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17 Different Types of Board Games

Illustration of different type of board games.

I’ve been playing board games since childhood, especially the Brain Quest game. Typically, a board game is a tabletop game that uses pieces — placed or moved on a pre-marked board and include elements like card, table, role playing, and miniatures game, too. Most feature a competition between two to five players. 

Board games have been popular for ages. Continue reading to understand more about board games.      

Top 5 Amazing Benefits of Board Gaming

Group of teens playing card games.

Board gaming brings some life-improving and health benefits to a person’s life. Please take a quick read on the top five amazing benefits of board games. 

Increases Brain Function

Board gaming is an impressive exercise for the brain. Playing stimulates the brain part responsible for complex thoughts and memory formation for both adults and kids. This assists in practicing essential cognitive skills like decision-making and problem-solving.

Also, board gaming reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s ailment and, for seniors, helps to keep them mentally alert. Board games are suitable for a kid’s mental growth and make them more intelligent.

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Lowers Blood Pressure

Besides reducing stress, laughing, and increasing ‘happy hormones,’ board gaming effectively maintains blood pressure. The release of endorphins triggers muscles to relax, and blood starts to circulate more efficiently, hence lowering the blood pressure.

High blood pressure is linked with a higher risk of heart disease, artery damage, and even stroke.

Improves Self-confidence And Creativity 

Board gaming is a perfect opportunity to link up and open up. Board games help you display your creativity in a non-intrusive way which is beneficial for quiet people.

They’re an impressive tool for timid adults and shy children. Board gaming pushes such kids to develop a stronger sense of individuality and creativity that boosts self-esteem and a feeling of being “noticed.”

Strengthen Relationships 

Board games aren’t played solely, and their playing foundation is cooperation! Board games bring old friends, strangers, and co-workers together.

It doesn’t matter if it’s about creating new connections, exploring the game with the same friends, or having a fantastic evening with dear ones — board gaming is the perfect way of spending time in a friendly company and strengthening relationships. 

17 Types of Board Games

Board games come in all sizes and shapes. Admittedly, I’ve played most of them, and these 17 types are the best for you! 

1. Deck Building

These games start you off with a deck of about ten cards. You’ve to use your card to purchase better cards and add them to your deck.

With that, your deck gets stronger since you’ve a higher probability of drawing the bought cards that are more powerful than your earlier cards. 

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This game was my favorite in 2019. I had learned Ascension and liked the idea so much that I almost decided to make my own deck-building game. 

Ascension: Deckbuilding Game

Other examples include:       

  • Dominion Rio Grande Games - Dominion: First Edition
  • Star Realms Star Realms: Deckbuilding Game

2. Bluffing

Buffing games give you hidden roles or identities. You must use these secret roles to help you on various missions.

Typically, the more information you provide about your role, the better action you’ve to take. This is fun as it makes you determine high rewards and risk situations. 

Examples include: 

  • One Night Werewolf Bezier board Games One Night Ultimate Werewolf Black
  • Sheriff of Nottingham Arcane Wonders Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Werewolf Bezier Board Games Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition Black

3. Cooperative (Co-op)

Players have to unite against the game and either ‘lose as a team” or “win as a team”. The game’s AI has its turn where new information is revealed to you, and “bad things” happen.

For example, in Pandemic, the AI reveals outbreaks and diseases globally that require you to work jointly and offer cure before the world gets subdued. 

Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

Co-op games provide unique challenges to game designers that they’ve to design a balanced AI. It’s challenging due to the various skill levels of players. Pandemic solves this by adding complex modes (hard, medium, and easy).  

Other example includes:  

  • Castle Panic 

4. Abstract 

These are games with almost no theme and storyline. It can be easily removed, ignored, or changed if they’ve got a theme.

Abstract games feature simple mechanics and designs and perfect information with little to no luck. These games are about your playing skills and feature a high level of tactics and strategy. 

Examples include: 

  • Onitama Onitama Board Game
  • War Chest War Chest - Strategy Board Game, Chess Like Challenge, Abstract, Easy to Learn, 2 to 4 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, for Ages 14 and Up, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)
  • Go
  • Chess
  • The Duke (my favorite) The Duke: Lord's Legacy
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5. Children’s Game

Children playing card games on a rug.

