Fourteen sophisticated board games for a homebound winter
The Queen’s Gambit has reignited the romance of the old-fashioned board game—just in time for the long, cold winter ahead of us. In case your worn-out Monopoly set could use an upgrade, we hand-picked a few fancier options that deserve pride of place on your coffee table.
This set, available through the AGO’s online shop, features pieces hand-carved in Peru from semi-precious stones. $105, shop.ago.ca.
An elevated take on Jenga, this marbled stacking game doubles as a sleek, sculptural objet d’art for your living room. $185, westelm.ca.
This Jonathan Adler–designed set has a millennial-friendly pastel colour scheme for the mahogany- and felt-averse. $534, williamashley.com.
A starchitect’s game
Eat your heart out, Beth Harmon: this chess set was designed by the late architect and artist Zaha Hadid. It’s less of a casual board game and more of an interpretive study on the nature of high-rise architecture. $24,990, shop.ago.ca.
An arty minimalist set
This neon-hued acrylic chess set is perfect for Art Basel fans, with minimalist lucite pieces that look nothing like their medieval counterparts—and might require a quick tutorial to commit to memory. $242, markandgraham.com.
We love this contemporary geometric take, made out of beechwood, and designed by the surrealist artist Man Ray. This is a replica of his original piece, which is housed in the MoMA. $795, regencychess.ca.
Snakes and Ladders therapy
For those who like a dash of existential insight with their lighthearted party games, this School of Life version of Snakes and Ladders helps players navigate a journey toward emotional maturity. Plus, the minimal design is much less frantic than the original. $40, cryingoutloud.ca.
This ’80s-tastic set is ideal for those with a propensity for Miami Vice–inspired interiors. $90, westelm.ca.
This lacquered board comes with 26 black- and natural wood–toned discs. It’s handmade from Canadian maple maple. $425, crokinole.ca.
For anyone accustomed to newspaper Sudoku, this wooden version will be a major upgrade. $20, chapters.indigo.ca.
This game hangs on the wall, so wannabe wordsmiths can practice their skills round the clock with no clean-up necessary. $372, etsy.com.
For a pro-capitalism game that’s all about amassing wealth, a fancy wood-and-leather version seems like a natural choice. $302, potterybarn.ca.
These Smythson playing cards are edged in gold leaf, which makes for a shimmering gilded stack while playing solitaire or rummy. $135 at ssense.com.
This fancified take on Jenga, called a “Pisa Tower,” is by Italian brand Penetti. It’s hand-crafted from Canaletto walnut and inlaid with fine-grained leather—a pricey design that provides even more incentive not to let the whole thing tumble down. $1,705, modaoperandi.com.
A major upgrade from the red and black plastic sets of your youth, this checkers board is made from maple wood, with alabaster coins embossed with an 18-karat-gold logo. $695, purlinglondon.com.