Which game for Grandparents is your favourite?
Recommendation List #4
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Great games you may not have played (but you'll wish you'd learned sooner)

If you're looking to discover more great modern boardgames, this is the place to start.

3 great games for under 6s


Game Name: Monza
Designer: Jürgen Grunau
Publisher: HABA
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 5 and up)
You'll love it because: Monza puts you behind the wheel of a racing car! An ingenious system of 6 dice with different coloured faces that match the coloured board spaces forces you to plan your move so as to go as far as possible. The game encourages forward thinking by children, but has enough luck that anyone can win in a nail-biting finish. The adorable wooden racing cars make this game a sure-fire winner.

chicken cha cha

Game Name: Chicken Cha Cha Cha
Designer: Klaus Zoch
Publisher: Zoch / Rio Grande (English language edition)
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Ages 4 and up
You'll love it because: The chickens have gone crazy and are trying to pluck out each other's tail feathers! Each player has a gorgeous wooden chicken with a removable tail feather. Players need to remember the location of snail and worm cards so they can race around the ring of tiles. Each chicken they overtake has to give up all its tail feathers. The winner of this game of chicken-souped-up memory can crow about claiming everyone else's tail feather!

Tier auf Tier - Animal upon Animal - from Haba

Game Name: Tier auf Tier (Animal upon Animal)
Designer: Klaus Miltenberger
Publisher: Haba
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 4 and up)
You'll love it because: The game of stacking animals in crazy positions. Each player receives a variety of brightly coloured wooden animals ranging from a frill-necked lizard to a monkey. A die is rolled which tells the player how many pieces or which pieces to pile on the back of the big crocodile. The first player to stack up all of their animals is the winner. Good for helping develop fine motor skills and great laugh-out-loud fun for kids big and small.


3 great games for under 10s


Game Name: Bohnanza
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Amigo / Rio Grande (English language edition)
Players: 2-7
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 8 and up); adults
You'll love it because: In Bohnanza you are a farmer growing different types of bean, from the green bean through to the ever-popular cocoa bean. The beans are represented on cards which you must plant in rows in front of you or else trade with other players. The player who best manages their trading and harvesting of beans will earn a bohnanza!

Game Name: Hey! That's My Fish!
Designer: Alvydas Jakeliunas & Günter Cornett
Publisher: Bambus / Phalanx / Mayfair (English language edition)
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 8 and up); adults
You'll love it because: You're a cute little family of penguins... but you are in ferocious competition with those other penguin families to get the most fish! The game board is made of cardboard tiles that each show some fish. On your turn, one of your penguins waddles to a new tile and then dives through the ice to catch the fish. You keep the tile to show the fish you've caught, but unfortunately this leaves hole in the ice shelf. Eventually the holes all join up and each penguin is stranded on its own iceberg gloating over its haul of fish!


Game Name: Blink
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Publisher: Adlung / Out of the Box (English language edition)
Players: 2 or 3
Playing time: 5 minutes
Suitable for: Ages 8 and up (but we have played it with younger children)
You'll love it because:

This a game of frenzied card play. If you love Spit, or Racing Patience, this game is for you. You split the deck of cards and then try to be the first one to get rid of all your cards. You can play a card onto one of the two piles in the middle if it matches the top card on any of three attributes - colour, number or shape. Hugely fun and very fast, you won't be able to stop at just one round.

3 great games for older families

Settlers of Catan from Mayfair Games

Game Name: The Settlers of Catan
Designer: Klaus Teuber
Publisher: Kosmos / Mayfair (English language edition)
Players: 3 or 4 (2 to 6 using an optional expansion)
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You'll love it because:

An extraordinarily popular game with more than 10 million Catan games sold worldwide, and as soon as you have played you will know why! You are colonising an island and have to build a network of villages, roads and towns. All this construction needs raw materials such as lumber, bricks or wool, but your villages will be situated in areas that produce only a few of the needed materials. This means that you must trade with other players whose villages can produce the needed materials. Each game starts by building a new island of Catan, and the ability to set up good trades and cleverly carve out your section of the island are needed to emerge the best settler of Catan.

Carcassonne from Rio Grande / Ventura Games

Game Name: Carcassonne
Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Publisher: Hans im Glück / Rio Grande (English language edition) / Ventura (English language edition)
Players: 2 to 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You'll love it because: The game is set in medieval France around the town of Carcassonne. Each turn you place a tile that shows sections of towns, fields and roads to build up a map of the countryside which acts as the game board. Place a worker to gain control of a town, road or field and then try and maximise the size of the areas you control by clever placement of tiles. Every game will end with a new and attractive layout and offer you interesting challenges as you try to score the most points by focussing on farming or perhaps on control of the towns.

