The Holidays are a time when family and friends come together, socialize and celebrate. What better way to entertain and bring people together than by bringing out a board game or two? You may have a family favorite already and may want to think about investing in a new version of a classic or you may be interested in starting a new board game tradition with your family. Whatever your needs, Best Buy has a large selection of board games to suit every family and friend group! They also make great gifts!
The old and the new: The originals and new variations on the classics
Monopoly was first released in 1933 and has been a classic family favorite, of my family and many others, ever since! I have so many childhood memories of winter evenings spent playing Monopoly. I’m the youngest child in my family so obviously I spent my younger years lying on the carpet playing with the dog and top hat game pieces while my family competitively bought property above me. However, as I got older I moved up to the table and into the game. My parent would always let me be the banker so I could practice my counting and math so I have so many memories of slowly counting out everyone’s $1500 as my brother looked on, becoming more and more impatient.
Today, when the family gets together we tend to play more card games but I recently went down and blew the dust off our old Monopoly board because I wanted to bring it to our friend’s cabin. Unfortunately, there was about $100 left inside and only the top hat player piece had survived. So I went to a board game store to buy a new board and was shocked by how many versions of Monopoly there are now! The two I want to try are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition and the Beatles Edition. In the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition, you set out on a quest to try to buy up Helm’s Deep or Isengard while using one of the six collectible player tokens. The Beatles Collector’s Edition has you acquiring famous Beatles albums and properties while playing with fun player tokens based on famous Beatles songs, like a strawberry, for Strawberry Field’s Forever, and a walrus, for I am the Walrus. There’s even Monopoly versions based on your favorite hockey teams, like the Vancouver Canucks, where you attempt to acquire the most players and other team assets and eventually negotiate them for trophies.
From your television to your table: Board games based on your favorite television shows
Another trend in board games is the games based around popular television shows. Some are based on classic board games, like the Big Bang Theory Edition of Clue or Dr. Who Monopoly, while others are their own unique games. When browsing through the games on the Best Buy website, the two that caught my eye were the board games based on the Walking Dead and Dexter. If you watch the shows, the board games are a great way to continue the fun in between seasons or, in the case of Dexter, when the show has ended. The Walking Dead Board Game is based on the hit series from AMC that just started its fifth season. Choose one of your favorite characters, like T-Dogg or Andrea, and work your way through a zombie-infested Atlanta while you get weapons and supplies. If you die, you turn into a zombie, or one of the Walkers, and your job becomes hunting and catching the other players. In Dexter: The Board Game, you travel through Miami as Dexter, hunt for suspects that will become your next victims, cover up your crime with blood spatter reports and dispose of your evidence at the marina.
For all the gamers: board games inspired by video games
Everyone has been addicted to one video game or another in their lifetime. These video games are now being taken from the screen and being made into games that you can enjoy with your friends! A classic is Tetris. Hours and hours of my life have been wasted flipping around Tetris cubes in an attempt to make row after row disappear. Rather than being distracted for hours alone playing Tetris on your phone or laptop, take that addiction from the screen to the living room with Tetris Jenga from Hasbro. Rather than just piling the simple Jenga bricks, Tetris Jenga forces players to take it up a notch by taking Tetris pieces from the bottom of the tower and successfully piling those Tetris pieces above it without letting the tower topple.
A more modern tech favorite is the online game Bejeweled. Everywhere I go, someone is playing Bejeweled – in class, on the bus and even in line at the coffee shop. The Hasbro Bejeweled Board Game surrounds trading and matching gems until you earn as many set of three matching gems as possible. The simplicity of the game makes it perfect for families playing with younger children.
My Personal Favorites
Though I have childhood memories of playing board games with my family, most of my more recent I also have many memories of playing board games with my best friends. When I was about 9 or 10, I spent a week at my best friend’s cabin and her parents bought us The Game of Life before we left. I think we played it every day we were there and again for weeks when we got home. I’m not sure what got us so addicted to it but I think we enjoyed it so much because as young girls I think we thought it was fun to build and create these “adults” lives for ourselves. The game is relatively simple as is largely based on chance. Rather than a dice, you spin the big, 3D wheel in the middle of the board, and as you move spaces, you land on various aspects of “life”, such as payday, where you got to draw a card that would tell you what you’re income would be, or career, where you are able to randomly select what your career will be. You also can have kids, go to college and even buy car insurance.
Now that I am older, one of my favorite board games to play with friends is Cranium. For those that haven’t played Cranium, the game consists of teams competing in 400 challenges in a variety skills, including drawing, sculpting, humming, spelling and impersonating. Many parties have ended in hysterics as someone attempts to impersonate a celebrity or whistle a popular tune off key as the other team members scream out ridiculous guesses as the timer runs down. The game is great for friends that have known each other for years, but it is also fun when used as an ice-breaker for a group that doesn’t know each other as well. We brought out Cranium when my family spent our first Christmas with my brother’s in-laws and it was a great a huge success!
The holidays are a time where loved ones come together and celebrate. What better way to celebrate than playing a board game! Whether it’s a new spin on a family classic, such as Lord of the Rings Trilogy Monopoly, or a game based on your favorite television show, like The Walking Dead, there is always going to be guaranteed laughs and memories made.
I’ve shared my personal board game favorites, what are your favorite board game to play with family and friends?