Christmas holidays are just around the corner and this is the time when most non-gamers would consider playing a board game. Especially if there is a fireplace in the background and cold outside. I’d like to give a few suggestions of few good family and party games you can tempt people into playing.
Board games in general are all about the people playing them. What i mean is, the joy one is getting from a game usually depends on the people he is playing it with. In the case of party/family games this is even more important because these games are usually thin on rules. It’s the social experience they are trying to promote which makes the difference and the group’s chemistry is key. You can play the same game with two different groups and can have a poor time with Group A but then also have a blast with Group B. This is not to say that Group B is better than Group B. It may be that the game is a better fit with the latter group.
So when choosing a game to play have in mind the group you are going to play it with. What do they like? How close are they with one another? How loud or introverted they are and so on.
There are many more party games out there apart from the ones i mention below. These are just some of the ones i’ve played and definitely recommend. Just do something different this year. Play a board game with your family and friends instead of just sitting around talking about Troika, the bailout and how bad things are all the time. Have some face to face fun with the people you care about.
Say Anything (3-8 players)
This is the latest party game i’ve played and it’s very promising. You definitely need to have as many players as possible, preferably 6-8. I’ve only played it twice but it’s quite fun. The fact that you can teach the game in only a couple of minutes is an added bonus. A player needs to guess what his friends’ answers would be to a given question. Do you really know them and do they really know you??
Here is a video of a group playing it on Will Wheaton’s Tabletop show.
Telestrations (4-12 players)
If Pictionary and Telephone had a baby, it would be called Telestrations. It’s such a fun game to play especially once you ignore the points system. Just play the game and enjoy the mistakes you will make! The worse you play it the more fun it is. Mistakes can lead into situations like this one.
Saboteur (3-10 players) & The Resistance (5-10 players)
These two games are quite similar in how they are played. Cooperative card games with traitors among the players. Although personally i like The Resistance more, most people i’ve played the games with prefer Saboteur. Like i said in my intro the enjoyment one gets from this kind of game depends on the people playing it. To get the most of these two games you need a group who is comfortable in role playing to some extent i.e. lying and accusing each other which is whole idea of the game. More than the actually winning or losing.
Totally Rad Show played and reviewed the The Resistance.
Survive: Escape from Atlantis (2-4)
You need a family game for up to 4 players? Look no further cause Survive is one of the best around. It’s certainly the best family game in my collection. With 4 players it’s fantastic. If you are only getting 1 family game this Christmas this should be it. Also try and get the two expansions if you can find them.
Drakkenstrike’s review. It was after watching the time lapse in this review that i ordered the game.
Dixit (3-6 players)
I am an accountant. My creative skills are very, very limited. So are those of my friends. Therefore we suck at playing Dixit as it demands an open mind and the ability to translate a picture into a word, sentence or lyric. However, i love it. This is a wonderfully creative game. It can be a 10/10 or a 1/10 depending on who you are.
This is an earlier post i wrote on Dixit.
Flashpoint: Fire Rescue (1-6 players)
I am throwing a co-operative game as well in this list where all players play together against the board. It’s probably not the best co-operative game out there but it’s one of the most thematic. You are a team of firemen trying to rescue victims from a burning house. It’s more interesting and accessible than other co-op games like Ghost Stories and Pandemic.
Once again, Drakkenstrike gives you a good idea of what the game is about.