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Top 12 Fun Strategy Board Games Every Family Should Try

Top 12 Fun Strategy Board Games Every Family Should Try

Welcome to our guide on the top 12 fun strategy board games that every family should try.

Whether you're a seasoned board game enthusiast or someone looking to introduce their family to the world of strategic gaming, we've got you covered.

From the dynamic world of Small World to the thrilling battles in King of Tokyo, this article will provide you with a comprehensive list of exciting and engaging board games that guarantee endless hours of entertainment for the whole family.

So, let's dive in and explore these thrilling games together.

Small World

Small World is a highly engaging and strategic board game that offers countless opportunities for players to showcase their tactical skills. Set in a fantasy-themed world, the game revolves around conquest and domination. Players take on the role of various races, each with their own unique abilities and characteristics. This adds an additional layer of depth and strategy to the gameplay, as players must carefully consider which race to choose in order to maximize their chances of success.

These race-specific abilities can range from enhanced combat skills to special powers that allow for efficient resource management. This aspect of the game not only encourages strategic planning but also promotes creativity and adaptability.

Small World provides players with the freedom to explore different race combinations and develop their own winning strategies, making it a must-try for board game enthusiasts seeking a challenging and immersive experience.

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King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo is a thrilling and strategic board game that offers families an exciting and competitive gaming experience. This fun dice rolling game allows players to take on the role of monstrous creatures battling it out for control of Tokyo.

Here are four reasons why King of Tokyo should be on every family's gaming list:

  1. Family friendly monster battles: The game features colorful and unique monster characters that will captivate players of all ages. The battles are intense and fast-paced, keeping everyone engaged throughout the game.
  2. Competitive gameplay: Players must make strategic decisions to attack their opponents, defend themselves, or gather energy to buy powerful upgrades. The game rewards both aggressive and defensive strategies, making each playthrough different and exciting.
  3. Simultaneous action selection: One of the highlights of King of Tokyo is the simultaneous action selection. This means that everyone chooses their actions at the same time, adding an element of unpredictability and excitement to the game.
  4. Player powers and upgrades: Each monster has special powers and can acquire upgrades to enhance their abilities. This adds depth to the gameplay and allows players to customize their strategy based on their chosen monster.

King of Tokyo provides a dynamic and engaging experience for the whole family, combining strategy, luck, and monster battles in a way that will keep everyone entertained.


Continuing the exploration of engaging and strategic board games for families, the next game to be discussed is Dominion.

Dominion is a deck-building card game that offers a unique and haunting exploration gameplay experience. Players take on the roles of monarchs seeking to expand their kingdoms and gain power.

The game revolves around building a deck of cards that allows players to acquire valuable resources, expand their dominion, and ultimately earn victory points.

What sets Dominion apart is its suspenseful traitor mechanics. Players have the opportunity to sabotage their opponents by using cards that negatively impact their opponents' hands or deck. This adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the game, as players must carefully consider their actions and anticipate the moves of their opponents.

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Dominion is a must-try for families who enjoy challenging and dynamic board games.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a thrilling strategy board game that offers a haunting exploration gameplay experience. Players navigate through a mysterious mansion, discovering new rooms and encountering unexpected events.

One of the game's unique features is its suspenseful traitor mechanics, where one player turns against the rest, adding an element of surprise and tension.

Additionally, the game's tile-building mechanics ensure that each playthrough offers a different layout, adding to the replayability and strategic depth of the game.

Haunting Exploration Gameplay

One popular strategy board game that offers haunting exploration gameplay is 'Betrayal at House on the Hill'. This game is perfect for families who enjoy delving into haunted house mysteries and encountering supernatural encounters. Here are four reasons why 'Betrayal at House on the Hill' is a must-play for anyone seeking a thrilling and immersive gaming experience:

  1. Dynamic Exploration: Players navigate through a haunted mansion, uncovering new rooms and encountering mysterious items and events at every turn. The modular board ensures that each playthrough is unique, adding to the sense of anticipation and discovery.
  2. Tense Atmosphere: The game features atmospheric storytelling and eerie artwork that heightens the suspense. As players explore, they will encounter chilling haunts and terrifying scenarios that bring the haunted house to life.
  3. Cooperative and Cooperative Gameplay: Initially, players work together to explore the house, but as the game progresses, a traitor is revealed, leading to an intense and strategic battle between the traitor and the remaining players. The game offers a balance of cooperation and competition, ensuring everyone stays engaged.
  4. Replayability: With 50 unique haunts, 'Betrayal at House on the Hill' offers endless replayability. Each haunt presents a different story and objective, ensuring that every game is an exciting and unpredictable experience.

