The 6 best family board games to play this Christmas

Updated: Original list by Harry Slater, Updated by Jupiter Hadley on December 14th, 2020.

Above and beyond everything else, Christmas is a time for family. And what better way to get your family together than around a board game. There are lots of positivies to bringing along a digital board game! Often, I have sat down to play a board game just to find that, in the last few years, some piece that is crutial for the game to play right has gone missing. Or the rules have been written all over. Having a digital board game already on your mobile device means that you won’t run into these problems – and there is nothing to clean up afterwards either.

Playing board games is a family tradition, and a great way to spend some time with everyone you love, infront of the fire, keeping focused on common goals or beating each other in the end. It’s a great way to spend the holidays, especially when it comes to staying in from the cold itself.

So to celebrate the holiday season, here are five digital board games you should definitely be whipping out to play when you’re about to slip into a food coma. You know, between finishing dinner and watching Doctor Who.



Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Publisher: Asmodee Digital

Genre: Card/board game

A beginner version of the excellent board game. It’s simpler than the full Ticket to Ride, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to enjoy here. And it’s a great way to introduce younger players to the wonders of digital board gaming, especially if they are interested in trains, as this game is all about creating train routes between towns, so that you can make a good system for the towns you need to join.


Takenoko: the Board Game

Developer: Asmodee Digital

Genre: Card/board game

Takenoko is a colourful game about growing bamboo and taking care of pandas! It’s a really fun game, where you must build garden plots, grow bamboo, feed a panda, irrigate land and more all through cards you draw. You’ll want to make sure you are scoring points as the person with the highest points at the end of the game, from doing the previously mentioned assets, is the winner.


Lords of Waterdeep

Developer: Playdek

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Available on: iOS

Genre: Card/board game

If you’re looking for something that’s going to keep the family playing for a bit longer, this is a great bet. It’s not as dry as some other hefty board games, and there’s plenty going on to keep your relatives focused. Your goal is mainly in strategic management, where you need to recurit new adventurers and send out the ones you have to do your bidding.


Mille Bornes

Publisher: Asmodee Digital

Genre: Card/board game, Multiplayer, Racing

Definitely one for the kids in your family. This one’s a racing game played with cards where your goal is to avoid obstacles, make your way forward, and be the first one across a vast distance. There’s probably not enough going on to keep older ones entertained, but the bright colours and easy play will probably distract less advanced players for a good long while.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

If you were a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh growing up, and have passed your collection along to some of your loved ones this holiday season, downloading Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links might be what you are looking for! It’s actually a simple version of the standard game, where you play quite speedy rounds, summoning monsters and destroying whoever you are playing against.



Developer: EA Mobile

Publisher: EA Mobile

Genre: Card/board game

If you didn’t know, you can download Monopoly on your mobile device. I am sure you know what Monopoly is, but I figured I’d include it at the end of this list as I am sure you will see a copy, missing your favourite piece, at your grandma’s house this holiday season. The digital version adds new worlds, characters, and animations – while also protecting you from your “I am always the banker and swear I do not cheat” cousin!

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