Published on November 1st, 2023 | by Andrew Bistak

The Top Tabletop Games for Festive Laughs and Family Bonding This Christmas

The world of boardgames and card games has moved on a long way from chess, cards and snap, with new game developers creating tabletop games that tell intricate stories, build empires, have people in stitches laughing and feature some of the most abstract characters and creative thinking.

The Global Board Games and Tabletop Games market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate between 2023 and 2030. In Australia, the annual growth rate for board games is projected to be approximately 8.5% between 2022-2027.

Below are some of the top tabletop picks for this Christmas, guaranteed to help smooth family dialogue and create memorable experiences this festive season.

Christmas is meant to be a happy time for families and friends to get together, but we also know that sometimes it can be stressful. Games are a fun way to get your family together and alleviate those moments of stress, sharing experiences and telling stories that definitely are much more interesting than listening to your great-aunt’s ‘meet cute’ story for the 50th time.

Research has proven that board games are a great way to get families playing together, even those pesky teenagers, and can help create harmony and fun, at the same time as being good for everyone’s creative thinking and problem-solving. They’re good for the brain and the heart!

The top six Christmas picks are:

  • Herd Mentality by Big Potato Games (Available at Kmart, most game stores, RRP: $29.95. Voted as “the best party game ever created” by TechRadar in 2022, “Herd Mentality is guaranteed to have you in stitches… a fabulous game to play with families.” The game where you need to think like the crowd to win;
  • The Chameleon & The Chameleon Pictures by Big Potato Games (Available at Kmart, most game stores, . RRP: $39.95. Described as a social deduction game, the games are about spotting-the-imposter and about blending in and not getting caught, as the name of the game suggests ;-);
  • CATAN from CATAN Studios (Available at Kmart, Target, most game stores, RRP: $89.95. Considered one of the most important and influential games of all time, selling millions of units since its launch. Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be CATAN! This game of trading and expansion is about players gathering resources and building the biggest settlements on the fictional island of CATAN;
  • The Fuzzies (Available at Target, RRP: $29.95. The Fuzzies is a game about creating gravity-defying towers out of fuzzy little balls. Draw a card and remove that fuzzy ball using either tweezers or your fingers, but you can’t get out of your seat. Stick it anywhere higher on the tower. If you are successful, the next player goes, but if any balls drop, you must draw challenge cards equal to the number of balls dropped and do the challenge(s) on your next turn. Fuzzy fun for everyone!
  • Story Time Chess (Available at Officeworks, most game stores, RRP: $49.95. Story Time Chess is a board game that teaches chess to young children using silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces and a unique chess board. The stories and supporting materials communicate the rules of chess to children ages 3 and up in a way that makes learning chess simple and fun. Best of all, no chess experience is required for parents or children to learn;
  • Squishmallows Take 4 (Available at Target, Myer, Most game stores, RRP: $29.95. The Squishmallows Squad gets competitive in this quick-thinking card game. In each round, four cards are placed face-up in the centre of the group. Grow your squad as fast as possible by collecting four different Squishmallows Squad Cards. Be the first to build a full Squishmallows Squad to win!

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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