Family Magazine


By Sara Zwicker @SaraZwicker

Happy Friday my friends!!  I hope you have all had a great week.  To kick off the weekend, today I am joining  Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia in the Friday Five Link Up.


The topic today is Favorites!  It’s pretty broad so we can take creative liberties in how we address it.  For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that Tuesday night is game night in our house.  It’s the only night during the week where I don’t bring my computer home and do work after we put Ashton to bed.  It’s solely about spending unplugged quality time with Robyn and it’s one of my favorite nights of the week because we always have so much fun catching up and playing games.  Right now, our game collection is pushing 50, so its going to be hard to narrow it down, but I am going to talk about my current 5 favorite board games (in no particular order).

1. Takenoko

This is a really simple game with a gorgeous board and characters.  The point of this game is to achieve one of three objectives:  using the gardener character to grow specific colors of bamboo, using the panda to eat bamboo, or flipping colored tiles to make specific shapes. There is some strategy to the game based on what the other players are doing (and how it affects your overall strategy.)  This is a game we play a lot when our nieces and nephew come over and it’s a family favorite.


2. Ticket to Ride

Another pretty simple game and is great when you have friends over because it’s light and fun. The point of this game is to score the highest number of total points. You draw cards that give you specific routes you need to claim and you gain points by fulfilling your routes.  The longer your routes, the more points you get and the other players try and figure out your route and block you!  You can also get points for having the longest continuous path of routes and you lose points if you don’t complete all the routes in your hand.  This has always been a crowd favorite here. They also have a European version that is the same concept but the routes are between European cities rather than US ones.

ticket to ride

3. The Settlers of Catan

This is considered one of the most popular games in the world and for good reason, it is a ton of fun, especially if you have a group of friends over for games and drinks because there is a barter aspect of the game that can get heated (in a good, laughable way!)  There are 19 terrain hexes surrounded by the ocean and each terrain produces a different type of resource and you have to use these resources to build new roads and settlements, upgrade settlements to cities, or purchase development cards. There is also a robber piece that adds to the fun because it lets you steal from other players.  The first person to get 10 victory points wins.


4. Alhambra

Alhambra is a tile based game that takes place in the Middle Ages, the goal is to build the biggest Alhambra which is done by making money from the open market and then using it to buy gardens, towers and other rooms in your building.   You are scored on how many of a particular structure you have vs. the other players and also by how long the exterior wall of your Alhambra is.  The one with the most points wins.


5. Relic Runners

In Relic Runners, your character is an archaeologist whose purpose is to acquire relics that have been unearthed in a long lost part of the jungle. You get points for collecting the different kinds of relics and bonus points for creating routes to these relics, the one who gets the most points wins.  There is some strategy in this game too as you have to try and quickly observe the other players strategies and adapt so you can get to the relics before them.

relic runners

A lot of these and the other games we have seem REALLY complicated when you read reviews of them, but once you get playing, are actually pretty simple and have some great strategy aspects to them. I NEVER thought I’d be someone who enjoyed board games but it’s something Robyn has really opened my eyes to and now something we really enjoy doing together and our friends and family enjoy coming over and playing too!  We have had some hysterical nights with friends while playing games.

Robyn does a ton of research online to find games he thinks we will both like.  Board games are super popular in Europe and that is where most of the best games are made (Germany) and most of our games are winners of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres board game award. We have never been dissapointed by one of these award winning games!  Ashton even has his own set of board games and we play a few times a week with him. It’s a great way to engage the whole family in fun activities, especially since we have been cooped up a lot this Winter.

So there you have it, my current 5 favorite board games for the Friday Five!  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free pair of Cordskinz and of course, have an awesome weekend!


Question of the day

Any other board game lovers out there? What are some of your favorites? Ever play any of the games I mentioned?

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