1980s Board Games

Even though the age of the video game console and home computer posed as some stiff competition, 1980s board games were still a fun way to spend some time with friends and family in the 80s.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit was first released in 1981, and by 1984, it was one of the most popular games with over 20 million games sold.

The board is a circle with six spokes and players try to advance to the middle by rolling a die and correctly answering pop culture and general trivia questions. The six original color-coded categories were geography, entertainment, history, arts and literature, science and nature, and sports and leisure.

Answering a question correctly gives the player the corresponding color wedge to put in their playing piece. The playing piece must be filled with all six different colored wedges that correspond to categories of questions before the player can head to the middle to answer one final question chosen by the other players – if answered correctly, they win.

Fireball Island

Fireball Island is a game of both skill and luck. There were caves, bridges, smolder pits, tokens, game changing cards, and most importantly, fireballs. These five fireballs could be launched from various locations of this awesome 3-D game board to thwart opponents.

The goal of the game is to capture and keep the one jewel that is on top of Vul-Kar Point and get safely to the dock with it. The jewel could, however, be stolen by passing opponents.


Boggle is a word search game with 16 lettered cubes that you shake up in their plastic case. Players try to find words using adjacent letters, and the longer the word is, the more points it is worth. This 80s game frequently had people grabbing a dictionary to prove that a questionable word was indeed a word after all.


Pictionary was first released in 1985 for all the would-be artists out there. This fun drawing game consists of a board to move playing pieces on and cards with five corresponding categories. Landing on a square dictated the category in play.

The categories are P (person, place or animal), A (action), O (object), D (difficult), and AP (All Play). The All Play square means one person draws while all the teams try to guess the object. The team that guesses first gets to advance on the board.

The goal is to be the first team to get to the last square on the board by correctly guessing the most objects – as many as it takes.

Battleship, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Connect Four, Operation, and Trouble were previously released games that remained popular throughout the 1980s decade. No matter what kind of game you liked, 1980s board games offered endless entertainment – and sometimes some pretty fierce competition.