Millennials have been at the forefront of the recent board game resurgence. Which makes sense, their generation loves retro activities. Games can be played on the go, in boring situations to pass the time, or with groups or friends. Recently, the more complex styles of games even offer portable versions that you can take on vacations, long car rides, to restaurants, on picnics—virtually anywhere!
Board games, digital versions of old board games and transportable games also improve cognitive abilities; they can lower your risk for mental diseases, high blood pressure, and stress. Fun, thought-provoking activities that are also beneficial for your mental health—win-win. Check out the following trending portable games, we’ve included a few new options, with some throwbacks as well.
Classic Arcade Games
When you think of those ‘80s arcade classics, like Frogger, you might think of giant machines they weigh a ton — not very portable. In a fit of nostalgia, ThinkGeek has released miniature handheld versions of classics like Asteroids and Centipede. You can take these compact game sets anywhere, they even pump out the retro digital music. Who doesn’t love to test their reflexes with a throwback game from their childhood (or even before your time)? It might take some muscle memory to remember how to play these simple classics.
Scrabble has not only been around for decades, but it also bolsters your critical thinking skills. There have even been studies on using Scrabble as a tool for engineering students. While portable word game apps like Words with Friends have been popular for a few years, there’s a new version that’s trending. Bananagrams is a popular travel game that basically takes the tiles of Scrabble on the go, you can set them up anywhere with a flat surface. It varies from original Scrabble with simplified scoring, more lenient rules, and the inclusion of anagrams.
We can thank Ellen Degeneres and her team for the app, Heads Up. This digital word association game can be downloaded on any smartphone and has fast become a party favorite. You have to be quick on your feet with vocabulary, synonyms, and descriptions. Not only are there multiple themed versions, but the game also videotapes everyone trying to guess. It can get pretty rowdy!
Poker is always a fan favorite, whether in the casino, at a local poker night, or online. CEOs and entrepreneurs love poker and recommend the card game as a way to improve decision-making skills and overall brain health. While there are portable poker sets meant to play on-the-go, with all the pieces needed, you want to turn to an online gaming site, where you can play on your phone/portable device, with or without friends.
Yet another classic that is seeing a resurgence with board-game-loving Millenials, Yahtzee is a scored dice game that tests your math and probability skills. Just try not using the calculator on your phone to tally your final score. Travel versions of Yahtzee fit in your pocket and can be played just about anywhere. Don’t forget, you will need a pen or two.
Ready to play?
Games are a great way to pass a long road trip or to bust out during an afternoon at the pub. Instead of glancing at a mind-numbing TV in the background, or pointless small talk, you and your friends can have fun and sharpen your mental skills. With these easy portable games, digital or not, you’re sure to relieve boredom and have a blast.