The holidays are approaching, which means that period where we can spend quality time with our loved ones. And while you’re out buying presents, you should also start planning for the activities that you’ll be doing on the big day as well.
If you’re the type of family or group of friends that go out to the nearby ice rinks or spend Christmas Eve in a bowling alley, you may have to face the reality that 2020 isn’t the year for social gatherings – at least not outside due to the coronavirus situation.
Instead, why not keep everything intimate and have some fun by playing a couple of games at home? So here are some games to consider!
1. Mario Kart
If you and your guests are avid Nintendo Switch users, then those extra consoles will definitely come in handy. Mario Kart is an (extremely) competitive racing game where skill doesn’t matter as much – as long as you’re able to blast your opponents off the track.
It can be played on a TV screen if you have up to four players. However, if you have eight separate Switches in the house, then the world’s your oyster. It also has a Battle Mode if you just want to spend all Christmas going head-to-head with the computer.
2. Super Smash Brothers
No game night, even at Christmas, is complete without a round of Super Smash Brothers. And unlike Mario Kart, you don’t need eight consoles to have a ridiculous amount of players, playing at once — you only need eight joy-cons. The result is a fun, chaotic mess on the screen where the real challenge is staying on top of the platforms because every character “accidentally” pushes each other around.
Of course, Christmas is a time of camaraderie, love, and friendship. If you’d rather work together than fight for the crown, then Overcooked is one of the best games out there. Think of it as a 3D Diner Dash game. Except the “diner” is floating in the middle of lava, has ill-placed caverns between stations, or has appliances randomly swapping out.
You’re going to need really good teamwork to pull the stages off. It’s available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch — which is practically every gaming platform available!
4. Jackbox Party Pack
When your guests are in the mood for some actual party games at Christmas, then the Jackbox Party has an incredible and unique selection of them that you can choose from.
For example, you can play a game of Fibbage where you create very convincing lies and earn points for fooling everybody else. Trivia Murder Party is a game show where you win by being the last person alive. There are seven Jackbox Party Packs that you can buy, each one with around six titles. Again, it’s available on every platform.
5. Destruction AllStars
If you were one of few lucky people who got to pre-order the PS5, then you can play a couple of its exclusives with your friends in time for Christmas. Destruction AllStars is an event where you use cars to wreck, dodge, and boost your way to victory.
If your vehicle explodes, well, there’s plenty of stuff to do on foot, like lure your opponents into traps. It only supports one controller at the moment, so you can cheer your player on as they battle their way through 15 other Stars online.
6. Tetris Effect: Connected
Speaking of new consoles, if you own an Xbox Series by then, then you’ll have access to one of the most competitive games in history – Tetris. That is, a three-player Tetris game with a ton of flashing colors, block effects, and background effects that make placing blocks down more difficult than it seems. This modern take on the classic game makes it a good option for every member of the family.
7. Among Us
Why play a classic game of Werewolf when you can play something much more challenging? You’ll be constantly doubting your family as you finish tasks on a ship while searching for the Aliens among you!
Every time the Alien successfully eliminates a player from the game, you get the chance to discuss among yourselves who it might be. And since you’re all presumably in the same room, this part is a lot easier. Prepare for a lot of shouting, though.
Among Us is available on PC and mobile, though it’s free on the latter.
BONUS: Christmas Unplugged
However, if you and your guests would rather chill out and unplug for the holidays, don’t worry. There are plenty of other games you can play.
If you have a couple of board games lying around, then you could spend all day playing Monopoly or Cluedo. You could even poke some fun at usual Christmas traditions by playing this Christmas Buzzword Bingo game from Gala Bingo — just print out the cards and race to see who fills theirs out first! Or better yet, make your own bingo cards with stuff that your family and friends usually say and do. This is a good way to get to know them better, especially the family members you don’t see very often.
You can also print a couple of words out and play a couple of rounds of Christmas Pictionary listed on Posters. Holiday songs make the best topic, but you can also fill up the cards with words related to the festivities, names, and inside Christmas jokes that only your family or friends are privy to.
If you have the materials for it, you can even host your own Christmas game shows like Minute-To-Win-It, Bottoms Up, and Marshmallow Toss for an all-around fun-filled night.
Christmas is a rare occasion where the entire family or your friendship group spend time together to see the year wind down. Your options may be limited, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less fun. Whether you’re in the mood for some competitive racing, collaborative kitchen work, or traditional games, there’s a game for every type of party.