Keep your mind active and at ease with these 5 board games

Kelsey Weekman

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Cooped up indoors? Socially isolating? Break out a board game to play with your roommate, family members or even long-distance friends over video chat.

Whether it’s an old favorite with a twist or a brand new concept, board games can help keep you mentally sharp, a health study has found.

They’ve also been proven to reduce stress, build social relationships, improve concentration and boost endorphins. Plus, who doesn’t like a little healthy competition?

These five board games will help you keep your mind stimulated and at ease.

1. Cards Against Humanity — $25

Credit: What Do You Meme?

This hilarious game will have you laughing so hard that it counts as a form of exercise. The rules are simple: each player is dealt a hand of “white cards” with humorous concepts. A “card czar” reveals a “black card” with a prompt on it. Then, each player submits a white card for consideration by the card czar, who selects the winner based on which white card best answers the prompt. If you’re looking for a remix for the simple concept, the game box includes a set of ridiculous alternate rules. If that isn’t enough, you can also purchase one of the dozens of expansion packs with hundreds of new cards.

2. New Phone, Who Dis? — $20

Credit: What Do You Meme?


This game puts a Gen Z twist on Cards Against Humanity. Players take turns drawing a “sent” card while the remaining group members compete to play the funniest possible “reply” card.

3. What Do You Meme? — $30

Credit: What Do You Meme?

If you’re interested in the first two games but memes are your love language, try this game that replaces the typical prompt card with a relatable reaction image you’ll remember from the past few years of internet culture. Response cards are also substituted with relatable caption cards.

4. Words with Friends — $28

Credit: Words with Friends

Put your phone down and play Words with Friends in real life! The Scrabble-based game tests your ability to push the boundaries of language and mastery of spelling with random letter tiles. The game box also comes with digital features you can unlock on your phone for unlimited possibilities. 

5. Cranium — $32

Credit: Hasbro

This classic requires all sorts of different skills — artistic ability, acting chops, language prowess and general knowledge. With a board that functions as a typical adventure game, players take turns rolling dice to advance on their journeys, with challenges testing their skills in those four areas mixed in. 

Whether you’re looking for ways to pass the time in quarantine or searching for a fun way to spice up a normal night in, picking up a board game is never a bad idea.

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