10 Family Board Games for Under $20

A good game can bring the family together. The problem is that many board games are becoming expensive. Today we take a look at ten different games that are not only great for the family, but all cost under $20.

1. Guillotine


Image courtesy of Amazon.

Price: $13.08
Age 12+
2-3 players
The concept of Guillotine is simple. The theme is the French Revolution, and your goal is to have the best collection of noble heads. You use action cards to change the order in which players receive nobles. Set with a humorous tone, you will quickly forget the rather grim name.

Next is a game for people who like kittens and explosions…and laser beams…and sometimes goats.

2. Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens

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Price: $19.99
Age 7+
2-5 players
The object of this game is to prevent your kitten from accidentally exploding (curiosity killed the cat, right?). This independently developed game was the most funded project in Kickstarter’s history. It features designs and illustrations by comic genius “The Oatmeal.” It will only take a couple of minutes to learn, and games are quick and fun.

How about a junior version of a traditional game?

3. Apples to Apples – Junior

Apples to Apples Junior

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Price: $14.99
Ages 9+
4-10 players
This game has the same rules as Apples to Apples, but is geared toward younger ages. In Apples to Apples Junior, you have one card that is a prompt with a topic like “Monkeys” or “Pickles.” Players then choose a description card for that topic such as “Crunchy” or “Excellent.” Each player takes turns being the judge to determine the best pairings. This game will provide hours of fun and laughter while challenging young players to diversify their vocabulary.

Next: A guessing game that is laugh out loud funny.

4. What’s Yours Like?

What's Yours Like?

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Ages 12+
4+ players
Each player will take a turn in the “Hot Seat” in What’s Yours Like? All other players will be given a noun such as “dreams” or “best friend.” They then each take a turn giving a description of what “theirs” is like, using words like “Mine are fun” or “I see mine on the weekend.” The result is a mix of confusion, critical thinking, and a lot of fun.

Next: Want to know how to “Scramble” up a banana?

5. Bananagrams


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Price: $14.78
Ages 7+
1-8 players
Bananagrams is like a lightweight Scrabble game. You create a crossword grid of words, but without a board. This game is great for travel (everything fits in a small banana-shaped bag) and a great way to strengthen spelling skills.

Up next: a challenge with a Wookie.

6. Loopin’ Chewie

Price: $12.75
Ages 4+
2-3 players
This is a Star Wars variant of the game I loved playing with my parents when I was younger called Loopin’ Louie. In this version, the tall and hairy hero Chewbacca (Chewie for short) flies around in his ship. Players have to tap their paddles at just the right time to bounce Chewie over their Stormtrooper tokens. If they miss, Chewie will knock a Stormtrooper down. If you lose all your tokens, you are out. It is fun, mechanical, and best of all (in my opinion), Star Wars themed.

Next: Learn about a game that is played by changing the rules.

7. Fluxx


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Price: $11.90
Ages 8+
2-6 players
The rules of this card game change throughout the game (hence, “Fluxx”). Cards that can be played can change not only the rules on how many cards you can have in your hand at a time, but also what the objective of winning is. The base version of the game is on version 5, but you can get all sorts of different themed sets including Zombie, Pirate, Monty Python, Batman, and Nature.

Nothing to do on long family car rides?  No problem. Click next to see why.

8. Travel Scavenger Hunt

Travel Scavenger Hunt

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Price: $7.93
Ages 7+
2+ players
This is a great game to keep kids from getting to board on car trips. Travel Scavenger Hunt mixes up the traditional “I Spy” style games by including not only sights, but sounds, smells, and even “FEEL IT” cards for things like bumps. It will keep the whole family engaged and entertained instead of bored and fighting on long car rides.

Strategy and science is required in this next game.

9. Jishaku


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Price: $19.59
Ages 8+
1+ players
This is a game based on magnets (Jishaku means “magnet” in Japanese). The idea is to place all the magnets on a board….without the magnets getting close enough to snap together. Knowing that the magnets could jump and click together at a moment’s notice keeps this game thrilling and fun.

What to try a new take on charades?

10. Reverse Charades

Reverse Charades

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Price: $14.99
Ages 6+
6+ players
If you’ve ever played traditional charades, you will get this fun variant on a classic. Instead of one person acting out a given topic while the team tries to guess, the team acts out while one person tries to guess. Critical thinking and learning non-verbal clues are a must, along with plenty of laughter. Great for a larger family gathering, plus it adds a bit of physical activity.

Many families have their game night traditions. These ten games are cheap enough to add to your mix. What other low cost games have you found that your family loves?

Note: All prices are from Amazon at time of writing. Age and player count are manufacturer’s recommendations.

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