5 Best Board Games for 8 Year Olds
Any parent of an 8-year-old will tell you that this age is tricky to navigate. Children undergo so many changes as they leave their early childhood behind them. They’re no longer interested in “baby” games but are often not yet old enough to appreciate complex game mechanics meant for older kids and adults. Picking out an ideal board game for your 8-year-old child can be tough.
Here are 5 of the best board games for 8-year-olds
- Great color scheme.
- Easier to win than 5 minute dungeon.
- Playing flows nicely.
- Fast set-up.
- Quick play time.
- Good replay-ability.
- Fun for the whole family.
- Co-operative game.
- Tutorial system makes it easy to learn.
Ticket to Ride
- A great entry level game for modern board gaming.
- A perfect strategy game.
- Different scoring elements during the game and at the game’s end.
- Fun for all ages.
Zombie Kids Evolution
- Simple rules.
- Smooth learning curve.
- Super cool game for kids.
Players : 2-5
Game Time: 5 minutes
Release Year: 2018
The first ideal board game for 8-year-olds on our list is a game derived from the popular “5-Minute Dungeon” board game by Wiggles 3D. 5-Minute Marvel combines popular comic book characters with easy-to-understand game mechanics. Thanks to Disney and the expansion of the Marvel universe, this game is especially attractive to kids who may not have an innate interest in board games.
Many 8-year-olds are at an age where they are developing their sense of community and they want opportunities to make friends and play together. Their sense of self and how they fit in with the world around them is becoming increasingly important. In fact, this is the age where peer pressure starts to be a problem. 5-Minute Marvel provides the opportunity for kids to learn how to work together and see themselves as part of a team.
This board game will also appeal to 8-year-olds because of the fast-paced nature of the game. Kids want to be entertained. The adrenaline rush of trying to take down all their opponents within such a slim time limit will have them shrieking and laughing for well beyond just 5 minutes.
The game comes with 10 heroes to choose from. This includes some of the classic, well-known heroes like Spider-man and Captain America as well as many lesser-known Marvel characters that have recently risen in popularity. Heroes like Spider-Gwen, Black Widow, Rocket and Groot, and more show up to help players take on the forces of evil.
The design and pictures are rich and have a cartoonish appeal – exactly the style that children love. The cards don’t feel cheap and, while tearable, should be able to hold up to the stresses of normal game activity (i.e. sliding across surfaces, being slammed down, etc.)
The game itself is simple. Each player picks the character they want to be for the game. They then select which boss villain they’ll be taking on. There are several different bosses to choose from, with Thanos being the hardest. That boss villains receives a small stack of cards with underlings on them – based on the enemy you selected. These underling cards are called “Door Cards” and players will have to defeat each underling on the door cards before they can take on the Big Bad. These underlings are usually classified as goons, masterminds, minions, or villains.
In addition to door cards, there are also Crisis Cards. Crisis cards usually implement some kind of challenge the characters must deal with. This could be instructions to play multiples of the same symbol for the next card or to automatically injure a character so they can’t use their special ability.
You can adjust the difficulty by adding more or less door and crisis cards. Players also need a 5-minute timer for the game. There is an app assigned to the game, but you can also use your own timer.
Each player gets a set of shuffled resource cards. Each player then draws a number of cards based on the number of players. After you have dealt all the cards, you can begin the game. You then start the timer. The players can work together to match the symbols they have in their hand with the symbols shown on the card. Some of the resource cards have two symbols that can beat either symbol.
Each hero comes with a special power that allows them to influence the game in a particular way. They also have a “special deck” they can draw from which allows them to use lesser special abilities to solve problems
You play until the bottom of the deck. Once you’re at the end, you can play the boss. If you defeat the boss within the 5-minute time limit, you win!
Game Time: 15-25 minutes
Release Year: 2016
Does your family feel that a game of regular dominoes is too dull or predictable? This game is a great introduction to family game night.
Kingdomino is a strategy game that anyone will find interesting, child or adult. This board game combines the problem-solving fun of dominoes with an exciting kingdom-building concept. For 8-year-olds who love puzzles and strategy, this is a great game for them to practice and grow in that passion.
At this age, kids are becoming more interested in games and competition. They like to pit their wits, strength, and knowledge against other kids and will quickly be able to identify where they “rank” among their peers. Kingdomino taps into that developmental characteristic and gives them a space to pit their skills against one another.
