How to choose the perfect board game for the holidays

The holidays are coming up – perfect board-game playing season!

Families and friends spend more time together in groups over the holidays, but there can also be a lot of “down time” when people get together for long weekends and breaks. Finding an activity that everyone – from kids to grandparents – can truly enjoy doing together is sometimes tough, about as tough as prying everyone off of their smartphones.

A good board game is the perfect way to rally the family and friends together for some real quality bonding time that’s fun for everyone (along with all of the other benefits that come from playing a board game).

So, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some good games on hand now, before the holiday rush sets in. Here are the most important things you should consider when picking out games for your family and friends to play:

  • Think of your players first: How many people will be playing at once? Two? Four? A large group? Also, consider the age range of your players. If you have children and older family members coming together, try to find games that they can play that aren’t strictly “for kids” (do you really think grandma likes playing Candyland over and over?), but instead choose games that all ages can enjoy at the same time. Also, consider the language proficiency of your players. You may not want to break out a complex word game if you have non-native English-speakers, so choose a game that transcends any language barriers.
  • Length of game: How much time do you want to spend on the game? 20 minutes or 2 hours? Again, consider the attention spans of your players. Sometimes shorter games are best because you either get to play many rounds (and can even set up a tournament!) or you get to rotate board games. If you have a big group coming together for several days over the holiday break, you may want to have a range of games – from short to long play-time – on hand so people can choose what they’re in the mood for.
  • Familiarity with game: Do you want to introduce a completely new game to the group? Or stick with a classic that everyone already knows how to play? It’s fun for everyone to learn a new game together, but make sure that the level of complexity of the rules and the learning curve suits all of your players. Some games can take an hour or more of explaining and playing before everyone really gets a handle on how it works, so decide if all of your players would be up for this. Remember, it’s never fun being the only player that doesn’t understand how to play a game.
  • Personal tastes: You know your family best. Are they competitive? Jokesters? Artistic? Sarcastic? Do they love strategy, or numbers, or words? Or are they a mixed bag of personalities and tastes? Again, think of your players and either choose one game that could cover all of these traits or have 3 or 4 games lying around that each appeal to a different type of player.

And, if you really want to get serious about picking a game, this fancy flowchart has been circulating around the internet for a few years but is still impressive (and pretty funny).  Another fun tool is Pick-a-Game, a personality quiz that will tell you what games you should be playing based on your answers.

Why is Latice the perfect game for groups?

Yes, we may be a little biased here, but for good reason! Latice is a great option for the holidays or when groups of people come together because it transcends a lot of the obstacles that other games present… things like age, language, skill or education level, and culture. It’s a classic strategy game where players match tiles by color and shape (not numbers or words). It’s one of the few games where an 8-year-old can play with an 8-year-old and both are having fun. Plus, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to really get the hang of, so the learning curve is manageable for most all types of players – a nice perk when you have lots of different family members or friends coming together for the holidays and you don’t want to waste hours learning complex rules or strategies.

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