There’s just something about pulling down a board game from a shelf and setting up all the pieces that’s beautifully therapeutic. You get a rush of memories associated with other board games and night sitting around a table with friends and family. One of my first memories of board games was playing Elenor Abbott’s, Candyland, with my little sister as she learned her colors. Board games have been around since 3500 BC and they show no signs of slowing down in popularity. It’s predicted that the board game industry will grow to continue to grow by a billion dollars a year. So if you’re looking for a new board game, or you’re wanting to get into board gaming, and want to support female board game designers, here are 8 board games designed or co-designed by women!
28 – Wingspan – Elizabeth Hargrave
Premise: “You are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves.” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 40-70 min
68 – Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detectives: The Thames Murders – Suzanne Goldberg
Premise: “The gaslight streets of Victorian London. Horse-drawn broughams, hansoms, and dog-carts rattle over the cobblestone streets, pulling their passengers through the pea-soup fog. On every street corner, you pass booksellers, clubs, prisons, music halls, doctors, tea houses, and steamship companies. Yet in the shadows and dark alleys of this great city, horrible and cunning crimes are committed daily, confounding the policemen of Scotland Yard. Still, even the most ingenious crime is only a puzzle for the world’s only consulting detective—Sherlock Holmes!.” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 90+ mins
89 – T.I.M.E Stories – Peggy Chassenet
Premise: “In T.I.M.E. Stories, you will work cooperatively with a team to solve a mystery taking place in a different era. Each team member will enter a shell of someone alive at the time and gain their physical strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t complete the adventure in time you’ll be sent back to the start of the mission for another attempt.” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 90 min
186 – Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin – Inka Brand Markus Brand
Premise: “After your car breaks down, you are looking for shelter for the night. Luckily, you find an abandoned cabin in the woods near the road. But the next morning, the door is locked! Iron bars on the windows prevent you from escaping. You discover a book and a strange disk … Can you solve the riddles left for you by the deranged cabin owner and escape the cabin?” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 1-2 hours
1121 – Exodus: Proxima Centauri – Agnieszka Kopera
Premise: “In Exodus: Proxima Centauri, the six factions fight for dominance in an epic empire-building game, striving to build a new human empire on the ashes of the Centaurian civilization. Each player will build his own space fleet of customized ships and conquer new planets, fight the Centaurian Resistance and the other players, negotiate and vote for political decisions, research Centaurian technologies, and much more..” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 2-3 hours
1663 – Bananagrams – Rena Nathanson
Premise: “In this addictive word game, speed wins, not points. Race to build joined up words using all of your tiles. When any player uses all of their letters, they shout ‘peel!’ and every player takes on a new tile – meaning everyone has to quickly rebuild their word grid!” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 30 min or less
18370 – Monopoly – Elizabeth J. Magie (Phillips)
That’s right folks, one of the most popular board games of all time, was designed by a woman!
Premise: “It’s the fast-dealing property trading game where players buy, sell, dream and scheme their way to riches. Choose your token, place it on GO! and roll the dice to own it all! There can be only one winner in the Monopoly game. Will it be you?” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 1-3 hours
While this is a game intended for children, I just couldn’t leave it out of this list. As I’ve said before, this game brings me back to tons of happy childhood memories, and as an adult it’s amazing to discover that this board game that meant so much to me was actually designed by a woman!
18376 – Candyland – Elenor Abbott
Premise: “Players choose their cards, move their pawns, and let their imaginations soar as they make their way to the castle to win!.” -Amazon Listing
Playtime: 15-20 min
All rankings were from Board Game Geek’s rating system.
See the Rest here – https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame
While this list is in no way complete, I’m looking forward to watching it grow and finding more awesome board games by women designers! Now that I have this nice little list I’m definitely going to be visiting my local game store to broaden my board games collection.
If you have more female designed board games that we missed we’d love to learn more about them. And if you’ve played any of these games tell us what you thought!