Top 10 Games for the Ultimate Festive Family Face-Off
Now that the semester has drawn to a close, with last-minute assignment deadlines fading into memory, it’s time to set aside those textbooks, park any academic stress and embrace the joyous ambience of the Christmas season! So, come together, ignite your competitive spirit, and let the holiday gaming festivities begin with my countdown of the top 10 games to enjoy with family and friends:
10. Heads Up
Adding an extra dash of holiday excitement to your gatherings, the ‘Heads Up!’ mobile game sits in tenth place as a must-play over Christmas. Developed by Ellen DeGeneres, players gather around a person with a smartphone held to their forehead to guess a random category, ranging from famous Christmas movies and holiday-themed charades to celebrities and animals. If the guess is correct, the player tilts the device down for a point and tilting it up passes to the next word. ‘Heads Up!’ guarantees cherished memories and bonding through laughter, infusing the holiday spirit with its exhilarating gameplay.
9. Connect Four
Coming in at number nine, Connect Four brings classic, strategic fun to holiday celebrations. This timeless two-player game is perfect for one-on-one family bonding, especially with the grandparents, offering a blend of competition and strategic thinking. Players take turns dropping coloured discs into a vertical grid, aiming to connect four of their pieces in a row before their opponent. With its simple yet engaging gameplay, Connect Four fosters friendly rivalries and strategic manoeuvring, making it an ideal addition to the holiday game night repertoire.
As players delicately navigate the challenges of extracting humorous references to body parts without setting off the buzzer, Operation radiates excitement and laughter. The unique mix of physical dexterity and amusement turns family gatherings into memorable occasions, as the distinctive buzz of clumsiness fills the room. This game guarantees that holiday game nights overflow with the shared triumphs arising from successfully navigating intricate operations.
Taking seventh place is the ever-controversial yet enduring classic, Monopoly. Despite its reputation for sparking competitive or unfriendly behaviour amongst family members, its unique blend of strategy, negotiation, and luck makes it a polarizing yet irresistibly engaging choice for family and friends. Players embark on a journey to buy, trade, and build their way to wealth, turning the game board into a bustling empire. This fanciful realm certainly brings the family together, sometimes a bit too closely, colliding in confrontational competition; nothing says “family bonding” like bankrupting your loved ones!
Are you nuts about numbers? Then this one’s for you! Securing sixth place is Skyjo, the captivating card game renowned for its perfect fusion of strategy and chance, promising a unique experience for number enthusiasts. With accessible rules and a brisk pace, it strikes a harmonious balance between strategy and ease of understanding, making the game suitable for players of all ages and an excellent addition to Christmas festivities. Instructions can be found here.
This iconic, intellectually stimulating board game brings together friends and family to challenge their vocabulary and strategic prowess. Whether you’re spelling out festive words or competing for triple-word scores, Scrabble promises hours of entertainment, head-scratching, and friendly competition.
Attaining fourth place is Bananagrams, earning a slight edge over its classic counterpart, Scrabble. This lively word game injects a burst of enthralling energy into the holiday festivities with its unique gameplay. Bananagrams ditches the traditional game board, encouraging players to race against time to create their own interconnected word grid. Its portable and spontaneous nature sets it apart, allowing for impromptu matches anywhere in the house.
Landing in third place is the vibrant and dynamic game we all know and love: UNO. With its universal appeal and spirited gameplay, it requires both sharp wits and a touch of fortune. The aim of the game is simple: be the first player to get rid of all your cards. It commences with the player to the dealer’s left, and each participant must place a single card from their hand onto the discard pile, but only if it matches in colour, number, or symbol. As cards fly and laughter abounds, UNO’s accessible rules and fast-paced nature make it an excellent game for Christmas, appealing to players of all ages and ensuring that festive merriment and joy reverberate throughout the room.
Unravel the mystery and channel your inner detective with the classic board game Cluedo, securing second place. In this timeless whodunit, players assume the roles of suspects in a murder investigation, navigating the opulent rooms of a Mansion to uncover the murderer, weapon, and location. With its suspenseful plot twists and strategic gameplay, Cluedo adds an air of intrigue to every Christmas gathering. Whether it’s Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or Professor Plum in the conservatory with a lead piping, this game guarantees suspense and excitement, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a dose of mystery amidst the Christmas revelry.
Proudly claiming the top spot as the ultimate family game for the Christmas season is ‘Articulate!’. Crafted to perfection for shared moments of joy, this game is a testament to its ingenious design. As family members form cohesive teams (of two or more) and gather around the game board, players race against the clock to act out and describe words without using specific terms relating to these words. The words range from Objects, Nature, Actions, World, Person and Random categories. ‘Articulate!’ guarantees the ability to bring generations together for laughter and friendly competition, creating lasting memories; it ignites an extra spark of holiday excitement, making it an indispensable centrepiece in your Christmas festivities.
I hope you give some of these games a go as the holiday season unfolds – may the laughter and friendly competition bring warmth to your gatherings with loved ones; creating cherished memories that will live long after the decorations are packed away.