Four smart board games for the best night in

Ditch Monopoly for these creative alternatives.
board game with pieces
Up your board game smarts. Christopher Paul High via Unsplash

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Board games are the perfect activity for a night in. If you’ve already exhausted Monopoly and Candy Land and are looking for something new, there are plenty of smart, creative options for keeping the whole family entertained. From competitive bioengineering to some pretty difficult brain teasers, we tracked down a few of the most mentally stimulating board games.

Strain : A Family Game of Competitive Bioengineering | Copernicus Toys

Caption: Go head-to-head as you build your own micro-organisms.

Badge: Best for aspiring scientists

In about sixty minutes, players compete against each other to build the best micro-organisms. You’ll be provided everything you need to get started, including 80 cytoplasm tiles, 100 petri dish tiles, and 40 organism tiles. The game is designed for players 10 and up, so it’s perfect for any young scientists in the family.

Trekking The National Parks: The Award-Winning Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Caption: Explore the great outdoors from the comfort of home.

Badge: Best nature-themed board game

Take a (virtual) trip to some of the most beautiful spots in nature. This family board game will send you and your fellow players on a competitive race across National Parks, collecting stones as you go and picking up educational facts about nature in the process. The game lasts 30-60 minutes and is perfect for fans of the outdoors.

Blue Orange Games Photosynthesis Board Game – Award Winning Family or Adult Strategy Board Game for 2 to 4 Players. Recommended for Ages 8 & Up.

Caption: Take a tree from seed to bloom.

Badge: Best for biology fans

Explore photosynthesis through this entertaining board game. Go head-to-head as each player builds their own tree from scratch. Points will be earned when leaves collect energy from the sun and lost when you don’t follow the photosynthesis process correctly. You can use those points in the next phase to snag more seeds and trees. This one is perfect for ages 8 and up.

Wit’s End Board Game

Caption: Get ready to solve some brain teasers.

Badge: Best for riddle enthusiasts

Are you a beast at trivia nights? This one’s for you. Compete against your fellow players with a series of brain teasers and riddles, divided into categories like pop culture, geography, history, and science. Stay on your toes because there are a ton of different ways to get stumped, from the Wild Card category to the Sequence category (which – buckle up – entails listing countries by populations, movies by date, and so on).