Popular 60’s Board Games

Since video games and the internet weren’t as widely available in the 1960s as they are today, most of the people’s favorite pastimes during that period were going outside to play sports or staying indoors to play board games.

There have been hundreds of different board games that were released or played during the 1960s, but there are only a few that stood out amongst all of them because of their fun mechanics and unique gameplay elements. These are some of the best board games in the 60s that you can still play today.

Where to Buy
Chutes and Ladders
The Game of Life
Mouse Trap
Ker Plunk!

1. Chutes and Ladders

Before there was a board game called Snakes and Ladders, there was first the Chutes and Ladders game that was really popular in the 1960s. It has very similar mechanics to the Snakes and Ladders, as the goal of each player is to reach the last tile at the top while climbing ladders to get to the goal faster and avoiding chutes that will send them to the lower tiles. Instead of using dice to move around the board, the Chutes and Ladders game uses a spinner with the numbers 1 to 6.

2. The Game of Life

The Game of Life is a complex board game wherein players must go through different career paths and life moments in order to reach retirement and win the game. Throughout the player’s journey around the board, their play pieces can gain additional companions and even children that may help them go to the goal with more money and more accomplishments. Like the Chutes and Ladders game, the Game of Life utilizes a spinner that each player must use to move towards to end tile.

3. Trouble

Trouble is a regular race to the finish line board game that has several unique mechanics attached to it. For the player to move around the board, they must press the special Pop-O-Matic die roller in the middle that will automatically roll the dice for them. The player who moves all four of his or her play pieces will win the game. However, if another player lands on your play piece, you are in “trouble” as you would have to move that piece right back to the start.

4. Mouse Trap

A game that teaches kids about decision-making and construction, Mouse Trap is considered the first 3D board game that was launched in 1963. In this game, all players must first build a mousetrap within the board, and once it is fully built, players will then try to capture each opposing player’s mouse during their turn. Also, each player has the opportunity to move his or her mouse around the board to avoid traps. The player who caught the most mice wins the game.

5. Candyland

Candyland may be the first board game that kids in the 60s have played before moving on to other board games because of its simple gameplay and mechanics. Players must take turns in moving around the board, and they can maneuver their play pieces by drawing a card and going to the colored tile indicated on the front of the drawn card. On the board, their play pieces will go on a magical journey that sends them to different places in Candyland until they reach “Home Sweet Home.” Those who have fond memories of playing this wonderful game may want to pick this up.

6. Ker Plunk!

Ker Plunk! is a unique board game wherein each player must remove a rod in the middle of a transparent plastic tube while preventing marbles at the top of the rods from falling to the bottom. It is a simple game that requires decision-making skills when choosing a rod to pull out, as one mistake can lead to all the marbles falling at the bottom of the tube. The player who is able to collect rods while letting the least amount of marbles from falling wins the game.

7. Twister

A game that requires each player’s entire body to move around the board, or in this case, a mat to play the game, Twister is one of the best and most popular games of all time, and it has been inducted to the American National Toy Hall of Fame because of its achievements and massive popularity. Players must use the spinner that indicates the part of the body that they need to place on the mat as well as the colored circle where they will place that body part. The players who will fall or let their elbows or knees touch the mat will be eliminated from a round of the game.

8. Clue

Clue, also known as Cluedo in the UK, is a board game that requires players to act as detectives who are aiming to find out which character committed the murder in the board’s mansion. Besides guessing who the killer is, players must also find out the murder weapon used and also the method of how the victim was killed. The player who guesses all of these aspects of the murder correctly wins the round.

9. Operation

Another unique game, Operation lets players serve as surgeons for the poor man named Cavity Sam, who is depicted on the board with many strange ailments. Players must first draw a card and pull out the indicated item out of Cavity Sam’s body using the included tweezers. However, the player’s tweezers must not touch any part of the board, or they will have to end their turn. If an item is pulled out of Sam’s body successfully, he or she will receive the total amount of money indicated on the card. The player who collects the most money will win the game.

10. Monopoly

No one can argue that Monopoly is popular in every decade since its release in 1935, and it will continue to be played by people of all ages because of its complexity that enables it to be filled with many fun rules and features. Monopoly pits players against each other as they will try to earn as much cash as possible while being able to buy properties around the board. Once a player owns a property tile, opposing players must pay the rent for it whenever they end up on the property. Besides earning money, one of the goals of the game is to force other players into bankruptcy by having them pay all of their money on rent and taxes.

Most of the board games included on this list may be obscure for the younger ones, but those who were kids during the 60s will surely experience nostalgia once they see these games being played. For 60s kids who wanted their children to experience playing their favorite board games in the past, then we recommend that they get some of the obscure board games on the list before they are gone.