Game time for families
Tweens and teens can be difficult to entice into being part of family game night. But these board games, specifically aimed at kids 10 and up, will pull them in.
Snake Oil (Out of the Box games): The goal is the same that snake-oil salesmen of the Old West had: get some unsuspecting sucker to buy something he or she doesn't need. One player randomly picks a one-word Customer Card — anything from gangsters and frat boys to witches. Each of the other players gets six Word Cards and picks two to create a "product" to sell to the Customer. The bizarre word combinations (you could end up with a "noise nose" or "ear button") and the ridiculous sales pitches are what make Snake Oil so entertaining. Three to 10 players, ages 10 and up. $19.95, www.otb-games.com/games.
Anger Management (Endless Games): The goal is to move up your Rage-O-Meter from "perfectly calm" to "absolutely steamed," based on matching responses to the majority. Three to six players (odd numbers are best since you need a majority), ages 14 and up. $29.95. www.endlessgames.com/new.html.
Furt (Wiggity Bang!): This is the most complicated of these three games, but also the most fun, partly because there really aren't any rules; you have to figure them out as you play. The only thing that's clear is that players are racing to be the first into the mouth of a fiery volcano. And the only way that happens is by completing tasks from one of six categories. Along the way, you'll have to reveal secrets (or tell baldfaced lies), act out random words and keep a straight face while other players scream funny words at you, and generally make a fool of yourself in front of other people. Three to eight players (the more the better), ages 13 and up, $29.95. www.wiggitybang.com/furt.