Top 10 "Smart People" Games - Jan 2019

It's winter, you're stuck indoors, it's a great time to sit down and play a game that is high on strategy yet quick to play. 

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Camp

A trivia game, able to be played at different ability levels for different ages. Bonus - you can pretend you've escaped the winter gloom and are camping somewhere warm and fun. 

Age: 4+

Rating: 9/10

Audience: Kids

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Patchwork Express

We got the Express version! It's like a combination of Tetris and the Game of Life and packs a lot of strategy in a very short game. This has all of the fun of the traditional Patchwork game but in less time. A great game for two players.

Age: 6+

Rating: 9/10

Audience: Kids + Adults

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Dragonwood

Our 6 year old has been playing this non-stop over winter break and he puts a lot of thought into the strategy of calculating probability of success of dice rolls, the best type of attack to make on a card, which card to go for, etc. There's enough luck that other people at least stand a chance against him but visiting grandparents probably had a 10% victory rate. 

Age: 8+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Kids

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Hanabi

Don't think just because it's a cooperative game it's all happy, easy, fun times. This game requires all players to face their hands outwards and you must depend on clues from your teammates to build your firework display. There are escalating levels of difficulty at which you can play, a great challenge for any game player!

Age: 8+

Rating: 9/10

Audience: Kids + Adults

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Splendor

Simple premise but a good amount of strategy required to do well. Collect jewels to buy cards and get to 15 points first. It's one of our go-to games for an adult game night.

Age: 10+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Adults

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Hoot Owl Hoot

It's never too early to get your kids thinking strategically as they play a game! This is a cooperative game that can be played at higher strategic levels as you add in more owl tokens into play. Players must work together to hopscotch their pieces over each other to get to the finish in time. 

 

Age: 4+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Kids

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Labyrinth

You control and move the maze. Chess-like strategy in planning a few moves out in advance and looking at your opponents potential moves are a huge advantage. Younger players can play this game with some help but older players can go as ruthless as they like if they embrace the strategic opportunities the game presents. 

Age: 8+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Kids

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Monopoly Deal

Faster and more strategic version of Monopoly. This game is so well-made. There are a lot of variations of Monopoly out there but few aimed at older ages. This one is a winner for being a cheap, compact card game that is quick to play and yet employs so much more strategy than the game it's based upon. 

Age: 8+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Kids + Adults

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Santorini

If you are chess inclined, this is a great board game for you. Build classic Greek buildings and move your tokens up, blocking your opponent from getting to the third level before you. If you like strategy with a little more chaos, play 3 player version. 2 or 4 player version seem to be more carefully calibrated for victory by the most strategic player. 

Age: 8+

Rating: 8/10

Audience: Kids + Adults

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Eight-Minute Empire

More like 18 minute empire than 8 minute, this still packs all the fun of Risk plus a little more strategy in a short, very fun game. People always seem to score reasonably close regardless of how well they do at game play so people don't get quite as demoralized when they lose. 

Age: 13+

Rating: 10/10

Audience: Adults

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