8 Holiday Family Gaming Picks

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you’re ready for a short week and spending some time with the people you love. Sooooooooo spending time with loved ones gives you the opportunity to whip out some GAMES! You may be the person in charge of providing the games or your family and friends fight to get their games in the mix. I want to provide some suggestions. Maybe you can run to the store this week to snatch them up if you don’t own them already.

Macroscope by Mayday Games

2-4 players

30 minutes


In Macroscope, you have a box or vehicle looking contraption that is used to hide pictures. On a player’s turn they roll dice and grab one of the 12 pieces off to reveal a portion of the picture. Players can collect crystals, which are the points and anyone may take a guess to risk their crystals. Very easy to teach family weight game and having 200 double sided sheets available to switch in and out is a major plus for replayability.

The Chameleon by Big Potato Games

 4-8 players



The Chameleon is a social deduction game where every player receives a code card that matches with a name on a category card. The exact code is know to everyone except the person who receives the “you are the chameleon card” instead. The goal of  the game is keep the “word” safe from the Chameleon and also reveal the Chameleon player’s identity at the end of the round. The best role is playing as the Chameleon for the round. Watching people do their best to lie and guess when they have no clue what the word is. Everyone has to come up with a words that are close to the actual code word and the Chameleon has no information other than the clues the other players are saying. Can you blend in or will you show your identity? The Chameleon has a good 40 categories to choose from and a card to make up your own.  You can find this one at Target and I think it’s going on sale!

Kingdomino by Blue Orange Games

2-4 players

20-30 min


I have to talk about one of the biggest games out there period. Kingdomino is a tile drafting and placement game where players are competing for the highest score by building 5 x 5 kingdoms out of domino shaped terrain tiles. The terrains are scored based on being grouped together and also by the crown symbols on the tiles as multipliers. Kingdomino is simple and fun for all audiences. I think Kingdomino may be added to that general catalog of games you see wherever board games are.

Meeple Circus by Matagot Games

2-5 players

45 min


First of all, BUY THIS GAME. Meeple Circus is a dexterity game where you are practicing to make a Circus by stacking meeples to get the highest score. Players will have to create specific performance conditions and hire a guest star to attach people to their circus. In the last round, each player has to put on a final performance for all players. During the round you may have to copy cat animal sounds, stand and bow, or drive your elephant meeples around the ring. Did I mention the game has 10 types of Circus music through an app to distract you. Tense, silly, and just homerun with EVERY person I have played this with. If you see it on the shelves…BUY IT!

Dream Home by Rebel/Asmodee

2-4 players

40 minutes


Dream Home might be the best family game I have ever played. The basic idea is you’re building a home by drafting room cards to fill in all of the slots. Players have to plan their home from the basement to the roof. There are combo points for having specific room types or connected rooms. The are worker cards that alter the placement of rooms if you mess up. Dream Home is the type of game where you sit back and say “Hey, that was cool.”

Flip Ships by Renegade Games

1-4 players

30 minutes

Flip Ships is a must have party game you want to have tucked away in your game library for this moment. It’s basically Space Invaders the game. Players flick, like paper football, their spaceship to simulate shooting at invaders and the Mothership. You take out ships by flicking your little piece onto the cards. There are special upgrades you can acquire to help you take out more enemies and the Mothership finale is always a climatic success or failure. Never had a bad moment with Flipships. Embrace your party days! Pew pew pew..

Barenpark by Mayfair

2-4 players

40-60 minutes

Think Tetris the tile drafting game. Players are trying to fill four mini boards to create a bear park by laying tiles that look like exhibits and entertainment for visitors. The tiles have a puzzle element to them like Tetris and where you lay them may give a couple choices to draft multiple titles. Barenpark is very easy to explain and can be ramped up in strategy by using the goal cards. Kind of a sweet spot for the gamers in the family mixed in with very casual players.

Photosynthesis by Blue Orange Games

2-4 players

45-60 min

Do you want to impress your family with a little table presence and head scratching gameplay? Photosynthesis is one of the best abstract yet very thematic games I have ever played. Players place small trees that drop seeds and become bigger trees as the sun rotates across the board. The strategy of the game picks up quickly as the height of opposing trees stunt the growth of others. Photosynthesis is a surprise hit this year for a reason, it’s a deceptively deep strategy game.

I hope this helps you make some choices before you pack your bags up, rush to the store,  or set selection up for family events. What games are you pulling off the shelf for the family and friends? Please leave your choices below and I might steal them. I have that moment when I completely forget a game sitting right in front of me. Please feel free to share your list below in the comments and follow my blog if you would like to. I would definitely appreciate it! Thank you for your time







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