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The Best 45+ Tween, Teen & Adult Games for Family Game Night

45+ best tween, teen, & adult games for family game night, even games for the kids! Tips and ideas for the 45+ best simple and easy family game night board, dice, and card games for children and adults to play together. These games make great gifts to buy and are the perfect addition to any home's game basket. Great to play on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, or any holiday. Games for older kids, tweens, teens, and adults to play together.

I love games. I’m very good at games, too, which makes it less fun to play with me, but my dear husband is a very good sport and doesn’t mind that he usually loses at some things.

Games are a great way to enjoy quality time together as a family. They reduce the pressure on deep conversation and give everyone something to focus on while still providing the time together that builds deep bonds.

My kids used to talk to me all the time.


But as they’ve gotten older, their chatter has slowed and almost stopped. They don’t want to tell me about their conversations with their friends or how so-and-so hurt their feelings. They’re becoming more private.

But when we play games together, we talk. We talk about the plays and about our turns and our scores. It’s instant bonding, and we usually end up laughing.

Most of the games below involve reading, so if you’re playing with a non-reader, you may want to check out this post instead – 30+ best games for family game night. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but below, you will find many more strategy and reading-required games that don’t appear on the other list.

Here are some of our favorite games to play as a family with our most favorite listed first:

Scrutineyes – This is our #1 favorite game EVER. I scoured ebay for it years and years ago after remembering playing it as a kid with my mom and sister. Basically, you get these elaborate and intricate pictures and you have to find things in one of the pictures that begin with a certain letter and then you trade with the other players. A lot of the things in the pictures can have different names, and a lot of them are obscure animals and things with precise names. I absolutely positively love it and got Joe hooked too. Problem is this game is no longer made and can these days be hard to come by. If you find it on ebay for less than $30, scoop it up. It’s totally worth it.

best board games for elementary school non-readers math prime climb

Prime Climb – This is a new to us game that we totally fell in love with. It’s very simple: you roll the dice and either add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers on the dice with the numbers your pawns are sitting on. You can jump all around the board, and the first person to get both of her pawns to 101 is the winner. I love this game so much, I play it by myself. 

Scattergories – This is a classic game sort of similar to Scrutineyes except everyone works with the same list of categories and the same letter of the alphabet, and you all try to think of words that no one else will think of. For instance, if the category is animal and the letter is C, you probably don’t want to write cat because there’s a good chance someone else will. You want to write something less obvious like chimpanzee or canary hoping that no one else will write it and you’ll get the point. Or, go ahead and write the obvious one because maybe no one else will. It’s really fun.

Pass the Pigs – This is another of my all-time favorite games. You have 2 little pigs, and you roll them like dice. Depending on how they land, you score points. You can keep rolling until you get the magic “zero” combination which means you lose all your points for that round or you can stop rolling at any time and keep your points. I think this game is super fun, and I play it with anyone who will play with me. My kids love it.

Sleeping Queens – This is totally a kids’ game, but when I asked Joe what games he thought I should include on this list, Sleeping Queens was his first answer. Our entire family absolutely adores this game and plays it whenever we can. It’s a card game where you have to wake up the queens by playing certain cards. You can steal other players’ queens, put them back to sleep, and defend yourself. The game ends when the last queen has been awakened, and then the player with the most queen points wins. The version that I linked is the 10th anniversary edition which has extra queens and comes in a tin. We had the original before, but lost it, and then sprung for the one with the tin, and we were glad for it because the extra queens make the game a bit longer and a lot more fun.

SKIP-BOI love SKIP-BO. I love it so much that I found SKIP-BO Junior and taught my kids to play it. Basically, it’s a card game where you have to make piles of numbers from 1-12 (10 in the junior version). You have a big pile of cards, and the first person to get rid of her stack is the winner. It’s simple and easy and depends way more on luck than anything else, which makes it perfect for families where one person is way more word-oriented than the others.

Sequence Cats – Joe does not like cats, but he knows that I love them, so he lets me play this game. If you’re not a cat lover, there’s a dog version and of course a bunch of others including Bible Sequence, Number Sequence, and the original Sequence. Not sure what’s on the squares in the original version, but I think they might be playing cards. It’s a bit like Connect 4 in that you have to make a line of 4 tokens, but your moves in Sequence depend on what cards you draw.

