So I love me a board game. Everyone that knows me either associates me with bringing a book everywhere I go, or bringing a board game everywhere I go. (Namely, pazazz) but we’ll get to that.
Whenever I meet up with my old uni friends, we always play board games together and it’s always just the best time. To be honest, whenever I meet up with anyone, we usually end up playing a game of some kind and over the years … I’ve built up quite a collection. It’s always really nice to spend the evening with my partner playing board games and drinking gin.
I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my favourite games! Also … because there’s just too many amazing games, there’s also a list of special mentions at the bottom!
Board games can be quite expensive, but charity shops are your best friend. You can find SUCH good games in charity shops for like £2. Going round charity shops to look for books and board games is honestly my favourite hobby tbh. 😂
Without further ado … here’s a list of my top 9 favourite board and card games!
Players: 2 – 4 (but you can go in teams so really as many as you want)
Rules/How to play: Each player has a board with all the letters of the alphabet. The aim is to complete your board first by answering questions and putting little tiles on each letter.
This is my all time favourite game. Like ever. It’s not really available to purchase widely anymore, but you can find it on Ebay or similar. This came into my life because my lovely friends Kat and Hannah found it in a charity shop! A year or so later, with everyone in my life hearing me rave about this game and trying to find it, my mum bought it for me and surprised me at Christmas and oh man. Best. Present. Ever.
Players: 2 – 6 (although, again, you could team up)
Rules/How to play: Everyone has a piece of paper. There are 12 cards that are filled with 12 different topics. You roll a letter dice, or choose a letter, (e.g., J) and then you get 1 minute to try and think of something for each topic that begins with the letter J. Points are awarded for unique answers so you really have to rack you brain.
It’s similar to Pazazz in that it’s a letter based game where you have to think of things that fit into the category on the question card.
After my best friend Amy (over at Amy’s Bookshelf) found this in a charity shop, I fell in love with it. However, it was Amy’s game, and when we moved out of our flat together, I was heartbroken as I would miss Amy, but more importantly, I would miss Scattergories. 💁♀️ Thank god I found it in a charity shop for like £2.50.
Players: 2 – 6
Rules/How to play: The aim is to eat all of your ramen bowls. You do this by filling up your bowls with flavours, veggies, and proteins. It’s one of those ones that sounds more complicated than it actually is, but it’s so much fun working out what flavours to include to get the most points.
Warning: don’t play this game if you’re hungry.
This game has only recently come into my life – I bought it for my partner Ben, as we both love games and we both love ramen (a winning combo). And it’s just such a fun game. Last time I played this with my uni pals, we got so hungry, we ended up making ramen for tea.
Players: 2 – 4
Rules/How to play: The whole point of this game is to board all your passengers onto your plane. However, there’s no dice. You have 5 passengers, and you can move by picking up your passengers and dropping them into the next squares of the airport.
There’s more to it than that, of course, and it makes more sense once you start playing. (How many times am I gonna say this?)
Everyone rolls their eyes when I suggest we play Planes because they’re sick of it 😂. Ben bought me this a few years ago, and I’m still obsessed tbh. If you know me, you know I love planes and airports and this game fills that niche for me very nicely. Honestly, I think it was actually designed for me.
Players: 2 – 4
Rules/How to play: The idea is that you are a pirate captain, and you are recruiting crew members for your ship. It’s a pick up, put down, card game, where you try and collect sets of colours of cards that are your ‘crew’. The more crew cards you get, the less spare, useless, cards you end up with. And the aim is to get the lowest amount of points (which is 0)!
Shoutout to my fave gal Georgie for introducing me, and the rest of our uni group, to Corsari. I’d never heard of it before, and it’s such a reliable and fun game that only takes 10-15 minutes.
Players: 2 – 8
Rules/How to play: This is similar to scrabble, except without a board. Everyone picks tiles from the banangram bag and creates their own grid of words. When all the tiles are gone, the first person to complete their grid wins!
Oh banagrams. You are incredible. This is definitely less niche, as everyone loves a bit of Banagrams, right? Much of my uni days were filled with banangrams and we liked to do ‘themed rounds’ around a topic of our choice, because ya know, we’re nerds. I also have very fond mems of playing this game on airport floors and at Leakycon 💛
Players: 2 – 4 (or up to 8 with the expansion pack)
Rules/How to play: The aim is to get rid of all your cards. It’s basically a number stacking game, where you have to stack the same coloured cards from 1-12 as fast as possible. Everyone has access to everyone’s piles. It’s absolute chaos and just the best time.
My lovely friend Nicki introduced the wonder that is Dutch Blitz into my life whilst at uni. I don’t actually own this game, but I get to play it every few months when we all meet up! It’s not for the faint-hearted and if you don’t enjoy fast paced games, then probably give this one a miss! But it has a very special place in my fast paced heart.
Players: 2 – 5 (or more with expansion packs)
Rules/How to play: According to the box, this is “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions”. They’re not wrong. The aim of this game is to survive. There are exploding kittens out to get you and you have to defuse and avoid them in order to win the game.
This game is hilarious – the originality of the cards really make this game excellent – alongside the fact that it’s very addictive. This was also the first game that introduced me to the wonder that is Big Potato Games. They basically just make an iconic selection of games and it’s amazing.
Players: 2 – 6
Rules/How to play: The aim is to get rid of your stockpile of cards. You do this by taking it in turns, and playing your cards in numerical order so that you can eventually play a card from your stock pile. It’s so chill, and slow paced, and a great one to just relax and play.
Ahhhh Skip-Bo! Whenever Ben and I go on holiday, we like to bring back a souvenir card/board game. We know what we’re about. Last year, when we visited Nice, we brought back Skip-Bo and it was literally the best purchase ever. It’s by the same people that make UNO, and I honestly think Skip-Bo takes the edge. It’s THAT good.
Special mentions (because there are too many 5 STAR games in this world)
- Avocado Smash
- Obama Llama
- Settlers of Catan
- Word on the Street
And that’s my list! Have you played any of these games? Do you have any game recommendations? Please leave them below as I am always on the look out for more games!