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Board Games

We’ve collected some of the most intriguing, well crafted and mind expanding board games in this list.  Many of them have layers of fun and meaning; all have a high Bright Kid Fun Factor!  Click on the game title or image to buy online.

DaVinci Challenge Game

Da Vinci’s Challenge

Da Vinci's Challenge Studied in depth by Leonardo Da Vinci, the patterns of circles on this game board form the ancient symbol called the Flower of Life and were inscribed on pyramid walls by the Egyptians over 6,000 years ago.  These intersecting circles form wheels, snowflakes, eyes and other secret symbols. Players use their pieces to create 9 different patterns and score points based on their pattern’s shape complexity. Easy to learn, helps build strategy skills and fun for visual-spatial people. Ages 8+  $24.95

    2005 Best Game Award Winner for:
    Mensa Select Award
    Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal
    Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal
    Parent's Choice Approved

Family Games Quarto!

Quarto!

This game challenges players to create a line of 4 pieces that share a common characteristic - tall or short, round or square, light or dark, solid or hollow. The trick is your opponent chooses which piece you will play.   It is very simple to learn yet is fascinating and addictive!  The challenge comes in seeing the common characteristic in the shapes you can make in a line to win!  Attractive wood pieces make this a perfect coffee table item.  Ages 8+  $29.99

    Mensa Top 5 Best Games
    Games Magazine Top 100 Games
    Parents™ Choice Award

Blokus

BlokusBlokus was recommended to us by another family that loves visual games.  This one is easy to learn and can be hours of fun for everyone.  Blokus has won Game of the Year awards in both Europe and Japan. Kids take turns placing as many of their 21 geometric shapes on the board as they can, but only the corners of their own pieces may touch. The real challenge comes toward the end of the game, when they must squeeze their remaining pieces into increasingly limited space. Great for supporting geometric and spatial concepts; easy to learn with fast play that engages kids immediately. 12" x 12" board, 84 playing pieces. 2 to 4 players.  Ages 7+ $29.99

    Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2004 Platinum Award
    Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products 2003

Wood Senet Game

Senat Game

Senet is a 4,000 year old Egyptian race game and may be the ancestor of our modern backgammon. We know of this game through ancient Egyption boards that have survived to this day. More than 40 have been discovered, some in very good condition with pawns, sticks or knucklebones still intact. Instead of dice, Senet uses sticks which are nearly flat, and have one black side and one white side. The white sides count up as numbers. One white side is one, two two and so on until four. However, if all sides come up as black, it will count as a six. The oldest known representation of Senet is in a painting from the tomb of Hesy (Third Dynasty circa 2686-2613 BCE).  This Senet game is made of beautifully finished wood with a storage drawer underneath the playing board. Players race to move their pieces around and off the board, using strategic offense and defense as they go. 16" x 5" wood board and 14 game pieces. For 2 players.

Ages 8+ $34.99

Royal Game of UrRoyal Game of Ur

The Royal Game of Ur refers to two game boards found in Royal Tombs of Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1920s. The two boards date from the First Dynasty of Ur, before 2600 BC, thus making the Royal Game of Ur probably the oldest set of board gaming equipment ever found. One of the two boards is exhibited in the collections of the British Museum in London.

The Royal Game of Ur was played with two sets (one black and one white) of seven markers and three pyramidal dice. The rules of the game as it was played in Mesopotamia are not known but there is a reliable reconstruction of game play based on a cuneiform tablet of Babylonian origin dating from 177-176 BC. It is universally agreed that the Royal Game of Ur, like Senet, is a race game.  Both games may be predecessors to the present-day backgammon.

Ages 8+ $34.99

Equate: The Equation Thinking Game

Equate - The Math Version of Scrabble!Equate smaller

This board game like Scrabble except with numbers and mathematical operators instead of letters.  Tiles may be single digits, fractions, plus, minus, times, or division.   Players take turns adding tiles to the grid such that they form mathematically correct equations.  Each player can participate at their own level, whether they’re still working on addition and subtraction basics or finessing higher-level or algebra skills.  Pick up the Advanced Tile Set for negative numbers and exponents. Equate board game includes 190 number and operation tiles, 4 tile racks and rules. For 2 to 4 players or teams.  Ages 8+ $29.95 ($7.95 for advanced tile set)

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