By Emma Di Salvo

Living in Asia for the last 10 years has opened my eyes regarding the relationship people have with board games. Back home in England, they are usually only thought about at Christmas when they are dragged out of the back of the cupboard. Here, however, they are played amongst friends regularly and hold a great deal of value. 

With that in mind, here are some board game recommendations for your next night in (and to remind you why they are awesome!).

Mario Monopoly  

We all know Monopoly. We’ve all played it at some point in our lives. It’s a classic for a reason and will always be among my favourites. But did you know there are now over 300 versions of it? 

From Game of Thrones to Friends to Super Mario, I challenge you to not find a version you like. I love that it’s taking a classic and giving it a new lease of life. It makes the game exciting again. 

It’s also a fantastic way of introducing children to the game. I encourage you to scout online and in stores to see how many versions you can find, but I highly recommend the Mario version. It’s an absolute joy. Especially if you’re a big Nintendo nerd like me! (Editor: My favourite is Monopoly Deal, a card game version perfect for nights in a bar or when travelling!)


Something a little more “serious” next. Pandemic might not be a game everyone has heard of, but it is a game everyone should know. In the game, there is, well, a pandemic. The players’ job is to find hotspots where the disease is spreading, treat them, and research cures before the plague gets out of hand. 

Players can use up to four actions during each turn, between travelling through cities, treating infected areas, discovering cures and building a research station. 

Pandemic is a challenging and exciting board game to enjoy during a night in with your chums. A unique feature is that players must collaborate to find the best strategy to conquer the disease. Give it a try!


Yes, it’s a real game! I couldn’t believe it either! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), it’s not exactly like the Jumanji from the movie! No stampedes, no killer plants and no weird old guy trying to shoot you for no reason. 

What you do get is an extremely fun and nostalgic experience that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. What I absolutely love about this game is that it has a decoder where you can read secret instructions from your card. Maybe I’m just easily pleased, but this little extra touch really gives the game a magical feel. 

Use your pawn to traverse across the board, stay out of danger, and if you’re lucky enough to reach the middle, don’t forget to call out its name!


If you tuned in to The Graham Norton Show in 2019, you would have seen guest Elizabeth Banks talk about her board game, Unveiled. This sexy and cheeky game is designed for a Bachelorette Party, or Hen night, as we say in the UK. 

What is cool about this particular game is that preparations must be made before you play, such as customising the board and having the bride’s fiancé fill out a questionnaire! As you move across the board, you will read (and act out) various activity cards ranging from the tame to the absurd! 

If a friend is getting married soon, why not try this game? It’s sure to make for a very entertaining evening!

The Speak Out Game

You know when you laugh so much, it hurts? This is what you can expect from this game. The Speak Out Game is perfect for a family night in, and while it isn’t the most glamorous of games, it is one of the most fun to play. 

While wearing a mouthpiece restricting your lips’ movement, each player must select a card and read it as the timer counts down. The rest of the players must guess what is being said before the timer runs out. If they guess correctly, they keep the card. The player with the most cards wins the game. 

Sounds easy? Try saying, “Slow down, you careless clown,” with a mouthpiece in your gob! This game is not pretty but well worth a play.

While it may seem from reading this that board games are back, the truth is they never left. It is us who moved on. With technology becoming ever more prevalent in our lives, we’ve forgotten to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

It’s time we remembered why we love board games so much. They bring us closer together, they can be enjoyed at any time with family and friends, and so many are yet to be discovered. 

So, the next time your friends plan a night out, make your argument for staying in with an epic board game instead. Enjoy!