Vintage Board Games You Still Might Own

Face it. Some games you can't throw away. The box may be torn, some of the pieces missing, and the game hasn't seen the light of day in a few years. But you won't get rid of the game because it's a classic. Plus, you have fond memories of times with family and friends playing vintage board games for hours. 

If you like board games but want to add some classic ones to your collection, we have the ultimate list of board games below that have stood the test of time. Pick one or two and add them to your collection!

Catan

 

Catan Board Game

 

Brief History

Klaus Teuber invented Catan 25 years ago. First published in Germany in 1995 as Die Siedler von Catan, the game has sold more than eighteen million copies worldwide. It was released in the United States in 1996.

Why People Love It

The Catan board game does a great job at getting people to interact. To win, you have to interact and trade in a way the whole setup of the game takes you through a great segue that is creative and thrilling. Trading gets creative, tension is ratcheted, and it gets players to play together.

How to Play

Catan is a board game for two to four players in which you compete to gather resources and build the biggest settlements on the fictional island of Catan. It takes approximately one hour to play. The objective of Catan is simple. The first player to 10 victory points on their turn wins. Make sure to keep count of your victory points throughout the game by keeping track of buildings and any Longest Road/Largest Army bonuses.

Scrabble

Scrabble Board Game


Brief History

Originally called Criss Cross, Scrabble was based on the crossword puzzle and anagrams. It was developed in 1931 by Alfred M. Butts, an architect. It was redesigned, renamed Scrabble, and marketed by James Brunot in 1948. It was first sold in Great Britain in 1954.

Why People Love It

One of the advantages of playing Scrabble is that it enriches your vocabulary. Individuals who play this game quickly pick up on the skills to recognize prefixes and suffixes with much ease. Playing this game is similar to playing a crossword puzzle game. Besides learning different words, and their spellings, you also benefit by learning what those words mean. 

How to Play

The object of Scrabble is to score more points than one's opponent. A player collects points by placing words on the game board. Each player constructs words with letter tiles and places them on a grid. Each letter has a different point value, there are 100 letter tiles, and only one letter tile can fit in a grid space. The challenge of putting high-scoring words on the board makes Scrabble one of the most classic board games.

Battleship

Battleship


Brief History

Battleship board game began as a pencil and paper game that first played around the 20th century. It was reportedly invented by Clifford von Wickler and became popular with French and Russian soldiers during World War I. It was published by various companies as a pad-and-pencil game in the 1930s and was released as a plastic board game by Milton Bradley in 1967.

Why People Love It

One of the reasons people love to play board games like Battleship is because it mixes luck, memory, and skill into a classic vintage game. It tests your memory as you navigate the virtual waters to locate your enemy's vessels. Part of the fun is also in the hunt. Plus, there is an ultra-competitive edge to Battleship in that it's just fun to see if you can sink your opponent's entire fleet.

How to Play

The object of Battleship is to try and sink all of the other player's ships before they sink all of your ships. All of the other player's ships are somewhere on their board. You hit them by calling out the coordinates of one of the squares on the board. The player that sinks all of their opponent's ships wins the game. This dynamic creates a healthy frustration that is present in most vintage games. In the classic board game, when someone sinks your ship, you cry out, "You sunk my battleship!"

Risk

Risk Board Game

Brief History

The board game Risk was invented in the early 1950s by Albert Lamorisse, a famous director of movies. His movie "The Red Balloon" won awards at the Cannes Movie Festival. The first name of the game was "La Conqueste du Monde" which means Conquest of the World. Parker Brothers had a good relationship with Miro and brought the game to the United States. They modified the look, changed a few rules, and changed the name into Risk: the Continental Game.

Why People Love It

While Risk might not be one of those board games of choice for people looking for a simple way to break the ice at a house party, it's great for those with an eye for strategy. Risk is one of the first games to introduce the world to things like Area Control and Area Movement in gaming. Risk is not a quick and easy game, which is why it is a good teacher of patience. It can take 2 hours or several days to complete a game. But it attracts people who appreciate the 'long game'. It is designed like antique board games but is a favorite of all generations.

