There is nothing more Christmassy than gathering around a table and playing games. At Ready Steady Roll that happens a lot, so we’ve learnt the games that go down an absolute treat.
So we listed some:
Survive: Escape from Atlantis
One of the meanest games we have, in Survive, players are on an island that is slowly sinking and they must get their people to shore before they get eaten by a shark or a Sea Monster. There is something very fun about sending a shark to eat one of Grandmas swimmers or using a whale to knock all of your niece’s people out of their boat and into the sea!
Mean, strategic and chaotic
A delightful puzzle game about feeding a little creature candy. Work as a team (or on your own!) to complete the physics puzzle and move through the levels like a video game. Starts of easy, but quickly gets the brain working!
Colourful, Cute and Challenging
Want a game that's a bit more relaxed, slow and calculated? In Splendor, players will be collecting chunky, poker chip-esqe Gems to buy cards from the table to get the most points. The key is that buying cards lets your buy more and more cards and with the right strategy can lead to very satisfying turns with the right combination of cards.
Strategic but relaxed
Like Checkers with sheep, you will be moving sheep around a board (which is assembled differently every game for loads of variety) to claim as many pastures as possible. Be careful however, as you can’t move over any other sheep, so don’t let anyone block you in and trap your sheep – or even worse, block yourself in a corner with your own flock!
Easy to learn, hard to master!
Troll and Dragon
Venture into a troll’s lair to steal diamonds without getting caught! Push your luck as you gather your loot, but beware of getting too greedy and losing everything. But wait, is that a door? Make it through the door into the dragon’s lair to steal more valuable gold… but again, the dragon isn’t very happy about this and will try and catch you – with the help of the other players around the table!
Fast and Frantic dice rolling.
Telestrations, or it's ruder Scrawl 14+ and even more rude Scrawl 17+ cousin, are hilarious games of bad drawing and bad guesses. Like Pictionary mixed with Chinese Whispers, I've never seen a group play it without producing an insane amount of laughter.
Silly Drawing and lots of laughter
This game is so simple, but so fun! So fun in fact, that we had to get two copies for our games library as people were playing it so much! In this wholesome game, players work together to guess secret words with just one work clues. Be careful however, if you write the same clue as another player, all those clues are removed. This game always results in cheering when a player miraculously guesses a word you thought would be impossible.
Just One Minute to learn how to play, endless fun.
Lords of Waterdeep
With a huge board and lots of pieces, Lords of Waterdeep is probably the most advanced game on our list as we've tried to make it as accessible as possible. It's worth the effort to learn however! Players will compete to get the most points by recruiting wizards and warriors to complete missions, build buildings and hoard lots of money!
Lots of pieces and lots of fun
Like Pictionary, but insane. Each player has 6 secret words and 6 mini-whiteboards. Flip the 1 minute timer and every player draws their secret words as quickly as they can. Times up, flip the timer. Everyone is guessing each other pictures at the same time. Flip timer, back to drawing, then guessing, then drawing then a final guessing round. Each game is exactly 6 minutes long. The player that draws the best and guesses the most will win!
Hilarious drawings, frantic guesses and lots of laughter.
Most people have played a game of Dobble by now, if you haven’t, go and do that now. For something that scratches the same itch, try Ghost Blitz, which has a more brain melting affect as you have to work out which little wooden object you need to grab to win the round – don’t make a mistake though as you’ll have to put one of your hard earned cards back! Also be careful of flying object as everyone tries to grab the objects as quick as possible.
Fast reactions and a quick wit come up trumps in this game.
In Maki Stack, players will be working in teams to build structures out of... wooden sushi. Each round a player may be blindfolded and guided by their teammate, or (my favourite) each player on the team uses one finger like a chopstick to build the tower of food by coordinating their movement.
Silly Sushi Stacking
A quiz, but all the answers are colours. Easy to pick up, with some questions that will really make you think and suprise you with the answer. Great for Christmas as you can play in teams and there is such a variety of questions that there is something for everyone.
What colour is the lid of a marmite jar?
Ticket to Ride
No list of great family games would be complete without Ticket to Ride in their somewhere. Players race to build tracks on the board connecting different cities before they get blocked my another player! Simple once you've had a few turns, the game can get very tense near the end. With loads of different versions, from Europe, to USA to a Christmassy Nordic version!
A great Monopoly replacement
Play any of these games on Christmas Day and you're sure to have some great, cozy, family time.