Board games offer great experiences which connect the entire family, and don’t we need a good dollop of that right now? Which prompted me to think about our 10 Best Indoor Games To Play On The Road. Some offer complicated tactical battles, which tax your minds and last for hours, whilst others offer something more light-hearted, active or which can while away a fun half hour with no stress.
For these reasons, board games are also a great practical option for vanlife, especially when the weather or the seasons don’t allow for enjoyment of the great outdoors. I always make sure we have at least one of our favourites packed, although we can only take two player options – we can’t trust the dog to play, he cheats at everything! 😉
Here’s a rundown of our top ten indoor games to play on the road, which will keep you occupied in any eventuality.
A board game about birds? You must be Cuckoo! It helps if you have a love of bird-watching (we don’t), but it certainly isn’t required. This medium level engine-building game, which requires a short while to get up to speed but really manages to involve and engage. So much bird knowledge here, I now feel like Bill Oddie!
This fast-talking, descriptive game is energetic and fun, without being too competitive. You have to describe the word, without saying it. What could be simpler! This ones great for big numbers (up to 20) and needs 4 to play. There is also a kid’s version, so the whole family can play.
The idea of a game named after an obscure (but lovely) French town left me scratching my head, but Carcassonne is a fun strategy game, which can be played over and over. You must lay tiles based on the medieval fortifications of said town. Then develop your best meeples and win the game. It’ll all make sense when you play, and you won’t want to stop. From 2-5 players.
Imagine you are the head of a crime family who needs to maintain and grow your influence to succeed. The aim of Coup is to develop and keep the most influence till the end. This game needs 6 players in order to head up each family, but it’s an atmospheric and challenging game which will keep you thinking and scheming. We really enjoyed it.
I love Codenames, it’s great fun, uncomplicated and is endlessly playable. You have to identify spies using just word clues and have to prevent others from detecting their own. It’s just a 20-minute game, so it doesn’t require too much concentration. Perfect post-wine time limit! From 2-8 players, ideally 4 or more.
It might not technically be a board game, but it’s so fun, simple and easy to play, without learning lots of rules and tactics. A deck or cards is another essential and even more flexible option, but Uno reminds me of family fun whenever and wherever it’s great for kids of all ages. From 2-10 players.
The board game which redefined board games, in Catan you play a settler trying to develop the natural resources and create the most prosperous community on a new island. Like a board game version of SimCity, this game has so many nuances and tactics, but is easy to play from the off. Suitable for 3-4 players.
This is a bit of a personal favourite, but then I do love a bit of amateur sleuthing. I love Sherlock Holmes, and this game lets you pound the streets of Victorian London trying to solve similarly fiendish crimes. Like Cluedo but with a bit more problem solving. For 2-6 players, aged 10+.
Okay, so this one might be terrible timing, but it’s still one of the best board games out there. The beauty of Pandemic is that you all work together to complete the game and defeat the threats. Suitable for 2-4 players, it takes about 45 minutes and so gives you an evening’s entertainment without too much carry over. For ages 8+.
I grew up playing this game. My husband resisted my pleading for a long time until I told him that it’s basically poker (well, a family-friendly version, anyway!) I’ve selected this version because it’s a tiny game for a tiny space! It’s a development of earlier dice games such as Poker Dice, Yacht and Generala. It is also similar to Yatzy, which is popular in Scandinavia. Believe it or not, this game’s been around since the 1940s and it’s popularity still endures. According to current owner Hasbro, 50 million Yahtzee games are sold each year.
There are so many ‘off-screen games you can play in a van and this list is by no means exhaustive. Keeping yourself entertained on the road shouldn’t need to involve technology – the good old board game, card game or even a pack of cards can work wonders! I hope you liked our 10 Best Indoor Games To Play On The Road. What are your favourite vanlife games?
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