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  • Board games are an integral Christmas Day activity for many, as well as a good idea for a gift with plenty of mileage, so we've rounded up the best deals on some of the most popular titles. Plus, given the current restrictions, we've suggested how you can adapt a few of the most popular games to play virtually. 

    The Government's guidance for staying safe over Christmas suggests avoiding playing board games with members of different households because of the risk of contamination, and only playing with members of your own household. So if physical board games are off the table for you, we've highlighted below whether or not you can adapt each game to be played over video call instead, and listed an app or online version, if this is available – though these may not be like-for-like to a physical copy. We've mentioned some virtual games and quizzes below, too.

    Most popular and highest rated board games

    We researched the best board games by scanning review listicles and best seller lists (see all our sources below), and collating some of the titles which appeared most often. The results cover both new and classic games, and varying levels of difficulty. For more about how to play each game, see our 'what's the gist?' table below.

    Board game Lowest price (and next cheapest) How easy is this to play over video call? Is there an online version instead?
    Articulate! £12.99 at Ryman, £20 at Asda (norm up to £33) Easy – it has an online version of the game (see right). Yes – for free via the Articulate! virtual cards, specially launched for lockdown.
    Gloomhaven £105.94 at Amazon*, £109.19 at Zatu (norm up to £150) Not possible – you can't play over a call. No – there's no online version.
    Ticket to Ride
    £32.95 at Amazon*, £36.99 at Zatu (norm up to £40) Not possible – you can't play over a call. Yes – via an app (currently £3.09 via Google Play or £2.99 on the App Store).
    Scrabble
    £11.99 at Amazon* and Smyths Toys, £12 at Argos (norm up to £20) Difficult – you'd need to make sure the same letters were removed from each player's bag each time. No – but there are free apps such as WordFeud which let you play a similar game with friends via your phone.
    Pandemic £17.99 at IWOOT, £28.98 at OnBuy (norm up to £40) Not possible – you can't play over a call. Yes – you can play virtually online for £7.19 on Steam.
    Carcassonne
    £17.99 at IWOOT, £21.61 at Amazon* (norm up to £35) Easy – it has an online version of the game. Yes – thanks to the free online version at BoardGameArena.
    Exploding Kittens
    £9.99 at OnBuy, £14.99 at Amazon* (norm up to £30) Not possible – you can't play over a call. Yes – via an app (currently £1.79 via Google Play or £1.99 on the App Store).
    Five Second Rule £9.99 at Smyths Toys, £12.96 at OnBuy (norm up to £13) Bit fiddly – one household could manoeuvre the pieces and read from the cards while other households could shout out answers. No – there's no online version.
    Cards Against Humanity (family edition) £25 at Cards Against Humanity, £27.99 at John Lewis* and £29.99 at WH Smith (norm up to £30) Easy – you'd all need to print free pack from the Cards Against Humanity website. To save paper, consider downloading and viewing onscreen instead. Yes – you can download for free from the Cards Against Humanity website.
    Prices at 5.56pm on Tue 22 Dec


    Classic board games

    Board game Lowest price (and next cheapest) How easy is this to play over video call? Is there an online version instead?
    Jenga  £9.99 at Amazon* and Smyths Toys, Next cheapest, £10 (norm £12) at Argos, John Lewis* and Tesco Not possible – need to be in the same room to play. No – there's no online version.
    Connect 4 £10.99 at Smyths Toys. Next cheapest, £11 at Argos Bit fiddly – one person would need to put all the tokens in. Yes – via an app (currently free via App Store or £2.39 via Google Play).
    Monopoly £17.99 at Smyths Toys. Next cheapest, £18 (was £20) at Argos Bit fiddly – each player would need to move/place all pieces on their own board. Yes – via an app (currently £3.99 via Google Play and the App Store).
    Prices at 5.56pm on Tue 22 Dec


