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Playing board games is known to be one of the most fun things to do as a family or with your partner. In this article, we explain why we recommend playing board games with your significant other. Then we go on to list some of our top recommendations.

Why Play Board Games as a Couple?

  • It releases Oxytocin – a recent study by Baylor University found that when we play board games with a significant other our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin, sometimes known as the “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin is believed to be important in dealing with anxiety, stress, fear, and other mental health issues.
  • It is an Excellent Break from Digital Activities – much of our day-to-day routine involves everything digital, which undermines face-to-face interaction. Playing board games is an excellent opportunity to share stories, share humorous stories, and laugh together without the use of a touch-screen.
  • It Boosts Self-confidence and Creativity – a board game is one activity where not only are we allowed to be competitive but are encouraged to be so. During a game, couples get to show their confident and creative sides without seeming arrogant. Revelations like these can lead to a physical intimacy that strengthens a couple.
  • It has tons of Health Benefits – The release of endorphins which happens during an activity like a board game is associated with better blood circulation, hence a lower blood pressure. Also, a French study found that those who play board games have 15% lower risk of dementia that those who don’t.

Learn more at Amazing Game Room.

Our Top Recommendations

Splendor

We’ve talked before about how much we love Splendor. This game is good for 2 to 4 players, which means it is an ideal option if you’re ever doing a double date night. Otherwise it works just fine between one couple. The game takes you back to the European Renaissance period. To gain points, you and your partner are merchants competing to buy gems, transportation, and shops. The game takes about 30 minutes to complete. The characters and scenery depicted are guaranteed to make you wish you could take a trip back in time together as a couple to enjoy this era.

Off-Topic

Off-Topic – What we like best about this game is that it really allows you as a couple to get creative leading to hilarious banters and conversations. The game is simple: draw a card that has the category, roll the dice to identify what letter your answers must begin with, then start writing your answers while being timed. But the fun doesn’t end there – you defend your answers and debate on them with your partner after, which is where the real fun begins. As this is a fast-paced game, it is great as a Friday night activity or a quick game after dinner.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on The Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on The Cursed Island – If you’re like many couples, you may have at some point fantasized about being in an incredible adventure together where you were stripped of your comforts and had to fight to survive, á la Tom Hanks in Cast Away. This game is a simulation of the classic shipwreck novel by Daniel Defoe. Unlike most games where you need to compete with each other, Robinson Crusoe is a cooperative game and requires you to work together as a couple to build shelter, find food, and survive wild animals and unfriendly weather. It’s the ultimate couple adventure game.

I Should Have Known That

I Should Have Known That (Trivia Game) –  A trivia game never goes out of style. There is something inherently satisfying about being able to answer a random question correctly, especially something seemingly as simple as, “does the Statue of Liberty hold her torch in the left or right hand?” (Hint: right). The set contains 400 questions on various subjects such as pop culture, cinema, and current affairs. It’s the perfect game to legitimize geeking out with your significant other.

Scrabble

Scrabble requires no introduction; in fact you most likely already have a copy in your closet! The rules, as we know are pretty straightforward. But what makes it a great game for couples is it stirs a discussion after every word placed on the board: is it actually a word? What does the word mean? Can you use it in a sentence? The great lengths we go to to defend our entry and earn points are amazing. If you love word games and you’re looking for something a bit more complex, check out our Scrabble-themed board game step ladder and move up a rung from classic game.

Twister

This isn’t exactly a board game by definition, but for the purpose of this article, we’re calling it that. This familiar game is for couples who want to crank game nights up a notch by moving physically. For the uninitiated, the game tests your balance and flexibility. A mat is placed on the floor and you and your partner follow instructions on where to put your hands and your feet, eventually losing balance and falling. The version we’re featuring here is the same as the classic one, but with two new moves.

Onitama

OnitamaFor many busy couples, having thirty minutes to enjoy one game is an infrequent luxury. If you’re one of those, we would recommend Onitama, which is an abstract game like Chess that takes no more than 10 minutes to play. In Onitama each player is a master, leading a group of monks. There are two ways to win: capture the opposing master, or move into the Temple Arch of your opponent. It’s an excellent strategy game that is enjoyable without requiring so much time.

Jenga

As a game that requires focus and concentration, a few rounds of Jenga are guaranteed to take your mind off other things. The set comes with wooden blocks which you build a tower with. One by one, you and your partner will take out a piece, until the structure eventually collapses; the one who took out the last piece before the collapse, of course, loses. Regardless of who wins though, each round always culminates with a big laugh between you and your partner. If Jenga is a favorite of yours then you owe it to yourself to check out The Climbers, another wonderful dexterity game.

Wrap-up

Playing board games together is one of the time-tested ways to spend time together as a couple. Not only is it fun, but it’s scientifically proven to help revitalize your relationship. Among our recommendations above, Jenga is our ultimate favorite. It’s super simple to play. There aren’t too many rules to remember, but it’s guaranteed to take your mind off the worries and boredom of everyday life. And you always end each round with a big laugh.

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The Guest Contributor author is a collection of posts written by authors outside of the Meeple Mountain writing team.

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