Let’s Play Cards… and Not Just “Go Fish”

There’s more to card games than War and Go Fish! In honor of “Play More Cards Day,” I compiled a list of our go-to games that only involve cards! Every game on this list, we play with our 7-year-old, except the games recommended for 18+.
Pro-tip: These all fit nicely in a purse or bag for entertainment at restaurants, breweries, and other events.
Zeus on the Loose and Top Trumps Greek Myth games displayed on the carpet.

Greek Mythology Theme

Our son Josh has entered the world of Greek mythology. This inspired me to see what games I could find to encourage his interest. We found two winners.

Zeus On The Loose 

  • Age Recommendation: 8 +
  • Description: Players take turns placing the numbered or Greek God cards in their hands onto the discard pile. Every time the pile reaches a multiple of 10 you can steal Zeus. The round ends when a player gets the discard pile to 100+ points, and the player with Zeus earns a letter of his name. The first player to earn Z-E-U-S wins.
  • Why We Like It: This game combined Greek mythology and another love of Josh’s … math! 

Top Trumps Greek Myths 

  • Age Recommendation: 6+
  • Description: Each card in the deck represents a character from Greek mythology and rates them on set criteria (i.e., strength, magic, terror). We play it like War, flipping the first card of our pile, and whichever card has the most strength wins the pile. The goal is to get all of the cards.
  • Why We Like It: It’s a different take on War and fits our need for Greek mythology. If you’re not feeling mythology, you can also find cards in almost any topic your kiddo might like better (bugs, dinosaurs, national parks).


Apples to Apples, Nano Dictionary and Cards Against Humanity displayed on the carpet.

Word Games

We are big readers, so games to help us expand our vocabularies or help tell stories are a must in our gaming repertoire.

Apples to Apples Jr. 

  • Age Recommendation: 9+ (Josh started playing at 5)
  • Description: One player each round is the judge and draws a descriptor word. The other players put down a card to go with the word played. The judge decides which word is the best fit. The first player to earn four cards wins. In this version, players can petition for which word they think should win.
  • Why We Like It: The game expands vocabulary and provides a lot of laughs.

Apples to Apples 

  • Age Recommendation: 12+
  • Description: Same as the junior version, but with more advanced vocabulary.
  • Why We Like It: We skipped Jr. and started playing this version with Josh. We swap out a few words for him when we play. And we have a few house rules when it’s just adults.


Cards Against Humanity 

  • Age Recommendation: 18+
  • Description: This is Apples to Apples but for adults only.
  • Why We Like It: This game is one of my favorites for an adult game night. You get to know the other players in another light.

Nano Fictionary 

  • Age Recommendation: 8+
  • Description: Players receive cards with settings, characters, problems, and resolutions to create a story. The person who tells the best story wins the round. You can determine how many rounds the game goes.
  • Why We Like It: Our friends at Funky Planet in Alton specifically recommended it to Josh because of his creativity. The game gets our creative juices flowing and makes us laugh.


Cover Your Assets

Property Tycoons

Credit goes to my sister-in-law for these recommendations involving strategy and property gathering.

Cover Your Assets 

  • Age Recommendation: 7+
  • Description: The goal is to accumulate pairs of assets (like piggy banks and log cabins) and protect them from other players who will try to steal them. The person with the most value in assets at the end wins.
  • Why We Like It: Even the youngest players can figure out the strategies to win all the loot. It can get pretty competitive.


Monopoly Deal 

  • Age Recommendation: 8+
  • Description: They took Monopoly and made it a portable card game. The first player to acquire three property sets wins, but it’s never that easy.
  • Why We Like It: It is a much quicker version of the original Monopoly and just as fun.
Misunderstood Songs, Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza and Santa, Cookie, Elf, Candy, Snowman displayed on the carpet.

Novel Neighbor Gems

The Novel Neighbor is more than a bookstore, and we have found two of our favorite games there.

Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza 

  • Age Recommendation: 7+
  • Description: The goal is to be the first person to empty their hand. It’s fast-paced. Watch out for the trick cards like the gorilla and narwhal. They get me every time.
  • Why We Like It: It’s easy for kids to play and fun for adults. It comes in seasonal options, like Santa, Cookie, Elf, Candy, Snowman. 

Misunderstood Songs 

  • Age Recommendation: 18+
  • Description: Each card has a lyric that isn’t quite right. You need to identify the correct lyric, song title and artist. 
  • Why We Like It: I won it from Novel Neighbor by admitting that I thought the Gin Blossoms song “Hey Jealousy” was actually “Hey Chelsea.” It was a hit at our recent cousin game night.

Playing a match of Minecraft the Card Game.

For the Gamer

We don’t do video games, but the worlds of Pokémon and Minecraft have entered our universe. Lucky for us, there are card games to play!


  • Age Recommendation: 5+
  • Description: Players get to be Pokémon Trainers and battle their Pokémon to win prize cards. 
  • Why We Like It: There are options, from Battle Academy to Battle Decks, so the game can grow with your kiddos. If you need more Pokémon suggestions, here’s my blog from last year!


  • Age Recommendation: 8+
  • Description: Players take turns drawing cards to accumulate the pieces they need to build the tools to defeat the mobs, just like in the video game. The tools in this game have point values. The first one to achieve a set number of points wins. 
  • Why We Like It: It is a quick and easy game to learn and gives us an alternative to screen time.


  • Age Recommendation: 6+
  • Description: This is similar to Pokémon, but way more advanced.
  • Why We Like It: Josh loves this game. It is also his favorite show currently. My husband and I struggle with this game. The cards are hard to read, and the strategy is advanced.

The OGs

We can’t ignore the games played with a regular deck of cards. 
and more
I hope you find our list helpful and bust out some cards for a family game night!
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Marlena Renner
Marlena is mom to 6-year-old Joshua and has been married to her husband, Andy, for 10 years. They reside in Alton, Illinois where he is the head athletic trainer for Alton High School. Her parents both grew up in Kirkwood, and even though she spent most of her childhood in Montgomery City, MO, she had a feeling she would end up in St. Louis someday. She worked in minor league baseball after college, eventually landing for a season with the River City Rascals. She worked for the St. Louis Blues, Stifel Theatre, and Enterprise Center for 13 years before the pandemic stopped so many things. Today she is the email specialist for Caleres, which means shoes … all the shoes.


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