Board games for university

Alternative title: a potential way to make friends at University.

Tired of coffee dates? Spending too much time at the library? Maybe the conversation at the get-together has died out and you need something to break the silence?

I really like board games and have found that nothing gets other students to act as silly as a group game. So, I have compiled a list of some that have been popular in my flat. However, there are many, many board games out there! Charity shops are a go-to for me, you don’t have to spend £30 on a brand-new monopoly – and you can even find some cool vintage ones scattered around.

So, here’s 5 board games I usually bring out.

Uno (2-10 Players)

Uno is a great ice breaker game. The rules are easy; it largely relies on luck and there aren’t many moments for the potential breaking of a newfound friendship. Of course, like any board game, it can be…tense, but that is always part of the fun. For a lot of people, Uno is nostalgic and not many people will turn it down! Plus, most games are short so you know you will not be stuck playing the game until 3am. Well, hopefully.

However, make sure you discuss house rules: can you stack the +2’s and +4’s? Do you say Uno when you place the card on the table, or when you’re just about to? It can get tense, so be make sure to set these rules!

The Pretender (4-6 Players)


The pretender is a game of mini charades, bluffing and suspicion. Each round, the pretender aims to, well, pretend that they know what is going on. The pretender can win by faking their way through the game and trying to work out what everyone is. Others have to detect the pretender. There are many games similar to this, but I thought I would put it on the list since I own this version.

The game does take a round or two to get a grip of and, due to the nature, you might want to prepare for some silliness and coming out of your shell! Perhaps this is a game to play with your closer friends.

Jenga (2+ Players)

Jenga is another classic game and there are various knockoffs that are cheaper but just as fun. I would recommend Uno Stacko – a combination of Uno and Jenga! This classic game only requires a table and (sometimes very little) patience to play, so it is always an easy game to get people to join in with. Moreover, you can’t really go wrong with the rules so it avoids too much argument.

Test your friends’ ability to keep the tower going and share your highest towers on social media. Most people like Jenga, and you can always blame your failure on someone breathing too heavily.

Salem 1692 (4-12 Players)


Accuse and defend your way to victory! Similarly, to the Pretender, Salem requires you to maintain or find the secret identity. Created by Façade Games (who put out different, really unique historic games), Salem can get incredibly tense – whether that is because others have figured out you are the witch, or because others will not believe that you are an innocent member of the town! It’s worth checking out and get really interesting the more people there are – plus it comes with an adorable little hammer.

The game rules are much longer than for the other games listed here and the game can get pretty silly, so I would set out more time to play this one and maybe not pull it out the first time you meet people. But, frankly, it depends on your confidence levels.

Risk (2-6 Players)

This one is last on the list because I have indeed not only got into incredibly passionate arguments over this game and have on several occasions been forced to stay up way too late playing it. Risk can get tense with making and breaking of alliances, but, overall, it’s an incredibly fun game to play. You try to build up your empire on a map, taking up more land than your opponents. You ‘fight’ via chance (rolling the dice), but you can move more or less strategically with practice.

Definitely worth checking out if you have never played this classic game before!

However, as I said, there are many more! I have recently found a Chicken run game that I am excited to play. Other crazy finds have included Hell’s Kitchen and a game from the 1980’s, so go out and explore.