We try six of the best family game gadgets for readers
Want an alternative to the annual game of charades? These family-friendly games will appeal. By Polly Weeks.
Pass the Pud, £12.99, from Toys R Us, www.toysrus.co.uk
A game you'll be bringing out every Christmas, this is suitable for those aged 8+ and is essentially the opposite of pass the parcel. The jingling Christmas pudding is passed from player to player but before you pass it on you have to answer a question (cards provided), if you don't beat the timer before answering your question, the pud will emit a large burp and you'll be out. A great game that runs on three AAA batteries.
Point it out
Pointless, £14.99, from Argos, www.argos.co.uk
You have, no doubt, watched the popular BBC game show by now and who can help but love the fact the, erm, point is to find lowest scoring answers. So where does the gadgetry come in? Well, with this version of the board game you can download the accompanying free app and have the electronic scoreboard running on your smartphone/tablet to accompany your answers. Feel the tension rise as you wait to see just how many people have given the same answer as you - hopefully not many.
Electronic Guess Who? Extra Game, £18.75, from The Entertainer, www.thetoyshop.com
Does he have a moustache? Is she wearing glasses? When you find yourself asking serious questions like these ones, you know you're fully immersed in a game of Guess Who? However, while it's hard to beat the appeal of the classic version, this game will really appeal to kids. Choose between one of six character cards, slot it into place, 'lock' your character in, then it's time to work out who your opponent has. Answer each others questions by pressing either the yes or no buttons and then, when you're ready to make a guess, use the unlocking key to see if you're right. If you are, a jolly sound will ring out. With this version you can make it a bit more intense by activating the timer on it. Requires two AAA batteries.
Dream come true
Dream Phone Board Game, £24.99, Toys R Us, www.toysrus.co.uk
OK, this probably isn't one for the whole family but it will definitely appeal to girls aged 8-14. This game's been going for years and it's still just as popular. You'll get texts and calls on the mobile phone (it's not quite smartphone level, but it's not bad), and then using the clues you have to work out who your mystery admirer is. The first player to figure out who has a crush on them wins.
Catch them if you can
Elefun and Friends Board Game, £17.99, from Smyths Toys, www.smythstoys.com
If younger family members are just too over excited at Christmas and you need them to burn off some of that pent-up energy, this could be a good option. Suitable for those aged 3+, two children - or two big kids - can play at once. The aim of the game is to use the nets provided to capture as many fireflies (including glow-in-the-dark ones) as possible. They come up through the elephant's long trunk intermittently and there will be squeals of anticipation while the players wait for them to pop up.
Counter on it
The Tipping Point, £17, from Amazon, www.amazon.co.uk
If you've seen this afternoon TV gameshow, you'll know just how addictive it is. The aim of the game is to collect counters - by answering questions correctly - which you then put into a slot machine (like the two pence machines you get at the arcade) in the hope that more counters come out at the base. This electronic game works on the same premise, answer general knowledge questions in the hope of winning big. It comes with its own electronic machine (powered by a couple of AA batteries), counters and of course, question cards. A good quality game that is suitable for those aged 10+.
App of the week
Google Santa Tracker, Free, Google Play
With satnav all the rage, it's no wonder you can now track where Santa is and, more importantly, how far he is from you. There are several apps out there which will show you Father Christmas' whereabouts but Google's is particularly good because there are also games you can play in the build up to the big day.
Top 10 bestselling iPhone apps
1. Football Manager Mobile 2016 by SEGA
2. The Chase by Barnstorm Games
3. Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang
4. The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit for Car Drivers by TSO (The Stationery Office)
5. Heads Up! by Warner Bros.
6. Minecraft: Story Mode by Telltale Inc
7. Bangers Unlimited Pro by Stuart Cowie
8. Ultimate Guitar Tabs - largest catalog of songs with guitar and ukulele chords, tabs, lyrics and guitar lessons by Ultimate Guitar
9. Theory Test for Car Drivers UK - Driving Test Success by Focus Multimedia
10. Facetune by Lightricks Ltd.