Board Games The Whole Family Can Play Over The Holidays

Games like Codenames, Small World and Arboretum can bring everyone together.

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This time of year, nothing feels more festive than ditching your screen-time and doing something analogue together. But if all you have is Monopoly or Connect 4, it may be time to try a fresh title. Roll the dice and pick up a new board game that’ll entertain your family and friends this holiday season. Here are eight awesome games to check out.

Arboretum

Collect gorgeous technicolour trees and compete to see who can create the most beautiful path through a garden in this game. Arboretum encourages you to play some tree types, while going after those of your competitors’, making every move an exquisite logic puzzle.

Codenames

Split into two teams and designate one person to come up with clues that link random words while the other team members guess the connection. Codenames is easy to learn, hard to master and has no player count limit.

Galaxy Trucker

Galaxy Trucker starts with a fast-paced scramble to build a space delivery truck out of disparate parts, and then pits your ramshackle ship against the random forces of the cosmos. It’s scrappy, silly chaos that never takes itself too seriously.

Ticket to Ride

Train games are their own world, but Ticket to Ride stands as the pinnacle of the genre. The game starts with everyone choosing routes they want to complete, then collecting locomotives to fill those routes. But with limited room for tracks, you’ll be competing to lay down rails first.

Small World

If Risk is getting old, try out a fantasy area-control game. Small World requires players to create their own quirky armies that then squabble for dominance on an especially cramped map. It’s a funny twist on a classic formula.

Bohnanza

With a handful of beans you’re forced to plant, and just two fields to plant them in, the only way to streamline crop space is by trading with friends. Play with up to 7 people and watch a bidding war unfold as you battle over the most in-demand bean varieties.

The Aquicorn Cove

Based on a charming children’s book by Katie O’Neil, this exquisitely illustrated game is a co-operative adventure that balances building a bustling town with looking after the local reef. There’s no win or lose, just a story of how successfully you balanced the economy and the environment.

7 Wonders

Start with a hand of cards, take the one that’ll help you the most, then pass the rest down to the next player. Repeat. This is card drafting, a mechanic 7 Wonders helped popularize. The simple and addictive formula means gameplay moves fast, even with the max number of 7 players.