Top 10 Best Board Games
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
June 15, 2011
Filed Under Games and Toys
Contributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Board games are not just for the bored or those without electronic or computer games.
The best board games are simple yet challenging and fast-paced yet thought provoking. Some of the most popular ones have been played for 2000 years. You’d think by now we would have figured out how to not lose pieces.
Here are the 10 Best Board Games.
Go makes the list out of respect for our elders – it lays claim to the title of “world’s first board game” by dating back to the Chinese emperor Yao in the 2300s BC. Two players alternate placing black and white stones at intersections or “points” on the board grid, score by surrounding and removing an opponent’s stones and win by controlling the largest area.
Drawn up in 1985 by Robert Angel, Pictionary and Pictionary Junior make the popular party game Charades into a board game by having players draw pictures depicting phrases instead of acting them out and move pieces around a board to help keep score and select new phrases.
Developed in 1949 by Anthony E. Pratt in England as Cluedo, Clue turns the classic murder-mystery into a board game and made Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum more than just the usual suspects. The board is a mansion where players assume the identity of one of six suspects and collect clues to determine who murdered Mr. Boddy, which weapon was used and in which room did the dastardly deed take place.
This board game of world domination was invented in 1957 by a French film director Albert Lamorisse as “The Conquest of the World.” The object of Risk is to move armies around a map of the world in order to occupy every territory and eliminate all of the other players.
Scrabble players form words using lettered tiles and score by totaling numbers on the tiles combined with doubling or tripling options on the board. It was invented in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts and called Criss-Crosswords. James Brunot bought the rights in 1948 and changed the name to Scrabble. Closely related to classic crossword puzzles and word games, scrabble really does require a dictionary and the ability to use it.
Mousetrap is the first and most popular board game based on the complex chain-reaction machines drawn by cartoonist Rube Goldberg. During the game, players work together to build a mousetrap of gears, stairs and a chute, then work against each other to trap their opponents’ mouse-shaped pieces and win the game.
An ancient board game still hugely popular around the world, The game of Chess is believed to have originated in northern India in the sixth century. The contemporary version with kings, queens, knights,, bishops, rooks and pawns following strict rules to move around 64 squares evolved in western Europe in the 15th century. The name “chess” and the term “check” (to place an opponents king in jeopardy) come from the Persian word for king, “Shah.”
3. Trivial Pursuit
Trivial Pursuit and its many versions was born in Montreal in 1979 when two Scrabble players, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, got tired of looking for missing pieces and developed their own game. Players move around the board after correctly answering trivia questions. The peak year for Trivial Pursuit was 1984 when over 20 million games were sold.
New versions of the popular game continue to be made, with special editions for teens, Baby Boomers, and fans of television shows and movies. And other companies have adopted the same Trivia game style to teach kids about everything from geography to science.
When is the floor a game board and a person a game piece? When the game is Twister, where players turn themselves into pretzels in an attempt to place hands and feet on colored circles on a large plastic mat. Patented in 1966 by Charles F. Foley and Neil Rabens, Twister sales got a big push when Eva Gabor and Johnny Carson got tangled up playing it on The Tonight Show.
If any game could monopolize a discussion of board games, it would be Monopoly, along with all the thematic incarnations of classic Monopoly, which traces its roots to The Landlord’s Game which was created in 1904 by Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips to help explain the single tax and private monopoly theory of economist Henry George. By 1934, Parker Brothers was selling the current version with its Atlantic City properties, colorful paper money and Get Out Of Jail Free cards.