6 Games to Play on Game Night

We spend all day, every day, glued to a phone or computer screen.


Kids are texting, playing Angry Birds, watching Netflix and surfing ESPN.com, while adults are checking their work and personal email, catching up on Facebook, and watching “The Voice.” Sometimes it feels like we fritter away all our time linking to others through the ether, but not enough time connecting to the people right in front of us.  

It’s time to turn off the electronics and have some fun! We need to remind our families—and ourselves—that you don’t need to plug in to be entertained. It’s time for game night! 

Back in the day, we played classic board games like Life and Monopoly, while our parents got together for bridge and backgammon. When Trivial Pursuit first came out in the early ‘80s, it was big news. But now, the shelves are laden with options.

David Reis, District Manager of Marbles: The Brain Store, talked me through some of the many games in the Westfield Old Orchard store. “We aren’t a glorified toy store,” Reis says. “We specialize in unique products; even if a game is designed for kids, it has to be fun for adults. And our big focus is that every game that comes into the store must be vetted by a brain-health expert, and we categorize them by the five major brain functions: coordination, word skills, memory, visual perception and critical thinking.” 

Marbles believes that every game they carry is brain-beneficial in some way. For example, trivia is great for long-term memory, while sequencing aids critical thinking skills, and coordination games strengthen the mind-body connection.  

So now we know that games can help you grow mentally as well as socially. Anyway you slice it, that’s time well spent!

Recommended for families



Anomia ($16): This 2010 Mensa Select winner plays off the fact that our brains are filled with all sorts of random ephemera; the trick is to be able to pull an example out of said brain on command! Hilarity ensues.






Mindstein ($30): This is a challenging but fun trivia game, where you answer five consecutive multiple-choice questions, and then unscramble the corresponding letters for form a five-letter word. S-M-A-R-T!






Pengoloo ($30): Remember the old game Concentration? This time, you’re playing with cute penguins and their multi-colored eggs. It’s a great memory-recall game.




Recommended for adults



Cards Against Humanity ($25): Emphatically NOT for the family, this highly inappropriate but riotous card game is an adult version of Apples to Apples. Available online only.






Loaded Questions ($23): Roll the dice, and answer a question. Sounds simple, right? But each question is a potential landmine, which makes the game so much more fun. This is a great icebreaker.




games-morphologyMorphology ($35): And you thought Pictionary was challenging? Try making a dog out of a piece of string or a farmhouse from glass beats and popsicle sticks. This made Time Magazine’s Best Toys of 2010 list.





Great local game stores

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