Top 5 Games For Harmonious Holidays

December 25, 2018 by dracs

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And so this is Christmas. And what have you done? Another game over. A new family fight just began because your dad totally cheated and was hiding the Monopoly money behind his back and there is no way he should have been able to get out jail like that and ARGH!

Top 5 Games For Harmonious Holidays

Yes, it’s that time of year again, the time when families gather together to play a fun game, only for it quickly to dissolve into squabbling and in-fighting. So this year, we have decided to do our bit for inter-familial harmony and come up with a list of games to play together that won’t leave you awkwardly standing around in A&E with a metal battleship lodged somewhere awkward.

Here are my top five choices for games that WON’T start a family feud.

Forbidden Desert

Tense, fast-paced, tactile and encouraging you to work together for the good of the team, Forbidden Desert by Matt Leacock is one of the best cooperative board games available.

The game sees the players take on the role of survivors of a crashed airship, stranded in a scorching desert. Their only hope for survival; work together to find the lost pieces of their craft. However, don’t go rushing into the sands without a plan. For you never know when the sun will beat down and you’ll be lost in the wastes without water.

This game is one of the most tense and fun experiences I have had with a board game. Like Matt Leacock’s other well-known game Pandemic, there is a real sense of barely hanging on in the face of the game. It’s a difficult one to win, especially when you’re just getting used to it, and if you try to play without the support of your team, chances are you will die very quickly. However, the feeling of triumph when you all manage to pull together and escape the desert is fantastic.

Don’t Get Got

There’s always so much to do during the holidays, from making sure the kids aren’t stealing the food, to stopping grandma downing all the cooking sherry. With all that, getting called away to play a game is sure to get the blood boiling. Don’t Get Got by Big Potato Games provides the answer.

Don't Get Got is a party game with a difference. You don’t sit around in a circle. You don’t have game pieces in front of you. You don’t even have a time limit! It can go on for as long as you like. Each of you has a series of secret objectives that you have to try and trick people into doing; simple things like getting someone to high five you twice in a day, or compliment you on your hair. The first person to score three of their secret objectives wins.

Still from Big Potato Games' YouTube

This is a fun one as you can carry on playing it in and among the rest of the chaos of the holiday. Sure, you’re all going to be suspicious of one another, but then that’s family gatherings anyway. This game channels all that suspicion and deviousness that might otherwise spill out during the turkey dinner and keeps everything in a spirit of competitive fun.

Tales From The Loop

Adding an RPG to this list might be a bit of an odd one, but Tales From the Loop provides families with the perfect rule set to weave their own, fun, seasonal stories.

The game sees the players take on the role of a group of plucky kids taking part in the everyday adventures of a world very similar to our own. It takes a lot of its inspiration from classic adventure movies of the 80s, like E.T. or The Goonies. You know what other kind of movies from that time often saw kids taking part in fun adventures? Christmas movies!

This game provides you with the perfect chance to send your family out on a true Christmas movie experience. Maybe the corporations are replacing the true Santa with their own robot version. Maybe one of the kids found Santa’s sleigh and has taken it for a cruise with the gang. Maybe Santa’s been arrested again (seriously, this seems to happen in every Christmas movie) and it’s up to the kids to bust him out. The potential for a fun, one-shot game is endless and one that should provide you with a fun game to get your family in the seasonal spirit without too many tears.

Find Lance's Articles On Tales For The Loop Here

Dream On

Dream On has become a firm favourite for us in the office when we just want something quick to play. A light, memory based game, Dream On is the perfect one to bring out after the turkey has been eaten and you’re all in a happy food coma, especially if you had a couple of glasses of something to wash the turkey down.

Dream On is a cooperative game played in two stages. In the first stage, you are given a time limit. Before the sand runs out, each of you must take it in turns to tell a story using the cards you are dealt, weaving together a rambling, and often nonsensical, dream. Once that part is done, it’s time to see how well you can remember what you all played. You are awarded points for perfectly recalling the order of the cards. If your memory is anything like mine, you will inevitably need to ask for help from the other players to find out what comes next. Together, you weave the dream back together, discovering if you have formed a cohesive story, or a garbled collection of random images.

This is also a great story to get everyone working together on, but without the same level of tension you might find from Forbidden Desert or Pandemic. There’s no fear of characters dying if you fail in your task, only someone waking up with weird dreams and the silent judging of the game’s points system.

Watch Our Let's Play Of Dream On Here

Escape The Dark Castle

You may have gathered that we are rather fond of Escape the Dark Castle. And with good reason, as it lets you and your family come together as you weave your own retro, dungeon delving adventure.

Escape the Dark Castle is a cooperative, choose-your-own-adventure game in which the players are prisoners trapped in the titular Dark Castle. They must work together in order to escape, working their way through five randomly drawn chapter cards, each detailing a different situation they must overcome.

Escape the Dark Castle is a great one as it can appeal to all levels of gamer. The game itself is simple and easy to get a hold of, making it suitable for younger gamers or those who might not usually venture beyond the familiar, infuriating grounds of Monopoly. Meanwhile, the dark artwork is both great at establishing the atmospheric setting and evoking an earlier age of gaming for the more hardened neck beards amongst us. This all goes to make it a fun experience, whether you're trying your best to survive, or you're using it to gently torment your kids, a la Warren family tradition.

Find Our Escape The Dark Castle Content Here

There you have it, five games to keep your family happy and harmonious over the Christmas period.

All that's left is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy new year and we hope you all have a great YEAR of gaming.

What are your go-to games to bring out at Christmas? 

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