Fun For All The Family
Here’s our pick of the Best New Family Games for all ages. Our choices include the latest card games, board games, novelty games and more traditional games such as Monopoly. Our family loves playing board games on winter evenings, holidays and weekends away. Regular games nights are a great way to keep them away from their screens. If you can’t find any locally, we’ve included links to Amazon [disclosure].
Go For Broke
We think this game is going to big for Christmas 2021. An update of the classic game – you win by losing a million. Ages 8+.
New family game for ages 6+ where you need to avoid the traps and escape to win the game.
If you know the hugely popular ‘Pop-Up Pirate’ game from Tomy, you’ll love this new version but with a T-Rex. No-one knows when he’ll pop! For 2-4 players, aged 4+.
Logo – Best Of Kids
Logo is probably our favourite top family game ever. Here’s a new version which includes the Best of Kids products so it’s perfect for all ages. Ages 7+.
New game from brilliant games maker Big Potato. This is a social deduction game that’s easy to learn and quick to play. The charming snakes will try to get you to choose the wrong answer to a slippery question. For ages 12+ and a good one for games night. No plastic included!
Kids Against Maturity
This card game describes itself as being for ‘evolved parents’ and teenagers. Includes ‘age-appropriate toilet humour’!
Monopoly Cash Decoder
The latest Monopoly game features a twist – some of the cash is fake. When a player pays for something, the others can use the cash decoder to check the money is the real thing. Ages 8+. We think this is going to be one of the Must Have Games At Christmas.
Looks set to be a must-have game at Christmas. Feed Gus all sorts of food and watch his tummy grow. Of course, if you feed him too much – he’ll have to let one go! Age range 4+. Needs batteries.
Throw Throw Avocado
New from the people behind the Exploding Kittens game. This is a ‘dodgeball’ card game, where you go head to head with your opponents collecting cards while throwing and avoiding squishy, adorable airborne avocados. Fun and easy learn. Age range 7+.
Discover all you ever wanted to know about poo – and more – with Poo Bingo. Features 24 animals and their uniquely shaped poos!
Dobble always comes on holiday with us. Here’s the classic version and two new ones for you to try. See more games to take on holiday.
Images: 1. Paw Patrol Dobble. 2. Harry Potter Dobble. 3. Classic Dobble. 4. LOL Surprise Dobble.
Giant Pass The Pigs
Our teenage testers had loads of fun with Giant Pass The Pigs. If you’re familiar with the original game, you’ll know you throw the little piggies like dice and calculate your score based on the positions they fall. So, a Razorback – where the pig falls on its back – is five points and a ‘Snouter’ – where it falls on its nose – is ten points. There are other outcomes too, some easier than others, and in this game you get more points for a pair! Giant Pass The Pigs is different because the pigs are inflatable and much, much bigger (nearly 60cm across the back). The teens had a lot of laughs and thought the game was especially suited to an outdoor gathering or around the pool, if you’re lucky enough to get away this summer. The age range is 6+. See more gifts for teenagers.
Monopoly Jurassic Park
Great for staycations, this is the new Monopoly set featuring Jurassic Park. For ages 8+.
Family Games – A Little Wordy
New from the team behind Exploding Kittens, this is a word game where you have to make a word out of tiles and then use cue cards to guess each other’s words.
Totem Infernal Power
Top-spinning game with five spinning tops and launcher for ages 7+.
Family Games 2021 – Uno Showdown
Uno Showdown is on Amazon’s latest list of top toys and offers the surprise excitement of a ‘showdown’ unit.
Family Games – Stacking Game
From Jacques of London, this is a stacking game in multi-colour. If you like Jenga, this is for you. We think it would make a great gift too.
Logo 2nd Edition
Logo is one of our favourite family games. Now out in the 2nd edition with all new questions. As tested by us, this is bang-up-to-date so kids will know the brands much better than before. It’s one for older kids aged 12+.
Einstein Eats Eggs
Fast-talking charades game where you play in teams to guess three word alliterative phrases. Use any clues you can except the actual words. For ages 10+.
Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza
Hand-slapping card game that’s a bit like snap but you need to get the card to match the word. For 2-8 players aged 8+. Selected by The Telegraph as one of the 10 Best Family Games to play at Christmas.
Cards Against Humanity Family Edition
The very famous party game is now available as a family edition. It’s been completely rewritten and play-tested for families with kids aged 8+.
The overall winner in the Family Games section on How To Spend It Well At Christmas last year was Pencil Nose which is a bit like Pictionary but you have to hold the pencil (or pen) on your nose.
One of the Hero Toys 2020 and as seen on How To Spend It Well At Christmas, Drone Home is the first-ever game with a real drone. Race to launch your aliens along the ramp and into the drone. For ages 6+.
Five Second Rule Spintensity
Electronic version of the classic game now with a spinner for a new challenge each time. Includes 200 cards with 400 topics. For ages 12+. Features on the Telegraph 10 Best Family Games to play at Christmas.
Mad Dog is a randomised action game for kids aged 4+ with two or more players.
Fun-filled messy game with lots of slime for ages 4+ for 2-4 players. Save the flutterbies from Slimy Joe who is a carnivorous plant.
Screwball Scramble 2
On the list of This Morning Christmas Must Have Toys last year is the updated version of the classic family game for ages 5+. Now with all kinds of new challenges as players try to guide the marble through a brand-new maze.
New Family Games – Pensilly
Super silly drawing and guessing game for all the family. Features on the Lockdown Showdown List of the Dream Toys last year.
As tested by us, Articulate Fame has all the fun of the original game but no board. It’s focused on celebrities and incorporates a bit of a memory element for extra fun. For ages 10+.
A game of silly statues for all the family aged 6+.
New game from Ravensburger and one of the Hero Toys 2020. Big Money is a fun money game where you roll the dice to rake in the dough! For ages 8+.
Monopoly Mega Edition
New ‘mega’ version of the very popular game. Has a huge gameboard with 12 extra spaces, including eight new streets and skyscrapers. For ages 8+.
Monopoly Sore Losers
Twist on the trad Monopoly game which turns losing on its head and celebrates it instead. New rules just for losers such as winning monehy when you go to jail. One of the Dream Toys last year and on the latest list of top toys from Smyths. For ages 8+.
As recommended by Made For Mums in their latest Christmas selection. This is a lily-pad hopping game for 2-6 players aged 6+.
Family Games – Cluedo Liars
We like this twist on one of our favourite games. In Cluedo Liars Edition you have to lie to get to the truth! Features on the Lockdown Showdown List of the Dream Toys.
P is for Pizza
Fast-paced word game where the aim is to shout out a word that links the letter on one card to the category on another. For ages 8+. New from Big Potato games – a name you’ll know from What Came First, Colour Brain and more.
Germ Attack Game
New game from Horrible Science for ages 8+. You must beat the germs in a ruthless race through the body. First team to reach the heart wins. Lots of fun questions about your insides to win bonus points. For 2-6 players.
The idea is to work out what everyone else will answer to a particular question such as: What is the best way to cook an egg? Selected as one of the Best 10 Family Games to Play at Christmas by The Telegraph last year.
New escape room game in three kits – the one shown is ‘Bank Job’. Includes real codes to crack and tests to pass. For ages 8+. Complete with code-reading square, puzzles, clues, solutions and props.
Virus Card Game
Us any means you can to immunise yourself while trying to stop your opponents from infecting, destroying or stealing your organs. For 2-6 players aged 6+.
UNO Frozen 2
New UNO version featuring all your favourites from Disney Frozen 2. There’s also a special ‘Forces of Nature’ rule. For players aged 7+.
Drawsome People is a new drawing and guessing game for 2-10 players aged 11+ from Ridley Games. It challenges players to draw celebrities, characters and fellow players in a variety of different ways. Selected as one of the Hero Toys 2020.
What Came First Game
New in 2019 from Big Potato Games (Colour Brain, Don’t Get Got etc) is What Came First. For ages 10+, you bet on which one came first for example, mayonnaise or ketchup? It’s fast-paced and fun. A great alternative to bingeing on boxsets!
