Modern Classics at Cogs The Brain Shop

Modern Classics

Modern Classics at Cogs The Brain Shop

With the growing resurgence in tabletop board-gaming we thought we would look at some of our favourite games now considered to be Modern Classics among gaming fans. These titles, we think, belong in any games collection right next to your traditional games like Monopoly and Cluedo.


Ticket to Ride Europe

Players: 2-5  //  Ages: 8+  //  Time: 60 minsTicket To Ride Europe

Build a rail empire spanning from London to Athens, from Moscow to Madrid! Collect cards of the same colour to build railway routes across Europe, meeting the demands of your tickets and scoring bigger points for the most ambitious routes. A terrific light strategy game that keeps players of all levels coming back for more.

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Players: 3-4  //  Ages: 10+  //  Time: 60 mins


The trailblazer that heralded the modern era of tabletop gaming, Catan remains a huge hit with players across the world. Establish settlements and cities across the bounteous island of Catan, harvesting resources and trading with your opponents for the cards that you need to see your colony flourish and achieve victory.

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Players: 2-5  //  Ages: 7+  //  Time: 35 mins


This iconic game sees players taking turns placing tiles onto a map full of ever-growing cities, roads, grassland, cloisters and more, deploying their ‘meeples’ onto the right tiles at the right time to score points. The randomised tiles mean that every game is different – but always exciting!

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Players: 3-6  //  Ages: 6+  //  Time: 30 mins


The game of communication and interpretation! Dixit features 84 cards all beautifully illustrated with surreal and abstract art, to which players must give verbal clues in an attempt to have some – but not all – of their rivals correctly identify their card. The creativity and imagination of Dixit perfectly demonstrate the variety of experiences on offer in modern board gaming.

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Players: 2-4  //  Ages 14+  //  Time: 60 mins


Four infectious diseases are spreading across the world and it’s up to you and your friends to find the cures and save humanity! In Pandemic, players work as a team against the game to travel the world, hold off outbreaks and epidemics while researching cures before time runs out. You’ll win or lose together, and have a blast either way.

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Our Top 5 Travel Games for Kids

Our Top 5 Travel Games for Kids

Our Top 5 Travel Games for Kids:

It’s summer holiday time and you want to bring along some games for the kids or the family that don’t take up too much room in your suitcase. Here’s our pick of 5 small games that we think pack a lot fun.

1. Dobble

An award winning card game that requires speed, observation and reflexes.


Between any two cards there is always one and only one matching symbol. Spot it fast to win! Includes 55 cards and illustrated rules in a durable travel-size tin.

Age: 6+  Players: 2-8  (Also available in Dobble Kids and Dobble 1,2,3 for younger kids.)

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2. Rory’s Story Cubes

With Rory’s Story Cubes, anyone can become a great storyteller.

Rorys Story Cubes

Roll the cubes and use the nine face up images to make a story. With infinite story possibilities, Rory’s Story Cubes offers hours of imaginative fun. Enjoy playing on your own or taking turns

Age: 6+

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3. Travel Spirograph

The classic design toy for the budding artist.

Travel Spirograph

Travel Spirograph is the classic way to create countless amazing designs on the go. This portable Spirograph studio has a built-in design ring, work surface and storage compartment for holding your wheels, pens, paper, design guide and finished artwork.

Age 5+

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4. Travel Qwirkle

Plays like the original family favourite. Now you can play Qwirkle anywhere.

Travel Qwirkle

Create rows and columns by matching tiles with the same symbol or colour. Match both for maximum points. Create a line of all six and you score a Qwirkle. This clever game comes with a handy travel pouch.   

Age: 6+  Players: 2-4 

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5. Sleeping Queens

A Royally Rousing Card Game that’s entertaining and imaginative.

Sleeping Queens

Use strategy, quick thinking and a little luck to wake the most queens and win. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for magic potions and dragons. The average game will last about 20 minutes and the game box is neat enough to fit in a small carry bag.

Age: 8+  Players: 2-5

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Our Top Family Boardgames for 2017

What is a good Family Board game?

By family board game we mean a board game that can be played by the whole family including kids from 7 or 8, teenagers and of course parents and grandparents.

The criteria we used for choosing this list of best family board games was the following:

  • The game must be easy to learn or teach
  • The game must be fun to play
  • The game can be played by 4-5 players or more.
  • The game must have a good replay-ability


The top of any list of best family board games 2017 has to include the 2017 Spiel des Jahres Winner (Game of the Year) , Kingdomino. Kingdomino is a family strategy board game for ages 8 and up, for 2 to 4 players. Kingdomino is a short game, each turn is quick, it takes t 15 to 20 minutes to play. It is a fun and colorful game to play and has enough strategy in it to please young and old alike. Counting your points at the end of the game is a really good for your kids to practice their Maths skills without noticing it. It really ticks all the boxes with regards to best family board game. A great board game if you want to try something different this Christmas. 


Ages: 8 – Adult

Players: 2 – 4

Price: €24.95

Ticket To Ride

Ages: 8 – Adult

Players: 2 – 5

Price: €44.95

Ticket to ride is a multi-award winning 2 to 5 player family board game for ages 8 to adult, that has a playing time of 30 to 60 minutes. The game is easy to learn, meaning you can quickly start playing. Players compete to connect different cities by laying claim to railway routes.  Ticket to Ride is fun, strategic and very competitive as you need to decide which routes to build or be cunning and try to block your opponents building their routesTicket to Ride is a game that will entertain kids and adults alike, it has really become a classic family game since its release in 2004, when it won the Spiel des Jahres award (and many other awards). 

Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan is a 3-4 (you can play 5-6 with the Catan 5-6 player expansion ) player family board game. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are awarded points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points, typically 10, is the winner. As of 2015, more than 22 million copies in 30 languages had been sold. The game involves large amounts of strategy, while still being fairly simple to learn. Definitely one of those best classic family board games that you must try! 

Ages: 10 – Adult

Players: 3 – 4

Price: €47.95

King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo

Ages: 8 – Adult

Players: 2 – 6

Price: €42.95

King of Tokyo is another multi award winning family board game, for 2 to 6 players suitable for ages 8 to adult. In the game you play as mutant monsters, rampaging robots, or even abominable aliens battling in a fun, chaotic atmosphere. Roll the 6 dice and choose your strategy: Will you attack your enemies? Heal your wounds? Improve your Monster? Stomp your path to victory! 

30 Seconds

30 Seconds Board game is an Irish quick thinking fast talking description board game & is suitable for any group, party or family, big or small. It’s an easy game to play & has broad appeal – it’s not narrowed by gender, age or interest. It’s a game for everyone. The content of the board game (both Irish & international) is based on names & topics that most people will be familiar with including, celebrities & famous people from film, music, sport, politicians (only a few!), places, songs, bands, books, TV, movies, shops & brands etc. Some names are more difficult than others but most will be known by the average person in the street.

30 Seconds Board Game

Ages:  7+ (junior version)

Ages:  12+ (adult version)

Players: 3-20

Price: €29.95

Everybody WINS with Family Game Night

There’s a proven antidote to crazy, busy family life: family game night.
Making a regular time for your family to focus on fun with each other contributes to family bonding and healthy family functioning. Not only does it help de-stress (feel a zen moment coming on?), research shows that parent-child interactions helps your child develop everything from language skills to problem solving. So why not start a fun new tradition in your home by launching a weekly or monthly family game night?

How to Get Started With Your Own Family Game Night

If you like the idea of establishing a family game night in your home, the first step is clearing your calendar once a week or once a month or however often you want to set aside for this type of family togetherness. The frequency is less important than the commitment to do it regularly and predictably. You want your kids to look forward to it and to count on it.

Make Your Game Night a Success

  • Create a game night routine. Perhaps you clean up dinner dishes together—which is another positive parent-child activity—and put a special game night table cloth on the table. Or you go to a special place in your home for this event. Try to engage your kids in deciding the details of your routine.
  • Choose a game everyone can enjoy. You need a game that will be fun for everyone—whatever their age, abilities, or interests. Some more advanced games can be played by younger kids if they are paired in a ‘team’ with an older child or adult. As much as possible, have the kids take turns picking what game gets played.
  • Avoid interruptions. Turn off the television. Make the rule that phones are not answered, text messages are ignored, and email beeps wait until later. This is family time, and the whole idea is to keep it that way.
  • Focus on fun, not competition. Remember that competition is not the point of family game nights. Laughing together and having a great time is the sole objective. This means that you should set some rules about how people treat each other, like no ridicule or boasting allowed. Everyone must be a good sport—which is one of the ways that play helps build self-regulation and social skills.

… with Christmas just around the corner, it might be the perfect opportunity to kick off your game night adventure!

Check out our family games here.