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Looking for the best four-player board games to check out this year?
Board games are not just meant to kill time or fill game nights with fun. The benefits of playing board games include increasing your happiness, particularly by reducing your stress levels and creating stronger relationships.
This is why more and more people are trying out board games as a regular recreational activity. Instead of wasting time stressing over unimportant news on social media, they’d rather spend time cultivating their playing skills and boosting their happiness.
In this article, we give you the 15 best four-player board games to check out and play this year. They have been chosen based on expert reviews and positive feedback from satisfied customers who have already tried them.
Let’s get to it!
The Best Four-Player Games for 2023
What is amazing about Pandemic is that whether people are looking for couple or cooperative play, it always makes the list when it comes to the best board games. Consistently fun and challenging, this two- to four-player game is just what you need if you are looking for a fight against the world’s worst epidemics.
Pandemic is a survival game, so you have to stay alive until the game ends. The thrill begins once you start creating plans and strategies with your team to save the world. Your ultimate goal is to search for cures and treat civilians before the diseases overpower humanity and destroy civilization.
This board game is a test of your patience, determination, and cooperation. There has to be unity and camaraderie between team members to achieve the goal. Otherwise, everyone will lose and “die”. The rules may be simple and easy to understand, but the play itself can be a bit difficult to master and memorize.
We highly recommend this board game for friends and family who love a bit of thrill and excitement during game night. It requires least two players, but it becomes more fun if played by a lot more (up to four).
Catan is a perfect fit if you and your friends are fans of traditional civilization-building games where the goal is to build cities, settle areas, and trade goods and products. Careful planning and strategy are what it takes to win this game.
The game is set in an ancient world where people are taking long voyages to discover new lands. It is a competitive game, meaning you and your friends are competitors rather than teammates. You have to beat each other in a battle for supremacy.
Catan has an average of 60 minutes of gameplay, and is designed for three to four players. It is also recommended for beginners, as its rules are easy to learn and understand. That being said, expert gamers might find it too easy or boring, so a more complex board game might be a better match.
3. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is an excellent choice for those who love adventure and travel. It is designed for two to five players, ages eight years old and above, making it a wonderful addition to your set of family board games to play on game night. Playing time is only around 30 to 60 minutes, so you can play more than once in one sitting.
In this game, your goal is to gather all the matching train cards and claim all the railway routes to connect all the cities of North America. You also need to complete your missions and achieve your mini-goals to gain extra points. The player with the most number of points and the longest route wins.
This board game is quite easy, but it can still be tricky. There are destination tickets available, and if you used them unwisely, you might be giving your opponent more chances of winning without you knowing.
Moreover, there are negative points to deal with. And if you accidentally leave a mini-goal unfinished, this will affect your overall scoring at the end.
4. Space Base
Space Base is the perfect board game if you are a fan of intergalactic battles. In this game, you take the role of a commodore whose job is to watch over the 12 sectors under your command and make sure that you gain profit and boost your influence.
To accomplish your objective, your main task is to draft new ships to work for you. You may also use cargo vessels and mining ships, and deploy carriers. What is important is that you gain enough power and influence to get promoted from a commodore to an admiral.
The game is appropriate for two to five players, ages 14 and above. It has around 60 minutes of playing time, and the rules are quite easy to learn and understand. Most consumers also commend the game’s artwork.
We recommend Azul for artistically gifted people who love crafts, mosaics, and tile designs. It is made for two to four players, and the goal is to create beautiful designs by arranging the tiles in a highly aesthetic manner. At the end of the game, the player with the highest points and the most beautiful design wins.
The game may appear simple on the surface, as you only need to draft and arrange the tiles, but you need to keep in mind that it also requires strategy and cautious planning. One of the game mechanics is taking turns, so you have to make sure you get your desired tiles before your opponent does.
Scoring is based on how you design your tiles on the board. You gain a point for each new tile you place adjacent to the other tiles. Extra points are given if you collect tiles with the same colors, or if you make a wonderful pattern. However, it is important to note that tiles that are taken but not used are deducted from your score.
If you are looking for an artistic board game to play with your friends or family, Azul could be the perfect choice. It is also a great option for parents who want to develop their kids’ creativity and artistic skills.
6. The Mind
If you are looking for something new, unique, and interesting, we recommend checking out The Mind—a board game that is played in silence. Speaking is prohibited, and the only way to communicate is by using small gestures such as winks and glances.
The goal of the game is simple: You have to arrange the cards in ascending order. What makes it rather stimulating is the way you interact with your teammates through the smallest of gestures. Allowed gestures include taking glances, furrowing brows, unnoticeable winks, and body language.
It may not be immediately obvious, but careful strategy and planning are needed in order to win this game. You and your teammates really have to strategize and devise a plan to communicate with each other without speaking. Once a teammate violates this silent rule, the game ends and you have to go back to the start.
If you are a parent looking for a game you can play with your children, check out Bananagrams. This is an anagram game that provides a fun, entertaining, and educational experience for kids who are learning longer and more complex words.
