17 Popular Board Games For Adults and Teens: Holiday Ideas 2020

Board games are back! They have become surprisingly trendy with our screen-obsessed teens and young adults and they make a great college care package or holiday gift. Playing board games is a perfect bonding activity and will provide your teen with a reprieve from their schoolwork and from a computer screen.

Game playing will also exercise their brains and teach them to compete and collaborate but, most of all, playing games is just plain old fun. We gathered the best board games because family game night is a great activity to span all age groups, including younger children, with any number of players.

Here are the popular board games for adults and teens.

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17 popular board games

Cards Against Humanity

(Card Game, 3 to 20+ Players)

Cards Against Humanity is not for the whole family but can be much fun if there are adult children in the house. The game’s designers describe it as, “party game for horrible people” and it consist of 500 cards with fill-in-the blanks that are matched with a second smaller stack of cards.

The content is provocative but as 90% of the 55,000 (!) Amazon reviews on this popular game were 5 star, so there are lot of people who are enjoying what has now become a modern classic. The best-selling game was such great fun that there are now expansion packs which are a great addition for people who have played through the base game too many times.

Cards against humanity

Exploding Kittens

(Card Game 2-5 Players)

We have to hand it to the makers of this wildly-popular game, “Exploding Kittens” wins for best name on the list. This is a simple one to learn and play, with silly fun baked into each card. To quote CNN, I’t’s like UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas and kitten that can kill you.”

Exploding kittens

The Settlers of Catan

(Board Game 3-4 Players)

This wildly popular game is a classic civilization building game and will be a hit with people who are fans of Risk. While not all younger players will enjoy Catan, one Amazon review refered to it as “The ‘Candy Land’of Strategy Games” and those over 10 should be able to join in the fun.

Played on a distinctive hexagonal game board, Catan combines the element of chance with skill and strategy.  Using the expansion packs the game can accommodate larger groups of 5 or 6 players. If you find that the youngest players in your house need help playing, there is now a children’s edition.

Catan

Dominion

(Board Game 2-4 Players)

Dominion is a deck-building game with the feel of the collectable Magic: The Gathering cards. It is has a not overly complicated set of rules for 4 players and will be a hit with people who like games like Catan. Played with multiple decks of cards, using different cards each time the game, is great value and can be played over and over. For those who love these kinds of games there are many extra packs available.

Dominion

Codenames

(Card Game for 2 to 8+ Players)

The premise of Codenames is “Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.” It is one of the new board games with a simple rule book and can be played by 2 players or with an opposing team.

One Amazon reviewer summed it up, “Codenames really is genius in it’s simplicity. It’s a fantastic game to play with a group because it can be taught in under 5 minutes.” Codenames comes in a Disney edition for young children ages 8+. This is perfect for your next game night.

Codenames

Sequence

(Board and Card Game 2-12 Players)

Sometimes you need to have a game that allows the youngest members of the family to play with the older ones, too. Sequence is involves playing game pieces on a board in a way that corresponds with the cards you hold. the first person to get a 5 card sequence wins.

sequence

Ticket To Ride

(Board Game 2-5 Players)

Create your own train network to connect two cities across the United States. Players compete to connect cities before their opponents. It is a good old-fashioned board game with cards, markers, a map and even trains. If you have the longest continuous route or you earn bonus points and it takes great planning skill to earn Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities.

Ticket to ride

Farkle

(Dice Game 2 or more Players)

Rollin the dice to see how lucky your is the point of Farkle, a fun and easy game that works for any number of players, ages 8 and up.

Farkle

Avalon

(Board Game 5-10 Players)

This is a social deduction game where players are split into good and evil without the good “Loyal Servants of Arthur” knowing who is on their team. For those who loved Werewolf or Mafia growing up, this “hidden identity” game will feel familiar with different teams playing different roles. It’s a game with great social interactions for 5-10 players and is more fun and interesting with 5+ members.

Avalon

Qwirkle

(Tile Game 2-4 Players)

This is a game with 108 wooden blocks that have six different shapes and come in six different colors. It’s a tabletop game that is played on any flat surface as the game consists only of the game pieces not a board. It is one of the best games for a wide age range as it is fun for kids as young as 6.

Qwirkle

Teslestrations 

(Game with cards and drawing pad 4-8 players)

Remember the childhood games of Telephone where everyone stood in a circle and whispered something to the next person, who whispered it to the next and then when the final person revealed what they had heard it bore no resemblance to the first?

As hard as you laughed as a kid playing this classic game is how hard you will laugh in with this  family board games. Instead of whispering to each person, this is the same simple concept and each team of players is given a dry erase marker and a small flip pad of places to draw or sometimes write what they thought they read and pass it on to another player for the next turn. The round ends when everyone reveals what they thought they saw in each other’s drawing.

This is the perfect game for people of all ages and has great replay value as it never plays the same. It is fun to pair up in teams for large groups. If you cannot draw at all, the game will only be funnier, we promise.

telestrations

What Do You Meme?

(Card Game/ 4 or more players)

This is one of the adult board games on the list that is not intended for young players. For those who love a good meme, this is a chance to try your hand and sense of humor to create the funniest memes. With 435 photo and caption cards, player combine them into the funniest memes they can divise.

After each round the winner is decided by a rotating judge. The game is so popular that there are already 8 add on packs for those who cannot get enough mmee making!

what do you meme

Left Center Right

(Dice Game for 3+ Players)

Players take turns with dice rolls to see where to pass their chips and the person with the most chips at the end of the game wins. Well-priced, LCR comes in a blue tin and is a good game to go into a college care package or include as a stocking stuffer.

Left Center Right

Dutch Blitz 

(Card Game 5-8 Players with both sets of cards)

The object of this fast game is to try to be the first player to get rid of a stack of 10 cards. The friendly competition makes this fast-pace game fun game to play with any group.

Dutch Blitz

New games with release dates in 2020

Half Truth

(Board Game, 2-6 Players)

This trivia game is meant to appeal to fans of Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuits, and no wonder since one of the creators is Ken Jennings, Jeopardy legend known for his 74-game winning streak. Comes with 500 trivia cards on a range of subjects.

half truth

Exchange

(Board Game, 3-6 Players)

For those who LOVE the stock market and the world of high finance, this is for you. Meant for players 12 or older, this is a bit like Monolopy meets Wolf of Wall Street.

Exchange

The Alpha

(Board Game, 3-6 Players)

This art work in this beautiful new game is unique and you will quickly become motivated with lead your wolf pack around the forest to find food. When you encounter rival packs, you must determine to share food or fight . After five round for each player, the game ends, and the winner is the one with the most food.

the Alpha

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If you're looking for some fun college games that your student will love to play on campus with friends, these 14 super fun board games make perfect gift ideas for your college kid and are surprisingly popular with college students. #college #collegelife #boardgames #giftideas #collegegiftideas #games #college

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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