5 Games to Help You Survive the Holidays

Looking for some inspiration while you stuff yourself with turkey leftovers this weekend? Or for us Canadians, trying to forget that you missed out on the long weekend that our neighbours to the south are enjoying? Here are 5 games to try (or re-try) over the holidays that will ensure you survive all that quality time with your family over this holiday season.

Don’t own these games? Don’t worry about it. It’s the perfect excuse to sneak out of the house and check out a friendly local board game cafe. We’ve got a big shiny list of them right here – find one near you!

forbidden1.    Forbidden Desert
Need a good way to break that family tension over the long weekend? Try a co-op game. Forbidden Desert is super quick to learn and will have you working as a team to dig yourself out of the rapidly rising sand in no time – way better than arguing with your dad over when you’re going to get a real job already.


blackfleet2.    Black Fleet
Maybe cooperating isn’t your thing. How about stealing your brother’s hard-earned treasure and then proceeding to sink his pirate ship? Black Fleet: Cheaper than therapy. Command your naval ships and band of pirates to steal, pillage and ship the most amount of goods possible in order to win the hand of the governor’s daughter (as well as your siblings’ begrudging respect)

camelup3.    Camel Up
Nothing brings families together like gambling, right? This newcomer won Spiel des Jahres recently and features a healthy dose of betting on the success of camels racing on a track for your pleasure. Easier than managing a fantasy football team and with less tears.


Dixit4.    Dixit
Dixit is an elegant solution to the problem of running out of small talk around your distant cousins. In this game, players attempt to describe their cards such that either all – or none – of the other players can pick it out of a group. This interesting scoring mechanic means you can even play it with your 13 year old niece who seems to be speaking a language all her own.

Hive5.    Hive
This two-player game is the perfect excuse to step away from the group for a minute with your favourite family member. This quick, simple, chess-like game has deep strategy and can be played on any flat surface (while still leaving room for pie). And with no set up time involved, you can be up and running before anyone realizes you’re missing the family portrait.

Ellie Frederickson is an experienced player of many board games and has cred as a purveyor of games from a time working in a game store. She has an inclination towards Euro-style games, but isn’t especially picky. Reading rules is a particular skill of hers (and a source of enjoyment, oddly enough) and she usually gets a game right the first time she plays it. She has a keen eye for good designs; in art, cafés and games; and an aversion to sub-standard food and drink

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