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November 9, 2020

Gift guide: games for a smaller family Christmas

Sadly, the massive seasonal get-together is likely to be a little less massive this year.

But whatever the state of play on the lockdown-and-tier front, the Boxing Day boardgame must go on!

Like everything else, we’ll just have to adapt. So out go the eight-to-a-team raucous ding-dongs. And in come some slightly more compact gatherings. Hopefully a couple of family or friends will be allowed; Bill and Jean down the road can join in via Zoom. And, of course, you can still be as raucous and ding-dongy as you like.

We’ve reflected this in our family gift guide this year: games that work well in smaller parties; that cross the age range as much as possible; that will generate suitable Zoom-hilarity for absent friends.

So here we go with five screen-free games that very much fit the bill: family-friendly (but not TOO wholesome), addictive and funny enough to compete with the phone’s dreaded lure…


>> The LOGO Second Edition

One of Britain’s favourite board games gets a complete update for 2020 – totally brand new questions for the trivia game of stuff that’s all around us! Logos, slogans, TV ads, brand names… puzzlers about what’s in your cupboards, on your telly and in your driveway! The original game formed the basis for many a Zoom quiz night this year, so this is a big opportunity to get people together again. Find it at Amazon here.


>> The LOGO Best of Food Game

And on that front… the new topic-specific LOGO game for everybody who eats! Best of Food takes the same gameplay as the classic original, but stuffs it with trivia about food and drink. Cakes, cereals, coffee and confectionary – it’s 258 question cards for the peckish! Like its parent game, an age range of 12+ is suggested, but they’re both team games about universal topics… there’s plenty of opportunity for the younger ones to chip in. The Best of Food's on Amazon here.


>> Sketchy

Hang on… we said *screen free*! Make an exception for the Sketchy screen, however: a chunky, two-sided, beautifully simple concept. Scribble what’s on the topic card and watch your teammates frantically guessing against the clock. Holding up the screen means that EVERYBODY can join in the laughter; set up a Zoom call to let uncles and aunts join in the fun. Topics are simple and universal – big laughs for children and adults alike. Here's Sketchy at Argos.


>> Articulate Fame

A game for all the family - but created to be especially engaging for those tricky-to-entertain teens. There’s not a lot to say about the original Articulate that hasn’t been said before: perennial best-selling Christmas game; mainstay of ‘top ten’ lists for years; gazillions of five-star reviews everywhere, etc. etc. ‘Fame’ is the quickfire Articulate game of famous people – from Kylies to Kanyes; Dahls to Disneys… 120 superstars from every sphere to frantically describe against the clock! (Blank cards are also included, so you can sneak in ‘dad’ or ‘Steve from college’ amongst the Freddies and Adeles.) At Amazon, here.


>> Articulate Christmas

And it’s that time of year, after all. Ho ho ho! The very special festive-themed Articulate game – twenty minutes of Yuletide silliness in a stocking-filler/secret Santa type package. There’s none of this boring and conventional ‘board’ nonsense… just complete the Christmas jigsaw to win! (If you have a particularly Christmas-loving family, then there are two LOGO Christmas special games as well!)

Find all these games at Amazon, at Argos and in High Street toy and game retailers

Read also: Christmas gift guide for kids’ games: Silly, screen-free and shedloads of fun…

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