19 Board Games that Were Popular in the 1950s and 1960s

Board games have been around for centuries in many forms. That said, the choices were very limited back then. However, the middle of the 20th century saw a considerable increase in various exciting and new games introduced into the market suitable for all ages. 

Board games are mostly tabletop games. These games typically use several pieces to place or move on a board with pre-marked indications, images, and instructions. Other elements are an integral part of board games, such as a table, role-playing, dices, cards, and other miniature games. Mostly, a board game requires a minimum of two people, but the maximum number of players depends on the type of each game. 

If you are a board games aficionado, you are in the right place. This post will give you interesting knowledge about some of the best board games from the 1950s and 1960s that are still popular. We have rounded up some of the best games from the two decades for your knowledge and entertainment. 

So without further ado, let us dive right into the world of board games and find out which ones were popular back in the vintage era of the 50s and 60s.

Table of contents

  1. Candy Land, 1950

Candy Land is a board game for kids aged three or more. The game first appeared in 1950 and was an instant hit amongst the kids and parents. If you loved playing Candy Land as a child, you can still get your hands on it and relive the magical journey to sweet little surprises. 

This version of the game is suitable for beginners, featuring movers shaped as adorable gingerbread men. The game is about the race to a castle, and as a player, you will encounter several delicious surprises as while moving the pawn around the board in an exciting race. 

Candy Land is an excellent game for younger kids to enjoy as it does not require them to read. Other features include sweet destinations, colored cards, and fun illustrations your kids are going to love. 

  1. Afrikan Tahti, 1951

Afrikan Tahti hailed for the first time in 1951 and was available in several languages. The game first appeared in Helsinki, Finland exploring stories about the world’s largest diamond known as the Star of Africa. 

The game requires two to six players n total and takes you on an exciting journey via land, air, or sea route following a pre-destined course to play this exciting game. The game is suitable for any kid aged 5 and up, your young ones are going to love this one. 

  1. Scrabble, 1952

Scrabble came out in 1952 and is now probably one of the most well-known and classic board games in the world. The game is perfect for having fun with family and friends by racking up letters and building great words. 

This classic scrabble game has a game guide and letter tiles for an articulate showdown with your opponent. You will also get one game board, four tile racks, 100 letter tiles made of wood, a drawstring letter bag, and a guide to help you start. 

Set it up and have a wordy head-to-head contest with your loved ones. 

  1. Peter Pan, 1953

Peter Pan came out around the same time as Disney’s animated film by the same name. This board game is all about the journey to Never Land. You get a spinner as a guide, and also get to choose to play as several characters, including Peter Pan, John Darling, Wendy Darling, and Michael Darling. 

Each of these characters comes with personal instruction cards that you must follow on your journey to Never Land and back. 

  1. Careers, 1955

Careers first appeared in the markets in 1955 and since then evolved into several editions. The original might not be available, but you can still enjoy the classic in its modern form. The game is all about fame, fortune, and happiness, depending on what you choose. 

If you are looking for a family entertainment board game, Careers is perfect for 2 to 6 players. Give it a try. 

  1. Yahtzee, 1956

If you are looking for a classic board game with a perfect mix of skills and chances, Yahtzee is a perfect candidate. Since its inception, this classic game from 1956 is one of the most known dice board games and continues to sell over 50 million games every year. 

The name of this board game means “the best hand.” This means to get a perfect score; you will have to roll a 5-of-a-kind. The odds are pretty slim, but hey, you would love to try right. 

While luck has to role to play in a game of Yahtzee, you still have to come up with a strategy. The game is fast-paced and ends after each player has had 13 turns. You will also have to fill each box in the board’s column with a zero or a score. The team or player with the highest accumulative score for all games played wins.

The game comes with five white dice, eight bonus chips, a score pad, and a storage tray and instruction sheet. Yahtzee is a fun game for anyone from the age of 8 to 50. 

  1. Risk: A Winning Moves Board Game, 1957

Risk is a one-of-a-kind board game that offers a unique experience every time you play it. The game has been around since 1957 and requires the players to use sound strategy with a pinch of luck. You will have to hone your diplomacy skills in order to get be persuasive so your opponent can attack someone else instead of you. 

