Critics Corner: The Christmas Collection

by Corey Whelen
13 December 2019

It’s that time of year again! Time to deck the halls with decks of cards, time to hang the stockings near the game-shelf with care, and time to entertain friends and family during those interminable holiday gatherings!

Luckily, Outset Media has your back with plenty of Christmas themed games that are more fun than listening to Grandma talk about her extra toenail again! We’re going to take a look at three of our favourites for entertaining through the holidays!

 

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Christmas decorations can turn your home into a magical playground once a year, especially for younger family members who haven’t grown accustomed to winter wonderlands. Christmas Scavenger Hunt turns your home and your decorations into the game! With some imaginative hiding spots and crafty Christmas capering you can create a delightful treasure hunt for kids and adults alike!

Players are tasked with finding specific objects like icicles, antlers, and nutcrackers, as well as more nebulous items like “something red, white and plastic”, “something that jingles”, and “something that smells ‘Christmassy’”. The cards are beautifully illustrated, all of the text is designed to emulate the look and feel of the object it instructs you to hunt- it’s a small detail but it’s really indicative of the thought and heart that went into making this game!

Best of all, the game contains two full sets of cards- one for indoor scavenger hunts and one for outdoor, so you can keep your family entertained no matter the weather! This is a wonderful activity for kids of all ages- we recommend hot cocoa as a prize for when players reach the end!!

Christmas Activity Game

Cranium is one the most popular party games of all-time because it mixes a bunch of different skill sets. Acting, singing, sculpting, and drawing all get tested. The Christmas Activity Game does much the same thing, but it has the added benefit of being much more portable, Christmas-themed, and lasting as long as you want!

Players pull cards that will ask them to do one of a few different things: they may have to hum a Christmas song, or mime out a familiar Christmas action. They may have to draw a familiar Christmas character, describe four Christmas objects without using their proper names (ala Taboo), list popular Christmas items in a specific category (ala Family Feud), or even hunt around the home for a specific Christmas decoration or object!

The variety of this game does a lot to keep it fresh and interesting, and really, it’s seven different games for the price of one- and it’s a really great price considering how much content is packed into the box!

This That & Everything: Merry X-Mas Edition

Outset Media’s card-based classic has numerous spin-offs, but now there is a version dedicated to everything that makes the holidays special! The original This That & Everything was a high-speed, high-intensity word game that’s fun for the entire family- the Christmas version carries on the tradition with Christmas-themed cards and an extremely festive box! In a spin on Million-dollar Pyramid and the classic game, Taboo, the object of the game is to get your teammates to guess specific Christmas clues without saying the words they’re trying to guess.

Players are split into teams, they choose someone to be a “Describer”, then that person draws a card. The Describer has just 30 seconds to help his teammates guess the five Christmas words and phrases on the card, scoring points for each. With such a short time limit, things can get a little hectic- especially considering the Describer isn’t allowed to say ANY of the words on the card or give hints like starting letters and rhyming words! Each team takes a turn, then they nominate a new describer and go again! Play continues for 10 rounds (or however long you want), and the game gets increasingly frantic as players try to squeeze more and more points out of their 30 seconds!

This game works best for adults who will understand the more obscure clues like Blue Christmas and The Gift of the Magi, but with a little help, diverse teams, and maybe a little Google-magic, this is a fantastic way to get your family hooting and hollering for the holidays!