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Best Games Rated Board Game 12+ and Younger

Dobble

Release Date: 10/03/2011, updated in 2019

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Dobble (also called Spot It!) is a card game where you race other players to claim cards by spotting symbols. Each of the colourful cards has eight symbols, one of which always matches a symbol of another card. You race to spot the match, call it out...

Carcassonne

Release Date: 27/06/2007

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Bag, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Carcassonne is a strategy game where you lay tiles to create a medieval landscape of farms, rivers and cities. Each new tile must match the roads, rivers, farms and cities of those around it. As you place it you can claim one of these elements that...

Kingdomino

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Figures and Placeables

Kingdomino is a kingdom-building game where you place domino tiles to match terrain types and score points. As you play, you build a territory in a grid that requires careful consideration of where dominoes are placed to maximise points. What makes this...

Ancestree

Release Date: 01/01/2017

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Placeables, Score Board and Tokens

Ancestree is a collecting and sequencing game where you compete to build the strongest family tree. You select and link tiles, building your family person by person, scoring points for marriages, wealth and continuous generations. It is a strategic game...

Deep Sea Adventure

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Dice and Placeables

Deep Sea Adventure is a pocket-sized strategy game where you dive into the sea to bring back treasure. It’s unusual because although you compete with other players for treasure you share the same limited air supply.

Ice Cool (Series)

Release Date: 30/05/2016

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards and Figures

Ice Cool, and the follow-up Ice Cool 2, is an action game where you flick plastic Penguins around cardboard school rooms to collect points and avoid the Catcher. Like a cross between Subbuteo and Cluedo, you slide, jump and barrel your penguin through...

Klask

Release Date: 01/01/2013

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Board, Figures and Tokens

Klask is an action board game that combines aspects of table football and air hockey. Your aim is to use your under-the-table-magnet-controlled player to push the ball into the opponent's goal. The twist is that you lose points if you inadvertently push...

Santorini

Release Date: 01/01/2003, updated in 2020

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards and Placeables

Santorini is a strategy game where you place buildings on a Greek island in an effort to get your character to the top. This creates a chess-like three-dimensional competitive puzzle that changes as each player adds pieces to the village. It's unusual...

Sushi Go!

Release Date: 01/09/2014

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Sushi Go! is a sushi-themed card game where you collect combinations of cards to complete sushi dishes and score points. The different dishes require a varying number of cards and related scores based on the complexity of the recipe. But there's a...

Wavelength

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Wavelength is a communication guessing game where you try and read your teammate's minds. Unlike other guessing games the answers aren't right or wrong but on a sliding scale that changes each round. There's a clever wheel that secretly deals with the...

Last Defense!

Release Date: 01/01/2020

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards, Dice, Figures and Tokens

Last Defense! is a game about saving a city from alien invasion in just twenty minutes. You play by rolling dice and moving to stop the invading monsters, free Scientists from the rubble and discover Tools. It's a simple combination of cooperative...

Splendor

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Splendor is a trading-up strategy game where you play a global trader during the European Renaissance. Nobles once content with large castles and fur robes, now seek dark sapphires and glittering diamonds. You must balance accruing currency or investing...

Ticket To Ride (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2004, updated in 2020

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards and Figures

Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed strategy board game where players compete to earn the most points by collecting cards, placing trains and completing journeys. It is an easy-to-learn game that can be gently competitive and has become a popular classic.

Colt Express

Release Date: 01/01/2014, updated in 2019

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards, Figures and Tokens

Colt Express is a traversal game where you move a bandit along an express train in the Old West to collect the most loot. Each player pre-selects moves, attacks and pick-ups that then play out together. Unusually, play becomes about planning, predicting...

Escape: The Curse of the Temple

Release Date: 01/01/2012, updated in 2020

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards, Dice, Figures and Tokens

Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a cooperative traversal game where teams try and escape an ancient temple before it collapses. You repeatedly roll dice to move from room to room, adding new tiles to the catacombs as you go. Play is against the...

MicroMacro: Crime City

Release Date: 01/01/2020, updated in 2021

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Board and Cards

MicroMacro: Crime City is a puzzle brain game where you are solving crimes by discovering clues hidden in black and white pictures. You solve a series of cases that relate to different large pictures you lay out on the table between all the players. The...

Bang!

Release Date: 01/01/2002, updated in 2017

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Bang! is a card game set in the Wild West where you take on different missions with a range of characters. You try and keep your target secret while building your weapon and defence cards. It's a game of bluffing where it's easier to shoot your...

Team 3

Release Date: 09/06/2019

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Team 3 is a cooperative puzzle game where three players work to build structures from Tetris-style pieces. The target build is on a card that only the Architect player can see, and this player can't speak. The Builder player can touch the pieces but...

Saboteur

Release Date: 01/01/2004

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Saboteur is a path-laying strategy game where the cards are your resource in a team effort to get the dwarves to their gold. However, one player is a secret traitor who must try and foil the dwarves without them realising it. It is a game about working...

The Mind

Release Date: 01/01/2018

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards

The Mind is a cooperative sequence card game with a telepathic twist. Each card has a single number on it. Your task is to play them in order, the lowest first. However, you are not allowed to communicate physically or verbally to coordinate who plays...