Taboo – This is a 4+ player game where you try to get your partner to guess a word without saying any of the taboo words. Instead of playing the intended way, we take turns giving the clues and guessing. It’s fun that way, and it removes the winner and loser aspect. We work as a team and see how many of the answers we can get.

Phase 10 – Honestly, Phase 10 is not my favorite game because it takes a long time to play, but it is another one where winning is mostly luck. It’s a card game that’s sort of like rummy, and you have to get series of 10 different phases in order to win. A lot of people love it and say it’s their favorite game. It has over 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, so don’t trust my opinion on it.

Rummikub – I love this one. It’s another luck game, this time where you use tiles instead of cards and basically play rummy. I played this as a kid with my grandmother (not Old Grandma, my dad’s mother), and I still laugh at all the weird things she said while we played on her front porch. I like to play with my kids now. There’s a good bit of strategy and creativity involved in Rummikub because you can shift around the tiles to suit yourself as long as everything is played at the end of your turn.

Uno – I love Uno. If you’ve never played it (where have you been all your life?!?), it’s a card game where you lay down number cards that either match the color or the number of the card played before you. Very simple, but there are also special cards that can thwart your opponent and mess everything all up. It’s another great game where the winner is mostly determined by luck, and it is super fun. I remember playing this with my whole family when I was a kid, and we had such heated battles that we had to make a little arrow on a piece of paper so we’d remember which direction the play was supposed to move. Great times.

Yahtzee – I love Yahtzee, too. I used to play Yahtzee with Old Grandma for hours, and we both got really good at it. There’s a lot of strategy involved in Yahtzee although it’s a very simple game. You roll dice and add up the totals and record them on the score pad. You have to get certain combinations of dice in order to win. It’s super fun and a great adult game because kids don’t totally understand the strategy behind using certain boxes at certain times.

Scrabble – I love Scrabble, but I’m also really, really good at it which makes it not so much fun for my family. I’m a word nerd, and they are so much, so we don’t play very often. But it’s still worth mentioning because it’s super fun. I linked to the tile lock edition which is only about 50¢ more than the regular version but eliminates the annoying problem of the tiles sliding around on the board. 

Boggle – I also love Boggle. I love it so much that I sometimes play it all by myself. But it’s a nice family game because you’re looking at the same letters and trying to come up with words. Basically, you shake up all the dice which have letters on them and they settle into spots, and then you have to find words using adjoining dice. Again, I’m a lot better at this than anyone else in my family, so we don’t play that often, but I love it when they indulge me and take a stab at it.

Carcassone – This is #1 on my game wishlist. Basically, you build a countryside, with roads, streams, and buildings, and you can put your followers on each tile depending on certain rules. You have to strategize which moves will give you the most points based on what the other players are doing and what you have coming up. I’ve heard rave reviews about Carcassone in the gameschooling groups I belong to.

Say Anything – Grace got Say Anything from a friend for her last birthday, and now she has been giving it to all her other friends for their birthdays. It’s really a simple game that’s perfect for family play. On your turn, you ask a question from a card. Everyone writes down an answer, and you pick your favorite. Then everyone tries to guess which one you picked. 

Apples to Apples – We really love this game, but you need 4 or more players who can read well, and we don’t get to play very often because Allie is still learning. It’s a lot like Say Anything, but instead of writing an answer to the question, you have to choose a card from your hand, and then the person who’s “it” chooses the one she likes best for the category.

Latice – I bought Latice on a lark on Amazon Prime Day, and only then because it was cheap. I knew absolutely nothing about it at the time, but we love games, and it was a cheap game. (I got Go Nuts for Donuts the same way, and we love that one.) So Latice. It’s almost like UNO in that you have to play a tile that matches a tile on the board either in color or shape. Then you can score gems for matching multiple tiles at the same time, and you can use those gems to earn extra turns (part of the strategy to win the game). This is Allie’s current favorite game.

Santorini – I also bought Santorini on Prime Day, and we haven’t unboxed it yet as I’m saving it for Christmas. I’ve had it on my wishlist for quite a while though, because it’s a strategy-based building game with a nod to Greek mythology. Game play is quick, as long as you don’t agonize over each turn, and you can play over and over and get a different game every time. I’m really excited to get this one out, and I may not make it to Christmas.

