A newer addition to the family-friendly games library, Carcassone makes for a nice low-key, slow-boil family fight. It’s just one of those games that seems really simple, but the rules are just confusing enough that every new player says “Wait, can I put it here?” every single turn. If you can make it through the whole game without yelling at them, you win! But you never win, do you?
Look at that thing. Look at it. What the hell even is that? Whose dumb idea was it to play this dumb game anyway? I can’t wait to move out!
18. Don’t Wake Daddy
If your family even owns this game, like someone in your home saw that at the store and thought “That’s something I relate to!” and brought it home, there is unaddressed darkness in your family just waiting to come to light and destroy you all.
You would think a cooperative game where everyone tries to win together would unite your family, but unfortunately, that means you all lose together too. And then you start playing a new game. The blame game. No one wins that one either.
16. Mansions of Madness
Write-ups of this game hail it as an easier, more approachable version of games like Dungeons and Dragons. These write-ups are written by callous, spiteful people who resent the fact that you have love of any kind in your life and want it to implode.
Another team-competitive “guess the word” game, similar to Password but available in themed variants featuring your favorite IP. You and your siblings can argue about cheating and which Simpsons seasons are the good ones at the same time.
14. Settlers of Catan
Assuming your family makes it through learning the rules unscathed, you’ll be a family playing the roles of individual settlers, sort of like Romulus and Remus. It’s going to end similarly to their story too.
13. Cards Against Humanity
The novelty of playing this “naughty” game with your parents runs out faster than you can say “Pixelated bukkake AIDS fart.”
12. Ouija Board
This game is unique in that it can start a huge fight without even being played. Take any random group of 5 people and odds are one of them will be dumb enough to actually fear this Parker Brothers mass-produced piece of cardboard. You and your loved ones can wind up arguing about everything from the validity of urban legends to the existence of God.
In this classic card game, a person proudly declares “Uno!” when they are doing well, signaling the other family members to screw them over as soon as possible. It’s a dynamic that will echo all the way until you’re drunkenly sabotaging your sister’s wedding reception.
No one likes having their artwork criticized, especially by a family member who knows exactly how to push your buttons. By throwing a slight competitive element into that dynamic Hasbro has essentially created an estrangement machine!
It’s unwise to play any game with a family member that empirically proves the winner is smarter than the loser. Neither party reacts to that information in a healthy way.
The gameplay of Clue is simplistic with no fundamental mystery-solving skills coming into play, but that’s because it’s all a smokescreen. The real mystery you’re solving is “Who in my family do I trust the least because I’m passive-aggressively guessing them first.”
This early 2000s Hasbro game offers countless opportunities for your family to criticize one another. Between your dad’s terrible Groucho Marx impression, your mom’s lack of trivia knowledge, your sister’s inability to make a clay turtle despite 4 years of art school, and the fact that you can’t spell worth a damn, no family will leave a game of Cranium with their sense of self-worth intact!
6. The Game Of Life
Oh, what’s this in the back of the closet here? Why, it’s the ghost of Ronald Reagan’s America here to push every generation of your family out of speaking terms! Competition, antiquated gender roles/relationship normalcy, worship of materialism, the pressure to have kids, and the acquisition of wealth over all else, it’s all here and ready to set off your family’s most deeply held triggers.
First off, some sick fuck in your FAMILY suggested playing Twister, big red flag. Twister is a game for problematic frat parties and swinger events. But even psychosexual undertones aside, this is a game that forces your family to literally walk all over each other, and by the time you start arguing, you’re already halfway to a physical fight.
If you don’t know how to play Battleship, the rules are simple: Each player is placed in a perfect position to lie. Players then proceed to lie to each other, because why the hell wouldn’t you, and then fighting happens!
3. Trivial Pursuit (Baby Boomer Edition)
“You don’t know who Spiro Agnew’s lawyer was?” No Dad, I don’t, I was born in 1990! You were there! And you only have a pink pie piece because you got some dumbshit question about “The Wizard of Oz” so piss off, you’re not better than me! I last played this game with my family 8 years ago, and to this day if I hear the words “What river” I automatically flip a table over.
If you were to say to your family “Hey, let’s all do something repetitive and competitive that brings out the worst in each other and takes several hours longer than we think it will” everyone says “no,” but if you say “Hey, let’s play Monopoly!” everyone says “Yes.” It’s weird.
We all have people in our lives that we are supposed to love who we hate because of a Scrabble game.