Gaming the Holidays: Games that Bring People Together

As we continue our Gaming the Holiday series, let’s focus on the real reason for all this family time: the Mom.

It’s not always your actual mom, but there’s always one relative whose main focus every year is getting everyone into the same room and talking to each other. It’s tough! Your family might live far apart, or you may not have that much in common. But we love Mom, so we’re going to do our darndest to help her out.

Thankfully, games are a great way to tackle the hefty challenge of socializing with a crowd of cousins. So here are our top suggestions for: Games that Bring People Together

Tricky Towers

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A perfect choice if you have any engineers in your family, Tricky Towers is a physics-based tower building game. You must race against your family members: stack bricks to build a stable tower, and try to tip their towers over! There are a few different modes: the straightforward Race option (be the first tomake the tallest tower) Survival (place the most bricks without dropping them), or Puzzle (fit as many bricks as possible into a tower below a certain height).

You could build blocks all day (in-between family meals, of course)!

Use your Words

Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

Another wonderful party game that lets your family participate with their smartphones, Use Your Words includes several mini-games that provide prompts for goofy participation.

From Sub The Title, which plays a short clip from a foreign film and asks you to write a subtitle; ESTRA, EXTRA!, which prompts Mom to write a clickbait headline for a wacky photo, there’s a fun way to include everyone in your family. Our personal favorite is Survey Says, which gives Uncle Bob only 60 seconds to answer three prompts. Lightning round!

Race Arcade

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Everyone loves a good racing game, and your cousins are no exception. Race Arcade is a top-down racing simulator with a delightful retro style. Challenge your family to a speedy drive through winter wonderlands, post-apocalyptic cities, and tropical paradises. You can play with up to 6 people at a time, so start revving up!

Conga Master

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No rhythm required! (Good, that means Great Uncle Albert can play).

In this 8-bit multiplayer madness, up to 4 players can compete to create the longest conga line possible. By steering the dancers around the floor, you can add people to the conga line. You can even take your conga to another nightclubs to get more party people!

Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator

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Whether or not this game is right for your holiday get-together really depends on your family’s style of humor. For the family that enjoys teasing, needling, and downright belligering, this is the absolute perfect pastime.

A game of verbal fisticuffs, you can battle your relatives with witty, grammatically-correct jibes! Carefully construct elaborate insults to damage your familial opponents–the mechanics are simple, but the results are catastrophic!

And if you ever think you’ve gone too far, you can opt to take a sip of tea to change your choice and space Aunt Mitsy’s feelings. Even though her dog does smell like a pigsty!

Runbow

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A good way to liven up the living room, Runbow is a fast-paced action game for up to 8 players. Rope in all your cousins to race through a brightly-colored landscape–but beware! Platforms and obstacles will swiftly appear and disappear when the colored background changes. If the platform Mom is standing on disappears, it no longer exists!

See who can make it through the entire course in Run mode, or compete for the last cousin standing in Arena. May the best relative win!

Jackbox Party Pack 4

Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

The fourth in a wonderful series of party game releases, Jackbox Party Pack 4 brings even more accessible, fun, and engaging activities to your living room. The best thing about this series is how easy is it to set up: the only thing your relatives need is any device with a touchscreen, whether its their smartphone or tablet. As your aunts and uncles filter in and out of the room, they can participate in the audience by voting for their favorite contestant or shouting out their own answers.

The latest Party Pack includes Fibbage 3, a further expansion of the much-loved Fibbage; Survive the Internet, which lets you twist Aunt Mitsy’s words into something silly and ridiculous; Bracketeering, which is a battle for the best answer to a fun prompt (this is our favorite option for a big family, since there’s great audience participation in this game); Monster Seeking Monster, a monster dating simulator where the winner is the one to collect the most hearts; and Civic Doodle, where two players at a time compete to improve a drawing prompt.

In fact, this is SUCH a great game to bring people together that the ID@Xbox team will play it live on the Friday after Thanksgiving! Watch us hang out on mixer.com/idatxbox on 11/24 at 10AM PT.

 

With these silly, playful, and competitive party games, you can spur your family to get involved in a fun group activity, and make Mom’s dream come true.

Happy (gaming) holidays!

Suzanne Wallace
ID@Xbox Community Manager