Best Board Games for a Rainy Day

A rainy day is a boring day, and a boring day is a day that can be spruced up with board games. The ultimate in classic time-wasters, board games can turn the drabbest of moments into exciting distractions – assuming you pick the right games. This article will cover five great board games to whittle away at a rain-soaked afternoon or evening.

Scrabble

Playing into the meditative mood of a rainy day, Scrabble is a linguist’s fantasyland. The objective is simple: make words on a grid by interlocking lettered tiles and score points. The player with the most points is the winner. Sounds easy enough, but Scrabble is a game of high strategy and complex placement, where a single wrong move can spell your downfall. There are few board games better suited (if there are any at all) for building vocabulary and learning new words, and the randomized nature of Scrabble makes every game unique. Though the gap between beginners and pros may be too big to effectively bridge, Scrabble is still a great choice for most families.

The Settlers of Catan

Up to four players compete for control of an oddly-geometric island. How? By building settlements and cities, carving roads into the landscape, collecting resources and bartering with one another. The player who reaches ten points first wins. Despite its reliance on good luck via dice rolls The Settlers of Catan is also a deeply-strategic game, forcing its players to choose their deployment spots carefully and keep their cards close to their chests at all times. Watch out for that robber, he’ll turn your paradise settlement into a nightmare of wasted rolls.

Risk

What better way to toss off boredom than to imagine that you’re the ruler of the world? The classic game of global domination, Risk pits a maximum of six players against each other in a match of warfare that stretches from the plains of Canada to the concentrated corridors of Europe to the African heartlands. Dice rule the lives of your troops as they cross borders and battle for territory, but in the end it’s the strategic players who are most likely to win, entrenching their troops in concentrated continents and building up huge armies. Take Australia and you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.

Cranium

Got at least four players stuck in your house? Then Cranium is a fantastic way to brighten up a dreary day. Players team up and move around a board, answering questions based on a number of categories. Factoids, artistry, spelling, humming ability and acting all play a role in this quirky board game at one point or another, allowing players to laugh at one another – and themselves – in equal measure. Cranium may not wind up being the most serious experience of your life, but, then, it’s not meant to be.

Apples to Apples

Noun, adjective. It’s a pairing as common to language as oxygen is to hydrogen – and one that makes for a hilarious board game. Apples to Apples provides each player with a fistful of cards and a judge, who, drawing an adjective each round, determines which of the player’s nouns best suit their word. The player with the best match wins the round. It sounds basic enough, but in most cases Apples to Apples is won not through accuracy but by amusing the judge more than the other players. (Strictly adult players may want to try Cards Against Humanity, as well… though only if they find humour in possible offense.) 

Looking for more board games for your rainy day? This list covers 50 of the best games of all time. Choose wisely – some don’t last as long as others, and if you’re trying to survive rain-soaked window panes for hours on end, you’ll want something that will last for a while.