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17 Best Epic Board Game Night Ideas For Adults

Whether you’re a strategy junkie, word game geek, or just love cards, these epic board game night ideas, are perfect for anyone who wants to have hours of fun with their best gamer friends.

From the creating the ultimate board game music playlist, to making recipes from an edible game cookbook, here are some great ways that you might not have known about before to make your next board game night completely epic!

Luckily, we’ve got some ideas that will help you make this party as successful as possible. Enjoy our list broken down into the following activity types:

  1. Choose a Theme
  2. Create the Ambiance
  3. Select the Food
  4. Intensify the Game Play
  5. Party Game Suggestion List

How to Choose a Board Game Night Theme?

Creating a truly epic board game night requires cohesive planning and thoughtful preparation. We recommend starting with a theme. This will set an overall tone for the evening and make it easier to plan other epic party aspects. Having a theme isn’t essential, but it does make for a more interactive, cohesive, and spirited board gaming experience!

1. Choose a Theme Related to a Specific Game

  1. Gather Game Options. Select 1 or more games that have a longer play time (preferably 45 min to 2 hours).
  2. Make Final Selection. From that list, refine to your final choice by the process of elimination, random selection, or putting the decision to a vote among your guests (we recommend using a survey). If you already have your heart set on one specific game, feel free to skip this step.
  3. Name the Theme. Using a creative party name will add extra flair to your fun evening. Choose a name from a unique aspect of the game. For example, “Boardwalk or Bust” for Monopoly, “Wheat Built This City” for Settlers of Catan, “Terraforming is a Sprint, not a MARSarthon” for Terraforming Mars, or “You’ve Got to Be Kitten Me!” for Exploding Kittens.

2. Choose Games Related to a Specific Theme

If you prefer to play multiple games of a similar type, choose a theme based on a common component. Consider the following factors:

How to Create the Board Game Party Ambiance?

3. Make a Board Game Music Playlist

Music is a great way to dial up the tension or add a calming vibe to your party. You can create your own playlist, use a board game playlist generation website (we recommend Melodies: Music for Board Games), or find a playlist on your favorite music app.

Here are some of our favorites from Spotify:

Here are some of our favorites from YouTube:

4. Designate a “Right Hand Man” for New & First Time Players

For more complicated games, new or first time players often need advice or feedback about the rules and strategy. Designate a non-biased, experienced player as the “right hand man” to help those newer players make better decisions and not slow down game play.

5. Have a Costume Contest

Invite your guests to wear a costume that matches a specific character, concept, or item related to your theme. During the evening have guests vote on the best costume and award the winner a fun prize or additional advantage (time/money/turns) during game play.

Example costume ideas:

6. Create the Ultimate Board Game Zone or Visit One

Make your board game space as welcoming and optimized for gaming as possible!

Create a designated snack & supplies area with easy access to both. Stock the area with yummy treats and all necessary gaming supplies (pens, pencils, paper, extra dice, dry erase boards & pens, etc.).

If possible, set up an area with comfortable gaming chairs and tables. Sofas, inflatable furniture, bean bags, or really any extra comfy seat is perfect.

Alternatively, many cities have dedicated Board Game shops and playing spaces that are perfectly set up for a quality gaming evening. If you’re going for a “low effort” board game night, consider having your party at one of these spots instead of at your home.

What Food Should be Served?

7. Match the Menu to the Theme

It may take some research to create the perfect menu, but serving themed party food is a super fun way to bring your board game to life!

Here are a few examples of game specific foods you can serve:

8. Edible Games Cookbook

Do you like to play with your food? The Edible Games Cookbook offers a dozen sweet & savory tasty edible games. Although all of the games have different rules, the one thing they have in common is the fact that all game pieces are edible.

Here are a few examples of the games you’ll get:

9. Easy Snacking

If you’re trying to keep the game night simple, just buy some pre-made party snacks. If you’re looking to make something yourself check out our post 11 Cheap Easy Inexpensive Party Snack Ideas for Adults.

How to Intensify Game Play?

10. Have a Game Marathon

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good competitive board game, but what if you played it 24 hours straight? Imagine the laughs, the joy—and the soreness.

Seriously though, you can have different experiences and better develop your skills by having your own board game marathon. There are a few ways to play games for an extended period of time:

11. Keep One or Two Non-Board Games on Hand

Non-board games are a great way to get people involved in a game night for shorter periods of time or without them having to commit to a longer game. They are perfect for guests who aren’t interested in the current game of choice or are just “stopping in for a little while”.

Here are some non-board games that can be picked up quickly, and still be tons of fun:

12. Have “Rules” for Competitive Play

If you’re playing a fast-paced game with multiple rounds, its fun to add a large public tournament style bracket and an overall player scoreboard. As the game progresses update the bracket and scoreboard to heighten the competitive tension.

Grab a prize for the winner, think of a penalty for the loser, and you’re good to go!

13. Take Trivia Breaks

Some board games can last many hours with few opportunities to take a break. Space things out a bit by setting an alarm to pause the game for guests to go to the bathroom, grab a drink, or eat a snack (every 30 – 45 minutes). During the break, keep the theme of the party going by finding some trivia questions about the night’s focus game, overall game theme, or board games in general.

14. Play Games in Teams or Pairs Rather than Individually

Teamwork makes the dream work! A fun way to meld minds and increase competitiveness is to convert a solo game position to a team position. Have two or more people play the position and work together to make moves and decisions. You can help each other out and celebrate each other’s successes.

15. Add a Timer or Hourglass

If someone takes too long to make their move, start timing them (we recommend 3 minutes). Once the timer is out the move is over regardless.

16. Winner’s Reward

The winner gets to flip the board and the loser has to clean it up.

17. Add Some Extra Rules

Back in 2021 a reddit reader posed a simple question to the greater reddit community. After thousands of comments and tens of thousands of upvotes the community generated some really good responses to his original question,What is an extra rule your family added to a popular board or card game?

Not Sure What to Play With a Group of Your Friends?

Here are some awesome games you should try:

Conclusion

Playing games is a great way to bond and become closer with friends and family. We hope these party tips have given you some new ideas on how to make your next board game night as epic as possible!

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