I have to confess that our family is obsessed with board games. We probably own over 80 different family friendly games by now. Board games are great because they not only offer something fun to do but often help children develop new skills. These skills could be basic such as learning to follow rules or taking turns, or game specific skills that teach problem solving or critical thinking. While I enjoy social games, many of the games we own are categorized as strategy games. So today I’m going to share about a few strategy  board games that you might not have heard of before but should definitely play with your kids.  The cool thing is, all these games will be available to test out at the FREE Family Board Game Night coming up this Wednesday May 22, 2019 from 5-7 PM at Fosters grill.



Players: 2-5
Playtime: 20-30 minutes
Ages: 3-Adult

One of Looney Labs most popular games is Fluxx. So if you have played that game than you will absolutely love playing this game with you kids. The best way to describe Aquarius is to say it’s a hybrid of Dominoes and Fluxx. You play the game by dealing out a secret goal card to each player representing one of the five elements. Players than have element cards in that are played on the table so that each card connects. Much like in dominoes, the cards element must match the card it is placed with.  The winner is the first person to connect seven cards of their goal element. Action cards add a twist to the game with six different actions such as switching goals with another player or zapping a card. The game is a lot of fun, bright and colorful and super easy to learn.

What I like best about this game is that it is made to grow with your kid. This game has a basic level that can be played by younger children ages 3 and up. Than as they advance in skill you can add challenges to the the game.



Players: 1-8
Playtime: 15-30 minutes
Ages: 8 and Up
Magic Maze is a real-time, cooperative game. Each player can control any hero in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which the other players do not have access: Move north, explore a new area, ride an escalator… All this requires rigorous cooperation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes prudently. However, you are allowed to communicate only for short periods during the game; the rest of the time, you must play without giving any visual or audio cues to each other. If all of the heroes succeed in leaving the shopping mall in the limited time allotted for the game, each having stolen a very specific item, then everyone wins together.


Players: 2-4
Playtime: 20 minutes
Ages: 7 and Up
In Space Escape- Mole Rats in Space, you and your teammates are mole rats on a research station that has been invaded by snakes. You need to collect your equipment and escape the station before you’re bit or time runs out. Players work together to help the Mole Rats gather their equipment and make it to their escape pod before time runs out! Climb the ladders, slip down air-shafts, but don’t get bitten by the snakes! (Also: Race to Treasure is awesome too!)



Players: 1-4
Playtime: 15-30 minutes
Ages: 4 and Up

The game takes kids through steps needed to program.  The basic concept of the game is for kids to learn to code by using the cards that give simple directions. You level up and learn new skills as you go.  One of the unique rules of the game is that the kids get to control the grown-ups! The little programmers put instruction cards down, driving the turtles through the maze, but the grown-up is the computer, executing commands on the board.

I love this game because it is the perfect game to engage kids in learning through play. Preschoolers can learn programming one turtle move at a time. Robot Turtles takes seconds to learn, minutes to play and provides endless learning opportunities. Through fun play and Code Cards, players move their Robot Turtles around the game board to reach a prized jewel. With every move preschoolers learn programming, from coding to functions, and get a jumpstart on 21st century thinking skills. This might be a coding board game for little programmers, but the entire family will love playing it, too.



Players: 2
Playtime: 15-30 minutes
Ages: 10 and Up

Shadows in Kyoto is in the same universe and the bestselling game Hanamikoji. With beautiful artwork featuring the same fictional history, with easy to learn rules, a 2-player game with lots of variants. From the story, mechanism, art and all the details is focused in bringing players new and exciting game play experience. By utilizing the various leader charismas, your agents can unexpectedly break the opponent’s blockade, you can also strategize and set traps, attack when unexpected.

I love that Emperors 4 designed the game so that players can have a different experience with the game; they designed 3 difficultly levels. It’s such a easy to learn and fun game that even first time strategy game players can enjoy this game, and develop a passion for strategy game as well.



Players: 4
Playtime: 30 minutes
Ages: 4 and up
SOS Dino is a cooperative game in which players have to move the cute dinosaur figurines to help them escape the flowing lava. At your turn, take a random tile in the bag, place it on the board and carry out the action printed on the tile. Throughout the game, move each dino to safety on top of the mountains, while gathering the eggs scattered throughout the land.
I have to be honest, this game is hands down my favorite to play right now. I love that the game is always changing; promoting players to use problem solving and team work to win the game.



Players: 2-4
Playtime: 15 minutes
Ages: 7 and up


Gather your friends together for this co-operative game and come up with the best strategy to beat back these foul creatures! The story behind the game is that the kids aka heroes are at school when zombies start to attack. The zombies infiltrate the entryways and make their way to the classrooms. Players move through rooms and entryways to eliminate zombies and keep the zombie reserve full. If a zombie must enter the school but none are available, then the school has been overrun and the players lose. To win the game, players need to lock each of the four entryways as apparently the custodian has abandoned the post and given up the school for lost.

What’s cool about this game is that the more you play, the more the game transforms! My kids are obsessed with this game and really enjoy completing special missions and marking their progress using stickers! As you advance in skill you get to open mystery envelopes that enrich the game!