Board games are trendy. With a nice side effect: Playing not only makes us smarter, it also makes us fit for the hurdles of everyday life. By Stephanie Souron

We’re locked in a lab. The only chance to escape is in a deck of cards. We have to solve the puzzles on the maps, otherwise some crazy professor will do nasty experiments on us. So let’s put our heads together. Wouldn’t it be laughable if we couldn’t get one over on this mad professor! Step by step, card by card, we feel our way through his laboratory. We connect dots and read numbers out of a confused scribble. We fold playing cards to get an important code. And we meticulously organize liquids by color and level to learn how to open the next door. We only come back to the real world when the pizza guy rings.