In celebration of the 242nd birthday of the United States, join us as we look at our Top 6 American themed board games.
America’s reputation these days isn’t so great, and for some very good reasons. But in today’s Top 6 list we’re going to take a look at 6 American themed games that remind us of some our country’s prouder moments. Beautiful landscapes, scientific and technological marvels, railroad and industry tycoons, and of course the iconic American cowboy.
America from Bezier Games is a fun-filled party game about being right, or at least being close enough. It’s trivia for people who know some things, but not everything. And let’s be honest, no one wants to play games with people who know everything anyway right?
In America players are asked 3 questions from a card which are thematically tied. For example: 1) What year was Close Encounters released (1977) , 2) In what state is Devil’s Tower located (Wyoming), 3) What was the length of the original theatrical release (135 minutes). Players place their markers on the board to indicate their guesses, and as long as you’re close to the right answer you still get points.
America is a great example of a fun filled casual game you can play with your friends. It plays in just a few rounds which means you can fit it in between longer games, or at the beginning and end of a game night. Don’t worry so much about getting all the answers right though. Just make sure you get more answers right than Cameron…because Cameron is a know-it-all.
Rolling America from Gamewright Games is a wonderful puzzly game themed around a pixelated looking map of the United States. Certainly some liberties were taken with the “map”, but let’s look past that shall we? 😀
Rolling America is a retheme of the Hisashi Hayashi game Rolling Japan, originally released in 2014. In this game players take turns pulling 2 dice from a bag containing 7 differently colored dice. After rolling the dice, all players must write the value of each die into the sections on their scoresheet matching the die color (roll an orange 4,write a 4 in the orange section). However each new number you place must be within 1, up or down, of any other space it touches. As play goes on, the options narrow drastically until, in later rounds, players are faced with difficult choices about where to mark.
Thankfully Rolling America offers some ways to account for lady luck. Players have a limited number of powerups they can deploy during the game. They can choose to change the color of any die, to “guard” a space (which allows them to write any number they choose without consequence), or to duplicate a die and write it in twice. Once 6 dice are on the table, all of them go back into the bag and the next round begins.
Rolling America is a fun, portable, and simple game that people of all ages can enjoy. Plus it’s fairly inexpensive; a great combination.
Great Western Trail
There’s something about the Great American West that has tantalized our conscience in television, literature, and movies. Great Western Trail is the euro game manifestation of this portion of our shared experience, and like so many of the best euros, it latches itself on to one of the least exciting portions of the theme, in this case – cattle herding.
Like so many other games by Alexander Pfister, the decisions seem like a simple choice of a few available actions, but from that simplicity, the true depth of the game emerges. Every action you can take along the cattle trail gives you enticing options – improve your hand of cattle, build a useful building along your route, or hire some much needed crew. However, the more actions you take, the longer it takes to complete your main objective: delivering cattle to Kansas City as many times as possible.
The brilliance of the game having to balance speeding through to make as many cattle deliveries before the game ends, with slowing down to take the best action options along the route. If you’re looking for a crunchy, deep game for your Fourth of July celebration, take a look at Great Western Trail.
World’s Fair: 1893
In 1893, Chicago played host to one of the largest collections of technological marvels the world had ever seen. The World’s Fair in 1893 celebrated the achievements that made America a powerhouse on the world stage: architecture, industrialism, and fine arts. Built on grounds that covered more than 600 acres, the World’s Fair featured more than 200 buildings, lagoons, and other attractions. One of the most notable and visible of which was the world’s first Ferris Wheel around which the game World’s Fair: 1893 is based.
In World’s Fair: 1893 players act as event organizers attempting to attract the masses to their exhibits: Transportation, Manufacturing, Fine Arts, Agriculture, and Electricity. In World’s Fair players collect sets of cards which can be traded in for points; but only if they also control the area which matches the cards. This game requires players to constantly plan several steps ahead to make sure to stay in the lead. Focus too much in a single area of the game and you risk falling behind at exactly the wrong time.
World’s Fair: 1893 is not only a fun game, but it’s full of interesting facts and information. The exhibit cards you’ll use to gain points feature actual details about exhibits shown at the event. And there are 23 Influential Figures which feature some of the most prominent people of the time including Bertha Palmer, George Davis, Charles Schwab, and one of my very own ancestors Cyrus McCormick Jr. (inventor of the McCormick Reaper).
