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10 Cooperative Board Games to Help You Get Closer To Your Family

It shouldn’t take a power outage or thunderstorm to get the family together for a low-key night of tech shutdown fun. At least once a week, families should take a few hours out of their day to spend with one another, no phones, tablets, or television needed.

One great way to do this is by playing a good ole fashioned board game. But you don’t only have to stick with the classics like Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivia Pursuit. There are tons of fun games that put a new twist on old board game concepts or allow you to have fun in entirely new ways. Check out these 10 really cool ones that can be played with the entire family, including the kids. Who knows, you might even get a smirk out of that typically withdrawn teen!

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10 Phone Phever

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OK, so this board game doesn’t entirely let you turn off your mobile devices. But it does integrate them into play in a unique way. The game includes 1,200 questions and challenges in six trivia categories – TV, music, movies, law and politics, history and technology, and everything else. Play with questions in all categories or leave out some if you feel someone might have an unfair advantage (like if dad’s a lawyer, or mom a history professor.) Ideal for 3 or more players and those aged 13 and up, the idea is to use your phones to answer questions and complete challenges as quickly as possible as you move around the game board, which looks like a shopping mall.

The goal: to reach the Phone Phever store before everyone else. Questions include ones like which toy E.T. used to “phone home” in the 1982 film, while challenges incorporate the use of your phone, like seeing who can be the first to play a song that contains a telephone number other than 867-5309. It’s the perfect family game if you have teens and tweens at home who have a hard time putting down their electronic devices.

9 Codenames

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Only have a few minutes before bed to enjoy family game time? This quick social word game is simple yet fun and challenging. The goal is to make contact with 25 agents on your teams, while only knowing their codenames. The two rival spymasters know the real identities and are tasked with giving one-word clues that direct players to multiple words on the board.

Try and guess, but avoid the assassin or it’s game over. The game is ideally played with four players, aged 14 and up, but you can have as many as you like, playing in teams or pairs. And it can be finished in as little as 15 minutes so everyone can get back to their busy lives.

8 Spontuneous The Song Game

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This is the game of choice for any music-loving family and, as the box indicates, no talent is required. Whether you’re tone deaf or can carry a note like Ariana Grande, this is a super fun and highly-rated game where 4-10 players as young as 8 can participate by belting out tunes that fit with trigger words.

Can’t think of one? You’re out! For example, ask players to sing a song that contains the word “cowboy.” Each person sings a part of the song containing at least five words, then it goes on to the next person, and so on until someone is stumped. It’s easy to see how this game can turn into a full-on jam session, and spark memories for old favorite songs.

7 Hedbanz Family Guessing Game

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Ideal for large groups, each person wears a headband and inserts a card inside the holder that sits above their forehead, containing a person, place, or thing. Then, the persons asks yes or no questions to try and figure out what or who they are. No peeking!

The questions can be generic (e.g. am I an animal?) or specific to your family (e.g. did we have this for dinner this week?) But hurry up because the timer is running. It’s a fun and easy game that you can play with scoring, or just as a fun impromptu rainy day activity. And kids as young as 5 can play, too.

6 Trekking: The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

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If you’re looking for something on the educational side, this MENSA award-winning board game sees players compete by traveling around U.S. National Parks, claiming Park Cards, and collecting trail stones.

At each stop, there’s an interesting fact about the park on the card, combined with beautiful imagery that helps bring it to life. From 2-5 people can play the 30-60 minute game, and it’s recommended for kids aged 10 and older.

5 It’s In the Bag!

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It’s sort of a new twist on charades that you play in three rounds. In the first, you must describe a word while avoiding a list of specific words. In the second, you describe it using only one word.

And in the third, it’s time to get up and act it out. Combining active play with traditional board game fun, each team gets a tiny bag of cards and must work together as quickly as possible to run through all of them. The team that guesses the most words correctly wins. This fast-paced game is perfect for competitive families, and great for parties, too.

4 Sequence Game

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As the name implies, the object of this game is to get a required number of sequences of five chips on the game board in a row. To achieve this, you must play a card, and place your chip on the corresponding spot on the board (there are two of each card to choose from, so mull it over.)

It’s simple enough for young kids to participate, yet there’s an element of strategy that adults will enjoy, too. It’s a simple game you can play when you have the extended family over, too, since up to 12 people can participate. So invite grandma and grandpa to join in!

3 Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board

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Families obsessed with everything Disney will appreciate this fun game, one of many Disney-themed board games, which involves some light strategy, but mostly just fun. Ideal for up to six players aged 10 and older, choose which of the Disney villain characters you want to play as, then use his or her special skills to move ahead, while fighting off attacks from other Disney villains.

You can play as Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula, Captian Hook, Queen of Hearts, and Prince John. Incorporate the Fate Deck as well, including characters like Ariel, Aladdin, and Peter Pan, to stop rival villains from reaching their objectives.

2 The Dog Game

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Perfect for dog-loving families, this hilarious game will have Sparky wagging his tail in appreciation, or perhaps confusion. We’ve all wondered what our dogs are really thinking at any given moment.

This game aims to answer that question by asking players to match funny dog pictures with dog thoughts and questions. Select your answer, read them all, then everyone picks their favorite, and the winner gets a doggy treat. The person with the most treats at the end wins. Add a fun spin by snapping a photo of your own pup then trying to find a card to match his thoughts!

1 Aggravation Game Retro Series 1989 Edition

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This list would not be complete without at least one classic board game. And this is one that you might have forgotten about. Launched way back in 1989, this “retro” edition is inspired by the original, which carries the goal of having players get all of their marbles to the “home” position first.

The concept is super simple, so kids of all ages can try. Roll the dice, move a marble the corresponding number of spaces, and do so until all of your marbles are home. But through your journey, you’re encouraged to aggravate other players by disrupting the positions of their marbles, and kicking them back home.

NEXT: 10 Best Harry Potter Board Games, Ranked

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