A lot of great things debuted in the 1990’s. The Lion King … Beanie Babies … me💖. Oh, and a lot of rad board games, too. When I looked for my favorites from the decade, I noticed something in common between them … they’re all kind of goofy! But that’s what I like about them. I didn’t play them back then, I was too young, but they still sort of give me a sense of nostalgia in a way, just for being a kid, I guess. This is your healthy reminder that this list is just my opinion of things I most enjoy, and is not indicative of the best games of the time or anything … although that’s subjective too, so keep that in mind too. Anyway, here are my top 10 games from the 90s:
Starting off strong with a roll and move game! Okay so the game play isn’t winning any awards, ever. But I just think this is super unique. You make your player pieces out of modeling dough and you get to squish them at certain points in the game! It’s just a silly, fun game that’s good for a laugh.
This has great toy factor! You get to play this tiny piano to get other players to guess the song you’re trying to play. It’s tricky on both ends, but super fun when you recognize the song and get those points! I genuinely wish this game would get reprinted with more modern music choices. I like this game a lot, but when we play, we end up passing a bunch of cards, because we know we won’t get the songs right.
8. The Uncanny X-Men Alert Adventure Game
Love an X-Men game! This one has really cool miniatures, action points, and various battle zones! Ultimately, it’s a really lucky game with card draws and dice rolls, but it really brings you into the X-Men universe and the variable player powers are really true to the heroes, which is cool to see.
7. X-Men: Under Siege
Hey, more X-Men! More great minis, and a lot of luck, but also some exploration of the X-Mansion! It’s a fun balance of possibly sticking your heroes together, or splitting up to cover more ground. Again, a really great representation of the characters in this game.
If you don’t like talking to your TV screen to avoid consequences, then you’ll probably want to keep scrolling. This silly game is another roll and move, but one where a video interrupts you every so often to yell G-rated threats in your general direction, and impede your progress. You may also have cards that you can play at certain times to hurt other players. Ultimately it all comes down to luck, and hoping you don’t uncover your own worst fear at the end, which will result in a loss. It’s worth the hour or less play time if you have a good group who can really embrace it.
5. Forbidden Bridge
This one just got reprinted last year, which means it has to be good! … Right? It’s, ya guessed it, another roll and move, go figure. But, in addition to moving around, racing toward the gems that ultimately lead to your victory, you get to make a really cool rickety bridge wiggle around every so often. It doesn’t sound super exciting, but I swear the toy bridge is really cool. If nothing else, it just looks great on the table.
4. Don’t Wake Daddy
I don’t know how we got so into this game, but we did. This one is a spin and move…so, totally different than some of the other ones. There’s luck in whether or not daddy wakes up and sends you back to start, but the pure anxiety you get from clicking the toy to see if it pops is a blast. We like this game so much we’ve modified it to have 2 daddy toys, giving players strategic choice in which button to press, to try and avoid going back to start, and we play where you have to get to the fridge and back to bed in order to win, to prevent a runaway leader. It’s a good time.
In this one you’ll scan part of a large image to find objects that begin with a certain letter. The images will then get passed around to everyone playing, and you want to try and avoid repeating words if you want to score points (kind of like Scattegories). It can be tricky, especially in the second round when you’re trying to remember if a certain word was already said or not, but it’s a lot of fun! Plus, since you only use part of the images in a given game, it allows for a lot of replay value because the same things you found in an image last time might not be available this time!
Ah, yes, another game with amazing toy factor. That’s a win for me! This one gives you a toy “rammer hammer” which you have to use to push blocks out of a giant stack, and then place them on top (with your hand, not the hammer) without knocking said stack over. So, kinda like Jenga, but with an unwieldy jackhammer, neat!
1. Arch Rival
This game creates a big arch of cups and you have to place weirdly shaped pieces into the cups, without knocking it down. It’s a really nice looking game, simple enough that absolutely anyone can play, and a good time all around!