As far as I can remember, good old fashioned family fun is always associated with games – board games in particular. We have a stack of games stored in our shelves always ready whenever we’re in the mood for one – Chess, Snakes & Ladders, Cluedo, Monopoly, Dominoes, Mad, Uno, Life, Scrabble, Jenga, Taboo, Games of the Generals and even some of the local knock offs.
Board Games are traditionally tabletop games that require two or more players. Many of these games are played with little need for decision-making or any other skills. Usually games that are made for kids are decided only by pure luck. And then there are some that challenges your skills mentally or physically, or would demand a bit of cooperation and diplomacy. Whichever, these games are all designed to give players with several minutes or even hours and hours of fun.
Classical tabletop and board games are categorized into four types:
- Race Games (Snakes & Ladders, Sorry!)
- Space Games (Tic Tac Toe)
- Chase Games (Dominoes)
- Displacement Games (Chess)
Modern board games have incorporated cards and added the element of role playing like Dungeons & Dragon and Cluedo.
Here’s a list of the most enduring and popular board games that you can still play today:
Chess, Checkers and Backgammon
Chess, Checkers and Backgammon are three of the oldest tabletop board games that are still very much popular everywhere and have been adapted to many forms from offline to online. Records of these games dates back to as early as the 15th Century.
These are two-player games which requires strategy – a war game if you may, that is widely played even through international tournaments. Chess is also considered globally as a mind sport which made popular the names of Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen, two of the world’s best chess player ever.
Some brands carry Chess, Checkers and Backgammon as a 3-in-1 board game. These games also has a lot of online versions. CLICK HERE to play Master Chess online.
Life or The Game of Life is one of the earliest games carried by the Milton Bradley company. Originally known as The Checkered Game of Life back in 1860, this board game simulates a person’s travel through life from early adulthood to retirement. However, the modern version of the game which we are using right now, only came out 100 years later in 1960. And like many popular games, this has many variations as well.
Monopoly is said to be the most commercially successful board game in history. Created in 1935 by the Parker Brothers, Monopoly is an economic-themed multi-player board game with the aim of driving your opponents to bankruptcy by buying off assets and charging other players with rent. Those with the most money, wins!
This very popular game did not actually get instant success compared to the other board games. In fact, it has been rejected by major manufacturers when it was introduced and it was only in 1952 when Macy’s started to carry the game in their stores that the word game became popular in the US. Scrabble is played by 2 to 4 players with the objective of getting the most points by strategically placing letters on square tiles to form words. Another variation of this word game that became popular in the 70s and 80s is Boggle.
SNAKES AND LADDERS
This classic children’s board game was originally a game developed in India. It was brought to England in the 1890s as a morality dice race board game that rewards good deeds and punish the bad. Milton Bradley created its own version in the US in 1943 renaming it to Chutes and Ladders and used a spinner rather than a die. Other versions and imitations of this game can be found all over the world.
Cluedo or Clue is basically a murder mystery game that challenges players to guess who is the murder, what was the murder weapon and where it happened by going through tiles and listing down clues by using deductive reasoning. The game was originally called Murder and was created in 1943 in the United Kingdom by an English musician, Anthony Pratt. If you’re familiar with the names Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum and Mrs. Peacock, then you’d probably heard of this game before. It’s actually one of my favorites.
Pictionary is charade word-guessing as a board game. But instead of using body languages you use drawings. This board game was first published in 1985 and has become very popular in the 90s after being sold to Hasbro. The Mattel company is the recent owner of the game which bought the publishing rights from Hasbro in 2001. Pictionary will have a TV Game Show version that will be hosted by Jerry O’Connell on Fox TV this year, beginning Fall.
GAME OF THE GENERALS
Created in the Philippines in 1970, Game of the Generals simulates armies at war trying to outsmart, deceive, outflank, outmaneuver, overpower and destroy each other. The objective is to bring your flag to the opponents end or decimate your opponent’s entire army and its flag. It’s a 2-player game that requires a neutral arbiter who will check who’s piece overpowered who after being locked in a challenge. I love this game because it incorporates almost everything that other board games have – it’s a simple and fun displacement type of guessing game that requires a lot of strategy, a sharp memory and also an element of chance.
All the games I’ve mentioned are still pretty much available everywhere, and some of them, you can also find online. One of the sites I follow where you can find online versions of classic games and board games is the math and educational website calculators.org – they have a gaming section that used to focus on math games initially and then expanded to include a variety of other fun games including board games.
The site features games like checkers, uno, ludo, chutes and ladders, chess, dominoes, and many other games you may or may not heard of. Here are some of the games that I’ve tried playing at the calculators.org website:
Whether you play these games offline or online, classic board games will never ever go out of style.
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