The Best Simple, Fast and Fun Ploughshare Games to Buy for Nol 2019

Discover our selection of board games to liven up your New Year’s Eve. On the program: simple rules, quick games, and above all big marbles.

Asking about dishes and glasses until you get sick of it. Playing muddy jokes and getting angry with others while discussing politics. Snooze while the kids unwrap their presents. Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced this kind of New Year’s Eve…

Fortunately, Numerama’s editorial staff is here to put you in a good mood for your next festive meal, with family or friends. By what miracle? Thanks to simple, fast and fun board games

Color Addict

Color Addict consists of about 100 cards, on which only one color is written in full, in a certain color, but not necessarily the same one. For example, the word “green” can be written in green, or blue, or yellow, etc.

The first card is placed in the middle of the table, and the other cards are dealt equally to the players. In turn, you must discard a card from your hand that matches one of the required suits. For example, if the central card is “blue” written in yellow, you can put: the word “blue”, the word “yellow”, the colour blue, the colour yellow, or a multicoloured card. If we can’t play anything, we pick.

The winner is the one who gets rid of all his or her cards, or who has the least cards left if the situation is blocked.

Red, green, yellow… get lost! // Source: France Maps

So much for the ground rules, which you will play only once, to understand the principle. All the salt of the game lies in the advanced rules, which are much more fun. The goal is exactly the same, except this time everyone is playing at the same time. The order of the round is no longer respected, it’s the speed that counts: as soon as you have a matching card, you can play it.

France Maps

Source: France Maps

That’s a crazy game. Nervous and fast, his games last only a few minutes, but they are intense. However, don’t expect more than two or three in a row. After a while, the brains get saturated and all the information gets mixed up.

Color Addict is a fun, fast, extremely easy to understand game for the whole family.

  • Color Addictis a game by Nicolas Bernard
  • Published by France Cartes
  • For 2 to 6 players from 7 years old
  • For games of about 15 minutes

Cortex Challenge

In Cortex Challenge, up to eight players can compete in different types of events. Each turn, one card is turned over and, as quickly as possible, everyone tries to find the solution. As soon as a proposal is given, the round stops. If it is correct, the player wins the card. Otherwise, he loses a previously received one.

The goal is to be the first to complete his little four-piece brain-puzzle. You get one in exchange for two cards of the same type.

Captain Macaque

Some maps // Source: Captain Macaque

There are eight types of tests in all, using different cognitive abilities:

  • memorize and then quote the five objects on the card
  • maze
  • spot the image that appears twice
  • find the right piece that fits exactly into the space left vacant, a bit like Tetris, etc.

The most original is the tactile test. It is a matter of recognizing, only by touch, the object represented on a relief map. There are ten in all, and of course, they are similar in texture. Seed bread, strawberry, basketball, etc.

Captain Macaque

Source: Captain Macaque

Cortex Challenge is a fun and original challenge game. It challenges our thinking, our speed and our memory. Above all, it is accessible to everyone, there is no need to have specific knowledge. Its parts are intense and fast, far from the interminable classics of the genre. Just the opposite of the old Trivial Pursuit, discriminating at will.

And to renew the games, you can mix the different boxes already released. Cortex 2 and Cortex 3, in the same style but with other events. Cortex Geo, with thematic illustrations. Cortex +, more complete and with an extra type of proof (but more expensive too). Cortex Kids and Cortex Kids 2, dedicated to children. And finally CorteXxx, whose naughty atmosphere reserves it for adults.

  • Cortex Challenge is a game by Johan Benvenuto and Nicolas Bourgoin
  • Illustrated by Sébastien Lopez
  • Edited by Captain Macaque
  • For 2 to 6 players from 8 years old
  • For games of about 15 minutes

Fiesta de los muertos

As long as they are remembered, the dead are never really dead. The only thing they’re afraid of is being forgotten.

Each player receives a card from a deceased person, real or imaginary, which he consults secretly. Then writes a clue about it on his slate, which he passes on to his neighbour. The clue received is then read, erased, and another clue is written down to make you think about it. Four times in a row.

OldChap Games

A six-player game // Source: OldChap Games

The clues are then revealed, as well as the character cards received by the players, adding enough from the deck so that there are always eight.

Each, for his part, tries to link each clue to the right character. The goal being, collectively, to find as many matches as possible. But as is often the case in an ambience game, the final score doesn’t matter.

To these basic rules can be added three levels of difficulty: a constraint for the first, the first two, or the first three clues. They impose a theme (nature, place, object), a first letter, or a form (word without E, rhyme in I or less than five letters) on the respective clues. The more constraints there are, the more the clues go all over the place… the more the laughs.

OldChap Games

Source: OldChap Games

In the manner ofSketch, here is a revisiting of the antediluvian Arabic telephone. But unlike its predecessor, rather than relying on drawings, Fiesta de los muertos uses words… and that changes everything.

