If you're tired of seeing your teenage children scatter into their separate corners with their mobile devices, breaking out the board games is a great way to bring the family together. The following games are well-liked by teenagers and fun enough to get that phone out of their hands.
Fun Teenage-Friendly Board Games
To make it on this list, the game was either named by a teenager interviewed by LoveToKnow as a favorite board game or it has been chosen by parenting or gaming publications who quizzed teenagers on their favorites.
When LoveToKnow interviewed teenagers about their favorite board games, Catan was an immediate reply. The game's fun strategy and group dynamics make it addicting. The game has a wide variety of expansions, such as Seafarers and Cities & Knights, and it has other modified versions such as A Game of Thrones and Star Trek that teenagers enjoy.
- Pros: The game is simple, no players are eliminated, and it has an adventurous theme of exploration and strategy.
- Cons: As some teenage players have noted, they don't like how so many things are decided by the rolling of dice, which sometimes makes success more about luck than strategy.
The object of the game is to develop an uninhabited island before the other players do. You build roads and settlements, upgrade the settlements into cities, and barter with other players for needed resources.
Bears vs. Babies
LoveToKnow also found that teens named Bears vs. Babies as a favorite. Its zany, laugh-out-loud illustrations and themes make it irresistible.
- Pros: It is an incredibly creative, original board game made by the makers of the extremely popular card game Exploding Kittens.
- Cons: The weirdness might be a little too much for some teenagers depending on their temperament or game preference. (For example, one of the "babies" is Scary Hairy Baby, which involves a strangely gross drawing of a baby with chest and back hair.)
The goal is to build the weirdest, most powerful monsters who will eat the evil babies before they form their baby armies and attack. It's bears vs. babies, but these bears and babies have the silliest, funniest features and weapons you can imagine. You collect cards from the decks on the gameboard to build your monster bears until the babies are provoked enough to attack.
Star Wars Rebellion
- Pros: It goes incredibly deep with its detail of the Star Wars characters and motifs from the films, which makes it a dream come true for Star Wars enthusiasts.
- Cons: It really is epic in scope (perhaps a little too epic for some people). The game can take around three hours to finish. This is sometimes too much of a commitment for teenagers and families who just want a fun game before bedtime.
Players must choose sides at the beginning of the game, either with the Rebel Alliance or with the Galactic Empire. You play multiple rounds to fight against your opponent until their base is conquered. Each round has three strategic stages. It is easily the most complicated game on this list, but teenagers who love long, strategic games will be drawn to this one.
For something a bit lighter, there's the fun game Moods. Named one of the best board games for teens by Sunshine and Hurricanes (a parenting blog that asked teens about their favorite games), Moods teaches teens how to express their emotions and accurately interpret the emotions of others. You draw cards and must read the lines using the secret mood you rolled with the dice. Other players guess which mood you're using to read the line on the card.
- Pros: It gives players a chance to test their acting chops as they attempt to portray the mood they roll with their dice. This often leads to hilarious results.
- Cons: This game is not for introverts. It requires players who aren't too shy to get a little theatrical.
In fact, these teenage girls liked the game so much they filmed themselves playing it and explaining how it works.
Board Games Never Die
Although much has been written about the downsides of technology and the way it pulls teenagers away from families, there is always an easy remedy: board games. Fortunately, board games are still as popular as ever among teenagers. In fact, many teenagers look forward to family game night even if it means ditching their phone for an hour or two.