American Railroads isn’t a stand-alone game, but instead it’s an expansion for the brilliant worker placement game Russian Railroads. It builds on top of the system found in it’s parent game and adds new player boards, a stock market, and other additional options.
In American Railroads players attempt to build out 3 railroad lines: the Rocky Mountaineer, the Transcontinental West and the Transcontinental East. As players claim spots on the main player board they unlock valuable bonuses and the ability to lay down increasingly more valuable rail lines. Players can also focus on building on their industry track which will unlock other bonuses. American Railroads adds rail line blockages, and the ability to join the West and the East line with the Golden Spike. The stock market allows players to receive periodic dividend payouts from the market based on actions on the board.
The base game Russian Railroads is one of my favorite games. It’s so thematic, literally building the rail lines your locomotives use to travel from one end to the other. Both Russian Railroads and American Railroads require players to have their hands in every aspect of the game, Ignore any one section of the board and your opponents could steam ahead of you to victory.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is one of the most successful games of all time, and one which celebrates the Gilded Age of the US and the extensive passenger railway system of the late 1800s and early 1900s; when American pride and industry were strong, and the economy was booming.
In Ticket to Ride players attempt to create rail connections between disparate cities across the country. Connect St. Louis to Salt Lake City and score points, connect New Orleans to New York and gain even more. Fill up the board with your pieces before your opponents can claim valuable railways and force you to reroute. Do you go for high point value individual routes, or do you gain incremental points along the way and shoot for bonuses at the end for having the longest connected route?
Ticket to Ride is not only a great game, but it’s also partly responsible for the resurgence of board gaming over the past decade. And to think we have a Brit to thank for a wonderful game about the United States; thanks Alan Moon!
Statue of liberty:
Photo by tom coe on Unsplash
Photo by Elia Clerici from Pexels
Related board games
- Great Western Trail
- Rolling America
- Russian Railroads: American Railroads
- Ticket to Ride
- World's Fair 1893
|Rank||Board Game||Units Sold|
|1||Chess||3 million+ sold yearly in the U.S., but the total number of units sold since its introduction is unknown|
|2||Checkers||An estimated 50 billion+ units have been sold since its introduction thousands of years ago.|
- Backgammon. > Year introduced: 3000 B.C. ...
- Trivial Pursuit. > Year introduced: 1981. ...
- Battleship. > Year introduced: 1931. ...
- Clue. > Year introduced: 1949. ...
- Scrabble. > Year introduced: 1938. ...
- Monopoly. > Year introduced: 1935. ...
- Checkers. > Year introduced: 3000 B.C. ...
- Chess. > Year introduced: 1200.
1. Chess. Chess requires two players and is purely a strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered tiled board with sixty-four squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most ancient and popular games, played by millions of people all across the globe.What is the oldest American board game? ›
The board game Traveller's Tour Through the United States and its sister game Traveller's Tour Through Europe were published by New York City bookseller F. & R. Lockwood in 1822 and claim the distinction of being the first board games published in the United States.What is America's favorite game? ›
Football - America's Favorite Sport to Watch and Follow
Football continues to be the most popular sport in the United States.
Following chess, checkers, backgammon, Monopoly, and Scrabble are among the top five most popular board games. Whether you like to play the best card games or prefer to think ten steps ahead in one of your favorite strategy board games, one of these classic board games will suit your taste.What is the most strategic board game ever? ›
Chess is one of the best strategy board games to play. The object of the game is to checkmate the other player, meaning their king piece cannot avoid being attacked. Each piece on the board can only move certain ways, so you have to think a couple of moves ahead in order to form the best winning strategy.Which is the most successful board game in US history? ›
The oldest game on the list – Monopoly (1935) – is also the best-selling board game of all time, with over 275 million units bought since its inception.What is the oldest board game? ›
The Royal Game of Ur
Wood and shell, found in the Royal Cemetery of Ur, south Iraq, 2600–2400 BC. The Royal Game of Ur is the oldest playable boardgame in the world, originating around 4,600 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. The game's rules were written on a cuneiform tablet by a Babylonian astronomer in 177 BC.
Chess. One of the most famously difficult games in the world to master is chess. There's much debate about how old chess is and where it came from, but one thing's for sure: The objective is to checkmate the opposition king, while keeping your own monarch safe.
