Best Camping Games Reviewed & Rated For Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Unless you're car camping you're going to have to keep it small. We get that but we also know that sometimes you have some extra room, so when it comes to size, we tried to cross the gamut from tiny games that don't take up any room in your backpack to some of the bigger entries into the party circuit. So we've got you covered.
Ease of Use
Another thing way up on our list is how easy these games are to play. You're camping, right? So we're going to try and minimize moving parts and pieces that can get lost around the campfire, or at the bottom of your backpack. We're going for simple, self-contained games that are going to provide giant-sized fun in a simple generally pint-sized package.
This one goes without saying, doesn't it? If your cards are going to fall apart in some humidity, then we're not going to recommend you buy those cards with us. All the games we're looking for should be hardy enough to stand up to a few nights to a few weeks out in the wilderness.
As always we're looking for ways to lighten your load, not your pocketbook. There are some games on here that will put a bit of a strain on the bank account but generally, we're going for games that seem to make the most sense on a cost/benefit analysis. We're looking for maximum fun for a minimum price. This is kinda job one with us here at Gear Hunt so don't worry, and don't think for a minute we'll pick cost over quality, we're looking for the perfect sweet spot between the two.
We've mentioned this already but along with portability, this is worth mentioning again. We're always going to assume you want to spend as much time out in the wild as you can, so we're looking for games that are going to be lightweight and not take up too much room in your pack. That being said there are some games here that you're going to have to lug around so keep that in mind if you're not up to much lugging. Or find a friend who can do your lugging for you.
10 Best Camping Games
If you can hold a pen or pencil, you can play Telestrations. It's a drawing game, but you don't need any artistic talent to enjoy it: the harder it is for other players to guess what you've drawn, the greater the fun!
Draw, Then Pass, Then Draw Again
Imagine the game Telephone, but instead of passing words around the group, one player draws something and the other players make their wildest guesses as to what it could be. What you draw is determined by a roll of the die. Once you’ve drawn it, however, you must pass it to the next player, and they have to write down what they think you were trying to draw. Very quickly, the original phrase or word you were drawing has been hopeless, hilariously distorted into something else!
Compact and Easy to Set Up
All you need is enough space for the drafting pad that comes with the game, and you’re ready to play – at home, on road trips, or sitting together with friends and family at the campsite.
Cost and Value
Telestrations is in the middle of the pack, price-wise, and its high-quality components make it an excellent value:
2. Cards Against Humanity
This word game is all about making your friends laugh, maybe a little uncomfortable. Each round, the dealer turns over a card with a prompt or question, and the players must select the card in hand with the best, wildest, or most outlandish response possible. Testing the boundaries of good taste is all part of the fun!
If you’re going on a grown-up wilderness adventure, Cards Against Humanity can be an uproariously good time!
The motto of the game is “a party game for horrible people”, and how far you take the humor is up to the limit of your imagination! Cards Against Humanity has a question-and-answer format: the dealer presents a prompt and the players all look at the cards in their hands for the most hilarious answer or response possible, then present them to the group. Everyone votes for their favorite response, and the winner of the round scores a point!
The subject matter of Cards Against Humanity is intended for adults; no topic is off limits, and half the fun is laughing at the cards not chosen each round. The motto of the game is “a party game for horrible people”, and how far you take the humor is up to the limit of your imagination!
Cost and Value
The box set of Cards Against Humanity is a bit more of an investment than some of the other games on this list, but it comes with 600 prompt and answer cards, and the second edition includes 150 more prompt and answer cards than the first edition, so it’s 33% more horrible and 33% more fun!
3. Monopoly Deal
Monopoly Deal is a fast-paced game of real estate trading. If you enjoy the original Monopoly, you'll love this version's easy setup and quick playtime. It's portable enough that you can take it with you, and a bargain addition to your board game collection!
No Board, Just Cards
Monopoly is an engaging, classic game of strategy, but both setup and actually finishing the game can be time-consuming. Monopoly Deal boils down the core elements of the original game into a handy, card-based format that’s easier to manage and makes for a quicker game.
All the Wheeling and Dealing of the Original
Taking away the board doesn’t take away the complexity of the game, or stop you from striking deals with other players, swiping properties out from under your opponents, and raking in the cash! Monopoly Deal has one of the lowest prices on this list, so it’s easy to give this updated classic a try!
Cost and Value
Monopoly Deal has the lowest price of any game on this list, so it's a great holiday gift, stocking stuffer, or last-minute impulse purchase before your next big adventure!
4. Rat a Tat Cat
The rats and cats have donned their finest and are ready to party! Trade cards with other players, get the lowest possible score, and dance your way to victory! You will have a great time with this one, and not be disappointed!
In Rat a Tat Cat, players have to finish each round with as many points as possible in a four-card hand. Learning the game will stretch younger players’ number fluency, and the colorful art features rats and cats in suits and dresses that are too silly and charming to pass up.
Players must discard cards each round while keeping an eye on what other players might be up to. Getting the hang of this guessing game is a tricky, rewarding challenge that players of all ages can master.
Cost and Value
Price-wise, Rat a Tat Cat requires a little bit more investment than the rest. But its charming illustrations and family-friendly replay value make it a great game for everyone to play!
