Top 8 Best Board Games - 17 yr old perspective
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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The oldest child is typically referred to as the “guinea pig” - the ones that you get to test every thing on. Parents are always testing stuff out on the first child – from food and clothes to discipline and rewards. And it’s no different with board games. The first child gets thrown into the mix and tested to see when they’ll be able to handle certain types of games.

That’s how we found out that the game Sorry doesn’t work so well with 3 or 4 year olds. Sure they may start to handle some basic number recognition and counting as they move around the board. But they aren’t ready to handle their piece being landed on and sent back to the Start – especially from Dad.

Chalk that breakdown up as a learning experience and wait a couple years on those type of games. Thank Heaven that kids keep growing though. Because now that he’s older, he can take the hit and deliver some good blows of his own. Competitive and strategic games are a lot more fun to play with Trevor now.

Trevor has been a lot more judicious in making his list of Best Board Games. He limited his selection to only 8!

You can also see Trevor's list on our website: www.TheBoardGameFamily.com
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1. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:190] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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If you’ve watched Trevor’s video review of Small World you won’t be surprised to see it topping his list of favorite board games. He had no hesitation in giving Small World a rousing 5 out of 5. if you’ve got teens and pre-teens in your family that love to go after each other in a game, Small World is a blast. Small World is all about taking regions away from others on the board with your super cool combos of races and special powers. Considering it’s on all 3 of our boys Best Board Games list, if you’ve got boys, Small World is one that you should definitely add to your board game mix.
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2. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:260]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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Trevor is great to play 2-player games with. As he’s grown, it’s been neat to gain a more challenging opponent for head-to-head board games. And Lord of the Rings the Confrontation delivers a fantastic head-to-head experience. It’s tense every time we play and with every move we make. Since it’s a game with hidden pieces (where every piece is a different character with unique abilities) it’s a great game full of strategic and tactical choices with a good element of guessing. All the guessing and second-guessing of what your opponent will do (where they’ll place and move their pieces, where they’ll attack, which cards they’ll play) makes for a fantastically tense game. Love it.
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3. Board Game: Thunderstone [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:539] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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Trevor was pretty particular when he put Thunderstone on his list to indicate that he prefers the original Thunderstone to the new Thunderstone Advance version. His first reaction to seeing a board in Thunderstone Advance was one of disdain. He immediately felt like it was restricting his way of wanting to play the game – like overloading on weapons to choose from. He also has an affinity to the heroes in the original Thunderstone game rather than the new heroes included in Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin. Maybe he’s just a purist and when he loves an original, why mess with it?
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4. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars – The Clone Wars Edition [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:3687]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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The first Risk game Trevor and Jaden every played (many years ago) was Risk: Star Wars Clone Wars Edition and it was a hit. When we started doing video reviews of family board games just over 3 years ago, Risk: Star Wars Clone Wars Edition was the first video review we posted and has been watch more than 25,000 times. But since most times we played the game, there were 3 of us playing, it wasn’t the best fit (the Clone Wars edition is best for 2 or 4). Then along came Risk: Star Wars the Original Trilogy with 3 factions (Imperial Forces, Rebels, Hutts) – making it perfect for 3 players. The downside is that it was only in print for a short stint and finding a copy to buy is tough. But believing it would be a big hit with our boys, I kept my eyes on online auctions for many years. Last year I was finally able to get a great deal on a copy of the game that had hardly been played ($60!). We gave it a new loving home and sure enough it was an immediate hit! According to Trevor, it’s THE version of Risk to have.
 
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5. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:15416] [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot is a head-scratcher for me. Not as to why Trevor has it on his list, but as to the game itself. As Trevor and Jaden both stated in their video review of it, it’s a game of total randomness. And for me, dad, I don’t care for how random it is. But for young boys, they get a kick out of it every time. I guess it’s good to know that kids find joy in the journey because this game needs to be enjoyed in the pure playing of it – because the outcome is totally random. And Trevor simply loves the crazy things you do throughout the game. Every card brings a new twist and they have a lot of fun playing those twists.
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6. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:162]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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While we haven’t had Alien Frontiers for very long (and just posted our review of it last in October), I wasn’t surprised to see it on Trevor’s favorite board games list. It’s a strategic space exploration-themed game with a good dose of luck. Even though game play in Alien Frontiers is built on a lot of dice rolling (which typically denotes a game with a lot of luck), it also requires a lot of thinking. Using your dice rolls to your advantage is key to doing well in the game. And figuring out how to maneuver your choices to better mitigate your luck as the game progresses is a big element that Trevor loves. It’s usually a very back-and-forth game on the score track that comes down to the last turns to see who pulls out the victory.
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7. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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Another game that you’ll find on all of our boys’ Best Board Games list is Dominion. For a card game that has the same simple play every time, there’s a ton of replay value with Dominion. On the surface it seems so simple to be boring – play an Action card, Buy a card from the available piles, then Clean up what you played by putting it in your discard pile and draw 5 more cards to your hand. When you run out of cards from your draw pile, reshuffle your discard pile and keep going. As such, there’s a ton of reshuffling as you continue to buy cards and watch your deck grow. That’s all there is to it. But it’s not boring and every game is different. The fun is in what all the cards allow you to do and determining which cards to add to your deck to make cool combinations that in the end will let you get more victory points. Since you only play with 10 different card types every time, there’s a ton of replay value because the base game comes with 25 different card type. But chances are you won’t be able to stop with just the base game and you’ll end up loving it so much you’ll want more and more. There are currently 7 expansions to Dominion which makes for an almost endless amount of mixtures of 10 different card types to play with each time. So much to explore…just get used to shuffling.
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8. Board Game: Dixit: Odyssey [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Trent Howell
United States
Utah
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The one party game that Trevor added to his Best Board Games list is Dixit Odyssey. I’m sure it’s not just because we gave it to him for his birthday last year. But rather we bought it for him for his birthday because of how much he enjoyed the original Dixit when we had a chance to play it a while back. And sure enough, we must have chosen wisely because it’s still a hit. He loves the creative nature of this game where players can say whatever they’d like about the very abstract artwork on the cards and everyone else tries to guess the right card. Now the big question is – do we add to it and get an expansion set of Dixit cards for him for Christmas?
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