During the tween years, kids can be difficult to buy for. Their interests are rapidly changing, and they are not quite a teenager but no longer a little kid. These factors combine to make choosing the best board games for 12 year olds somewhat difficult. It doesn’t help that there are simply so many great games out there to choose from. Fear not, with our guide below you are sure to find something that will delight them, no matter what their interests are or the type of games they typically enjoy playing. We have included some helpful buying tips to ensure you pick the game they will love the most, as well as reviews of 10 different games your tween boy or girl is sure to love playing with friends or family.
Considerations When Choosing Games for 12 Yr Olds
There are a few things which should be considered when choosing a game for a tween boy or girl, to ensure you pick something they will love and want to play over and over again. First, ensure the game is age-appropriate. You can do this by checking the box for the manufacturer’s recommendations for the age range, as well as using intuition based on the skills required to play the game, as well as the themes of the game. The type of game is also an important factor – does your tween prefer strategy games, card games, or something else perhaps? Choose a game that matches their interests. Similarly, think about the themes of the game – superheroes, villains, their favorite characters, transport – there are loads of possibilities, so choose one related to their interests.
Top 10 Games for 12 Years Old
We will now take a look at ten of the best games for kids aged 12 which are available on the market today. We’ve chosen a range of different types of games in order to make sure there is something to appeal to everyone.
1. 5 Second Rule
First on our list of the best board games for 10-12 year olds we have 5 Second Rule, a game that encourages tweens to think fast! Players have to draw one of the 150+ cards and name three things related to the topic printed on the card. But, here’s the fun part – they are only allowed five seconds to do so! There’s a timer included with a ball inside, which makes a fun sound as it rolls down marking the passing of the five seconds. The time pressure is sure to ensure some hilarious answers are blurted out – the game is hugely entertaining for the whole family! The categories are varied so there is something to keep everyone challenged – adults and kids alike. Some examples include dog breeds, ways to keep in touch or famous African-American actors.
2. Blank Slate
Our next pick is Blank Slate, a party game which is perfect for groups of 3 – 8 players. The game involves writing a word to complete a phrase from one of the 250 cue cards, on one of the small dry-erase boards which are included. The game comes with the markers and erasers to clean off the boards in between rounds. The most points are scored when choosing a word which matches with only one other player, so it’s a good idea to think creatively, but not too far out of the box! This is a great game that is sure to ensure loads of laughs every time it is played. It’s a great family game and is appropriate for the whole family, so it’s great for a family games night or for tweens to play with their friends at a sleepover party.
3. Disney Villainous
Our next pick of the best, fun games for 12 year olds is Disney’s Villainous. It’s perfect for kids who enjoy something a little different, as this game is all about Disney’s best villains, rather than heroes! In this game, players choose one of the six villains to play as and have to work to complete their chosen villain’s goals. To be successful at this game, kids will have to work out the best strategies to use when playing as each villain – no two are completely alike, so the game is challenging with each play. The players must use cards with heroes and their special effects in an attempt to defeat their enemies. This game has won the coveted Game of the Year award in 2019, so you can rest assured that it makes an excellent pick.
4. Bears vs Babies
Next up we have a card battle game for 2 – 5 players. It takes around 20 minutes to play and comes with over 100 cards as well as a playing mat and instructions for the game. All the pieces come packed in a unique, furry box for added fun! The game is made by the creators of Exploding Kittens, so if your kids love that game, they are sure to also enjoy playing this. Strategy is required in this game, which challenges players to build fun and unique monsters to eat the babies! The winner is the player who’s monster eats the most babies – this game is certainly different from anything else your kids will have played before!
The next pick on our list of the best games for 12 year olds is Mysterium from top games manufacturer Asmodee. This is a cooperative game, which means all players either win or lose against the game together. It is suitable for small groups or larger ones – it is for 2 – 7 players. The storyline of the game is sure to keep kids entertained every time – the game has great replay value. This game challenges players to solve the crime which was committed in the Manor – by becoming psychics and using the visions brought to them by the ghosts! The aim is to find out the murder weapon, location and who committed the murder, and doing so will generally take around 45 minutes.
Our next pick is this charades game known as Rollick. It’s a great party game, as it is suitable for groups of 6 to more than 20 players, and it only takes two minutes to learn how to play. A typical game will last around half an hour, so it won’t take up the whole length of the party. This game differs from charades in that rather than a single person acting out the clue, a team of players act it out for one or more other players to guess. There are more than 750 words to act out, so you can be sure the game has great replay value and will be different every time it is played. It’s guaranteed to end in laughter!
7. Clue Harry Potter Edition
If you are looking for the best board games for 12 year old boys and girls who love Harry Potter, this special edition of the classic game Clue is the perfect pick. This game requires 3 – 5 players and takes around 30 minutes to play, and has a similar format and rules as the original edition. Instead of solving a murder, players have to solve the case of a student disappearing from Hogwarts. Kids can pick their favorite characters to play as – Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom or Luna Lovegood. To really add to the fun of this game, there are wheels that can be moved to reveal hidden passages!
Battleship is a classic game that has been enjoyed by families for generations. But, it has recently been given a modern makeover – this new electronic version. The aim of the game is the same – find and destroy your enemy’s five ships before they do the same to yours. Kids will love the light and sound effects when they make a hit! They can position their ships wherever they wish, or choose from one of the 30 preset layouts. There are also air raids and other super weapons to make the battles even more fun and intense! The game can easily be set up and played anywhere – it is ideal for taking on the go as well as playing at home. It also the option for single player mode against the computer.
This Ravensburger game is very highly-rated by parents and children and is an excellent family game. The game challenges players to find the quickest route through the maze, whilst collecting all of their treasures. Between 2 and 4 players can enjoy this game, and it typically lasts around 20 or 30 minutes. The replay value is excellent – no two games are alike! The game comes with over 30 maze cards and over 20 treasure cards, as well as easy-to-follow instructions.
10. Shadows in the Forest
Our final pick of the best board games for 12 year olds is this fun and unique game from ThinkFun, Shadows in the Forest. The concept of the game is similar to playing tag with flashlights in the forest, with one player controlling the lantern and the others hiding from the light. Those who are hiding, the shadowing team, have to try and make it to the same tree whilst the seeker, the lantern holder, tries to make them freeze. The game comes with many lovely play pieces and is suitable for between 2 – 7 players. It is ideal for helping kids think critically as well as understanding light and shadows.
Best Buy Overall
After considering ten different options, it’s time to determine which takes the spot as the overall best buy. In this case, we have decided to award that honor to Blank Slate. This game is quite unique and can be played over and over again without getting boring – it’s sure to make everyone laugh each time it is played! It’s perfect for parties or for playing with family and takes around 30 minutes to play. This is a game which won’t be outgrown quickly – kids are sure to enjoy playing it for many years to come!
Best Budget Buy
If you want a game that won’t break the bank, Rollick is definitely worth a look. It is a great party game for groups of any size and offers something a little different from a typical game of charades. Kids will love teaming up with their friends to attempt to act out the different words on the 700+ cards and are sure to have plenty of laughs as they do so. The time limit on each round is 60 seconds, so this added time pressure will make the game even funnier.
What are the Benefits of Playing Games for 12 Year Olds?
Playing games is a great pastime for tweens for many reasons. First of all, it ensures they are having some time away from their screens and gadgets, and rather enjoying some face-to-face interactions with their friends and family members. So, it’s a great social activity. Games can also allow tweens to learn new skills and work on developing existing ones. They’re good for developing critical thinking, forward-planning skills, problem-solving ability and increasing the vocabulary.