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Smart Board Games

Board games are all similar: they're played on a board.  But these board games are as different as they can be.  Check them all out!

Find great board games for gifted children at Toys at Amazon.com, MindWare and Discovery Store! and many more - all the links on Shop Hoagies! - are all Hoagies' Gifted Education Page affiliates. Purchase through Hoagies' Page links, and these stores give a small percentage to Hoagies' Page at no cost to you. Thanks!

Board Games Card Games Classic Games Construction Toys Hands-On Toys History Games Klutz Books Math Games Paper & Pencil Party Games Puzzle Books Strategy Games Word Games Young Children Toy Companies

10 Days in... Recommended
Can you plan a cohesive trip in ten days?  Some skill, some luck, lots of fun - great to study geography of ... wherever you chose to go, they're all great! Available in 10 Days in Africa, 10 Days in the USA, 10 Days in Asia, 10 Days in Europe and 10 Days in the Americas
 
24/7 The Game by Sunriver Games (ages 8+)
An exciting strategy game that combines elements of luck and skill. Using durable plastic tiles on a full color game board, players take turns laying tiles on a 7×7 grid and score points for adjacent tiles that create runs, sets and sums of 24 or 7...
 
The Amazing Labyrinth Game by Ravensburger (ages 8+)
Players can use the maze shift card to change the path in order to reach the treasure item, which means the maze changes with every turn!  Also Junior Labyrinth Game
 
AmuseAmaze (ages 8+)
More than just a spelling game, a fun-filled lexical labyrinth of quick words and quicker wits, a word game where words don't have to be the biggest to be the best. Players form words by using the letter tiles and the letters printed on the board, and move through the maze. The first player to make their way through the colored target spaces, and reach the end of the maze wins... a different game every time you play!
 
Ancient Egyptians
To become Pharaoh in this challenging board game, you must be clever enough to barter, trade, collect and entomb everything you need. To get ahead faster, answer questions about this glorious period of history...
 
Australian Menagerie from Wild Connections
A competitive game of chance and strategy which highlights the diverse range of Australia's wildlife and habitats...
 
Bethump'd with History (ages 12+), Bethump'd with Words, Senior Edition (ages 13+), Bethump'd with Words, Discovery Edition (ages 9+), Bethump'd with Words, Voyager Edition (ages 13+), Bethump'd with Words, Book Edition
Bethump'd with History focuses on world history with a concentration on U.S. Constitutional history and human rights - a big hit!  The Words versions are great ways to learn new words, idioms, and more.  Visit the company, Mamopalire of Vermont, for lesson plans and more...
 
Blokus Recommended or Blokus Trigon
Take turns placing as many of their 21 geometric shapes on board as they can, but only the corners of their own pieces may touch. The real challenge comes toward the end of the game...  Also Blokus To Go
 
Bluff-n-Peg
Turns poker into family bluffing game, with entertaining results...
 
Buzz-Words
Easy to learn, fun to play.  What Buzz-words do you know?
 
Cache Me If You Can, the Geocaching Board Game (or from Amazon) (2-4 players, ages 8+)
There are an estimated 5 million people geocaching, and now you can bring that kind of fun to your living room. For those times when you and some friends just want to go on the hunt without going out, now you can. It's all here! Caches, geo-coins, hazards, multi-caches, puzzle caches, muggles, and even a Swag Store. Just like real geocaching, ther are surprise along the way! Never the same way twice...
 
Carcassonne (10 to adult) Rio Grande Games
A clever tile laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique Roman and Medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious.  Game expansions, and other editions...
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals Expansion
Carcassonne: Princess & Dragon Expansion
Carcassonne: The Castle
Carcassonne Traders and Builders
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers

Cashflow 101 by Rich Dad (sometimes available from Amazon)
Give your child a financial headstart by raising their financial I.Q. This game teaches your family the key principles of how to get out of the rat race & how to create wealth.  From the authors of Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
 
Castle Keep (ages 8 and up, a few years younger for gifted kids)
Raise your castle! Raze the enemy! In this clever game of medieval maneuvers, build a castle with walls, towers, and a keep by matching color, shape, or both. Will you use your game tiles to strengthen your fortress or to attack vulnerable opponents?
 
Chicken Cha Cha Cha (or from Amazon)
Chaos in the chicken yard!  Play the chicken Olympics... Also available in original German edition! Zicke Zacke Hühnerkacke
 
Cloud 9 The Daring Game of Ups and Downs, by Out of the Box
The higher the balloon rises, the more points you can score. But watch out, the balloon can fall at anytime how long are you willing to stay on and risk losing it all?
 
