Are boardgames making a comeback?
I remember many a Boxing Day when we got together as a family and brought out the board games or played Charades. It usually ended up with either everyone in stitches or in tears depending on whether someone had lost or won, but that was part of Christmas, writes Tracy Hargreaves
But are games still as popular today as they used to be? They have just changed and adapted along the way and are no longer just for children, they can bring out the kid in most of us.
The simple game of Pie Face became a massive hit several years ago. You had to load the arm with whipped cream or the included sponge, then take turns sliding your head through the mask and spinning the spinner. It was even played by many a celebrity on The Jonathan Ross Show!
Other popular games include the classics Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Cluedo, followed by Pictionary, Battleships and Connect Four, with many travel versions made so you could take away on those family holidays and play on rainy days.
But did you know there are also many benefits to playing a board game. We all enjoy spending time with people and to spend it laughing and joking is a good way to release those endorphins while you interact with each other, whether it’s with your nine year old child or your 90 year old granny.
It encourages teamwork, having to pair up or work together is good experience, especially for the little ones. Plus, they can be educational too. Adding up scores or being the banker in MONOPOLY is a great way to learn to count money to test your maths.
It’s a break from technology. Too many of us now sit in the same room, all on our own phones not speaking to anyone. Have a social media detox and get your mind into something else. You’ll feel completely refreshed.
However, one game which has never gone away is MONOPOLY. Now available in more than 40 countries and in 25 different languages, it’s played by all the family and now comes in many different versions from Football to Pacman MONOPOLY.
And now Preston has its very own edition – Preston MONOPOLY, with all the traditional London places and properties changed for local landmarks.
The Grade 1 listed Harris Museum and Art Gallery is crowned the new Mayfair of Preston and also included in the board’s most expensive set will be the Winckley Square Hotel, which gets to replace Park Lane from the original.
Other landmarks starring in this edition include Deepdale, the red telephone boxes on Market Street, the University of Central Lancashire and the Flag Market.
Several charities ‘Pass GO’ too, including St Catherine’s Hospice, One Voice Community Choir and Dig In. The train stations from the original board are handed over to a ‘travel’ theme including Preston Guild Wheel and Preston train station.
The Mayor of Preston Cllr David Borrow, says: “This is a very tough time for Preston and Lancashire so we need all the good news we can get. Preston’s very own MONOPOLY game highlights what’s special about the city and is great for all the family. Just in time for Christmas.”
Mark Whittle, Preston BID manager, adds: “Preston is fortunate to be home to many outstanding landmarks, businesses and charities. MONOPOLY conjures up lots of great memories for so many people – this we are sure will be the perfect gift for Christmas.”
The board has been produced by Winning Moves UK, under official license from the MONOPOLY brand, owned by Hasbro.
The new edition is now available at stores across Preston including WHSmith, Waterstones, Ryman and The Works – and is widely available online, including on Amazon.
As well as the classics, there will be a new range of games to hit the shelves this Christmas. Whether you want games that test your mental ability, such as Herd Mentality, where the most obvious answer wins or something more physical such as Trapped – Escape Room Game Packs, where you turn your house into an escape room and you need to solve puzzles before you can escape each room.
So, switch off your phone, let your hair down and take part in some family fun this festive season.