Your Turn! New and Classic Board Games

Board games are making a comeback during the pandemic as everyone looks to stay engaged during more stay-at-home time. Here are four of the most popular board games of all time and a corresponding board game similar to the classic game that you and your family may enjoy trying.

  • Chess. The most popular board game of all time got an unexpected boost from Netflix’s critically acclaimed series “The Queen’s Gambit.” After the show was released in October 2020, sales of chess sets soared 125 percent, according to a report from the New York Times. While you can easily find instructions how to play chess on the internet, most people learn how to play after being taught by someone else.

    Quantity sold: 3 million copies every year in the U.S. alone.

    If you like chess, you may want to try: Onitama. In Onitama, there is a primary game board and pieces which can be moved, but only in certain ways. It is a strategy board game based on the different styles of Japanese martial arts.

  • Monopoly. Is it no wonder that a game where the objective is to force your fellow players into bankruptcy is one of the most popular of all time? Parker Brothers introduced this game in 1934 from The Landlord’s game that was created by Elizabeth Philips in 1903.

    Quantity sold: 300 million

    If you like Monopoly, you may want to try: Railroad Ink. This game lets each player build a railroad network. While the premise of the game is pretty simple, it can be very challenging and unpredictable.

  • Scrabble. Vocabularies around the world have been put to the test by Scrabble, which has been in existence since 1938. Invented by New York City architect Alfred Mosher Butts in 1933, the game was first called Lexico, then changed to Criss-Cross Words. Mosher’s friend and future business partner James Brunot invented the name Scrabble in the late 1930s.

    Quantity sold: 150 million

    If you like Scrabble, you may want to try: Quiddler. A great game for large families, Quiddler can accommodate up to 10 players. Each player receives a handful of cards with letters on them with the goal of making as many words as possible from the cards you have. Unlike Scrabble, two-letter words are actually allowed with Quiddler!

  • Candy Land. A retired schoolteacher named Eleanor Abbott created a board game in 1948 that could become a distraction for child patients fighting polio at a San Diego hospital. Abbott submitted the game to Milton Bradley after it became extremely popular.

    Quantity sold: 50 million

    If you like Candy Land, you may want to try: Sequence for Kids. Play an animal card that you’re holding and set down a chip on the corresponding animal on the board. The first player with four chips in a row wins. You may also notice your kids thinking a couple turns ahead for the first time while playing this board game, as they start to sharpen their strategy skills.