Board games have a surprisingly long history and have been a main form of entertainment until recently (see the links at the bottom of the post). Some ancient games include senet, the Royal Game of Ur, Go, Mancala, chess, and checkers. With television, video games, and the internet available, board games often take a back seat to other entertainment, but, sometimes, they get to come back into the spotlight inside these new mediums.
The first game on this list is Jumanji, which started as a 1981 children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. The picture book is about a board game that brings a jungle adventure to life for the players, and they have to complete the game to return everything back to normal.
The book was then translated to the silver screen and became an animated TV series from 1996-1999.
A follow-up movie titled, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, was created in 2017, in which the board game transforms itself into a video game for the characters to play.
As of writing this article, the release date for what is currently referred to as Jumanji 3 (the sequel to the 2017 Jumanji) is set for December 2019, so there might be a real video game to play yet, though there's no guarantee it will actually trap you inside until you win the game.
If you enjoyed any version of Jumanji, you could also check out Zathura, also written by Chris Van Allsburg, which features a space board game adventure. Zathura also has its own movie (2005), and, of course, its own real board game.
Clue is the last board game that inspired spin-offs on this list, as getting into the growing list of books and movies based on video games, mobile games, or very old games like chess, would be a bit too much. Clue was created in 1949 and now has a movie, a game show (Cluedo, 1990-1993), a graphic novel (2018) version of Clue, and many, many themed versions of the board game, including Harry Potter (which I would really like to play).
- Start your own tradition with family and/or friends, and make sure to include some delicious treats with Gourmet Game Night or from this article on Kitchn.
- Want to make your own games? Try our suggestions here, or DIY some board games based on popular books and movies: Harry Potter Monopoly, Doctor Who Guess Who, and the Inside Out board game
- Find out about the history of board games and card games online: