Best board games for Christmas you’ve never heard of

Christmas time is board games time, whether you’re playing with the family or a group of friends. Only trouble is, it can be a little stifling playing the same thing again and again.

Best board games for Christmas you’ve never heard of

Whether you’ve beaten your siblings every Christmas for time immemorial, or can picture Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne tiles in your sleep, playing the same games repeatedly can make them boring. That’s why it’s important to vary your board games library, and find something new to play.

To that end we’ve compiled this list of the best new board games 2018 had to offer, so you can reinvigorate Christmas board game season.

Best new board games for Christmas 2018

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

In Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, you and a team of friends must become modern-day Sherlocks to solve a series of crimes. Using resources in the game – and online – you must collaborate to weave your way through several stories, before working out what ties them together. It’s great for a group who knows how to co-operate effectively, and who knows, you could even end up boosting your CV (that’s “teamwork” sorted)

Carcassonne: Safari

Carcassonne is a classic game, but the frequently-released spinoffs keep it fresh. Carcassonne: Safari is very different to the base game; it could be considered an entirely new board game experience. What’s more, it’s simple enough for disparate groups of people to play together. Fun for all the (extended) family.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Perfect for larger groups for up to ten people, in One Night Ultimate Werewolf each player is secretly given an identity — and must work out which player is the werewolf. It’s rather similar to the age-old family game Wolves and Hunters, but with more detailed roles and dynamics, it can make even the most jovial evening tense and deceptive. Which is a huge positive in the world of competitive board games.

My Little Scythe

Designed by a five-year-old (and her parent), My Little Scythe is a take on the popular board game Scythe but with cartoony characters, bright colours, and mechanics simple enough for younger players to enjoy. Of course, those young players would need to be able to sit still for a 60-minute game, but it’d be a perfect introduction to board games for them. A few rounds of this, and you’ve got a seasoned board gamer on your hands.

Shadows in the Forest

If you want a nap while your kids play games, Shadows in the Forest is for you — it’s played in the dark! The players use an LED lamp to cast shadows and move their pieces about to stay in these shadows while avoiding enemies. A novel idea that comes to fruition nicely, making for a captivating – not to mention luminous – gaming experience. It’s an interesting and captivating game experience.

Best obscure board games for Christmas 2018


Fungi (or Morels, depending on where you are) is a card game about collecting mushrooms. That sounds about as interesting as it does in real life, but in reality it becomes quite a frantic and tense experience as you try to pick mushrooms before your opponent does, all while trying to cook them and maintain your collection.


If you love Codenames you’ll love Dixit. Players have to tell a story based on a card which all the other players can see, in the hope that only their teammate will pick the right one.. It’s just as thoughtful and stressful as Codenames, except it won’t be derailed by the 8-year-old in your team who doesn’t know what half the words mean.

Ticket to Ride

Okay, Ticket to Ride is fairly well known. But compared to Monopoly, which it is frequently compared to, it’s still rather obscure. In it you must construct lengthy rail lines across America, all while stopping your opponents do the same. It’s just as fun as Monopoly, and will cause just as many arguments too.

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