Here are the best board and card games to play when you’re cooped up inside

Board games are a great source of entertainment during quarantine. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Many of us are spending more time with our families than we have in a really long time. While it’s fun at first, I know that I and many of my friends are starting to feel pent up. Board games are a great way to get some healthy aggression out after being quarantined with the same people for an indefinite amount of time. Sometimes, a little competition can be healthy!

However competitive you are, board games are a guaranteed way to laugh out any stress or tension you might be shouldering (and usually, they’re better for your brain than hours of Netflix every night).

Here are eight board games to fill your nights at home.

Best for the Family: Telestrations
This game has quickly become my family’s new favorite. If you can imagine Pictionary combined with Telephone, that’s what this game would be. All players have a word, sketch the word and then simultaneously pass it to the next person who guesses — and draws — what they think the word is. This goes around the table and sometimes, like Telephone, it becomes something far different than the original word. Telestrations always has my family in stitches. Whether you’re a talented illustrator or not (sometimes it’s funny if you’re not), it’s a fabulous game.

Best for a Laugh: Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a classic in my household. Everyone has a hand of red apple cards, which are things you have to match to green apple cards, which are descriptions. Players take turns judging the best pairing. Usually, the most hilariously outlandish pairings win in my family. If everyone is a bit older, a similar game is Cards Against Humanity. It’s the same concept, just dirtier. Cards Against Humanity has a virtual edition as well, so you can play with your friends no matter where you are.

Most Outrageous: Exploding Kittens
It’s a card game like nothing you’ve ever seen before. For example, an attack card might read “deploy the thousand-year back hair” and a skip card might read “don a portable cheetah butt.” You never know what you will draw next. And, at any point, you can draw an exploding kitten card and lose. This card game is wacky, entertaining and portable.

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Best for a Problem-Solver: Dr. Eureka
While I think this game is intended for children much younger than me, Dr. Eureka is so fun and actually kind of difficult. You get a card with a formula on it and you have to move molecules strategically from tube to tube to get the correct formula, without using your bare hands. The person who completes it the fastest wins. It’s a game of logic and stacking, great for all ages.

Best Mystery: Clue
Clue is a classic board game. Everyone loves a “whodunit” mystery. There are up to six suspects and one murderer. Slowly through clues, players attempt to solve the case. I love the setup of Clue’s board and all its characters. This mystery game never gets old. It’s clever yet fun, and who doesn’t love to play detective?

Best for a Puzzler: Blokus
Blokus is a two-to-four player game and reminds me of Tetris, but it involves more strategy. The goal of the game is to fill as much of the board as possible with your pieces. The pieces are in odd shapes, sometimes difficult to maneuver. The tighter the board gets, the more difficult. It’s a great strategy game, super easy to learn and different from your average board game.

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Best for a Word-lover: Scrabble
Scrabble is another classic that never gets old. Making words out of random letters is somehow quite thrilling. Word games make you use your brain and I usually feel smarter after a game of Scrabble, even if I lost. Old or young, everyone loves to play Scrabble. It’s been around for a while and still is one of my favorites, a tried-and-true game.

Most Realistic: Pandemic
I had to include this game in my roundup. Players in Pandemic are part of a team that fights deadly diseases across the world. You assume roles like the “Contingency Planner” or “Quarantine Specialist” and need to be smart with resources and manpower. Sound a little bit too familiar? While Pandemic might hit too close to home at the moment, it’s a great strategy game. Maybe purchase after quarantine.

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