To win, you have to make the right moves and conquer the world. Make a single mistake, and the opponent will wipe you out. 

The game comes with beautifully crafted wooden army pieces, high-quality dices, a deck of cards, and a rules booklet. The game is suitable for aged eight or up and can accommodate 2 to 6 players in a single game. 

  1. Why 1958

If you have played the mysterious game of Clue, then you are going to love why as well. The game appeared after the popularity of Alfred Hitchcock’s mystery series and started flying off the shelves. In this game, you can choose to play from four detective characters. These are Sergeant Charlie Clam, Dick Crazy, Money, and Shylock Bones. 

The goal is to capture the ghosts of Napoleon, Daniel Boone, Cleopatra, Pocahontas, Nero, and Henry the Eighth. For this, you will also need the motive cards and weapons you will find in the box. 

So whether you are a horror movie buff, an Alfred Hitchcock fan, or looking for a fun board game for your Halloween party, you can never go wrong with Why. 

  1. Avalon Hill’s Diplomacy, 1959

Looking for a board game that can involve the entire family in a single game? Then you must try the classic known as Avalon Hill’s Diplomacy. The game hails from the year 1959 and is a perfect fit for family activity as it can accommodate 2 to 7 players in a single game. 

The game follows a European political theme with a plot about intrigue, betrayal, and trust. The total game playtime is 360 minutes, but it is worth it as Diplomacy is one of the best strategy board games of all time. 

The game tests your negotiation skills, as well may require clever and deceitful thinking. The goal is to outwit the balance of cooperation to win dominance over a continent. 

  1. The Game of Life, 1960

Hasbro’s board game The Game of Life first appeared in 1960. The game takes you back in time back to the 1950’s New York to experience the marvelous world of Mrs. Maisel. The game of life requires the players to chase their dreams by choosing a path to fame and fortune. 

This game's journey takes you through the ups and downs of life while trying to make it big in New York City. You can either end up being filthy rich or end up in a rotten basement apartment. It is up to you to either give up or take your chances and become famous; the latter makes you the winner of the game. 

If you are looking for a board game that can be a fun party activity, then get yourself the game of life: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel edition. You and your friends are going to have a great laugh while playing this one.

The board games have a wide range of interesting components. These include a base, dial, cardboard insert, and pointer. There are 108 cards with 90 events, 6 college careers, 6 careers, 6 apartments, 6 cars, 6 comedy show posters, and 48 pegs. You also get a money pack with promissory notes, insurance certificates, a money tray, and playing instructions. 

  1. Stratego: A Vintage Board Game, 1962

Fancy a game of battlefield on a board? Well, it does not get any better than Stratego. In this game from 1962, you will get an army with six bombs, and your mission will be to protect your flag and capture the flag of the opponent player. 

You will need to use your strategic thinking skills to secretly plant bombs and place your army men and flag on the Stratego board game. However, you must remember that your opponent will be on the same mission, so you must also plan a defense against his attack. 

  1. Hasbro’s Acquire, 1962

If you are into buildings, construction and have a creative mind, Acquire might pique your interest. This game has been around since 1962, and the challenges the players to imagine, plan, build and own a super city known as Saxon City. 

This city is bustling with new investors and startups with a promise to be a center of entertainment, marketing, food, fashion, and other industries. You have to compete with other players to own the major shares of the most successful cooperation. 

In order to win, the board game will give you opportunities to make money by collaborating and merging with corporations, making alliances, and even expanding your own corporation. If you have a mindset of a businessman or wish to develop skills, then Acquire is a fun way of doing that. 

The game is suitable for 2 to 6 players and includes 100 building tiles, a game board, 11 corporation banners, 7 headquarters buildings, 168 stock cards, a stock market tray, 6 info cards, a money pack, and a game guide

Learn to keep trade or sell your stocks strategically. The player with the highest stakes/money wins the game. 

