to win. The most popular game that belongs to this category is Chess. Strategy games, however, can be multi-faceted. Meaning, while they involve substantial amount of strategy in the game, luck can also become a factor.

Multi-faceted games are games that combine different types of skills (aside from what is mentioned above). Tikal, Taj Mahal, Risk, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan and Scotland Yard are some of these.

Word games. Classic games such as Boggle and Scrabble belong to this category. Other word games include, Yahtzee, Typo, Apples to Apples, Scrabble and Scrabble Jr., Upwords and Balderdash. They combine both entertainment and learning that will surely appeal to all ages.

Board games can also be categorized as:

party games (cranium, pictionary, taboo)
two-player abstract strategy games (Go, checkers, Arimaa)
multi-player elimination games (Axis and Allies, Monopoly, Hotels)
multi-player non-elimination games (Puerto Rico, Figure It Out, Cluedo)
children’s games (Hi Ho! Cherry-O, roll and move games mentioned above)
trivia games (Trivial Pursuit)
wargames (Advance Squad Leaders, Risk)

Note: Some games belong to more than one category.