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5 Christmas(ish) Board Games!

The Best Board Games to Argue About This Christmas Time!

It’s that time of year again where you are obligated to sit around a table and play board games with other human beings that you must pretend to like. Despite routinely playing board games all year round for the enjoyment of them, there is something about Christmas that brings out the worst in people. I still remember a very colourful Christmas argument about the stupidity of the rules of the Pointless board game.

But maybe if the thought of playing board games at Christmas is more than you can handle, then you can always consider actual Christmas board games. The following games on this list put the Christmas spirit into your favourite games. Or maybe they’re just regular board games with pictures of Santa on them. Whether you’re a big fan of board games normally or if you just need something to stop Twister being brought out or to stop the epic battles starting at the Christmas party, why not try a couple of these. At least when you’re playing board games, you’re annoying aunt can’t ask if you’re seeing anyone and you’re parents won’t ask how your career is going.

 

5.) Munchkin Reindeer Games

 

From the moment, my boyfriend first brought it home, I’ve yet to fully understand the rules of Munchkin. The rules are about six A4 pages long! There is a lot of circumstantial stuff and it’s explained in both way too much and too little detail. I don’t fully understand what you can do where. Mostly I just think you screw over your friends. Or help them, but mostly screw them over. At the core, it’s a role-playing battle game, with lots of fun and lots of, sometimes cute, monsters and weapons.

So, imagine all that, but with Reindeers I guess.

The game contains the same fun John Kovalic artwork from the other Munchkin games and the same twisted sense of humour from Steve Jackson. If you like Munchkin and Christmas, then Reindeer Games should work for you very well indeed. Although I think those Christmas arguments are just going to get worse!

Christmas themed monsters include: Teeny Tiny Tim, Recalled Toys, and Mrs Claus. That and new armour, such as Tinsel and Snow Shoes.

Munchkin has other Christmas versions of their games as well. These include Munchkin The Nightmare Before Christmas, Munchkin Naughty & Nice and Munchkin Holiday Surprise.

 

4.) Christmas Monopoly

 

 

 

I think more arguments have been caused by this board game than any other game in history. It’s long, takes brain power and you get to find out who in your family is the biggest dickhead.

For those of you who have never played Monopoly: Well Done. Basically, you purchase squares on the board for fake money and charge your friends whenever the die makes them land on them.

I have yet to meet a single person who actually enjoys this property management simulator. But, if everyone hates it, why are there so many versions of it? Besides, at least most people already know the rules. I suppose if someone in your family is going to force you to play this game at Christmas, then why not cover it in tinsel, Santa and sparkles. I’m sure the Christmas magic in the design of this game will take the edge off bankrupting your nearest and dearest.

 

3.) Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries

 

Ticket to Ride is an amazing game that is a must have at any gamer party. Not only is it a long, tedious board game – it’s also about trains! It’s the nerdiest game to be made yet in my opinion. And it’s brilliant.

In Ticket to Ride players have to reach their destinations. These are assigned to them at the beginning of the game. Players are given train cars, of various colours, and can claim routes on the board. The longer the route the more points it is worth. There have been several spin-offs of the game; including Europe, Germany and a version of the game for the under sixes entitled First Journey.

Then for the Christmas-spirited amongst us, Ticket To Ride: Nordic countries!

Nordic Countries, with a snowy picture of Santa and a Reindeer on the box, takes us through the colder, northern European countries during Christmas time. The game takes you through Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland (the home of Santa Claus!) Nothing says Christmas like having to travel long inconvenient distances, through inconvenient weather. So, according to the box: “Hop-on the Finnish railway and travel across the Arctic Circle to the land of the Midnight Sun.” Though knowing the Finnish railway during winter: the trains will be delayed due to snow before you have to pay a travel fine because the cold froze the ticket machine.

 

2.) Santa vs Jesus

 

So, at some point during the ever-slowing evolution of mankind, some people were sat around a table, trying to think of new board game ideas. Then one of them suddenly suggested a Christmas game surrounding Christmas’s two biggest icons. Are they happily having a tea party together? Of course not!

Rather than being a spin-off of an original popular board game, like the rest of this list, Santa vs Jesus is its own unique special concept. Players split into two teams, Team Santa and Team Jesus. The teams battle each other out through challenges, such as puzzles, riddles and challenges to determine the victor. Some of these sound unbelievably disturbing. Such as: “Working together to save a group of North Korean’s imprisoned for illegally singing Christmas Carols?”

At the end of the day, I don’t think this is a game to be taken seriously. The rules are fairly easy to understand, so it’s good for new players. It’s one for after the drink has come out surely, but fun in its own way. (Although on amazon it compares itself to Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens, which is a bit of a stretch!)

 

1.) Cards Against Humanity – Holiday Pack

 

Cards Against Humanity is possibly the best adult game ever made.

The premise is that each player is given a set of white cards, with questionable scenarios, people or items on it. A black card is drawn from the pack and everyone puts forward a white card that they think goes with the situation presented. The point is that each white card, on its own, isn’t an offensive statement. But players should use their white cards combined with the black cards to make the most offensive statement they possibly can! The results are hilarious!

Cards Against Humanity has produced many expansion packs since its release to add more flavour to the game. Among them, The Holiday Pack. The first Holiday Pack was released in 2012 and, as is normal with Cards Against Humanity, newer packs have been released since then to keep the game updates and satirical. (Although the latest in 2014 so not that current.) The pack contains thirty cards so you and your horrible friends can create plenty of horrible Christmas themed statements! Any profits from The Holiday Pack goes towards the Sunlight Foundation.

 

 

Twenty-something journalist, based in both Helsinki, Finland and London, Britain. I'm mostly interested in RPGs, including Fantasy and Horror, but also write topical pieces on gaming culture. I live with my partner and our five-year-old Australian Kelpie, Vernon.
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