26 Life-Size Versions of Popular Board Games

Everyone's favorite board games get a whole lot more fun when they're super-sized. (Also: the pieces are harder to lose.) We've gathered up a collection of jumbo variations on classic board games—if you think we've missed a good one, let us know in the comments!

Candy Land

I was surprised there weren't more life-size versions of the candy-themed game, but the quality of these two jumbo versions makes up for the lack of other variations.

Lombard Street

San Francisco's famously winding Lombard Street was turned into the biggest version of Candy Land ever to celebrate the children's game's 60th anniversary in 2009. Laughing Squid has more videos and photos.

Candy Land Garden

Craftster user KandeeCorner (and YouTube user eieioh1) created a garden based on the various iterations of the Candy Land game board. You can read about her project in the Craftster boards.


On G4's "Attack of the Show," Kevin Pereira, Candace Bailey, and Gillian Jacobs played a life-sized G4 version of the buzzing medical game. Check out the photos on Attack of the Blog.


America's favorite word game is also one of the most popular games to get the life-size treatment.

Mississippi Children's Museum

The Mississippi Children's Museum boasts a Hasbro-official giant Scrabble. In the photo above, some members of the Navy ham it up at the museum for Mississippi Navy Week. Photo from the Mississippi Children's Museum's Facebook album of Mississippi Navy Week.

Canstruction Vancouver 2011

Amazingly enough, the Scrabble above was created from canned goods for the 2011 Canstruction Vancouver, a canned food sculpture competition that raises money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Photo by Flickr user Karen Neoh (karen_neoh).

Valley Fiesta 2010

The "Giant Games in the Valley" portion of the 2010 Valley Fiesta in Brisbane, Australia, boasted this colorful version of the word game. Photo by Flickr user Michael Zimmer (zayzayem).

Kensington Market

Toronto's Kensington Market has "Pedestrian Sundays," during which this giant homemade version of Scrabble was available to play. Photo by Ish & Jen of

World Literacy Day 2010

Literacy Aotearoa Wellington (LAW), a not-for-profit organization that provides free numeracy and literacy support to residents of Wellington (New Zealand), hosted a giant street game of Scrabble on World Literacy Day 2010.

Toy Story Mania!

While this version isn't playable, its size earns it a place on this list. Gracing a building at Toy Story Mania! in Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a folded Scrabble board being hoisted by Army men. Photo by Flickr user Beau B.


These "life-sized" versions of Monopoly aren't quite the size of the real locations named on the popular game's board, but they're still a lot bigger than the table-top version!

Guadalupe River Park

This permanent installation in Guadalupe River Park, near the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose, CA, is the largest Monopoly game board in the world. Photo by Flickr user HarshLight.

Bally's: Atlantic City

To attract attention for their "Pass GO! Collect $200" promotion, Bally's and Hasbro created a jumbo Monopoly game on the boardwalk outside the Atlantic City casino. More information about the game and promotion at Press of Atlantic City. Photo from's Atlantic City Central blog.

Minnesota State Fair 2002

The 2002 Minnesota State Fair included a tented walk-able version of Monopoly. Photo by Stephen A. Edwards from his Crazy Minnesota album.


This amazing life-size game of Mousetrap was created by Mark Perez and company for Maker Faire 2007. To see more of the game, check out Nathan Bennett's (mostly) night-time photos.

Word on the Street

Origins Game Fair 2010 hosted the first life-size rendition of Out of the Box Games' Word on the Street.

The Royal Game of Ur

Odessa Design created a giant (yet portable) version of the Royal Game of Ur for the British Museum to celebrate the press launch of Photo from Odessa Design.


Giant chess games can be divided into two categories: human chess, in which people are the pieces, and super-sized chess, in which jumbo versions of the traditional pieces are used.

Jeu d'Echecs Indien

Henri-Pierre Picou's 1876 painting, Jeu d'Echecs Indien, depicts a human chess game in India. Unfortunately, we can't find much more information about it, although there are an awful lot of sites offering reproductions. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Monselice, Italy

This human-chess game took place in Monselice, Italy, and was photographed by Wikimedia Commons user Zyance.

Jai Mahal Palace Hotel

The grounds of this luxury hotel in Jaipur, India, include an amazing carved life-size chess set. Photo by Flickr user squinting.

Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica, another luxury hotel owned by the same company as the Jai Mahal Palace Hotel, is also home to a cool jumbo chess set. Photo by Flickr user Sean Ellis (s_w_ellis).

Brindavan Gardens

They must really love chess in India, because a third life-size chess set resides at the Brindavan Gardens in Krishna Raja Sagara, India. Photo by Flickr user lucy like whoa.

