Trivia board games have been around for decades. These games have become family favorites and can be found in almost every home in North America. Their allure comes from being a fun and educational activity the whole family can enjoy. There is an ever-growing variety of these games, although without a doubt, the best known one is Trivial Pursuit.

Trivia games rely on more than luck and strategy, they require the players have knowledge and to use their brain power – for this reason, not everyone is a fan of these types of games. However, because they generally have questions concerning history, geography, art and other relevant topics, one could argue that players have an opportunity to learn a lot more from trivia games than from other types of board games.

Key Facts

  • Trivia games are a type of board game where players are asked questions about different interesting but unimportant facts in many diverse topics. However, they can sometimes follow a particular theme.
  • These games can have many positive benefits to players of all ages. Trivia games are even sometimes used as learning and therapeutic tools by teachers, psychologists and speech therapists. They not only encourage teamwork and cooperation, they also contribute to cognitive development and concentration.
  • Because trivia games require the players to have acquired knowledge in order to answer the questions, most of these games are meant for people ages 8 and up and they are usually played with two or more players.

Ranking: The best trivia games on the U.S market

When trying to find an activity that is both fun as well as educational, trivia games are the absolute best way to go. In this section, we have gathered the best-selling trivia games currently available to Americans. All of these games are meant for the whole family to enjoy and by choosing any of them, you’re guaranteed a great time.

No. 1: Gray Matters Games — The Game of Wolf: A Trivia Game

A unique, popular game that is equal parts collaborative and competitive, this Game of Wolf Trivia Game will lead you through questions and quizzes to find out who is stronger, the lone wolf or the pack? This is a fun strategic trivia game where even the best of friends can quickly become enemies. Gameplay is only 30-45 minutes, making it perfect for any party, reunion or travel group. This is the perfect amount of time to draw people in, keep them entertained and wanting more.

This game is Tillywig’s 2019 Top Fun award winning game and recommended by Mensa Mind Games. It is great for both small and large groups of players, allowing anywhere from 4-12 people, best for ages 14 and up. It’s completely interactive with a well-balanced variety of topics. Easy to learn, and fun for everyone, this top rated, best selling edition will surely be the hit of any party.

No. 2: North Star Games — Wits & Wagers: Family Edition

This game by North Star Games is history’s most award winning party game; winning 39 different awards. With easy rules and exciting game play, Wit’s & Wagers will get the whole family cheering and laughing together. This game contains 125 question cards, 5 dry-erase pens, 5 dry-erase answer boards, 5 large Meeples, 5 small Meeples, 1 dry-erase scoreboard and 1 full color book of easy to follow rules.

This family edition includes simpler rules and more family-friendly questions than other editions. It’s perfect for family game nights or for the kids to take to sleepovers and play with their friends. All you have to do is set up the teams, pick the questions cards, take a guess and score points by choosing whose guess is closest. This game is great for kids 6 and up and requires at least 3 players to play.This is a trivia game where even kids can beat their parents!

No. 3: Professor Noggin — Educational Trivia Based Card Game for Kids

One of Amazon’s top choices, this is a game for bird lovers of all kinds! While this game is said to be made for kids, it’s a trivia game that people of all ages can enjoy! If you love birds but aren’t versed in the name and facts of them all, this game is perfect for you. This game is appropriate for kids ages 6 and up, though keep in mind that some of the technical terms for each bird can be difficult. A great opportunity for kids to increase their linguistic capabilities and expand their vocabulary!

The game comes set with cards and dice. Roll the dice, pick a card that corresponds to the number rolled and test your bird knowledge. Person with the most cards at the end of the game wins. A fun and educational game that shows pictures and includes loads of bird facts on each one. This game can be a perfect companion on bird watching and traveling trips. There are two levels, easy and hard and can easily be added to classrooms or as a supplement for homeschooling parents.

No. 4: Endless Games – Everybody Knows

This is the ultimate game to test your knowledge. Can you answer common, everyday questions faster than your friends? You’ll find out in this exciting question and answer trivia game! It is a fun and engaging game meant for players ages 12 and up. It is face-paced, testing knowledge of everyday facts under the pressure of a 60 second timer. Everybody knows comes with 500 questions cards, a sand timer, dry erase marker and scorecard.

The creators at Endless games have designed this game to incorporate multiple scoring styles. You can play a traditional game with 1 point per right answer, or you can play an “all or nothing” game challenge that truly tests everyone’s skills to see who is the best. An exciting twist on regular trivia games! This game doesn’t take long, making it perfect for young teens. The rules are easy to learn and the game is difficult to stop playing. Whether you are a child or an adult, you’ll enjoy the strategy this game incorporates.

