Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
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Last updated: June 30, 2021
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Not all top-rated board games are as good as they are described. And sometimes, it takes actually playing them to discover if they are what you’re looking for. However, we found six of the best board games for 10 year olds that we are sure you will love.
The games on our list are a nice mix of strategy, competition, and a bit of luck. While they can all be played by kids as young as 10 years old, there are many picks that can actually be played with the whole family. Some can even be played by kids as young as 8 years old. Board games are fun and engaging. They should activate your brain while also allowing you to be a bit silly. Our list is a nice mix. Some are a bit educational, some require general information on the world, and some let you play in a fantasy world. No matter what your kids are into, there will be a fantastic idea on our list.
A decade ago, the game Cards Against Humanity swept through adult games nights. It was fun, perfect for large groups, and definitely not suitable for kids. Kids Against Maturity takes the same premise but makes the cards more appropriate for the whole family.
The goal of the game is to present an answer card to a question. The more interesting or funny your card is, the more you will win.
This game can be played with multiple people although it’s best with at least 4 players. It is suitable for ages 8 years and older.
What makes it stand out? If you’re a parent who loved playing the original game, but now don’t have time to play with other adults, Kids Against Maturity is a great way to find some common ground with your kids. It’s entertaining enough for both kids and adults and can foster family bonding.
The game comes with 500 cards, so there are plenty of combinations. You can play the game over and over again and come up with many different variations.
Another nice feature is that the game is very easy to setup and start playing. There are no confusing instructions, so you don’t have to waste any time.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? While Kids Against Maturity is recommended for kids ages 8 years and older, there are quite a few cards that might be best for older audiences. If your kids aren’t regularly exposed to adult-themes in books or movies, you may want to wait a few years before playing this game.
Ticket To Ride is a fan favorite for a lot of adults, but it is also one of the best board games for 10-12 year olds. This is a strategy game that takes a lot of quick thinking. The object of the game is to secure the best train routes before your opponents can get them.
You can play with 2 to 6 players. It is a longer game and takes upwards of 60 minutes to finish.
What we liked: Ticket To Ride has won many game awards for a reason. No two games are alike, and you can play it over and over again without worrying about similar outcomes.
Furthermore, the board itself is designed nicely, with an intricate map that shows iconic cities throughout the United States.
What’s really unique about this board game is that you can actually pair it with Amazon Echo devices. Once activated, you will engage in a descriptive journey through the game. As a bonus, you can also play with Amazon’s Alexa.
What are the flaws? Ticket To Ride takes about 60 minutes to play. This is quite a long time. Furthermore, the first time you play can be a bit confusing to budget even more time. All in all, while this is a fun game, you will need to carve out the whole afternoon to ensure you can finish it.
Who said learning is boring? Brain Games Kids is all about strategy and unlocking the power of your brain. It’s also fun, which means kids will love playing it. Brain Games Kids is created by National Geographic, so you know it will be good. It takes amazing challenges and turns it into a board game. Included are 128 challenge cards and a board that you can navigate through. Between 2 and 6 people can play the game, and it takes less than 30 minutes to complete it.
What makes it stand out? National Geographic has been a leader of education for years. The brand is all about making learning exciting, which is exactly what they’ve done with Brain Games Kids. The game is easy to setup, and while the challenges are difficult, the instructions are easy to understand.
You can play with 2 to 6 people, which means your child can play with a friend or you can play as a whole family.
There are also different levels of cards, so kids as young as 8 can play and not feel defeated too easily.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The biggest downside to Brain Games Kids is that if you play enough times, you can actually start to memorize the answers. While there are over 100 cards, eventually you will get through all of them. For younger kids, this isn’t too big of a deal, but if you play with older kids it can be too easy to remember the answers, and thus you won’t want to play the game anymore.
Concept is all about solving riddles. Players are given visual clues, and you then have to guess what the answer is. This seems like a simple premise, and it is, but that’s where the fun is. Concept is incredibly easy to set up. The rules all make sense, and you can start playing your first round in mere minutes.
You can play Concept individually or as a team. It’s billed as a party game because part of the fun is in guessing the answers instead of merely winning the game.
Why are we impressed? Interestingly, there are very little words involved with Concept. The cards are pictures, and the board game has icons and no words. This is a great game for anyone struggling with reading or who is more of a visual learner.
Another interesting part of Concept is that the clues about a solution are conveyed silently. While the people guessing can talk, the person giving the clues merely moves pieces on the board. This is a very different dynamic to many board games and one that is challenging and perfect for those with a lot of board game experience.
What negatives must you be aware of? Concept requires a bunch of random knowledge about the world. Unfortunately, some kids who are only 10 years old may not have all that knowledge. Examples include clues like the Eiffel Tower and Sigmund Freud. If this is the case, you may want to play the game as a whole family and break into teams with younger and older players on it.
Tween girls, aged 9 to 12, have a growing awareness and a new sense of self. These combined make trips to the mall a lot more fun. Mall Madness takes the fun of shopping and adds a competitive edge to it.
The game is actually a 3D gameboard. It acts like a real mall complete with two stories and plenty of shops. Some fun highlights include a jewelry store, a toy store, and even an ATM. The game also has sound effects to make it more interactive.
Why did it make our list? Mall Madness is just plain fun. Everyone dreams of being able to go on a shopping spree, and this game allows you to experience it in a pretend manner.
Along with being fun. Mall Madness actually introduces real-life shopping skills. There are clearance sections, and you have to navigate the game within a set budget. Kids will learn these important skills without even realizing it.
The use of electronics also makes the game interactive and relevant. As more and more kids love playing video games, this is a nice hybrid and will hopefully entice kids away from their screens.
Adults might even enjoy the game, too. The original Mall Madness came out when most parents were kids themselves, so there’s a touch of nostalgia with this game.
What is not ideal about it? While the description for Mall Madness states that its for both boys and girls, it seems hard find elements that boys will like The box itself has three girls shopping, and there are more stores geared towards girls. It’s always nice when a game is unisex, not just so boys want to play too, but because not every girl is interested in fashion and jewelry stores. A bit of a design chance could have made this game more inclusive
Not all board games make use of dice. This is because dice are completely arbitrary, and not everyone likes playing with them. With the board game Jinx, however, the dice add a quick-play element that is very engaging.
Jinx has a grid on its board, and the roll of the dice determines where you move to. You can play with 2 to 6 players, and the game takes about 20 to 30 minutes. There’s plenty of strategy involved although each turn doesn’t take too long.
What stands out? Jinx can be played individually or with teams, which is a nice aspect not always found with board games. This is a nice feature that allows you the option of playing with younger members of the family. It also fosters collaboration, which teenagers can always use more of.
Another nice aspect of jinx is that it is fast-paced. A lot of strategy games can become a bit boring as you spend an agonizing amount of time thinking of your next move. With Jinx, there’s still strategy involved, but each turn moves fast. This also makes the game a fun way to spend a bit of time while you’re waiting for dinner or right after school.
What cons did we manage to find? Any time dice are involved with a game, luck can swing either way. It’s never fun to be the person who just can’t roll the right dice numbers. This is a small problem and one that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. However, if you have a child who doesn’t like it when they can’t control the situation, then this game might become too frustrating.
Things to Consider
Board games are a perennial favorite. They are great in all seasons and are both fun and entertaining. Playing games is a way to socialize and flex your brain muscles. Our Buying Guide will help you determine which board game for 10-year-olds is the most suitable.
Features to consider when choosing a board game for 10-year-olds
Before deciding on a board game for your kid, there are a number of features to decide on. Start by thinking about who is going to be playing the game. Will it be only kids, or do you want a game you can all play together? Then, think about how long the game should last and how much setup time you want to invest in. All these features will help you determine which board game is best.
All games have a recommended age category attached to them. This is both practical, in case there are small, choking hazards, as well as to limit frustrations in case younger kids try to play games, they just don’t have the logic or knowledge for.
However, the recommended age is just a guideline. If you have kids that love board games and are ready for a challenge, by all means, purchase a game meant for older kids. Another element about age is that many games can be played with teams. So, even if you have younger kids, play with them so that they can feel included and can start learning the rules before they eventually play on their own.
All of the board games on our list are meant for kids 10 years or older. However, there are a few that fall into the category of best board games for 8-10 year olds. These include Mall Madness and Brain Game Kids.
Number of players
The number of players attached to a game refers to how many can play and still find enjoyment out of it. The number is relatively straightforward, and most games recommended between 2 and 6 people. However, the only thing to be aware of with this number is that sometimes games have the option of playing on teams.
For example, Kids Against Maturity, Jinx, and Concept can all be played with teams. In this case, you will want to have between 2 and 4 teams to keep the game rolling long.
Some games are built to be played in half an hour. Some games might just last the whole afternoon. Each time frame has its pros and cons. The important aspect is to be aware of this before you start. Otherwise, you can become quickly frustrated.
There are many different types of board games. Some are strategy-based, some are dice games, and others are collaborative games. More and more, new games are developed as hybrids, combining all the best elements of each.
For example, Jinx is a dice game that also has a strategy involved. Mall Madness is a strategy game but is also immersive.
Another genre to be aware of is if the game is suitable for a party with lots of people. Kids Against Maturity and Concept are both good options for a party setting.
If it will be fun for adults as well
There’s something that’s just really fun about playing a board game with the whole family. However, a lot of board games are geared only for kids, and playing them can become quite boring for parents.
On our list, however, there are quite a few interesting games that both kids and adults will enjoy. Ticket To Ride is one of the best and has long been a staple of adult game nights. Jinx and Concept are also fun for adults.
While most board games should be suitable for both girls and boys, there are always a few that are more gender-specific. Mall Madness is definitely marketed primarily towards girls. However, Brain Game Kids is something that girls will also enjoy.
Kids Against Maturity and Concept are the two games on our list that are the easiest to learn. They don’t require a lot of setup and in fact neither actually have a board. Simply grab some cards and start playing. You can even take them when you’re on the go, so you never have to be bored again.
Wrapping It Up
Board games shouldn’t be boring. They should be fun and exciting, especially if they are geared towards kids. Our Editor’s Choice for is Kids Against Maturity. The goal is to come up with unique, funny answers to a series of questions. It’s great for the whole family and simple enough that kids can play on their own. For adults who are nostalgic for previous game nights, you can team up with your kids and play Ticket To Ride. This is our Premium Pick, and it’s worth every penny. You can travel across the United States on the old railway, and each time you play will be a unique adventure. Our final, Best Value pick for the best board games for 10 year olds is Brain Game Kids. Manufactured by National Geographic, it engages kids minds while still being fun. Board games are a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, and these picks are perfect for kids.