Bravo to me, and to you, if you have had teens to deal with in lockdown! It’s not an easy task but we’ve got through the worst of it I believe. Saying that, we all know that teens are notoriously difficult to please, but stereotypes of them living robotic, passionless lives while glued to their phone screens are often exaggerated. In reality, teenagers feel deeply about their passions and interests, and they just need a little nudging to take those interests offline and into the real world. This is where I say play board games with them! Board games are fun for the whole family but home in on the kind that will interest your teen.
These teen board games get them to indulge in their passions, stave off boredom, and have a good time. Some are better for groups of friends, for the next time you have a gaggle of teens in your basement who seem at a loss for what to do with themselves. Others are better as family activities, where you can involve yourselves and even little siblings. All of them are meant to be fun, but some also sneak in learning components. Either way, you’ll never hear them complaining about boredom again.
Is your teen a smartphone addict? If so, then Phone Phever will be right up their street. All you need is a smartphone and internet access (no apps required) to complete the challenges and answer the questions as you move around the board.
The aim of this multi-award winning game is to reach the Phone Phever shop at the end of the Mall. Along the way you will need to answer Phun Phact questions, separate Phact from Phiction and complete Phone Phever challenges such as typing with your nose. Ideal for a party up to 8 players can work together or in teams to be the first to enter the store and win the game.
Spontuneous The Song Game
A hilarious game of singing, or shouting, that requires no talent on the part of the players – just a knowledge of music and quick reactions. Players take it in turns to be the Tunesmith who announces a word and starts the timer. The race is on to sing (or shout) at least five words from a song containing that word. If the timer runs out the Tunesmith wins!
One of the best party board games the recommended number of players is between 4 and 10 and any genre of song is permitted meaning even grandparents and younger siblings can take part. Now all those times you heard a word and started humming a song can be put to good use by being Spontuneous.
5 Second Rule
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun as is shown by “5 second rule”. All you have to do is name three things in five seconds.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? But when the timer’s running there’s no knowing what you might come out with as you scramble to shout out the answer before the clock runs out.
Game starts when a player takes a topic card. The topics should pose no problem – for example name 3 breeds of dog – but with the timer making a distracting “zoooop” noise to let you know how little time is left it’s not as simple as it seems, especially with the other players waiting for you to slip up!
Taboo Party Game
A classic game brought up to date to appeal to a new generation of board game lovers. The game seems simple enough – guess the word being described by the current player before the timer runs out, but if the player mentions a “taboo” word the electronic buzzer will sound and they’ll lose their turn. Teams take it in turns to guess the word at the top of the card and the team with the most cards wins.
As it is played in teams Taboo is a great game for a large group of teens, but needs just 4 people to make it work, while the generous pack of 450 cards ensures there’s plenty of variety of topics.
Rollick Charades Game
Described by some reviewers as “Charades on steroids”, whilst others “still can’t stop laughing” Rollick brings an old favorite up-to-date and adding an intriguing twist to the proceedings as it does so.
Instead of one player acting out a clue for the team to guess the whole team have to act out the clue for a single player, with just 60 seconds to get the message across and absolutely no speaking allowed.
Ideal for bigger parties and get-togethers the game comes with 750 cards aimed at all ages from 8 years upwards and between 6 and 20 people, ensuring that everyone can join in the fun.
The Awkward Storyteller Party Game
A game intended for older teens, The Awkward Storyteller sees a new narrative brought to life by the efforts of the players, and just a little dash of silliness. You need the ability to think quickly as your story unfolds based on the actions of your friends.
The Storyteller selects a story card and reads it to the rest of the group. This is the first line of a whole new story. Each of the other players then takes it in turn to ask the Storyteller a question, the answer to which must start with the letter on the card or include the word shown. As a final twist the Storyteller has just ten seconds to respond and players can challenge answers to change the way the story is going.
What Do You Meme?
Think you’re the best at memes? One of our favorite new board games gives you the chance to try out your memeing skills and pit your wits against your friends. Intended for older teenagers the manufacturers suggest a lower age limit of 17. Because there are some things you just can’t unsee.
Each round a new photo card is chosen and a different player has a turn at being the Judge. The remaining players then choose the best caption from the seven in their hand – with the completed meme the Judge likes best winning that round. With 75 photo cards and 360 captions you can be sure that this game offers years of enjoyment, and unsettling insights into your friend’s sense of humor.
Families are traditionally the bane of every teenager’s existence and this game, created by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, gives them the chance to live some crazy scenarios and invent even crazier relatives to make them feel better about their real family.
