If you're looking to diversity your game collection, here are some of this female game store owner's all-time-favorite games designed by women. They're presented in no particular order, and limited to games that are currently in print. Happy Women's History Month!
(For a comprehensive list of women and non-binary board game designers, visit Elizabeth Hargrave's excellent site.)
Marrying Mr. Darcy (Erika Svanoe) - If you love Jane Austen this will be a hoot, but even if you're not super familiar with her characters, this is a delightful card game.
Encore! (Inka Brand) - Roll-and-write games have been hot for the last few years, and Encore! is the one that I go back to over and over again. An addictive little game, it has more tension and competition that a lot of other games in the genre. An enhanced version called Bravo! was recently published in the US, and I can't wait to try it out!
Hellapagos (Laurence Gamelin) - Playing up to 12 players, this wacky game is like an immersive game of Survivor that you can play in your living room. It's a co-operative game of group survival.... until it's time to eat your friends!
Wingspan (Elizabeth Hargrave) - The award-winning strategy game of bird migration is beautiful on the table, and suitable for both novices and experienced strategy game players. I love it even more now that I've been spending a lot of pandemic hours watching feathered friends!
Exit games (Inka Brand) - Of all of the escape room games out there, the Exit series continues to be my favorite. Clever and intriguing, these are a great date-night-at-home activity.
Scattergories Categories (Kim Vandenbrouke) - One of the rare party games that also plays well with only two players, Scattergories Categories is a clever variant of the original classic.
Qwirkle (Susan McKinley Ross) - Qwirkle was first published 15 years ago, and it's right up there with Rummikub as one of my favorite go-to games that I can play with absolutely anyone. It's one of those classic titles that should be in every game collection!
Jenga (Leslie Scott) - We all know it, and we all love it! Truly an all-ages family classic.
Hoot Owl Hoot (Susan McKinley Ross) - One of the first co-operative children's games published by Peaceable Kingdom, Hoot Owl Hoot is perfect for introducing little ones to strategic thinking. If my gaming buddies are 4 or 5 years old, this is the game that I'll almost always reach for first.
Set (Marsha Falco) - A speed game of visual perception, Set has been around for over thirty years now, and is a consistent bestseller. It's a game that our family has gotten many hours of enjoyment from, even though our eldest son Cyrus usually crushes everyone else. That's OK, though, we all still enjoy competing for second place!