Everyone’s love of games starts somewhere, and for most of us, it’s the humble board game. These board games nurture imagination, teach us rules and strategy from an early age, and, in some cases, form rivalries that will last a lifetime. Not naming any names on that last one, though (Monopoly. Of course it’s Monopoly).
As we strive to provide a wider range of content here on FULLSYNC we figured it’d be a good time to take a look at some childhood classic board games to stoke those nostalgic fires. You might remember some of these board games fondly, or the mere mention of them might make you angrier than you’ve ever been. Either one of those reactions is fine.
Let’s get this one out of the way first. These days Monopoly comes across more as a biting satire of late-stage capitalism, but back in the days when most people could actually buy property, it was just a bit of light-hearted fun. Well… at first.
The board game Monopoly actually teaches some fairly valuable skills – money management, strategy, and regular jailbreaks. Yes, it might ruin a few friendships, but that’s all irrelevant when it comes to making massive amounts of money. The game’s still going strong, too – if there’s a pop culture phenomenon, there’s a Monopoly version of it. It’s like Funko Pops with a point.
It’s a little more complex than some of the other childhood classics that instantly come to mind. Monopoly is enjoyable for kids and adults alike, but there’s always that one player who knows how to lock the game down and ruin it for everyone else. Best to play it with a group of people clueless about finances. Like children. Or my entire friend group.
This game was actually instrumental to my early life with a younger sibling. It taught me to lie and manipulate people younger than me to achieve sweet victory… in a game about guessing someone’s face.
Guess Who does rely on a certain amount of honesty and integrity. Playing it as a grownup is probably harder – because your opponent has developed far more ways to obfuscate the truth.
Snakes and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders is such a simple concept, and that’s why it’s easy to entertain kids of all ages with it for so long. After a few Monopoly sessions, Snakes and Ladders’ simple, luck-based race can be really refreshing for everybody. The game originated in India, believe it or not – first making its way into the west in the 1890s. This means there’s a very good chance the late Victorians were drinking absinthe and smoking opium whilst playing it. You can’t prove that isn’t true. Don’t try.
Now it’s widely regarded as a classic board game, and it can even be played conveniently online, for free. You can’t beat Snakes n’ Ladders with strategy or cheats. There’s no way to stay ahead of your competition with experience alone. It’s pure luck. Absolute chaos. Embrace it.
Dungeons and Dragons
It’s never too early to get into Dungeons and Dragons – Stranger Things proved that, and those kids turned out fine. While you might not be able to sit your six-year-old down for an hour or two of intense, imagination-based dungeon crawling, give it a couple of years.
Setting up a DnD character has never been easier thanks to the creation tools over on the official website, and they even offer a couple of cheap starter kits to get you going with basic games. So if you’re feeling a little bit nostalgic for your own childhood, why not inflict parts of it on your offspring?
In all seriousness, DnD can be a really rewarding experience for kids with the right mindset. It encourages imagination, outside-the-box thinking, and cooperation in a way digital games just don’t.
I swear every single Connect Four game I’ve ever played has been broken in some way. Luckily, playing it online removes some of that stress, but what the hell happens to it? Do they just ship them out ready to crack?
For some reason when I was a kid I just couldn’t get my head around this one. It was like playing noughts and crosses with my mum. There was just a part of my brain that didn’t understand the whole ‘impossible to lose’ thing. I think if you sat me down in front of either of those games again now, I’d probably still find a way to lose pretty quickly.
I’ve lost Connect Four against an eight-year-old. The sound of the little plastic token sliding down has traumatised me beyond repair. I can’t reconcile the man I am now with my complete lack of spatial reasoning. But if you’ve got a massive, mental black spot where your basic intelligence should be like me, you can just play it online and save yourself a tiny portion of shame.
And there you have it, five of our favourite childhood board games. What board games did you enjoy playing as a child? Was there a particular board game that you have a funny story about or that drove a wedge between friends? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for something that involves strategy and a bit of luck? Look no further than the classic game, Backgammon. Backgammon is a classic board game played by two players, each with 15 checkers. The objective is to move your checkers around the board and bear them off before your opponent does. Backgammon requires players to carefully plan their moves, consider risks, and anticipate their opponent’s moves to gain an advantage. The online version features a fun and engaging game in a colourful format, along with a rulebook and a brief explanation of the history.
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