Best New Family Board Games To Play This Thanksgiving

The best new board games to play with family this Thanksgiving.

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Best New Family Board Games To Play This Thanksgiving

November 18, 2021

By: Giaco Furino

 
 

The turkey's been carved, the pies have hit the table, and now there's nothing to it but to spend quality time with the friends and family you've barely seen all year. Looking for some fun ways to pass the time? We've put together our go-to list of family board games released in the last year or so to play with your guests (even if they're non-gamers) this Thanksgiving.

Dollars To Donuts

Dollars To Donuts
Lay down tiles to make the best donuts in Dollars To Donuts

Paired perfectly with the holiday sweets heaping up on the dessert table, Dollars To Donuts is one of our favorite family board games. Along with being an extremely approachable tile-laying game for one to four players, it also sports an incredibly charming illustration style. In the game, players race to place donut tiles down on their board to score points and earn money to buy more donuts. Check out our full review here!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Traditionally gravitate toward jigsaw puzzles
  • Like colorful, playful illustrations
  • Love Donuts (obviously)

Dollars To Donuts - available on Amazon 

 
 

Lost Cities: Roll And Write

Lost Cities Roll And Write
Lost Cities: Roll & Write asks players to push their luck as they roll the dice

Put on your khaki explorer outfits and delve into the depths of the jungle with Lost Cities: Roll And Write. This dice-rolling game for two to five players (though we've played with more!) brings a lot of push-your-luck fun to the table. In it, players roll dice, write down corresponding numbers on their game boards, and hope to be the highest scoring adventurer of the group. Check out our full review here!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Normally play Yahtzee and other push-your-luck dice-rolling games
  • Like games that combine luck and skill

Lost Cities: Roll And Write - available on Amazon

Telestrations: Upside Drawn

Telestrations: Upside Drawn
Can you successfully guide your teammates to victory in the zany Telestrations: Upside Drawn?

Telestations has quickly become a modern classic in the family/party game world, and their latest iteration Telestrations: Upside Drawn literally turns the game on its head. In Upside Drawn, players form teams and attempt to illustrate a simple picture ala Pictionary but with a twist. The player giving the clue holds a dry-erase board, while another player holds the pen! With the only words they can say are "Up" and "Down" to direct the position of the pen, the player holding the board has to move the board around to sketch out their clue. This laugh-riot is an absolute must for a raucous family game night. Check out our full review here!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Like the original Telestrations
  • Traditionally only play Pictionary, but want to shake things up

Telestrations: Upside Drawn - available on Amazon

 
 

Fangs

Hidden roles and hidden goals plague Fangs
Hidden roles and hidden goals plague the players of Fangs

In Fangs, players take on the (hidden) roles of werewolves, vampires, and humans - all in a quest to survive and come out on top. With all roles hidden from each other player, will you be able to figure out who at the table is your ally? One of the coolest things about Fangs, which separates it from other deduction Werewolf/Mafia-style games, is the fact that victory conditions are also hidden, and only emerge as you play the game. Can you convince your Aunt that you're not a vampire? Check out our full review here!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Play games like Werewolf and Mafia
  • Are totally comfortable lying to each other
  • Have higher player counts (this game plays with 5 to 8 players)

Fangs - available on Amazon

7 Wonders: Architects

Build your way to greatness in 7 Wonders: Architects
Build your way to greatness in 7 Wonders: Architects​​​​

7 Wonders: Architects distills the incredible card drafting game 7 Wonders down to its purest and simplest form. In Architects, players race to craft their own incredible construction like hanging gardens, a magnificent lighthouse, or a colossal statue. To do so, they'll have to collect resources like brick, glass, and more in an effort to constantly build their structures higher and higher. This is an absolutely perfect entry point in the 7 Wonders game system, and a great general introduction for new or young players to key gaming mechanics like resource collection and card drafting.