Forbidden Island –  This is a cooperative card game where players have to find treasure on an island before the island falls into the ocean. More players mean that the game is more difficult, but there are more resources to use. I’ve never played this one, but it is on my wishlist. 

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle – This is another cooperative card game. I’ve never played, but it has stellar reviews, and I’m interested since we’ve been reading the books this year as a family. Basically, you have to work together, as one or more of the four main characters of the series, to defeat a villain from one of the books. There are 7 individual games, one for each book, and they get progressively harder as you play.

Pandemic – This is a third cooperative game. In this one, diseases are breaking out all over the world, and players have to work together to eradicate them. It’s extremely difficult, but it’s so much fun and so interesting that you won’t mind even if you lose constantly.

Telestrations – Imagine if Pictionary and the old Telephone game from grade school had a baby. That’s Telestrations. The first person picks a card and draws what is on the card. The next person looks at the drawing and guesses what it is, writing the guess on her pad. Then the third person draws what the second person wrote, the fourth person guesses what the third person guessed. You can go around and around as many times as you want, and it just gets funnier and funnier.

Set – This is a super intense game where each player is trying to collect 3-card SETs before her opponents see them. Age and experience offer no advantage, and my 7-year-old is as likely to win as my tween (maybe more so because the 7-year-old’s visual-spatial abilities are amazing). The winner usually only gets four or five SETs, so it’s anybody’s game right up to the end.

Clue Master Detective – Grace is getting Harry Potter Clue for Christmas this year, but we already have Clue Master Detective, the original one that I got for Christmas when I was in fourth grade. If you’re wondering why you’d want Master Detective over the much cheaper regular Clue, it’s because M.D. has more suspects, more weapons, and more rooms which results in a longer, slightly more challenging and much more interesting game.

Trivial Pursuit – Did you know this was still a thing? Well, it is, and there’s a Harry Potter version which I am considering buying for Grace for Christmas this year because HP dominates our lives. But if you’re not into H.P., consider the regular edition which is styled just like the 1980s favorite. Because game night isn’t game night unless you can add a pink wedge to your pie.

Suspend – This is the simplest game on the list, but that does not mean that it’s boring. Even adults will get hooked, trying to balance the rods on the sculpture without toppling it. You can play this alone or in a group, making it great for family game night.

Tenzi – Tenzi is a fun, fast-paced dice game when you play the original instructions. Each person gets 10 dice and has to keep rolling them until she gets all 10 to match the number you’re playing for. There are dozens of additional games you can play with Tenzi dice, and they are all great fun.

Left, Right, Center – My in-laws introduced my girls to this game where you roll dice based on how many chips you have, and you might have to give them to the person on your right, the person on your left, or into the center bowl. This can be used as a gambling game for an all adult crowd, but my kids love it. Even when you are out (meaning that you’ve lost all your tokens), there’s always the chance that someone will have to pass you one or more of their tokens, bringing you back into the game. It is a whole lot of fun when you play with 4 or more players. There’s also an LCR Wild Dice game that just came out, but we haven’t tried yet. I’m sure it’s awesome, too.

Jenga – If you’ve never played this stacking game, you are missing out. You stack these little wooden blocks in an alternating pattern and each player takes turns pushing out one block at a time and restacking it at the top of the pile without knocking the pile over. Both of my girls really love Jenga.

The Ultimate Book of Family Card Games and a deck of cards – This isn’t one game; it’s a book of games that you can play together. It holds rules and instructions for over 50 different card games, and you are guaranteed to find something that your family likes among its pages.

Despicable Me Labyrinth – Grace asked her grandparents for Despicable Me Labyrinth last year for Christmas, but she didn’t get it. I was so into the game that I bought it for the girls in January, and we all love it. (There’s also a regular, non-character Labyrinth game.) This is a strategy game where players place and remove and rotate wall tiles to change the labyrinth in order to thwart their opponents. We even got Old Grandma into playing this the last time we visited her. It’s challenging, but simple and fun.

Bounce Off – I had my eye on Bounce Off for a long time because the first review on Amazon says it’s like beer pong for kids, and that was one of my favorite hobbies in college. I was never any good at it, but the concept of bouncing balls into a pattern was intriguing to me. I took the plunge and bought this for us at St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a really fun, very challenging, game, and the kids are just as good as Joe and me. The only downside of this game is that it requires a pretty big space to play, but we all four really enjoy it.

