Game night is BACK! The search ends here for new games that entertain and allow you to be an interactive part of the story of the game. The only negative to these games is that you may even get a bit obsessed with them. Three board games to track on your game search radar are The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Ingenious. All three are easy to get involved in and will even be a pleasurable experience for family as well as your non-gaming friends. Keep reading to learn more about each.

Image used under Creative Commons from anneheathen

Image
Name
Pros
Cons
Bottom line
Catan
Catan
  • Easy to set up
  • Suitable for children
  • Perfect for the whole family
  • Customizable game via expansion kits
  • Poor board quality
  • Missing pieces
Ticket To Ride
Ticket To Ride
  • Entertaining
  • Suitable for children
  • Perfect for the whole family
  • Not a lot of pieces to keep players engaged
  • Missing pieces as reported by some buyers
Ingenious
Ingenious
  • Challenging
  • Educational game for children
  • Perfect for the whole family
  • Flimsy components

Catan

Catan
Created by MayFair Games, The Settlers of Catan was named as one of the bestselling games in the U.S. and in Germany!The premise: You are in the mythical world of “Catan,” where you’ll need to use strategy to maneuver around the 19 hexes or “the island” that’s surrounded by ocean. Each of the various hexes gives the players the opportunity to acquire resources such as lumber, brick, wool, grains and ore.

You’ll use those resources to build roads, settlements, cities and collect victories along your journey. Of course, there’s the desert hex area to avoid, as it doesn’t earn you any resources. Simply get 10 victories and you’re the winner!

Perfect for the whole family, Catan is easy to set up. It is also suitable for children ages 10 years old and up. One game session last for about 90 minutes. If you’re new to the game, you can get the basic set but for advanced players looking for a more challenging game, you can customize the board for an intense play! Expansion game kits allow you to get more options in building and strategizing.

This game has a lot of pieces you can use for strategizing, which may be a good thing and a bad thing. If you’re new to the game, you won’t be able to maximize some of the pieces. Also, some customers say that their board games came with missing pieces. That said, one user is happy with this game and thinks it’s well worth the $$$:

Settlers is one of the greatest games ever. Overall, this game is fun and can be re-played countless times due to the variable game set up. Well worth the money.

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Ticket To Ride

Ticket To Ride
Inspired by the movie “Around the World in 80 Days,” Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure set in the 1900.The premise: As the story goes, 28 years earlier Phileas Fogg, the London eccentric, won the contest of around the world in 80 days. Now his friends, want to celebrate that great win by creating their own competition, “or game,” by having put up a $1 million prize to see how many cities in North America can be visited via train in just 7 days.

You and your friends will build and create your own train routes to connect and visit as many cities as you can within those 7 days. You create your own adventures in building your routes when you use your Destination Tickets that might change or alter your route or even help you connect to another city a bit faster. Keep gathering points to help build the longest route and then, you’re the winner!

This game is very entertaining and perfect as a nice family game. It requires 2 to 5 players and is suitable for small children 8 years old and above. A single game session can be completed in just 30 minutes, depending on the number of players.

As for the downsides of the game, it’s not a simple game nor is it suitable for avid board gamers. Also, it does not come with a host of pieces to keep gamers engaged. And speaking of pieces, some users complained that their package came with missing pieces. However, one satisfied gamer left a positive review and a 5 star rating on Amazon:

The short answer is that once you play this game, you’ll never play TransAmerica again. It’s a fantastic medium-weight game – one that plays equally well with two to five players. The components are superb, the artwork is great, the game is downright fun (and nasty sometimes), and the total package is a very strong contender for the Spiel des Jahres 2004.

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Ingenious

Ingenious
Created by Fantasy Flight Games, Ingenious is a challenging game designed by Reiner Knizia!
The premise: It’s a game of challenges, you against “them,” use your brain to outwit your opponents by planning your moves while you protect your tiles against your opponents. The German designer of the game, Reiner Knizia has taken the idea of classic checkers, placed it on a hexagonal board, given it the option to have up to 4 players and now, endless ways to outwit the opponents by using abstract placement of tiles.This game will test the wits of your kids, making it a great educational game for children ages 10 years old and above. It requires up to 4 players and one gaming session can be completed in 45 minutes. This game allows players to strategize their way into victory!

Most users loved this game because it’s fun and it’s perfect for the whole family. However, one user feels that the online version of this game is better than the board game. Also, some buyers say that the flimsy components affected the user experience of playing Ingenious. Still, most users say this game is very user-friendly, addicting, and the directions are easy to follow, as one Amazon reviewer claimed in a review:

This is a really fun game. My 11 year old and I really enjoy playing it and he wants to play it again and again. The directions aren’t too difficult to figure out and it has fast become a favorite in my house.

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