These games are purposely designed for the kids. Many kid’s games are educational and entertaining and teach anything from basic concepts like counting to taking turns, to games meant to teach them about a unique topic.

Thankfully, designers have gotten smarter in making these fun for adults. Just because a game is meant for kids doesn’t mean it will be a boring or a bad game for adults. 

Examples include: 

  • Hey, That’s My Fish! Hey, That's My Fish
  • Ghost Fightin’s Treasure Hunters Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters
  • Monza remains my favorite kid’s game HABA Monza - A Car Racing Beginner's Board Game Encourages Thinking Skills - Ages 5 and Up (Made in Germany)
  • When my kids were younger, we enjoyed Gobblet Gobblers Gobblet Gobblers

6. Fighting 

Fighting games have been popular in the video gaming industry and are still relatively new. They’re about close-quarter combat.

Fighting games are different from war games as they’re about personal combat.

 

Example include:

  • BattleCON series of games
  • Spartacus A Game of Blood and Treachery Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery

7. Gamebooks 

Gamers might debate whether Gamebooks are board games or not. But I’ve decided to list it for you due to some reasons. Gamebooks are various games that have been released in book formats.

They involve players having them read off an exciting story and flip to a different part of the book to continue the game. Most of these are adventurous stories, and you’ve to make a character to take on that adventure.

 Examples include: 

  • The Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks Fighting Fantasy Series 1 and 2 Collection 6 Books Set
  • Adventure Games The Dungeon Adventure Games: The Dungeon - A Kosmos Game from Thames & Kosmos | Collaborative, Replayable Storytelling Gaming Experience for 2 To 4 Players Ages 12+

8. Area Control

These are board games with a map or board defining areas where you compete for dominance, especially by adding your pieces to the area or removing the opponent’s pieces.

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Sometimes, the control comes through denying access to areas. Arguably, Scrabble is the best example of the genre! 

Other examples include:

  • Blood Rage
  • Nanty Narking
  • Risk 
  • Small World 

9. Legacy/ Campaign 

Legacy board games involve a series of connected scenarios where the actions and outcomes of one scenario affect the next.

With Legacy games, your actions and choices cause you to make permanent changes to the game and its elements. This might involve tearing up cards or applying stickers to the board, in a one-time experience. 

Examples include: 

  • Betrayal Legacy
  • Charterstone
  • Pandemic Legacy 
  • Gloomhaven 
  • Dexterity

Board games involve physical skills, whether you’re using the whole body like in Twister or just fingers for moving blocks like in Jenga.

It can be flicking discs or other objects with your fingers like Flick ‘em Up. Or balancing things in games like Beasts of Balance or throwing objects around as in Dungeon Fighter. 

Other examples include:

  • Cube Quest
  • Flip Ships 
  • Catacombs 

10. Drafting

With drafting, you’re presented with various options, usually cards or dice. You must pick one and leave the rest for other players.

The selection can be made from a hand of cards passed between you or a shared pool of choices.  

Examples include: 

  • Villagers
  • Sushi Go! 
  • 7 Wonders 

11. Euro

Wikipedia has exclusively explained what a Euro game is. Usually, it’s a type of game that Europeans make.

These games have a lot of worker placements and resource management in them. They’ve less variance and are mainly focused on skilled play.  

Euro doesn’t feature on my favorite list as I’m not too fond of Mathematics; the game involves a lot of calculations.     

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Examples include:

  • Settlers of Catan Catan Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Adventure Board Game | Ages 10+ | for 3 to 4 Players | Average Playtime 60 Minutes | Made by Catan Studio
  • Agricola Agricola (Revised Edition) | Strategy Game | Farming Game for Adults and Teens | Advanced Board Game | Ages 12+ | 1-4 Players | Average Playtime 90 Minutes | Made by Lookout Games

12. Memory

Any game is purposely meant to challenge your ability to remember things. For board gaming, this means card matching games. Hasbro Gaming Bop It! Game

I played Bop It! and Simon Says as a kid. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too great at them, but they were fun. I liked them since they gave my brain a workout similar to what athletics does to my body. Simon Electronic Memory Game

After playing them for about 30 minutes, my brain sometimes felt tired. But the more I played, the more focused I could be and the less I could tell my parents I was bored. 

