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Retro Games That Your Whole Family Will Love

These rad retro games make great gifts, and even better family game nights.

Matt Harvey

Family Board Game


These rad retro games make for great gifts, and even better family game nights. Your kiddos will love them because they’re really fun, and you’ll love them because they’ll bring back happy memories of playing them when you were their age.

1. Mouse Trap

This timeless favorite prompts players to build a Rube Goldberg-style mousetrap while they race their mice around the game board trying not to get trapped. Most of the fun in this game comes from setting up the trap and watching the chain reaction.

2. Trouble

Trouble is the game with the “Pop-O-Matic” bubble in the middle! Players race to get four pegs to the finish of the game board by rolling the die housed in the “Pop-O-Matic” bubble. I can remember playing with the “Pop-O-Matic” bubble without playing the game because the pop was satisfying and rolling dice is fun.

3. Mall Madness

The shopping spree game with the 3D game board  from the ’90s is BACK! Players race around the 3D mall to complete their shopping lists and get back to the parking lot before anyone else. The game features an electronic hub that facilitates retail transactions, announces clearance sales, and offers other prompts.

4. Kerplunk

Kerplunk is a game that involves a plastic tube, plastic straws, and marbles. Straws are inserted through tiny holes around the tube, forming a lattice to keep the marbles from falling to the bottom. Players take turns trying to remove straws without causing the marbles to “kerplunk” to the bottom of the tube!

5. Crocodile Dentist

This game is more fun than it has any right to be! A crocodile has a toothache and you’re the dentist to fix it. The game, which consists of a plastic crocodile head with teeth you can push down, starts when you  open the crocodile’s mouth and push down its teeth until you find the sore one. When you press the sore tooth down, the croc will clamp its jaw shut on your finger (very gently!) and you lose. I play this game by myself as an adult because there’s something satisfying about pushing the teeth down while trying not to get your hand chomped.

6. Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is the classic game for fans of trivia and colored wedges! Test your knowledge in Entertainment, Geography, Sports, Science And Nature, Literature, and History as you fill up your pie with those precious wedges. Nowadays, there are a variety of fun editions that cater to specific topics and fandoms such as music, “Harry Potter,” James Bond, or “Saturday Night Live.”

7. Operation

Operation is just fun! Try to save the patient by removing his absurdly named organs without touching the sides. If your hand isn’t steady, the nose will light up red and you’ll hear that dreaded “eeeeerrrrrnt” sound. The person with the most organs at the end wins!

8. Electronic Battleship

The lights and sounds of Electronic Battleship make it far more exciting to play than its analog predecessor. Seek out your opponent’s battleships and experience the timeless joy of hearing them yell, “You’ve sunk my battleship!”

9. Clue

There’s been a murder in the house and we’re going to find out who dunnit! Follow the clues to reveal the perpetrator before the other players and win!

10. Uno

Uno is the card matching game that never stops being fun. Get back into the swing of artfully deploying your  “Reverse,” “Draw Two,” and “Wild” cards, as well as yelling “Uno!” when you’re one card away from victory.

11. Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders (or Snakes and Ladders) is a simple game of “started from the bottom, now we here.” Climb those wonderful ladders and slide back down those infuriating chutes as you make one last push for the summit..