Bandit Blog

Top 10 Family Board Games

Top 10 Family Board Games

Family game night doesn't have to consist of another four hour game of Monopoly, or shooting each other in the face with pie.

The Bandit team as put together a list of the top 10 games everybody in the family will enjoy, yes, that includes you mom and dad!

Keep some (or all!) of these great games in that game cupboard for those rainy days, snow days, or lockdown days and keep everyone entertained.

10. New York 1901

New York 1901 Board Game Setup Gameplay

Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 30-60 Min
Suggested Ages 8+
Designer(s) Chénier La Salle
Publisher Blue Orange Games

Relive the beginning of modern New York City, the historic times that made it what it is today. Build higher and bigger skyscrapers on Lower Manhattan's iconic streets. Construct one of four legendary skyscrapers — the Park Row, the Singer, the Metropolitan Life, or the majestic Woolworth — and mark one of them the crown jewel of your real estate empire!

In New York 1901, players construct skyscrapers on a map of New York's Financial District. Players draw location cards from a card's display and then use 2-3 of those cards to set Tetris-shaped building tiles on the board. First, they create bronze level buildings. Later in the game buildings may be replaced by silver level and gold level buildings.

This game plays in 30-60 minutes, it is rated for kids 8 and up and is playable with 2-4 players.

Buy New York 1901 online now!

9. Downforce

Downforce Board Game Setup Gameplay

Number of Players 2-6
Playtime 20-40 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Rob Daviau, Justin D. Jacobson, Wolfgang Kramer
Publisher Restoration Games

Some high ranking bids on million-dollar race cars. Frantic bets written in secret while cars are still racing around the track. And to the winner, the largest purse of all. In the motor racing world, the difference between victory and defeat can be only a moment: a steep turn, tires screaming and rolling out smoke, and the downforce, pushing you down in your seat, keeping you on the track as you maneuverer your move inside to pull ahead.

Downforce is a card, bidding, racing, and betting game for 2-6 players, from 10 year up, although many advise this could be from 8 years up. Players must first bid to purchase the six cars in the race, then by playing cards in their hand to race around the track. However, the majority of cards also move opponents' cars when played. So timing those cards is key to victory (for instance, when your opponents are blocked and unable to advance forward!) At set intervals in the game, players write down secret bets on who they believe will win the race (and not necessarily their own car(s)!). The player with the most money from their prize money, winning bets, and remaining bank wins.

The game also includes variable player powers in the form of cards to give replayability. This is a gorgeous game and it is easy to play. Special attention was put into colors, the layout of the cards, design of the cars, details on the board, and more.  Also worth noting is that the board is double sided, to give two race track options.

Buy Downforce online now!

8. Point Salad

Point Salad Card Game Setup Gameplay


Number of Players 2-6
Playtime 15-30 Min
Suggested Ages 8+
Designer(s) Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich
Publisher AEG

Point Salad is a quick and fun card drafting game for the whole family. It plays in 15-30 minutes and is suitable for age 8 and up, with the option of 2-6 players. With over a 100 ways to earn points, players have a variety of strategies with each game of Point Salad being unique!

Cards come in six types of veggies, and the reverse of each card has different scoring methods. So for example, one scoring option might be to award 2 points for every carrot you hold, but deduct a point for every onion. By drafting a variety of veggies and point cards that work for your strategy, you can gather up the most points and win.

Buy Point Salad online now!

7. Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures

Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures Deckbuilding Game Gameplay Setup

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 45-90 Min
Suggested Ages 8+
Designer(s) Prospero Hall, Kami Mandell
Publisher The Op | usaopoly

Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures has players as the famous toys from the film — Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and Rex — these toys need to work together to overcome hazards and ensure an happily-ever-after ending.  This is a cooperative game, meaning players work as a team instead of competing against each other.  The game plays over 45-90 minutes for aged 8 plus and allows 2-5 players to play.

Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures offers six boxes of cards, each representing a different movie from the treasured property. With each box unlocked, the content from the noted movie is introduced to the game, adding additional characters like Hamm and Mr. Pricklepants to the mix, as well as obstacles and antagonists to battle, including Sid, Prospector Pete, and others.

Buy Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures online now!

6. Tiny Towns

Tiny Towns Board Game Gameplay Setup

Number of Players 1-6
Playtime 45-60 Min
Suggested Ages 14+
Designer(s) Peter McPherson
Publisher AEG

In Tiny Towns you are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest where smaller creatures of the woods have made a civilization hidden from predators. This new land is small and the resources are few, so you take what you can and never turn down building materials. Strategically plan and create a prosperous town, and don't let it fill up with wasted resources! The player who constructs the most thriving tiny town wins!

In Tiny Towns, your town is shown on a 4x4 grid where you place resource cubes in certain layouts to create buildings. Each building earns victory points in a different way. When no one can place any more resources or create buildings, the game finishes, and any squares without a building are worth -1 points. The player with the most points wins!  

Tiny Towns is an award winning game for 1-6 players (which is great that it also offers a solo option!) It plays in 45-60 minutes and is rated 14+ (although many suggest 10+ is acceptable).

Buy Tiny Towns online now!