Dragonwood: A Game of Dice and Daring: I got this game for our kids, but Joe and I love it, too. It’s a card and dice game where you have to battle against and collect foes. But then, you can also collect cards that help you to battle and make it easier to collect the monster cards. It’s a little complicated to explain but very fun.

Farkle – I got Pocket Farkle to take with us on a date night last year. It’s the size of an old film canister, and it was fun. It’s a dice game where you have to get certain numbers in order to score points, and you can keep rolling as long as you’re earning points, but if you get a roll with no points, you lose all of your points from that round. We bent some of the rules to suit ourselves, but we really like the game. 

Rack-O – This is another super simple game. You have 10 cards, and you have to get them in order from smallest to biggest, except that you can’t actually switch them around. You can only change them out for cards you draw from the draw pile, so you have to be clever about where you put those cards in order to win the game. I used to play this with Old Grandma when I was a wee little girl, and I like playing it with family just as much.

Bananagrams – Bananagrams is a little like Scrabble in that you use letter tiles to make connecting words, but that’s where the similarities end. In Bananagrams, you have to race against each other to use all your letter tiles. The first person to go out wins. It’s a lot easier because there’s not as much strategy in that you don’t score the words themselves, just race to make more and more words. It doesn’t matter if you use all 3-letter words, as long as you play words and use your tiles.

5 Second Rule – This is a game from my wishlist. In this one, you get a category and then have 5 seconds to list 3 things from that category. It’s fast-paced and funny because the players often get tongue-tied trying to spit out an answer in time. In such a short time period, all kinds of wrong answers will pop out. You’ll be amazed at how much you know but can’t think of in time! 

Ticket to Ride – I haven’t actually played this game, but it has been on my wishlist for quite a while. The premise is that you have to ride a train all over the United States (although there are versions for Europe, Asia {expansion pack only}, and other places) and collect as many cities as possible in 7 days. It is a fast-paced game that requires concentration, which makes it perfect for an adult date night, but it is easy enough that you’ll be able to play it with your older kids as well (recommended for ages 8 and up). It’s a great investment because, in addition to being able to play it over and over, there are loads of expansion packs that change the game completely. The only thing that’s holding me back from buying this at this point is that it requires a big area to play, and our dining room table is always covered with papers and junk. It would take an hour to clean it off, and then we wouldn’t have time to play the game.

Blokus – I haven’t played this one before, but it’s also on my wishlist. It’s another simple game – you place colored tiles on the board, making sure that each one touches one of the corners of a tile you’ve already placed. It sounds easy enough, but like all the above games, there is a lot of strategy and planning involved. From what I’ve read, it’s pretty easy as a two player game, unless each player plays two colors which effectively makes it a four player game. I’m really looking forward to getting this one.

Photosynthesis – This is a very simple game that has a very complex strategy! Basically, you need to build the most trees and collect the most sun to win. But your opponents can block your trees from the light, and you can cut down your trees. The sabotage factor makes it not the best for younger kids, but it’s really fun and interesting with an older crowd.

Munchkin Deluxe – This is a fast-paced, silly game where you advance from level 1 to level 10 to win the game. You have to collect certain cards and conquer monsters along the way, but it’s almost impossible to do without getting some help from your opponents. There are lots of expansion packs to get if you get tired of the original game.

Azul – I don’t have this game, but it’s high on my list to buy. In the game, you are an artisan decorating the royal palace by picking up and placing decorated tiles and scoring points. I’ve read that you need to watch some YouTube videos on how to play to really grasp it, but that didn’t deter me.

There you have it, 40+ games that you can play on family game night with your tweens, teens, and older family members. I hope these games will help you to bond in a way that you haven’t before, and you will both enjoy the time you spent playing together.

Tell me in the comments – what games do you like to play with your older kids?


45+ best tween, teen, & adult games for family game night, even games for the kids! Tips and ideas for the 45+ best simple and easy family game night board, dice, and card games for children and adults to play together. These games make great gifts to buy and are the perfect addition to any home's game basket. Great to play on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, or any holiday. Games for older kids, tweens, teens, and adults to play together.

© 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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