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Games are a vital part of our family life, for either dispelling (or re-starting) the traditional family row, taking your mind off things, and establishing intellectual supremacy over the rest of the family. They also get the kids to interact with the grown-ups, so everyone gets some quality time together. Monopoly is one of our favorite games of all time. It can take hours – which is great when the weather outside is frightful – and if you do it right then you can end up owning most of the board. Did you know that during World War 2 the British Secret Service used monopoly boards to smuggle money, maps and compasses to British soldiers in prisoner of war camps. The original game, designed in 1933, was set in America, with a UK version being released shortly after. Interesting, huh?

We love everything from new board games, traditional board games and new and upcoming online and electronic games. One of this mum’s favorites is NetBet Casino. It’s my “get away time” and “mum time” indulgence.

Scrabble is also a favorite. Mums with celebrity obsessed kids will be glad to know that the official rules of Scrabble have been changed to accommodate proper nouns – so you can now throw in all the N-Dubz, Dizzees and Shakiras that you fancy. This should make the game more attractive to the youngsters, so there will be fewer cries of ‘but it’s boring.’

If your family is made up of quiz junkies, then why not try Trivial Pursuit? Players have to answer questions about a variety of topics, such as general knowledge, music, film, etc. Expect it to get competitive though, and keep the answer book handy because no one likes being told that they’re wrong. Trivial Pursuit was first released in 1982, and there are now lots of different editions.

Crime drama fans will love Cluedo – a game of ‘whodunnit and how’ where the players have to work out which of the characters is the murderer, and what the murder weapon was. It’s good fun, with plenty of banter, and you get to unveil your inner detective. The figures and miniature weapons are also great fun, and if you get really into it then there are a number of spinoff games and books as well. This is the kind of game that requires that players use their intellect and note taking skills, so becoming good at it is incredibly satisfying.

What’s your favorite?

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