It is Christmas Eve and many of your are begging to gather with family to celebrate! In honor of that, our last two posts are going to center around things you can do in groups. Today we focus on some family friendly board games you can get at the last minute for your family get-to-gethers.
For tomorrow, I will say, you will want to have some of your favorite holiday drinks available as we put a new twist on some holiday classic movies: but, today we will focus on:
Day #11: Family-Friendly Board Games
Telestrations is a lesser-known game, but still just as fun, if not more so than others out there. One of the best aspects of this game is that it is accessible for younger kids to play along with and draw on the cards, but still versatile enough to be hilarious with all of the adults playing.
The gist of the game is a mixture of Pictionary and the elementary-school game telephone. Each player draws a card with a list of topics on them and a dice roll determines what needs to be drawn. That player then picks up the white-erase notepad, writes the word on the first page and then draws a picture representation of it on the next page. The pad then passes to the next person, who in viewing the drawing, needs to guess what it is and write that on the third page.
The next player then looks at the last persons guess and needs to draw a representation of that on the following page. The game continues until all players gets his/her pad back. Each player then takes turns going around in a circle to reveal what the topic was and then the evolution of that topic, to usually hilarious results.
Players get points if they guess the clue or their picture is correctly guessed from the original clue. Ultimately, this game is more fun the more people you have, and supports upwards of eight players. I can vouch that every time I have played this game, be it with friends or family, it has been a blast. The one downside is the markers do tend to dry up fairly easily, but all you will need to do is purchase more dry erase markers and the fun continues.
This game is another fun classic from my family’s gameplay sessions, though it is not very accessible to younger than teenage kids as there is some writing that is involved.
If you are unfamiliar, the basis of the game is trying to be the best at coming up with explanations for odd things. As you can see on the game box above, there are five different categories to choose from. The “dasher” as the game calls it draws a card and rolls a die to determine what category they are using that turn. They then read the topic to the players and they must explain what that actually is, trying to make it sound either as hilarious or as legitimate as possible.
For example, on the above card, say that “Laughable Laws” is the category. Each of the players must write down what it is against the law to hang in St. Paul, Minn. They turn these sheets in anonymously and the “dasher” then reads them aloud along with what the actual answer is. The rest of the players must then vote for the one they think is most likely the law.
Once again, depending upon who you are playing with, the game can get quite funny and inappropriate pretty quickly and can be just as good once all of the children are asleep.
Straight out of the Old West comes Bang, a multi-player card game that can work for teenagers and above, but can be played with younger kids if they have just a bit of help. The game, based off of Italian Spaghetti Western style movies, is all about looking out for yourself (and the sheriff if you are a good guy).
Each player, face down, draws the role they are, which range from the Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, or Renegade. Depending on the type of player you are changes the victory conditions for the game: if you are the Sheriff or Deputy, you win if all of the bad guys are killed; if you are an Outlaw, you win by killing the Sheriff; if the Renegade, you win by killing everyone else (which is much more difficult than it seems). The only player who reveals what role he/she is will be the Sheriff, everybody else must not let on who they are.
Then, each player draws and selects a character card, which determines the amount of life and special ability that you have. Then, the players start drawing other cards to gain weapons, armor types of items and action cards, including the BANG! cards, which allow you to shoot others within range of whatever weapon you have.
This game takes a bit more up-front to pick up the mechanics of how it plays, but once everyone gets the hang of it, it can be a really good time. I know I have played this with groups of friends and family and have enjoyed it quite a bit.
Quelf is pretty basic in that your main goal is to get from the start of the game board to the finish of the game board quicker than everyone else. What sets this game apart from the rest is just how crazy that journey is.
Each person, to start the game, selects a character they want to be, from Queen Spatula to a super ninja monkey or a platypus. Once started, you roll a die to determine how far you get to move and then need to draw a type of card and perform a task. These can be anything from answering trivia about movies or basic knowledge to balancing or acting something out. Pass the test and you get to move, fail and you fall backward.
Where the game really starts to get crazy is with the “Rulez” cards, which add different elements to the game. These put into play rules that stay in the game for prolonged periods of time and can affect individual players or everyone. The group rules tend to add a step into the game, either forcing you to say something when the die is rolled or clap at specific times.
The individual ones are what make things even more crazy. In one game, I definitely had to hold a plunger in the air like a sword for the entire rest of the game, waving it from time to time as if I were a knight. Others challenge you to make a mask out items in your surroundings and wear it until another rule replaces it.
This, ultimately makes the game a crazy hodge-podge of everyone remembering the group rules and playing out their individual rules while still trying to complete the tasks on the other cards as they come up. I can honestly say, I don’t think I have laughed harder while playing any other board game.
So, these are a few of the games that I have played with family or friends and thoroughly enjoyed. Do you have any other games I may have missed? Are there any games your family plays during the holidays? If so, throw them into the comments below.
Thanks and have a Merry Christmas! And don’t forget, stock up on booze for tomorrow’s exciting finale…