Board games are defined as games that use a board as a central component, along with counters or game pieces. While some are purely games of chance, others rely on a great deal of strategy to determine the victor.
Games with boards have been played in most cultures, and the earliest known example dates back to Egypt in 3500 B.C. New board games are still released each year, and the toy section of any retail store includes a wide selection of products.
Most Popular Versions
While it would be impossible to list every board game in the space provided, this section does include some of the most enduring products.
Chess — One of the most popular games in the world, chess is played on a board with 64 black and white squares. Each player begins with 16 pieces that can move in various directions, and the ultimate objective is to capture the opposing king.
Monopoly — Marketed by Parker Brothers, Monopoly is an American board game that requires players to buy property and then build real estate. The objective is to bankrupt the opposing players by forcing them to pay rent when they land on your property. Versions have been designed for other countries, and licensed products such as Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings also exist.
Go — Created in China, this ancient board game allows players to place black or white stones in an effort to surround and control the majority of the playing surface. Over 40 million players exist worldwide, and the first game was played over 2,500 years ago.
Trivial Pursuit — The world’s most popular trivia board game, Trivial Pursuit requires players to answer questions from various categories in order to earn colored pie pieces. When all necessary pieces have been acquired, the player must answer a final question to win the game. Numerous editions cover topics from film to sports, as well as licensed editions for Star Wars and other pop culture icons.
Scrabble — Categorized as both a board game and a word game, Scrabble is trademarked by Hasbro in the U.S. and Canada and Mattel in the rest of the world. Available in 29 different languages, the game requires players to create words on the game board in order to earn points. In addition to the standard board game, Scrabble is also available for play on home computers and video game systems. Two TV shows, Scrabble and Scrabble Showdown, have also been based on the game.
Checkers — Also known as “draughts,” this strategy board game is played on a gridded surface with two participants. Black or red game pieces are moved diagonally, jumping over opposing pieces to capture them and advance closer to the other end of the board. The game continues until one player has no game pieces remaining.
Board games have been present in the tents of historical military figures, as well as family dens across the nation. Their versatility cuts across social and economic boundaries and people of all levels of intellectual development can find a game that’s suitable for play. If you haven’t experienced the pleasure of board gaming in a while, an evening of wholesome fun is as close as your local retailer.