Cranium Recommended (12 to adult) or Cranium Cadoo (ages 7 and up)
Spell a word backwards, hum a tune, answer a multiple-choice question, draw with your eyes closed, and more when you play Cranium, with 14 talent-tapping activities designed to bring out the best in you and your friends...  Cadoo is the funky fusion of tic-tac-toe, general knowledge, sculpting skill, and scavenger hunt designed for kids
Cranium Wow (12 to adult)  Uncover a player’s talents--or lack thereof. Wow’s objective is to move around the board until you’ve reached Cranium Central, where your team completes its final activities to claim victory.  Collect the new personalized markers, too!
Cranium Booster Box 1 and Cranium Booster Box 2 or Cranium Cadoo Booster Box 1
Cranium Disney (8 to adult)  players compete by sculpting, acting, and sketching to victory
Cranium Pop 5 (13 to adult)  How much pop culture do you and your team know??
Cranium Whoonu (8 to adult)  have unforgettable fun as you reveal your favorite things, share hilarious stories, and bond over surprising connections. You'll be amazed at what you'll learn about your friends and family -- especially those you think you know best!
Cranium Playground (preschool) gets kids matching, drawing, dancing, and making letter shapes as they race around the monkey bars to win!
Cranium Hullabaloo (4 and up) Twister meets Simon Says... Listen closely and think fast as you bounce, twist, spin, high-five, and dance to the music, sounds, and friendly voice of Hullabaloo. Rewards quick thinking, cooperation, and creative problem-solving
 
Cromlet by Pywacket
A little luck, a little strategy and a unique game design where there is no clear winner until the very last move. Cards are played, Crowns are laid, Cromlets are claimed and Dead cards often remain. Sounds easy, but wait. Replacement cards may be drawn, Wild cards may cause a spoil, and a players strategy may cause turmoil. Players never know when a Cromlet will be claimed and timing is everything in this game!
 
DaVinci's Challenge The ancient game of secret symbols
Leonardo DaVinci was fascinated with the “Flower of Life” pattern that decorates this game board: intersecting circles that form wheels, snowflakes, eyes and a myriad of other shapes, depending on how you look at them. As players use their pieces to create nine different patterns, they score points based on the shape’s complexity...
 
ElementO (out of stock, use this link for description, and go to eBay to purchase)
Creative board game teaches about the elements that make up our universe, introduces the elements in an interesting way that makes learning fun! (Warning, VERY long game, short form takes an hour...)
 
Equate Recommended
Strategic math thinking game.  Don't forget Junior Tile Set  for more integers, or the Advanced Tile Set for negative numbers and exponents.  Also Equate classroom set  available, too!  Equate Activity Notebook Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3...
 
Exago (2 to 6 players, ages 7 and up)
A version of Go for multiple players, Exago is easy to learn, but the changing strategies make it challenging every time...
 
Faces a game of first impressions (3-8 players, ages 10+)
match your first impression of zany man, woman, and pet faces with your opponents to win.  The "impression" cards are as funny as the faces... "The neat freak," "The one who's socks don't match," "The one who's reading an eye chart" A very visual game
 
Finish Lines
Challenges players to finish, popular lines from TV, movies, literature, nursery rhymes, history, proverbs, religion, science, sports and music.  Loads of fun for large groups of players, too!
 
Gipf Project series of 6 terrific strategy games for the gifted child or adult!  Rio Grande Games
Gipf An abstract strategy game for two players based on a classic concept:... more about Gipf
Tamsk Earth. The second game of Project GIPF, played under permanent time pressure... visit Tamsk
Zertz Water. A fast, dynamic game for 2 players... more about Zertz
Dvonn Fire. A stacking game, played on an elongated hexagonal board... more about Dvonn
Yinsh Air. Players each start with 5 rings on the board. Every time a ring is moved, it leaves a marker behind... visit Yinsh
Pünct The fifth element.  A connection game: the goal is to link two opposite sites... more about Pünct

Gobblet and Gobblet Gobblers (or from Funagain Games, Gobblet and Gobblet Gobblers)
A fun strategy game, as easy to learn as tic-tac-toe, challenging for chess players, fun for the whole family... Also available in 3x3 colored version, Gobblet Jr. and Gobblet Jr. On the Go
 
Heximania (2-4 players, ages 6 and up, mixed abilities)
Spinning the board as you go, take turns placing letter tiles and earning points for each word you build. As long as letters are adjacent and in the proper sequence, words may be read in any direction - up, down, backwards, forwards, or in a sweeping swirl! Can be played at all skill levels; perfect for the entire family...
 
iMAgiNiff the funniest game you can imagine (3-8 players, ages 12+)
Just imagine what the other players are most like. Keep choosing the most popular answers to win the game...
 
