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Which board games will be winners this Christmas?

PUBLISHED: 12:06 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:12 19 December 2018

Enjoying a board game at a past Fun Palace event at Ipswich County Library, Myles Miller, Chris Filip and Alex Mann. Picture: NIGE BROWN.

Enjoying a board game at a past Fun Palace event at Ipswich County Library, Myles Miller, Chris Filip and Alex Mann. Picture: NIGE BROWN.

Archant

We might be in the age of video games, but board games are still favourites at Christmas. Which game will get your family sitting round the table?

While traditional games such as Scrabble and Connect 4 are still popular, a new generation of board games have also been capturing the imaginations of families over recent years.

Ipswich County Library has a collection of around 70 board games donated by Norwich-based Zatu Games, which customers can play with and borrow, and also holds regular board game sessions aimed at older people, as well as special game events.

Library and information adviser Andrew Miller, who is a keen board gamer, said: “Christmas is a traditional time for families to discover board games. A lot of families only all get together at Christmas.”

Codenames looks set to be popular this Christmas. Picture: ZATU GAMESCodenames looks set to be popular this Christmas. Picture: ZATU GAMES

Ben Garry of Zatu Games said: “In terms of popular games this Christmas, we have so far found that Azul is one of the most popular, as well as the classic Ticket To Ride Europe, Codenames, Takenoko and Kingdomino.”

Azul, which won the prestigious German Game of the Year award (Spiel des Jahres) for 2018, is a game where players have to embellish the walls of a palace with tiles.

Mr Garry said: “Throughout my childhood and now in adult life, my family have always enjoyed a good family game and, at Christmas, we always had certain traditions in terms of which board games we would play and when.

Ticket to Ride games are already regarded as classics. Picture: ZATU GAMESTicket to Ride games are already regarded as classics. Picture: ZATU GAMES

“For example, Christmas Eve would always be when the big, long game of Risk would begin - a game that was rarely completed! Christmas Day, while waiting for lunch, would always be an argumentative game of Monopoly and in the evening, to finish off the day, we would always have a slightly merry game of Pictionary or Charades.’

At Ipswich County Library, Mr Miller said Ticket to Ride Europe was one of the most popular modern board games, adding that these games have been rising in popularity and there are growing numbers of “hobby board gamers” who regularly meet to play. “I think people love sitting round a table with a group.”

He said the games appeal to all ages. “I have played games of Connect 4 with four-year-olds, and there’s a game called Happy Salmon which I’ve played with a group of Scouts.”

Takenoko is predicted to be one of the top board games this Christmas. Picture: ZATU GAMESTakenoko is predicted to be one of the top board games this Christmas. Picture: ZATU GAMES

Many families will have memories of long games of Monopoly over the festive season ending up with a row, as children can often get upset about losing!

Mr Miller said that, if people ask to borrow Monopoly, he sometimes suggests they might like to try another game such as Ticket to Ride or Carcassone as an alternative.

However, he added, “Traditional games like Cluedo and Monopoly are still popular. Modern board games are taking a little while for people to learn about them.”

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