Relative Insanity is a card matching game. Each round one player reads out a set up card and the other players choose a punch line to create the craziest family imaginable! For example ‘While walking past my sister’s bedroom, I heard her say…’ …. ‘It’s not my fault! It just popped out!” Whoever comes up with the funniest punch line is awarded the point, and the winner (and craziest relation) is the one with the most points at the end of the game.
Tension Word Game
If you like fun game that get you thinking against the clock you’ll love Tension. The aim of the game is to think of as many words on a given subject as you can. You have 60 seconds in which to shout them out and find the 10 words printed on the card.
The game requires a minimum of four players as you need to play in teams of two or more. Each word you find on the card will score you one point and move you along the scoring track. Reach the end of the track first and your team is the winner.
Subjects range from “Foods that are naughty, but nice” to “Annoying habits” and when you’re pushed for time anything could come out of your mouth! This hilarious and fast-paced game is ideal for teens who just want to have a bit of a laugh with their mates.
Codenames Card Game
Budding spies will have lots of fun puzzling out the identities of their team’s secret agents in this fun word association teens board game.
Codenames requires teamwork and logic to master. Each clue consists of a word associated with some of the codenames, and the number of agents it refers to – for example “Hot 2” if “Dog” and “Fire” are codenames. The game is ideal for mixed ages as teams can be picked to keep a level playing field.
Players divide into two teams and appoint a spymaster. The spymaster knows the identities of their own secret agents and can give clues to guide the rest of the team to work out which codename applies to which agent. But beware – make contact with the assassin and you’re dead!
Charades Classic Game
Sometimes the old games are the best and Charades is a classic game that never fails to please. This version has been brought up to date and is designed for players over the age of 16.
Like all versions of Charades the aim of the game is to guess the hidden word or phrase known only to a chosen team member. To make things a little bit more interesting some challenges involve the traditional mimes, whilst others require drawing, modelling, describing verbally, singing, or reversing the order.
Successful guesses move your team around the board and the winner is the first to reach the end.
Yahtzee Classic Dice Game
For years considered amongst the best strategy board games, this classic game of strategy and luck has been reissued in a new format with “Casino cool” dice and a shaker that doubles up as a storage box for traveling.
The game is simple you have 13 rounds and up to three rolls on any turn. You have to fill in the boxes on the score sheet and be the person with the highest total at the end. Cunning and cool are needed in equal parts as you decide whether to stick with what you’ve got or risk it all for a Yahtzee.
A deceptively simple game that is bound to keep your teens occupied for hours.
Scrabble is amongst one of the longest running popular pick so improve your vocabulary and show off your knowledge of obscure two-letter words in style with this latest version of an old classic. This surely is one of those intellectual board games for teenagers that they will either love or hate!
Frustration (14 points) and fun in equal measure describe playing Scrabble. Some of the biggest frustrations are not watching your opponents get the letters you need, but rather having to read the board upside-down and the tendency of the tiles to slip around every time someone gets up to get a drink.
This deluxe version addresses these issues by introducing a rotating board, so everyone has the chance to read the board the right way up, and fitting the board surface with a non-slip grid to ensure that once laid the tiles stay put. Wooden tiles and a neat carry case are the finishing details on this well-thought out reboot.
Monopoly Game of Thrones Edition
This version of Monopoly combines all the ruthlessness of Daenerys with the joy of spending pretend wealth. Play as a Dragon Egg, White Walker, Three-eyed Raven, Iron Throne, Crown or Direwolf as you make your way around Westeros buying up properties, and building villages and keeps with Gold Dragons. The Community Chest has been renamed The Iron Throne while the Chance Cards are known as Valar Morghulis. And indeed in Monopoly it is the last player alive who wins the game.
An ideal gift for a Game of Thrones obsessed teen, or any one else, mourning the end of the series.
Would you survive the end of the world? In Pandemic you can put your apocalypse skills to the test as you, and your team, journey round the world fighting outbreaks of four deadly diseases and searching for the cure before its too late.
A co-operative game for 2-4 players each team member has different strengths and weaknesses that can help, or hinder the efforts of the others. The aim of the game is to work together to discover the cures for the diseases and eradicate them from the world. Outbreaks and epidemics threaten to intensify a disease at every turn, which could lead to the extinction of the human race, while research stations make movement between disaster areas faster leading to better containment of hotspots.
Great games don’t come any better than this for encouraging teamwork as either everyone wins or the pandemic takes over.