Top Family Board Games to Play Over Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! When the turkey dinner has been polished off and the presents are unwrapped, what better way to relax with your family than playing board games together? If you don’t have any physical board games available, don’t worry. All you need is one iPad and a few pounds/dollars to be able to play around the table together.

Here’s our list of the top 10 family-friendly iPad board games, which are suitable for children and adults alike. Every one of these games allows you to share one device on the table (pass ‘n’ play). I’ve played all of these with my 11 year old son, and they’ve all been reviewed by various reviewers on this website. We’ve listed them by difficulty to learn, starting with the easiest.

MARBLE MIXER

Marble Mixer

With 3 different game modes (Space Mania, Table Tactics and Monster Picnic), Marble Mixer is a colourful and fun game of virtual marbles that anyone can play. Up to 4 players can sit at each corner of an iPad and join in the fun.
Suitable for: all ages, perfect for younger children.
Players: 2-4
Read our review

DEMONS VS WIZARDS

Demons vs. Wizards gameplay

The perfect introduction to deck building, Demons vs Wizards is very easy to pick up and play. Unlike many deck building games – which can be heavy on rules – anyone can learn the rules within a minute. If your children love fantasy and want to play a card game, this is ideal.
Suitable for: all ages, perfect for younger children.
Players: 1-2
Read our review

STAK BOTS

Stak Bots

Another lightweight deck building game, Stak Bots has a funky robot theme going on. With custom decks, there’s a bit more depth and strategy here than Demons vs Wizards, so it’s perfect for children at the next level of deck building.
Suitable for: all ages, perfect for younger children.
Players: 1-2
Read our review

INGENIOUS

Ingenious

Maths: hardly the most festive subject, nor very popular with many children. However, Ingenious masquerades the underlying educational goodness of this game with bright colours and exciting gameplay. An ingenious way to get your kids interested in strategy games.
Suitable for: all ages.
Players: 1-2
Read our review

DEAD MAN’S DRAW

Dead Man's Draw

Push-your-luck games are very popular with children and adults alike, and Dead Man’s Draw is one of the best in the genre. A pirate-themed card game, you’ll battle to gain more points than your opponent before the deck of 50 cards runs out. Great visuals (think Pirates of the Caribbean), convincing sound effects and quick-fire rounds will have you coming back again and again.
Suitable for: all ages.
Players: 1-2
Read our review

FORBIDDEN ISLAND

Forbidden Island

Board games don’t always have to be competitive. Cooperative games are becoming more popular, and Forbidden Island is one of the best. With simple rules, great team-building and exciting gameplay, this should get the family working together – rather than the usual post-Christmas arguments!
Suitable for: all ages.
Players: 2-4
Read our review

SCOTLAND YARD

Scotland Yard

Playing rather like a cat and mouse game, the villainous Mr. X (player 1) must evade the police (players 2-5) in this gallivant around London. Definitely one for the Sherlock fans, Scotland Yard is a fast-paced, semi-cooperative game which all the family will enjoy.
Suitable for: all ages.
Players: 2-6
Read our review

CARCASSONNE

Carcasonne

Carcassonne is my favourite board game of all time. I’ve introduced dozens of friends, family members and colleagues to it and almost all of them went on to buy their own copies. We play the physical version every Christmas, along with our favourite expansions. If you’re new to the physical game, the rules can seem a little odd at first. This is where the iPad edition comes in – learning to play on the iPad is so much easier. Plus there are several expansions available, which bring new life to the game. If you only buy one board game this year, buy Carcassonne!
Suitable for: ages 8-80.
Players: 1-5
Read our review

TICKET TO RIDE

Ticket to Ride

Another massively popular board game, Ticket to Ride is a thrilling game of railroad strategy that will keep the family entertained for hours. The physical edition is somewhat unwieldy, with a lot of pieces and a fair bit of preparation needed beforehand. However, the iPad edition negates all that hassle; all set up and scoring is managed by the game. Learning to play is very simple; the interactive tutorial will have you up and running in no time.
Suitable for: ages 8-80.
Players: 1-5
Read our review

CATAN HD

Catan

Settlers of Catan is one of the best known and most popular board games available. It’s a resource management game which will take a bit more time to pick up, but is very rewarding. Once again, the physical edition (Settlers of Catan) is a little time-consuming to set up and keep score, making the iPad edition the perfect platform to learn on. Just bear in mind that you will need a minimum of 3 players to play together.
Suitable for: ages 8-80.
Players: 3-4
Read our review

We hope there is something on this list for everyone. If there are any family-friendly pass ‘n’ play board games that you think we should have included, please feel free to mention them in the comments below.

With Christmas just around the corner, be sure to keep an eye on the games you’re interested in, as some of them may even be on sale. Simply click the review link under the game you’re interested in to see the latest price.



  • TomNorfolk

    Thanks for featuring Stak Bots Jon. We’ll have to get some Santa Bots ready for next year!

  • TomNorfolk

    Hi Jon, thanks for featuring Stak Bots. We’ll have to get some Santa Bots ready for next year!

  • dlehman

    I only have an iPad mini, so i’m worried about screen size for a “family game”.

    Has anyone tried using AirPlay mirroring to a big screen so everyone can see the “board”, and then pass around the iPad to play? Does that translate to a good gameplay experience?

  • Online game modes,Marble Mixe is usually a vibrant and also enjoyment online game connected with exclusive marbles that everyone can certainly participate in. Approximately 4 participants can certainly stay on just about every spot associated with an ipad and also join in the particular enjoyment.
    http://www.hotappsntech.com/free-iphone-games-today-0-99-games-free/