5. Carcassonne

Carcassonne Board Game Setup Gameplay

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 30-45 Min
Suggested Ages 7+
Designer(s) Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Publisher Z-MAN Games

Carcassonne is a tile-placing game where players select and play a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile may feature a city, a cloister, a road, grassland or some combination of multiple, it must be placed beside tiles that have already been played, in a way that cities connect to cities, roads to roads, etc. After placed their tile, players decide to set one of their meeples the areas of the tile: on the city as a knight, on a cloister as a monk, on the road as a robber, or on the grass as a farmer. When the area is finished, the meeple is given back to it's owner and points are earned.

Carcassonne gives players decisions such as: "Is it worth placing my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to finish my city, or place it near my opponents to give them a hard time completing their project?" With players placing only one tile and choosing to place one meeple on it, turns are quick.

The great thing about Carcassonne is that you can play strategically or you can dim down the strategy and play a light tile playing game (although this usually only works when all players are on the same page!)  It also have TONS of expansions to add to the main game bringing new pieces and creating new ways to play.  This game is for 2-5 players, it places in 30-45 minutes and is great for players 7 and up.

Buy Carcassonne online now!

4. Horrified

Horrified Board Game Gameplay Setup

Number of Players 1-5
Playtime 60 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Prospero Hall
Publisher Ravensburger

The stakes are high. Imagine living in a place so miserable that it's not plagued by one, two, or even three monsters — but seven of the terrifying fiends!

In this game, you come face to face with all seven as you work together to clear the town of the maniacal or misunderstood creatures…before it's too late.

Horrified comes with some pretty high-quality sculpted miniatures (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon). It has cooperative gameplay with players working together against the monsters with varying levels of difficulty. With each monster being unique, they need different tactics and strategies to be defeated. The game is innovative, simple-to-learn, plays in an hour and is good for 1-5 players.

Buy Horrified online now!

3. Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island & Forbidden Sky

Forbidden Island Board Game Setup

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 30-60 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Matt Leacock
Publisher Gamewright

Forbidden Island is the original "forbidden" series of games, it's an cooperative board game with some stunning artwork. Players take turns moving their pawns on the 'island', that is constructed by arranging the tiles before play starts. As the game plays out, island tiles begin sinking, becoming unavailable, and the pace ramps up. Players strategize to prevent the island from sinking, and trying to collect treasures and items. When the water level rises, increasingly difficult- sacrifices need to be made.

Offering several levels of difficulty, multiple characters to choose from (each with a unique ability), several optional for island formats and game variations, giving Forbidden Island lots of replay value. The game can be played with as few as two players and up to four. More players brings a quicker and more difficult game, but the extra assistance can offer all the difference. This is a fun game, for players 10+, although tricky for players of any age, and plays in about 30 minutes.

Buy Forbidden Island now!

Forbidden Desert is the sequel to Forbidden Island, where players act as brave adventurers throwing caution to the wind, surviving the blistering heat and blustering sand to secure a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city. It offers cooperative gameplay similar to Forbidden Islandbut is a new game with an innovative set of mechanisms like an ever-shifting board, individual resource management, and a unique way to locating the flying machine parts.

Buy Forbidden Desert online now!

Forbidden Sky is the third game in the series, taking you to new heights with multiple novel challenges, such as collectively planning a terrain using limited information and building a real electrical circuit.

In Forbidden Sky, soar to extreme heights in the electrifying cooperative adventure. Work as a team to investigate an unknown platform that floats in the middle of a savage storm. Connect a circuit of cables to launch a secret rocket — and do it before you are struck by lightning or blown off into the depths below. One wrong move and you all could be grounded…permanently!

Buy Forbidden Sky online now!

2. Splendor

Splendor Board Game Setup

Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 30 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Marc André
Publisher Space Cowboys

A game of card development and chip-collecting. Players are merchants of the Renaissance attempting to purchase gem mines, transportation, shops—all to gain the most points. If you're rich enough, you may even get a visit from a noble, which of course will increase your prestige even more.

Splendor is a fun game for 2-4 players, it plays in 30 Minutes and is suitable for players aged 10+.  

On a turn, you can (1) collect chips (gems), (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you either take three different types of chips or two chips of the same type. If you purchase a card, you pay the price in chips and place it in your playing area. To reserve a card—ensuring you get it, or, keeping your opponents from getting it—you place it face down in front of you for later; this costs you a turn, but you get gold in the form of a joker chip, which can be used as any gem.

All of the cards you purchase increases your wealth, giving you a permanent gem bonus for future buys; some cards also gives you prestige points. To win the game, you must secure 15 prestige points before your opponents.

Buy Splendor online now!

1. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride Board Game Gameplay Setup

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 30-60 Min
Suggested Ages 8+
Designer(s) Alan R. Moon
Publisher Days of Wonder

This award winning game is our top recommendation for a family game.  It plays with 2-5 players with around 30-60 minutes of game time, and it is good for players 8 and up.  This game as so so many expansions, stand alone versions and a Ticket to Ride JR for younger players.

Offering elegant and simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in under 15 minutes. Players obtain cards of different types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the route, the more points they gain. Points also come when you fulfill Destination Tickets – objective cards that connect various cities; and also to the player who creates the longest continuous route.

Buy Ticket to Ride online now!

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