    Top board game picks from MSE HQ

    Board game
    Lowest price (and next cheapest)  How easy is this to play over video call? Is there an online version instead?
    Dobble
    MSE Laura B's pick
    £5.66 at OnBuy, £8 at Amazon* (norm up to £13) Possible – for some versions, you'd all need your own pack.(See Connect and Play for which versions can be played virtually). No – there's no online version.
    Dominion
    MSE Laura F's pick
    £32.49 at Zatu, £41.36 at Amazon* (norm up to £45) Not possible – you can't play over a call. Yes – there's a free Dominion online version.
    What do you Meme?
    MSE Sarah's pick
    £22.99 at Zatu. Cheaper at £22.39 at Hive but currently out of stock (norm up to £28) Not possible – you can't play over a call. No – there's no online version.
    Cluedo
    MSE Rhiannon's pick
    £15 at Asda, £20 at Argos (norm up to £30) Possible – so long as one person has the set, they can move pieces for everyone. Yes – it's £11.99 on Steam or there's an app (currently £1.99 via Google Play or £3.99 on the App Store)
    Guess Who? Norwich City FC edition
    MSE Kelvin's pick
    £24 at Official Norwich City FC Merchandise. Not available elsewhere Possible – you'd all need your own (same version) board. Yes – Twinkl has a free printable Guess Who-style game.
    Linkee
    MSE Laura F's pick
    £21.38 at Zatu, £22.97 at George at Asda (norm up to £27) Easy – only one person needs a pack. Everyone else can listen and call out. No – there's no online version. 
    Prices at 5.56pm on Tue 22 Dec


    More virtual games

    If you're not fussed about physical games, perhaps you'd rather keep your gaming solely in cyberspace where human infections hold no sway. In that case, if the games listed above don't take your fancy, there are plenty of free sites you can use to find games of your choice.

    BoardGameArena features a selection of popular games and lets you play online against friends or strangers. If you've had enough of board games after reaching this section, you might prefer the free quizzes over at Sporcle.

    If your Christmas game-playing usually involves a festive tipple, see our Christmas bubbly deals.

    • Here's a little more information about each of the board games above:

      Board game What's the gist?
      Articulate!

      Get your teammates to work out the word on your card without saying the word yourself.

      Ages 12+

      Gloomhaven

      Strategic card play involving vanquishing monsters and completing quests.

      Ages 14+

      Ticket to Ride

      Lay down railway routes across the country to score the most points.

      Ages 8+

      Scrabble

      A classic. Use your tiles to come up with high-scoring words.

      Ages 12+

      Pandemic

      Contain the spread of infection (counters) across the board.

      Ages 8+

      Carcassonne

      Place tiles to build and shape your medieval landscape.

      Ages 7+

      Exploding Kittens

      Strategic card game. Make sure your opponents are blown up instead of you.

      Ages 7+

      Five Second Rule

      Name three things from the category on a card before the timer runs out.

      Ages 10+

      Cards Against Humanity (family edition)

      Match up cards to come up with the funniest sentences. This is the kid-friendly version.

      Ages 8+

      Dobble

      MSE Laura B's pick

      A lightning-speed, high-energy set of games revolving around matching symbols.

      Ages 8+

      Dominion

      MSE Laura F's pick

      Build your empire through strategic card play.

      Ages 13+

      What do you Meme?

      MSE Sarah's pick

      Match photo cards with caption cards to get the biggest laughs.

      Ages 17+

      Cluedo

      MSE Rhiannon's pick

      Work out the murderer, weapon and scene of the crime.

      Ages 8+

      Guess Who? Norwich City FC edition

      MSE Kelvin's pick

      Ask yes/no questions to deduce your opponent's identity.

      Ages 6+

      Linkee

      MSE Laura F's pick

      Work out the answers to four questions and the connection between them.

      Ages 14+

  • If you go via this Amazon* link, you can find totally free comic books and graphic novels to download for your Kindle. The link will take you to the 'Top 100 Free' in the Comic Book & Graphic Novels section, where there are many popular comics and TV show-turned-graphic novels.

    These aren't the only free ones though, and you can view the full selection* via this link, including new releases for Comic Book Day (2 May).

    We've asked Amazon for more information on how long these popular books will be free, but we've yet to hear back, so if there's something that catches your eye, download it quickly as prices may change. We'll let you know here as soon as we know more.

    Top titles we spotted on Tue 4 Jun include:

    If comic books aren't your thing, there are free Kindle books in other genres too (see Top 100 Free Kindle books* on Amazon). You can also check out our top 10 novel MoneySaving tricks to get must-read Kindle books for FREE (or just 99p).

  • Students can get free Amazon Prime for six months, which includes next-day deliveries plus access to Amazon's video and music streaming services, Kindle lending library and photo storage (usually £7.99 a month for non-students) when you sign up to Amazon Student*. After the trial ends, you can get 50% off full Prime membership (£3.99 a month).

    How do you sign up for Amazon Student?

