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Keep little ones entertained at Xmas with these top 10 family games to play

From Pacman Monopoly to escape rooms, there is something for everyone

We’re all guilty of binge-watching series on Netflix, then suddenly realising eight hours have just flown by with us being glued to the screen.

Though if you want to keep the family connected this Christmas, rather than have everyone plugged into their own devices, then we have the best alternatives for you.

We’re talking pre-tech style fun, with the top 10 best games to play collectively as a group.

It’s not just Snakes and Ladders or Cluedo anymore, there’s an abundance of awesome titles on the shelves as the gaming world enjoys a huge surge in recognition due to lockdown.

If you’ve got a hard-to-please brood and fear them rolling their eyes before you can even say ‘board games’, then don’t fret, there is plenty to choose from including an escape rooms extravaganza called Trapped that involves thought-provoking excitement; then there’s Throw Throw Burrito, which involves anything and everything but sitting still around the table; and let’s not forget two pure classics combined together with Pacman Monopoly.

Thanks to the UK’s leading board games journalist (we sort of want his job), Peter Jenkinson has compiled a list that will provide endless amusement as well as bonding with loves ones.

Check out the full list below.

Herd Mentality

[Credit: Herd Mentality]

This party piece is based on the most obvious answer winning. There are 160 question cards, 62 tokens, a pop-up paddock and the all-important squeezy pink cow.

Players must write answers to the questions down and if you’re in the majority you win, but if you’re not with the ‘herd’ then you’ll be stuck with the pink cow and destined to lose.

Throw Throw Burrito

[Credit: Throw Throw Burrito]

This up-and-active game is best described as dodgeball meets card play. Players go head-to-head following instructions and then attempt to hit opponents with super-soft Burritos.

It may be a good idea to move anything posh or grandad’s urn before you commence, but it’ll be well worth the effort to create the perfect space to fully enjoy this game.

Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza

[Credit: Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza]

This game is similar to Snap but the objective is to match the image on the card and spoken word.

Players must place a card face-up into the pile, while everyone says ‘taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza’ in sequence. When a match between word and card is made, hands must be placed over the cards – last person to do so takes the pile. First to rid themselves of all their cards is victorious. 

5 Second Rule Spintensity

[Credit: 5 Second Rule Spintensity]

The aim is to name three things related to whatever is on the card you’re given, which could be anything from ‘counties beginning with M’ to ‘creepy things’.

When your task is done, you’ll be given a new instruction which could be to name two or three more, draw another card or move on to the next player – but if the timer turns red you’re out.

Einstein Eats Eggs

[Credit: Einstein Eats Eggs]

You get 90 seconds to guess as many of the three-word alliterative phrases on the cards as you can – the number of expressions you get right is the number of spaces you move on the board.

So, one member of the team has to describe each word of the alliteration. They can describe, act, use synonyms, noises, anything as long as they don’t reveal the words on the card.

Big Money Game

[Credit: Big Money Game]

Players must roll the dice to make money, which they put towards an investment for their empire (such as, a candy factory or a pro-soccer team), and as you play you’ll decide on the level of risk you’re willing to take to become rich the quickest.

Trapped – Escape Rooms Game Packs

[Credit: Trapped – Escape Rooms Game Packs]

Let the fun begin with this thought-provoking selection, complete with three games in one. Offered in three different levels, this game lets you turn your house into an escape room.

Played with 2-6 people, each variation offers a different scenario. You’ll solve puzzles with ‘Carnival’, steal a painting and flee in ‘Art Heist’ and crack the clues to open a vault in ‘Bank Job’.

Each pack has all you need to set up your chosen room, and as they can take 1-2 hours to complete, it is suggested that you don’t use the smaller rooms in your house.  

Beat That

[Credit: Beat That]

Time to limber up and prepare to bounce, flip, stack, hop, roll, blow, balance and catapult your way to the family title. With 160 challenges inside, you’ll need a good combination of skills on your side to help you to victory. Players win points by betting on their ability to complete various dexterity-based tasks. Not for anyone who takes themselves too seriously.

Pacman Monopoly

[Credit: Pacman Monopoly]

Celebrating 40 years of Pacman, this Monopoly set comes with a tiny arcade cabinet that serves as the central mechanic for playing the game. Instead of money, it’s all about racking up points and on each turn, moving your icon and the ghost token.

The aim is to get the most points as you race around, all while avoiding the ghosts. Each time you pass or land on GO, you’ll play the arcade machine to add more points to your tally.

Colourbrain

[Credit: Colourbrain]

A fab game for players of different ages to pit knowledge against each other, from remembering the Olympic ring hues to the costumes of the Teletubbies, this game is all about colour.

Exceedingly simple to play, and with 300 questions available, there’ll be something in there to test everyone’s abilities.

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