Now, Board Game Santa doesn't go in for gender-defined games. 'Everyone should play everything,' he said to me once, as he hiccupped over a mug of particularly strong eggnog. That said, he does admit there are some games beloved by dads and sons, who get a real kick out of playing them together. They can bond, they can argue, they can work together as a team like never before! Santa's partial to playing the odd bit of X-Wing himself, with his son Chris Christmas. Yeah, the name - I know. Not an imaginative bunch, that family.
2-unlimited players, 30 minutes, age 14+
A Great Time To Play Is: when your son is mysteriously 'too ill' in the last week of school and stays home for the day. Ah well - best crack out the dragons!
You've seen it from Star Trek, you've seen it from Star Wars... now we're bringing you D&D! Why should the sci-fi guys get to have all the fun?! Using the Flight Path Maneuver System, you command dragons in dangerous and nail-biting aerial combat! Plus you'll be controlling forces on the ground like giants and magic users, so you can fly and fight your way to victory! When you're ready to make your dragon fighting even more BAD-ASS, there are expansions like the Sun Elf Troop - they're a formidable opponent and a worthy competitor for victory! But will you grasp it first?! Find out first, on 'The Day My Child Pretended to Be Ill So We Just Played With Dragons All Day Instead'!
2-5 players, 40-80 minutes, age 8+
A Great Time To Play Is: Boxing Day morning, when everyone else is still sleeping in bed. Tidy away your presents, wrap up in a blanket and take control of your fantasy empire!
Small World is exactly what it says on the tin - the land's too small, and you're all taking up space! The only question is... who will conquer the most of it?! The world you're in is wacky, with magical races of ogres, giants, dwarves, wizards and orcs all vying to battle against you and protect and grow their own empires! Don't worry too much, as you've got the choice of 20 unique special powers! Choose between moving into neighbouring spaces and turfing them out (ta-ta, old friends) or giving up on your own race and letting it fall into decline, hoping your other race will do well instead. Score points for the tiles you occupy - the race of beasties with the most points is the winner! Hey, it's survival of the fittest!
2-4 players, 20-45 minutes, age 8+
A Great Time To Play Is: before bed on Christmas Eve. You'll both use up that fizzy Christmas energy - enough that you'll sleep right through Santa's visit in the night!
You're a HUGE, scaly, hungry monster, stomping your way around buildings through Meeple City. You were hoping for a bigger reaction, but 29 Godzilla films later and the world's a little bit 'meh' with the whole thing. Well, it looks like you're gonna have to make yourself noticed! RRROAARRGHHH! The aim of the game is to wreak the most destructive havoc on the city by the end of it, devouring innocent meeples, wrecking buildings and throwing cars around like they're Maltesers. Every turn you can take 2 actions from a possible 4: Move, Demolish, Toss a Vehicle or Breathe, as in, BLOW SO HARD EVERYTHING FALLS OVER. Injure the other monsters and you've got a better chance of winning. Lose too many meeples off the side of the board and you've wasted food, you lumbering lout! Your teeth are very important, as you can only eat as many meeples as there are teeth in your mouth, so regular dental check-ups, please. This renewed version of the game includes new rules and the ability to play with up to 8 players - now the whole family can descend into chaos!