It’s not Christmas time if we don’t crack out every board game we’ve ever owned, is it? Throughout this month we’ve already had several nights of passive-aggressive playing and there is so much more to come. Board games and card games are necessary to a fun Christmas period and today I’m running you through some of my favourite picks this year.
Not everyone always wants to sit down for two hours and play monopoly, do they? I’m well aware that for some people having arguments with loved ones and having to declare themselves bankrupt before anyone else is the absolute bane of their lives – but luckily, there are a tonne more games out there to enjoy.
Of course, I have included Monopoly (because you can’t not) but there’s truly something for everyone here. No matter your situation, who you’re spending Christmas with or how competitive you are – you need to try out a few of these 7 games.
For a busy house: Cat Bingo
Do I really need to explain Cat Bingo? It’s bingo without the numbers and with more breeds of cats than you ever thought existed. It’s great for kids and families with the beauty of being able to dip in and out, mix and match players and half watch the Strictly Christmas Special whilst calling out cat breeds. It’s a bit of fun and has a place in every home the Christmas.
For a Christmas with friends: The Voting Game
The Voting Game can cause rifts, upset and utter shock. It’s funny, risky and can be a little rude – but the beauty of all card games is that questions can be skipped or relegated to the pile of ‘don’t want to know’. Playing with friends is the safest way to completely enjoy this game as ultimately, it involves anonymously voting for the person who would most likely win a hot dog eating contest? or Who will get into a fight with an elderly person and lose? and then leaves people to guess who voted for them. For up to 10 players it’s a great one for a party and an even better one for a group of people who won’t get offended by being torn apart by their friends.
There are a number of sexual cards in the pack, but these can be removed if playing with family… thankfully.
For everyone and everyone: Linkee
Linkee is a fantastic game. The goal of each round is to answer the 4 questions on each card and guess the link between the answers. It works brilliantly with teams of mixed ages and interests – which is why it works for any group of people. In my experience, some people just have a knack for spotting the link – but getting the correct answer to the questions is equally as important – so don’t rule yourself out of playing just because you’re not a ‘creative’ thinker. Plus you do get a clue if you’re really struggling.
To win the game you (or your team) needs to win enough cards (won when you guess the correct link) to spell out the word Linkee. This usually takes half an hour or so but the time will fly and when one team has won you’ll quickly want to have another game.
For the creative + quick-witted: Obama Llama
Obama Llama is kind of a mix of Linkee, Charades and the TV show Len Goodman’s Partners in Rhyme. Teams have to either describe, give clues to or mime out actions and people, leaving the other members of the team to guess a phrase that starts with a well-known name and ends with a funny or peculiar rhyme. Think Lorainne Kelly making Jelly or Taylor Swift driving a forklift. Get as many answers as you can in 30 seconds (or a minute) and then have a go at finding two rhyming cards from a small selection.
Obama Llama is super easy to play, great fun with a range of ways to guess the rhymes – the charades make getting up on your feet part of the game and the different describing options suit almost everyone.
For when you’ve had a few: Accentuate
Of course, you don’t have to have had a few to play Accentuate – but from experience, it helps. Accentuate is essentially a game where you have to say things in accents, and those you’re playing with have to try and guess what on earth you’re saying (and how you’re saying it). Alcohol can help to loosen you up and not be so shy about your Australian accent in some cases, but if you all know that it’s just a bit of fun and we’re all pretty terrible at speaking anything but the Queen’s English – then just go for it no matter your state.
Personally, I’ve found that giggles tend to take over eventually and hearing someone’s Swedish accent reciting a Lord of the Ring’s quote gets lost in the sea of laughter. Perfect for groups of friends and families who want to have a laugh. Maybe not one to play with that racist grandparent of yours (we all have one, don’t we?).
For if you have a score to settle: Monopoly
Monopoly needs no introduction. A game of half luck half strategy we’ve all built rows of houses and absolutely destroyed our friends and loved ones, haven’t we? I’m still a massive lover of Monopoly (after only really learning how to play properly a few years ago) and it still has pride of place on the Christmas board game table. To mix it up if things have gotten boring, why not invest in a special edition, play in teams or do some reading up on how to completely annihilate the competition?
It’s great because everyone knows how to play if you lose you can blame the bad dice rolls you landed and it really shows people’s true colours – which maybe, on second thought, isn’t the ideal outcome in all cases…
For when everyone is bored of Monopoly: Settlers of Catan
We played this last weekend and honestly, I was surprised at how good it was. We had one game in teams (which helped us all learn the rules) and then one game with no mercy. The ultimate goal of the game is to gain 10 Victory Points (VPs). You can gain victory points by building settlements or cities, building the longest road, having three Knight cards and some other ways I’m sure. It’s a trading game where you trade resources (cards) to build said roads and cities and try to hinder your opponents in their quest to win.
I like to see it as the next step from Monopoly. Less luck and more strategy. If you’ve been playing monopoly for years and know your family’s strategy inside out, then give this a go and enjoy some of that fresh, competitive energy that may have been lost. It is only a 2-4 person player game, however, so if there’s more of you then pair up – it’s pretty fun to discuss your moves and where to build your next road. Plus the victory dance can be twice as arrogant.
What games do you love to crack out at Christmas? Do you stick to the tried-and-tested favourites or are you tempted to pick up something new?
Did you know that I’m doing Blogmas this year? Check out my other festive posts right here.