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Unusual Games to Play with the Family

by: Rochelle Connery ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

If you’re sick of buying up properties in Monopoly or taking the “college” route for the hundredth time in Life, forego the average family games on game night and pick one of these unusual games to play with the family.

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    Masterpiece Masterpiece is one of many unusual games that is not only fun but also educational. Teach your kids a little bit of art appreciation without the drone of a museum tour guide’s voice. Masterpiece is designed as an auction game where you and your family are the auctioneers and bidders.

    The game features several portraits of famous paintings printed on handheld cardstock paper. On the back of the cards, you and your kids can find out a little bit more about the painting – who illustrated it, where it hangs and what year it was created.

    Players begin with $15,000,000 of bidding cash and one painting with an assigned value. Gameplay begins with the first player choosing a space on the board. It might say something like “Bank Auction” or “Purchase a Painting from the Bank for $4,000,000.” The rolling player can always decline an instruction if desired.

    So where does the clincher come in? Despite how valuable a painting might be in real life, everything is played on an even keel in the game. That means a priceless Monet might be a forgery. And when players bid on each others’ paintings, you never know if it’s worth $10,000,000 or nothing at all!

    The game ends when the stack of paintings runs out. The player with the most cash and painting value wins.

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    Mad Gab

    Mad Gab is one of those unusual games that sends the whole family into hysterics. Have you ever read license plates and tried to Mad Gab determine what they actually said? Mad Gab is similar, only a lot more fun.

    Each Mad Gab card features four sayings. Your job is to read the jibber jabber aloud and determine what the sentence really says. One team judges while the other team guesses. Your family will go into fits in the meantime while the guessing team unknowingly says some rather hilarious phrases.

    For example, one of the cards might read, “Rob Hurt Den Hero.” Can you guess what it really says?

    It’s “Robert De Niro.” Clever, no?

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    Time Shock

    Time Shock Time Shock is one of those family games that young children, teens and adults can play without feeling too young or too old.

    Your job is to set a timer on the game board and place tiny shapes in their appropriate spaces before the timer rings and ejects the pieces out of the board. It might sound elementary, but it’s harder than you think, especially considering how clumsy you feel when trying to fit the shapes in like a puzzle when you only have three seconds left.

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    Snapshots Across America

    Snapshots Across America 

    For another of those fun and educational unusual games, Snapshots Across America enforces which states contain which landmarks, like the Grand Ole Opry or Niagara Falls.

    To begin, each player receives a stack of cards and a car gamepiece. Player must travel from Point A to Point B across America in as few moves as possible to win.

    However, they might run into bad weather or have to drive all the way instead of fly. In addition, other players can cancel their flights with bad weather cards of their own. In the end, it’s a race of who has the most options for weather and travel.

    These unusual family games should take the ho-hum out of your weekly family game night in a flash.