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Top 10 family-friendly board games to get your holiday season started in Singapore

Top 10 family-friendly board games to get your holiday season started in Singapore
PHOTO: Unsplash

One of the best ways to pass the time as a family is to have a meal, watch a movie, or travel to another country together. Or play some board games.

Be it rain or shine, pandemic or not, nothing beats being able to get together at the table as one whole clan, and putting each other’s wits to the test, of combining wits together to solve puzzles as a team. 

As such, we’ve come up with a list of fun and easy-to-learn board games available on These games are great for just about any age group in the family (maybe except toddlers). Whether your family is the more competitive or cooperative sort, there’s definitely something in this list that will appeal to you.

Here are our top board games you can check out on!

1. Kingdomino

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 15 – 30 minutes

One of the simplest games to play on this list, Kingdomino’s simplicity is what makes it a family favourite. In this game, players will play the role of kings looking to expand their kingdom in the most efficient way possible.

Each round, players will then bid on random tiles that, when chosen, will yield various types of land. Once picked, these tiles will then be placed adjacent to the player’s castle, after which the next round of tile-picking will begin, until there are no more tiles left.

Each tile bears various types of landscapes, such as fields, rivers, and mines. Points are acquired by linking up two or more of the same type of landscapes together. The scoring is multiplicative, so the aim is to chain as many as possible in order to come out on top!

2. Dr. Eureka

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 15 minutes

Science class might be boring for some, but not when it involves mixing chemicals around. Dr Eureka lets players be mad geniuses of their own by performing various experiments by mixing the coloured chemicals in three test tubes. But here’s the catch — you’ll have to do so without dropping a single one, if not you’ll have to start over.

Each player draws a challenge card, which indicates where each chemical ingredient needs to be. Players will then try to move the ingredients around without dropping them to the best of their ability.

Dropping one means they have to start over, and completing a challenge allows players to move on to the next one. It’s as simple as it gets, and the dexterity aspect makes it one of the most interactive games on this list.

3. Hey, That’s My Fish!

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 25 minutes

In this game, players will each play as a colony of penguins, all of whom are trying to gather as much fish as possible for their next meal. And no colony is sharing, mind you! 

Players will take turns moving their penguins tile by tile, collecting the fish on the tile previously occupied. However, this also means that the tile they previously occupied will be removed from the game, much like how ice floe crumbles over time.

ALSO READ: Top free online board games to play in quarantine with friends

This will continue until there is no more space to go, during which the player with the most collected penguins wins the game. Of course, since the tiles eventually break off, players can try all sorts of nasty tactics, such as entrapping the other by making the tiles around them disappear, so it’s all about thinking on your feet for this one!

4. Forbidden Island

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 30 minutes

If you’re a fan of escape rooms, or just like a good team-building experience, then Forbidden Island will scratch that itch for you.

Players will play as explorers stranded on an unassuming but dangerous island, and their goal is to find the missing parts of a teleportation device that will transport them out of the place, before the island is swallowed whole by the tides.

You and the other players will take turns exploring the individual tiles that are laid out in front of you. You can also use your action to explore the tile you’re standing on, in hopes of uncovering a part of the teleporter.

However, as the game progresses, the island starts to flood, making parts of it inaccessible for a time. You and your group must then communicate and act effectively in order to find and assemble all the parts before it’s too late!

5. Azul

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 30 – 40 minutes

The elevator pitch version of this game is to make your toilet look beautiful. If your raising your eyes by now, we get it. But it’s true, as in Azul, the players’ aim is to be the most creative (Read: High-scoring) interior designer of the king’s bathroom by laying the most colourful tiles on the bathroom floor.

Think Tetris meets Tic Tac Toe, and you’ve basically got Azul, which is why we consider this to be quite simple to pick up. Players have to build their toilet by placing randomly-drawn coloured tiles in the space matching their respective colours on the board.

If there’s no space for any tiles, they get placed to the side, which leads to negative points at the end of the game. The aim is to match as many tiles as possible without too many rejected tiles, so it’s a little bit of luck and a little bit of knowing when to best use your resources.

