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Hottest Family Board Games 2009

The Christmas holidays are the perfect time for busy families to reconnect.  Gathering together to indulge in playtime with one of the hottest board games on the market can provide hours of fun and entertainment for everyone.  To choose the perfect board game for your family, look for games that include multiple players, are playable by a variety of ages and games that are not overly complicated.  Games that encourage interaction and create laughter are also good choices.

When shopping for the hottest family board games in 2009, consider the following games.

* Cranium Family Edition

Cranium has consistently been a family favorite since the early 1990’s.  The Family Edition offers sixteen different activities that will have family members building, sculpting, sketching, guessing and laughing as they make their way around the colorful board.  Even the younger kids can partner with an older child or adult to play and have fun. 

* Yahtzee Free For All

Traditional Yahtzee is fun but Yahtzee Free For All takes fun to the next level of zaniness.  A truly multi-player game, this new Yahtzee version is fast-paced and very rowdy.  It’s not just about waiting patiently for your turn to roll the dice.  Unlike original Yahtzee, in this game players must roll the dice and match their roll to cards with classic Yahtzee combinations.  If a player makes a match they get to take a card, but now other players can steal that card until your next turn.  In Yahtzee Free For All, it’s every player for himself.   

* Pandemic

Voted the best Family Board Game for 2009 by Games Magazine, Pandemic is a game about working together.  It is not as rowdy as other board games, but it will engage every player’s attention and interest once the first moves are played.  In this game the players must work together to stop a pandemic from destroying mankind.  Players must use strategy and logic and rely on each other.  It is rated for players ages ten and older, but younger children can play with assistance.

* Blokus

A game from Mattel, Blokus was voted the 2003 Game of the Year.  Since then, Blokus has entertained many families during game night.  A logic and strategy game, the basic premise is for each player to get rid of 21 shaped “puzzle” pieces by playing them on a tiled board.  Each player is one color and wants to be the first to get rid of their pieces while blocking out the other players.  The pieces look like they came from the game Tetris and fit together much the same.  A great game, Blokus challenges logic and spatial reasoning.

* Beat the Parents

Beat the Parents pits kids against parents by having parents try to answer questions most kids can answer and kids trying to answer questions their parents might know.  Many times trivia games are difficult to play with both children and adults, but Beat the Parents is designed specifically to include all members of the family.

* Balderdash

A different sort of trivia game, Balderdash asks players to come up with definitions to words, items and more.  If a player does not know the definition, they can bluff.  Sometimes players will need to choose to bluff for tactical purposes.  Originally released in 2003, Balderdash continues to remain a family favorite board game.  Unlike, Beat the Parents, Balderdash is geared towards older children, about ages 12 and up, however younger children can play if they partner with an adult.

There are many popular family board games currently on the market.  Some of the most popular games are the classics.  These include games like Pictionary, SceneIt?, Life, Clue and Monopoly.  Clue now offers theme games including Harry Potter Clue and The Simpsons Clue.

Monopoly has been a family favorite since for more than sixty years.  It is sold in more than 37 different languages and 70 officially licensed versions.  No matter which version you choose, the premise is the same.  Each player must try to become the richest player by buying, trading, and selling property.  Choose a version that fits your family’s interests.  Versions to consider include Star Wars, The Beatles, A Christmas Story, Cat Lovers, Dog Lovers, NASCAR, ESPN, Disney, Pokémon, Army, and Electronic Banking.

Board games make for great family Christmas gifts.  Any gift that can bring a family together for a time of sharing, friendly competition and laughter is a gift that every family member will treasure long after the holidays.

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