Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Top 10 Board Games of Christmas 2019 with Smyths Toystore | AD

With the festive season finally upon us, it is time to move our thoughts to Christmas. Although I hate to admit it, gifting really takes over me during this time of the year. My life revolves around lists, queuing and the insufferable guilt because I'm not spending enough time with my loved ones. So why not look to the gifts that give back by bringing everyone together.

Board games have a bit of a dated stereotype trust upon them. We almost see flashbacks to our childhood, being forced to play the same boring game of Monopoly with our grandparents. But fast forward to 2019 and board games have been given a brand new lease of life. There is now officially a game for all ages and interests.

So for Christmas this year why not bring your loved ones together with the gift of a board game: because let's face it, it's pretty hard to play one by yourself.

From classics games, revamped favourites and all new inventions. Smyths Toystore have the best of the best games this Christmas. Here are their top ten for this years Christmas fun.

Hungry Hippos.

I'd be very surprised if anyone hadn't heard of the Hungry Hippos game. A classic in my eyes and a game that, although unchanged over its many years, still remains an extremely popular game for the entire family. Usually aimed at children, Hungry Hippos offers hours of endless fun for those of all ages.

The aim of the game, along with up to three competitors (and fellow hippos!) is to win the game by collecting the most balls. With four coloured hippos on each side, when told to you press the button attached to your hippo as many as you can, stretching their neck out to grab and eat as many balls, which are collected from the centre of the game. The person who gets the most balls collected within their hippo wins. It is a really simple game to understand and play.


Another true classical game that remains unchanged over the years. Buckaroo is another game that is aimed for children but loved by people of all ages. An interactive game of suspense that is guaranteed  put a smile on the entire family's faces.

How the game works is: there is a donkey figure that, one by one, you stack different trinket items onto. As more and more items are added, the donkey gets heavier. Then without warning, the donkey will spring from the board throwing the items everywhere. The person who puts the last item on the donkey looses the game.

This particular game is lighthearted, one for not keeping score and minimal competition.

Baby Shark.

If you have been living under a rather peaceful toddler free rock for the last two years, then you won't know what Baby Shark is. Baby Shark is a children's song from YouTube that has pretty much taken over all TV, Toys and life as we know it. The repetitive song is loved by kids everywhere, with its easy to remember lyrics and simple dance moves.

The Baby Shark Fishing Game brings the musical fun to a board game, for fans of the song and everyone else. The Hook-A-Duck style game sees how many fish you can reel in with a fishing rod. Playing as the different family members from the song, the colourful game spins as you try to win. Designed for 2 to 4 players, aged four and over. A great game for young children who are new to the world of board games.

5 Second Rule.

Think Quick & Talk Fast. 5 Second Rule is the fast and infuriating game that combines pressure and brain freeze all in one. For those ten years and up, 5 Second Rule is a quick thinking game that brings the whole family together for one big fun loving game.

It's a very simple and easy game to play. If I asked you to name five pizza toppings, you could easily do it right? but with only five seconds on the clock, it is a little more difficult. With over 500 subjects to pick from, shout whatever comes to mind before the marbles hit the bottom of the timer.

I think this is the perfect game for parties, events and rainy weekends. A true icebreaker.


Don't be fooled by film, it is a very safe game to play. The world of Jumanji is full of dangerous lions, charging rhinos and cheeky monkeys. A game for the thrill seeker and those wanting to escape reality.  The high pressure game combines the thrill of the chase with the fear of what's chasing you.

This game is a little more complicated than the ones before but combines team work rather than competition. Draw a danger card, use your decoder to figure out your secret message and discover if you're in trouble. Then watch as your fellow players race to save you. The jungle begins to overgrow, as the doomsday grid fills up. If it fills up, the jungle gets covered and everyone looses. If you reach the centre of the grid before this happens, you win.

A fun game for those wanting something a little more detailed, exciting and skilful.

Monopoly Voice Banking.

They say you can't remake a classic, but I beg to differ. Monopoly Voice Banking brings a classic to life, with the Banker now voice operated controlled from his iconic top hat. The biggest Monopoly argument in my family is always about the Banker cheating and sneaking extra money to their favourite fellow gamer: So this may be the answer to our issues.

