Best games to play during Christmas dinner

We've already touched on the best games to play with friends and family over the holidays season, but for some folks the holiday season means forced, awkward interactions with your extended family.

Whether you still find yourself relegated to the kids table, or you need something to distract you from your family holiday snoozefest (no judgement here), we've got some recommendations that offer a more rewarding challenge than arguing politics with your in-laws. These are some of our favorite casual games of the past year and a bit that'll help you kill some family time.

UltraFlow 2

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UltraFlow 2 is a simple yet challenging puzzle game that you could (in theory) easily play under the table at family dinner. It features very casual gameplay wherein your goal is to launch the fling the ball into the whole by bouncing it off the provided obstacles — but you only have a set number of ricochets per level.

The game features a chill, minimalist vibe and can be pretty relaxing even when you're trying to brute force your way through a particularly tough level. It's a free game so you have to deal with the occasional ad, but they're spaced out enough so that it doesn't feel overly intrusive.

Download: UltraFlow 2 (Free) (opens in new tab)

Brain It On!

This physics-based puzzle game is unique and challenging, requiring you to think outside the box to solve each level.

You use your finger to draw lines, shapes, weighted objects, and whatever else you think you need to solve each screen. Things get progressively creative and difficult as you progress through the over 200 levels, but you'll eventually need to go back and revisit old levels to get three stars to unlock new ones (stars are earned by finishing the level under time within the limit of shapes number of shapes).

It's a really fun game that'll make you feel smarter than everyone around you… when you're not stumped by a tricky level.

Download: Brain It On! (Free) (opens in new tab)

Trivia Crack

Enjoy the festive update for Trivia Crack as you prove how smart you are at the end of 2016. Just like the name suggests, Trivia Crack is the fix for anyone addicted to trivia.

You login via your Facebook profile and can either challenge your friends or a random opponent, then spin the wheel to answer multiple choice questions from six different categories — Entertainment, Science, Arts, Sports, Geography and History. As long as you keep answering the questions right, you can keep picking up pieces. Collect all six category pieces and you win!

There's also Challenge mode, where you go head to head with seven other opponents at one time, where time and accuracy is needed to win. This one might start as a solitary escape, but plays just

Download: Trivia Crack (Free) (opens in new tab)


Grab your gun boots and jump down the well in Downwell. This retro-styled roguelike game is extremely challenging, with a steep learning curve. But it's quick to jump right into the game, no pun intended.

Since your character is falling, enemies and shops come from the bottom-up, so you need to be strategic in your freefall do you don't accidentally land on an enemy and lose a heart. There are a number of different 'styles' you unlock through repeated play, which give you different numbers of hearts at the start, changes the way end of level upgrades work, and slightly alters the way your sprite falls down the well.

The goal is to survive as you fall deeper and deeper down the well. There's no in-app purchases, save points, or continues, so when you die you must start at the entrance of the well again.

Download: Downwell ($0.99) (opens in new tab)

Simple snake gameplay meets massive multiplayer in this wonderfully addictive casual game that will eat up your free time as you eat up your enemies.

The Snake Game has been a mobile gaming mainstay since the Nokia phones of the 90s, but updates the format in a big way. allows for free-roaming, 360 degree movement and a smorgasbord of pellets to eat and grow your snake — and you're never alone. You're dropped into a circular arena with hundreds of other players, all battling for the same pellets.

You start as a tiny snake but quickly grow as you collect pellets. Double-tap and hold to go fast and try to cut off other snakes — if you run into another snake, you explode into energy pellets and must start from scratch. You can change your skin, set a custom nickname and go online, or play against A.I. opponents for faster gameplay.

Download: (Free) (opens in new tab)

Alto's Adventure

Beautiful visuals, intuitive controls, and endless playability. Alto's Adventure is one of the best games of 2016 and a great way to kill some time.

You play as Alto, a snowboarding llama farmer who must race down the mountain to collect runaways. This endless side scroller features smooth gameplay and simple controls: tap to jump, tap and hold to do a backflip. Landing tricks — backflips and grinds across buildings and bunting lines — gives you a speed boost to help blast past obstacles. Collect coins and spend them on upgrading power ups that will assist you on your next adventure.

Alto's Adventure includes objectives, which are challenging but fun and greatly enhance the replayability. Overall, it's a fairly relaxing gaming experience, with tight physics and a great sense of speed.

Download: Alto's Adventure (Free) (opens in new tab)

Happy holidays!

No matter what you get up to this season, we want to wish you seasons greetings and a very Happy New Year!

Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.

