Board games is a fabulous way to occupy down times and rainy days. But we find that when you are traveling you need to think about what you pack in order to have place for all that you need. And with six people in the family it’s sometimes a tricky thing to do. Back in the day when I was younger and go camping with my parents, a board game or two would be brought as well as books to read.
Fast Forward thirty-five years or so and you suddenly have a tablets that can contains numerous games and eBooks for your travels. Now please keep in mind that in this blog post I will not be talking about electronic games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope or Fruit Ninja. No I am seriously talking about board games like the ones I used to grow up with – Monopoly, Scrabbles, Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Battleship, Boggle as well as more recent ones like Pandemic and Wits & Wagers.
For the purpose of this blog post, I am concentrating on board game apps that can be found on iTunes for the iPod/iPhone/iPad which is the devices we have at home.
Games we are more familiar with!
As per its real life board game, the Monopoly has more than one version on the tablets. You can play the regular Monopoly, the Monopoly Millionaire or the Monopoly Here & Now edition. You can also opted to go with Monopoly Hotels Moguls, Monopoly Slots or Monopoly Bingo is you prefer free versions.
Game of Life
Game of Life is a great game to introduce children to the cost of living through the years. Though a bit silly this game is great for family time I find.
One of the word games I played while growing up is also available for the iPhone/iPod/iPad. I remember shaking the plastic container of Boggle when I was younger. Now no need to pack up the box because it’s right there at the tips of our fingers…
Scrabble is very popular for lover of words. Unfortunately, at this point in time nobody wants to play with me. But it doesn’t matter anymore because I can play against the computer on an iPad version. Though my oldest son is somewhat interested now to play against me…
Not everyone like trivia questions. I know my husband dislike these but with this version for the iPad he doesn’t mind it. Trivial Pursuit is a game where you can test your knowledge and compete to win. Various in-app purchases can also be made to make the game more challenging: Encyclopedia Pack, TV Pack, Movies Pack, General Knowledge Pack, The Master Edition Pack, and Sports Pack.
Clue is another popular game from when I grew up. Though we didn’t have it when I was younger, I did get it when I was a bit older. Two versions of the game is available for the iPad – the original which has a cartoon look and Clue Secrets and Spies which allow you to stop the evil forces of C.L.U.E. (Criminal League for Ultimate Espionage) from sowing destruction across the globe. Clue Secrets & Spies is a different version of the well-known game. It offers a different twist to an older game that could bring some fun memories while you play with your family.
Battleship is a popular game for fighting against an opponent. I still have the game I played with my parents while growing up and we even had an electronic game at some point. This new version of the popular game is perfect for two children to play against each other while traveling.
Risk… What can I say about this game? My husband introduced me to this game after I met him. It was (and still is) one of his favourite games while growing up with his brother. Nowadays, he plays non-stop with our four kids with this very strategic and conquest of the world. All my kids love it – even my five year old daughter who recently beat all the boys in the family!
A newer game on the market that will help you become more aware of the little things around you. The object of the game is to find something as fast as you can before someone yell Pictureka! My kids enjoy playing this at home but we also have a version on the iPad which allows you to find things as fast as you can in order to go to the next level.
Who have not played Yahtzee? This game was part of my childhood as well and I really enjoyed trying to get the best score while matching the dice to complete a specific challenge. The iPad version is similar and yet different at the same time. It’s very addictive and you have to compete against other characters in order to advance in the game.
UNO -Skip-Bo-Phase 10
Card games don’t take much space when you travel but why bothering with finding them at home when you can have them on your portable device. Or why not let the kids use the app instead of the real card while you are driving to your destination? That way you can be certain that you won’t lose cards during the trip! We are more familiar with UNO but I know that other families prefers Skip-Bo or Phase 10. I just wish that there was a version for Mile Bornes or Ratuki as well…
Wits & Wagers
We discovered Wits & Wagers about two years ago when I got a copy to review. At first my husband wasn’t thrilled to have a trivia game but this one comes with a twist. To play this game you don’t need to have all the answers to win. All you have to do is guess the answer of a trivia question, bet who answered the best and then win some chips. In the end, the person with the most chips win. I recently discovered that they have a version on the iPad which is fabulous when you want to have a quick fun game with the family.
Pandemic is a cooperative game that we recently reviewed. The challenge is simple – work together in order to keep four deadly diseases at bay and prevent a pandemic throughout the world. The game was highly recommended by a friend of ours who is passionate about gaming. And after trying it we think it is a fabulous game. Recently, the game was released for iPad and I think it is great that they have thought about this. It’s an amazing game to have and it will allows you to work together as a family in order to save humanity!
Games I have never played yet but heard great things about them!
I’ve never played Carcassonne but I have seen how many kids and adults love playing it. Essentially, you have to build a medieval landscape, tile by tile, while claiming landmarks. The game apparently allows for many play styles and strategies. It is another social game for the whole family (and friends as well!).
Catan is another strategy game that I have heard off. Two expansions are available for purchase as well: Seafarers as well as Cities and Knights.
Ticket to Ride
I’ve heard of Ticket to Ride after Christmas last year when someone I know posted picture of her family playing it. My attention was picked and I checked it out. Essentially, you have to build a rail track between two cities. Various versions of the board games exist. For the iPad edition, you can purchase the original edition and from there purchase in-apps to ride the USA, Europe, Switzerland, or Asia. For the iPod edition, you can also purchase the Ticket to Ride Europe separately which also offers the Switzerland pack as an in-app purchase.
In conclusion, these games are perfect to have on your portable device as you can play them anywhere you are. They are also great to have as they will help your kids (and yourself!) to develop some skills while playing them – strategy, rapidity, and so on – as well as encourage you to think about the consequences before making a move. On a regular basis, my kids play Risk with their dad and we are amazed on how strategically they think before placing their men in order to conquer the world.
Such games on a portable device are also great to entertain the kids while driving long distances when you are traveling. Our only problem is how excited the kids can become while playing and try to control their enthusiasm while we drive. As a homeschooling family, we also see some hidden advantages in these games. Yes they will allow our kids to develop strategy, critical thinking and rapidity as I mentioned before but without knowing they can be exposed to geography, quick observations, investigations, trivia questions of various sorts, life skills, and vocabulary.
How are you entertaining your family on long drives or during rainy days? Do you play board games while traveling or at camping? If so, please share your favourite board games (or app games) that you like to play. I would love to discover new games for our future trips!
Note: If you are interested in purchasing the games for your Apple device, simply click on the icons of the games throughout this post.