What’s a better way to foster family camaraderie than playing games together? A game room can become the heart of your home, where you create memories that you and your kids will cherish for life. Whether the kids play on their own, or multiple generations gather, you’ll find plenty of ways to have fun.
Of course, you will probably think about a video game system – if you don’t already have one – but that’s just the beginning. Remember to focus on games and activities that family members can do together, as opposed to alone on personal electronic devices. That’s the fun of the game room!
Lego Dimensions for Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo
If your family loves their video games, choose this one for its “all ages” appeal. Tech blog Tom’s Guide writes, “There’s more to the Xbox One than violent shooters. Microsoft’s home console is host to a wealth of great family-friendly games.” Dimensions also comes in Playstation or Nintendo Wii versions.
The game comes with Lego minifigures, so collecting those is part of the fun. The action-adventure features familiar characters from franchises like The Lord of the Rings, Batman, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, and The Simpsons.
Even if you yourself are not a gamer, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something here you like and, if nothing else, marvel at the stunning animation.
Back To The Basics: Board Games
Board games have made a big comeback recently, with people of all ages discovering or rediscovering the classics. Dust off old favorites like Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble if they’re lurking somewhere in your basement. Or visit a local retailer for the latest editions of all of these. Many have been modernized or given pop culture editions, featuring characters from your family’s favorite movies and TV shows. Kids, parents, and grandparents can all find something to enjoy. Designate a table for your games and stock it with paper, pencils, dice, and extras you might need.
Virtual Reality Pictionary
Yep, you read that right! One of the most popular board games of the past 30 years gets a 21st-century upgrade that the whole family can enjoy. Every contemporary game room needs a virtual reality system. Several companies, including PlayStation, now offer their version. Many of the games follow in the footsteps of video games generally, with pulse-pounding monster battles. However, Pictionary works well for groups, with teams of two competing to communicate visually.
BINGO, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Other Classics…with Alexa
Amazon’s virtual home assistant doesn’t just help around the house. She can also entertain one or more family members with classic amusements like BINGO, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Memory. That’s not all. She can engage in Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock (familiar to fans of the show The Big Bang Theory), or mystery-solving games like one in which you discover who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents!
Rock Band 4 for Xbox or Playstation
Rock Band has been around for more than 10 years now, but the creators keep releasing updates to keep it from getting boring. Form your own family band and play against the game or compete with each other.
You can even make a documentary about your band’s rise to fame. Playlists that range from The Beatles to Bruno Mars, can get you and your kids talking about the music of each generation–and of course, whose is best!
Star Wars X-Wing
Tabletop games are back in a big way. Designed for kids 14 and up, this two-player strategy game will get you out of virtual reality and back to tactile play. Plus, Star Wars has a way of bridging the generation gap.
Collect beautifully detailed miniature spaceships, from the eponymous X-wings to an Imperial Assault Carrier. The base game pack comes with the ships you need to get started, but you’ll likely want to grow your collection to keep gameplay ever new and exciting.
You’ll need a large playing surface, like a designated gaming table, which you can use for numerous other family games, too.
Improv, or improvised comedy, has moved beyond small, urban clubs to become mainstream. Corporate America has even embraced it to build trust and confidence. There are plenty of ways to make improv family friendly and fun for all ages. Here is a list of games to get you started.
If your family really embraces performing, build a stage for your game room! (You can also use it for Rock Band or karaoke). Supply props and basic set pieces like wooden cubes. Then let your creativity fly.
Some things never go out of style. If you’re worried that your game room will look more like a barroom, fear not.
Pool tables today are highly customizable with various styles and felt colors. Some convert into dining tables or other types of game tables, such as for ping-pong. You can even customize a pool cue for each family member, then store them in a stylish wall cupboard.