15 Great Games to Fill Your Table This Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas, Auntie Sandra, Lying to your mother
What are the very best card and board games to play with coworkers and family this holiday? Games that are actually FUN - that you could bring to a party as a great gift for cheap, or tuck in the stocking for Christmas Eve?

Quinns will be writing a piece next week about games more suited to those who already love the hobby, but as part of our ongoing mission to convince the world that board games are great, we wanted to put together an easy resource for the question we seem to get almost all the time: “What game should I buy to play with my family?”

If you’ve been linked to this by someone else who loves board games, hello! We’ve put this list together as both a video and a written list. Enjoy!

Matt: Greetings Holiday Humans, it’s time to mildly panic as you realise that family will soon descend upon you like a flock of seagulls to a discarded ice-cream. Rather than trying to explain your job to relatives to the point that you might have a mental breakdown, we’d recommend playing board games instead.

These are the 15 best big-family games: all play with at least 6 people, and most can handle 8. In no particular order, let’s go!


Quinns Talks to Schoolkids About Being a YouTuber!

this is among the hardest things quinns ever did, but you wouldn't know it
Quinns: Paul and I are working on yet another B I G  V I D E O for this Friday, but today we've got a little video featuring some very little people.

Recently I was invited by SU&SD fan Annie Langley to give a presentation to her school kids aged 10-11 about being a YouTuber, since it's the job that most kids dream about. With a lot of help from my wife (who I can't thank enough for telling me to remove all the bar charts from my talk), I put together this 20 minute rundown of what my work is actually like.

I know that a lot of SU&SD fans are parents, so I thought I'd chuck the talk online in case it's of interest. Honestly, I worry that very few YouTubers or Streamers talk about the technical or psychological stresses of this job, and I feel like the world would be a healthier place if there was a bit more of a conversation around it.

Timestamps...

00:00 - Intro about my job and board games

06:49 - Me talking about the mental health problems with producing content (without using those exact words)

12:46 - Me talking about the technical bit of the job: scripting, lighting, microphones and editing

18:21 - Me telling kids to go and make things, but do so safely. Also, a poorly-chosen Hunger Games analogy


Oh baby: SHUX ’18 tickets are now on sale!

one of these pears is real, a fine jar of marmalade, buy us a hovercraft
Quinns: Oh my goodness, here we go! Tickets are now on sale for SHUX 2018, Shut Up & Sit Down's second annual convention in October this year.

Would you like to meet team SU&SD at a fabulous, warm, profoundly silly three day gaming party? Well, now you can! Last year tickets sold out in just over a week, so this year we're moving to a substantially bigger venue that can contain even more SU&SD fans. Still, we'd recommend you book early to avoid disappointment.

For an idea of what there is to do at SHUX, you can either watch the above video or click on that link. But most importantly, if you've never been to a board game convention before, that's perfect. SHUX will be designed with you foremost in mind.

As a glimpse of the madness of last year's SHUX, below we've uploaded this late-nite Q&A with myself, Paul, Matt and RPG reviewer Cynthia Hornbeck. I'm not sure I've laughed that hard since!


Our Xmas Pledge Drive is Now Open!

poor little hydras, the opposite of vomiting, there's safety in sage
Quinns: Oh my goodness! With just Matt's Gloomhaven review and a year-end podcast to go, that's almost it for us this year.

"But wait!" you cry. "I haven't had nearly enough Shut Up & Sit Down!"

Then please, consider thanking us for the service we've been providing for more than six years with a donation. Anyone who signs up to donate in a given month will enter the prestigious SU&SD Gold Club, and members receive a monthly behind-the-scenes newsletter, discounts on merchandise and early access to ticket sales for SHUX, the SU&SD convention.

Paul: This December's newsletter goes out in a week's time and it'll be a holiday special, containing our plans for 2018, a blooper reel and access to ALL previous newsletters!

Thanks, everybody. We've had a great time putting together a year's worth of board game coverage for you guys. Who fancies another year?

Merry Christmas from Team SU&SD.


Space Lions: The Story of Twilight Imperium

sexy turtles, a deadly broom-gun, a glass birthing canal, death by box
We've come a long way, baby!

