As December 25 approaches, it’s time to flex those board game-playing muscles. Because if there isn’t at least one game-related family feud this year then, did you even have a Christmas?
With last year’s festivities being a more restricted affair, Christmas 2021 is set to be a corker (or at least we hope). It’s a cause for gathering your largest groups of extended family members and doing all the things we couldn’t do in lockdown.
This year’s game-partaking will be a more exciting event than taking turns to be both game-master and player with your home-sick Spanish housemate. The tense atmosphere of competitive point-scoring ramps up several notches when teams of two to four players are involved. Just try not too squabble too fiercely when one-too-many glasses of Christmas spirit have tipped things over the edge.
There’s a wide selection of fun and niche games on the market to suit all tastes and age groups. Monopoly, the classic festive go-to, is set to be as popular as ever. Did you know over 250 million Monopoly boards have been sold since 1935? Line them all up and Santa himself would have to circle round the earth twice over to match its length.
From pop culture puzzles and tech-y tweaks on traditional crowd-pleasers, to quirky trivia party games, we’ve compiled a list of this season’s best board games. From the much-loved classics, to the child-friendly family options, we’ve got you covered.
Get in on the action with some of this year’s latest offerings.
Classic: Monopoly for Sore Losers
Hasbro has revised Monopoly for those who don’t take losing well. The twist is that you win by doing all the things that would traditionally see you lose - going to Jail, paying rent on a property, or the ultimate clanger, declaring yourself bankrupt! Designed to turn the much-loved game on its head and tickle your funny bone in the process.
Buy now £25.00, Argos
Have you always wanted to tell your sister she’s a “grotsky little byotch” but could never find the words? Here’s your chance with the Mean Girls Burn Book game from Big Potato Games.
Roast your friends and family with this themed party game. In-depth knowledge of the iconic quotes desired (but not essential).
Rules are everyone tears out a page, you read out some questions, then anonymously write down the most outrageous thing you can think of about each other.
Perfect for Mean Girls fans, teens and young adults.
Buy now £21.99, Amazon
Cluedo Liars Edition
This version of Cluedo is all about deception where you have to lie your way to victory without being caught. If your fellow gamers sniff a rat, they can hit the Liar Button which flashes red and can take you down if the truth comes out. A fun twist on the traditional game, it’s perfect for ages eight and up. Requires two 1.5V AAA alkaline batteries and Amazon Prime next day delivery is available.
Buy now £13.99, Amazon
Pictionary Air Family Drawing Game
Tech is breathing new life into classic board games, and this time it’s Pictionary’s turn. The new Air has players using the included pen with fellow players watching what’s being drawn using the accompanying app by pointing the camera at the person in the hot seat. The app can also link up with other devices like a Smart TV so all players can see what is being drawn on one screen.
A very savvy way to tech festivities to the next level (sorry, not sorry).
Buy now £20.00, Argos
Monopoly Crooked Cash
Another twist on the classic Monopoly game. This time round, a crooked-someone has planted fake cash and fake Chance cards into the mix.
Using the decoder, players are able to find the fakes and make their fortune. Challenge each other with the accusation coins (you only have a few coins to play so use wisely!). The player with the most money at the end - whether real or fake - wins.
Buy now £26.00, Argos
‘Odd one out’ could be an alternative name for this game, in which you must all write down the same answers to a provided question - anyone with a different answer receives the dreaded pink cow, which they have to hold onto until another loser is found.
A great game to play with family, it will force you to think strategically and second guess what everyone else might say to stay in play.
Buy now £24.99, Amazon
Day at The Festival Puzzle
An 1000-piece puzzle to fill the three-hour-post-Christmas-dinner-food-coma. There are 101 world-famous bands here to find as you build your festival stage.
Buy now £14.99, Amazon
Shot In The Dark
Out of every 100 babies born in Europe, how many are conceived in an Ikea bed?
If you’re dying to find out then look no further than Shot In The Dark: A trivia game filled with hundreds of the most bizarre and hilarious questions that no one will know the answer to.
No dull questions about capital cities included here. You’re sure to amass some quirky facts and useless knowledge along the way, which might just come in handy one day at your local pub quiz.
If you can’t make an educated guess then you’ll have to make a shot in the dark. There’s a drinking game forfeit in here somewhere...
Buy now £11.99, Amazon
A PG version of Cards Against Humanity, rounds are played with one person reading a ‘set up’ card with everyone else responding with their funniest punchline cards. A different game every time it’s played, this is brilliant fun to get your loved ones involved with over the Christmas period. Available for free one day delivery for Prime members.
Buy now £10.25, Amazon
This game involves describing as many rhymes as you can in 30 seconds while your team races to guess them. A festive version of Obama Llama, these rhymes are seasonally themed and perfectly silly. ‘Santa’s hat in a cowpat’, for example.
Buy now £9.99, John Lewis
A sneaky game that good bluffers will enjoy. In Snakesss, a new offering from Big Potato, everyone has to try and answer some ‘slippery’ multiple choice questions. After a round of debating, the players choose their answers and points are accrued by getting the correct one.
The catch is that there are some snake-y players sitting amongst you who already know the answers with the nefarious plan to trick the others into choosing the wrong answer.
Buy now £24.99, Waterstones
RuPaul’s Drag Race Puzzle
Drag Race fans will certainly enjoy this 500-piece puzzle that includes 17 of RuPaul’s most iconic looks from season 13 of the Emmy award-winning reality competition show.
How fast can you complete it?
Buy now £13.99, Rockett St George
5 Second Rule Spintensity
Perfect for fast talkers, this quick paced game will have you racing to name three things in five seconds before hitting the timer to see what the spinner wants you to do next. You’ll have to think fast to stay in the game before the timer runs out.
Buy now £9.99, Amazon
Night At The Movies: Movie Jigsaw Puzzle
We do love a good jigsaw puzzle. This one is both a 1000-piece puzzle and a movie trivia quiz. The perfect puzzle for riddle fans and cinephiles.
There are 101 film-related riddles to solve while you build and each one is the title of a famous film. Once you’ve finished building, it turns into a Where’s Wally experience where you use the checklist provided to make sure you’ve found every single movie. Three games in one to fill up some hours during the Christmas period.
Buy now £14.99, Amazon
Monopoly By You
Celebrate being surrounded by all your family again by gathering them around a Monopoly board. While there are many versions available, this year Selfridges has one that's extra special; it can be personalised with your family name.
A new pop-up (online and in-store in London, Manchester and Birmingham until Dec 12) allows shoppers to make the iconic property-buying board game their own by adding surnames to the box and choosing player tokens for each family member.
Buy now £35.00, Selfridges