Friday 20 April 2018

Competitive spirit - Top ten family games for Christmas

What boardgame will you be picking from the shelf this Christmas?
What boardgame will you be picking from the shelf this Christmas?

In a poll last year Monopoly was voted as the family's favourite Christmas game.

Whilst we might think of the familiar British edition with its famous London landmarks as the 'proper' version, the game was originally set in America. In World War II, the British Secret Service even set up fake charities to get the game into prisoner of war camps, using the board to conceal real money, maps and compasses.

1. Cluedo

The classic murder mystery game plays upon the skills of cunning and deduction, with all bar one of the players trying to figure out the culprit and the murder weapon. Cluedo makes the perfect Christmas game as its full of deception and guile, that is if certain parents don't become so engrossed in the macabre nature of the game that everyone else refuses to play.

2. Scrabble

Although not traditionally a popular game with younger children, the official rules of Scrabble now allow for proper nouns to be used, opening up a whole lexicon of celebrity names. Say what you will about groups like N-Dubz, but they do offer a brilliant way to get rid of those pesky 'Z's.

3. Bananagrams

A relative newcomer when it comes to heavyweights of Christmas entertainment, Bananagrams is a fast paced, addictive game with a great amount of flexibility. Likened to a version of Scrabble called take-two, the aim of Bananagrams is to be the first to complete a vertical and horizontal chain of words.

4. The Conquest of the World

Originally devised by French film director Albert Lamorisse and known as 'La Conquête du Monde' (The Conquest of the World), Risk first released in 1957 and has become a household name all around the world. Using the art of war and diplomacy, the aim is total world domination, covering as much of the world's territories as possible

5. Trivial Pursuit

Released in 1982, Trivial Pursuit is a classic Christmas game, with wide ranging questions on general knowledge and popular culture. The game has been known to spark a number of arguments, with families apparently even disagreeing on whether the wedges you win represent slices of cake or cheese.

6. Chess

A game of intelligence and forward thinking, chess has survived through the ages evolving from a variety of ancient similar games. Although, personally never having won a chess game, even I, a chess novice can appreciate the skill and art that lies in being successful at chess. Although, not necessarily the easiest thing to persuade impatient children play, once learnt chess is a skill that will last a lifetime.

7. Cranium

A staple of family get togethers and dinner parties, Cranium is a brilliantly diverse and creative game. With its four categories, Cranium is designed to be "The Game for Your Whole Brain", ranging from creating figures from clay to answering general knowledge questions.

8. Battleship

An incredibly simple but enduring game, Battleship pits two foes head to head to, both vying to be the first to sink all of the other ships. While the game is mainly based around luck, a lot of players formulate their own 'secret' layouts of ships that they stick to every time.

9. Jenga

Another straight forward and yet entertaining game is Jenga, the aim is simple, players take it in turn to take out wooden blocks from the tower and place them on top resulting in an ever growing but unsteady tower. The last player taking a piece as the structure topples loses.


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