As time goes by, it looks like the world around us is going faster with each passing day. Don't believe it? Then when was the last time you got the opportunity to spend some quality time with your family?
Yeah, the opportunities for these pleasant distractions are running few and far in between as of late, don't they? And you know what an even bigger problem is? Even if we get the chance to hang out together for a bit, we are too distracted with other things to even bother.
Well, here's the good news – the cure to both of these problems can be found in a good old family game room. First, setting one up will definitely require some teamwork and shared effort. Second, once you are done, everyone will have an excellent excuse to spend as much time there as possible.
And the most important thing – game rooms are tons of fun. You will never run out of exciting things to do there.
So, let us quickly breeze through some of the best game room games you can currently buy and see how you can set them up in the most effortless manner.
Table of Contents
Best Game Room Games
This is an easy pick. I mean, what can I say about darts that hasn’t already been said? The game is easy to learn, difficult to master, competitive as hell, and allows up to four players to duke it out until the question “Who is the best sharpshooter?” is settled once and for all.
Or, at least, until the next round.
Putting aside this incredibly addictive fun factor, dartboards are usually reasonably affordable, take up very little room, and can be installed even in a cabinet. The electronic dartboards also offer the added benefit of soft-tip darts that are very kind to the surrounding walls and furniture. But, as you can guess, this option is a bit pricier.
Ultimately, the level of enjoyment you’ll get will largely depend on the board. As a rule of thumb, best dartboard sets should include quality darts, be easy to mount, feature some sort of scoreboard, and, finally, storage racks where you can keep the darts when they are not used.
Here is yet another classic game for your future game room. Much like darts, the pool is a game that doesn't require too much skill (of course, unless you want to go competitive), and offers tons of fun. The missed shots are a source of fun rather than frustration, and family setting makes the game all the more engaging. So, tons of joy for up to four players.
The downside of pool tables is that they are, by default, pretty clunky so they can take a big bite out of the game room's floor plan. The second thing you should take into consideration is the price. As you can assume, pool tables make much more substantial investments than dartboards.
Still, I advise you to give it a try. The game is very classy, and the replay value is off the charts.
#3. Table Tennis
We are venturing deep into the territory of the popular indoor sports now, and that's just another reason to get excited. Why? Well, if you plan to spend a lot of time in the game room, why wouldn't you at least get some exercise.
And believe me – table tennis will make you break a serious sweat.
The other perks of this sport I would like to mention are that the learning curve is pretty forgivable, the equipment more than affordable (everything except the tables), and the adrenaline rush you get out of it incredible.
Just make sure the set you are buying covers everything a beginner may need, ranging from the net to the balls. Also, if you are still inexperienced in the game, the softer racquets that promote a bit more defensive play are probably your best option.
#4. Arcade Games
Ah, the good old arcades… Everyone above the age of 30 will know how it feels spending endless hours bleeding coins on games like Pac-Man or the original Mortal Kombat.
Well, if you are one of the people who fondly remember the time when gaming was expensive and unforgiving, why wouldn’t you share that vintage arcade experience with your kiddos?
Of course, with the frustration caused by lost money off the board.
The modern arcade systems featuring dozens of famous retro games are probably as close to the original groove you'll ever get.
Although you need to keep in mind a couple of things.
If you are on good terms with these things, you have my heartfelt recommendations.
#5. Foosball Table Game
Foosball can be best described as frenzy incarnate. Yeah, there is a good reason why this indoor game has reached such wide popularity.
Get as many people around the table (the game supports up to six players, but it's really a matter of available space), place the ball, and let the hell breaks loose. Even if you had some tactic up to this point, I grant you - it will perish in a second, leaving you with sheer high-octane fun.
The downside of all this is that, since it requires so little skill, foosball tends to become quite tiresome in the long run, so it is best to consume it in short bursts.
Now, why would you invest too much money into something you are going to use so infrequently? Still, if you are a foosball addict, this arcade classic absolutely deserves a place in your future game room.
#6. Air Hockey
Air hockey is such a great game. Rules-wise, there is truly nothing new to be said here. The only thing you need to do is bounce back the pucks until you score the points and win the game. But, if you have a skilled opponent in front of you, every match turns into a nerve-racking game of reflexes, patience, and deception.
All these things make air hockey a very worthwhile experience, so you will never have a problem going back to it regardless of mood or available time.
Of course, there are some drawbacks. For instance, air hockey tables tend to be very bulky, pricey, and you will rarely find a foldable variety. Also, this is the game for only two players. Keeping in mind that quality matches can stretch out for quite some time, taking turns tends to become tedious.
But, even if we take these issues into consideration, air hockey still makes one incredibly solid purchase.
Shuffleboard was never considered a particularly intensive indoor game. But, it really doesn't have to be. On the contrary, if you plan to spend a laid back afternoon chatting with your friends, this portable take on carling will probably suit you far more than wrecking down the foosball table.
Also, taking into account all the different rules and game variations, there is a surprising amount of fun and replay value to be squeezed out of this table – even if you spend a couple of hours behind it.
Some of the apparent downsides of this classic are that younger persons will probably find it too stale. And don't get me started about the size of these things. Shuffleboard is most exciting when the playing field is as stretched as possible.
However, that is the last thing you want to hear if you are short on space.
How to Set Up a Family Game Room
And now that we've gone through some of the most popular indoor games and saw what the market has to offer, let us quickly discuss another critical issue – how to pull this project off?
As we can see, most of the classic games I’ve covered feature pretty large dimensions, and in some cases, their prices are not that different. Obviously, finding the right balance will require careful consideration. I'll give you some tips that can aid you along the way.
1. Have a Talk With Your Friends and Family
So yeah, some of the games that are mentioned above tend to be quite pricey, there is no other way around it. However, there is a difference between spending money and wasting money. If you are going to stack the units that won't be used too frequently, you are running dangerously close to the latter situation.
So talk with your friends and family, see what games they like the most, and give priority to those with the biggest cross-appeal.
2. Measure the Dimensions
This is an absolute must. Before you spend a single dollar, you will need to make sure all of the games you are going to buy will actually be able to fit into the room and remain playable once inside. Also, don't forget you will need to make some room for a couple of furniture pieces as well.
If you don’t have much space, I would advise that you stick to the portable units and try leaving enough clearance in the center of the room.
3. Set a Theme
Ok, game rooms are all about games, but that doesn’t mean they should be entirely utilitarian. On the contrary, you should select some theme and try running with it as far as you can.
You want to turn a room into a neon-washed 80s arcade? Sure, why not? Feeling that your pool would look more authentic in the dim pub setting? Make the game room look like a dark pub then.
The possibilities are endless. The most important thing is that you get the blast out of it.
4. Think About Leisure and Entertainment Options
You can have all the games you like, but no one will want to hang around your room for too long if you don't make sure they feel pleasant there. So, what you can do to make the game room more appealing.
I don’t know, try moving in a couple of comfortable chairs, mini bar, small fridge, sound system and, you know… the other things people find enjoyable and entertaining.
I hope these couple of recommendations and considerations gave you some general idea of how your future game room should look like. What’s most important is that you finally get this long-awaited project rolling.
Sure, you will need to invest some time and money. But your efforts will be rewarded. Can you put a price on the quality time you have spent with your friends and family?
No, there’s no way you can.