As kids we used to only have fun board games such as Monopoly, Risk, Battleship, and Clue. Then came Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens and our geeky lives were forever changed—for the best.
If you are hosting a gathering of nerds (many of whom might actually be adults), check out these incredibly entertaining board games to create a night no one will ever forget.
Already dubbed game of the year almost certainly because a large part of this Steam Punk alternate history of Europe in the 1920’s involves battling up to 5 of your friends with coal powered mechs.
Add in absolutely stunning illustrations which merit purchasing on their own and you’ve got little reason why you and your friends haven’t played this yet.
Set in a time of “broken hearts and rusted gears” Scythe players chose from 5 factions in Eastern Europa. From their unique starting land, they will need to conquer new territories, enlist new recruits, reap resources, build, and of course activate gigantic mechs.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
Is Hogwarts never safe?
Gather you friends and assume the role of Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville to save Hogwarts from the Dark Arts. Each student has a deck of cards and special abilities to help protect the famous school.
Without a doubt any Potterhead will relish this gift to add hours of Harry Potter-themed fun to their witchy and wizardy lives.
Star Wars Rebellion
Finally a board game that gets the vastness of the Star Wars universe perfect.
Yes there is a death star and yes it can destroy planets.
This will also make an excellent gift for all the Star Wars fans in your life.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
If you and your friends are Star Wars fans—and to be honest who these days doesn’t have at least a little love for Star Wars—then this is going to be your go to board game for sure.
Want to assemble a team of iconic Star Wars characters ranging from Obi Wan Kenobi to Kylar Ren and go to battle over insane objectives? Pick skirmish mode.
If you want to lead the Rebels against the nearly limitless resources of the Galactic Empire pick campaign mode. Or if you want to squash the rebel scum forever and hold the galaxy in your dark grip chose to campaign for the Dark Side.
Games usually take about 90 minutes and can include anywhere from 2 to 5 players.
Star Wars Armada
If you are looking for a break from a tactical centered game like X-Wing and want to jump into a game that centers more on strategy, Star Wars: Armanda is your jam.
You and another friend assume the role of a grand fleet admiral either for the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. Then, in a galaxy not so far, far away, you start blasting each other and harassing each other with your TIE fighters and X-wings all the while scrambling Engineering teams and droids to fix battered shields and hulls.
Gargantuan ships like Star Destroyers will require thought and expertise in plotting their courses since Armada’s ingenious movement system adds a thrilling and realistic complexity to space battles which prevents huge ships from jumping effortlessly into battles from anywhere in the galaxy.
Games are limited to 6 rounds, so it generally takes about 120 minutes to play a full game of Armada.
This fast paced game for 2-4 players pits warring clans against each other to see who can pillage and invade the most land before Ragnarok finally descends upon the world.
Full of Sea Serpents, Trolls, Frost Giants, Valkyrie, and hordes of angry Vikings this game does not disappoint.
Thunder and Lightning
The wonderful cover pretty much says everything you need to know about this fun board game.
Thunder and Lightning pits you and your best friend against each other in an epic showdown to determine who will rule all of Asgard. At the opening of the game, Loki has already filched Odin’s crown, so Thor gets Odin’s ring of power, Draupnir.
You win if you can seize control of your opponents ring or crown, or when you reduce your adversary to ashes.
As a side note, the cards are so beautifully illustrated its worth getting this game just for the art.
Gather up to 6 friends for some righteous zomebie slaying.
Depending on the board you use, games can last for lightning rounds of 20 minutes or a full on slayfest of 3 hours. The more zombies you kill the more skilled your character gets, but be careful for the more zombies you slay the more will appear!
Duel: 7 Wonders
For all those who loved 7 Wonders comes Duel. Duel lets 2 players go head to head in quick, intense 30 minute battles.
In this frantic board game you and your friends must repair a spaceship before it slips into a black hole.
What makes Space Team so crazy is that there are no turns only people flipping through their own decks, ripping through malfunctions, and shouting for other people to help—since the tools to fix their problem likely lie in someone else’s hand!
One of the most funded kickstarters ever, EVER this game is like Russian Roulette but with kittens.
Players draw cards until they draw an exploding feline at which point they are dead—unless of course that player has a “defuse card” which can nullify a potential explosion with things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches.
Of course to make things more interesting, the creators of the game added in all sorts of other cards that involve reshuffling the deck, stealing other player’s cards, getting sneak peaks into which cards are on top of the deck, and a slew of other actions that can make the game insane. Like if you had consumed a lot of vodka and were playing Russian Roulette.
Without a doubt this is going to reshape any geek party you go to for the rest of your life.
