Best Board Games to Play This Christmas
Sat, April 10, 2021

Best Board Games to Play This Christmas

Christmas is the perfect season to spend some quality time with the family / Photo by: LoMit via Wikimedia Commons

 

Christmas is the perfect season to spend some quality time with the family. These days, however, it can be hard to get every family member's attention as they're all busy swiping and tapping away on their mobile screens. Good thing there's a fool-proof way to get them to ditch their devices for a little while: board games.

They may seem outdated but board games are still a fun way to gather and play with the family. The secret to making sure everyone is enjoying the game is finding something that's interesting and fun for everyone—from the kids to grandma and grandpa.


Choosing the Game

Getting a game that everyone in the family would love isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since people of different ages are joining in. One way to know if a chosen board game could be the perfect one for your family is to check the age ratings.

The Independent says you should also consider other factors like how long each member's attention span or their level of interest in the theme or premise of the game is. It adds that if someone or everyone gets bored of a game quickly and it is left at a dusty corner of the house, then it failed to fulfill its job of being a recreational activity.

Fortunately, the board game industry is living high on a mainstream renaissance where smaller independent publishers and major board game makers are releasing new games or are making significant innovations to existing titles to spark up the fun. 

Getting a game that everyone in the family would love isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since people of different ages are joining in / Photo by: Nicubunu via Wikimedia Commons

 

The past year has been filled with events devoted to board games worldwide, and with the booming comeback of the industry, it's no wonder that a new category has arrived on the scene: shelf-worthiness.

According to the Telegraph, this category pertains to board games that are so "beautifully crafted" that people who own them would put these games on display even if they're not being used.

New releases and improved versions of older board games launched this year have given us a wide range of choices. Check out this list of games that experts from The Independent, the Telegraph, and the Smithsonian have chosen as the games that many wanted to play again and again.

Monopoly

This is an old-time classic that may or may not lead to petty fights and bring out the worst in us. Luck and strategy are all you need to play this game. The classic version with the Landon landmark "is always a failsafe option and the perfect game to play post-Christmas dinner," according to the Evening Standard.

But for those who want something with innovation, the Monopoly voice banking edition could be just for them. This edition is a modern twist to the ultimate family board game. It has a voice-activated interactive Mr. Monopoly banking unit that handles all the games' transactions.

The banking unit eliminates the need for a player to take the role of a banker and keeps track of everyone's movements and purchases—thus putting all players in check.

Exploding Kittens

Cats are fun to play with and cat-themed board games are even more fun. With "Exploding Kittens," people who like "kittens, explosions, laser beams and sometimes goats" will surely enjoy the suspense and hope of not drawing an exploding kitten.

The game, which is apparently the most supported project in Kickstarter history, is simple: Everyone will take turns drawing cards until one of them gets an exploding kitten. That person loses the game, other players can make them subject to a consequence (like a dare) to make it more interesting.

Although it's technically a card game, "Exploding Kittens" is still among the top picks of games for the holiday season that the whole family will love.

Cats are fun to play with and cat-themed board games are even more fun. With "Exploding Kittens," people who like "kittens, explosions, laser beams and sometimes goats" will surely enjoy the suspense and hope of not drawing an exploding kitten / Photo by: Geraldshields11 via Wikimedia Commons


Cobra Paw

Another cat-themed game but more challenging than "Exploding Kittens," in playing "Cobra Paw," participants must have sharp recognition skills and ninja-like reflexes if they want to win since it's basically a first-to-snatch game.

Players will roll the two dice covered in symbols, and whichever symbols land face up should be matched with the tiles laid out in the gameplay space. They have to grab the correct tile for anyone else.

In case the tile for a certain symbol has already been claimed, The Telegraph says the players are allowed to steal that tile from the player who first claimed—this is when those ninja-reflexes would come in handy.


Wingspan

If you're looking for a more subtle and indirect game of competitiveness, then "Wingspan" is just the right board game for you. Winner of the prestigious 2019 Kennerspiel des Jahres award, the board game is an example of serene gaming that allows players to be indirectly competitive with one another.

In the game, the Smithsonian Magazine explains that players are in charge of a bird sanctuary and they have to compete with other players to attract the best birds. Its relaxing art style has players competing with each other without getting too heated.