New Family Games – Monopoly Speed
When we were young, there were games of Monopoly that lasted days on end. Life is a bit faster now so here’s a new game of Monopoly that is made for those of us who have very little time on our hands. You can get through a whole game in 10 minutes!
New Family Games – Throw Throw Burrito
From the people behind Exploding Kittens, this an action party game for 2-6 players aged 7+. Selected by The Telegraph as one of the 10 Best Family Games to play at Christmas last year.
Family Games – Pictionary Air
Download the free app, point the in-app camera at the illustrator and they’ll appear, along with their sketch, on the screen of your smart device. For ages 8+. Perfect for family games nights.
Harry Potter Cluedo
For ages 9+, this is the classic game but featuring all your favourite HP characters.
Play as the Ninja master and use his huge Karate chop slap to defend the coin. Or play as the student trying to tap the coin. The first player to defeat their opponent three times is the winner! For ages 8+.
Family Games – The Genius Square
As recommended by one of our testing families, The Genius Square a simple but brilliant game for ages 6 years – adult. Just roll the dice, fill in the blockers on the board and then race against the clock – or an opponent – to fill in the other squares.
Family Games – Colour Brain
Tested and recommended by our family. This is a great game for families with older children – although we played it recently with some 9/10 year-olds in mixed teams which worked very well. You need to correctly name the colour/s for things you see everyday. It’s harder than you think!
And now also available in Disney Colour Brain.
And Junior Colour Brain for ages 6+.
Monopoly Voice Banking
It’s been all over the news recently. This latest innovation of the game takes Monopoly to the next level. There is a voice-activated Mr Monopoly handling all the transactions, keeping tabs on property and money. No cash and cards to think about! For ages 8+.
Family Games – Exploding Kittens Party Pack
The fabulous, family-friendly Exploding Kittens card game now in a bigger pack, suitable for up to ten players.
And the third expansion set – Barking Kittens – is now available.
Family Games – Soundiculous
Soundiculous is from UK games company Gamely, the creators of Randomise. Players have to make and guess the sounds on the card to win points. There are Easy, Medium and Hard cards which makes it a great choice for families. Comes in a compact box so works well for holidays too. Age range 8+.
Family Games – Dino Dump Game
New from Big Potato games for ages 6+. A game that combines dinosaurs with poo and includes stinky stickers. Good price for a present to take to a birthday party.
Family Games – Giraffes in Scarves
New game from Orchard. Collect the most scarves in this counting and colour matching game. For 2-6 players, ages 4-7.
A party game in the style of Charades or Pictionary for ages 8+ from British games company Gamely. Perfectly sized for taking on holidays.
Great Family Games – Sussed
Family-friendly feel-good game that is perfect for Zoom calls. This challenges players to express their true personality and figure out others. Ages 8+.
Games are great for families
Regular game-playing offers the chance for families to spend quality time together away from the distractions of phones, tablets and telly. Family games also have educational benefits such as learning strategies, taking turns and matching skills.
We are always on the look out for great games and mostly play at Christmas and rainy days, or when we’re on holiday. Our favourite classic board games are Logo (which we find suits a good range of ages but best played in mixed teams), Cluedo (great for developing strategies), Articulate and of course, Monopoly. For holidays, we love card games like Uno, Dobble and Sushi Go.
What are the must-have games this year?
New games are being developed all the time. Recently, there has been a huge surge in the popularity of games for teens/adults. You should check age-suitability when making a purchase as many of the top-selling games are definitely not for children. Games are also becoming more targeted to specific interests. The many reboots of Monopoly are examples of this. Also, newer games such as Dobble are also bringing out multiple versions with particular themes such as Harry Potter.
It’s very hard to predict what will be the next big trend in games. Currently, games you can play over Zoom or fun family games are very popular.
Reboots of classic games
Lots of games reinvent themselves to stay relevant. Others create many different versions of themselves to appeal to niche markets. A great example of this is Monopoly which is available in many new formats and themes every year. The latest Monopoly games are Mega, Cheaters and specialist interest such as Pacman.
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