Aim: To be the richest to travel around the world. When one of the players run out of money, the game is over. The winner will be the one with the most money and property. Players choose a coloured plane to represent themselves, and start out with a specific sum of money.What was the 4000 year old board game called? ›
Known today as the Royal Game of Ur, the two-player strategy game was similar to backgammon. Board games have been played across the world for thousands of years.What was a popular board game in 1920? ›
Checkers, like both Parchisi and Backgammon, was a very old game which grew in popularity in the early twentieth century.What games were invented in the United States? ›
However, volleyball, basketball, skateboarding, snowboarding and Ultimate are American inventions, some of which have become popular in other countries.What is the perfect game all American games? ›
The Perfect Game All-American Classic offers a glimpse of some of the most talented young athletes from around the world and provides the baseball community a sneak peek at several young players destined to make their mark at the collegiate and Major League levels of the sport.What are 3 popular games in us? ›
The most popular team sports in the United States are American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer.What is America's biggest game? ›
Baseball is America's game: the America that was stitching itself together in the first half of the 20th century and becoming a national mass culture.What type of board game is 30 seconds? ›
30 Seconds is a charades-like fast-paced general knowledge board game, created by Calie Esterhuyse and first published in South Africa in 1998. The game is played with two or more teams of at least two players.What are the most common board game pieces? ›
Common pieces include chits, tiles, counters, chips, dice, cards, pawns, standees, and miniatures. Individual pieces usually have names specific to each game.What is the board game most or least? ›
Most Or Least is a relaxed style party game for 4-8 players ages 13 and up. In the game you and your friends go through a selection of interesting playful question which ask if you are most/least likely to do something or make a selection between three unpredictable & hilarious choices.
Bloons TD 6 is the latest entry and is easily the best. It's a reasonably simple tower defense game at its core; place monkeys to defend against enemies, which are sent out in several waves. The monkey vs. balloon concept might seem silly, but you'll need to practice with every tool at your disposal to win.What was Bill Gates favorite board game? ›
A game rapidly gaining popularity the US is one that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been playing for over 50 years. He describes it as one of his favourite pastimes.What was the most popular board game during the Great Depression? ›
So they stayed home and played Monopoly.” The game not only provided cheap entertainment, it also offered a psychological elixir, as Parker said, it gave people “a feeling of wealth.” “But what kept it going is the chance for individual gain.What board game starts the most fights? ›
If you've spent any time playing Monopoly, you've had a fight about Monopoly. There isn't a study to back that up, but you know it's true. It causes more fights than scuffed boats in an old west saloon.What board game was invented 1979? ›
Trivial Pursuit was co-invented in 1979 by Scott Abbott and Chris Hanley in Canada.What board game was invented in 1957? ›
In 1957 French filmmaker, Albert Lamorisse, designed a game titled "La Conquete Du Monde" (The Conquest of the World.)What is the hardest board game in America? ›
- 1 Twilight Struggle.
- 2 Advanced Squad Leader. ...
- 3 The Campaign For North Africa. ...
- 4 Dead Of Winter. ...
- 5 Eldritch Horror. ...
- 6 Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization. ...
- 7 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. ...
- 8 Scythe. ...
- Contra. Konami Be prepared to die, die, and die again.
- Sekiro. ...
- Elden Ring, Dark Souls (1-3), Demon's Souls, Bloodborne. ...
- Super Meat Boy. ...
- Ghosts 'n Goblins. ...
- Cuphead. ...
- Sifu. ...
- Ninja Gaiden (Series) ...
- Demon's Souls/Dark Souls (Fromsoft, 2009/2011)
- Ghosts 'n Goblins (Capcom, 1985)
- Ninja Gaiden II (Tecmo Koei, 2008)
- God Hand (Capcom, 2006)
- UFO: Enemy Unknown (Mythos Games, 1994)
- Fade to Black (Delphine Software, 1995)
- NARC (Williams Electronics, 1988)
- Smash T.V.
The highest-grossing video game of all time is Dungeon Fighter Online, which has grossed $20 billion worldwide (mostly in Asia) as of 2022. It surpassed the records held by Pac-Man and Space Invaders, which were the highest-grossing video games since the 1980s.
Meet Jeff Bauspies: Inside the collection
- The Game Room. ...
- 1941 Monopoly. ...
- 1941 Monopoly Pieces. ...
- Franklin Mint Monopoly. ...
- Franklin Mint Monopoly Pieces. ...
- Franklin Mint Monopoly Drawer.