No. 5: TreeTurtle — Unstable Unicorns

Unstable Unicorns is one of Amazon’s top choices for games and is highly rated among reviewers and is one of kickstarter’s top 50 most backed projects of all time. This card game created by TreeTurtle is a strategy game that will destroy friendships, but in a good way. Players love the unpredictability that keeps boredom at bay. Each time you play it is just as hilarious and thrilling as the last time. The cards are creative and entertaining, keeping the “battlefield” exciting round after round.

This game is great for one-on-one play all the way up to large party groups. You may think that because there are unicorns involved, it is an innocent and lighthearted game. However, winning this game involves building your stablew of unicorns, defending your stable and attacking your opponents. If you are playing with only two players, the rules and cards are different, so be sure to keep that in mind before shuffling the deck.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about trivia games

Everyone likes to showcase their knowledge, that’s probably why these kind of games are so much fun. You get to show your skills while also learning all sorts of new things. You can get a lot from these games, if you have all the right information. In this next section we have answered all the most frequently asked questions from buyers to help you ensure you get the most out of the game you choose.

Trivia games are not meant only for kids – they are also very popular among adults.
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What are trivia games exactly and where did they come from?

Trivia is a type of game in which players are asked a series of questions about different themes, the goal is to get as many correct answers as possible. Trivia games are usually organized as part of events, parties and as pub entertainment. The themes of these games are often educational in nature and they cover topics from history, literature, sports and entertainment, among many others. Normally contestants are organized in teams and the team who gets the highest score wins.

Trivia games started and date back to the extremely successful board game Trivial Pursuit, which was created by sports editor Scott Abbott and photographer Chris Haney. It was brought to market in 1981 and within just one year it was already famous. To date, it has sold around 88 million copies worldwide and it continues to be the favorite of its genre.

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Did you know that the leading bestseller trivia game in North America, and worldwide for that matter, is indisputably Trivial Pursuit from Hasbro.

What are the benefits of trivia games?

Board games overall are already considered educational and beneficial to children. However, trivia games in particular are great tools for education while providing entertainment. As you may know, in North America it has been established that the best way for kids to learn is through playful and fun activities. Want more specifics? Below is a list with the main benefits of these games.

  • Increases and improves concentration: Players must pay attention in order to understand the question quickly and give the right answer in time.
  • Develop and hone the skills of cooperation and teamwork: This is because the majority of these games are meant to be played in groups or teams.
  • Helps improve communication and social skills: By having to play with others, players have to constantly compromise and negotiate with others in order for the game to be successful.
  • They teach kids about structure and rules: Because of dynamic flow of these games, they only work out well if everyone follows the rules.
  • Great lessons in winning and losing: These types of games help players appreciate that the most important thing is to have fun and maybe learn a few things while at it.
  • Supports cognitive development: With trivia games, children and adults alike, are continuously learning while playing. Since most of the questions are educational in nature, contestants are gathering knowledge in all sorts of topics during the game.

What is the recommended age for playing trivia games?

In order to actively participate in these games players usually need to be competent readers (for reading cards and other aspects of the game), they also need to have adequate listening, concentration and operational skills. This means that unfortunately, the biggest downside of this kind of game is that they are typically designed for 8 years and over. Nonetheless, in some cases you can still find games where children as young as 6 can play.

Depending on the theme you can find games with questions that are designed mainly for adults. However, in most games questions are normally designed for a wider age range that also includes school-age kids. Keep in mind that even in these games, a younger child may not yet have the required knowledge or skills to play the game. In these cases, they may still benefit from participating while not being active participants by listening and learning. This of course depends on the child’s ability to self regulate.

Regine GalantiClinical Psychologist

“I often use board games as a mechanism to work on parent-child relationships. They can also be used to promote the child’s ability to self regulate”

What categories of trivia games are there?

If you walk into any Target or Walmart in North America, you will find a wide selection of brands, themes and types of trivia games. The objective in all of these games is fairly similar, they are generally designed to encourage players of all ages to learn new things while having fun. Each game however, will have a different theme or topic, this is what usually sets one model apart from the other. Here’s a list of the most common types trivia games in the U.S:

  • Geography: In these games you’ll find questions about rivers, capitals, mountains, countries and populations, among other geographical topics. In these games you’ll find questions like: “What is the largest country in the world?”
  • Literature and art: These games will ask about artists and their works throughout the ages. You’ll learn about actors, writers, painters, books, films and music. In these games you’ll find questions like: “At what age did Mozart compose his first symphony?”
  • History: The games in this theme cover interesting facts about places, dates, characters and events throughout history. In these games you’ll find questions like: “What is La Carta Magna”?
  • Entertainment: These games will have questions that will relate to movies and theatre, directors, actors, music and festivals. In these games you’ll find questions like: “Who directed and won Oscars for the movie Titanic?”
  • Science and nature: With this games you’ll be asked questions about the human body, animals, matter, space and scientific inventions. In these games you’ll find questions like: “How many bones are there in the human body?”
  • Sport and hobbies: This games will ask you questions about different sports like basketball and baseball, the Olympics, athletes and records. In these games you’ll find questions like: “What country hosted the first olympic winter games? “

Should parents play trivia games with their children?

