Bored No More: Board Games to the Rescue!

Playing board games is fun, inexpensive entertainment for friends and family. Spend $15 on a board game and you can enjoy it for years. You can't say the same for video/console games — after all, what do you do during a power outage or when you have no replacement batteries?

Board games don't mean b-o-r-e-d games; they can be intensely competitive. One of the great things about these games is that the age range for players is usually from 8 to adult, so you can go up against your kid sibling, or older friends and relatives. No special skills are required except some strategy, a bit of luck, and appreciation for lots of laughs.

Don't wait for the power to go out to try one of these five classic board games:

  • Clue: Use your powers of deductive reasoning to solve a murder (forensics training not required): Who did it? Which room? What weapon? Test your brain with this game, which calls for 3 to 6 players.
  • Cranium: Move your board markers ahead as your team answers trivia; works out word challenges; performs (hum, act, or play charades); draws or sculpts. You need at least 2 teams of 2 players each. This game comes in lots of editions; booster boxes with new questions are also available.
  • Monopoly: Call the shots in the high-powered world of industry as you buy, rent, and trade property and utilities. The goal for any of the 2 to 8 players is to accumulate the most wealth by the time the game ends. The original version was set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but now there's the World Edition, which features global cities and it own monetary unit, the Mono.
  • Scrabble: Two to four players each use up to 7 letter-tiles at a time to spell words, building off of words already on the board. A great vocabulary doesn't always help — sometimes, all you might be able to come up with is c-a-t. This game sharpens your resourcefulness: You have to make the most of what you have.

Trivial Pursuit: Normally for 2 to 6 players, you can build teams for up to 24 players in all. Each team answers trivia questions from six categories of general knowledge. In addition to the original Genus edition, you can choose from loads of specialized editions that focus on the movies, Disney, Star Wars, Biographies, Lord of the Rings, the '90s, and more.