Imposter! (ages 12 and up - really!)
Which of these four items doesn't belong: green pepper, turkey, spoon, Christmas stocking? Answer: spoon is the imposter, because all the others can be stuffed! In this lively game, players draw a card listing four items, then vote for the imposter - and explain why.  This one really is 12 and up - you need world experience
 
Infinifield
Neat new strategy game - creating the game board for each round is 1/2 the fun! This game is a gifted family project, and your family will enjoy it, too...
 
Ingenious (or from Fun Again Games) board game, also available in a software version Ingenious
An abstract placement game from internationally-renowned game designer Reiner Knizia. Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring points, blocking opponents' tile placement, and trying to protect themselves from being blocked by their opponents. Marvelously elegant and compulsively replayable, Ingenious is an excellent introduction to German-style abstract board games. It's ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious! In the software version, practice in a single player game or against the computer's AI and hone your technique, then surprise other players online with your skill.  Simple rules, quick playing time, and a clever system makes Ingenious... ingenious!
 
Ingenious
Score points based on how many adjacent color tiles you've placed, but watch out for your opponents tiles!
 
Jumbulaya The Rearranging, Ever Changing Word Jumble Game (ages 8+)
An addictive, multifaceted word strategy game.  Work with 5 letter tiles on your tray and all the letters on the board, rearranging, adding and trading them, building and claiming longer and longer words each turn. As you build words horizontally, keep your eyes peeled for a Jumbulaya, a 7-, 8-, or 9-tile word that can be spelled vertically on the board. Plan multiple moves ahead to create longer and longer words. Earns points for all lines you claim, bonus points for using "letter-combo" tiles, and even more points for being the first to find a Jumbulaya. The player who earns the most points, wins!
 
Khet Recommended the Laser game by Deflexion
Take turns moving Egyptian-themed pieces having two, one or no mirrored surfaces. Pieces (pharaoh, obelisk, pyramid and djed column) can either move one square forward, back, left, right, or diagonal, or can stay in the same square and rotate by a quarter twist. Each turn ends by firing one of the lasers built into the board. The laser beam bounces from mirror to mirror; if the beam strikes a non-mirrored surface on any piece, it is immediately removed from play. The ultimate goal is to illuminate your opponent's pharaoh, while shielding yours from harm!  Add to your game with the Khet Beamsplitter turning a single beam into three.  Or try Khet 3D: Tower of Kadesh
 
Last Word The uproarious race to have the final say! (2-8 players, ages 8+)
Subject: “Vegetables”…Letter: “C". Players race opponents and the random-interval timer to yell them out…Carrots! Cucumbers! Corn! Cauliflower! ‘tick-tick’… The player with the Last Word in before the timer sounds advances…Oh! Celery! BZZZT!
 
The Legend of Landlock 2 players, ages 8 and up (gifted ages 6+)
Employ a variety of complex-thinking skills like visual discrimination and spatial relations to achieve your goal. At the same time, learn the importance of thinking ahead before you play...
 
LineUp by MindWare The Memory Crime Game with a Sneaky Selection of Suspects
Comical crime game is perfect for showing off memory skills. Stop at each of six crime scenes to take a five-second eyewitness look at the suspect. Study the picture, because when you head back to the police station for a lineup, you’ll face a challenging string of look-alike suspects. Kids who can analyze, differentiate and remember the smallest details will come out ahead. But there’s a glitch: a Lucky Break could trip up even the most solid ID...
 
Loaded Questions and Loaded Questions Junior
"If you were invisible, where would you go?" "If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, what would you choose?" Tests players on how well they know each other...
 
Lost Cities Rio Grande Games
Battle the river and your opponents to recover jewels from the riverbank... but watch out for those falls!
 
Mad Math
They'll forget they're practicing math.  Tic tac toe, where you roll the dice and multiply to position your pawn.  Three in a row wins (including addition game for younger kids)
 
Marlarky
Test your powers of deception with Malarky, as players try to bluff answers to Imponderable questions as "What is the 'cottage' in cottage cheese?" and opponents try to determine the real answers from the ones that are simply malarky...
 