'Betrayal at House on the Hill' combines haunting exploration gameplay with thrilling storytelling and strategic gameplay, making it a top choice for families looking for a fun and immersive board game experience.

Suspenseful Traitor Mechanics

As the exploration of the haunted mansion intensifies in 'Betrayal at House on the Hill', the game introduces suspenseful traitor mechanics that add an extra layer of excitement and strategic gameplay.

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One of the key elements of this game is the cooperative vs. competitive gameplay dynamics. At the beginning of the game, players work together to explore the mansion and uncover its secrets. However, as the game progresses, a traitor may be revealed among the players, creating a shift in the gameplay dynamic.

This adds a psychological element of betrayal, as players must now navigate the mansion while being suspicious of each other's motives. The traitor's goal is to defeat the remaining players, while the remaining players must work together to overcome the traitor's schemes.

This creates a thrilling and suspenseful experience for all players involved, as they never know who they can trust.

Unique Tile-Building Mechanics

The game 'Betrayal at House on the Hill' incorporates unique tile-building mechanics that contribute to the immersive and strategic gameplay experience. This haunting exploration gameplay allows players to dynamically construct the game board as they explore a mysterious and eerie haunted house.

Here are four key features of the unique tile-building mechanics in 'Betrayal at House on the Hill':

  1. Randomized Layout: The game starts with a few tiles, and as players move through the house, new tiles are added, creating a unique and unpredictable layout for each playthrough.
  2. Room Discoveries: Each time a new room tile is placed, players have the exciting opportunity to discover new items, events, or even encounter terrifying creatures lurking in the shadows.
  3. Spatial Strategy: The placement of tiles can have a significant impact on gameplay, as players strategically position rooms to maximize their advantage or hinder their opponents.
  4. Narrative Progression: The tile-building mechanics in 'Betrayal at House on the Hill' contribute to the immersive storytelling aspect of the game, as the haunted house gradually reveals its dark secrets and unfolds the unique narrative of each playthrough.

These unique tile-building mechanics create a dynamic and suspenseful gameplay experience, making 'Betrayal at House on the Hill' a must-try game for families who enjoy immersive and strategic board games.

Power Grid

Power Grid is a highly strategic board game that challenges players to manage resources and expand their network of power plants across regions. The game revolves around economic decision making and energy market dynamics, making it an engaging experience for players who enjoy a deep and immersive gameplay.

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In Power Grid, players must carefully plan their actions and balance their resources to generate electricity, purchase resources, and expand their network. The game introduces players to the complexities of managing an energy grid, including the fluctuating costs of resources and the competition among players for power plants and resources.

With its intricate gameplay and focus on economic decision making, Power Grid offers a unique and rewarding gaming experience for those seeking a challenge and an opportunity to exercise their strategic thinking skills.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers a captivating strategic experience, challenging players to navigate the complexities of building and managing a colonial economy. This haunting exploration of the island of Puerto Rico is set during the age of Caribbean colonization. Players take on the roles of plantation owners, striving to grow and sell crops such as corn, indigo, and coffee for maximum profit.

The game's suspenseful traitor mechanics add an intriguing twist, keeping players on their toes and fostering an atmosphere of suspicion and strategy. Here are four key features that make Puerto Rico a must-play game:

  1. Role Selection: Players must carefully choose their roles each round, balancing their own needs with the potential benefits and actions available to their opponents.
  2. Resource Management: Efficiently allocating resources is crucial to success, as players must balance their income, buildings, and plantations.
  3. Building and Development: Constructing buildings and developing the island is essential for long-term success, requiring strategic planning and foresight.
  4. Economic Strategy: Puerto Rico challenges players to make shrewd economic decisions, from determining when to ship goods to deciding which buildings to construct.

With its intricate gameplay and deep strategic elements, Puerto Rico promises an immersive and rewarding experience for families seeking a compelling board game.

