Baxter’s Top 10 Favourite Family Games

Hey hey folks!  We find ourselves in November already!  How did that happen?  As much as many of us don’t want to admit it, Christmas really is approaching quickly, and with shipping delays being what they are industry wide, now more than ever it’s important to get in early to avoid disappointment on the big day.  To that end, I’m presenting this, the first in a massive new series of Top 10’s, I’ll be putting together over the coming weeks.  My hope is to help you navigate an ever growing array of games, hobby items and novelties to ensure you can find the perfect gift for your loved ones this year.  So let's explore my Top 10 Favourite Family Games!


10. Catan

If you are looking to get your family into games, you need to get Catan. Catan is relatively simple to pick up and introduces players to a lot of mechanics that will guide them through so many other great games. It offers strategic gameplay and provides plenty of table-flip moments (which I personally think are hilarious). AND there are a bunch of great expansions to build on the base game once you're competent with all the mechanics. No game shelf is complete without Catan!


9. 5 Second Rule NZ Edition

5 Second Rule tasks players with giving three rapid fire answers to seemingly simple questions within 5 seconds.  For example, name 3 cities beginning with ‘A’? 5… 4… 3… 2… 1! Did you do it?  Or were you distracted from reading the countdown?  5 Second Rule’s real challenge comes from not becoming flustered, tripping over your own tongue or stammering under the withering gaze of your judgey friends!  This New Zealand edition includes questions aimed at kiwis with a slant towards our local brand of humour.  Ideal for family gatherings (remember those?), BBQs, at the bach or among friends, 5 Second Rule New Zealand Edition is a great pick!


8. Dutch Blitz

This popular card game has proven to be a hit with families, particularly in the past year or so with on and off lockdowns.  People are rediscovering the simple joys of spalling cards down on a table and Dutch Blitz makes for a fast, colourful and highly addictive gameplay experience. Players try to empty their blitz pile while scoring points for each card in their Dutch pile at the end of each round.  First to 75 points wins!  Simple to learn and play, Dutch Blitz deserves a place in any family’s game collection.


7. Articulate: New Zealand Edition

Articulate: New Zealand Edition is a team game for 4 to 8 players where the objective is to describe as many words on a card as possible within a set time limit. The team with the most correct answers wins. Articulating your description without saying the actual word you’re describing can be equal parts frustrating and hilarious as your team tries to shout out their answers.  This New Zealand version provides local references that should be familiar to most kiwi households.


6. Throw Throw Burrito

Families don’t always get along and in these trying times, sometimes those frustrations need a healthy outlet. Throw Throw Burrito is here for you! This card based game allows you to throw soft harmless rubberised Burritos at your loved ones as you try to collect matching sets of cards before your opponents do. When the time comes, the opposing players pick up their burritos, walk three paces then turn and throw, just like the duels of yesteryear!


5. Phase 10

Phase 10 is a type of rummy game where players are attempting to complete sets or runs of cards in an increasing number over rounds called phases.  The game’s name, Phase 10 refers to the number of phases players are aiming to complete in the game. Phase 10 has been extremely well received and, similar to Dutch Blitz, has seen a recent resurgence in popularity in recent years. A great way to spend a rainy spring afternoon with the family!


4. Ticket to Ride



An absolute classic, Ticket to Ride is the perfect family game. The rules are really easy to learn and it allows for real tactical play - making for a great game to get kids planning ahead. I would personally recommend Ticket to Ride - Europe because you get a bit more bang for your buck but either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe are a great place to start. There are also tonnes of expansions for Ticket to Ride so even if you've had enough of one map, you can try something new to spice it up!

3. 5-Minute Marvel

5-Minute Marvel is the super hero based version of the ever popular 5-Minute Dungeon, the frantic cooperative card game where players are racing the clock to defeat enemies by combining their cards in coordinated ‘attacks’. This Marvel version offers the choice of 10 heroes to face off against 5 increasingly difficult villains. Do you and your superhero team have what it takes to take down Thanos? 

2. Andor - The Family Fantasy Game

Andor - The Family Fantasy Game is an adventure game from the makers of Legends of Andor, which is a well received fantasy board game in it’s own right.  Here the designers have kept the core experience of the original game intact, while managing to present it in a way that’s more friendly and accessible for family play.  Players choose from four fantasy characters, Magician, Warrior, Archer or Dwarf (who knew being a dwarf was an occupation?) and embark on a quest to recover a group of lost wolf cubs before a malevolent dragon attacks the town of Rietburg. Can you return home in time to save the day?   

1. Sequence

Sequence truly is a game for the whole family (except small children who may swallow the pieces!). Sequence is an incredibly simply game - in essence it's Connect 4 but a lot more fun. There are three colours which means 2-3 players OR 2-3 teams of players so perfect for bigger family gatherings. There are elements of both strategy and luck so noone has too much of an advantage. And it doesn't require a huge space to play which is great because I do not have ANY space in my den. If you need to choose one game to play with the family - make it Sequence.

So ends another Top 10 from me!  I hope you’ll check back soon as the Game Kings team has many more blogs on the way.  As always, share your thoughts on your favourite family games in the comments below or over on our Game Kings Gamers group on Meta Facebook. See you next time! 

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