6 hi-tech games to bring the family together

You'll never go back to Monopoly

TODO alt text

Nothing can bring the family together (or perhaps push it apart) like a good games night, and today's high-tech games leave the likes of Monopoly and Scrabble looking distinctly dated. If you want to upgrade your family fun nights, you've arrived at the right place.

Whether you're into miniature motor racing or trivia quizzes, we've got something for you here, and adding some tech to the mix doesn't have to cost you much – especially if you've already got a games console, smart speaker, or smart TV box you can make use of as well.

Echo Buttons

Echo Buttons

1. Echo Buttons

Make your Echo more entertaining

Reasons to buy
+Work with numerous games+Compatible with any Echo

If you've got an Amazon Echo of some description in the house, then you can make use of Echo Buttons, brightly lit buzzers for playing a variety of games – just ask your speaker, "Alexa, what games can I play with my Echo Buttons?" to hear the full list of available titles.

There's Trivial Pursuit Tap, for example, where you can bash the buttons to respond to questions, or Button Monte, which is a sleight of hand game. Everything works wirelessly and it's a fun and intuitive extension to your Echo, with Buttons coming in packs of two.

Anki Overdrive

Anki Overdrive

2. Anki Overdrive

Endless hours of racing fun

Reasons to buy
+AI-powered robotic racing cars+Customise tracks and vehicles

You and up to three other family members can race around customised tracks with Anki Overdrive, which is like an upgraded version of Scalextric with an extra dose of AI – AI that can power the cars around the circuit if you don't have enough humans to drive them.

As well as the extra smarts inside Anki Overdrive, you can create all kinds of custom tracks, and play a variety of different challenges, with everything controlled via an app on your phone. Different packs and cars are available, so you can keep on adding to your setup.

SketchParty TV

SketchParty TV

3. Sketchparty TV

Drawing on the big screen

Reasons to buy
+Like Pictionary but without the paper and ink+You'll need some Apple hardware to play

With the proviso that you need to already have an Apple TV up and running, as well as at least one iPad or iPhone in your house, Sketchparty TV is a fantastically entertaining party game app that will test the digital drawing skills of your family and friends to the limit.

It's just like Pictionary – whoever's turn it is to go has to draw something on the mobile device while the rest of the team guess what it is. The drawing is beamed up to the big screen via the Apple TV, so everyone can get involved and watch the timer count down.

Scene It

Scene It

4. Scene It

Who's the best movie buff?

Reasons to buy
+Test your movie knowledge on your TV+Clips always shown in a random order

As in, "seen it", get it? This game comes with a DVD which you use to test your movie knowledge, covering hundreds of film clips and stars, and deploying special randomising DVD technology so you don't get a repeat of the same questions over and over again.

If you don't like this original Scene It, then you can find a whole host of other editions online as well, covering Friends, Star Trek, Disney, Harry Potter and plenty of other film franchises and shows. This version of the game supports between two and eight players.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is Power

5. Knowledge Is Power

Trivia challenge for your PS4

Reasons to buy
+Fun and varied quiz game+Uses an accompanying phone app

If you've got a PlayStation 4 at home then Knowledge Is Power, developed by Sony itself, is a fun title to grab for trivia addicts. Everyone in the family can get connected via the accompanying phone and tablet app, which is used to control the on-screen avatars.

Although it's based on the simple idea of the fastest correct answer winning, there's enough variety and interesting side games to keep everything interesting, and it really is a game that the whole family can get involved with (up to six people can play at once).

Beasts Of Balance

Beasts Of Balance

6. Beasts Of Balance

Keep the physical and digital in balance

Reasons to buy
+Hi-tech animal game inspired by Jenga+Works seamlessly with accompanying app

One of the more innovative hi-tech gaming experiences we've come across in recent months, Beasts Of Balance is played with wonderfully crafted physical animal pieces that you stack on top of each other, plus a smart app running on your iOS or Android phone.

The end result is an engaging experience for players of any age, where you try and build as tall a tower as possible without everything coming crashing down. As you add new pieces on the table top, the virtual world you see on your phone changes and evolves as well.