Corona quarantine got you BORED? Here are the best family BOARDGAMES to lighten the viral load

Rob Eno

Stuck at home with the family because of coronavirus and looking for things to do? It's a perfect time to join the boardgame renaissance and dive into one of these top five family boardgames. These games and the hundreds of others now available, teach valuable critical thinking skills, and most importantly are a welcome distraction from the digital – and viral – age we live in.

Grizzled old veteran boardgamers such as myself would call most of these games, gateway-games. Easy to play and as the name implies, a gateway to the hobby.

Here's the list:

Catan, aka Settlers of Catan: It's hard to believe but this game has been around for 25 years. Catan is the first German style, or "Euro" game, to crossover into the U.S. market. Germans have had a long history of enjoying boardgames with families and many of us in the hobby during the 1990s would import these games from German online sellers and search out translated rules. Catan was one of the first of these games to be brought to the US market and take off.



In Catan you play one of two to four settlers of a small island, don't worry if your family is larger there's an expansion that lets you play with up to six. The island consists of hexes that represents different types of land where resources can be gathered, wood in the forest, ore in the mountains, brick in the clay pits, wheat in the fields, and sheep in the pastures.

Each hex has a randomly assigned number on it. On your turn you roll and everyone gets the resources on the hexes they have a settlement placed on the number rolled. On your turn you get to build settlements, roads, cities, or development cards with the resource cards you've collected. You can also trade with other players for their resources. You'll get the hang of it and be saying, "I'll give you a sheep for two wood," in no time.

The winner is the first person to reach 10 points. Catan is a great way to teach your family networking, resource management, and valuable trading skills. Plus it's a heck of a lot of fun.

Ticket to Ride: 'Ticket to Ride' is the first game of the boardgame renaissance to go mainstream. It was one of the first of the new style boardgames to find its way into Target and Walmart. In the game you are building out a rail network by drawing cards of different colors. When you have the right number of cards for a particular rail link you lay the cards down, rummy style, and build out that link.



You score more points for longer links. But there's a catch. Each player also has secret network cards that are worth points at the end of the game if they can complete them. The other players don't know which card you have.

Ticket to ride is a game where you only need to know how to count, and see colors. It's a perfect gateway-game. And if you like it there are more versions set all over the world.

Space Base: I've tried for years to find the right game to get my parents, who love playing card and dice games, into the hobby. The game that finally did it, after 25 years of trying is Space Base, they play the game multiple times every night. Like Catan, in Space Base there is little down-time as you get to do things on other players turns.



In the game, you're the admiral of a fleet of ships setting out on a cross galactic voyage. You have ships of different values from one to 12 – the numbers you can roll on two six sided dice. On your turn, roll the dice and add activate one or two cards using the two dice. Roll snake eyes, you can either activate your two card once, or your one card twice.

Here's the cool part, your opponents get to activate all the cards they've got in those slots on the top row of their board when you roll. You put cards on the top row after you've bought a new card for the slot. Often your most powerful actions happen on other people's turns.

If waiting for the other four people to go in Monopoly is why you hate boardgames, the constant player interaction in this game is a treat.

Dixit: Dixit is a great game that will appeal to the more creative people in your family. It's a game that falls in the charades family where you're guessing based off of things people do. In this case it's the beautiful piece of art you lay down.



Players have a hand of art cards. When it's your turn, you lay down a card and say a phrase. For instance, if there's a lion and a metal funnel in the picture you may say "The Wizard of Oz." Then other people will play image cards that match, as best they can, your phrase.

The cards are randomly arranged, and players get points for people who guess that their card was the card the active player – you played.

Wingspan: The newest game on this list is also the most educational. Wingspan was the runaway hit of 2019. In it you are running your own bird sanctuary. As you build out your sanctuary the actions you can take grow. In the hobby this is called an engine-building game.



The birds have powers that are based upon their real world traits. This is a science lesson disguised as a game with Audobon fieldbook quality art.

Your birds need to eat, lay eggs, and yes even kill other birds in order to survive. It's tremendously more fun than a game about birds should be.

