Move Over Pie Face – Meet 2016’s Must-Have Christmas Board Games

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It’s Christmas Day, it’s 8.15pm, everyone’s pleasantly zonked on prosecco (grown-ups) and Quality Street (kids) and the big Pixar movie has just finished. Sooo – what’s next?

It’s time for some board games, of course. Grab that brand new box, rip off the cellophane, get those rules read – or half-read, anyway, whatever – and then leap right in. Within minutes it’ll be Grandma versus little Josh; Dad versus Aunty Michelle; cousin Jackie versus Mum – rivalries forming, recriminations flying, vengeances sworn. Now it’s properly Christmas! 

Watch Ya’ Mouth



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Brought into existence by a hugely successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, Watch Ya’ Mouth seems the game most likely to become 2016’s answer to Pie Face. And as with Pie Face, the premise is pleasingly ridiculous: Three to 10 players attempt to read out phrases from cards while wearing dentistry-style cheek retractors, making them sound like concussed drunkards. 

It’s a funny idea in theory, and an absolutely hilarious one in practice. Take note, though – due to the whole 'sticking pieces of plastic into your mouth' thing, the game is recommended for players aged eight years and up.

Game of Thrones Monopoly



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The most famous board game of all time meets the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the decade in Game of Thrones Monopoly. The classic game has been given a top-to-bottom Westeros makeover, from the playing pieces to the currency, which has been issued by the Iron Bank of Braavos. 

But while there may be more dragons and White Walkers than you're accustomed to, the basic game mechanics remain the same: You’re looking to build yourself a tyrannical, merciless empire through the purchasing of real estate, with Winterfell, Braavos and King’s Landing being the respective equivalents of Bond Street, Park Lane and Mayfair. And don't worry, it’s totally kid-friendly, with 100 per cent less nudity and ultraviolence than the TV show.

Bounce Off



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Beer pong – a great party game, but definitely not one that you’d want to get the kids involved in. Thankfully, the little tykes can now enjoy the enormously satisfying thrill of bouncing a ping-pong ball into ex-act-ly the right spot with Bounce Off.  

The rules are simple enough for both kids and Christmas-tipsy adults to grasp instantly. In teams of one or two, players draw cards and must then try to form the shapes shown on them by bouncing coloured balls onto a grid. It's nigh on impossible not to go absolutely whooping mental when it all goes right…

Twister Moves: Hip Hop Spots



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Twister has undergone some serious makeovers since the days when it was all about contorting yourself into spine-twisting shapes at the behest of a spinny arrow. The latest iteration of the game is Twister Moves: Hip Hop Spots, which tests your fancy footwork with increasingly progressively more complicated dance routines to increasingly hectic hip-hop beats. 

Stay on-beat and you'll progress through Beginner, Advanced and Pro levels, unlocking rewards and digital trophies along the way. Suitable for one or two players, aged eight years and up – it helps if you’ve got a halfway decent sense of rhythm. And bags of energy.

King of Tokyo



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If you’re looking for a game that involves a bit of strategising and will appeal to fans of Pokémon, Transformers and spectacular widescreen destruction, the award-winning King of Tokyo is an absolute must-play. 

Two to six players control rampaging monsters, robots or aliens as they stomp around Tokyo, battering each other into submission. You must decide when to attack, when to heal yourself, when to level up your monster – the gameplay might be chaotic, but whoever can best control that chaos will emerge victorious. Pretty much the coolest board game money can buy for Christmas 2016.

Fibber

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You may remember a semi-obscure game from the ’80s that went by the same name, but this particular Fibber game is an altogether dafter – and therefore more kid-friendly – take on the concept of sneaking porkies, whoppers and outright untruths past your fellow players. 

Up to four players wear ridonkulous oversized glasses and take it in turns trying to match the card that the previous person played; if they don’t have the right card, they have to bluff that they do. If they get caught out, they add a nose section to their glasses – and at the end of the game, the player with the shortest nose wins. Expect LOLz.

Pie Face Showdown



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Every blockbuster mega-hit is guaranteed a sequel, and Pie Face Showdown follows the classic Hollywood template for a franchise’s second outing: It’s the same basic premise – whipped cream in the face – except everything’s now twice as frantic, twice as loud and twice as messy. 

While the first Pie Face game was a tense, Russian roulette-style affair, this sequel is more a test of speed and stamina. Two players place their chins on the rest and then hammer away on their respective buttons, attempting to send the cream-loaded arm in their opponent’s direction. Once the arm has moved far enough, KABLOWH – a payload of whipped cream, right in the kisser. An instant classic.

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