    You must be a UK student aged 18+, with a .ac.uk email address, or if you've not got one of those, send an email from the address that's linked to your Amazon account to amazon-student-verification@amazon.co.uk giving proof of enrolment (see the full terms and conditions). Even if you've already had an Amazon Prime or Amazon Family free trial, you can still take up this offer.

    While the trial is free, this is a subscription offer, so you'll need to enter card details and diarise to cancel or you'll be charged once the trial ends. There's no obligation to continue with the paid subscription. Once you graduate or after four years (whichever's first) the price for Prime will jump to £7.99 a month. To cancel, go to Your Prime Membership

  • If you're missing Lovefilm – a service where you used to get DVDs in the post, which was bought by Amazon in 2011, did you know your Prime membership gets you access to free films and TV series via Amazon Prime Video*?

    It’s available to all Prime members, including those on the free 30-day trial, which is where the trick comes in (see how to get it below).

    What is Amazon Prime Video?

    You can buy or rent titles as well as watch those included free, such as TV shows The Grand Tour*, Vikings* and Lucifer*, and movies such as Gone Girl*, Inception* and Your Name* on any compatible internet-connected device, eg, games consoles, smart TVs, most smartphones and some set-top boxes. You can only access it in the UK, though –except for selected 'Amazon Originals' titles which you can watch abroad.

    Trick to get it for free if you're not a Prime member

    You can get a free one-month Amazon Prime Trial* (usually £7.99/month or £79/year) if you're a Prime newbie, though a few previous trialists may be offered another trial. To check, log into your Amazon account, follow the link and see if it says "try Amazon Prime free". However, if you don't cancel before the trial ends, Amazon will take £7.99 or £79 from your account, depending on whether you chose to pay monthly or annually - so diarise to cancel if you don't want to continue your membership. See how to cancel in our full Amazon Tips guide.

    How to use Prime Video

    You can browse the Included with Prime* list and select a title. If the title is available via Prime Video, it will show a cost of £0.00 with the Prime symbol next to it. Once selected, it will appear in your watchlist in the same way as other film/TV purchases.

  • Amazon often offers 75% and better reductions, yet it directs people to other areas, sending them to higher profit margin products instead. This tool manipulates Amazon's web links to display all heavily-reduced bargains.

    Go to the Amazon Discount Finder and choose your department.

    Next, pick your discount and price range and choose whether you want free delivery.

    The tool will then generate a bespoke page full of discounts which fit your search terms.

    Though the Amazon Discount Finder is great for finding hidden bargains, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the cheapest you can get them. Read the Amazon Buying Guide below the tool before buying.

  • Amazon Prime members can now read selected magazines and e-books for free with its new digital 'borrowing' service, Prime Reading*. It’s available to all Prime members, including those on the free 30-day trial - which is where the trick comes in (see how to get it below).

    What is Prime Reading?

    It's available for Kindle and Fire tablets and via the Kindle app (iOS and Android). It offers 1,000+ titles on a rotating basis - including books, magazines and comics – which Amazon says will be 'regularly' updated.

    ‘Borrowing’ basically just means adding the book to your library as though you’d bought it – but it’s only yours for as long as you’re a Prime member (or on a trial). You can borrow up to 10 titles at once per Amazon Prime account (across multiple devices), but if you end your Prime membership, they’ll disappear.

    Trick to get it for free if you're not a Prime member

    You can grab a free one-month Amazon Prime Trial* (usually £7.99/month or £79/year) if you're a Prime newbie, though a few previous trialists may be offered another trial. To check, log into your Amazon account, follow the link and see if it says "try Amazon Prime free". However, if you don't cancel before the trial ends, Amazon will take £7.99 or £79 from your account, depending on whether you chose to pay monthly or annually - so diarise to cancel if you don't want to continue your membership. See how to cancel in our full Amazon Tips guide.

    Screenshot of Vogue available via Prime Reading

    How to use Prime Reading

    To add a book to your library, find the title in the Kindle store or browse the Prime Reading list* (the list can only be viewed by Prime members) and select a title. If the title is available via Prime Reading, it will show a cost of £0.00 with the Prime symbol next to it (see image). Once selected, it will appear in your Kindle library in the same way as other e-book purchases. 

    Examples of books included:

    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
    • The Moaning of Life by Karl Pilkington
    • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    • Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott
    • Holy Island by LJ Ross

    Examples of magazines included:

    • Good Housekeeping
    • Glamour
    • National Geographic
    • Time
    • Vogue
    • Men’s Health
    • Wired

    Examples of comics included:

    • Star Wars
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Attack on Titan
  • Want to party like it's 1999? Turns out you can! Amazon's Autorip service* lets you stream or download the MP3 version of many physical CDs or vinyl you buy, for free - yet this can also apply to music you've bought from Amazon at any time since 1999.

