The Best Board Games for the Holiday Season

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Thomas Richards
| December 17, 2023
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It’s that time of year again when families come together to catch up, share a meal, drink, and get hyper-competitive in board games. That last one might be me, but playing a board game or two during the holiday season is always a blast. But what if you’ve already played every board game you own? What if you’re bored (get it) of the tired favourites like Monopoly and Cluedo? Well, you’re in luck because Couch Soup has collected several unique board games that are bound to involve the entire family.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the games were provided for free. The thoughts and opinions are my own through playing the games with friends and family. 

Herd Mentality

An angry pink cow is in the middle of a small paddock. A set of Herd Mentality game cards is on the left and the game box is on the right.

Have you ever wanted to find out which family member has the weirdest thoughts? Do you like to point and laugh at the person with a wrong opinion? If yes to either, then Herd Mentality is for you. This game is about having the herd mentality (hence the game’s name) and writing the same answer as everyone else. You get a cow token whenever you have the same answer as the majority. Collect eight cow tokens, and you win; hooray! But if you’re the only person with a specific answer, you get the pink cow. The pink cow prevents you from winning the game even if you have eight tokens. The only way to get rid of the angry pink cow is for another player to be the odd one out. With over 100 questions provided (and you can create your own), there’s plenty of fun to be had with sticking with the herd.

Hand-to-Hand Wombat

The Hand-to-Hand Wombat box is in the middle. Towers of varying stages of completion are set up near the box. Hands are picking up and placing the tower pieces. The text in the image explains the goal of the game.

I love games that have you cooperate with others to achieve a goal. They’re great bonding activities, especially with family, and can help you grow closer. But, sometimes, I want to see the world burn and be a wombat. Hand-to-Hand Wombat is a cooperative tower-building game that involves trust, communication, and lying. The aim of the game is for the team of good wombats to build three towers to earn points. The bad wombat will sabotage their efforts through any means necessary (within legal limits). But there’s a twist: you only have 90 seconds to build the towers, and you can’t look during those 90 seconds. Chaos is guaranteed to occur with people throwing blocks around and smacking over towers while you desperately try to build a tower with your eyes closed (it’s a lot harder than you think).

The Fuzzies

Various angles of The Fuzzies packaging. Some of the game pieces are overflowing from the box in the middle.

Do you like Jenga but think the wooden pieces make too much noise when the tower eventually collapses? Well, you should give The Fuzzies a try instead. The concept of this game is similar to Jenga; you need to remove one of the many fuzzy balls from the tower and place it anywhere else on the tower without knocking it over. It seems pretty similar, but The Fuzzies has a few tricks up its sleeve. You can use your fingers or the pair of included tweezers for starters. You also don’t have to move the first piece you touch (in case you’re indecisive). Then, there are the cards that modify how you take your turn. These can be as simple as placing a piece on the top of the tower or as specific as using your non-dominant hand. These will help to keep the game interesting through multiple rounds as you try and fail to keep the fuzzy tower from falling.


Different chess pieces are placed together. Each piece is only half a piece. The Chessplus logo is in the top right of the image

We can all agree that Chess is a pretty fun game. It’s a classic of the board game genre, and some people dedicate their lives to studying it. But what if Chess got a sequel? That’s where Chessplus comes in and reinvents everything about the game of Chess. Chessplus is similar to the original game but with a twist. All of your pieces (rooks, knights, bishops, and queen) have been split in half and can be joined with another piece. These super pieces have the abilities of both pieces that combined to create it. That means you can have a knight that moves like a bishop or a rook that moves like a queen. These new possibilities inject new life into this classic game, leaving you entertained and confused (if you’re a Chess pro).

The Chameleon

The Chameleon green box is on the left. Text reading "How to play The Chameleon" is on the right. There is a green checkered background with a single yellow bar.

Sometimes, the most fun to be had while playing a board game is accusing (most of the time aggressively) that someone is lying. This is the basis of The Chameleon, a game all about finding out who isn’t in the know. To play this game, everyone is given a code card. Different combinations of letters and numbers on this code card correspond with a question card. Players take turns rolling a set of dice (one with numbers and the other with letters) that select the secret word. Players must say a word that relates to the secret word and say it without hesitation (an example being the secret word is grass, and you say green). Now, if everyone has the code card, the secret word isn’t very secret, but not everyone has the code. One player has the chameleon card and must bluff through each round without looking suspicious. After every round, you can accuse someone of being the chameleon (the fun part). You’ll totally not ruin any relationships, and no arguments will be caused by accusing your loved ones of being the chameleon (it’s a fun time).

And there you have five board games for you to try out this holiday season. The world of board games is vast, and there are so many options to choose from that we couldn’t list them all. Let us know your favourite board games in the comments, and keep it locked to Couch Soup to feed your hungry nerd soul.

Have you played any of these games? What did you think? What’s your go-to board game during the holidays? Let us know in the comments where we can talk about how the sequel to Chess is the best version.

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