For us, Christmas is all about spending time with the ones we love, and the highlight is gathering together round the dining table to eat and play games with family and friends. Getting out the cards and board games and putting away the phones and iPads!
This year we've chosen our top 20 games from our new gift collection including some firm favourites from last year like The Mind and Outfoxed and other brand new goodies such as the amazing Ishtar Gardens of Babylon and cool Kazoo Karaoke.
We've grouped our gift ideas into age ranges and interests to help you choose - but the one quality they all share is FUN! And they're guaranteed to keep the winter blues away ...
Games for children aged 5-7 plus
Let's start with Outfoxed, a great family board game in which everyone aged 5+ can work together to stop the fox escaping with Mrs Plumpert's prized plum pie! Then The Muddles is brilliant for boosting creativity as children mix two real life animal cards together to make their very own imaginary creatures.
And if you want an introductory card game for kids who also happen to love dinosaurs (and who doesn't?), you can't go wrong with Dino Dump. Be warned that the loser gets stuck with a scratch-n-sniff dino poo sticker at the end … perfect party humour for younger (and not so young) kids.
Games for children aged 8-12 plus
Try more testing games such as The Mind, where team members have to work out how to communicate without words, and Qwantum, a fast-paced dice game which tests mental maths as well as strategic skills!
Dragonwood, a legendary game "of dice and daring", is also great for strategy, and Anomia helps to improve speedy linguistic skills, having won a Mensa Select award. If your family loves movies, Blockbuster's a great bet, with its buzzer round and twist on traditional charades.
Children can also take the fun with them with our mini game travel kits. Let them battle it out with their opponent to line their tiles up in Travel OK Play Duel (sounds easier than it really is!), and enjoy a choice of entertainment in a tin with True or False or Kazoo Karaoke. Both provide perfect family fun after a lengthy Christmas lunch as there's no complicated rules involved!
Games for teenagers (and their adults)
Just over halfway through our Top 20 and we've hit the most difficult to please group! We've searched hard to come up with some cracking suggestions to encourage them to join in with the festive fun.
Weird Things Human Search For will inspire them to complete some very surprising online search suggestions and Obama Llama 2 is an energetic rhyming game for up to 20 people - perfect for any lively party! You can also choose mini versions of WTHSF and Obama Llama 2, which make ideal stocking fillers.
Another quirky pocket sized party game is Mini Colourbrain, matching colours to questions, aimed at those who don't like "boring" quizzes. For teens who'd prefer an imaginative and original strategy game, try Ishtar, where they'll become a gardener transforming a dry desert into the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
And for those aged 17+, who'd prefer an antidote to "too much" family cheer, the Bucket of Doom will defy them to dodge death in a range of bizarre situations with the help of some totally useless objects!
Themed party games
If you're looking for a gift for music lovers or pub quiz aficionados, or for friends who'd love to host a murder mystery evening or casino extravaganza, these final four games are our top picks: Music Night In; Host Your Own Pub Quiz; Murder Mystery At The Theatre; and Host Your Own Casino Night.
Each lovely boxed set contains everything they'll need for the start of an unforgettable night in - and they can add any extras such as competitiveness, festive food and drink and optional dressing up! These themed games are great fun and packed full of seasonal cheer - highly recommended.
We hope you've enjoyed reading our Top 20 guide and it's given you some great Christmas shopping ideas. Find them all in our Games & Toys Gift Collection along with a selection of high quality toys and personalised book and toy sets … guaranteed fun gifts for all your family and friends!Continue reading