Both share the same rhythm in the games. A first phase, where the platelets pass from hand to hand, and where silence generally reigns. Only troubled by rants from uninspired players. Then a second, the funniest one, which is the attraction of the game, where we reveal the answers, and above all where everyone explains the path of the clues. But Fiesta de los muertos is subtler, finer. Less bush.

The theme, useless for an atmospheric game, is well found, and brings with it a very successful design that adds to the pleasure of playing.

Fiesta de los muertos is a great surprise, maybe is our favorite mood game of this year. It also has two categories of cards, which can also be played with children. And with the addition of constraints to prolong its life, you won’t have finished remembering the dead!

  • Fiesta de los muertos is a game by Antonin Boccara
  • Illustrated by Margo Renard and Michel Verdu
  • Published by OldChap Games
  • For 4 to 8 players from 12 years old
  • For games of about 15 minutes


Seven figurines are placed in the centre of the table: three coloured pots (red, yellow, blue), three Gloobz, small creatures each with a particular shape, and one Megagloobz.

In turn, a card is turned over, on the back of which are several Gloobz of different colours, announcing “Gloobz plus” or “Gloobz minus”. The goal is to catch the figures that match the criteria as quickly as possible.


Funny Bugs // Source: Gigamic

If the player has announced “Gloobz plus”, catch the Gloobz(s) most represented on the map, and the majority colour(s). If he announced “Gloobz less”, it’s the other way around, you have to catch the less present figurines and pots. Or even absent (yes, that’s deceitful).

Each miniature caught that matches the criteria scores one point, each error causes one to be lost.

Two small subtleties disturb the game. If a magnifying glass appears on the map, you simply have to catch as many miniatures as possible, regardless of other constraints. Each one’s worth a point. And if you see the Megagloobz, it’s him, and only him, to throw yourself at. It’s worth three points in one go, but actually lose that much if you catch it by mistake.

The game stops as soon as someone reaches the required number of points.


Source: Gigamic

This is the archetypal fun and high-powered game par excellence, playable by everyone. Of course, like all games of visual discrimination, not everyone is in the same boat. But games, although fast, are played with many cards, and it is rare that the same player can stay focused all the way through.

Don’t hesitate to play as a team, by balancing the levels, it will be all the more fun. Above all, it is possible to catch up by concentrating on magnifying glasses and Megagloobz. No mercy, no mercy, no holds barred!

Gloobz is probably the game in this selection that will appeal most to children, if only because of the appeal of the small figurines. But it’s not just for them, adults have just as much fun there. And even if it doesn’t revolutionize the genre, it is nonetheless devilishly effective in its genre.

  • Gloobz is a game by Alexandre Droit
  • Illustrated by Maxim Cyr
  • Published by Gigamic
  • For 2 to 6 players from 6 years old
  • For games of about 20 minutes

Twin It

The box of Twin Itcontains more than a hundred small cards. All of them have psychedelic illustrations on both sides. Some illustrations are unique, most are found twice, and some three times.

Players share the cards and, in turn, each player turns over the first one in his pile to put it on the table. The goal is to observe the cards that are accumulating, to spot duplicates and to point them out first.

Of course, the growing number of cards being unveiled, as well as the similarities in colours and patterns, make the task more and more difficult. The first player to find five pairs wins the game.

Cocktail Games

Psychedelic ambience // Source: Cocktail Games

A few extra rules bring all the flavour to the game.

First of all, there are the illustrations present in triplicate. If one of them appears, even though the identical pair has already been discovered, simply pointing at them is enough to steal it from its owner.

Above all, all visible cards count, even those still on the players’ piles. Even more deceitful, when you win a pair that includes a card from a deck, it’s not uncommon for a new pair to appear with the card revealed at the top of the deck. Long live chain reactions!

Cocktail Games

Source: Cocktail Games

Twint It is reminiscent of many observation and speed games, with Jungle Speed in the lead, the two even having a common author. But, for some reason that is difficult to explain, the game sensations are different. Twint It is more subtle, less chaotic. It requires great concentration, a circular look over the entire surface, while being ready to pounce. The team play is also particularly tasty. It’s even our favorite fashion.

As with Color Addict, do not expect to play Twin It more than two games in a row. Everything gets mixed up in our heads, and we no longer know whether the illustration that has just been unveiled was already present in the current part or the previous one.

For fans of board games, there is a second box, the only difference being the illustrations: they are all inspired by well-known board games, more or less recent.

  • Twin It is a game by Thomas Vuarchex, Nathalie Saunier and Rémi Saunier.
  • Illustrated by Thomas Vuarchex
  • Published by Cocktail Games
  • For 2 to 6 players from 6 years old
  • For games of about 15 minutes

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