The 12 games of Christmas

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Tabletop games are this year’s perfect gift! From fast-thinking games to longer strategy games, there is something for everyone. Below are the top games of the festive season.

5 Second Rule

5 SECOND RULE SA version is a fast-paced game where you have to just “spit it out”. It should be easy to name 3 South African foods starting with “B”, but can you do it under the pressure of 5 seconds twisting down and other players staring at you? waiting for you to get flustered? With 5 SECOND RULE SA time is not on your side, so just say what comes to mind and risk ridiculous answers.

For 3 to 6 players, ages 8+. A fast-paced game perfect as a party game or to throw into your backpack to take on holiday with you. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. from: R349.00


Azul is a strategy boardgame where each player is a tile-laying artist challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. Players take turns drafting coloured tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets: wasted supplies harm the player’s score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. For 2 to 4 players, ages 8+ Perfect for a rainy afternoon. Available from Toy Kingdom. From R1099.00


Catan is a multiplayer boardgame, where each player takes on the role of settlers, with the aim of building and growing settlements by trading and getting resources. The isle of Catan is rich and remote, with many harbours and regions including pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert. What makes the game so compelling is that no two games are the same because the board can be set up differently every time you play. There are also extension sets with different themes, adding new dimensions to game play.

Catan is perfect for kids aged ten and over and is a great family game. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. From R649.00


Codenames is a boardgame game where two rival spymasters lead their teams to unmask the secret identities of 25 agents only known by their CODENAMES. Two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. The first team to make contact with all of their agents wins but, be aware, if a teammate makes contact with the assassin the team instantly loses. Codenames is fun when played by 2 to 8 people from the age of 14 years plus. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. From R349.00

Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a highly strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Due to its popularity, there are 8 expansions of the game. In this version, players draw cards from the deck until an Exploding Kitten card is drawn, at which they explode, they are dead, and out of game – unless that player has a Defuse card, like laser pointers, belly rubs and catnip sandwiches. All other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens. The game is played with 2 and allows up to 5 players. Perfect for age 7 plus. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. From: R629.00


Kingdomino is Dominoes with a kingdom building twist. In the game, you are a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, wheat fields, lakes and mountains in order to spot the best plots. But be careful as some other Lords also covet these lands. Be sure to connect your domino tiles with crowns as these royal treasures help to multiply the worth of your kingdom at the end of the game. The game ends when each player has a 5×5 grid, and then points are counted based on number of connecting tiles and crowns. Play with 2 to 4 people from the age of 8 years old and up. Available from Takealot, from R 425.99

Pass the Bomb

Pass The Bomb is an explosive word game that will blow your mind! For about thirty nail biting minutes players nerves are tested to the limit by the threat of the ticking bomb. A card is drawn bearing two or more letters, while the variable length fuse – 10 secs to 1 min – is set and the ticking bomb is passed to the first player. In turn players must shout out a word that contains the letters on the card and pass on the bomb before it goes off! Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. From R299.00

Pencil Nose

Think you’ve got a nose for drawing? In this hilarious party game, players use their sniffers to sketch objects and then hope their teammates can correctly guess what they’re drawing before time runs out! Simply pick a card and then, using the special Pencil Nose glasses, try to draw the object onto the screen, using only your nose.

For ages 8 and up.

RSP: R349.00 Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys.


Perfect for younger children as there’s no reading required, Qwirkle is about shape and colour recognition.  This compelling strategy game is perfect for honing strategy skills, forward-thinking and planning. How do you play?  Simply build lines by matching tiles based on either colour or shape and score points for doing so.  Mix, match and win!

For ages 6 plus. RSP: R599.99. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is filled to the brim with hand-slapping mayhem! As in Snap and Dobble, each player places a card from their hand face up into a community pile while saying taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza in player sequence. When the card matches the mantra – boom! – everyone slaps their hand on the deck, with the last one to slap picking up the cards. Whoever rids themselves of cards first wins!

For extra fun, special action cards – the gorilla, narwhal, and groundhog — force players to make certain gestures before racing to slap the deck!

Ages 8 plus. Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. RSP: 199.00

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a fun, adventure strategy game. Players need to build tracks and connect iconic cities across a map to earn points. Fun for the whole family, it is easy to learn and exciting to play. Good for 2 to 5 players, ages 8+ Available from Takealot, Toy Kingdom and Hamleys. From R 895.00

Unstable Unicorns

Unstable Unicorns is a card game about Destruction and Unicorns! You start with a Baby Unicorn in your stable to begin building your Unicorn Army. Even the baby unicorns aren’t safe so build as fast as you can or be destroyed. If betrayed, players can seek revenge or protect their stable using Magic. There are over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect, and each has a special power. Look out for the Neigh Card, it’s very powerful. Someone can play it and send the game into madness. The first person to complete their Unicorn Army shall be The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical… at least until the next game.

Unstable Unicorns is suitable for 2 to 8 players for ages 14 years and up. Available from Takealot, from R 889.00