Home Guide 10 Great Back-To-School Board Games

10 Great Back-To-School Board Games

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Finding enough space for your board game collection in your college dorm isn’t possible. Given this, careful consideration must go into deciding which board games to include in your back-to-school library. In our opinion, the ideal games must offer abundant replay-ability, travel well, and of course appeal to a broad audience. Below are 10 of our favorites that meet those criteria.


1 Gloom

In real life, violence and name calling are never the answer when you’re feeling stressed or frustrated. Luckily, if you want to take out your frustrations on someone, an entire family is at your disposal in Gloom. In this card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Durable cards
  • Great stress reliever
  • A renewed enthusiasm for life

Whether you are looking to build team camaraderie or for a change of pace, Pandemic is one of the best cooperative board games on the market today. Working as a team, you and your friends, each with a unique and important role, implement a strategy to eradicate four quickly spreading diseases. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, everyone loses. If you cure the diseases, you are all winners!

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Cooperative/team game (others include Flashpoint Fire Rescue & Forbidden Desert)
  • Theme with broad appeal (who doesn’t want to save the world from disease?)
  • Great intro to strategic board games for new players

If you’re looking for a strategic board game for large groups 7 Wonders is a classic. In 7 Wonders you take on the role of the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Your goal is to construct the greatest city by gathering resources, developing commercial routes, demonstrating your military supremacy, and erecting an architectural wonder to transcend into the future.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Amazing replayability
  • Approachable theme
  • Great intro to strategic board games for new players
  • Playable with large and small groups alike

Cards Against Humanity is “a party game for horrible people.” Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends. The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Simple game that is easy to learn
  • Social game
  • Involves lots of laughing

5 Hive

Just you and your closest board game loving friend? This is a perfect time to play Hive. The game requires no setup; it begins as soon as the first piece is placed down.The object of Hive is to completely surround your opponent’s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing the same to your queen. In the process, beautiful patterns are created with the pieces, giving the game an aesthetic appeal.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Fast Setup
  • Durable pieces make traveling a breeze
  • Small footprint
  • Medium strategy game
  • Inexpensive

This game excels at keeping rules to a minimum while utilizing the intrigue of the “draft and pass” game mechanic. Played with cards with the images of different types of sushi, after you see a few cards pass by you, you must quickly assess which type of sushi you’ll go for. Each turn provides new information that you’ll need to decide which cards to keep and which to pass on.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Quick playing
  • Light strategy game
  • Fun theme
  • Inexpensive

This is a quick game for large or small groups. Each person takes on a distinct role– some are Werewolves, and some are gifted villagers hoping to protect their village. This is a streamlined version of the party game Ultimate Werewolf; no moderator needed, no elimination, and each game lasts about 10 minutes.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Great group game
  • Quick playing
  • Social Game
  • Fun theme

This is a fantastic press-your-luck dice game with a Zombie theme. The gameplay is simple, easy to learn, and contains just a slight bit of strategy. This is a great game to play when you are looking for quick entertainment when on a study break, between playing other games, or while waiting for more friends to arrive at an event.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Quick playing
  • Easy to learn
  • Inexpensive
  • Compact size and durable components travel well

The breakout hit of 2015, this is a great board game if you are looking for a strategic social game to introduce your friends to the world of board gaming. Codenames is a fun, quick-playing game that remains tense throughout. You’ll need at least 4 players for the game to reach its true potential. After one round, your friends will be asking to play again and inquiring about where they can get their own copy.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Easy to learn
  • Social game
  • Tons of fun and laughs

Splendor is designed for between 2 to 4 players and plays quickly, with little downtime between turns. The simple rules make it very easy to learn for experienced and inexperienced board game players alike. This is one of those games you’ll find yourself playing over and over again, testing new strategies to mitigate the luck of card draws.

Why this game for back-to-school?

  • Light strategy game that is fun to play
  • High quality components
  • Easy to teach to all types of board game players alike

11 Bonus – Board Game Transport

Don’t forget to have plenty of X or H rubber bands handy to secure your boxes in transit!!

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