 

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Are looking for an easy entry into hobby gaming
  • Like to interact with the other players at the table
  • Are history buffs

7 Wonders: Architects - available on Amazon

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Scrawlers Heroes Of Undermountain

Draw your way to victory in Dungeon Scrawlers
Draw your way to victory in Dungeon Scrawlers

An evil mage has trapped you in their dungeon in the deadly Undermountain. And all you have to help you is... a dry-erase marker! Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Scrawlers removes the roleplaying aspect from the classic RPG and puts players in a race against each other with this scribbling rush. To play, take your pen and place it at the start of a huge maze, when the game starts, you and your opponents will draw lines through the maze, scribbling out enemies, picking up keys to unlock doors, and finding treasure. It's an experience unlike any other, and will really shake up your family game night!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Are looking for an incredibly fast gaming experience
  • Are fans of fantasy and/or Dungeons & Dragons
  • Like drawing maps

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Scrawlers Heroes Of Undermountain - available at Amazon

Marvel United

Assemble and save the world in Marvel United
Assemble and save the world in Marvel United

Marvel fans, Assemble! In Marvel United, players take on the role of one of their favorite Marvel heroes to face off against deadly villains in this miniature and card-playing game. Though there's plenty of strategy in this game, the basic rules and actions you can take in any given turn are so simple (but not simplistic!) that they'll appeal to players of all ages at Thanksgiving dinner. If you've got a group of Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow fans around your pumpkin pie this year, check out Marvel United for an approachable miniatures game.

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Love Marvel (both movies and comics)
  • Like cute, stylized miniatures
  • Are looking for an extremely easy entry-point into more tactical gaming

Marvel United - available on Amazon

Rummikub Large Numbers Edition

Lay out sets and runs with easy to view Rummikub Large Numbers Edition
Lay out sets and runs with easy to view Rummikub Large Numbers Edition

Perfect for people at your table who may have vision problems, Rummikub -- one of our all-time favorite family board games -- has just released a brand new Large Numbers Edition. If you've never played Rummikub, the game couldn't be simpler: On each player's turn, they'll place numbered tiles down on the table in runs of the same color (i.e. a 6, 7, 8, 9 in blue) and groups of different colors (i.e. three 5's in red, blue, and yellow), similar to a game of rummy. If you've got the most points at the end of a set number of rounds, you win!

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Love playing card games like Rummy
  • Like playing tile-laying games like Bananagrams
  • Could use the extra visual help afforded from the larger numbers

Rummikub Large Numbers Edition - available on Amazon

Wavelength

Can you get your family to guess right and get on your Wavelength?
Can you get your family to guess right and get on your Wavelength?

Think you and your family members are on the same page? Think again as you sit down to play a game of Wavelength, one of our favorite family board games. In Wavelength, players split up into teams and set up a big, sliding wheel with a screen to hide the information contained within. Each turn, one player from a team sets up a card describing a range between two opposite adjectives -- think "Smells Bad - Smells Good," or as pictured above "Hot - Cold." There are zones worth points on the wheel, and the goal is to give a word as a clue to get the rest of the team to guess within that range.  So, if I wanted my family to slide the pointer closer to "Cold" than "Hot" on the wheel, I might give them the clue "Ice Cream." But how cold is Ice Cream compared to, say, liquid nitrogen? Is ice colder than Ice Cream? Does a hot fudge sundae increase the overall temperature of Ice Cream? These are the kinds of ludicrous questions (and fun arguments) that arise from Wavelength.

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Are looking for a fun game for larger groups (the box says up to 20 players, but you could go higher)
  • Want a fun conversation starter game
  • Like to lovingly heckle, argue, and joke with each other 

Wavelength - available on Amazon

Seinfield: The Party Game About Nothing

Giddy Up! It's time for Seinfeld: The Party Game About Nothing!
Giddy Up! It's time for Seinfeld: The Party Game About Nothing!

What's the deal with party games? (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) No holiday game list is complete without a trivia game, but if your family's tired of the same old dusty boxes filled with trivia questions that date back to the Nixon presidency, check out Funko Games' brand new Seinfeld: The Party Game About Nothing. Guaranteed to please your parents, aunts and uncles, and kids watching Seinfeld re-runs, Seinfeld: The Party Game About Nothing serves up clever cards that feature trivia challenges, Act It Out challenges, Guess Who? challenges, and dreaded Newman! tokens. Close to winning and want to risk it all? Let's just say there's a marble rye bread challenge that involves a miniature fishing pole.

Perfect For Families Who:

  • Know Seinfeld like the back of their hands
  • Love raucous and inventive party games
  • Want to raise their fists and scream NEWMAN! in defeat

Seinfeld: The Party Game About Nothing - available on Amazon

That wraps up our favorite new games to play with the fam! We hope these family board games bring a lot of joy, a little bit of competition, and a ton of fun to you and yours this Thanksgiving and on into the Holiday season.


Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that TechRaptor earns a small commission off of purchases made.

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