  1. Mouse Trap, 1963

Remember playing the good ole Mouse Trap board game as a child? Well, you can still introduce your young ones to this classic from the year 1963. The game is suitable for children aged 6 or above and one of the most entertaining board games of all time. 

You can use it for a family activity or when your kids have play dates or sleepovers. The game is all about mouse-catching action. The players make their way around the board while collecting cheese and stealing it from other players too. 

The game is perfect for helping with your child’s development. When your young ones play Mouse Trap, they will practice valuable skills like decision making, cause and effect, and construction. 

  1. Hands Down, 1964

Are you looking for a board game with slap-happy fun? Then you are going to love Hands Down. This board game is perfect for energetic and competitive kids aged between 6 and 12. The best part is there is not a lot of strategy involved. 

The game from 1964 can accommodate 3 to 4 players. They have to draw and combine all the cards in order to make a pair. Your job is to guess your opponent actually has a pair, or they are actually bluffing? Get it right, fast, and do not be the last, or you will end up being the loser. 

  1. Trouble, 1965

Winning Moves Games introduced a fantastic board game in 1965 known as Trouble. This classic game is still popular amongst board games enthusiasts and requires the first player to move all four pegs across the board and to the finish. 

Head to the finish by popping the dice in the dice popper and try to move as far as you can on the game board. You will have to race all four pegs to the finish line as quickly as you can. However, you must watch out for your opponent’s pegs. If they land on yours, you are in TROUBLE and you will have to move your peg back to the starting point. 

The game is perfect for kids aged 5 and up, and it can accommodate 2 to 4 players. The game includes a plastic game unit with a pop-o-matic dice roller, instructions, and 16 playing pegs. 

  1. Twister, 1966

Who does not love Twister? After all, it is the most fun-loving board game that requires you to be physically involved on the board itself. This classic and probably the most loved game worldwide first appeared in 1966 and is still a favorite. 

The game celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and continues to fill our homes with laughter as you and your loved one end up tied in a knot. The best part is to see your family and friends bending in awkward, funny positions when they are not flexible at all. 

Twister is a one-of-a-kind board game with a plastic mat as a board game, and you are the pawns. The mat has large different colored circles in four rows and comes with a spinner with matching color sections. After each spin, you have to place a hand or foot on a correct dot as per the color on the spinner.

So, whether it is family fun you are after or looking for a party prop, a game of Twister is always a great choice. 

  1. Ouija, 1967

Ouija pronounces “wee-ja” or “wee-gee” and is a classic board game for spelling fun. You can ask a question in a game and wait for the board to show you the answer. This game takes the theme from a 134 years old report from 1886 about a “talking board” with a spirit of a mystifying oracle. 

If you are into spooky stuff, Ouija is a perfect board game for Halloween or other theme parties. This game comes with a sturdy wooden Ouija board with a plastic message indicator and original graphics. 

The game is suitable for two players and only recommended for kids aged 8 or up. 

  1. Don’t Break the Ice, 1968

This classic game first became a household name back in 1968. Kids loved it because it is all about helping Phillip the Penguin make an igloo by chopping some ice blocks. This board game is full of suspense and requires careful strategy as your goal is to knock out ice blocks without breaking the ice, or Phillip will fall through it. 

You tap the ice blocks out one by one while keeping Phillip on top. Do that, and you are the winner! The game is suitable for 2 to 4 players. The game board elements include an ice tray frame, 1 large ice block, 2 mallets, 5 ice tray legs, 32 small blocks of ice, instructions, and of course, Phillip the Penguin. 

If you are looking for a fun and exciting game for your young ones, then Don’t Break the Ice is a perfect candidate. Give it to your kid and see them making their way around the board, trying to save Phillip from falling. 

  1. Ant in the Pants, 1969

The classic board game from 1969 is for young toddlers of 3 and above. There can be 2 to 4 players in a game, and the goal is for them to flip all the ants inside a dog’s pants one by one. Whoever gets them all in wins! 

The game includes suspenders and pants, a cardboard canine, and 16 ants. The game also appeared once in a South Park episode and regained its popularity ever since. 

So what are you waiting for? Have your pick and enjoy the fun.

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