With a family like mine, there are two passions that come naturally: watching TV and playing games. We’re just that kind of family—snuggling up for a good show or laughing our heads off in a wild board game competition.
It got me thinking---why settle for one or the other? You don’t have to. There are many fun and exciting board games that you can play with family and friends, based on your favorite TV shows. If you only play games on electronic devices, be sure check out ProfessorBeej’s article “Best Board Game Adaptations for iPad.” For classic board game lovers like myself, here are four of our favorite games that continue to entertain the wide variety of tastes in our household.
This has always been one of my favorites, because it’s a monopoly on financial steroids. Why count out $10, $50 and $100 bills when you can deal in millions? The copy I own was published in 1989, but the new version is based on "The Apprentice" TV show. Now you can bid against your fellow players on islands, office buildings, residences and if they get in the way, you can terminate them. Just use those famous two words “You’re fired!” and keep your competitive edge. The game is for 3-4 players, but it’s more fun with four. Average playing time is 90-minutes and it’s suitable for players age 12 and up. WARNING: It’s highly addictive and competitive, so warn grandma before you take her to the cleaners.
I don’t know about you, but my friends and I are obsessed with this reality TV show. The exciting series from the Discovery Channel is also a board game, where you can be the captain of any of your favorite ships. Take the helm of the Wizard, Cornelia Marie, Northwestern or Time Bandit. The goal: collect the most Alaskan king crab while staying afloat in the Bering Sea. The game is made for two players, but it's more fun to play on teams. It's best for ages 10 and up; this game recreates the tension and adventure you loved in the show!
Ok you geeks…you loved it in 1978, you cheered it on in 1980 and after the 2003 remake, "Battlestar Galactica" had an opportunity to make a Cylon-kicking board game. Fantasy Flight Games did just that. Choose one of ten players from the 2003 show and work together to save humanity. Though you have to work together to win, one of your own is a Cylon…so beware! This game is freakin’ awesome—and it gets even better. There’s the core game set, the Pegasus Expansion and the Exodus Expansion, all with dice rolling, partnerships, role playing and variable player powers/abilities. Now the manufacturer recommends the game for ages 10 and up, but I believe the game is more suitable for 14 and older. It requires 3-6 players to play, but we discovered it to be more fun with five—the odd number throwing a lot of suspicion into the mix. If you have at least 180 minutes to burn, this is my #1 recommendation.
Live! From Wherever You Are, Right Now…it’s "Saturday Night Live"--the Board Game! If you want to have some serious laughs, then you’ll love playing this game, created by the minds that brought you thirty-seven seasons of comedy and improv. You’ll need at least two people, but you can have as many players as you like in this competition. What's the goal? Bank the most cue cards over the course of the game. Choose cue cards from a decade (1970s to 2000s), play a category within 60 seconds, then bank it, bet it or cut it. These are challenges to test your talent, intelligence and wit. Impersonate your favorite SNL character, become a talk show host or enact some of the funniest skits ever shown on TV.
Not up to trying something new? There are many traditional games that use a popular TV show twist. Take Monopoly for instance: an old time favorite with multiple offshoots. All of these versions include collectible pewter tokens.
• Seinfeld Edition—traditional places for purchase are replaced with locations from the show, including Jerry’s apartment.
• The Muppets Collector’s Edition—buy and sell Kermit the Frog’s Swamp or Miss Piggy’s Dressing Room.
• Star Trek Continuum Edition—locations include Starfleet Command and the United Federations of Planets Headquarters.
Author Bio: Dwayne Thomas works for Cable TV. He welcomes your feedback on Twitter @DwayneThomas15.