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Family Game Night: Our Complete Review of 3 NEW Games for Families

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We’re big fans of family game night over here. And we’re not the only ones. An Ohio State University study reports that quality time as a family is one of the biggest catalysts for children becoming successful in life. Fun and a catalyst of success: Bonus! 

Sometimes, I assume my children’s best chance to succeed is from pursuing a career interest, academics, or extracurricular activities. It turns out, hustling and bustling our children all over town to “give them the brightest future” is taking away from one of the most important locations for their greatest development: their home, and they can get plenty of investment in their future taking on mom and dad at Uno.

While Uno is a classic, recently, we tried three new games as a family to see if we could branch out from our collection of classics (e.g. Monopoly, Life, Clue, and Uno).

These new games did not disappoint. Check out my complete review below for recommendations for your next game night.

Review: 3 New Games for Your Next Family Game Night

My husband and I approached this idea as follows. We searched for:

  • One new board game

  • One new interactive game (like charades)

  • One new card game

We tried to find newer games we’d never played that also fit our children’s developmental stages. Even though these games are geared toward our early grade schooler and preschooler, they are great for any age. My husband and I even spent a number of evenings playing them instead of watching Netflix like we normally do. Here is a breakdown of our three new games.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Created: 2016

Age: 6+

Players: 2 to 4

Summary: Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a new take on the classic board game, Ticket to Ride, that gives younger players a chance to compete in building train routes across a map of the U.S. and part of Canada. We’d never had the original game, so starting with one designed for our 7-year-old and 5-year-old was a great fit. 

Highlights: I appreciated how well it worked for my preschooler to play without needing help with reading. He could easily find his destinations on the map since they were clearly marked with an icon beside each name (i.e. Chicago showed a large baseball). We saw this as a fun way for the kids to learn more about North American cities and geography, and this type of logic and engineering was especially fun for my husband.

Downside: This game does come with a lot of small pieces, so it takes a little extra time to set up each round. Not a big problem, though.

Pencil Nose

Created: 2018

Age: 8+

Players: 4+

Summary: Pencil Nose is a hilarious twist on Pictionary where each player draws on a clear dry erase board with his or her nose. The game comes with two pairs of brightly colored glasses that fix a marker comfortably over your nose. You simply choose a card from the deck and draw as many things on the card as you can before the time runs out. Harder said than done.

Highlights: It’s so funny to see what the simplest drawings actually turn out to look like as each of us takes our turn. The glasses bring extra giggles and make for some funny photo memories. Even though our little artists are a bit young for this game, I know they’ll grow into it and am definitely glad we added it to our collection.

Downside: The dry erase markers will eventually need to be replaced, but thankfully, any brand will fit on the glasses. 

Taco Vs. Burrito

Created: 2018

Age: 7+

Players: 2 to 4

Summary: Taco Vs. Burrito is a card game created by a 7-year-old named Alex that’s fun for any age. Your job is to build the most points by adding wacky ingredients, like hair from a mustache and salty lollipops, to your taco or burrito. Other players can use cards to steal, swap, or even send you a tummy ache, which reduces the points. The player with the most points in their taco or burrito after all the cards are played wins.

Highlights: My family absolutely loves this game. My son wakes up at 6:30 every morning since we purchased this and asks to play it with me during breakfast. It’s the kind of game that takes up very little space and travels well, so I’m sure we’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Downside: This game isn’t as easy to find in stores like Walmart or Target, so your best bet is to buy it online.

In short, all three games get our stamp of approval! Of course, any type of fun that brings you together is excellent. Have a great time making memories!

Want more ideas for family fun? Check out these other resources:

 

What types of games does your family enjoy playing together? We’d love to add your ideas to ours in the comments below!


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