Christmas is just around the corner and you are probably going to be spending a bunch of it with your family.

That’s lovely and all, but after you’re fat on turkey (or some sort of nut roast) and you’ve had a nap there comes a time when you’ll have to spend some ‘quality’ time together.

Someone is going to threaten a game of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit or some bastardised house rules version of Charades.

At Best Play we think we’d being you a disservice if we didn’t give you the holiday board game panacea you need. Armed with this bushel of games below you will have the perfect answer for any occasion this holiday season.

Instead of Monopoly why not play

We have a whole list of games you should play instead of Monopoly.

It’s just that Survive is my favourite and oddly it seems to be a hit with the mothers. “Make sure you bring home that monster island boat game” or whatever the keywords my mum has remembered this time, as if I’m some sort of board game google (I am, try me).

I don’t know why you would ever want to play Monopoly if you owned Survive.

We’ve already waxed lyrical about what makes Survive such a fantastically brilliant game HERE. Just watch this Gist to find out more.

Oh we’ve even turned the rule book into this fancy animated one that everyone can flick through on their phones. it’s not even a minute long. Warning, this one might make your sister cry.

Get it here UK and here US

Instead of Charades why not play


Monikers is an in-joke creating machine disguised as a game about guessing what infamous person’s name is on a series of cards (you know, just like Charades).

The first round might not feel that exciting, and the second may be a challenge – but when you reach the third round. the game really gets going.

It’ll be the most ridiculous game of Charades you have ever played, and responsible for many late-night-drunken-belly-laughs-so-hard-you-get-a-stitch.

We recommend always making up a fourth round of whatever you feel like. Just shadow puppets, only a noise, facial expressions only; that kind of thing.

Buy it here UK peeps OR here US peeps

Instead of Pictionary why not play


On the one hand, the best bit in Pictionary is the drawing. But I have to say that on the other hand I do love the guessing.

Well, we can put those hands together because in Pictomania you are guessing while you draw and drawing while you guess. Everyone. All at the same time.

If that sounds like madness, well it kind of is. But it’s a lot of fun. Just trust in the Vlaada (designer of Codenames AND Galaxy Trucker). You can start drawing cats and dogs and before you know it you’ll be trying to illustrate debate whilst making it some how making it clear no one should be guessing argument.

Buy it here UK or here US

Instead of Trivial Pursuit why not play

Wits & Wagers

The problem with Trivial Pursuit is that your dad inevitably wins.

Unless you’re playing some quirky edition about Game of Thrones or Disney movies, but he refuses to play those ones anyway.

He’s a crafty one, your dad. Wits and Wagers though lets you bet on whoever you think has the right answer. So always bet on dad. Until he realises and starts getting them wrong on purpose. Well that’s sort of a moral victory isn’t it?

Get it here UK and here US

Instead of Jenga why not play

The little ones around the house would probably like you to play Jenga or maybe (the best game ever made?) Uno.

But you’ve played them to death. So why not get something that is a cross between them both?

It also features a rhino in a super hero costume. Is it a bird? is it a plane? No it’s our holiday giveaway to win a copy for free!

We all love seeing that tower fall over. Full recommendation here.

It’s also dead cheap ~£10 UK here or ~$12 US here

Instead of ANYTHING why not play

Last but by no means least it’s one of our favourite party and family games of all time: Codenames.

You’re probably sick of us going on about it, but if you’re not you can read our full recommendation here. Trust us, you should own this game and you should be playing it this Christmas.

It’s easy to get the hang of and you can play with just four people or almost literally as many more than that as you’d like.

So you should get it really here.

Well that’s your lot. There are plenty of great family games but these were some of our favourites. What will you be taking home this holiday season?