Christmas brings the family together. And what better way to spend some quality family time than playing games? The iPhone and iPad can be a fun family game device, especially with innovations like pass and play mode and AirPlay, for watching on an Apple TV in the living room. Here's a roundup of five great family-friendly multiplayer games you can download right now.
There are tons of multiplayer games on the App Store, but far fewer that really encourage families to play together on the same device. So I've come up with a bunch of games that are fun to play and family friendly: You can pass (or crowd) around a single iPhone or iPad for some fun in the living room without needing to worry about getting online or connecting through Game Center.
Team 17's long running turn-based strategy game is back, and this time it's exclusively on mobile. It's a 2D artillery game that's been around since the mid-90s. Worms III is utterly hilarious and really challenging: You control a platoon of war-obsessed worms, and you have to battle opponents for control of the terrain. You use wild and wacky weapons to do so. You can pass and play in multiplayer mode on the same device; when you put Worms III up on the TV using Apple TV and AirPlay, the entire family can watch.
The classic board game is available on mobile thanks to Electronic Arts. Buy and sell famous properties while trying to stay out of jail and keep from going broke. The game lets you pass and play with up to three other players, too. EA's kept it fresh by coming out with new Monopoly games, too, so find one that suits you.
Pinball may not strike you as a regular family game but it's a lot of fun on the iPhone and iPad thanks to Zen Pinball from ZEN Studios. The game features highly realistic pinball game action and dozens of downloadable custom tables featuring everything from South Park to The Walking Dead. Marvel Comics, Star Wars and many others have licensed tables here, and while they each cost a buck or two, you can outfit your Zen Pinball arcade however you'd like. Hot seat multiplayer means that the entire family can get in the action, too.
Acceleroto's Air Hockey features fast and furious air hockey action is a perennial favorite thanks to smooth action and simple, unadorned gameplay that doesn't need a lot of fancy special effects to up the fun factor to infinity. Best on an iPad, since two people play at once on the same screen.
Based on the popular board game, Ticket to Ride challenges you to collect and play matching train cards; you claim railway routes along the way, connecting cities. The longer the route, the more points you get. It comes with the original USA map, with additional ones including USA 1910, Europe, Switzerland and Asia available as in-app purchases. Up to five live opponents can play from a single iPad.