Bring happiness home

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This winter, bring happiness home with tabletop games that the whole family will love! Add the marshmallows to the hot chocolate, find your favourite blanket, pull your beanie snug over your head and get the table ready for the season’s top boardgames. With cooler days and longer nights, there is every reason to socialize over a board game or two.

“Winter is a great time for boardgames, the weather permits us to cozy up indoors. It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy time with family and friends and bond over a variety of tabletop games to suit every age group, every mood and every occasion,” says Philip Galliford of games distributor Solarpop.

Top winter games

This season it’s all about impulse games, social games and family games. For quick, high-energy exhilarating impulse gaming sessions get your hands on Spot It!, 5 Second Rule, Bananagrams and Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. These games are all about speed, quick-thinking, crazy answers and lots of laughs. They are ideal for younger children or as a warm up to a longer gaming session.

Social games include EXIT: the game – an adventurous, exhilarating, cooperative escape room game-in-a-box where players solve riddles and crack codes to escape an imaginary situation. Each box offers a different scenario and setting, and once you’ve grasped the rules, it’s easy to crack open a new box and solve the mystery.

Family games offer a wonderful bonding experience for parents and children, aunties, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, bringing multiple generations together for fun and laughter. This category features Catan, Pandemic, King of Tokyo and Ticket to Ride.

“Games have become intricately woven into popular culture. They feature in sitcoms, movies, books, you name it. People have picked up the hobby as they see the value in it. It’s money well spent for a great night of entertainment, there are new games and new editions on the shelf which keeps things relevant, and most games can be played again and again and it’s always exciting because different scenarios crop up,” continues Galliford.

The Golden age of Gaming

Tabletop gaming is experiencing a golden age. During Covid lockdowns, people craved social interactions that were in person, and the boardgames were pulled from cupboard and dusted off. Once restrictions eased, this trend continued. What ensued was the demand, and availability, of games in mainstream retailers. So, games which were once only found in hobby stores became available at supermarkets and toy stores. The variety of games also increased, to the delight of those old and new to the hobby.

“Games have evolved to be more than just competitive – they’re pleasant, they showcase intricate artwork, they’re engaging, they stimulate creative thinking and strategy, they stimulate laughter around the table. They give players the opportunity to make new memories with family and friends. Essentially, tabletop games bring happiness home,” says Galliford.

The atmosphere of an in-person game is magical

Adam Prevo’st, of Unplug Yourself explains that part of the popularity of games is that the atmosphere of an in-person game is difficult to replicate virtually. “The vibe that is created when a group of people play a game can’t be manufactured, it happens as the game unfolds, and is something very magical and spontaneous. A board game is very personal because you’re sitting across from people, it’s a shared experience, whereas online gaming can be quite isolating. It’s the joy of playing with family, friends and even strangers that has made the hobby an addictive pastime,” he says.

Boardgames have the ability to get your favourite people together, at a table, to have fun doing something that is exciting and nuanced. #bringhappinesshome

To get started do this

Step one: Visit a toy store, hobby store or online store such as Takealot and buy some new games that you and your group will enjoy.

Step two: organize an evening or an afternoon of game playing.

Step three: make sure you’ve got the perfect drinks and snacks.

Step four: get the table ready for lots of fun and amusement.

Step five: enjoy!

If you’d rather try out new games before committing to purchasing them, buy your ticket to a Festival of Games event. For more info go to: