Try something new on your next game night. These family-tested picks are the best of the year!
1. Sophie’s Seashell Scramble
Matching-game enthusiasts will love this twist on the classic brain-builder. Kids use Sophie, an oh-so-cute otter figurine, to pick up shells and match them with the patterns on their cards. Ages 3 and up, $22.
The word game Anaxi requires serious creativity. Players race to write down things that share the qualities of at least two out of three adjectives. “There were lots of laughs over what we came up with,” one mom said. Ages 8 and up, $22.
3. Monopoly Ultimate Banking
Wheelers and dealers will love the upgrades to this Monopoly classic: A battery-powered banking unit scans property and credit cards, transfers money, and keeps track of your wealth. Because who carries cash anymore? Ages 8 and up, $25.
4. Silly Street
Get ready to giggle as you roar, karate chop, and fish-kiss! Players in Silly Street choose cards that tell them to do something silly to move down the block of this colorful ’hood. Whoever gets to the end first wins. Ages 4 and up, $25.
5. Thing Two and Thing One Whirly Fun!
Dr. Seuss’s troublemaking pals create a mess as they spin through the 3-D house. Players in Whirly Fun! hurry to clean it up as Mother gets close to the front door. “My son begged to play the game over and over!” our tester told us. Ages 4 and up, $10.
6. The Heroes of Kaskaria
Heroes of Kaskaria set off for the lair of evil trolls to recover stolen treasure. If you play your cards right, you’ll find more gold and ultimately the coveted magic amulet, making you the winner. “My son loved counting his gold pieces at the end!” one mom noted. Ages 6 and up, $30.
What a dastardly idea! Each player in Suspicion is a world-class jewel thief pocketing precious gems during a masquerade party at the estate of art-collector Baron Whitetooth. Your mission: Unmask the other crooks before they catch you! Ages 10 and up, $20.
8. Top That!
It’s time to make some magic! Each person gets a set of stacking pieces in a top hat. Someone flips a challenge card, and players get to work stacking pieces as shown on the card. The first to do it shouts “Top that!” and gets a point. Whoever has the most points after all the cards are used wins. Ages 6 and up, $20.
9. Dinkee Linkee
Team up with your pop-culture obsessed tween or history-buff hubby, and get ready to compete in a new type of trivia with Dinkee Linkee. This version ups the ante: Players read off four prompts and have to spot the link between all the answers before the other team shouts it out. Ages 8 and up, $20.
10. Scooby-Doo! Fright at the Fun Park Game
Ruh, roh. There’s a ghoul in the local park, and only your kids—and their Scooby-Doo counterparts—can save the day. As they make their way around the board searching for the villain, they’ll mark down clues and get turns looking through a mystery decoder. Ages 4 and up, $20.