While modern board gaming has been recently dominated by the rise of the escape room, creative problem-solving has always sat at the heart of our hobby.
So, here are eight of our favorite games that reward engaging our brains to crack a thorny problem.
Creative thinking is at the heart of many board games. But as soon as you bring dexterity into the mix…all bets are off. A spiritual successor to Junk Art, MaW puts you in charge of a construction site and competing to complete assignments and kill as few people as possible. Each turn sees players draw cards with specific goals (place girders, balance workers) using pieces from a gorgeous selection of wooden components. However, the devil is in the details and while balancing your build may be simple…things get complicated fast. This requires skillful planning and clever problem-solving when it comes to creating a setup that works for you and absolutely shafts your opponent.
Of course, we saved the best for last. A simple family game from Blue Orange, Eureka gives players test tubes, colorful balls, and a challenge card. Flipping this over reveals the balls in a set order that has to be replicated without touching the plastic spheres. And go! Cue shouting and yelling as balls are carefully poured, picked up without using hands, flipped upside down, or any number of tricks to achieve their goals. Once the screaming and shouting stops, you can reveal the truth…that was the practice round. Expert Mode (the real game for adults) requires players to hold all three test tubes at the same time and juggle careful pours, move counting, and howls of despair. Throw in a couple of house rules and you have a great game for creative kids and a world-class drinking game for adults at your next wine-and-cheese night.