11 brilliant family games to beat the coronavirus lockdown boredom

Dice And A Slice the board game cafe in Colchester - owners Daren and Jessica Hutton have given us t

Dice And A Slice the board game cafe in Colchester - owners Daren and Jessica Hutton have given us their top family games for the coronavirus lockdown Picture: DICE AND A SLICE - Credit: Dice And A Slice

With the prospect of weeks at home, finding interesting ways to spend quality time with family is even more important – Colchester’s best board game brains take a look at the best games to keep you entertained.

Daren Hutton and Jessica Caws, owners of board game cafe Dice and a Slice in Queen Street, Colchester, opened their doors in 2018 and had enjoyed booming business until they were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, the couple are still selling their games online and, with the prospect of families confined to their houses for several weeks, have come up with a list of the best games to keep everyone entertained:

Rhino Hero: Super Battle – 2-4 Players – Ages 5+ – Takes 10-20 minutes

Rhino Hero is a great fun game for the whole family. You build a huge card skyscraper and players must race their pieces to the top, but be careful because as the skyscraper gets taller it also gets wobblier!

Castle Panic – 1-6 Players – Ages 10+ – Takes 60 minutes

In Castle Panic you word together to defend your castle against hordes of orcs, goblins and ogres. This is the perfect game if you are tired of getting into arguments about who wins and who loses, you’re all working together! It also works really well as a solo game.

The Magic Labyrinth – 2-4 Players – Ages 6+ – Takes 20-30 minutes

The Magic Labyrinth is a memory game where the players race their wizards around an unseen maze. Your magicians are magnetically connected to a ball that drops if you bump into a wall, when this happens you have to start all over again.

Colt Express – 2-6 Players – Ages 10+ – Takes 30-40 minutes

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Colt Express is a fast paced game where you play bandits robbing a train in the Old West. In each turn you program your actions using cards and your characters special abilities trying to out manoeuvre your opponents and get the most loot at the end of the game. The best thing about Colt Express is its amazing 3D train playing board!

NMBR 9 – 1-4 Players – Ages 8+ – Takes 20 minutes

In NMBR 9 players are stacking tiles in the shape of numbers from zero to nine. Each tile scores more points the higher its value and the higher it is on the stack. A great game to get the kids doing some maths while they are not at school.

Kingdomino – 2-4 Players – Ages 8+ – Takes 15-20 minutes

Another great game to get the young ones doing maths is Kingdomino. Players have to make a 5x5 kingdom using domino like tiles, trying to match side to score more points at the end of the game.

KLASK – 2 Players – Ages 8+ – Takes 10 minutes

Imagine a mix of air hockey and table football; that is Klask. An extremely fun game where you use magnets to control your piece to try and strike the ball into your opponent’s goal, but don’t get too close because if two of the central magnets stick to your piece your opponent scores a point. Great fun and massively addictive and there is also a four-player version of the game.

Time’s Up: Party – 4-12 Players – Agers 12+ – Takes 40 minutes

A fun team party game, Time’s Up is charades mixed with Articulate. Players have to guess the same set of titles in three rounds, with less and less clues allowed in each round. In the last round, you’re only allowed to pose. Great for budding actors and you can also get a kids version of Time’s Up for 4 year olds and up so it has pictures instead of words.

Tokyo Highway – 2 Players – Ages 8+ – Takes 30-50 minutes

Tokyo Highway is a mix between Jenga and being a town planner – in the game you are placing columns and roads creating a tabletop ‘spaghetti junction’, placing your cars on roads that cross other players roads. The winner is the player that places all their cars first. You have to have a steady hand (or be good with the tweezers included in the game) to win this one.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue – 2-6 Players – Ages 10+ – Takes 45 minutes

Another cooperative game where you play firefighters rescuing people from a burning house. You have a certain amount of actions you can do during your turn, you can extinguish fires, carry victims out of harm’s way or even chop through walls. An excellent game that has a family setting which is easier to play for younger gamers but just as much fun.

Choose Your Own Adventure: War with the Evil Power Master – 1-99 Players – Ages 10+ – 60 minutes

War with the Evil Power Master is an epic sci-fi story in a box. Take the role of space adventures trying to defeat the Evil Power Master before he destroys the galaxy. An interactive story with several different choices and endings as you play. It’s brilliantly written and hilarious in places, you’ll want to play it over and over again to see all the different options.

You can find all these games and more on playboardgames.co.uk.

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