The tiles in the game are thick cardboard and, with moderate care, will likely last the lifetime of the game. The tokens are solid wood/plastic and pretty much indestructible without the use of tools. Perfect for young, energetic hands.
The object of the game is to create a full 5×5 square using the tile pieces. Each tile has two “terrains” displayed on either side – similar to a typical domino. They can be the same or different. Possible domains include wheat fields, forests, mines, grasslands, lakes, and forests.
Each player starts by taking a colored kingdom tile of their choice along with the small, corresponding figure (meeple). The players then draw four terrain tiles from the stockpile of domino-style terrain tiles. They place the four tiles with the terrain side down in numerical order from highest number to lowest.
After the fourth tile has been selected and flipped over so that the terrain is revealed, players get to choose who goes first. One person takes all the figures in their hand and, without looking, pulls them out one by one. This determines the choice order. The first figure that is pulled out means that player can select their tile first and so on.
After a person has made their choice, they take their domino and put it wherever they would like within their 5 x 5 square. The tiles cannot create a dimension of more than 5 x 5 tiles. The tiles also have to be connected vertically or horizontally. Similar to traditional dominoes, they have to be connected by the same terrain. Lakes must be connected to lakes. Grasslands with grasslands. The starting kingdom terrain has four sides and they can build their territory off of that tile however they want.
The game is over when there are no more dominoes to pull from. Players then calculate their points. They count the number of terrain squares in a territory and how many are connected. Then they multiply that number by the number of crowns depicted on the squares in that territory. This is only done for territories that are connected. If you have a lake territory on one side of your 5 x 5 domain and another, unconnected one on the other side, they have to be scored separately.
At the end of the game, the player with the highest score is the winner.
Game Time: 15-25 minutes
Release Year: 2018
Magic Maze is another cooperative game that brings players together to solve a common problem. Magic Maze is the base game, but there’s a spinoff that is specifically targeted to younger kids, Magic Maze Kids: XXL. Although the rules are very similar, the main difference in the “child” version is the addition of two rules, different characters, and a larger game mat – ideal for less dextrous hands. The larger mat also helps offset some of the confusion that can come from the numerous rules.
At first glance, it may seem like Magic Maze is too complex for young minds. But by this age, kids are learning to collect things, doing more reading, and understanding abstract concepts. Many kids, with a little patience, will be able to learn and enjoy the base version of Magic Maze. For those who can’t, the XXL version is also great fun.
Both Magic Maze and XXL come with rich and attractive pictures. XXL has pictures that depict more friendly and child-like characters. Both versions come with materials that feel sturdy and durable.
The focus behind Magic Maze is on teamwork and coordination. The characters are being forced to rob a shopping mall because they’ve been stripped of their items. Players have to work cooperatively to get the items and escape from the mall within the time limit and without being discovered.
When the heroes have found their items, they stand on their respective area tiles at the same time and the alarm is triggered – signaling that they’ve stolen the items. Now they must escape the mall within the time limit. Once all of the heroes have escaped, the game is over and the players have won. The players lose if they do not escape within the time limit, or if they leave the mall without first finding and stealing the items.
Seems easy enough, right? Not only are you competing with the timer, but you are also limited in the actions that you can take as a player. Players can move any pawn on the board. But every player also gets a specific action tile. They can only move the pawn according to the action on that tile. For example, you may have the “Move South” token. That means you can only move a pawn South. So you have to trust the other people on your team to move the pawns in all the other directions they may need to go. Other characters may have any other direction as well as actions like “search” and using “vortex” spaces to move further distances.
The hardest part is that you can’t speak or communicate while the pawns are moving around. In fact, most of the game you will not be allowed to communicate. The only way you can share messages with other players is to stare at them or use the “do something” token. This is a token that you place in front of a player to let them know that you want them to take an action. However, they may not know what action they should take, which can make for some very amusing engagements.
There are a number of rules that are included in this game, some expected and some optional. One of the cool things about this game is that they offer various scenarios you can implement to increase the challenge level. These scenarios can be anything from forcing you to rearrange the structure of the mall to not communicating in any way, shape, or form.
While this can be a challenging game, it’s incredibly fun for any kid who is interested in more complex strategy and problem-solving activities.
