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.

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray discussed a series of recent polls that suggest presidential nominee Joe Biden's expected lead may be slipping with traditionally Democratic voters.

A new poll conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute shows that two-thirds of Jewish voters still plan to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November. However, President Donald Trump's support within the Jewish community is also the highest among any Republican candidate in recent history.

In more bad news for Biden, a CNN poll (yes, CNN) released last month showed growing support for President Trump among black voters in swing states. Meanwhile, his support among Latino voters remains at roughly 33%.

"I don't think it's going to go the way the Democrats hope that it will," Glenn said of the election. "If you look at the groups that the Democrats have carefully fostered ... that's falling apart. If Donald Trump can grow that by 5%, and hurt the Democrats by 5% ... that alone could swing the election."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they're not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department's relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don't act now.

Watch the full video below:


The only way to watch the extended episode of tonight's show is on BlazeTV. Start your free trial and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code BANTHIS.

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The left has already determined that the wildfires raging across the West Coast were definitely caused by climate change and Big Tech is determined to silence anyone who dares suggest otherwise. Facebook even announced a sweeping policy on Saturday to remove posts that claim the fires were caused by arson from far-left activists.

But on his radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck revealed multiple arrest records for suspected arsonists in California, Oregon, and Washington — and several of those charged and arrested were also instigators in Black Lives Matter rallies, violent protests, and Antifa riots. He also called out the "news gods" in Big Tech, daring them to try to censor his video.

"I asked my staff, to see if there was any evidence [of arson] on the fires. And I don't mean evidence from Twitter. I mean evidence. Is there anybody who has been arrested for arson?" Glenn said. "Well, here they are. And YouTube and Facebook, go ahead. I want you to demonetize this clip. I want you to somehow or another say that we're lying. I want you to throttle this. Go ahead. Because then you're going to have to explain what we got wrong. And I happen to have all the documents right here. So my attorney is really ready for that throttling or demonetization. You say you're a protector of the truth? Great, here it is."

Glenn read off the first 10 arrest records, which combined allege the destruction of more than 120,000 acres and 700 structures, as well as tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

"You want to tell us, PolitiFact, how you came to the conclusion ... that there was no arson in these fires?" Glenn asked. "Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? Because your fact-check seems to be entirely false."

Watch the video below for more details:


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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


Want to listen to more Glenn Beck podcasts?

Subscribe to Glenn Beck's channel on YouTube for FREE access to more of his masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, or subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.