Codenames

Release Date: 01/01/2015

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Codenames is a team communication game where you play two competing spy networks. One player in each team gives clues to help them find the cards that are their agents without hitting the assassin. It's a novel combination of push-your-luck, clue-giving...

Perudo

Release Date: 01/01/1989, updated in 1992

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Dice

Perudo (Liars Dice) is a dice game of pushing your luck and communication. Each player rolls five dice under a cup but can only see their own before making a bid on how many dice of a certain number there are in total. It's clever because you can't...

Blokus

Release Date: 01/01/2000

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Placeables

Blokus is a strategy game where you compete to have the fewest unplayed tiles. You add Tetris-shaped tiles to a shared board that is split into 400 small squares. It is a game about choosing to play the right tile at the right moment, be too slow to get...

Cockroach Poker Royal

Release Date: 01/01/2012

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Cockroach Poker Royal is a bluffing, push-your-luck card game where you try and avoid ending up with a set of four matching animal cards. You pass cards to other players and tell them what it is, they guess if you are telling the truth and have to keep...

Coup

Release Date: 01/01/2012

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Coup is a communication game where you fight to become the only player left with political influence. You play by taking on the roles of five different powerful (uniquely skilled) government officials to become the last politician standing. It is a game...

Exploding Kittens

Release Date: 01/01/2015

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Exploding Kittens is a push-your-luck card game like Russian Roulette but with adorable kittens rather than bullets. You take turns drawing cards until you get the Exploding Kitten card and lose. The twist is the various comical and cunning ways you can...

Hey, That's My Fish!

Release Date: 01/01/2003

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: Figures and Tokens

Hey, That's My Fish! is a traversal game where you are penguins racing to catch the most fish. You move around the board of hexagons in straight lines, but as you pick up your fish you also destroy the ice. As the board deteriorates you fight to get the...

Rhino Hero

Release Date: 01/01/2012, updated in 2018

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: Cards, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Rhino Hero is an action game where players use cards to build a vertical tower. The aim is to place all your cards without knocking the tower down. What starts as a fun and tactile challenge quickly turns into a battle of nerves, as you place cards that...

The Crew: The Quest For Planet Nine

Release Date: 13/03/2020

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards, Score Board and Tokens

The Crew: The Quest For Planet Nine is a cooperative trick-making card game. You play as a set of astronauts completing missions in a space adventure. Unlike competitive trick-making games like Bridge, Euchre or Hearts, here you work together to ensure...

Azul

Release Date: 01/01/2017

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Azul is a tile-laying collection and sequencing game where you help the king decorate their palace with Portuguese tiles. You aim to gain tiles on your game card that form patterns to score the most points. What makes it unique is its balance between...

Flamme Rouge

Release Date: 01/01/2016

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards and Figures

Flamme Rouge is a quick and tactical bike racing game. You control a team of two riders around the puzzle piece track to get to the finish first. The trick is using your endurance and sprinter rider cards to tactically use slipstream efficiently.

Noggin

Release Date: 06/05/2022

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Noggin is a communication trivia game where you compete to give the fastest correct answers to word puzzles. You play by laying cards and shouting out answers. It is a game of quick thinking, creative answering and doing your best to avoid saying...

Qwirkle

Release Date: 01/01/2006

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Placeables

Qwirkle is an abstract sequencing puzzle game where you compete to create rows of matching (or series of) colours and shapes. You score more points by matching multiple directions but need to be careful not to leave points for other players to...

Sheriff of Nottingham

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Bag, Cards, Score Board and Tokens

Sheriff of Nottingham is a stealth communication game about bringing goods into Nottingham to sell for profit. Smugglers decide what to bring in their pouch and whether to declare it. The Sherrif decides whether to challenge them and risk compensation...

Tsuro

Release Date: 01/01/2005

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Board, Figures and Placeables

Tsuro is a strategic tile-laying traversal game where the goal is to keep your piece on the board longer than anyone else. You play by adding intricate winding Path tiles to a board to move pieces along the path that you create. It is a game of cat and...

Dixit

Release Date: 01/01/2008

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Board, Cards, Figures and Tokens

Dixit is a communication game where you guess which Picture cards are related to someone's clue. Each round you each pick a card to match the Storyteller player's clue and then try and guess which one was the Storyteller's. It's clever because of the...

Uno

Release Date: 01/01/1971

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Uno is a sequencing game where you race to get rid of your cards. You play by adding cards of the same number or colour to a shared pile. It's fast-paced, has simple rules and has almost universal appeal. The fun really starts when you invent your own...

Bohnanza

Release Date: 01/01/1997

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Bohnanza is a trading card game where you plant and harvest bean cards to earn coins. The twist is that you can't reorder the cards in your hand and because you have to plant the first card in your hand each go, trading isn't just about what you swap...

Bananagrams

Release Date: 01/01/2006

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Bag and Tokens

Bananagrams is a brain game where you arrange and rearrange letters to make words. You play by taking Letter tiles from a shared pile and organising them into a crossword grid. It is a game of speed, quick adaptation and that glorious feeling of joy...

Catan

Release Date: 01/01/1995, updated in 2013

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Bag, Cards, Dice, Figures, Placeables, Score Board and Tokens

Catan is a strategy game set on an uninhabited island where you accumulate, spend and trade resources to build the biggest kingdom. Players must compete for space, resources and ultimately for ten victory points to be crowned the winner. What starts as...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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