5. Ravensburger Labyrinth
Treasures and magic and adventure await on this journey into the Labyrinth! You're here to gather up all the riches you can carry, but you must beware of monsters along the way, not to mention your fellow wizards...
Each player controls a wizard wandering the halls of the labyrinth, seeking treasures and steering clear of monsters and each other. This game is more expensive than most of the others on this list, but it’s family friendly and its strong themes make it engaging for players of all ages.
Outwitting Your Opponents
The ability to use an Extra Tile gives you the option of changing the shape of passageways in the labyrinth, changing everything! Cut off the other wizards in dead ends and shorten your path to the treasure, or do both things at once, if you’re clever enough...
Cost and Value
With brightly colored, fantastical game components, and fully illustrated game cards, Labyrinth is a robust adventure game for the whole family. In terms of price, this game is in the middle of the list.
Break out the banana! Shake it up, pour out the tiles, and start unscrambling words. It's a race to rack up as many words as you can, and when one round is done, load up the banana and shake it up again!
Fun, Fast, and Thought-Provoking
Bananagrams rewards quick thinking and imagination, and setup is a snap: you just unzip it and dump out the tiles! How fast can you unscramble a handful of tiles into a word? Can you find more words than your opponent in the allotted time?
Fruity and Extremely Portable
The game comes in a soft, plastic container shaped like a banana, naturally. Carry it with you, in your backpack or in a suitcase on your next trip: it’s not much bigger than an actual banana!
Cost and Value
Bananagrams is one of the most inexpensive games on this list, and its simple, long-lasting game components will hold up to plenty of use.
7. Zeus On the Loose
Mount Olympus is in an uproar: Zeus, king of the gods, has abandoned his throne and escaped to the mortal world! The Olympians - gods and demigods - need your help to bring him back, and whoever can return the thunder god to Olympus will earn the Olympians' undying gratitude.
A Fun Way to Introduce Ancient Mythology
While many older players will be drawn to the game’s ancient-world mythical elements, younger players may be hearing about colorful legendary figures like Zeus and Hera for the first time. If they like the game, reading ancient Greek myths will help them develop a deeper appreciation for the characters and their stories.
Great For Teaching Numeracy
If you can count by tens, that’s all the math skill you’ll need to play this game. Adults can get deeper into the strategy while younger players enjoy the challenge of tracking their score throughout the game.
Cost and Value
This is one of the more inexpensive games on the list, and with colorful, cartoon-illustrated cards and no board to worry about, this game is a good fit for playing outdoors. With a quick, average play-time of only 15 minutes, it can be a great pastime when you need something to entertain the kids awhile, or you just need a fun, little break from the day!
Line up all your blocks to win, but be careful - blocks of a single color can only connect at the corners, not the sides. Each block you place brings you a step closer to victory, but you never know when your opponent will cut you off, or when you'll find yourself trapped in a corner!
Plan Your Moves, Defend Your Territory
Blokus may look simple, but it’s competitive and you can box yourself into a corner if you aren’t careful! When you make your move, two of your own pieces can only touch on the corners, not along an edge, so your options get more and more limited as time goes on, forcing you to confront your opponents over every inch of territory.
Replay Value For All Ages
You win a game of Blokus by having the least remaining pieces when there’s no more room on the board. Once younger players get the hang of the rules, they will want to play again and again to see who can conquer the most territory!
Cost and Value
Blokus is one of the lowest-priced games on this list, so it’s easy to add to your collection in time for your next outdoor adventure. Its geometric playing pieces are sturdy and can stand up to the elements a little!
Now's your chance to play with bugs - protect the Queen, deploy your warriors, and keep the hive alive. Whoever can surround and capture the enemy Queen will be the victor, so hatch a plan and get playing!
Play With Bugs, In Nature!
The game’s portability is a perfect fit for its insect theme. Take it with you into the wilderness, to the beach, or anywhere in the great outdoors, and you can place your tiles on any surface you like - they’re made of a smooth, molded plastic that is both easy to clean and sturdy enough to keep from blowing away if nature gets a little natural on your game!
Expansion Sets For Expanding the Fun
Hive is at the higher end of the cost range on this list, but it’s got high-quality components and lots of replay value. After getting the hang of the game, you can incorporate Hive expansions like Hive: Pillbug, Hive: Ladybug, and Hive: Pocket Edition, which add new kinds of bugs and new rules to play.
Cost and Value
With its strong nature theme, moderate price, few components to worry about, and rules that are simple but flexible, Hive (which comes with its own travel pouch) is an excellent addition to your camping “go bag”!
Line up your pieces to win, but first, you'll have to outwit the others, who can block, corner, and gobble up your pieces if you don't do it first.
Compact and Portable
This is an easy game to take on the go, and lightweight enough for little hands to carry. The simple game setup means you can get started easily when you’re ready to play.
Simple to Learn, Fun to Master
Gobblet tests players’ spatial reasoning and strategic thinking, requiring you to outwit, outmaneuver, and of course, eat your opponents and their pieces. Hollow playing pieces mean that when larger pieces capture smaller ones, you can put your big piece directly atop the small one and “gobblet” it up!
Cost and Value
Gobblet’s high-quality components put its price tag at the higher end of this list, with polished, wooden game pieces, a painted, beautifully textured game board, and best of all, you can fit all the pieces inside the board when you’re done.
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