Christmas Guide: Top 8 Board Games to play with your friends and family

Let the mind games begin

There are nerds and then there are old-school nerds. Yes, we are talking about the kinds of people who prefer to conduct their mind games and back-stabbing face-to-face. For these board game enthusiasts, we have compiled a list of the top games you need to play this Christmas. Don’t worry, we have got those who are considering dipping a toe into the cut-throat world of board games, covered too. So you can get the whole family to play. That said, we shan’t be held responsible for any injuries born from sibling rivalries or broken families born from alliances formed, so consider yourselves forewarned. 

Family-friendly fun

Let’s start you off easy with some not-so-intellectually taxing games (you will definitely be taxed though) for the whole family or all three of your friends. 

Monopoly World Tour (₹2,499)

4 Players

Monopoly World Tour is definitely a delight for Monopoly lovers: the best part is the newly introduced stamping. Completed your travel goal? Just stamp your seal! The original community cards have also been replaced with Travel Journal cards and you can stamp those as well. The Travel Cards have either two or three stamp spaces and it lets the players give/take some amount of money from the bank (depending on the luck of course). Some of the travel locations added to the board include Niagara Falls, Rapa Nui, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canal, Angkor Wat and also India’s Ruins of Hampi. What is dearly missed in this version is the old real-size paper currency notes have been replaced by tiny cardboard currency that is a bit hard to handle.

Monopoly Super Electronic Banking (₹3,699)

4 Players

First, monopoly ditched paper money, and now they have ditched math altogether. Add these two facts up and you have a game of monopoly where it is nearly impossible to cheat. Take a step into the future with contactless credit cards and math-free purchasing. The game may be changed in several core aspects, but the fun and heartbreak that it brings remain the same. So grab a few loved ones and prepare for a whole lot of fun and a tinge of trauma.

We Like to Party (Games)

Not everyone is set out to play hours and hours of board games at a stretch, especially not at parties. So these games are quick, enjoyable and controversial. Just what every party needs.

Codenames (₹500)

2-8 Players

Vlaada Chvatil’s Codenames is a party essential. The premise is simple. Make your team guess the correct words on a board, by providing a single word and number with every round. Chaotic as ever watch as your friends triple-guess themselves at the simplest of clues and test how well you know each other!

Social Humour (₹700)

As many players as you can find

To put it simply… Cards Against Humanity but make it desi. This one is definitely not PG13 and will require a vast knowledge of Hindi and English slang from those playing. At the end of it all, you will be crying with laughter and that’s a guarantee (depending on your sense of humour of course). For those of you unfamiliar with the premise, a question is asked to the group and each person must choose the most suitable (or unsuitable) response from the cards in their hand. So prepare to get weird, inappropriate and politically incorrect.

Warning: This is not for the easily offended or weak of heart.

Co-operative Games

Now for the more experienced and those willing to challenge themselves intellectually and emotionally. These are some of the best co-op games out there that are definitely worth a few hours of your life. 

Mysterium (₹4,950)

2-7 Players

(Difficulty: Easy)

You and your friends are now clairvoyants being led to solving a murder mystery by a ghost who sends you messages in the form of ambiguous artsy cards. It’s like Cluedo but cooperative. The game takes about 40-50 minutes to complete and is truly a spooky experience. It will always leave you yearning for another round and is a great team-building and instinct-driven game.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 (₹8,500)

2-4 Players

Yes, we know we are just out of the pandemic but this co-op fight between scientists and four diseases spreading across the globe is a truly enjoyable and difficult game. It is played like most (non-role playing) games in that each new game reset the initial conditions, wiping past wins and losses away, unlike the real pandemic, offering limitless play, provided you are in for the time commitment.

Hardcore Games

Now if you are truly in for some hardcore games where learning the rules takes longer than playing most of the other games on our list, then this is what you need in your life. Ranked to be some of the best games out there today, these will have you shedding blood, sweat, tears and years of your life. What we board game geeks refer to as fun…

Gloomhaven (₹18,000)

2-4 Players

Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players set out to take on the role of a wandering adventurer, each with a special skillset and an origin story to justify their travels. Players must work together, despite personal differences to wiggle their way out of dungeons and forgotten ruins. Through the journey, they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and make game-changing decisions along the way…

Terraforming Mars (₹1,500)

2-5 Players

While this may sound like one of Elon Musk’s latest plans, this game promises the pure satisfaction that comes with conquering new lands. The premise involves four competing corporations that set out to transform Mars into a habitable planet using vast resources and using innovative technology. As the planet takes steps towards being habitable, hoards of people start immigrating to the Red Planet in order to flee Earth. So get to it…

Bonus: Ditch the boards

Dungeons and Dragons

Are you the type of group that will not take any rules from a mere board? D&D is the way to go. You create the rules, characters, storyline and journey. All you need is a 20-sided dice, among others (or an app) and a super creative dungeon master. So it’s all in your imagination!