10 Family Friendly Strategic Board Games for Competitive Fun

Are you looking for a creative way to encourage teenagers and adults alike to put down their phones and interact with each other? Do you have a family member or friend who is competitive and hates to lose?

Are you looking for a creative way to encourage teenagers and adults alike to put down their phones and interact with each other? Then you definitely need to play one of these family friendly strategic board games. Click to read.

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Then you definitely need to play one of these family friendly strategic board games. Each box has their own age recommendations. I would encourage those playing the games on this list to be at least 10+ years old. 

10 Family Friendly Strategic Board Games for Competitive Fun

1. Settlers of Catan

Catan (aka The Settlers of Catan) has been awarded “Game of the Year,” “Hall of Fame,” and even “Game of the Century” honors in Germany, the United States, and a host of other countries worldwide. An international favorite, it’s been called the “Perfect Social Game.”

Each player in the game represents a settler establishing colonies on the island of Catan. Players work together to build settlements, cities, and roads to connect them as they settle the island.

2. Risk

I favor this game…a lot (you can ask my husband). Risk is a “take over the world” game and is great if you’ve always wanted to achieve world domination.

Each player begins with a select number of army men and can build up their colonies and armies from there. The ultimate object of the game is to take over each country. There are various versions of Risk, but I’ve always found the traditional game to be less distracting and more energetic.

3. Monopoly

Build your fortune as you buy, sell and trade some of the world’s most famous properties. You can take a ride on Reading Railroad, build a house on Baltic Avenue, or buy up the whole neighborhood.

This game is perfect for those who are learning the concept of money, or who love to own everything.

4. Blokus

My husband and I were given this game as a wedding present. We LOVE it! Players take turn placing 21 pieces on the board. Each piece played must touch another piece of the same color, but only at the corners. The purpose is to fit as many of your pieces on the board as you can while blocking your opponents.

This game requires 4 people but can be played with 2 people as long as these 2 people don’t mind being 2 different colors. In short, find 4 people to make life easier on yourself. The game is completely worth it!

5. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.

The objective is to see the most cities in North America in just 7 days. Ticket to Ride also has a European adventure game as well.

6. Diplomacy

Diplomacy is a classic game of negotiation, cunning, and deceit (with a dose of fun).

Through negotiations, alliances, and intrigue, you get to expand your empire over pre-World War I Europe. Your success hinges not on the luck of the dice, but your cunning and cleverness as you form alliances and unhitch traitorous plots. You negotiate and outwit in a delicate balance of cooperation and competition to gain dominance of the continent.

7. Quoridor

Quoridor is a multiple award-winning abstract strategy game for the whole family. The purpose of the game is to try to get your pawn to the other side of the board.

On your turn, you either move your pawn or place a wall. You get to decide if you can successfully navigate the maze your opponent creates for you.

8. Stratego

Stratego is a classic game of Battlefield strategy. Primarily set for two players, each player commands an army of soldiers, generals, and spies.

Each player devises a plan and deploys their troops. You use strategic attack and clever deception to break through your opponent’s line, but beware, of bombs and enemy spies. Capture the flag, and victory is yours!

I will provide a warning to this game: my husband and I have this game and it can quickly become competitive and addicting. Very much so.

9. Agricola

Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows!

Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar, and cattle. This game is the original farming game before social media farming games. Give it a try!

10. Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples has won numerous awards. This game challenges you to think on your feet, get a little silly, and find out how your friends and family think.

There are two different types of cards, red and green. Each player takes a turn being the “judge” and deciding which card best describes the “description” card. This game is hilarious, and be warned, you will be laughing a lot.

Apples to Apples is completely strategy in humor. The purpose is to get the most Description cards as possible to win the game.

My family and I have played many of the games on this list and love them. I will provide a warning: these games are highly addictive and really fun. They’re also very high energy games if you, or another member, are very competitive (meaning you hate to lose).

Please leave a comment and let us know what strategy games you enjoy playing.

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