Terraforming Mars

In Terraforming Mars, players are faced with the challenges of colonizing and transforming the Martian landscape. Strategic resource management is crucial in order to efficiently terraform the planet and make it habitable for human life.

With limited resources and a variety of options, players must carefully plan their actions to maximize their points and ultimately emerge as the most successful terraformer.

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Martian Colonization Challenges

One of the most challenging and engaging board games in the realm of Martian colonization is Terraforming Mars. This game allows players to take on the role of corporations tasked with transforming the barren Martian landscape into a habitable environment for human life.

As players navigate through the game, they will encounter various Martian terraforming challenges that they must overcome in order to succeed. These challenges include managing resources, developing infrastructure, and mitigating the harsh Martian climate.

Terraforming Mars offers a realistic and thought-provoking experience that not only entertains but also educates players about the complexities and obstacles involved in the future of extraterrestrial colonization. Through strategic decision-making and careful planning, players can gain insights into the immense challenges that await humanity as we venture beyond Earth.

Strategic Resource Management

Strategic resource management is a key aspect of the board game Terraforming Mars. In this game, players take on the role of corporations competing to terraform and colonize the red planet. To succeed, players must carefully plan and allocate their resources. Strategic planning is crucial as players need to consider their long-term goals and make decisions that will maximize their chances of success.

Resource allocation is another important element of the game. Players must decide how to best use their limited resources, such as money, energy, and minerals, to advance their agenda. They must weigh the costs and benefits of various actions, such as building cities, introducing plant and animal life, and increasing the planet's temperature.

Terraforming Mars challenges players to think strategically, make calculated decisions, and adapt their plans as the game progresses. It offers a unique and engaging experience that will captivate families who enjoy games that require careful planning and resource management.


Developed by Uwe Rosenberg, Agricola is a highly regarded strategy board game that challenges players to efficiently manage their own farm. With its engaging gameplay and family-friendly competition, Agricola has become a favorite among board game enthusiasts.

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Here are four reasons why Agricola is a must-try game for every family:

  1. Efficient farming strategies: In Agricola, players must make strategic decisions to maximize their farm's productivity. From planting crops to raising livestock, every action must be carefully planned to ensure success.
  2. Family-friendly competition: Agricola offers a healthy dose of competition without sacrificing the fun factor. Players can enjoy friendly rivalry as they compete to build the most prosperous farm.
  3. Engaging gameplay: With its well-designed mechanics and immersive gameplay, Agricola keeps players engaged from start to finish. The game offers a variety of strategies and paths to victory, ensuring that every playthrough is unique.
  4. Replayability: Agricola's modular board and numerous card combinations guarantee high replayability. Each game presents new challenges and opportunities, keeping players coming back for more.


Moving on from Agricola, Diplomacy is another highly acclaimed strategy board game that offers a unique and intense gaming experience for families.

Diplomacy is a game of negotiation and alliance building, where players take on the roles of different world powers during World War I. The game revolves around players making strategic moves on the map, but the real challenge lies in the negotiation strategies and alliance building techniques employed by the players.

Diplomacy requires players to form temporary alliances, make deals, and backstab their opponents to gain an advantage. The game tests players' diplomatic skills and their ability to navigate complex political landscapes.

With its focus on negotiation and diplomacy, this game provides an opportunity for families to engage in strategic thinking, problem-solving, and building interpersonal skills.

Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle is a card-driven strategy board game that offers players a unique and immersive experience in simulating the tension and complexities of the Cold War.

With its intricate mechanics, players must carefully manage their resources and make strategic decisions to gain control and influence over different regions of the world.

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The game's historical accuracy and attention to detail make it a compelling choice for families looking for a challenging and educational gaming experience.

Card-Driven Mechanics Explained

The mechanics of Twilight Struggle, a card-driven strategy game, are best understood through a thorough explanation of its possessive noun, card-driven mechanics. In this type of game, players use cards to make strategic decisions and drive the gameplay. Here is a brief overview of how card-driven mechanics work in Twilight Struggle:

  1. Cards as Resources: Each player has a deck of cards that represent historical events, political moves, and military operations. These cards serve as resources for players to execute their strategies.
  2. Strategic Decision Making: Players must carefully choose which cards to play and when to play them, as they have different effects and consequences. This requires strategic decision-making skills and weighing the potential risks and rewards.
  3. Influence and Control: Cards can be used to gain influence over different regions of the world. Players aim to control key regions to gain victory points and secure their position in the game.
  4. Historical Context: The cards in Twilight Struggle are based on real-world events from the Cold War era. This adds a layer of historical context and immersion to the gameplay.

