There are all kinds of board games on the market, and it’s important to fill your closet with a wide variety of styles. That way, no matter what type of game you’re in the mood to play, you have one to pull out.
One of our favorite genres is strategy. This differs from most of the well-known games because it relies on a player’s decision-making skills rather than luck. While there is some chance involved in all games, these are won primarily through strategy.
Here are some of our favorite games for older kids that focus heavily on strategic thinking.
Because strategy games rely on decision making and flexibility, they can often be quite complex in their rules and game play. I’ve tried to choose ones that have a shorter learning curve, so you can get started playing as quickly as possible.
Many of these games are thought of as strategy gateway games, meaning they’re a bit easier to pick up. Playing one of these together is a great way to introduce your kids to this style of game. Then, as their interest in the genre grows and they get better at strategizing, you can move on to more complex titles.
How to Choose a Game
So, you’re ready to play a game and you want to choose something that requires more thought than luck. What now? How do you know which board game to choose?
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you make your decision. Do you want to play as an individual, making your own decisions or cooperatively, where everyone works together to succeed?
You’ll also need to think about the style of game you’d like to play.
A few of them include:
tile laying – players lay down individual tiles during their turn, creating the actual game board as they go
war and military – competitors attempt to overthrow each other and control land with their army and brilliant military strategy
resource management – also known as Euro-style games and while playing, everyone battles over limited resources, trying to gather the most in order to build up their own empire
I love playing strategy board games with my kids. They’re a ton of fun and different every time we play. This makes their replay factor quite high, a valuable factor in a game.
Plus, they’re an engaging way to work on valuable life skills like flexibility, problem solving, and communication.
Best Strategic Thinking Games for Teens and Adults
If you’re wanting to play a game where your chances of winning depend heavily on your decision-making skills, here are some of our favorites.
Not only will your tweens and teens enjoy them, adults will also find them interesting and challenging. You can easily add them to your next family game night or as a fun summer activity for tweens and families.
If your family loves Disney, you'll definitely want to add this strategy game to your list. Players spend the game as different Disney characters, battling the forces of good to become the best villain.
Strategize, sabotage, and let your evil side out while racing to complete your character's objectives before everyone else.
This is a version of the popular strategy game Catan.
Players use the hex-style grid to lay claim to the land in the United States. Strategically head west, setting up settlements along the way while laying tracks so trains can deliver supplies to the town.
You'll have to stay focused though because players may settle an area you were looking at. Also, as players move into unclaimed land in the west, the supplies start to deplete for those still trying to build in the east.
As the mayor of a tiny town, you're trying to gather as many resources as you can to build up your grid. But there's only so many supplies to go around, so your plans are constantly being thwarted by other players.
Buildings must be placed strategically, giving this game a puzzle-like feel.
During this tile-laying game, players build a medieval landscape by placing 71 different tiles down adjacent to one another. You must play the tiles in a way so elements continue, like roads, fields, and cities.
As the board appears, you'll need to strategically place your "meeples" on tiles in order to earn the most points.
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.