Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Gifts Episode VI – The Game Is On

Here we are, Christmas looms near and the final stages of Christmas shopping must be faced. It’s at this time that I often consider buying a ‘family present’ – a game or activity that we can enjoy together on Christmas Day and beyond.

This was a tradition when I was a child too. One of my favourite family presents was a large Spirograph set. The hours of fun we had trying out new patterns, although it often ended in tears when I lost control of the ‘wheel’ at the last vital moment of making an intricate design. (Apologies to those not familiar with Spirograph, ask a 70s throwback for more info).

Today you can still pick up a great variety of games and activities that can be shared by the whole family, ranging from old favourites (think Monopoly and Scrabble) to those that incorporate modern technology.

The ‘Scene-It’ games have been popular in recent years, which combine moving round a board whilst answering questions and watching film clips on a DVD. The Works are currently selling a selection of these games including Harry Potter, Disney Magical Moments, Glee and Star Trek for just £7.99 and £9.99, depending on theme.

It’s great to see that many games from my childhood have stood the test of time such as Mousetrap, Operation and Cluedo. For an older family group that enjoys murder mysteries, Sainsbury’s are selling Inspector McClue games, including titles such as ‘Death by Chocolate’ and ‘The Champagne Murders’ for £9.99. For all the family, an updated version of Guess Who (eliminating characters in order to guess who your opponent has) with lights and sounds is available from Argos for £19.97.

Games based on TV quiz/game shows can be great entertainment for family gatherings, with those currently available including Pointless, The Cube, Deal Or No Deal and The Chase. Last Christmas we had a great laugh playing Family Fortunes (traditional board and electronic versions available), with my son gleefully pressing the buzzer every time we got a wrong answer.

Not a fan of board games? Then why not opt for the Chad Valley Striker Pro Darts Board (£12.99 Argos), which comes with safety-guard darts so that the whole family can play, or Chad Valley Air Hockey (£14.99) for some ‘arcade-style’ fun.

Whatever you choose, have great fun!

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