The goal of the game is simple: You have to be the first person to use all their letters and create words. Words may be formed horizontally (left to right) and vertically (top to bottom). If no one gets to use all their letters and end the game, the player with the longest and most complex word wins.
Note that you have to create real words. You cannot make up words, as they will be checked by your opponents. If there are misspelled words, proper nouns, or other unacceptable words, you will be branded as a “rotten banana” and kicked out of the game.
Bananagrams is highly recommended for those who are addicted to word games. It is like Scrabble, but faster and more flexible.
Scythe evokes the atmosphere of the Roaring ’20s, although with an exciting twist. It takes you back to the time of the First Great War’s aftermath—a time when Europe was getting back on its feet.
In this game, your goal is to repair your reputation and restore your faction’s former glory and honor. You can accomplish this by taking over cities, recruiting new members, cultivating resources, and utilizing mechs that surround the center called “The Factory.” You need to boost your popularity and achieve small objectives.
This game is designed for one to five players, meaning it is perfect for solo or multiple gaming. Some experts report that it requires strategy more than luck, while others say that it is a combination of both. Either way, we recommend this game for groups of friend.
9. Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter is the board game we recommend for those who like zombie-themed and monster-themed adventures. It is a “survival of the fittest” game where you take the role of a character whose goal is to stay alive until all the monsters are defeated.
But there’s more to the game than simply surviving. As the game progresses, you find yourself pursuing a secret goal, which could be anything from deceiving your teammates to actually allowing some monsters to come in.
The game is both a cooperative and competitive game, and you need to come up with both a team strategy and an individual strategy in order to win.
The game provides tons of different endings. Sometimes everyone ends up winning, and sometimes everyone ends up losing. There are also times when only one or a few people might win. The game tests not just your strategic skills, but also your cooperation and loyalty. You have to make wise decisions in order to survive.
Concordia is one of many board games that features an historical theme. It is a strategic, civilization-building game based on the premise of the Roman Empire conquering and ruling the lands around the Mediterranean Sea.
Specifically made for two to five players 13 years old and above, and with a 90-minute playing time, this board game offers two different experiences.
One experience features the Roman Empire, with 30 cities for three to five players, while the other features Roman Italy, with 25 cities for two to four players.
As a strategic game, Concordia requires advanced planning and a keen eye to predict your opponent’s moves. Make wise decisions and solve problems quickly to achieve victory.
11. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is an excellent choice if you like deception and survival games. It is an intensely exciting suspense and horror board game that allows you to build your own haunted house and come up with blood-curdling scenarios.
This is the third edition of the game and has additional game elements and characters. Like the previous versions, it is still a cooperative strategy game, so everyone is expected to contribute to achieving victory.
Note, however, the house turns one of the players against the others. This is a game of deception, so your goal is not just to get out of the house, but also to find the traitor among you.
We highly recommend this board game, whether you are a beginner or an expert in board gaming. It has simple concepts and instructions, and its mechanics are easy to learn and understand.
12. Blood Rage
Blood Rage is “an all-out brawl.” It is a battle for glory, and clearly not for the faint of heart. You fight against each other over territories, monsters, and treasures. You need to be aggressive and hungry for power if you want to win the game.
You also need to have good strategy if you want to have a chance at winning. Devising a well-planned course of action before the game starts is advisable. Otherwise, you will be eaten—not just by monsters, but by your opponents as well. Of course, you also need to be adaptable as the game proceeds.
The average playtime for this board game is around 60-90 minutes, but that depends on how strategic and competitive the players are. We recommend the game for expert board gamers, as it may seem difficult for beginners if they are not used to RPGs.
13. Brass Birmingham
Brass Birmingham takes us back to the Industrial Revolution, when businessmen and entrepreneurs competed for the top positions in their industries. In this game, the goal is to “develop, build, and establish industries and networks, in an effort to exploit low or high market demands.”
To that end, you need to have an entrepreneurial and economic mind to win this game. After all, you need to review, study, and set trends to achieve your goals. Players take turns making their moves, so you have to strategize carefully before doing anything.
We highly suggest this board game to those who are business-minded and able to make wise decisions under pressure.
14. Arkham Horror
Some people say Arkham Horror is the best RPG board game ever made—especially for those who like suspense, thrill, and horror.
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s mystery and horror stories, this game has a way of making its players feel the chills. Due to the games well-thought-out theme and fantastically designed cards, you are in for a wonderful treat with your friends on game night.
Gloomhaven is a Euro-style board game best for those who like tactical combat gaming. It is an RPG, except that you choose your own adventure instead of playing a predetermined one. You take the role of an adventurer ready to take on beasts and escape dungeons and caves.
As an RPG, this game lets you acquire skills and abilities by discovering powers in hidden locations. It also gives you the freedom of choice in regard to which power you would like to use whenever you encounter monsters and creatures. As such, you need to strategize well to win.
This board game is effective both for solo and cooperative gaming. It can accommodate up to four players—the more brains working together, the better.
Final Thoughts on the Best 4-Player Board Games
There you go! We hope you enjoyed our list of the best four-player board games. Hopefully we were able to help you find one that suits your needs.
If you are looking for other types of board games, you may also want to check our other lists: