While video games became popular during the 1980s, board games actually ruled in many households back then. It was a swell way for kids to pass the time especially during the long summer days, and in some cases whole families played together even before “family bonding” became a catchphrase.
The Best 80s Board Games
The 1980s was really a time of wholesome fun. Video games were starting to become popular, but board games still ruled the day. There were so many great board games to choose from, and we did our best to narrow it down to the best of the best.
Here are our picks for the best board games of the 1980s:
1. Trivial Pursuit
This is one of the most popular board games of all time, and part of its charm is that it tested how much useless information you’ve retained through the years. It’s also been critically lauded as well, and parents appreciated its educational aspects. It was a devil to complete, however, but it really was fun. This was especially true for adults and nerdy kids.
Now it’s understandable if you object to this game’s inclusion on this list. After all, it was first sold back in the 1930s and it had earlier versions dating back to 1903. It’s still played today, and it even organizes world championships! Others may also complain that its design is not all that great either. Nonetheless, its greatness lies in its very compelling nature. Even though it can go on for hours on end (the longest game on record lasted 70 days straight), it really captures your fascination. It made generations of people into avid capitalists! Back in the 1980s, it seemed like every household owned a Monopoly.
Again, this was a 1980s staple game though it was invented in 1938. People still play it to this day, either as a board game or a computer game. Back in the 1980s, it even became a daytime game show. People’s fascination with expanding vocabulary was partly due to crossword puzzles and this particular game.
This was a 1970s creation but it was a bestseller in the 80s. Its simplicity was part of its charm. You just shake the cube and letters appeared randomly, and you list words you can form with the letters shown.
This became an overnight success when it was first released back in 1986. It was simple, as one person would draw pictures while the others try to guess the word represented. Players with artistic talents can team up with kids with large vocabularies.
This was a murder mystery game that fostered many kids’ aspirations to be detectives when they grow up.
80’s Clue Commercial
7. Snakes and Ladders
For many young kids, it wasn’t Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly which started their love of board games. Instead, it was this very simple game that required mostly luck to win. The roll of the dice determined if you win or lose. That’s a lesson that many picked up early in life.
8. Connect Four
This game was tic-tac-toe on steroids, and yet it offered a chance for you to develop a winning strategy.
80’s Connect Four Commercial
9. Hungry Hungry Hippos
When it came to fun in the 1980s Hungry Hungry Hippos had you covered! This was a 1980s fad game that fascinated many young players at the time, and it didn’t need skill or strategy. Basically you controlled a hippo and smashed a lever to make it eat marbles. Whichever player got their hippo to eat the most marbles won.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
This game was quite complicated even then, and new rules just made it more incomprehensible even for those who played it in the past.
When you’ve got a power outage or you’re out camping with your family, games like these can help you pass the time.