  • Minecraft with Wifi group consisting of my kids and me! Merry Christmas all!
  • For some reason my internet and wifi mysteriously go down on Christmas.
  • Come on people. Try to enjoy your families.
  • Terrible article
  • Maybe this article was supposed to be seen as satire....
  • Maybe not
  • Valid point.
  • How about enjoy time with your family for a day, kids. There are 364 other days to obsess over gadgets. Now go help your mom with dishes and get off my lawn!
  • Exactly.
  • Terrible article from the first word to the last. If you are more worried about a game to play at the dinner table than your family then you've got serious issues.
  • Unless it's the Manson family, but than again there would be many more things to worry about.
  • Agreed.
  • Lol. So how about actually trying to interact with them instead of being glued to your phones like you are the other 364 days.. Cmon people
  • My personal favorite game to play was always "take a sip of eggnog every time Grandma says something racist."
  • I actually lol'd.
  • Grandma. I thought we've been taught it's only white males that are racist? So you mean Grandpa?
  • Cousin Eddie just showed up with the RV.
  • Merry Christmas, the sh***** full!
  • Now don't you go falling in love with that Clark, we are taking it with us when we leave here next month!
  • How about just talking to family members?
  • I remember back in the day when it wasn't trendy to be an awkward introvert. Back then people would tell you to stop being a prick and join in the conversation.
  • I love how suddenly everyone on this site is reminiscing of life in the 50s. Get off your high horses people it's almost 2017. Things change.
  • Not always for the better. No one is on their high horse, it's nice once in a while to socialize with relatives who maybe do not have their face buried in their phone or heaven forbid , not own a cell phone.
    Plus it's rude. Play a board game.
  • You and everyone else here are on by definition your high horses. You assume people that want to escape their family for a bit don't care about their family. You place a value spending time with family. Then you place an intrinsic value on the way it's done, immediately discounting how some people do so, and inflating the value of how you and some other people on here who are also vocal about being judgy as hell. Not everyone has to enjoy their family like you do. Not everyone thinks it's rude to engage in technology, together. Not everyone has to live life like you and other people commenting here do, in order for it to be fulfilling. Sit down. Go enjoy you and yours the way you see fit but don't cast stones because others don't do it the way you do. Indulging in that small minded behavior is the start of a lot of bad things that have happened.
  • That was a 'dickish' way to express you opinion.
  • This is what happens when critical thinking goes bad.
  • If there were thinking, even at a rudimentary level, my comment wouldn't have been necessary.
  • Look at it this way. Right now tech is bringing us together. You and me have a nice chat on Christmas Eve. I love it
  • There's a certain irony in it that's for sure. You, the one touting "family values" while you devalue anyone that spends time with their loved ones if they don't do it your way. Me, saying that's wrong and shouldn't happen. Lovely chat indeed.
  • I'm cool with it. I'm just happy we can talk without wanting to kill each other.
  • Well that's one thing I can agree on you with, I have no malice towards you lol. Every year we see an article go up around this time and every year some people get really opinionated. People like you and me lol. In all seriousness, even though we don't agree on this, I hope you do have a good holiday and get to spend time with people you care about in the way you want to the most.
  • That's cool. Same to you. At the end of the day it's all about the good times.
  • OK man, you are the enlightened one. You are the one who is having the problem here.
  • So what did people do in the 80's and 90's?
  • Pong
  • "things change" so enjoying your family isn't a thing anymore? Where in the hell did you get that from? So I guess it's trendy and cool to be a lonely misfit these days.
  • Oh ok, so playing a game for a bit to pass the time or escape for a bit means you can't enjoy your family? You think because people grew up in different generations that how we spend time together as a family hasn't evolved at all? Says the guy going to keyboard hero bat on a tech site on the eve of the holiday. Ok. Seriously get some perspective. The world is a bigger place just what you see through your own eyes.
  • Have a Merry Christmas. Yes I will use my tech to bring people together tomorrow. That's the difference. Humans didn't evolve to where we're at now by being solitary creatures. I love tech but I love human interaction more.
  • Sounds like we're up to the same thing this holiday then. Cheers.
  • Btw I think you mean devolved. The destruction of the traditional family isn't a good thing.
  • Oh, are you going to go on to discuss "traditional family values" and other things that people with extremely narrow minds run to when facing change? By all means, go ahead and devalue how people who don't have "traditional family values" spend time with their loved ones. I'm sure it's the sort of thing your own "traditional family values" taught you.
  • You sound/seem like an educated person (I mean that as a compliment). I'm sure you know how humans evolved and the things that made us a strong successful species.
  • From the headline I thought you meant games to play whilst at the table eating Xmas lunch. Im rather an obsessive when it comes to gadgets and computer games, but even I can manage to leave my phone and toys alone for a couple of hours when sat at the table.
  • This is the perfect way to get a butter knife on the knuckles at my parents table. No phones allowed at the table at their place unless you are on call for work. That goes for all dinners at their place.
  • My mom said not to play with phones when eating.
  • Put down the electronics for a day. It won't kill anyone.