Christmas is nearly upon us. It’s great to be able to spend a whole day with your nearest and dearest, but when the turkey’s all gone and the conversation’s started to die down in favour of you being given the third degree by your great aunt, you might find you need a quick distraction. Any game in this selection is the perfect way to make that happen. However, you probably won’t want to play Cards Against Humanity with your great aunt. Unless she’s awesome.

Heads Up

It’s a much more high-tech version of a classic game that involved sticking post its on peoples’ heads, but this time it’s in the form of an app. There are expansion packs being added all the time, so you’ll never run out of rounds to play. You’ll get a chance to see exactly how bad your nearest and dearest are at everything from accents to singing, so it has everything you could possibly need in an icebreaker.

Jackbox Party Pack

If you liked Blankety Blank or Call My Bluff, you’ll love Fibbage. If you like Pictionary, you’ll love Drawful. The Jackbox Party Pack is a high-tech take on classic games which involves everybody participating using their phone. You’ll need a central screen so it’s a great option for families where turning the TV off is not an option.

Speak Out

It’s this year’s hottest game, and it’s been sold out everywhere for weeks. The basic premise is that everybody takes it turns to have their mouths held open with dentist equipment. They then have to repeat phrases to the other players. Tey obviously sound ridiculous, there will presumably be a bit of drooling going on, and it’s going to be really funny.


The most frustrating (in a good way) card game you will ever play. It’s a bit like a cross between snap and Where’s Wally. There are eight symbols on each card, and there’s always one that matches. Lay your cards in a pile like in a game of ‘snap’, and the first one with none left wins. If you manage to avoid tantrums while playing this on Christmas day you’re a better person than anyone on Team HowNow on a Friday afternoon.

The Tin Foil Game

An underrated classic, this game tests the artistic abilities of your family and friends. Pull the name of an object out of a hat and then sculpt that object using one sheet of tin foil. Think it sounds easy? It’s definitely not. There’s a reason all of the Romans chose to make sculptures out of marble.


Another game causing controversy in the halls of HowNow HQ. Linkee involves answering questions, and finding the connections between the answers in order to win cards. The first team to pick up enough cards to spell out ‘Linkee’ wins. It’s part Trivial Pursuit, part a massively dumbed-down version of Only Connect.

Cards Against Humanity

The perfect card game for terrible people (ie. all of us). It’s rude, it’s gross, and it give everybody a chance to show themselves at their worst. Points are scored for being funniest, which means nobody can ever agree on who should win, lending an air of unexpected jeopardy to proceedings, which is always a bonus.

Pie Face

It was the super-popular board game for Christmas 2015, which means by now it’s probably just about back in stock again. It’s like Buckaroo, but with fewer horses, more whipped cream, and a bigger cleanup operation. More to the point, it’s a family friendly game, so it is nowhere near as sexual as it just sounded in our description.


Officially one of the biggest causes of family arguments in the past decade. That’s not technically a fact, but it does seem to cause a lot of conflict. It’s a great way to find out who in your family has never seen even the most mainstream of movies, who can’t understand basic instructions to be quiet and, more importantly, who’s had way to much of the Christmas punch to be rolling around on the floor reenacting The Matrix.

So what game will you be playing on Christmas Day or any of the lazy days following it?


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