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3 Games That Will Cause a Family Fight

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by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published December 30th 2012
There's nothing more wholesome than a family game night, right? Well sometimes it seems that bringing out the boardgames is more likely to case World War III than result in any real family bonding. Most board games have the potential for things to get heated, but these three games take things to a whole new level.

1. Monopoly

It's one of the world's most famous board games, but do a quick survey of your friends, and chances are they've never even finished a game. One of the main reasons Monopoly seems to cause so many fights is because everyone seems to have their own set of rules.

Can you bargain with your 7 year old nephew to buy Mayfair off him for less than he paid? Are you allowed to buy properties on your first time round the board? When does this game every actually end?

The thrill of Monopoly wears thin once you start mortgaging your properties to pay the rent of someone who's just built an apartment on Mayfair. It only gets worse when half of the players are over the game that's already stretched over 2 hours, and there's that one person who insists you all keep playing till the end.

2. Phase 10

This card game isn't as well known, but there's a very high chance that somewhere in the world someone has died over a game of Phase 10. The premise is simple, there are 10 phases through the game, you start at number 1 and the first one to finish number 10 wins. You spend the game collecting things like runs of 7, and 2 sets of 3, and 9 cards of one colour. So how does something so innocent turn so nasty?

There's nothing as gut retching as watching someone else put down all the cards you need while you just keep picking up 12s. The final blow tends to come when the same person has skipped you three times in a row while you're still trying to tackle the third phase and they're up to their eighth.

This is a game that requires a tiny amount of skill, and a huge amount of luck, so when lady luck isn't on your side the cards aren't the only thing getting colourful.

3. Taboo

There are two groups of people that are likely to get your fired up in a game of Taboo: the other team, and your own team. It's frustrating enough when you think you're on a role and the other team buzzes you for saying a taboo word, or when someone from the other team keeps yelling out answers and distracting your team. When you've got such a short time to try and win points, Taboo can get pretty frustrating.


The worst fights often happen with the people in your own team. Like the time when someone's guessed every word for a bandaid except, well, bandaid. Or after you've finished a round and one of your own team members lists off 100 better ways that you could have clued them into the card.

Taboo is one of those games that is so much easier in hindsight, and when you've got people on both teams getting on your nerves sometimes it's hard not to blow.

So if these games all cause so many fights, why do we play them? Despite the screaming and yelling they're still lots of fun, and sometimes there's nothing more entertaining than someone getting worked up about the word 'flower'.

Have you ever started a family feud over any of these games, or do you have other games that gets your family all worked up?
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Why? Because sometimes family fights are fun
When: Anytime
Where: At home
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
Monopoly caused the most fights when I was a kid
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 2121 days ago
Definitely Monopoly. It caused a fight only yesterday with our children. I don't know the other two. Rummikub is a good one for us and Cleudo, with accusations of cheating.
by Sally Writes (score: 2|533) 2121 days ago
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