    You can potentially recover 21 years of forgotten music - from CDs you've lost, damaged or thrown away, and MP3s you downloaded that have since been wiped from your devices.

    How do I reclaim my old music?

    Check your Amazon Music* library to see if you've any past albums available to stream and download. Bear in mind, it can take a while for Autorip to locate your music. It's also worth noting only CDs and vinyl which were sold and dispatched by Amazon, and have the Autorip logo displayed alongside them are eligible to be reclaimed.

    The biggest musical treasure trove at MSE belonged to former MSE staffer Darryl, who had 150 albums going back 13 years - they took about 10 minutes to get.

    Success stories from the MSE Forum:

    "Wow! 11 albums equating to 118 songs. How fab is that? Thanks MSE" - Elliesmum

    "21 albums and 386 songs - brilliant!" - Shezzieh

    "Thought this was brilliant, then realised I'd bought the mother-in-law a Susan Boyle CD... ugh" - GingerJuice (who clearly got a lot more than they bargained for)

    To explore new music as well as old, you might like to take up a free three-month trial of Deezer Premium.

    • The odd CD or vinyl album might slip through the net. Amazon currently has more than 350,000 titles and is always expanding its collection.

  • There are always ways to save money at Amazon*, so even if there isn’t a cracking deal out there that works for you, don’t assume you can’t cut your costs further.

    Ways to save include:

    • Daily deals. Amazon offers two types of one-off deals: "Deals of the Day", running daily for 24 hours from 00.01am to 11.59pm and "Lightning Deals", posted as often as every 15 minutes and lasting between two and six hours. We'll be updating this article and on Twitter @MSE_Deals with Amazon's strong one-off deals, especially over Black Friday and Amazon's flash sale events.

    • 75%+ off bargains. Check our Amazon Discount Finder tool to find Amazon's secret price reductions.

    • Check out similar retailers, eg, Rakuten and any other major retailers that sell what you're looking for. If you're not committed to buying from Amazon, check out our deals from Rakuten, Argos, John Lewis, Currys, where there may be a better offer.

    • Want more? Check out our 22 Amazon Buying Tips.

    • Had a problem with Amazon? There’s a free online tool you can use to complain – it helps draft, manage and if necessary escalate your complaint. It’s offered by a firm called Resolver, which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice – you can use it to complain to Amazon*.

    If you spot any hot deals out there we have missed (we are human after all!), please let us know on Twitter @MSE_Deals or by emailing msedeals@moneysavingexpert.com.

Latest Expired Deals

  • Amazon 'Boxing Day' sale

    Amazon 'Boxing Day' sale

    One-off deals, up to 75% off, across most departments

    Website: Amazon*
    Start date: Boxing Day
    End date: 11.59pm on Thu 31 Dec
    Sale strength: Amazon doesn't usually give a blanket 'up to' amount, but we're seeing discounts of up to 75% off.
    Likely to boost? Amazon usually offers one-off deals which we don't usually see decrease further in price, so we wouldn't expect to see it boost this year. 

    As well as longer-life deals, Amazon is running its 'Deals of the Day' which run for just 24 hours and are usually the strongest reductions on the site.

    Don't assume that every deal is a winner though. For example when we checked on Tue 29 Dec, Amazon was offering the Ring video doorbell 3* for £139 (RRP £179), but we found it CHEAPER at Currys* for £129.

    Always compare prices to make sure you're getting the best deal. You can also use the free Amazon price history tool CamelCamelCamel to see if the item you're looking at has been cheaper previously.

  • Amazon sale?

    Amazon sale?

    Last year, one-off deals across most departments

    Website: Amazon*
    Find your nearest:
     Online only retailer
    Start date (online): Last year it started on Boxing Day – we predict it'll start on the same day this year. 
    Sale strength: Amazon doesn't usually give a blanket 'up to' amount, but last year we saw discounts of up to 75% off. We'd expect to see the same sale strength this year.
    Likely to boost? Amazon usually offers one-off deals rather than a blanket discount and it doesn't usually boost its sales, so we wouldn't expect it to boost further this year. 

    As well as longer-life deals, Amazon has its 'Deals of the Day' which run for just 24 hours and are usually the strongest reductions on the site.