Science is endlessly fascinating, with new discoveries being made every single day. If you just can't get enough chemistry, biology, space exploration, or other kinds of science, you'll want to add a few of these board games to your collection. Some of these science board games are clearly educational, but they're not just for classrooms. They all promise engaging and enjoyable gameplay for experts and amateurs alike. Roll out a new one for your next game night!
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Imagine a worker placement game that's small enough to fit inside a single cell! That's what you get with Cytosis, which is all about cell biology. Collect molecules to build cell components, working toward goals and trying to gain the most health points. If the topic is new to you, you might find the learning curve a little steep, but players say it's worth it. "To learn cell biology takes hours and hours of interesting study," notes one Amazon reviewer. "Spending a few of those hours to learn and play this game is a great way to do some of that learning." (2-5 players, ages 10+)
This award-winning board game is definitely one of the most popular science board games on the market, with over 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. Each player runs a corporation working with other companies to terraform Mars. You must cooperate to succeed, but each CEO is also trying to build up their own victory points and win the overall game.There's no one path to victory, so you can try out new strategies every time you play. (1-5 players, ages 12+)
Travel back to a 19th century monastery and join Gregor Mendel as he performs genetic experiments on pea plants. Turn by turn, you'll select and grow plants, using Punnet Squares to determine your chance of gaining the traits you need to earn the most points. There are even mutation dice to shake up the results! Plan to spend about an hour on this game. (1-5 players, ages 14+)
Here's another fun science board game for history lovers. Work with Lovelace and Babbage as they develop the world's first computer, using quick mental math to solve problems for famous friends like Mary Shelley or Charles Darwin. Build a series of subroutines that earns the most points, and you'll win the game! This fast-paced game takes only 15-30 minutes to play. (2-4 players, ages 14+)
Photosynthesis celebrates the incredible life cycle of trees, requiring a surprising amount of real-life strategy to create a thriving forest. Plant seeds and nurture your saplings until they reach full bloom, when their leaves collect energy points. Watch out, though—taller trees can leave yours in the shade and block them from collecting points! Players love that this game relies on well-thought-out strategy and not random luck. (2-4 players, ages 8+)
When you think about, evolution itself really is a game, with the winners being those who best adapt to fit the environment. Players each develop their own strategy, deciding whether they want to create predators that attack, foragers who hide, or any other combination to make up to 12,000 different creatures. The rules are simple, but like nature itself, the results can be complex and astonishing. (2-6 players, ages 12+)
There's no disguising that this one's more of a learning game, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to play. One Amazon reviewer even called it a teacher's dream! "Just moving around the board gets kids familiar with the periodic table and all the elements. Then the goal cards teach kids what all the different elements can be used for. Next, the way you move teaches kids what is different about all the elements and how they are organized (atomic mass, atomic radius, periodic trends, etc.). I loved it!" (2-6 players, ages 10+)
Who knew there were so many science board games for history fans? In this one, take on the role of an 18th century student vying to become one of the great scholars of the age. Play cards from your hand to earn money, attend university, discover new theories, develop innovative tools, and more. Rack up points to see if you can join Sir Newton as one of the preeminent scientists in history! (1-4 players, ages 14+)
If you're the kind of person who sees the letters on the periodic table as parts of words, this game is for you! Each player has 45 seconds to form as many words as possible using the letter combinations from the table. Here's the catch: you earn points based on the atomic number of each letter combo. The gameplay may be all about words, but you'll probably absorb the elements and their abbreviations as you play, without even trying. (2+ players, ages 8+)
Covalence is a cooperative game. One player is the "Knower," who has knowledge of the secret compounds that need to be formed. They give clues to the other players, the "Builders," who try to deduce what those compounds are. There are graded levels of play, so even chemistry newbies can succeed. This educational game is also terrific for encouraging communication and cooperation skills. (2-4 players, ages 8+)
You'll learn a lot while you're playing this card-drafting game, but that doesn't mean it's only for classrooms. There's plenty of strategy involved as you collect and arrange cards, earning points by aligning animals with the habitats they need most. Maximize your biodiversity to win! The gorgeous artwork alone makes this game a real pleasure to play. (2-6 players, ages 10+)
This game puts a prehistoric spin on evolution, taking you back to 90,000 B.C.E. to battle it out as one of the animal groups: mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, insect, or arachnid. Everyone is equal when the game starts, but must evolve through pawn placement to claim powerful card effects and ultimately win the game of survival of the fittest. This is a complex game that experienced gamers will truly enjoy, but new players will pick it up over time. (2-6 players, ages 12+)
If you love these science board games, don't miss our roundup of the best space board games!