Tweens can be a tricky age group to choose games for. They're no longer little kids, but they're not quite ready for some of the more adult options out there. That's why we asked our Underdog Advisors team to offer up their suggestions for the best board games for 10-12 year olds, the ones their tweens love to play again and again. They came through with lots of great ideas! Here are some of their most-recommended games.
We use Amazon affiliate links to recommend products we trust and love, so we might earn a small commission if you decide to purchase. However, we believe in giving back as a company, so we'll be donating these profits back to great nonprofits making a difference in the world.
Join fellow explorers in a shared submarine as you seek treasure on the ocean floor. Each player tries to gather as many ruin chips as possible per round. Be careful though, because you only have a certain amount of air. The rules are easy and the 30-minute playing time is terrific for this age group. (2-6 players, ages 8+)
The classic code-breaking game has been one of the best board games for 10-12 year olds for decades now. One player sets a pattern of four colored beads, and the other player makes educated guesses turn by turn to figure it out. This quick game is one they'll play over and over. (2 players, ages 8+)
In ancient times, the emperor of China gave the emperor of Japan the gift of a panda. The players of Takenoko are in charge of growing bamboo and caring for this special creature. Gain new land, plant young shoots, dig irrigation canals, and feed the mischievous panda before he rampages through your garden! Plan to spend about 45 minutes on a game. (2-4 players, ages 8+)
We love hearing how much 10-12 year olds enjoy playing our games! Travel the world and visit some of the most incredible places on the planet, picking up souvenirs along the way. Gain points by making smart choices along your route, gathering souvenir sets, and angling for region bonuses. This is a perfect game for families to play together. (2-5 players, ages 10+)
The box says ages 13 and up, but our Advisors say that 10-12 year olds can definitely play and enjoy this one. In the valley of Everdell, players help critters settle new territories and build new cities. This easy-to-learn tableau building and worker placement game appeals to tweens with its animal protagonists, making this an adventure they'll start young and play for years. (1-4 players, ages 10+)
Need a good party game for this age? Double Ditto is always a favorite! Pick a card and read the prompt, then scribble down two answers you think others might guess. As others reveal their own answers, you'll find out who you're in sync with. There's always a lot of laughter with this creative pick. (4+ players, ages 10+)
Not all kids love to compete against each other; some would rather play cooperatively. Forbidden Desert is perfect for this, as players work together to uncover an old flying machine buried in the desert. You actually get to assemble the pieces of a mini ship as you play, working to escape the harsh environment before you wind up buried in the sand yourselves. (2-5 players, ages 10+)
Zombie Kidz was a big hit with this age group, and Zombie Teenz is the equally popular follow-up. This fast-paced cooperative game has kids racing around town trying to gather up the ingredients they need to make an anti-zombie antidote. The great thing is that this game really does evolve over time. Each time you play, you work your way toward new envelopes to open (14 in total), which add twists and enrichment to the original gameplay. (2-4 players, ages 8+)
In this deck-building game, sneak into a dragon's lair to steal the loot. Start by collecting skill cards and money to buy the tools you need to gather the most treasure and win the game. Deeper dives reward you with bigger treasure hauls. But beware—one false move and you'll hear the dreaded "Clank!" as the dragon awakes! (2-4 players, ages 10+)
You're never too old to get a little silly! Each player in this card game is working to build the ultimate Unicorn Army. But you'll also need to keep your opponents from doing the same, playing different cards to frustrate their efforts along the way. This incredibly popular hit has spawned multiple expansion packs, so this is a game that's ready to grow the more you play it. (2-8 players, ages 8+)
Looking for more ideas? Check out these Great Board Games for Teens That They'll Actually Play!