If you’re looking for a game that’s both entertaining and stylish at the same time, then you can’t go wrong with good old fashioned wooden board games.
Designed to deliver the perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication, these games come in a range of different formats, from puzzles to mystery games.
What’s more, they look great laid out on your dining room table when you’re inviting your friends and family over for game night.
Since we think that wooden board games rarely get the attention they deserve, we thought it was a good idea to bring some much-needed love back to this overlooked genre.
Here are 10 of the best wooden board games you should check out for game night.
1. The Racing Horse Game
Let’s start with a fun and quick bit of fun for the whole family.
This racing horse game involves moving small wooden figures along a wooden track.
Great for people of any age, this game requires very little strategy, as it’s all about luck – just like a typical horse race.
You roll a dice and move your horse according to the number that you get.
This high-quality game comes with colored chips to identify your horse, a set of dice, and a sliding wooden track.
If you reach the end of the board with your horse first, you win!
It’s really that simple.
Check it out for a quick way to break the ice at your next family event.
Related: The best dice games to play with your friends.
Carrom is a traditional wooden board game played by 2 to 4 people.
The principles are pretty similar to pool, so it might not be the kind of game you’d play with younger children, as it requires quite a bit of skill and strategy.
With a game of Carrom, you’re going to need a combination of talent and luck to come out on top.
Otherwise known as Indian billiards, the game involves potting your carrom pieces before your opponent does.
If you’re looking for a fun board game that doesn’t require as much space as an actual game of snooker or pool, then Carrom could be the ideal choice.
An excellent game for teaching your children about balance, or just having a little fun by yourself, labyrinth is one of the best-known wooden board games on the market.
The idea is to carefully turn the knobs on the sides of the wooden box to change the tilting angle of the floor in the labyrinth.
By adjusting the floor angle, you can carefully move marbles around the maze, attempting to get to the finishing point without falling in any holes along the way.
Labyrinth is excellent for developing basic motor skills and improving concentration – although it can get a bit frustrating when you drop your marble a few times!
Aggravation is a well-known game in locations all around the world.
You don’t have to get this game in wooden form, but we think it looks incredible in solid oak.
The rules of Aggravation are simple enough.
The idea is that everyone starts with a bunch of colored marbles, and the person who advances their marbles to the “home” point on the board first is the one who wins.
When it’s time for your turn, you roll a dice and move your marble clockwise the number of spaces given by the dice.
If you roll a six, you also get another turn.
This is a fun and basic game that just about any family can enjoy playing – with very little skill required.
Another of our favorite wooden board games that doesn’t have to come in wood alone, Scrabble was originally invented in 1938 by an architect named Alfred Butts.
Alfred measure the value of each letter on the scrabble board by seeing how frequently they appeared on the front page of an issue of the New York Times.
There are plenty of stylish additions of this game available today.
However, we think that you can’t quite beat the elegant appearance of a classic wooden board.
This rustic series board designed by Hasbro is one of the most attractive on the market today.
Backgammon is one of the best-known, and most popular wooden board games of all time.
A backgammon board consists of 24 narrow triangles that are called points. These triangles, often alternating in color, are grouped into four different sections, referred to as the home board of each player.
The object of the game is to move all of the checkers into your home space on a backgammon board.
The person who bears all of their checkers off first wins the game.
Backgammon can be a little complicated to learn at first if you’re new to the game, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun.
Related: Learn about basic backgammon rules and strategy.
Pucket is one of the most intriguing wooden board games for players who want a fast-paced way to have fun.
In a game of pucket, each players gets 8 wooden pucks assigned to them on one side of the board.
You then use an elastic band to launch your pucks through the gate until you have no more pucks on your side.
You don’t take turns with this game, just launch your pucks as quick as you can so that you can be the first with an empty board.
Once you get used to playing Pucket, you can add further rules and variations to make this frantic flying puck game even more exciting.
Just watch out for bashed knuckles from the pucks!
Mancala is an ancient wooden board game that has gradually gained its popularity back over the years.
In the game, players are required to sow and capture seeds when playing against their friends.
According to some of the older historical records of Mancala, the game wasn’t always played for fun.
Some cultures used this game as a tool for divination, or as a ritual for the harvest.
If you’re looking for an interesting and educational way to have some fun with your kids and teach them all about strategy – this is a great choice.
The Mancala wooden game also looks beautiful on any dining table, with its rich wood board and glass pebbles to represent seeds.
Further Reading: Our complete guide on how to play mancala.
9. Shut the Box
Shut the box is a four-way wooden board game that’s suitable for children aged five and up.
The game is relatively easy to play, although it may take some getting used to at first. Each player rolls their dice and adds up the value then lays down the tiles showing the sum that they’ve made.
The first person to lay down all of their tiles wins.
Although this game is primarily designed for fun, it’s also a great way to teach your kids some basic addition and get them engaged with their learning too.
The four-way game means that you can play with the whole family too!
Related: An overview of how to play shut-the-box.
10. Tic Tac Toe
Finally, no doubt you’ve seen the Tic Tac Toe game in many different forms before, but it’s probably most attractive when made out of wood. It actually makes for a simple and fun bar game as well.
With a wooden coffee table version of this game, you can have hours of fun with your friends and family, while adding a unique piece of décor to your living space.
Playing is easy too, all you need to do is match three circles or crosses before your competitor.
If you’re looking for a game that the whole family can enjoy, and you also want something that doubles up as a simple bit of décor, this is a great choice for you.