5 best iPhone and iPad family games for Christmas

Christmas is coming. Families are coming together. Nuts are being roasted. Tempers are being frayed. Trees are being bedecked. Siblings are being kicked. Sweets are being guzzled. Games are being played.

Because you live in a dystopian version of the future, you probably don’t have any real dice in your home. Fear not, virtual dice, boards and counters are here to save the day. Bask in the warm glow of your iPhone or iPad and play a rousing few rounds of these delightful games before curling up in front of the TV and stuffing your face with dry roasted peanuts.

Heads Up! (£0.79)

An update of the game commonly played with Post-it notes and pencils, this app involves holding your iPhone or iPad to your head while your partner describes what’s on the screen. There are a number of different categories, from “Celebrities” to “Movies”, to the always-hilarious “Accents”. Plant your phone on your head and have a loved one desperately try and do a Jamaican accent. What’s not to love?

Reverse Charades (Free)


Charades is a staple of post-Christmas dinner family entertainment, and this app offers a nice twist on the standard one-actor setup by focusing on fast-paced group action. Simply described, the app throws up a series of words and your team must act out as many as possible before the allotted time runs out. You’ll need to fork out for larger card decks, but there’s enough in the free version for a good few bouts.  

Monopoly (£0.79)


Ah, the old classic. The old I’m-having-so-much-fun-oh-what-you’ve-got-all-the-train-stations-that’s-not-fair-I-hate-this-game-I-hate-you game. Monopoly is, until the inevitable tantrum, brilliant fun, and this app is definitely worth downloading if you don’t have a physical copy. For starters, it’s much cheaper than forking out for the board game. You also won’t need to worry about cleaning up tiny plastic houses. 

Dance Party (Free)


If there’s one time of year when it’s absolutely fine to dance around like an idiot, it’s Christmas. Download this app, screen mirror it on your TV using AirPlay and you’ll be faced with a chirpy avatar. Your iPhone acts as a Wii-style remote, and will gauge how well you imitate the on-screen dancer. It’s fun to play in a group, and after the Christmas gluttony has been replaced with January guilt, it works well as a fitness game.

Pandemic: The Board Game (£4.99)


If you’d rather work together instead of against of each other, Pandemic is an excellent co-operative game that tasks your team with keeping a deadly disease at bay. Each player is given a unique role – from field medics to researchers – and takes it in turns to travel the globe and fight infections and breakouts. Saving the world is pretty high on a stakes spectrum, and it feels immensely satisfying if you manage to beat the computer. It may be the most expensive app on this list, but it’s definitely worth the sub-£5 cost.

READ NEXT: 61 best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015.

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