How to Play

Risk takes a map of the world similar to what you would see in history class and splits it up into various countries or groupings of countries you could inhabit with troops. The key is to hold as many countries as possible while also attacking and taking over all the other players' countries. You get a certain amount of troops each turn to place, and you get bonuses for holding continents or lots or territories. So the more power you have, the more dangerous of a force you are.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit Board Game

Brief History

On December 15, 1979, Trivial Pursuit was created in Montreal, Quebec, by Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press. After finding pieces of their Scrabble game missing, they decided to create their own game. They raised their initial funding by selling five shares in the company for as little as $1,000. An 18-year-old artist named Michael Wurstlin agreed to create the final artwork for Trivial Pursuit in exchange for his five shares.

Why People Love It

The attraction to old board games like Trivial Pursuit is simple. Knowing obscure facts to trivial things is good for mental health. Experts say playing trivia games can provide a dopamine rush, much like gambling, without the negative effects. But the basic premise of these board games is the same: People enjoy the thrill of providing correct answers to questions about lesser-known facts.

How to Play

If you're familiar with Trivial Pursuit, all you need to know is "the twist." The twist on the gameboard is that it features a bonus track around the outside. Each player (or team) takes a track pawn and places it on the start space. The object of the Trivial Pursuit board game is to be the first player (or team) to fill all six spaces on your scoring token with different colored wedges by correctly answering questions. Get back to the center first and answer a final question correctly to win! This makes for a great game night

Monopoly

Classic Monopoly Board Game

 

Brief History

Monopoly board games come from The Landlord's Game, created by Lizzie Magie in the United States in 1903 to promote the economic theories of Henry George and his ideas about taxation. The Landlord's Game originally had two sets of rules, one with taxation and another based on current rules. When Parker Brothers first published Monopoly in 1935, it did not include the less capitalistic taxation rule, which resulted in a more competitive game.

Why People Love It

Like all classic board games, Monopoly gives players a clear goal: Drive your opponents into bankruptcy. It leads us to perhaps the most important reason for its popularity, the incomparable thrill of sending your fellow man to the poorhouse while you simultaneously rake in the dough. This basic need to obliterate your opponent is at the heart of many old board games. 

How to Play

The Monopoly real estate board game is for two to eight players. Each player's goal is to remain financially strong while forcing opponents into bankruptcy by buying and developing pieces of property. Each person begins with a game piece and a certain amount of cash. Using dice, they move around the board, landing on spaces and buying the real estate that represents that space. Monopoloy is known to be a great board game for any age!

 

CLUE

Classic Clue Board Game


Brief History

Patented by a British musician named Anthony Pratt in 1944 and released in 1949, the CLUE board game originally went by the title CLUEDO. The game was intended to be a replica of a parlor game enjoyed by Pratt and his friends, which he called "Murder." Like MAFIA, Pratt's "Murder" involved one of his friends being given the role of the killer and the rest working to discover their identity. The rights to the board games were sold to Parker Brothers in 1949, who released a version in America under the name CLUE.

Why People Love It

Families love antique board games like CLUE because they teach kids and adults how to use logic to find the answer. Each player attempts to solve the mystery on their own or cooperatively. Others are asymmetrical games, where one player is the criminal or even a traitor to foil the rest. CLUE feeds people's natural curiosity when trying to solve difficult problems. Solving problems is one of the most basic emotional needs, which old board games are perfect for.

How to Play

Players roll the die/dice and move along the board's corridor spaces or into the rooms accordingly. The game's objective is to deduce the details of the murder, i.e., the cards in the envelope. There are six characters, six murder weapons, and nine rooms, leaving the players 324 possibilities. CLUE is one of those antique board games that makes you feel like you are never playing the same game twice.

Backgammon

Backgammon


Brief History

Backgammon is one of the oldest games, alongside Go and Chess. It is probably about 5,000 years old and may well have originated in Iraq—previously Mesopotamia. With its twenty-four points and thirty checkers, the board has been around for a long time, but the game has not always been called Backgammon. Other games which used the same board were Senet and Mancala. The Romans were the first to make it truly popular with their version called "Duodecum Scripta et Tabulae" or "Tables" for short.

Why People Love It

The main reason why many players love board games like Backgammon is socializing with others and not the game alone. The players can chat between themselves and others. Instead of just playing against their rival, they can join a community and make friends. Backgammon has long been viewed as a highly social game. For many people, winning and losing are not even a factor.

How to Play

The objective of Backgammon is to be first to bear off, i.e., move all fifteen pieces off the board. Backgammon involves a combination of strategy and luck from rolling the dice. While the dice may determine the outcome of a single game, the better player will accumulate the better record over a series of many games.