Board Games

Best Board Games for Teens

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What would be a great board game for a teenager? Whether you are thinking of something for teens to play with teens, or you just want to draw them closely into the family circle, the games below are packed with loads of fun and educational value!

• Cranium

Always a favorite and, no doubt, always will be, Cranium is great fun for everyone, including teens. Laugh with others as players frantically sketch, sculpt, solve puzzles, act and hum tunes. Whether you enjoy acting, expressing artistic creativity, showing off your trivia expertise, this game is good wholesome fun for teen parties or simply bringing the family together for a good time. Named the 2001 toy of the year by the Toy Industry Association, Cranium now boasts a variety of boosters and variations on the original game. Sold new for $7.79 on

• Equate

Equate uses math and algebra equations in the same way scrabble uses words. The board looks like a scrabble board and the tiles are styled after the wooden scrabble tiles, but on the tiles are numbers and mathematical operators. The players try to form vertical and horizontal equations. A player can earn higher scores with division and fraction tiles.

There is also an advanced tile set for the older teens and a junior tile set for preteens. Great fun for the whole family as well. Bring out the genius in your teen! $51.99 at

• Bethump'd With Words

"Idiomatically speaking, does something that has a slim chance of succeeding have a lower, the same, or a better chance of succeeding as something that has a fat chance?"

"In the grandmother-gagging lingo of the 1990s, what did young street urchins mean when they turned on a bully and said, "Let's give him a swirly"?"

Those are two sample questions from an award-winning game that tests players' knowledge of words and the peculiarities of the English language. The game comes in three editions, Senior, Discovery and Voyager. Rated for ages 12 to adult, Voyager is the most comprehensive edition with six difficulty levels and 1200 questions.

The game covers more than 40 aspects of everyday words such as acronyms, eponyms, euphemisms, grammar, idioms, homographs, homophones, homonyms, onomatopoetic words, slang and much much more. New and used from $19.95 on

• Scotland Yard

Rated 10 and up, some have said this game helps a youth develop logical problem solving skills. One of the players assumes the role of Mr. X, the bad guy. The other players are members of Scotland Yard. Mr. X roams a map of London using the bus and rail systems as well as the taxi. The Scotland Yard Officers have to catch him.

The problem is that Mr. X moves invisibly except on each third turn, when he is "spotted". The player assuming Mr. X writes down each turn to prevent ambiguity. Each third turn, when he is seen, allows the other players to work together or individually to corner him. The player who lands on his location first wins.

Based on a simple concept, the game provides hours of fun. Both Mr. X and the other players are required to plan out future moves strategically. $34.95 at

• Age Of Empires III: Age Of Discovery

Many teens have already played Age Of Empires as a computer game, and although there are many differences from the video game, the overall concept of the board game is pretty much the same. Gather resources and build structures to develop your economic infrastructure. Explore the world, claim new lands, or battle to take land from others, and build your empire!

The theme centers around the 15th century as European explorers are discovering new lands. Columbus has discovered the new world, and this opens up opportunity for England, France, Spain, Portugal and Holland to go and stake their claim. The rules are a bit more complex than the previous games, but nothing too serious. $51.50 at

Each of the games above will provide an enjoyable and satisfying gaming experience for most any teenage personality type. If family is going to be playing, all the better! I've always felt that playing games together can build good family relationships. It has for mine. I hope it does for yours as well!

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