Top 10 Board Games That Destroy Friendships



Top 10 Board Games That Destroy Friendships

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Maybe it's better if you avoid busting out these games at your next board game night. For this list, we'll be looking at the most frustrating board and tabletop games that typically end in curses and angry huffs. Our countdown includes Scrabble, Risk, Catan, and more!

Top 10 Board Games That Destroy Friendships

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Board Games That Destroy Friendships.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most frustrating board and tabletop games that typically end in curses and angry huffs.

Which of these games do you find the most infuriating? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Sorry!

The inherent frustration within this game is evident from its very name. So is the objective. Sorry! is all about causing as much frustration in the other players as possible, typically by sending their pawns back to the start of the board. The big villain of this game is the Sorry! card, which allows a player to move their pawn from the starting location and take over a spot occupied by another player. This typically results in lots of cursing. And because the game is dictated by cards, there is a very high luck and chance factor inherent within the game. Insincere apologies, losing, and bad luck is just a recipe for disaster.

#9: Ultimate Werewolf

This game has a long line of descendants. It’s based on the social deduction party game “Werewolf,” which itself is based on an older game of similar style called “Mafia.” The objective is simple. There’s one werewolf, who must kill all the villagers while remaining undetected. They’re up against the villagers, who must deduce the identity of the werewolf and kill it. It’s basically the card game version of “Among Us.” The game can be very frustrating for those who are not good at bluffing, negotiating, or deducing clues. Furthermore, the games can go on forever, and players who are eliminated early have nothing to do but watch the events play out. It can be frustrating and boring, and that is never a good combination.

#8: Scrabble

One of the classic board games, Scrabble has been frying brains since 1938. While a point system is attached, the basic premise of Scrabble is making the longest and most complex words from scrambled letters. Everyone knows how to play this game, and everyone knows how frustrating it can be. It can move at a snail’s pace, with people doing nothing but staring at the board and thinking. It can also be infuriating for those who aren’t good at word games. Not only will they be decimated by players that are, but they will probably be laughed at for making words like “the” and “of.” Plus, calling someone on their made-up word is how friendships end.

#7: Diplomacy

This game has a misleading title, because it is anything but diplomatic. A complex war game similar to Risk, Diplomacy is all about obtaining and holding territorial power. Just like real life politics, the game encourages players to make beneficial alliances. And like some other board games, it actively encourages its players to betray each other. The game is certainly strategic, but it’s mostly about negotiation and manipulation. Those who are bad at it will find themselves thoroughly stomped, and there’s nothing worse than feeling manipulated by your own friend. If a group wishes to remain friends, it’s probably best to avoid a game centered around betrayal.

#6: Codenames

A relatively new card game released in 2015, “Codenames” is all about deducing the identities of secret agents. Chosen Spymasters give one-word clues to their field operatives, and said operatives must deduce the identities of the secret agents from the clues that the spymaster provides. Hidden amongst the potential agents is an assassin, and if accidentally identified, the offending team instantly loses. This is a game that can instantly end friendships. Choosing the assassin is an instant fail that can leave your team ticked off, and a poor spymaster can cause lots of swearing and yelling. It’s all about teamwork, and like anything else, poor teamwork results in poor results.

#5: Trivial Pursuit

Remember that episode of “Seinfeld” when George and Susan go to war with the bubble boy over Trivial Pursuit? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Basically the board game version of “Jeopardy!”, Trivial Pursuit has players answering general knowledge questions to move their pieces around the board. The results can be quite messy. Everything moves smoothly until an ambiguous answer is given, in which case all Hell breaks loose. The answer-giver is mad that it’s not being accepted, the doubters are mad that it’s even being considered, and everyone’s mad that their friendship is quickly deteriorating over the true definition of a marsupial.

#4: Pictionary

There’s nothing worse than getting a bad Pictionary partner. The concept of this game is simple, resulting in its enduring popularity. Like Charades with drawing, Pictionary has one person draw a word or phrase on a board while everyone else tries to guess what it is. It’s a very easy game, provided there is a good guesser and a good drawer. It’s complete anarchy otherwise. Friendships can end in a variety of manners, whether it’s poorly guessing well-drawn items or drawing something that bears no resemblance to the answer. It’s either “How is that a lion!?” or “How did you not guess that it was a lion!?” There is no in-between, and it causes a lot of yelling and exasperated arm flailing.

#3: Catan

One of the most popular board games of our time, Catan is also one of the most maddening. A resource management game, Catan is all about building an empire. Unfortunately, this often means leaving a few people in the dust, and that’s where the frustration sets in. Players attempt to control the board by managing precious resources and trading goods with other players. Forming alliances is a must, but so are things like blocking access to important areas, hoarding resources, and cutting off supplies to other players. Building an empire is a ton of fun. Getting bought out and squashed is a miserable experience, and it often leaves the losers feeling dejected, used, and manipulated.

#2: Risk

The inherent problem with Risk is that it's too darn long. The game has been around since the ‘50s, and it has slowly developed a reputation for being incredibly frustrating. Games can last hours or even days, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the structure of the game. The winner is often obvious well before the conclusion, and those who are eliminated early have literally nothing to do but watch the game play out. Furthermore, the dice carries a degree of random chance, so bad luck can completely ruin a player’s game. It all combines into a tortuous experience for everyone but the top one or two players, and it results in a lot of bitter resentment towards them.

#1: Monopoly

There’s a reason Monopoly has so many house rules, and that’s because the core game is an excruciating exercise designed to test both patience and friendships. Monopoly has to be the most malicious board game ever made. It’s all about making an empire of wealth and crushing the little guy into oblivion. One obvious winner gloats while hoarding all the property and forcing everyone else into crushing debt. That’s just not a fun game mechanic, and it results in a lot of hurt feelings and hostile resentment. It’s a popular joke that no game of Monopoly is ever finished, but there’s a degree of truth to it. The bitterness lingers long after the game is put away.