If you’re looking for some quality time, whether it’s with your kids, your partner, or a group of friends, board games are a great way to get together. Good thing the folks at Mission: Board Games love to chat about board games. It’s fun to browse the shelves there, but there are so many games to choose from, it can be overwhelming! We had employees at the store recommend their favorites to us for lots of different scenarios.
Ticket to Ride
I like to call Ticket to Ride a “new classic.” It’s similar to your favorites growing up — Monopoly, Clue, Life — with classic game design but updated (and, honestly, does anyone really like Monopoly?). It’s also great for a lot of age groups, recommended for ages 8 and up, and can be played with 2-5 people. The goal is to lay as many of your tracks across the US as possible and also try to achieve secret routes that your competitors don’t know about to earn points. If you’ve tired of the original, there are even more versions in the series, such as versions for Europe, Asia, and the Heart of Africa.
Wingspan is popular for a lot of reasons. Players say it has great replay value, is easy to learn and teach how to play, and also has a lot of strategic depth. However, the most common praise for this game is its beauty — it has gorgeous illustrations. The game places you as a bird enthusiast looking to attract birds to your nature preserves. Wingspan can be played with 1-5 people and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.
Fans of Settlers of Catan will enjoy this game, which centers around building habitats for wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. The game involves laying puzzle-like hexagonal tiles and drafting tokens to build up the terrain and populate it with wildlife. You can play solo or with up to 4 people, ages 10 and up.
The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
If you haven’t heard of cooperative games, you’re in for a treat. While most classic board games are competitive, cooperative games actually have you working with your companions to beat the game together. The Crew is a great example of this. It’s a trick-taking card game, so it has a small footprint (great for traveling). The game centers around astronauts exploring an unknown planet, and you win after each player conquers their own individualized mission. It’s a quick game, with 20-minute gameplay for 2-5 players, ages 10 and up.
If you were obsessed with the PC game Roller Coaster Tycoon growing up, Tenpenny Parks is like that, but in a board game. The goal of the game is to develop land and create the best theme park, and you get points for generating different emotions and for the most people visiting. The game can be played with 1-4 people, ages 14 and up.
Splendor is another game that’s quickly becoming a new classic. Players are merchants during the Renaissance era collecting chips, acquiring gems, and developing their cards. The goal is to earn the most prestige points, which can be gained by wealth or even visits from nobles. The game can be played with 2-4 people, takes around 30 minutes, and is best for ages 10 and up.