Ticket to Ride
Players : 2-5
Game Time: 30-60 minutes
Release Year: 2007
Ticket to Ride is a great game for people who love adventures and travels. The goal here is simple: you need to collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes that connect the cities of North America.
With every city you connect and route you build, you will earn points and come closer to victory. Also, you can get additional points if you build the longest continuous railway or if you can fulfill your destination tickets. At the end of the game, the player with the highest score will be the winner.
Ticket to Ride has something for everyone. If you enjoy traveling with your college friends, this game is a great choice for you. Also, it is for those who love to learn about the geography and the cities of North America. This game has a good mixture of strategy and luck.
A great choice for those who love traveling and adventures.
Easy enough for beginners but challenging enough for expert gamers.
Lightweight and easy to organize
Entertaining for those who love geography and memorizing cities
One of the best family board games
Some of the instructions in the rulebook may be a bit too difficult for some gamers.
Ticket to ride is a great family-friendly board game that can be played with two to five players. The rules are easy enough for kids but challenging enough, so it will keep adults entertained too.
This game is lightweight and easy to organize; It is a perfect choice for college camping trips or nights out. The game has about 30- 60 minutes of playing time which means you can play this fun adventure more than once in one sitting.
Zombie Kids Evolution
Game Time: 5-15 minutes
Release Year: 2019
Zombie Kids Evolution seems like the perfect game to end this list. What could 8-year-olds possibly love more than taking on zombies with their friends at school? This game is perfect for kids who like cooperative play, fast rounds, and cartoonish designs.
The premise of the game is that zombies have invaded the school and you are one of four kids who has decided to fight back. In order to survive and purge the school of zombies, you must lock each of the four outer entry points of the school while continuing to eliminate zombies as they arrive.
The game mechanics are designed to encourage teamwork and creative solutions for victory. The game provides a great way for players to connect with one another as they determine the best way to beat back the zombie horde.
The game contents consist of plastic stands, tokens, a plastic die, as well as various envelopes, and, of course, the game board. All the contents are pretty much cardboard except for the cards themselves which are that standard plastic card stock. Overall, the contents are durable and seem like they should last the duration of the game, even for kids who are frequent players.
The game moves quickly and, on average, takes about 15 minutes max once you understand the rules. Players take on the role of one hero and automatically enter into the school, starting in the center space. Their objective is to lock every single entryway, which can only be done if two heroes are in the space together at the same time.
Each player rolls the die to place a zombie from the reserve space into the room with the same color of the die. If the white color is rolled, no zombie enters the school. Once there are no more zombies from the reserve pile to put in the school, the school has been overrun and the players lose.
Players move their hero into different sections of the school to position themselves to eliminate zombies or help another player lock the entryway. Since the zombies are constantly moving and players can only take one action at a time, the game moves quickly and players have to be intentional about the movements they make so they don’t get overrun.
One of the coolest things about this game is how it evolves with the players. The evolution component kicks in once the game is complete. Whether or not the players have won or lost, they must take a brain sticker and place it on the progress chart. As they complete missions they’ll accumulate trophies as well.
Once they’ve placed a sticker on one of the numbered areas on the progress chart, they can open the corresponding envelope and find one or more new game elements. These can make games harder, add more content, or represent an unlocked achievement. Whatever the element, it serves to add to the game and keep it interesting.
The missions also help to keep things interesting. These missions can include winning a game with a certain amount of players, winning a game with a certain number of zombies in a particular space, or winning a game within a certain amount of time. This helps players to challenge themselves and keeps the game fresh and exciting.
Although this game may be simpler than many of the other games on this list, it makes up for that simplicity by creating a very fun and engaging premise, providing opportunities for kids to work together to solve a problem, and creating opportunities to increase the difficulty over and over as the game goes on. This game will provide hours of entertainment for any kid who likes to immerse themselves in content or discover new challenges.
This list does not show every game that eight-year-olds would enjoy. In fact, there are many that were left out. At this age, kids are beginning to enjoy playing with other people, exploring their imagination, and challenging their skills. It’s a golden age for learning different game mechanics and developing a love for board games.
Every child is different. When choosing board games for 8-year-olds, remember to keep the child in mind as well as all of their quirks and fascinations. Kids who are not good at math will probably not want to play games that require a lot of calculations. But kids who love history will enjoy games that throw them into different time periods and historical events. The best board game is often one that meets players at the intersection of things that interest them and where they feel confident.