Absolutely, even if the game is made for children, they can still be lots of fun for adults as well. Grown-ups will enjoy them in the same way, having fun while learning new fun facts. What’s more, playing with your kids will mean working together as a team, improving everyone’s skills of communication and cooperation.

For these reasons, trivia games have many advantages for all who play, whether it is with your children or not. These games are even used in schools and a range of other educational and therapeutic settings. Either way, bringing one of these games home is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Young children learn best through play and fun activities.
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What types of trivia games are there?

There are of course the classic trivia games like Trivial Pursuit, but over the years other forms of trivia games have popped up, adding a great deal of variety to the genre by including, for example, writing elements, electronic accessories and different categories and themes. All of these games will also be intended for different age ranges and with varyin levels of difficulty.

There are also special editions of Trivial Pursuit and other models which have been released over the years, each with their own specific theme. Some of the most famous are “Friends” and “Game of Thrones” with questions relating to the shows and their production. There are also editions aimed at younger audiences with themes like “Disney” and “Harry Potter”.

Shopping Criteria

Now that you know the basics about trivia games and, above all, their benefits, we have no doubt you’re now considering getting one for your kids, or maybe even for yourself! When looking to find a game that will suit your needs or be apt for the whole family, follow the criteria we outline in this next section. With this information and keeping in mind that in North America there are excellent (and endless) choices, we are certain you are sure to find the perfect game.

  • Game format
  • Categories and themes
  • Number of players
  • Ages
  • Game Duration

Ages

Trivia games are usually designed for players ages 8 and up, so this is the first thing you should keep in mind when trying to find the most adequate game. That being said, these games are great for adults as well, so it may also be something you buy to play with friends.

If you keep in mind the age of the people who will be playing the game, you’ll easily be able to determine which game and theme is more appropriate, from “Disney” editions for kids to Trivial Pursuit’s genius or “Star Wars” editions for older players. Worry not, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

Beatrice Tauber PriorClinical Psychologist and Author

“Families are struggling to find the balance between digital and [real-life] connections, board games help provide a tool for that emotional connection to each other.”

Categories and themes

In the sections before we covered the most popular themes in trivia games. Knowing there is choice is good because in some cases, certain categories may be more suitable than others. For instance, your daughter may love Disney movies, so an edition relating to all things Disney may be the best option to keep her involved.

On the other hand, keep in mind that if you buy a certain special edition, it may be that not everyone in the family wants to play because they lack the specific knowledge related to that subject. If it’s the case that people from different ages and backgrounds will be playing together, we suggest you opt for a trivia game that offers varying degrees of difficulty, and that offers topics of general knowledge – this will ensure that everyone will enjoy the game.

Games are better when the whole family can be involved.
(Source: Iakov Filimonov: 51765920/ 123rf.com)

Number of players

The majority of trivia games are designed for multiple players, but you should check whether they can be played with just two people. This is particularly important so that your children can enjoy the game by themselves. Moreover, if you intend to play the game with the whole family, like at Thanksgiving for example, you should also make sure the game allows for a large number of participants.

If you find there are more people than the official number of maximum players, you have the option of forming teams. Usually this could mean splitting into pairs or even sometimes teams as large as 6 people teams. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to play as a family, and having all family members being active participants.

Game format

Despite the fact that trivia games are simultaneously lots of fun and educational; children and adults who are more active may find some of them lack the movement and energy requirements to keep them involved. If you know this is the case, try to find games that are a little more complex, adding pressure with things like a time limit is a great way to increase the stakes.

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In general, board games are often used by pediatricians, psychiatrists, and speech therapists because of their many benefits for children’s development.

Game duration

This is a very important consideration for some players, either because they don’t offer a lot of time, or because they get bored with never-ending games. It’s good to keep in mind that most trivia games usually take at least an hour to play, this is of course dependant on the number of players and how well they do.

Summary

Without a doubt, board games are one of the best ways for everyone to have fun and, beyond that, trivia games are the best way to have fun while also learning. As we mentioned throughout this guide, these games offer countless benefits: they promote teamwork while teaching players to win or lose graciously and improving overall communicational and interpersonal skills, to just name a few.

When choosing the right trivia game, it’s important to consider the age range the game is intended for, the number of players, and the categories included in the questions. Even though Trivial Pursuit is the first game that comes to mind when we say trivia, it’s good to keep in mind that there are many different themes and models of trivia games which offer a wide array of different topics to suit different interests.

We hope you’ll be inspired to find one of these awesome games to enjoy playing with your kids while learning fun facts at the same time. Please share this article on social media and let us know which was your favorite in the comments below!

(Source of the featured image: Pavel Zhukov: 92649752/ 123rf.com)

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