Mental Floss
More than just another trivia game.  Try your luck at Right-Brain, Left-Brain, or Spot the Big Fat Lie questions.  Then move on to the Enlightening Round.  Get something wrong?  Give it a Mental Block.  Can you find Piece of Mind?  If you like the game, check out Mental Floss Magazine and Books...
 
Mine Shift by MindWare
The maze game of shifting strategy. Move a jewel, rotate a tile, or shift the board. Your choice of these three basic moves lets you navigate your jewels through the mine shaft maze. The simple rules will have you playing in minutes but you must dig deep to master a strategy and outwit your opponent! Ever-changing tiles create a new game every time you play...
 
Mixup
Connect Four meets it's match, in Mixup!  One player uses shapes, the other player uses colors, to get 4-in-a-row or a 2-by-2 square.  But watch out for your opponent's strategy!
 
Niagara Rio Grande Games
Battle the river and your opponents to recover jewels from the riverbank... but watch out for those falls!
 
The Order of the Stick: The Dungeon of Dorukan by APE
Adventure! Comedy! Beating your friends! What else could you ask for in a board game? Why just read about foolish and incompetent adventurers when you can be one yourself? Take on the role of one of the six daring (if less-than-capable) adventurers as you explore each room of the mysterious Dungeon of Dorukan in this hilarious satire of the fantasy genre.  Read the books, too...
bullet Order of the Stick Volume -1: Start of Darkness
bullet Order Of The Stick Volume 0: On The Origin Of PCs
bullet Order Of The Stick Volume 1: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
bullet The Order of the Stick Volume 2: No Cure for the Paladin Blues
 
Pastiche (ages 10+)
An art-themed set collection board game... each player gathers specific color palette cards and combines them to complete artistic commissions. Players acquire palette color cards by playing hex tiles and combining the two or more colors on either side of the connection point(s). The player who gains the most commission points prevails! Players trade amongst themselves to acquire the palette cards they need, artfully adding another layer to an complex and engrossing game...
 
Patriot Challenge Game (or from Amazon)
American history trivia game, using U.S. Commemorative Stamps.  More than 600 questions and hundreds of stamps, plus bonus questions; younger kids can win by taking 2-point questions, while more historically-minded players try 4- and 6-point questions... Lots of fun!
 
Perfect Sense (ages 12 and up)
The five riddles on each card describe the same object and each riddle relates to one of your five senses. Amaze other players and yourself by solving the riddle after the first clue. Stumped? No problem! Four more riddles will lead you to the correct answer...
 
Pirates Versus Pirates (ages 8 and up) by Out of the Box (or from Funagain Games)
The Swashbucklin' Game of Swords and RewaaarrrdsThree bands of pirates have discovered an island brimming with treasure. Conquer the island by capturing the gold and silver, or by eliminating the enemy pirates. Position your pirates carefully: enemies are all around, and they are hungry for treasure!
 
Qwirkle (gifted ages 4 and up)
A bit like dominoes with colors and shapes, Qwirkle is easy to learn, but hard to master.  Score big by matching both shape and color; the player with the most points wins...
 
Racko 2-4 players, ages 8+ (gifted ages 4 or 5 and up)
Part skill, part luck of the draw. Two to four players try to get their rack of 10 cards in consecutive order, from lowest to highest, first
 
Risk
The game of world conquest--features a tri-fold game board that is a map of six continents divided into 42 territories. It's a game of strategy as you battle to win by launching daring attacks, defending your territory, and moving across continents with your cunning plan!  Or try the futuristic Risk 2210 A.D. or Risk Godstorm - a time of myths and legends!  Also Risk Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Risk 2003 Edition or Liberty Risk Edition
 
Scotland Yard by Ravensburger (3-6 players, ages 10+)
Hunting Mr X! Where is that elusive fugitive? Scotland Yard detectives stake out the player named Mr X! Action-packed, requiring strategy & accurate communication among players. Close observation, clever tactics & luck required. Heed the clues & try to catch Mr X before he escapes!
 
SET Cubed A Curious Game of Clever Connections
How many SETs can you make by adding the three cubes from your hand to the SETs already on the board?  Your favorite game in a whole new dimension!
 
Sequence, Sequence Deluxe Tin Edition and Jumbo Sequence
With touches of canasta, rummy, and poker, this game could easily become a Friday-night favorite. The object is to get a "sequence," meaning a row of five chips...  Also Deluxe Sequence, Travel Sequence, Sequence For Kids, and Sequence in a Tube
 
Simply Suspects The Game Of Suspicion and Betrayal!
A fast-action game of suspicion and finger pointing. Much like Spy Alley, Simply Suspects is deceptively simple yet surprisingly intense
 
Skippity (ages 5+, younger gifted) by MindWare
Easy to learn and fast to play. Use straight-line leaps to capture and stack the skippers you hop over. Any skipper can be your jumping piece; they’re all fair game! Capture the colors you need while blocking your opponents from capturing the colors they need. When you have one of each color, it’s a set. The player with the most complete sets wins...
 
