Where and when were famous board games invented?

Have you ever wondered what the oldest board games were? Which country has produced the most board games that are usually found in people's homes? Or the most board games per capita? Here is a table to summarise it all.

Board gameYear inventedPlace invented
The Game of Life1860USA (Massachussetts)
Sorry!1929United Kingdom (Essex)
Monopoly1932 (published in 1935)USA (Pennsylvania)
Scrabble1938USA (New York)
Stratego1947Netherlands
Cluedo (Clue in the US)1943 (published in 1949)United Kingdom (Birmingham)
Mille Bornes1954France
Risk1957France
Mastermind1970Israel
Uno1971USA (Ohio)
Connect Four1974USA
Pay Day1974USA
Trivial Pursuit1979Canada (Montreal)
Guess Who?1979Israel/USA
Axis and Allies1981USA (Massachussetts)
Scotland Yard 1983United Kingdom
Jenga1983United Kingdom (Yorkshire)
Pictionary1985Canada/USA
Hotel1986USA
Catan1995Germany (Stuttgart)
Cranium1998United Kingdom
Carcassonne2000Germany
Blokus2000France
Ticket to Ride2004United Kingdom (Hampshire)
Agricola2007Germany
Dominion2008France
7 Wonders2010France
Codenames2015Czechia


I did not include games with a complicated history like checkers (the first game of the kind dates back to the Sumerian city of Ur 5000 years ago!), backgammon (found in the ancient Middle East and Egypt), Go (originating in China over 2300 years ago), chess (first mentioned in 7th century Persia and India), or even Snakes and ladders, which originated in ancient India as Moksha Patam.

I also omitted games that were not really board games like Twister (more like gymnastics!), or dice games like Boggle or Yahtzee, although I included card-based games using special, non-standard playing cards. The history of the game Battleship is a bit confused, so I didn't list it.

There are so many board games nowadays, with new ones being published every year just in France (!) that I had to select only the most famous ones. In order to to that I checked the number of languages into which the Wikipedia page for each game was available and rejected games that didn't have Wiki entries in at least 5 languages. But I am sure that I forgot quite a few games, so feel free to propose others.

It's interesting to note that the games based on making money or getting rich (The Game of Life, Monopoly, Pay Day, Hotels) are all American.


Statistics by country for the games listed above

  1. USA : 10 games
  2. UK : 6 games
  3. France : 5 games
  4. Germany : 3 games
  5. Canada & Israel : 2 games
  6. Czechia & Netherlands : 1 game
 
My favourites as a child were Stratego, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. Nowadays I prefer Cluedo, Scrabble, Ticket to Ride and Catan.

There is also the relatively new Stratego Waterloo that was released in 2015 for the 200 years anniversary of the battle and that is more complex and overall better than the traditional Stratego. The pieces are real units (e.g. Old Guard, Polish lancers, Highland regiments, Brunswick Leib, Dutch carabiniers, Silesian Landwehr) or real generals (Napoleon, Ney, Wellington, Uxbridge, Blücher, Bülow). The game has many options, such as adding hills, marshes, farms or villages that alter the movement, defence or shooting range of units.

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Have you ever wondered what the oldest board games were? Which country has produced the most board games that are usually found in people's homes? Or the most board games per capita? Here is a table to summarise it all.

Board gameYear inventedPlace invented
The Game of Life1860USA (Massachussetts)
Sorry!1929United Kingdom (Essex)
Monopoly1932 (published in 1935)USA (Pennsylvania)
Scrabble1938USA (New York)
Stratego1947Netherlands
Cluedo (Clue in the US)1943 (published in 1949)United Kingdom (Birmingham)
Mille Bornes1954France
Risk1957France
Mastermind1970Israel
Uno1971USA (Ohio)
Connect Four1974USA
Pay Day1974USA
Trivial Pursuit1979Canada (Montreal)
Guess Who?1979Israel/USA
Axis and Allies1981USA (Massachussetts)
Scotland Yard 1983United Kingdom
Jenga1983United Kingdom (Yorkshire)
Pictionary1985Canada/USA
Hotel1986USA
Catan1995Germany (Stuttgart)
Cranium1998United Kingdom
Carcassonne2000Germany
Blokus2000France
Ticket to Ride2004United Kingdom (Hampshire)
Agricola2007Germany
Dominion2008France
7 Wonders2010France
Codenames2015Czechia


I did not include games with a complicated history like checkers (the first game of the kind dates back to the Sumerian city of Ur 5000 years ago!), backgammon (found in the ancient Middle East and Egypt), Go (originating in China over 2300 years ago), chess (first mentioned in 7th century Persia and India), or even Snakes and ladders, which originated in ancient India as Moksha Patam.

I also omitted games that were not really board games like Twister (more like gymnastics!), or dice games like Boggle or Yahtzee, although I included card-based games using special, non-standard playing cards. The history of the game Battleship is a bit confused, so I didn't list it.

There are so many board games nowadays, with new ones being published every year just in France (!) that I had to select only the most famous ones. In order to to that I checked the number of languages into which the Wikipedia page for each game was available and rejected games that didn't have Wiki entries in at least 5 languages. But I am sure that I forgot quite a few games, so feel free to propose others. And it's so interesting to see how the gaming industry is developed now. Back then, there were a few games, and now we have thousands, and it's cool because everyone can choose something good to play. I like gambling, and when I was looking for a new casino to play, I found this site https://terracasino-ca.com/fr/5-depot-casinos/ with detailed info on Casino dépôt 5 $ au Canada 2023 which helped me to choose fast. And I'm happy to live in the 21st century and have such a variety of casinos and other games.

It's interesting to note that the games based on making money or getting rich (The Game of Life, Monopoly, Pay Day, Hotels) are all American.


Statistics by country for the games listed above

  1. USA : 10 games
  2. UK : 6 games
  3. France : 5 games
  4. Germany : 3 games
  5. Canada & Israel : 2 games
  6. Czechia & Netherlands : 1 game

Wow, that's very interesting information, thank you! It's hard to imagine that now there are so many games, but back then it was something totally new and unique
 
This table offers an intriguing look at the origins of some of the most beloved board games. And FOR SURE board games have truly transcended borders and continue to bring joy to people of all ages.
 
I'm excited to see that three of my favorite board games, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Mastermind, are on the list. No surprise that Monopoly and Scrabble came from the USA, but I was surprised to learn that Mastermind was invented in Israel.
 
The origins of renowned board games span diverse times and places. Chess, believed to originate in India during the 6th century, evolved into a strategic masterpiece. Ancient Egypt birthed Senet, a game intertwining luck and skill. In 17th-century France, the precursor to modern backgammon emerged. Scrabble, a wordplay sensation, was born in the United States during the Great Depression. Monopoly, tracing back to the early 20th century, reflects economic dynamics. As for the anchor cashlib casino, it diverges from board games, bringing attention to online gaming platforms. Exploring these game histories illuminates the fascinating intersection of culture, strategy, and chance in diverse corners of the world.
 
The origins of renowned board games span diverse times and places. Chess, believed to originate in India during the 6th century, evolved into a strategic masterpiece. Ancient Egypt birthed Senet, a game intertwining luck and skill. In 17th-century France, the precursor to modern backgammon emerged. Scrabble, a wordplay sensation, was born in the United States during the Great Depression. Monopoly, tracing back to the early 20th century, reflects economic dynamics. As for the anchor Google Pay Casino, it diverges from board games, bringing attention to online gaming platforms. Exploring these game histories illuminates the fascinating intersection of culture, strategy, and chance in diverse corners of the world.
and that's cool
 

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