Ticket to Ride is published by Days of Wonder

Game Name: Ticket to Ride
Designer: Alan Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You'll love it because: Ticket to Ride is about building railways across the U.S. Players collect sets of cards and use these to compete for the best bits of track. To build the link between two towns, you must hand in a set of cards of a particular colour, with the size required determined by the length of the link which also determines the score for making the link. Each player has some secret Destination Tickets that list towns that they must connect by the time the game ends. The tension is excruciating as you save up cards to complete a long link, but hope that no-one sneaks in before you to steal it! Great fun.

3 great games for big groups

Shadows over Camelot from Days of Wonder

Game Name: Shadows over Camelot
Designer: Serge Laget & Bruno Cathalla
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Players: 3-7
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You'll love it because: Take your place at the Round Table in the Court of King Arthur! You brave knights will band together to defeat the many threats facing the kingdom. The game is unusual because the players must co-operate, and everyone wins or loses together.... except... that sometimes one player is a traitor conspiring with Mordred to overthrow King Arthur! The feeling engendered by your desperate struggle against impending doom will leave you unable to erase the suspicion that one of your "trusty" comrades is really a traitor.

Catch the Match from Playroom

Game Name: Catch the Match
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Publisher: Playroom
Players: 1-8
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suitable for: Ages 4 - 8
You'll love it because: Catch the Match is an observation game requiring matching of shapes and colours. There are fifteen oversized cards, each with the same fifteen objects such as a duck, shovel and boat. Each object is illustrated in two colours such as blue-green or yellow-blue - but the colours of the objects on each card are different. Only one object is coloured the same on any pair of cards - can you spot it first? It is trickier than it sounds because the objects vary in position and rotation between cards, so comparing the colours of two butterflies when one is upside down and the other on its side can be a challenge. This is a game where children will often beat adults - always fun for them!

Apples to Apples from Out of the Box

Game Name: Apples to Apples
Designer: Mark Osterhaus & Matthew Kirby
Publisher: Out of the Box
Players: 4-10
Playing time: around 30 minutes
Suitable for:

Gamiles (ages 8 and up); adults

You'll love it because: This is a party game of zany fun. Each round one person is the judge and flips a green apple card which specifies a quality such as "round", "furry" or "stinky" and all the other players put in one face-down red apple card with a noun describing a person, event or thing. After mixing the cards so the judgement can't be biased, the judge makes her deliberations and selects a winner. The winner gets to keep the green apple card, and the player with the most green apple cards at game end is the winner. The possible combinations of cards are enormous and the results are always fun and often plain silly!

3 great Australian games

Sunda to Sahul, from Sagacity

Game Name: Sunda to Sahul
Designer: Don Bone
Publisher: Sagacity
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You'll love it because: Sunda to Sahul is a game and a puzzle in one box! The beautiful pieces show sections of land and sea and can be assembled to form large islands or an archipelago of little ones. The aim of the game is to complete land segments which then allow one of your tribes go and live on the island. The game ends with the first person to have all their tribes settled. The game comes with a variety of puzzle challenges to amuse a single player when there is no-one else to play the game with.


Game Name: Snorta
Designer: Tony Richardson & Chris Childs
Publisher: Out of the Box
Players: 3-8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Ages 6 and up
You'll love it because: Snorta is best thought of as Snap with attitude, and is crazy grunting snorting fun at its best! Each player has a rubber farm animal that they show once and then hide in their barn. In turn, each player flips over a card picturing an animal on to the pile in front of them. If two players' piles have matching cards, the first to make the noise of the animal in the barn of the other player wins the "duel" and the loser must pick up both piles of cards. Winner is the first person to get rid of all their cards. Also available from Ventura as a cheaper game with only cards and no cute barns and animal figures.


Make 'n' Break by Ravensburger

Game Name: Make 'n' Break
Designer: Jack Lawson & Andrew Lawson
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2 to 4 (or more)
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 4 and up)
You'll love it because: Who doesn't love building blocks? Make 'n' Break is a fast-paced, exciting game where players race to arrange blocks into the structure shown on a card - then knock their structure down to start another one. Making it tricky is that each block is of a different colour, and the card often specifies the colour of each block in the structure. Fantastic for the very young, Make 'n' Break is also popular with older children and adults.
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