Other examples include: 

  • Paw Patrol Look a Likes (I’m not familiar with this game. but I wanted to show an example of a top-rated similar game) Paw Patrol Look a Likes Matching Board Game

13. Miniatures

Typically, this is a collectible game. You collect miniature characters, vehicles, and buildings and create your game scenarios. The games are sold “by the squad” or “by the character.” Still, you can purchase starter packs to make your first army. 

Each scenario allows scoring some points that you spend on vehicles, characters, or buildings.

Once you’ve decided on which troops you’ll do battle with, the fight starts. Often miniatures are a two-player game, but you can create bigger scenarios. 

Examples include:

  • Warhammer 40k
  • Star Wars X-Wing

I haven’t played either of the above game. But my buddies that do play miniatures say these two are the best.

Several years ago, the miniatures game I played was Wow minis, but they don’t design them anymore. Upper Deck World of Warcraft Miniatures Core Set Deluxe Edition

14. Engine Building

A man with playing cards and dice on the table.

These games involve you building or buying resources that allow you to gain even more resources or currencies. This type of game is, albeit harder to visualize.

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The name comes from the fact that you’re building an engine that produces points later. 

Examples include: 

  • Splendor 
  • Scythe
  • Terraforming Mars
  • Wingspan 

Engine building is a highly strategic board game because your earlier choices have snowball effects on the rest of the game. 

15. Party

The Party game is booming due to its mass appeal. The Party game is ideal for people who might not be particularly into tabletop games. 

Examples include: 

  • Easy Setup
  • Higher Maximum Player Count 
  • Quick Gameplay
  • Easily Understood Rules 

Moreover, many games fall into this category, with some earlier entries into this genre being Pictionary and Charades. These aren’t entirely on the level of the latest party games. 

Examples of the latest games in Party include: 

  • Dexist
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Secret Hitler 
  • Codenames

The social aspects of these games separate them from others on the list. This type of game is super fun to play in any place with pretty much anyone. 

16. Educational

I never liked doing homework as a kid! But my parents were wise and realized I liked gaming. They would buy me games that helped encourage me to learn new subjects.

 My favorite educational game as a kid was Brain Quest. I wholeheartedly thank my parents for tricking me into learning. It was fun and worth it! Brain Quest 3rd Grade Q&A Cards: 1000 Questions and Answers to Challenge the Mind. Curriculum-based! Teacher-approved! (Brain Quest Decks)

I strongly believe in gamifying education. Kids get bored when they have to read for impressive grades.

But when it’s a game, they tend to go all in! Gamifying education is the future! I wish we could get schools to embrace this idea. 

Examples include: 

  • Brain Quest 
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17. Roleplaying

Roleplaying lets you assume the role of a fictional character. It’s one of the most popular games in video games and on the tabletop. 

Historically, Dungeons & Dragons were the first commercially available Roleplaying game in 1974.

Additionally, its story and character-building have given rise to the genre, and other games have perfected Roleplaying gaming. 

Examples include: 

  • One Deck Dungeon
  • Mage Knight
  • Gloomhaven 
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game 

The latest Role playing game has simplified the complex games that earlier created the genre without much fun. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Board Games  

What Is So Fun And Unique About Board Games?

Naturally, human beings- adults, children, or toddlers like to play. The board game is social and mental stimulant.

While electronic games are increasingly stimulating in multiple senses, unpredictable or innovative game-play of people, laughter, or joke with your fellow player mesmerizes people to game boarding. 

Currently, there are numerous game mechanics, themes, and complexity in the designer board games for various people’s tastes and all ages — adults and kids. You can always find some board games that suit your need. 

What Is The Most Straightforward Board Game?

Realistically, roll-and-moves are the simplest board games to play. Literally, anyone can easily play games like Goose, Snakes & Ladders, Pachisi, etc.

But when it comes to the latest board games, there are various options. Board games are designed for entertainment and bring new plays to the hobby.

These games feature intuitive rules and introduce game mechanics that can be easily mastered later.

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What Is The Oldest Board Game In The US?

Travelers’ Tour Through the United States has been the oldest board game in the US since 1822. It’s an easy map movement game that uses a spinner to give a random number from one to eight. 

Interestingly, the map doesn’t feature the name of the cities. You’ve to name the cities to further your advances correctly.  

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