DON’T put up with those battered and boring old board games that have gathered dust in the cupboard alongside the toastie-making machine.
With most of us off for the festive season, it’s time to invest in some new titles for fun with family and friends.
I can’t guarantee they’ll not lead to some colourful language as your Christmas competitive spirit kicks in, or the classic manoeuvre of flipping the table into the air won’t occur when things don’t quite go your way.
From perplexing puzzles to wicked word games, here are some of the best new titles from the booming UK board game scene to add to your stash.
Got it – £19.99 from Firestorm games
For fans of Rush Hour
THIS game asks you some of the simplest general knowledge questions – but does so in code.
Your task is to decode the answers from a series of cards covering all manner of subjects using codes including Braille, semaphore, British Sign Language and Morse code, per dirne alcuni.
Karen: the Game – £16.99 from Zatu games
For fans of Smart Ass
SNEAK your own fake complaints in among genuine one-star online reviews as you take on the role of Ranter-In-Chief Karen in this game based on the internet meme of an over-demanding woman, Karen.
Bumfuzzle – £8.97 at Amazon
For fans of Colour Brain/S.I.M.O.N.
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A QUICK pick-up-and-play party game that’s great for kids, famiglia, friends and post-pub play.
Say the colour of the word on your card.
Sounds easy – but it isn’t.
It’s all to do with delayed brain response and will boggle your brain.
Fuzzies – £19.99 from WHSmiths
For fans of Jenga
BUILD a gravity-defying tower of fuzzy felt balls, high as you can, as the Fuzzies stick together.
Follow the instructions, pick up the supplied tweezers and try not to knock it all over on your go.
Chicken v Hotdog – £24.99 from Big potato
For fans of Bop-it
FAR more fun than bottle flipping, this game pits Team Hotdog against Team Chicken in a host of weirdly wonderful challenges.
Try a task on a challenge card or enter Flip-o-Rama mode.
Fire in the hole – £34.99 from Amazon
For fans of Beer Pong
ONE of this year’s most swash-buckling titles.
Set sail in the pop-up ship and bombard the enemy vessel with felt cannonballs by doing various tasks.
Match four colours in a row and then BOOM!
Dodo – £30 from Thames and Kosmos
For fans of pandemic
WHEN it is all put together you’ll want to keep it on display.
Everyone works to create a bridge for the unpredictable egg to roll down to a boat and sail away, so the Dodo gets a chance at its comeback.
Clipology – £24.99 from Smyths Toys
For fans of Trivial Pursuit
ACCESS this game via a smartphone and start streaming your own game.
There are thousands of questions, trivia, video puzzles and more – all that TV watching you’ve been up to over the years is about to pay off.
Disney Villainous – £24.49 from Amazon
For fans of Ludo
EACH player takes control of one of the Disney villains, including Captain Hook, Maleficent and Jafar.
Play to achieve goals and spoil your opponents’ chances.
It says “kid friendly” on the box but this has evil genius inside.
Cluedo Treachery – £13.50 from The Entertainer
For fans of escape rooms
TAKING some of the best bits from the classic crime caper game, this escape room-style play really is pretty good.
You can play solo or in teams to solve clues to make your way around the mansion.
Five second rule electronic – £19.99 from Smyths toys
For fans of Countdown
NAME three things that go with chips – before the five-second timer ends.
There is a version for grown-ups, Uncensored – well worth grabbing both.
Rear Window – £14.23 from Amazon
For fans of Cluedo
BASED on Hitchcock’s classic film, you play together in a kind of Cluedo meets Mastermind.
Beautiful artwork, it’s a slow game but enjoyable from the moment you take it out of the box.
Best whodunnit game I’ve ever seen
Sink and sand – £16.99 from Smyths Toys
For fans of mouse trap
TAKE your plastic characters on a jungle adventure.
Who will survive and who will be the one devoured by the quicksand?
Roll the die, pull the stick and get started to find out who gets trapped.
Word master – £14.99 from Amazon
For fans of scrabble
A TWIST on wordplay-style games, think Wordle meets Hangman.
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Pick from the categories, then a five-letter word relating to the category.
Players guess letters until someone gets the right word.