Yahoo! Burbank

Yahoo!'s Burbank, CA, campus includes this giant courtyard chess set surrounded by flowers. Photo by Flickr user Konrad Summers (tkksummers).

Best Western Resort Country Club

The fourth (or fifth, if you count the Henri-Pierre Picou painting) Indian life-size chess board on our list is an amenity included with club membership at Best Western Resort Country Club, Gurgaon in New Delhi, India. Photo via the Best Western Resort Country Club web site.

The Embarcadero

Pieces for the giant chess board at the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, CA, can be rented from the city's Recreation Department. Photo via

Checkers (and Chess)

Bastions Park in Geneva, Switzerland, has at least four grids painted onto the pavement, with corresponding sets of playing pieces for checkers or chess, whichever strikes the players' fancy. Photo by Flickr user gringaespanola.

Chinese Checkers

The “Giant Games in the Valley” portion of the 2010 Valley Fiesta in Brisbane, Australia, also included this large version of Chinese checkers as well as the previously mentioned large Scrabble. Photo by Flickr user Michael Zimmer (zayzayem).


Julie, who writes the blog Jules Journal, and her family created this jumbo version of Battleship for an event at their church. Photo via Jules Journal.
26 jumbo versions of our favorite board games not enough for you? Don’t worry, we’re not stopping the fun. Head over to our “Popular Games, Super-Sized” board on Pinterest for more giant games around the world. And if you’ve seen a good one, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the board.

"American Mall," Bloomberg
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]

Live Smarter
Why the Soundtracks to Games Like 'Mario' or 'The Sims' Can Help You Work

When I sat down to write this article, I was feeling a little distracted. My desk salad was calling me. I had new emails in my inbox to read. I had three different articles on my to-do list, and I couldn't decide which to start first. And then, I jumped over to Spotify and hit play on the theme to The Sims. As I listened to the upbeat, fast-paced, wordless music, my writing became faster and more fluid. I felt more “in the zone,” so to speak, than I had all morning. There's a perfectly good explanation: Video games provide the ideal productivity soundtrack. At Popular Science, Sara Chodosh explains why video game music can get you motivated and keep you focused while you work, especially if you're doing relatively menial tasks. It's baked into their composition.

There are several reasons to choose video game music over your favorite pop album. For one, they tend not to have lyrics. A 2012 study of more than 100 people found that playing background music with lyrics tended to distract participants while studying. The research suggested that lyric-less music would be more conducive to attention and performance in the workplace. Another study conducted in open-plan offices in Finland found that people were better at proofreading if there was some kind of continuous, speechless noise going on in the background. Video game music would fit that bill.

Plus, video game music is specifically made not to distract from the task at hand. The songs are meant to be listened to over and over again, fading into the background as you navigate Mario through the Mushroom Kingdom or help Link save Zelda. My friend Josie Brechner, a composer who has scored the music for video games like the recently released Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King, says that game music is definitely written with this in mind.

"Basically, successful video game music straddles the balance between being engaging and exciting, but also not wanting to make you tear your ears off after the 10th or 100th listen," Brechner says. Game music often has a lot of repetition, along with variation on musical themes, to keep the player engaged but still focused on what they're playing, "and that translates well to doing other work that requires focus and concentration."

If you're a particularly high-strung worker, you might want to tune into some relaxing classical music or turn on a song specifically designed to calm you. But if you want to finish those expense reports on a Monday morning, you're better off choosing a fast-tempo ditty designed for seemingly pointless activities like making your Sims eat and go to the toilet regularly. (It can help you with more exciting work responsibilities, too: Other research has found that moderate background noise can increase performance on creative tasks.)

These types of songs work so well that there are entire playlists online devoted just to songs from video game soundtracks that work well for studying. One, for instance, includes songs written for The Legend of Zelda, Skyrim, Super Smash Bros., and other popular games.

The effect of certain theme songs on your productivity may, however, depend on your particular preferences. A 2010 study of elementary school students found that while calming music could improve performance on math and memory tests, music perceived as aggressive or unpleasant distracted them. I was distracted by the deep-voiced chanting of the "Dragonborn Theme" from Skyrim, but felt charged up by the theme from Street Fighter II. There's plenty of variety in video game scores—after all, a battle scene doesn't call for the same type of music as a puzzle game. Not all of them are going to work for you, but by their nature, you probably don't need a lot of variation in your work music if you're using video game soundtracks. If you can play a game for days on end, you can surely listen to the same game soundtrack over and over again.

[h/t Popular Science]


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