Don't have these games yet? Don't worry, most of them are readily available on Amazon and other online retailers. It should only take a day or so for them to be delivered. If you've found yourself hooked on the hobby after trying these games, check out BoardGameGeek.com. It's the world's largest on-line community of boardgamers and has the most extensive database of games available.

Jump in, and have fun.

The largest American gas pipeline shut down on Friday due to what experts told the media was the "most dramatic cyberattack on U.S. soil to date." Investigators are looking at a group believed to be based in Russia known as "DarkSide."

It's time our leaders in the White House take national security seriously because this isn't the first time enemies of the U.S. — namely Russia and China — have used the cyber world to attack our nation and weaken our infrastructure, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program. Between Russia, China, and Iran — which President Joe Biden is now trying to make another nuclear deal with — it looks like the "Axis powers" of a "digital World War III" are lining up

"The journalists seem to care about the price of gasoline for the first time. Is it because they actually care? Or is it because they're trying not to focus on the fact that this was an attack most likely from Russia? And it isn't the first cyberattack from Russia of the year ... maybe we should be paying attention, to Vladimir Putin," Glenn began.

"And by the way, the pipeline going down, that's not the only [cyberattack] happening now," he added later. "Thirty thousand U.S. victims, small businesses and local governments, were hacked by cyber espionage units backed by the Chinese government in January of this year."

"There is an 'Axis power.' It is Russia and China. And, by the way, who is also aligned with Russia and China? Iran. Wow, this is weird," Glenn surmised. "But don't worry about that. Just leave your dog tags on another table. Let's not talk about China. Let's not talk about who actually crashed the jugular of our oil pipelines. I don't want war. But I got news for you ... this Biden administration is doing the job for our enemies."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

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Canadian clinical psychologist, author, and cultural firebrand Jordan Peterson is no stranger to cancel culture. Ever since he was thrust into the culture war, he has faced one controversy after another, stirred up by the woke elites who hate him with a passion. But although they have tried to make him pay for speaking out so fearlessly against their message, he refuses to back down and he believes you should, too. He joined "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to explain why.

"There is a growth of the reluctant hero in all stories ... so many people think that they don't have what it takes, that they're not the hero," Glenn said to Peterson. "How do you get people to recognize and then have the courage to stand? You've taken a beating ... why is it worth it and how do you get there?"

"I think it's worth it because I believe the alternative is worse ... to stay silent when you have something to say," Peterson replied. "You don't know what it is within you that requires your voice, right, because you feel like 'I have something to say.' Where does that come from exactly, that feeling that you have something to say?

"Maybe you're disgruntled at work and you're choking on your own bile because the situation is not just in your estimation," he continued. "You're dying to say something, but you won't. Well, you'll die if you don't say it. Maybe it's a death by a thousand cuts. I don't like deferred punishment. I'd rather take it now and keep the future clean, which is why I encourage people to have the fights now, not to hide things in the fog for later. They grow and metastasize. It's better to confront what you need to confront when it's small and you have some possibility of victory."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or find the full podcast with Jordan Peterson here:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Top officials at the Federal Reserve are doing what they can to sugar coat what's ahead for our economy, telling Americans we may hit a "transitory" period of inflation that will settle by 2022. But Bank of America is saying something different. The bank's latest earnings call commentary warned "at the very least" transitory hyperinflation is ahead.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck explain what this means for prices and for our economy.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Straight from the Marxist con of critical race theory are three big lies about "systemic racism" in America that are debilitating to our nation: the lie that policing in the U.S. is thoroughly racist, the lie of voter suppression, and the lie of equity as the solution to solve "racism." Despite the evidence disproving these lies, they grow stronger, thanks to Democrats and activists with selfish interest in these narratives, who, along with their media partners, spread the sinister message that everything in America is racist by default and only massive government intervention can save us from ourselves. President Biden, Vice President Harris, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi – every Democrat on the national stage sees racism in literally everything at this point.

In this precarious time for America, Glenn Beck and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson join together with data and the truth to fight back against the race-baiters ripping us apart.

Watch the full episode below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.