Let the Games Begin! Getting Ready for Game and Puzzle Week!

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Update: Even though National Game and Puzzle week 2020 is months away, we are revisiting this post because so many families are home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Being cooped up for so long often leads to boredom, with people looking for things to do.

Not only is playing board games fun, there are other many other benefits such as family bonding, teaching life skills, and creating childhood memories (not to mention reliving some of your own).

#socialdistancing #stayhome #withus #alonetogether


Every year in November, during the week of Thanksgiving, is National Game and Puzzle Week, which is all about rediscovering the joys of non-electrical games – ones that are socially interactive. We all have a favorite game whether that’s your play station, Alto’s Adventure or just good old Solitaire on your phone- and it’s sometimes pretty hard to put the game down.

However, this Thanksgiving week, why not start a new tradition and get all the family involved by playing a hilarious, fun, and team-spirited game.

The problem is with finding a game for the whole family is that we all like, and are good at, slightly different things. I remember when I was a kid, as the youngest sibling in the family I didn’t get much say in the matter when it came to picking the board game- but my older brother and sister would argue about whether we should play Clue or Monopoly based on which one they were best at. But there are so many different games out there now, that you are sure to find one that everyone loves.

Family Fun Classics

Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy family competition, and for me Monopoly takes the number one place when I get to choose. And nowadays, there are so many versions to choose from: the Monopoly Empire where you play to buy the best brands on the board, or the Simpsons version that lets you choose your favorite character. There’s even a new Walking Dead Monopoly so watch out for some deadly moves if you chose that one!

Whilst Monopoly is a great family game, it does require some tactics and is advised for 8 years and older. If you need something more suitable for the kiddly-winks of the family then Chutes and Ladders (or Snakes and Chutes as we call it in the UK) is a great one to go for. It’s a simple game and only needs the skill of counting (which you can do for them if the kids are really young); the rest is down to luck and chance so it’s a level playing field when everyone starts off.

But if you are really itching to play that Walking Dead Monopoly before the little ones are in bed, why not distract them with a kid’s board game that they can play without the grown-ups, giving you some much needed zombie time.

Challenge Yourself!

If you’re family or group of friends are looking for something to challenge you all and really get you all thinking, there are loads of great games that will be just as a addictive as you game consoles.

Chess is one of them. Chess was invented hundreds of years ago and still to this day has people learning and investigating the best moves and how to out-smart their opponent. You don’t have to be a whiz-kid to enjoy it though; learning new moves and putting them into practice during the game is all part of the fun so even if you’re not one of these super-fast chess players you may surprise yourself with how well you do!

There are many other games that are similar to Chess that need tactics to win the game, and so if Chess isn’t the one for you, why not try Backgammon, Go or Othello. Othello is probably seen as the easiest of this group and is a good game to start on if you’re not sure about your skills!

And of course, there’s always classic games like Jenga, Uno and Go Fish — which are a different kind of challenge!

Step Outside the Box…

Or the board and try something a bit different this year. Something that none of you have tried before. I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to new games. Seriously though, how could anyone have created a game better than the classics we all already know? How wrong I could be! I have one word for you my friend…Dobble.

It’s like snap…but crazier, funnier and definitely for adults! It essentially requires you to find the matching picture between two cards and shout it out the fastest…however there are seven other pictures on each card and all the pictures vary in sizes and colors, distracting the eye and making it seem (sometimes) impossible. I have become an avid Dobble player, and so from personal experience, I urge you get onboard the Dobble train.

So there you go. All the games you could ever dream of, with a little bit of something for everyone! But whatever you choose, have fun playing with all your friends and family (and don’t cheat!)

By the way, depending upon where you live, your local library, community center or game store may be hosting special events for National Game and Puzzle week.


If you need some entertainment for a long road trip over the holiday season, TopProducts has reviews for a great selection of travel games. And for you puzzle lovers, we have plenty of reviews for those, as well as lots of other great games in the Toys, Games and Hobbies department.

Eloise Bonney, TopProducts Staff Writer