Six years ago SU&SD published a review of the grand, weird game of Twilight Imperium 3rd edition. Today, we present a first for the board game industry. Please enjoy our amateur attempt at a documentary on the history of the game - which is really the history of Fantasy Flight Games - and the development of the new, shiny, 4th edition. Huge thanks to our donors, without whom this project (which we started work on back in 2015!) would never, ever have been possible.

As you buckle your seatbelt for this ride through time and outer space, please bear in mind that the doc doesn't cover the nitty-gritty of game mechanics that have changed from 3rd to 4th edition. We'll be covering that in our forthcoming review of Twilight Imperium 4th ed, which Quinns will be creating since he had almost no involvement in the doc.

Instead, we tried to make the documentary of broader interest, so please consider sharing it with board game-curious friends. Or just tell your mum it's Netflix? That might work.

Enjoy, everybody!


Announcing the SU&SD Twilight Imperium Mini-Doc!

space lions, space turtles, space mermaids?, we're not sure about those
Big news everyone! Fantasy Flight Games have just announced a new edition of their galaxy-sized flagship game, Twilight Imperium. Which means we can announce something of our own... !

Here at Shut Up & Sit Down we've been huge fans of Twilight Imperium since we reviewed the 3rd edition all those years ago. It's the grandest, silliest game that we know; an epic brawl featuring everything from capitalist cats to a race of sentient vegetables. So back in 2014 we got to talking with owner of Fantasy Flight and original designer of TI Christian Peterson, one thing led to another, and we agreed to document the process of making TI 4th edition.

How do you go about making the grandest board game in the world even more grand? Find out later this month!


Announcing our 2017 Summer pledge drive!

now that's what i call panhandling 2017, quinns hits his elbow
Hello everybody! It's been 17 videos, 14 podcasts and 55 articles since we asked our audience for donations in (who could forget?) our Christmas advert.

Today, we're once again asking you to give as much or as little as you can afford. Please, click here (or if you'd prefer, click the seductive, golden button in the upper-right) to join the thousands of people who've donated to SU&SD in the past, paying us to keep working, and to keep finding great games.

The above video says it all, but two things bear repeating. First off, we're putting up two videos in the next two weeks to make up for starting the pledge drive today. And second, we really are confident that the next six months will be the greatest in the site's history. There is so much cool stuff coming up.

We hope you're having a great summer, and thanks for sticking with us for just over six years of Shut Up & Sit Down.

Who wants another six?


SU&SD Presents: A Feast of Friends!

your mum is a murderer, undermining a war, an expensive potato clock
The third talk from our V&A collection is a sneak preview of a new talk that Quinns is working on. OooOOOooh!

A Feast of Friends is Quintin's overlong, years-late answer to the question everyone asked when he left the video games press for board games, which was "Isn't that a step down?" No, no it isn't. Board games are beautiful, important and have a glittering future, and this is why.

Enjoy, everybody!


SU&SD Presents: British Board Games 1800-1920, by Holly Nielsen

Modesty, Decreptitude, Despair, Poverty, Also wargames are a thing
Continuing our collection of talks filmed during the V&A's Board Game Study Day, here's 15 minutes from journalist and historian Holly Nielsen on the hilarious, horrifying history of British board games.

Huge thanks to Holly for letting us host this talk. It's just too much fun. Next time you buy a game that's a little less than perfect, why pop this talk on? You'll feel very lucky about the state of your board game collection, we guarantee.


SU&SD Presents: Board Gaming’s Golden Age! (2017 update)

how's everybody doing, this is the wrong talk, how much time do i have?, a stony pro
Hi everybody! Remember Quinns' old talk on the current "golden age of board games"? Here's a new performance of it! It's a lot like the old talk, but snappier, more informed and down from a whopping 45 minutes (you can still watch the original here) to just 15 minutes. Perfect for sharing with your friends or perennially-bemused relatives.

This talk was just one of several snappy and informative talks given during a contemporary board game study day at London's prestigious Museum of Childhood, and it's not the only one we filmed, either. This week we'll be uploading three more, including a brand new talk from Quinns!

Stay tuned, everyone, and thanks to everyone who came down on the day.