Family Games on ITV’s How To Spend It Well At Christmas

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Chance & Counters board game cafe

Board games have long been a traditional family pastime and Christmas often makes the perfect traditional occassion to gather around for some healthily competitive behaviour with the relatives.

There are lots of games – both new and old – to choose from, however, an influencing factor this year may come from last nights telly.

How To Spend It Well This Christmas was a programme broadcast on ITV last night. Presented by Phillip Schofield, the show featured many toys and games and included a segment where families tested five games.

Most of the testing was done in the Chance & Counters board game cafe in Bristol. A venue that boasts of having a menu of over 600 games, as well as serving appetising food within its licensed premises.

Singer Stacey Solomon, who has appeared on a number of ITV programmes, was also reviewing the game with her children.

All the games are hereby presented in order of the judges collective deliberations:

#1 : Don’t Be A Donkey

Don't Be a Donkey game from John Adams

4 years and older • 2 to 4 players

Don’t Be A Donkey is a game of carrot and of being on the receiving end of some stick. Four donkey cards are dealt to each player then donkey-ear head bands are duly donned. Carrots are placed in the middle, one less than the numbers of players. Players pass rejected cards to their left trying to achieve a full hand of the same colour. When the player achieves a full-house, they shout “DONKEY” and grab a carrot. The player who didn’t get a carrot must lift up one of their donkey ears. Lose three times and become the donkey by wearing the donkey mask.

John Adams • £24.99


#2 : Pie Face Sky High

Pie Face Sky High from Hasbro

5 years and older • 2 players

Pie Face Sky High is a new variation on a game that has been among the best sellers at Christmas for the past two years. This time it is that test of fairground strength that determines who ends up with a comedic pie in their face. This game stands three feet tall and is played by bashing the base with a plastic hammer. The best basher wins, while the loser recieves a face-full of whipped cream, although you’ll have to provide your own dairy produce.

Hasbro • £26.99


#3 : Woofy Whoops

Woofy Woops game from Worlds Apart

3 years and older • 2 to 10 players

Woofy Whoops is a new and rather rude game involving a plastic dog that urinates. Yes, there is a popular game on the market that is all about a defeacting dog, however, scoops are provided, in Woofy Whoops there is a real danger that you’ll be towelling off the watery contents of a fake bladder. A smartphone is needed to play this game, you can download the required app to either an iPhone or Android device for free. Spin the dog and the player nearest to where it lands must pat it the same number of times it barks. You lose the round if the dog leaks on you and the smartphone is there to record and provide an action Wee-Play of the inglorious event.

Worlds Apart • £19.99


#4 : Twister

Twister the classic game from Hasbro

6 years and older • 2 or more players

Twister is an old favourite that has had permanant space on the shelves of toy shops for decades. There is a new twist to classic Twister with two new moves, where you might have to raise a limb in the air or the player with the spinner may get to choose a move from a list of suggestions. Otherwise the familiar format of placing a hand on a particular coloured dot or being near someone placing a – hopefully thoroughly washed – foot on another colour, continues to entertain.

Hasbro • £18.99


#5 : Boom Blast Stix

Boom Blast Stix game from Character Options

6 years or older • 2 player or more

Boom Blast Stix may have received the least votes from the families judging games on How To Spend It Well At Christmas but they did have to rank five good ones. In this game each player takes turns to place stix on top of the can. A steady hand and nerves of steel are required as at any moment BOOM, there’s a blast and the stix are sent flying and if it was your go then you’ve lost that round. This was the cheapest game reviewed and is still fun. While it lacked winning the popular vote from the jury at least you’re not going to have to suffer a pie in for face nor a jet of water sprayed from cock-legged plastic dog, neither will you suffer someone else’s sock near your nose nor making an ass of oneself.

Character Options • £14.99


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