Cold War Simulation Game

In the realm of strategy board games, one captivating option to explore is the simulation game focused on the Cold War known as Twilight Struggle. This game allows players to step into the shoes of the United States and the Soviet Union during the period of intense geopolitical tension.

Twilight Struggle is a two-player game that combines elements of cold war diplomacy and strategic resource management. Each player must navigate the complex web of international relations, making decisions that can shape the course of history. The game captures the essence of the Cold War era, with its delicate balance of power and the constant threat of nuclear war.

It offers a deep and immersive experience that challenges players to think strategically and make tough choices. Twilight Struggle is a must-try for anyone interested in the Cold War period and enjoys strategic board games.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride's strategic gameplay and engaging mechanics make it a must-have addition to any family's board game collection. This popular game takes players on a thrilling journey across various countries, challenging them to build train routes and connect cities. Here are four reasons why Ticket to Ride stands out among other board games:

  1. Simple yet strategic: The game is easy to learn, making it accessible for players of all ages. However, the strategic depth keeps it engaging for seasoned gamers.
  2. Haunting exploration: Ticket to Ride offers a sense of adventure as players explore different regions and plan their routes. The beautifully illustrated map adds to the immersive experience.
  3. Suspenseful traitor mechanics: Some versions of Ticket to Ride introduce traitor mechanics, adding an extra layer of excitement. Players must carefully watch their opponents, as one of them may secretly be working against the group.
  4. Expansions for endless variety: With numerous expansion sets available, Ticket to Ride offers endless replayability. Each expansion introduces new maps, rules, and challenges, ensuring that the game never gets stale.

Ticket to Ride is a fantastic choice for families seeking a fun and strategic board game that guarantees hours of entertainment.

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A classic game loved by families worldwide, Catan offers a strategic and engaging experience that will keep players hooked from start to finish. With its ever-growing popularity, Catan has become a staple in the world of board games. This game, also known as Settlers of Catan, has captured the hearts of players of all ages with its unique gameplay and endless possibilities.

Catan is a game of resource management and strategic decision-making. The goal is to build settlements, cities, and roads on the island of Catan, using resources like wood, brick, wheat, sheep, and ore. Players must trade resources, negotiate with other players, and plan their moves carefully to gain an advantage over their opponents.

To succeed in Catan, it is essential to have a solid strategy. One useful tip is to focus on building settlements early on, as they generate resources and provide a steady income throughout the game. Additionally, keeping an eye on the development cards can give players an edge by providing extra resources or special abilities.

Catan's popularity shows no signs of slowing down, as it continues to captivate families and gamers around the world. Its blend of strategy, negotiation, and luck makes it a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, from novices to experienced players.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Typically Take to Play a Game of Small World?

The average duration of a game of Small World compared to other strategy board games varies depending on factors such as player experience and game setup. However, strategies such as streamlining decision-making and limiting analysis paralysis can help speed up or prolong the game.

Are There Any Expansions Available for Dominion?

Yes, there are several expansions available for Dominion, each introducing new cards, mechanics, and strategies to enhance gameplay. To incorporate expansions effectively, players can mix and match cards or play with specific expansion sets for a varied and engaging experience.

Can Betrayal at House on the Hill Be Played With Just Two Players?

Betrayal at House on the Hill is designed for 3-6 players, and while it can technically be played with just two, it is not recommended. The game's mechanics and strategies are best experienced with a larger group, enhancing the unique storytelling element of the game.

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The recommended age range for Power Grid varies, but generally it is suitable for ages 12 and up. This strategic board game requires players to manage resources and plan their moves carefully to succeed.

How Does the Gameplay of Agricola Differ From Other Strategy Board Games?

The gameplay of Agricola differs from other strategy board games through its key mechanics, such as the worker placement system and the emphasis on resource management. Strategies for success in Agricola involve careful planning, efficient resource utilization, and adapting to changing conditions, setting it apart from other strategy games.