5 Must-Have Board Games


In an era where video games have all but replaced the classic deck of playing cards, board games are, surprisingly, making a fierce comeback. That’s thanks to creative inventors who aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. They throw typical board game guidelines to the wind—in fact, none of these popular board games actually involve a board. But that won’t keep your friends or family from getting really into a game. If you’re planning a game night at your apartment this week, make sure you have a few of these must-have games:

  1. Apples to Apples. Apples to Apples could, perhaps, be credited with breathing new life into the board-game game. It debuted in the ‘90s just as video and computer games were really beginning to take off, and by the 2000s it had already attracted a loyal following. Today, you have a few different versions of Apples to Apples to choose from. Go with the classic if you’re playing with friends; it’ll give you the chance to test how well you know each other. The concept is simple: one player picks a card with a word on it, and the rest of the circle must throw in their card with a word they believe to be associated to it, no matter how off-color or wacky it might be. The player in charge subjectively picks his favorite—and the winner for that round.
  2. Cards Against Humanity. “A party game for horrible people,” or so reads its own tagline, Cards Against Humanity is essentially Apples to Apples for grown-ups. But not all grown-ups. You have to have a slightly twisted sense of humor to make this game work, since the cards read words like “hipsters” and “a murder most foul.” Instead of picking a card with a word on it, the player in charge selects a question (a black card) and the rest of the circle answers it with the word or phrase of their choice (white cards). Things will definitely get weird. You can download these cards online and print them, or buy a set.
  3. Catch Phrase. Instead of fighting against the current of video games, Catch Phrase went with it. The electronic version brings the fun of the board game to a handheld, battery-powered gadget. Players try to get their teammates to guess whatever word flashes across the screen (without saying the exact term, of course) as quickly as possible, then pass off the Catch Phrase controller before its alarm goes off. Whoever’s holding it when the beeping stops loses that round.
  4. Say Anything. Say Anything is another game that puts the power to pick the winner in the hands of players. Instead of using pre-written cards to answer questions, however, players respond to open-ended questions by simply writing down their answers. Whoever’s turn it is gets to pick his or her favorite, which will certainly lead to some follow-up conversation.
  5. Rollick! Rollick! is essentially charades for team players. If getting up in front of the group to act out Gone with the Wind makes you nervous, try Rollick! instead. You and your teammates will have to work together to get one person (or however many are left over) to guess a certain clue.