Looking to make your game night a great night? Toy Insider Associate Editor Maddie Michalik stopped by WISH-TV’s Daybreak in Indianapolis to show off the best games the whole family will enjoy. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.


  • Escape room growth has been explosive – escape rooms have been popping up at an exponential rate in virtually every state in the country. Operation: Escape is a new interactive game that taps into the escape room trend by combining skill, strategy and teamwork to search, solve and escape the room before time runs out!
  • Complete three tasks in order to set the captured player free of the master belt before time runs out.
  • Set timer on the belt using the rotating dials. The game includes a series of three challenges, a Skill Challenge, Strategy Challenge and Luck Challenge.
  • The Skill Challenge: wiggle a key out from the bottom of a cage using sticks.
  • The Strategy Challenge: Enter card number into the device, solve problem and then enter the answer into same device. If correct, 1/3rd of the key will come out. Must solve three problems in a row in order to retrieve key. If the answer is incorrect, the key will pop back into the device.
  • Luck Challenge: three chances to find the key in the device. If unable to find the key, reset the spinner and start over.
  • If the tasks are not solved before the time runs out, everyone loses.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Target


  • Watch Ya’ Mouth Throwdown is a mouthguard party game that pits players against their friends in a head-to-head competition of skill and audacity.
  • A companion to the authentic Watch Ya Mouth game which originally launched on Kickstarter, “Throwdown” goes beyond simply attempting to read and interpret phrases, and encourages players to compete in over 100 unique challenges to perform while hampered by cheek retractors.
  • Roll the challenger dice to determine who the next opponent is, draw a challenge card from the deck, and follow the instructions.
  • The game includes 100 Challenge Cards and 40 Phrase Cards, and is good for groups of two to six players.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Meijer


  • A 2-8 player family-friendly game that’s great for parties and family time together. Verti-Go is a balance and strategy game featuring 32 cards with die-cut slits on each side that players use to build towers.
  • Players take turns building ingenious designs off of a base that’s shaped like a soda can, careful to balance their addition so the structure doesn’t fall. As players take turns building their highest tower, they are working to make it more difficult for their competitors to keep the structure in balance. The first player to get rid of their cards wins.
  • The base doubles as a carrying case for the cards.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $14.99
  • Available: Amazon


  • This fast-paced, word-based guessing game for 3 or more players is a great party game for older kids, teens, and even adults. It’s charades, but with words!
  • In Word Slam, two teams each have a storyteller. The two storytellers are given the same answer term. Playing at the same time, they must give clues to their teams so the teams can correctly guess the answer. And they must do this quickly, because they are racing the timer and each other. But it’s not that easy. Speaking and acting is absolutely forbidden for the storytellers! They must tell their stories using only 105 cards, each with one word on it: a noun, verb, adjective, or preposition. The storyteller must be creative in using this limited vocabulary to tell the story. And the team members must think quickly and nimbly to interpret the story cards. The team that correctly guesses the answer first gets a point, and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. It’s like charades, but instead of acting, you can only communicate with word cards!
  • Ages: 12+
  • MSRP: $29.95
  • Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble


  • House of Boing is the game that mixes speed, dexterity, and fast thinking. The first player to empty his or her room of balls wins.
  • House of Boing features 10 games, including House of Boing, Top Boing, Team Boing, Long Boing, and more.
  • With its elegant design, House of Boing may be enjoyed as a work of art or played as a challenging addition to any game room.
  • Ages: 12+
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us


  • Players can play charades with “The Dude,” a life size inflatable man-doll, while the other players try to guess within the time limit what you and the Dude are doing.
  • Using the charade cards, player act out scenes from a movie, a sport, or a profession.
  • The game includes 440 charade cards, 50 score sheets and different ways to play.
  • Ages: 16+
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Available: Target