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Top family games to play at home

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Family game night ideas

With the kids out of school for the summer, it's a great time for families to play games together — whether they’re in the same room or hundreds of miles apart.

We’ve put together a list of the best games you can play at home, online or over video chat. Whether you’re looking for something simple and goofy or a competitive game of strategy and skill, there’s something here for everyone.

Shop this article: QueendominoJenga Giant Edition  and Exploding Kittens Card Game

Best family games for game night

Liar’s Dice

A Peruvian game dating back centuries, Liar’s Dice (or Dudo) is a simple dice game of chance and bluffing.

Gameplay is simple. Everyone rolls their dice and keeps them secret. Players take turns placing increasingly higher bids, guessing how many of a certain dice are shared between players. When the bid gets too high for someone’s liking, they can challenge the bid. All players reveal their dice to find out who is right, and the loser must give up a dice.

Not only is it easy and quick to play, but it can also be used to teach kids about basic probability — and about bluffing. For two to four players.

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This domino-style board game gives players a chance to build their own kingdoms to impress the queen. Players take turns placing tiles containing fields, forests, lakes, and towns to create their kingdom. You can also use your knights to tax your lands and construct buildings with special abilities in your towns.

All of this is packed into a quick-playing game that works for kids as well as adults, as its gameplay is a blend of quick turns and long-term strategy. For two to four players.

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In Qwirkle, players create patterns of matching shapes and patterns in this simple abstract game that feels a bit like Scrabble without letters. The tiles are made of chunky wood with brightly painted shapes, making it a great choice for younger kids with pattern recognition skills.

Players take turns laying down tiles in rows or columns, creating a line of tiles that matches in shape or color (but not both). The tricky part is finding a part of the growing board where you can legally add your tiles. Points are tallied as the game goes on, and when the tile bag is empty, the player with the highest score is the winner. For two to four players.

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This social deduction game of murder and intrigue works perfectly over video chat and can make for quite the dramatic evening.

All you need to play Mafia is a large group of people (who are comfortable with lying), a moderator to run the game, and a video chat that all players can access. The moderator assigns roles to the group. Players will either be innocent townspeople or murderous mafia members. The mafia is trying to kill all of the townspeople over the course of the game, and the townspeople win if they identify all of the mafia members.

The game is played in day and night cycles. At night, the mafia decides amongst themselves (possibly in a private text chat) who they wish to kill while the townspeople keep their eyes closed. In the daytime, the moderator reveals who has been murdered, and all players are invited to make accusations and cast a vote to execute a player.

When all mafia members have been executed or there are no remaining townspeople, the game is over. For eight or more players.

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The Jackbox Party Pack 7 - Nintendo Switch

This fun party pack for Nintendo Switch features five games: Quiplash 3, The Devils and the Details, Champ'd Up, Talking Points and Blather Round. Players can use smartphones, tablets or computers as controllers.

These games test skills ranging from drawing to public speaking to guessing — but all of them are extremely simple and quick to play.  These are a few of Jackbox’s countless party games, which are available individually or in bundles. These fun party games are sure to shake things up at your next party or low-key family game night. Up to 8 players.

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Jenga Giant Edition

Everyone loves the classic block-stacking game of Jenga, but the Giant Edition takes it to the next level, reaching three feet tall or higher. This oversized edition is a great choice for an evening in the backyard or patio, and the larger size is fun for kids or adults. For two to six players.

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Exploding Kittens Card Game

If your friends and family are into kittens, explosions and laser beams, this hilarious game is sure to make game night a blast. Suitable for kids, teens and adults, this card game is easy to learn and fun to play.

Players draw cards as they do their best to avoid drawing Exploding Kitten, which knocks players out of the game one by one.  The other cards in the deck help players avoid drawing an Exploding Kitten. To win the game, don't draw an Exploding Kitten card.

It’s a card game that works well with almost any crowd, but makes a great addition to family game night as younger kids, as well as teens and adults, will have fun avoiding the Exploding Kitten. For two to five players.

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Peter McPherson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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