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Popular Board Games in the 90s Stuck in Your Cranium

A generation ago, before the internet really matured, families and friends still spent a lot of time with each other around the kitchen or dining room table (and, yes, around the TV). And when they gathered outside of feeding these popular board games in the 90s were often the focus of their attention.

Monopoly

Players try to become the wealthiest property owner by buying and trading properties with other players while making strategic moves such as paying rent at “Go” or not passing “GO.” The player who bankrupts all of their opponents is declared the winner.

It’s a testament to this game’s staying power that it has appeared on lists like this for going on 100 years. Of course, the internet was a little different back in the 1930s!

Splat!

Players are divided into two teams, Red and Blue. Players take turns throwing special sponge balls at the opposing team’s wall of five cups (the “Splat Zone”).

The object is to knock down all the opponent’s cups while protecting your own by catching a ball with one cup before it hits the ground or hitting an opponent with a ball.

Dream Phone

This game was popular in the mid-1990s. The goal of this party game is to collect ten phone numbers from a dream date’s “profile”.

Players take turns asking questions, which usually are either trivia about pop culture or personal preferences such as food and favorite movies.

If you don’t know the answer, then you ask another player for help.

If you know the answer, then your current “date” will be rewarded with a phone number card from your deck of cards to fill their profile and become more attractive.

Cranium

The goal is to score points by guessing words, identifying pictures from word clues, and acting out scenes while wearing a silly hat with other players’ hats on your head.

Players take turns rolling dice for various categories of questions (e.g., Names & Faces), which can be scored by having the answer most often picked from a group of four answers.

Crossfire

Players take turns drawing cards from a deck and answer trivia questions about subjects on the card, or they guess which television show or movie their opponents are describing.

The first player to correctly identify one of their opponent’s two answers, wins a point for each round. If a player is not able to identify a card or answer correctly, that player will draw two cards on their next turn.

Trivial Pursuit

Players compete in teams of one blue and one red member by answering general knowledge questions from six categories: Geography, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, Sports & Leisure Activities, and Popular Music.

A game is won by being first to collect all six of the correct answer cards or having more points when the draw pile runs out.

Blokus

Players take turns placing their tiles on a large board with one goal: fit as many in your own color into play before you get blocked from doing so.

Sorry!

Players move their game piece around the board, trying to land on spaces that match what is shown on a dice roll.

The player who first lands all of their pieces in their column wins “Sorry!” for the round. The last person with any remaining playing pieces loses.

Atmosfear

Players take turns rolling dice, with one goal: to match the number shown on their die roll with a card or cards that have been revealed.

If they are successful in matching numbers, then those pieces remain off the board and can’t be used by another player.

Twilight Imperium

Players take turns moving their space fleets, trying to conquer planets and systems.

They try to claim as much territory as possible in order for them to win the game by having 18 colonies when someone is finally able to build a trade network or galactic government.

Scrabble

A word puzzle game where players create words on a grid of letter tiles, trying to be the first one with at least one word that is 15 or more letters long.

Risk: The World Conquest Game

A game in which players have armies and invade other countries to try and control them.

The winner of a round has conquered two thirds of the world’s surface (or six continents).

(Like Popular Board Games in the 90s? Then you might like our article on Popular Board Games in the 70s, click here.)

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