11 of the Hottest Board Games This Holiday Season

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

The holidays are the perfect time to unplug, gather your friends or family around the table and partake in some friendly competition with a board game.

If you’re tired of dusting off the same old board game classics — I’m looking at you, Monopoly and Risk (even though I still love to play you) — or perhaps you simply want to change things up and play something different, then look no further.

Here are 11 new fun board games that are sure to be a hit with your loved ones this holiday season:

1. Pie Face Showdown

Hasbro / Amazon / Money Talks News
Hasbro / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 2

Ages: 5 and up

Just like the original Pie Face game — which was a huge hit last holiday season — you risk getting creamed by a plastic pie-throwing arm when you play this game, but that’s what makes it fun! To play the two-person game, simply load up the arm with whipped cream, rest your chin on the chin rest, put your hand on the red button and you’re set.

“In a nutshell, two people slam at their buttons until one gets a face full of whipped cream,” says one Amazon reviewer, who noted that his 10-year-old daughter calls Pie Face Showdown the greatest game “in the history of ever.”

About $20 at Amazon.

2. Potion Explosion

Amazon / Money Talks News
Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 2 to 4

Ages: 8 and up

This is a match-making puzzle game, reminiscent of Bejeweled, but it’s played with marbles and centered around potion-crafting and marble-crashing. Described by Ars Technica as a “nice efficiency puzzle with some great components, lots of colors and a bazillion rolling marbles,” Potion Explosion promises to be fun for the whole family.

About $35 at Amazon.

3. Secret Hitler

SecretHitlergame.com / Money Talks News
SecretHitlergame.com / Money Talks News

No. of players: 5 to 10

Ages: 14 and up

Secret Hitler comes from the creators of Cards Against Humanity. As its name suggests, this is a game of political intrigue and betrayal set in Germany in the 1930s. All players are assigned a secret party-affiliation card — liberals or fascists — and a character. The fascists know who their cohorts are and which player is Hitler. The goal of the liberals, who don’t know which party anyone is in, is to pass liberal laws or assassinate Hitler. The fascists’ objective is to pass fascist laws or elect Hitler as chancellor.

Popular Mechanics says this of the bluffing game: “Every game will descend into dark spiral of collusion, lies and impassioned accusations. You’ve never had so much fun accusing your friends of being Hitler.”

This game is a little harder to get because of limited supply. Amazon was showing the product sold out as of this writing, but Board Game Geek had some available. About $30.

4. Dohdles

Thames & Kosmos / Amazon / Money Talks News
Thames & Kosmos / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 3 to 6

Ages: 10 and up

Dohdles is similar to Pictionary or Charades, but rather than drawing or acting out a word, you sculpt it with modeling clay. For example, you may be asked to create an animal, ladle or feather. After your work of art is complete, the other players try to guess what it is. They can get hints by asking you yes or no questions. Be prepared to get creative and have a good laugh at the Dohdles you and your family and friends create.

About $30 on Amazon.

5. Apple Pop

Wonder Forge / Amazon / Money Talks News
Wonder Forge / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 3 to 6

Ages: 4 and up

If you’re looking for a game you can play — and quickly — with kids of all ages, look no further than Apple Pop. To win the game, you need to collect the correct color combination of apples (colored balls) in your basket by popping them out of the 3-D apple tree. “Kids who can’t sit still when playing Monopoly will enjoy this high-energy game that gives fine motor skills a workout,” says Family Fun. As an extra bonus, this game is fairly quick to play and easy to clean up.

About $10 on Amazon.

6. Memory Yoga

Think Fun / Amazon / Money Talks News
Think Fun / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 2 to 4

Ages: 3 and up

This is a fun tile-matching memory game that also promotes physical activity. Players take turns flipping over the yoga pose cards and trying to make a match. Once a yoga pose match is found, the player must stand up (or sit down) and demonstrate the pose.

About $10 on Amazon.

7. Whodunit

Selchow & Righter / Amazon / Money Talks News
Selchow & Righter / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 2 to 6

Ages: 8 and up

Are you a budding Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes? If sleuthing is your thing, this “game of secret identity and deduction” is sure to be a hit with you. A modern take on the popular Clue game, players choose an alter ego character and then snoop around an elegant mansion to try and identify which player committed the alleged crime. But guess wrong and you get booted out of the mansion (and lose the game).

About $30 on Amazon.

8. Spaceteam

Timber & Bolt / Amazon / Money Talks News
Timber & Bolt / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 3 to 6

Ages: 10 and up

If you want to play a game but you don’t have a lot of time, Spaceteam is for you. You work with other players to repair a malfunctioning spaceship and avoid an impending black hole in this loud and fast-paced game that involves tossing cards and shouting funny things like “I need the Quasipaddle,” says Popular Mechanics.

Popular blogger GeekDad calls Spaceteam “Five minutes of frantic fun.”

About $25 on Amazon.

9. Xtronaut

Xtronaut Enterprises / Money Talks News
Xtronaut Enterprises / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 2 to 4

Ages: 7 and up

This game, designed by a NASA mission leader, allows players to launch space missions with Xtronaut, “learning scientific stuff along the way like rocket-building and gravity assists,” explains Good Housekeeping, whose engineers reported being “impressed” with the detail and accuracy of space exploration in the game.

About $30 on Amazon.

10. Scrabble Twist

Hasbro / Amazon / Money Talks News
Hasbro / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 1 to 8

Ages: 8 and up

“Even if word games aren’t your family’s forte, you’ll get hooked on this classic’s ‘hot potato spin,'” says Good Housekeeping. As its name suggests, Scrabble Twist offers players a new twist on the classic Scrabble game. Not a board game per se, players have 10 (or more) seconds to make a word from the five letters that appear on the game’s handheld unit. The letters change each turn.

About $14 on Amazon.

11. Sheriff of Nottingham

Arcane Wonders / Amazon / Money Talks News
Arcane Wonders / Amazon / Money Talks News

No. of players: 3 to 5

Ages: 14 and up

Are you secretly a really great liar? Get ready for Sheriff of Nottingham — the ultimate bluffing game. After all, “what’s not to love about a game based on bribing, pleading and lying to the faces of your fellow players?” asks Popular Mechanics. You’ll either be assigned to be the sheriff or a merchant trying to deliver goods to market. The merchant’s goal is to convince the sheriff to let you in to Nottingham with your items — which could be illicit or legal goods. Meanwhile, the sheriff must determine whose bags he should inspect for contraband. How well can you bluff? Find out with Sheriff of Nottingham.

About $23 on Amazon.

What’s your favorite board game? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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