Werewolf: A Party Game for Devious People
This game is hilariously and sickly brutal.
It consists of daytime and nighttime rounds. During the night, werewolves pick who to kill and during the day, villagers pick who to lynch. There are special characters like a Doctor and a Seer who can save a victim or identify a werewolf.
Villagers win if they manage to lynch the werewolves, and the lycanthropes are victorious if they manage to kill enough villagers to reduce them to the same number of werewolves.
No matter who ends up winning, you and your friends are bound to have a blast, especially if there are drinks involved.
Channel your inner 007 in this party game packed with intrigue, death, and mind games.
You and your friends split into 2 teams: red and blue and try to identify all of your secret agents before your opponents do all while avoiding the deadly assassin.
If you are looking for a break from competitive strategic games, Pandemic is the cooperative answer you’ve been seeking.
Gather your friends to save the world from 4 deadly diseases. You can chose to be a dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, or operations expert.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
In this lightning-fast version of Werewolf, players chose to be either the Werewolf, Minion, Tanner, Troublemaker, Seer, Robber, or a number of other roles each with their own special motives.
Games last for 10 minutes, so this is a perfect activity to break the ice with a new group of grown up geeks.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak
Each player now gets new, unique roles including: Mystic Wolf, Witch, Curator and each have their own dark and powerful special abilities.
Another grand entry in the games of social deduction.
Much like Werewolf and Coup, Avalon consists of bad guys embedded with the good guys trying to thwart missions with deceit and guile.
What makes Avalon interesting is that even if the good guys prevail and win 3 missions, if the subversive agents of Mordred are able to identify the wizard Merlin then the evil forces will actually win.
Coup (The Dystopian Universe)
In a very familiar and not too-distant future, the government is run for profit by an elite set of multi-national CEOs.
Everyone else has been reduced to poverty—until the Resistance emerged and created hope and opportunity with their continued attempts to overthrow these CEOs.
As a fairly corrupt and powerful official, this presents a lot of opportunity for you—and your would-be adversaries who also have their eyes fixated on seizing the moment.
To win, you must drive everyone else into exile by annihilating their influence.
Games can last for at least 15 minutes with anywhere from 2 to 6 players.
Resistance (The Dystopian Universe)
Best suited for 5 to 10 players, Resistance will test your ability to lie and be savvy enough to identify when other people are lying.
Games will usually last for about 30 minutes as players are pitted in desperate missions as Rebels to bring a corrupt government to its knees. Three successful missions counts as a victory for the resistance while 3 failures creates a victory for the corrupt dystopian government.
Sheriff of Nottingham
In this strategic game of bluffing and persuasion and palm-greasing players have legal goods and contraband goods like silk and wine that they try to smuggle into a teeming city and past the ever vigilant and portly Sheriff.
While bribery is not only acceptable, but encouraged, there are scores to be settled between players as the game moves on, making simple donations to get past the Sheriff’s less and less useful.
And that’s what makes this game so fun.
Each player gets a turn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, hilariously represented as a greasy Falstaffian knight-ruffian on the game box.
Games usually last an hour
Lords of Waterdeep
For the Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, but not die hard players who don’t want to be tasked with leveling a character up to 700 for the next 10 years (thankfully) comes Lords of Waterdeep.
Set in one of the finest cities in all of the Forgotten Realms, Waterdeep plays host to you and your venturesome friends who act as lords and hire adventurers to complete quests. Games shouldn’t take longer than an hour, but the memories and vendettas will last for a life time.
How can you not grab this game when it describes itself as joining a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the perilous ruins of a gorgeous and exotic paradise?
Games are fast paced and take about 30 minutes with 2 to 4 players.
The less exotic but equally enthralling twin of Forbidden Island is not to be missed.
Gather 2 to 5 players for a great excursion to recover a legendary flying machine from a ancient city buried in the desert. You and your companions will have to work together seemlessly if you want to survive a paucity of water, plethora of sandstorms.
A great way to get your friends in on the board game craze, Castle Panic is everything you would expect it to be.
You and 3 other friends must defend your castle from an onslaught of monsters who are storming forth from the woods. Whoever slays the most monsters from the teeming horde will be declared the ultimate victor, but you will need to work closely with your friends to make sure none of their towers topples.
In Splendor, players assume the role of Renaissance merchants out to buy gems, create shops, and increase their prestige.
With each passing round you have the chance to buy gems, build, or reserve cards to ensure you get it or even better so that other merchants can’t.
To win, players must obtain 15 prestige points before their fellow merchants.
Game time is 30 minutes.