We often forget about classic games thanks to advances in technology, video gaming and televisions but if you are looking for a classic game the family can enjoy this Christmas or for those evenings together, we've put together a list of the best classic games as determined by those in the office, online reviews from other families and those on social media.
Of course, there are thousands of other possibilities, both free and paid options, so be sure to keep reading for some other free alternatives other families in NZ like to play together!
Best Classic Games
1. Monopoly: Cheaters Edition
The Monopoly: Cheaters Edition is a spin on the classic game that allows players to win by breaking the rules and scamming other participants.
In this board game, there are rules that encourage cheating and players can get away with stealing money from the bank and not playing rent.
Players can take on cheating challenges to claim benefits but failure to complete the tasks can lead to losing money and properties instead. Around 2-4 players aged 8 years or above can participate.
The contents include a game board, 15 cheat cards, 16 title deed cards, 16 hotel units and other Monopoly components.
2. Connect 4 - Rustic Series Edition
The Connect 4 – Rustic Series Edition is an ideal addition to collector products. This game involves 2 players aged 6 years or above to compete.
One player gets the red discs while the other player gets the yellow. The main objective of this game is to line up 4 counters in a row either horizontally, diagonally or vertically.
The player who does so first wins. Unlike the classic Connect 4, this edition is made with wooden stands and legs to curate a more down-to-earth experience. This set comes with 42 discs, a grid with 2 legs, a slider bar and a user guide.
Pandemic is a strategy-focused game where the main goal is to find cure for diseases and manage infected areas before everything gets out of control.
Throughout this journey, players can use actions to travel to different regions, treat patients, build a research centre or find treatment.
However, challenges include ‘Epidemic!’ and ‘Normal’ cards which can speed up or control rates of infection. Players must work together to find cures for all 4 diseases before time runs out or else, they lose.
This game is recommended for 2-4 players aged 10 years or above. The contents include the board in addition to event and location cards.
4. Snakes & Ladders: Traditional Board Game
Snakes & Ladders: Traditional Board Game is a classic pastime for family nights with little children. In this activity, 2-4 participants aged 10 years or above compete against one another to get to the finish square.
Players roll a die and move the number of spaces dictated by that roll. Players can either land on a normal square or a ladder to advance closer to the finish line.
However, players can also land on snakes which can bring them back down and further away from winning. The person who gets to the finish square first wins, ending the round.
Ludo – Traditional Board Game is an ideal party activity for families and children. 2-4 participants ages 10 and above compete against each other in order to reach their designated finish line.
The goal is for all 4 tokens of each player to move clockwise around the board and go into the home base. When a 6 is rolled, a player may move a token already in the game or place another token into play and roll again.
Meeting in a shared space forces the opponent’s token back to base unless a 6 is rolled. Numbers other than 6 indicate the spaces that tokens must move.
6. Chinese Checkers
Chinese Checkers is a strategy-oriented game that can by played by 2-6 players. Each player selects a colour and the goal is to move all colour pegs to the other side.
Players can move one peg at a time and jump pegs to go to another space. Players can also jump over the opponents’ peg if an opportunity comes forward. No pegs are eliminated or taken out during the game.
The player who moves all 10 pegs to the opposite side wins and the round is over. This set comes with 6 groups of 10 different coloured pegs and a playing board.
7. Spot It! - Party Game
Spot It! – Party Game is a family-friendly pastime activity, suitable for people aged 2 years and above. 2-8 players can participate in a round.
There are 55 cards containing pictures of words. Each pair of cards has a matching feature which needs to be pointed out.
There are many different ways to play this game, one of which is to deal everyone a set number of cards, with the goal of removing them by finding matching items and symbols.
This game relies on the ability to connect certain images together and react quickly in order to win.
8. Classic Chess
Classic Chess – Traditional Board Game is a centuries-old strategy competition. This is for 2 players aged 10 and above to compete against each other. Each player has 16 pieces which have different movements.
The objective is to capture the opponent’s king and place that king piece in a position where no protection or movements are enabled, a move known as checkmate.
The player with the white pieces goes first, followed by the player with the black pieces. Pieces can be used to defend, move and take other pieces out of the game. When a player checkmates the opponent, that player wins and the round ends.
9. Cluedo - The Classic Mystery Game
Cluedo – The Classic Mystery Game is a detective game where the goal is to find out details of the murder.
This includes finding out who committed the murder, the location of the murder and what weapon was utilized. 2-6 players aged 8 years old or above take on the role of suspects and move around the board, representing locations of a mansion to find clues about the murder.
Questions can also be asked to help in the search. The player who finds out all the murderer, weapon and location wins. This set is inclusive of a board, Cluedo cards, character icons and other essentials.
10. Jenga Classic
Jenga Classic is a game dependent on skill and precision. This household essential can be played by a single person aged 6 years old and up or many people at once.
54 wooden blocks are stacked and each player has to move a bottom block and place it at the top. The goal is to do so without making the tower fall.
The person who fails to properly move a block and causes the tower to crash loses, ending the game. Rules restricting what blocks to move and where they are placed can be put in to create a personalized touch.
What are some classic games other kiwi families like to play?
Here are some classic games that are great for families to play together:
Monopoly: This board game is all about buying, selling, and trading properties as you try to outmaneuver your opponents and become the wealthiest player.
Scrabble: This word game challenges players to create the highest-scoring words using letter tiles with different point values.
Chess: This strategy game pits two players against each other as they try to outmaneuver and capture their opponent's pieces.
Checkers: This classic board game involves jumping and capturing your opponent's pieces as you try to be the first to get all of your pieces to the other side of the board.
Card games: There are many different card games that families can play together, such as Go Fish, Rummy, Spades, and Hearts.
Twister: This physical game involves following the instructions on a spinning board as you try to contort your body into different positions without falling over.
Pictionary: This drawing game challenges players to draw and guess words and phrases as quickly as possible.
Charades: In this acting game, players have to act out words and phrases without speaking, while their teammates try to guess what they are trying to convey.
Tag: This classic outdoor game involves one player chasing and trying to touch the other players, who then become "it" and have to chase the next player.
Red Light, Green Light: This children's game involves players trying to sneak up on a leader while they are facing away, but freezing in place when the leader turns around and says "red light."