The top hat banking feature brings Mr Monopoly to life using sound and light. Tracking transactions, helping you build on your sites and takes care of all the board features. Just like the classic game, you make your way round the board with a role of the dice: buying plots, collecting money, building and maybe some jail time. A true classic that is brought into the modern age and made more accessible to the younger generation. A game that, more than not, lasts for hours: is now even more enjoyable.

Monopoly Fortnite.

Monopoly as you may know, has been adapted into many different forms: from accessible to all, to niche versions for collectors and fans. This year sees Monopoly taking on the shape of Fortnite. Monopoly Fortnite combines the fun of the classic game with the excitement of Fortnite.

Instead of buying land and building, like you would in the standard Monopoly: Monopoly Fortnite sees players claim locations, battle opponents and storm the game to survive. The action lets players build defences such as walls and pick up health packs, When a player passes go they unleash a storm which the fellow players must survive...or risk being dropped from the game.

The game is a little more complicated than the original but is going to be appreciated more by fans of Fortnite, than those who haven't ventured into that world before. Fans of Fortnite can experience their favourite game but in a whole new format.

Pictionary Air.

Bringing an age old classic into the digital era. Pictionary Air brings a hilarious new twist to a family favourite. Instead of hunting down paper and pens, you can now draw in thin air and have your memories tracked and recorded forever.

Pictionary Air gets the entire family up and moving. Simply download the app and use the Air pen to draw in the air. Your family and friends can then see what you're drawing through their screens and even cast it live to your TV. The 'draw in thin air' style means that you can bring your objects to life, ie: draw a hat on yourself or holding a cup of coffee. You can adjust the timer to suit younger players and get rid of it all together. The charade style game can also be recorded so you can watch back your drawing fun over and over.

Electronic Arcade Crazy Golf.

Bringing the fun of the fairground to your home. Now you wouldn't usually play crazy golf in the winter, would you? But with the Electronic Arcade Crazy Golf game, you can enjoy the fun of the game all year round.

With features such as the classic 'Loop-de-loop', 'Windmill' and 'Snapping Crocodile': Crazy Golf is shrunk down and brought to life for people of all ages to enjoy. For those of a more competitive nature, The giant tabletop course features nine wacky holes, each with their own challenges. Make your way round the course, like you would at an actual golf course, and see who comes up trumps.

To be honest, I think that this is more of 'save for occasions' game, it is fun and exciting but could easily be over done if played too much. Although each game is bound to be different, Unlike other games, the course stays the same.

Electronic Arcade Basketball.

Just like it's Arcade friend, Crazy Golf, The Electronic Arcade Basketball brings the family favourite to the comfort of your own home. For Basketball fans or those who like a bit of competition: the arcade game can offer something to everyone, suitable for 15+.

The two player ran against the clock, brings more fun and excitement than your usual board game. Set up is quick and easy, whilst being just as simple to pack away and store. Just like any basketball hoop game, you try and shoot as many balls in he hoop as you can within the allotted time. But don't worry about having sheets of paper counting score, the large LED scoreboard does that for you: providing a countdown and HOME and AWAY stadium style scoring effects.

Another wonderful board game adaptation, that will not only bring you fun at Christmas but all year round. You're more than likely going to get people up and moving with this game than your standard sit down, roll a dice game.

For the gift that just keeps giving this season: board games provide hours of endless fun, excitement and challenges. Smyths Toystore Top 10 Board Games of 2019 have something for everyone: from children to grandparents, those looking for something more intellectual or those wanting some simple fun and those who want to combine an age old classic with a new spin.

This is a gifted partnership with Smyths Toystore, the games were gifted in exchange for a review. However all my opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer page for more information.


  1. Ah there are so many great board games here! We have a bit of a tradition to buy a new game for the family to play every Christmas so I'm definitely keeping these ones in mind!
    Soph - x

  2. Ahh Monopoly! I love that game, I am always Banker haha! I haven't played in years. My favourites consisted of Hungry Hippos also, Jenga and Battle Ships, oh and Cluedo!

    Amy x
    The July Rose

  3. Board games are so great around Christmastime!
    I love the sound of the electronic arcade golf and basketball games, and all the classics you've included x

  4. 5 second rule is one of my favourite games to play with friends!! so funny x

  5. Me and my family LOVE board games at Christmas, these are some fab picks! x

    Gemma Louise


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