1. Baseball. The richest sport in the world, Basketball, has a lesser market share, but it holds the top spot due to the unbelievable average yearly salary of the players. A professional athlete participating in MLB currently earns an annual average salary of $8.5 million.What is the rarest board game in the world? ›
MONOPOLY – HANDMADE SET FROM 1933
Charles Darrow is considered the inventor of Monopoly. In 1933, he made a prototype for his game out of oilcloth, upon which he hand-drew his images. There were more than 200 separate pieces, including the playing cards, character pieces, and rule sheet.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
- Honkai: Star Rail.
- Destiny 2.
- 1 Rock Band 2 Tests Human Endurance.
- 2 The Binding Of Isaac Doesn't Stop At 100% ...
- 3 The Stanley Parable Mocks Completionist Gamers. ...
- 4 Dead Rising Drains Your Health Non-Stop. ...
- 5 Cloudberry Kingdom's Levels Become Excessive. ...
- 6 Wolfenstein II Demands Perfection. ...
In celebration of the Easter Rising 1916, first class children have been learning 'How children played 100 years ago'. We had fantastic fun playing games such as Queenie I-O, Hopscotch, Donkey, The Alley Alley-O and Skipping!What movie was named after a board game? ›
'Clue' (1985) - 68%
Not only is Clue based on the famous board game of the same name, the film also incorporated a 'choose your own adventure' style strategy into the making of and release of the film.
Board Games for Senior Adults
Backgammon can be played by two players and is one of the oldest board games in the world. Scrabble is a tiled word game for two or more players that will challenge vocabulary skills.
Having Fun – Family Time
With little money to spend on entertainment, families enjoyed new board games such as "Monopoly" and "Scrabble" which were first sold during the 1930s. Neighbors got together to play card games such as whist, pinochle, canasta and bridge.
The official history of Monopoly is that it was invented in 1933 by a Philadelphia man named Charles Darrow.
The first American football game ever was played Nov. 6, 1869. Rutgers and New Jersey (later known as Princeton) faced off in what is considered to be the first American football game ever played on Nov. 6, 1869.Are any board games made in USA? ›
Delano Games – Tabletop Board & Card Games Proudly Made in the USA!What board game was introduced to the USA in 1935? ›
On December 31, 1935, the now ubiquitous winner-take-all board game Monopoly was patented (Patent Number 2,026,082).Is monopoly popular in the US? ›
The Most Popular Board Games in America
Taking second place overall is Hungry Hungry Hippos. The most popular game by far and ranking as the most popular board game in America is Monopoly.
Monopoly offers an advantage over others: a long, entertaining and competitive game. Monopoly is one of the most popular board games in the world. Its system of rent, buildings, mortgages and auctions reflects the capitalist economy.What is the oldest popular board game? ›
The Royal Game of Ur is the oldest playable boardgame in the world, originating around 4,600 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia.What is the most strategic board game in the world? ›
Chess. Chess is one of the best strategy board games to play. The object of the game is to checkmate the other player, meaning their king piece cannot avoid being attacked. Each piece on the board can only move certain ways, so you have to think a couple of moves ahead in order to form the best winning strategy.Did Donald Trump make a board game? ›
Trump: The Game is a board game named after Donald Trump. Milton Bradley Company initially released the game in 1989, but it sold poorly, with only 800,000 copies sold out of an expected two million.What was Bill Gates favorite food? ›
Bill Gates Loves Pizza, Tandoori Chicken, And Sushi: His 5 Favorite Foods | Markets Insider.What is the board game about famous people? ›
Botticelli is a guessing game where one person or team thinks of a famous person and reveals the initial letter of their name, and then answers yes/no questions to allow other players to guess the identity.
The earliest known version, known as The Landlord's Game, was designed by Elizabeth Magie and first patented in 1904, but existed as early as 1902.What is the most common Monopoly piece? ›
The research reveals that the most popular token is the car, chosen by 1 in 4 Monopoly players.How often does the average person play board games? ›
17% play board games at least once per month. 24% play them at least once per year. 32% said they rarely ever play board games. And 18% never play them.Why Monopoly is not a fun game? ›
Monopoly is derived from an original board game called "The Landlord's Game," and rather than being good family fun, it was actually created to be an insight into the trials and tribulations of money, and the negative implications of capital accumulation.Who makes Monopoly now? ›
Hasbro acquired Parker Bros. and thus Monopoly in 1991.
Number of components. Monopoly has relatively few components, and they're mostly quite cheap too. The most expensive components are the metal player pieces because they are custom designs and made of metal. The rest are pretty cheap to print – some paper money, a board, two decks of cards, a rule book and the box.