Squint
Build a picture of the item listed on your SQUINT card. Get one of the players to guess what you are building before time runs out, and you both score points!  Also try Squint Junior.
 
Spy Alley Game Recommended
A little bit of paranoia helps in this business, what with secret agents from all over the world following you around the board as you try to pick up clues to their identity and keep your own well hidden...
 
Stock Market Tycoon
It takes skill, luck, and nerves of steel to play with hot stocks like Microsoft, Nike and Disney...
 
Stomple
Outwit your opponents by stomping their marbles before they stomp yours. This addictive game is quick to learn but hard to master. Outmaneuver other players and leave their stomper trapped with nowhere to go...
 
Stratego (or from Amazon)
A removable fortress barrier sequesters your army from prying eyes whilst ye prepare yourselves for a most lengthy and glorious conflict. From the lowliest scout to the highest-ranking marshal, all must make ready to encounter enemy bombs, defend the flag, and steel themselves to triumph over the foe. Skillful planning, a keen memory, and sleight of hand will be your allies. Onward, for King and for Country...  Also Stratego - Chronicles of Narnia, Stratego: Pirates of the Caribbean, Stratego: Democrats vs. Republicans, Library Edition Stratego and Stratego Computer Game
 
Take Off!
A geography game the whole family can enjoy...
 
Tayu the game of connections
Named after TAYÜ, the legendary Chinese hero who saved his country from flooding by creating a system of waterways. Place tiles to create water channels that stretch from one side of the board to the other, while blocking your opponent's channels...
 
Tic Tac Ku
An exciting new game of strategic planning and logic, based on everyone's old favorite--Tic Tac Toe--but with a great new twist...
 
Totally Gross the science game (2-4 players, ages 8+ (5+))
Kids travel around the game board answering questions like “Name three places on your body that aren’t growing hair right now!” or “Can you milk a snake?” When a player correctly answers enough questions to stretch his Totally Gross Slime all the way to number 10, he gets to perform a “bizarre” experiment...
 
Traverse 20th Anniversary Edition Checkers gone Wild! (ages 7+ (5+ gifted), 2 to 4 players) by Educational Insights
What do you get when you cross checkers and Chinese checkers with a hint of chess and some extra-wild rules for advanced players?  Traverse! 
 
Trhyme (pronounced trime) (2-6 players, ages 12+)
Exciting new word game with the intriguing twist. You are confronted with three clues for which you must provide three answers within a specified time. And here's the twist... All three answers must rhyme with each other!  Also play Trhyme Jr....
 
Vanished Planet by Vanished Planet Games (1-6 players, ages 8+)
A truely cooperative board game, that actually works! Players must complete missions acquired throughout the game before their homeworlds are destroyed by a malevolent world-eating creature...
 
VisualEyes Recommended The 'What You See is What You Get' Game!
Appealing to the visual learners, and everyone else.  Find words or phrases among the pictures
 
Word XChange A battle to the last word
A lightning-fast game that's a battle to make and keep words. First to spell out six words with letter tiles wins. Other players can steal words and make them their own. Keep spelling, stealing & spelling some more!  Or try Word XChange Jr.
 
Wit's End
Brain teasers and mind riddles, lateral thinking and odd-one-out.  Put items or dates in the proper order.  Wit's End Junior Edition for ages 8-12
 
Word Drop
It’s not who gets the last word but who gets the most words.  A cross between Scrabble and Connect Four, form as many words as possible going up, down, forward and backward.  But be careful: your opponent is watching and ready to steal your words!
 
Yamslam by Blue Orange Games
Yamslam starts like Yahtzee, but then changes. And players practice math skills in the scoring process! Even a fun solitaire version... or try Pocket Yamslam
 
Yikerz! Recommended by Wiggles 3D
Place your Yikerz pieces (magnets) down on the board and try to avoid attracting the other pieces already played. The object is to get rid of all your pieces. If Yikerz collapse together, those pieces are yours to add to your stack. Unique 4 piece interchangeable game board designs allow for many different configurations that create a variety of challenges and suits different skill levels...
 

Mensa Select!

Last updated November 18, 2013
 

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