up to nine players online

Challenging Brain-Boosting Games for Friend Groups

You can have all kinds of fun with your friends. From days out at the beach to dinner parties featuring homecooked meals, a good friend group will always have a selection of activities up their sleeves. And that includes brain-boosting games, which are games that require players to dig deep and muster up all their intellect in order to come out on top. Happily, these games offer more than just an intellectual challenge with your loved ones; they’re engaging, fun, and nowhere near as intense as ‘brain-boosting’ implies. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options. 

Word Games 

First up, word games! There’s nothing that’ll bring out a friend group’s inner competitiveness than a solid word game, which will test which friend has the largest number of words to draw upon. The classic is, of course, Scrabble, which can be played by up to four players. If that game is a little slow for you (only one player plays at a time), then take a look at Bananagrams, a fun word grid game where all players play simultaneously. That one is better for larger groups since up to eight players can play at one time. 

A Casino Classic

Poker is an engaging game regardless of who you’re playing against. Indeed, sometimes it’s better not to know who you’re playing against — you won’t be subject to your friends’ understanding of how your mind, and bluffing style, works when you’re playing poker online against strangers. You can play poker with up to ten people at home or up to nine players online, though some variations allow for just two players to compete. Poker is a brain-boosting game because it involves math, strategic thinking, and risk assessment skills, so be extra wary of any friends in your group who have those assets in abundance; you might need to draw upon your bluffing skills to beat them!


Catan, the highly popular board game first released in 1995, is not your usual game. Aside from being fun and immersive, the game requires players to bring their best strategy, decision-making, and probability-ascertaining skills to the table. The game is suitable for up to four players, and while there’s an element of luck involved in the final outcome, a player cannot forge a path to victory without a healthy dose of brain power

up to nine players online

Trivial Pursuit

Think you’re the quiz expert in your friend group? Well, so does everyone else! A classic way to find out who really is the trivia king or queen is to settle into an evening of Trivial Pursuit. This classic board game contains difficult-but-not-impossible questions, offering the right level of challenge. It’s usually best to play with friend groups of the same age since multiple versions of the game exist and it’s much easier to play one that’s in line with the cultural context of your upbringing. Having said that, if you really want to test your skills and boost your brain power, then consider playing an obscure version; the 1985 UK version would present a real challenge, for instance.


Pictionary is a whole lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that you probably wouldn’t think that’s a good workout for your brain. Yep, Pictionary is about much more than just laughing at your friends’ terrible drawing skills. Through the course of playing, you’ll test and develop the creative, reasoning, and image-based thinking sides of your brain. While drawing is a key component of Pictionary, you could argue that it’s the players who can’t draw that get the most brain benefit from the game. After all, you need to really get creative when you don’t have the artistic talent required to draw accurately. 

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends, then keep the above games in mind. You can play all of these games at home on a rainy Friday evening, or you can all gather online to play the digital version when you can’t physically be together.