Saturday, 12 November 2011

Festive Family Games

I've really enjoyed reviewing the board games that I have been testing out with Christmas Gift Ideas in mind.  Board Games generally mean the coming together of the family to have some structured, and slightly competitive fun!

University Games have some really great games that will be perfect for getting the whole family gathered around the table this Christmas.  Two such games are based on hit TV shows which adds that extra element of fun and familiarity to the proceedings.  These games are Pointless and Mr & Mrs.

I remember the original Mr & Mrs TV show where couples battled it out to win a carriage clock back in the 70s.  It was revamped recently for a modern audience.  This new edition Mr & Mrs Game can be played by all partners young or old, so sisters, brothers, parents and kids or married couples can join in.  It is designed for ages 10 and up.  Partners answer questions about each other (often with hilarious results) and the pair with the most matched answers and therefore points wins.

There are three rounds including the all new paddle round.  Some of the questions are quite quirky (what is a good age to live to?), others are more straightforward (how many cups of coffee do they drink in a day?) and I really like the fact that some questions are tailored for who is answering (woman, man, girl or boy).  This opens up the potential for playing with different groups allowing the whole family to join in.

This is a great after dinner game for groups of adult couples where things can get a little heated.  But it works equally well as a family game to see how well you know each other.  Playing time is not very long so you can repeat rounds to make it last longer.  You can have a dedicated host or you can take turns to ask questions making it quite a versatile game.

I am really looking forward to playing this over Christmas with my parents, my son and his girlfriend, me and Ian and my daughter and her boyfriend, with the younger kids acting as hosts.  It'll be a perfect game to play over the holiday season.  I just hope it won't lead to any marital disputes!!

Pointless is my Dad's favourite TV show.  He watches it everyday and loves pitting his knowledge against the contestants on the TV.  I can't wait until I can challenge him to a game of Pointless the Board Game!

Like the TV show, the pointless answers are the best!  The answers were decided by giving 100 people 100 seconds to name as many correct answers to a set question.  Each answer then gets a score based on its popularity.  You are looking to find the most obscure answers to score the lowest number of points.

You can play in teams so younger children can be included.    In fact sometimes their knowledge of modern stuff can help with finding the pointless answers.  Knowing the TV show definitely helped understanding the rules which are quite wordy!  There are three rounds followed by the end game where the winning player or team is decided.
Finding the pointless answers are not easy at all...but everyone will know something on the list and hope to pick something that has a lower score than your opposing players. (An example of a question card....Instruments played in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra....I'd never even heard of the least popular answer, a Cor Anglais, but I knew all the other instruments on the list so it's a case of deciding which instrument is the least popular answer!)  I'm sure my dad will pride himself on getting all the low scoring answers like he does when watching the TV show (until the category is something to do with pop music or reality TV which I will definitely do better on!)

There are 338 question cards so it will be a long time before they start repeating and you rack your brains to try to remember the low scorers!  It is good for extending your general knowledge!

I like that Pointless pencils are included in the game's contents...I hate scrabbling around for pens in order to start a game. It's a nice little touch.

Both games will be enjoyed at Christmas when the extended family get together.  I am very much looking forward to giving them both a thorough playing and I will report back on how we get on with the multi-generational gameplay!!  Expect lots of photos of my mum looking confused, my dad looking smug and the kids having hysterics!!

If you want some great after dinner entertainment following your Christmas Lunch, you can buy Pointless (RRP £19.99) and Mr & Mrs (RRP £14.99) from  Both promise to deliver real entertainment and would make excellent presents for fans of the TV shows!


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