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Why Board Games Are On Trend for the Holidays

This year's hottest holiday game for the holidays doesn't need require advanced 3D graphics or complex controller, but a can of whipped cream.
Pie Face game
A handout image of the Pie Face game.Hasbro

This year's hottest game for the holidays doesn't require a complicated controller or sophisticated graphics engine, but you will need a can of whipped cream.

Fueled by interest in games like Hasbro's Speak Out and Pie Face Showdown as well as more adult games, including X-rated versions of longstanding favorites — think Trivial Pursuit and Taboo — the game segment has seen sales soar 20 percent this year, according to the NPD Group.

The segment, which includes card games, board games, puzzles, dice and strategy games, caters to toddlers, teens and adults and has been gaining speed in recent years. In 2015, game sales rose 14 percent from the prior year, when sales climbed 6 percent year over year, Juli Lennett, an NPD Group toys industry analyst, told CNBC.

"The games market is not one size fits all," said Jim Silver, CEO of TTPM, an online toy review site. "The category is most successful when it appeals to all the different demographics."Not just for kids
In fact, much of the strength in surging game sales is coming from those that target adults, with sales in the adult party game segment jumping 138 percent this year through November from the same period last year.

Silver attributes the segment's strength to the success of Cards Against Humanity.

"Cards Against Humanity is why you see Trivial Pursuit X, 5 Second Rule Uncensored and Midnight Taboo," he said.

The self-dubbed "party game for horrible people" started as a $4,000 Kickstarter campaign — it ultimately raised about $15,500 — and has since developed into a lucrative empire for a group of eight grade-school friends now in their late 20s and early 30s.

The appeal of these adult games lies in their edgy and risque content, said Silver.

The adult game category is by no means the only one seeing growth. Family strategy games, like Uno, are up 56 percent this year and brainteasers such as the Rubik's Cube, are up 40 percent.