Video gaming

Cooking, dancing and fighting: our pick of festive video games

  • It’s not a party without the Mario Party franchise. The latest instalment for Switch features up to four players rolling dice and moving around four board-like maps
PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 January, 2019, 12:19pm

2018 was a big year for video gaming with several blockbuster releases such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War. But gaming should never be a solo affair – especially when you are with your friends and family.

Here we present our pick of five party games released this year that are sure to have you dancing round the Christmas tree over the holiday season.

Overcooked 2

IGN rating: 8.5/10

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

This is a wacky cooking game where up to four players cooperate with each other to chop ingredients, cook food, and serve dishes to invaders to save the Onion Kingdom. In this sequel to the popular 2016 indie title, chefs now have to run around in crazier kitchen settings from a hot-air balloon to a mine to a wizard school. Any minor errors can lead to failed orders, fires, and all sorts of hilarious chaos.

A new feature introduced in Overcooked 2 allows players to throw food on to cutting boards, into pots, or the hands of their teammates to save time. And there are new recipes such as sushi, salad and cake.

Overcooked 2 was the winner of Best Family Game category at The Game Awards this year. But be careful when you play not to fall out with anyone – the series is jokingly called “Break-up Kitchen” in China.

Super Mario Party

IGN rating: 7.3

Platform: Switch

Well, it’s not a party without the Mario Party franchise. The latest instalment for Switch features up to four players rolling dice and moving around four board-like maps, while competing against each other in tons of mini-games. For instance, we got Slaparazzi, where players fight to get into the centre of a photo, and Trike Harder, in which they rotate a Joy-Con controller to mimic pedalling a tricycle.

It’s more fun if you have two Switches. A series of minigames in the Toad’s Rec Room mode allow players to pair up two Switch screens for tabletop gaming. The coolest use of this function is in Shell Shocked Deluxe, a 2v2 minigame that puts players in tanks to fire missiles at each other. It is up to you to design the battleground by aligning the two consoles in whatever way you want.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

IGN rating: 9.4

Platform: Switch

Who can say no to a duel between Mario and Link, or Kirby and Pikachu? In the latest iteration of the fighting series, players get to play as 74 characters from the massive Nintendo universe and other classic titles like Street Fighter and Final Fantasy. The go-to choice of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, by the way, is Zero Suit Samus, the iconic female galactic bounty hunter in Nintendo’s Metroid series.

Since its release in December Ultimate has become the fastest-selling Switch game of all time, as well as the fastest-selling game in the Smash series. It has sold over 3 million copies in just 11 days, according to Nintendo.

Smash is never intimidating to fighter newbies who are constantly worried about pulling off difficult combos or being knocked down all the way to zero hit points. Embrace the craziness of a full eight-player battle with your whole family.

LEGO DC Super-Villains

IGN rating: 7.8

Platforms: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC

This is the first Lego video game that puts players in control of Joker, Lex Luthor, and other criminal masterminds from the DC universe, while they explore iconic locations like Gotham and Metropolis.

In this story, the Justice League is all but gone, leaving the world conquered by the evil Justice Syndicate from another dimension. The last hope turns out to be a bunch of old-school villains like Joker, as well as the player’s customised character. You get to switch between these characters who come with unique superpowers to win battles and solve puzzles in an open-world setting.

LEGO DC Super-Villains has a two-player cooperative mode and is created for kids with simple gameplay. The film Suicide Squad may have sucked, but now you can recruit your own.

Just Dance 2019

IGN rating: N/A

Platforms: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U

Are you ready to get your groove on in a Just Dance game? So far the latest instalment of the Ubisoft franchise has 40 of the hottest tracks of all time including Ariana Grande’s No Tears Left to Cry, Maroon 5’s Sugar, and the classic I’m Still Standing from Elton John.

During the game, players must match a dance performed by artists on the screen and will get rewards for their accuracy. Your dance moves can be captured either by motion controllers or the game’s associated mobile app. The game supports up to six players at a time.

Time to get off the couch and work off all that turkey, chocolate and Christmas pudding.