6. Ticket To Ride

Players: 2 – 5

Play Time: 30 – 60 minutes

Even if you’ve never played Ticket To Ride, you might have certainly heard of it. This is one of the most popular board games of all time for many reasons, mainly because it’s thematically strong, is easy to pick up yet leaves enough to tons of replay value. 

Each player’s aim is to be the first to construct two railway systems by lining up two cities across the USA by laying coloured tracks from point A to point B.

ALSO READ: Board games with social themes aimed at adults and kids alike

However, other players can block the routes inadvertently as they’re also out to complete their own routes using similar tracks. It’s then a matter of trying to make the most out of the situation and working your way around the tracks constructed by other players, and vice versa. 

7. Disney Villainous

Players: 2 – 6

Play Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Yes, yes, Disney heroes and princesses are all the rage, but ever wondered what it would be like to play as a Disney villain?

In Wonder Forge’s Disney Villainous, players can certainly do so as they scheme and plot their way to victory. This game is great for families not just because of the Disney namesake, but also because it’s an actually good board game which is easy to pick up.

Players take on one of 6 Disney villains including Maleficent, Jafar and Ursula. The goal is to be the first achieve their own individual objectives by collecting and spending power tokens, and playing various cards.

These effects range from granting the player benefits, to forcing other players to draw from the Fate deck, which forces them to deal with the hero of their respective story.

The coolest aspect of Villainous is that each villain plays differently from the other, meaning gameplay is always different each time you play. It’s then a matter of, as Scar would put it, being prepared for anything that will happen in the game.

8. Catan

Players: 2 – 5

Play Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Ah, good old Catan. This resource-collecting and civilisation-building game still ranks among one of the best out there, simply because it’s super easy to pick up, and super competitive, though it doesn’t initially look the part. In essence, it’s the quintessential family board game on this list, and for good reason.

Players are all vying to be the most successful civilisation by taking over as much of the land as possible. Everyone starts out with just one plot of land and one building, and has to expand by acquiring resources such as lumber, bricks, and grain in order to build roads, cities or settlements.

Players can also trade amongst themselves, should anyone be lacking in resources, though they can be declined as well. It’s a matter of managing your resources wisely and taking advantage of other players (while not letting them do the same to you) in order to win. Simple!

9. Stuffed Fables

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 60 – 90 minutes

Lulling your kids to bed with storybooks is no doubt one of the best ways to spend some quality family time together. But what if you could actually take part in these storybooks in an adventure together?

That’s what Stuffed Fables aims to let players explore, as they take on the roles of — you guessed it — stuffed toys in a storybook. And yes, the storybook is the board itself!

Unlike most games here, Stuffed Fables is a purely cooperative experience. The left side of the storybook contains the scenario and objectives, of which players need to work together in order to unlock the next part of the story.

These scenarios can range from solving puzzles, to defeating baddies using each character’s special abilities — much like a very condensed version of D&D. Of all the games on this list, this is arguably the most immersive of them all.

10. Pandemic

Players: 2 – 4

Play Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Rounding off this list is something a little tongue-in-cheek at the time of writing. Pandemic puts players in the shoes of various members of the healthcare industry as they take on a worldwide pandemic that is sweeping the globe.

There are four deadly diseases that will start spreading across the globe, and they each have to be contained by combining the abilities of the various players at the table. Each round, players can play cards that match the colour of each disease.

These cards allow players to either traverse across the map to administrate cures or attempt to discover a cure itself. However, the diseases will continue to spread with each passing round, meaning players will have to think on their toes and react as quickly as possible before the pandemics take over the map completely!

And there’re even expansion packs to be had, On The Brink and In The Lab.

Of course, these board games are just scratching the surface of what’s available on, but we consider the above titles to be great gateways for you and your loved ones. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to convert them into geeky tabletop gamers themselves too if you play with them enough.

ALSO READ: 5 free-to-play games while waiting out the coronavirus

This article was first published in Geek Culture.

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