Board Games Based on Books

Colorful Books

Whether you love to read or love to play board games, board games based on books can be a challenging and fun way to enjoy both pastimes. There are games available based on a wide variety of books from children's stories to adult mysteries.

The Story is Only Part of the Fun

A game that is based on a book may, or may not, follow the story line of the book. Some games are based on the characters of the book, but have little resemblance to the story line of the book. For example, several educational games based on Dr. Seuss books don't include the Dr. Seuss rhymes, but they include the characters that children love from the books.

Some board game designers have closely followed the story line of the book, using clues and characters from the books are key parts of the board game.

Fun Can Be Educational

Board games based on books can be an excellent way to get a student interested in books. A pre-teen may not initially be interested in reading Lord of the Rings, but he may change his mind after a few enchanting hours of game play with one of the Lord of the Rings games.

Players of all ages tend to enjoy board games that accent the various sites and sounds of foreign countries as depicted in adventure, romance or mystery books. The clues of the game, combined with the photography on the game board, might entice a player to continue the fun by reading the book.

Selecting the Best Game

Book-based games should be chosen primarily based on the interests and ages of the players, not on whether the players are acquainted with the book itself. A small child doesn't need to have Goodnight Moon read to them every night in order to enjoy the Goodnight Moon game. In the same way, adult players don't have to be mystery buffs in order to enjoy role-playing a mystery story with a group of their friends.

Examples of Board Games Based On Books

For Very Young Players

  • Moon - The game is based on the classic children's book by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. No reading is required, so this is a good choice for very young children. For one to four players, ages 30 months to 6 years.
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC Board Game - Characters from the Dr. Seuss books help kids learn about the letters of the alphabet. For two to four players, ages 3 and up.
  • Green Eggs and Ham Board Game - The game is based on the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. Matching colored cards with spaces on the board make this game easy to learn and play. The fun rhymes from the book encourage reading by beginning readers. For two to four players, ages 4 and up.

For Children

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - This Harry Potter game has six challenges, each with its own game and rules. The games can be played in order or individually. For two to four players, ages 8 and up.
  • Potter Mystery at Hogwarts - J.K. Rowling's characters move through the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to try and determine the answer to the mystery in this Clue-like game. For two to four players, ages 8 and up.

For Teens and Adults

  • The Da Vinci Code - This strategy game is based on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Clues, European landmarks, mysteries, secret messages and an instructional DVD make this game fun, whether the players have read the book or not. For two to six adult players.
  • The Pillars of the Earth - This strategy game is based on Ken Follett's best-selling novel about building a cathedral in 12th century England. Players use their resources to overcome the challenges with which they are faced. For two to four adult players.
  • Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation - This intense 30-minute fantasy game includes the characters of Tolkien's famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Players control the forces and people of Middle Earth. For two adult players.
  • Pride and Prejudice - This trivia game is based on Jane Austen's classic novel. Players select one of the couples from the novel and race through the countryside to the church to get married. For two to four adult players.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Dead Duke - This role-playing game involves players in finding clues and then participating in the court trial. For two to ten adult players.
Board Games Based on Books