ROLL over Snakes and Ladders. So long Scrabble. And move over Monopoly. Zombie quests, Dracula hunts and exploding kittens are amongst a new wave of board games that are entering the Scottish mainstream just in time for Christmas, according to games afficionados.

With less than five weeks until the big day, the board games trend - which has steadily been growing for years despite the rise of online gaming - is now coming of age according to organisers of the new Dice Roll Cafe, which has been packing out its fortnightly Scottish games cafe and is now looking for it's own premises.

This Sunday, the pop-up cafe at Glasgow's CCA, is also launching a games lab to support the growing number of independent Scottish board game developers.

Kenny Li, a 31-year-old waiter, was inspired to set up Dice Roll after seeing the popularity of similar cafes in Toronto in Canada. Others have started to appear in cities across the UK.

He said: "It seemed like there was a resurgence in board games going on here too that would make it timely to do something like this. Maybe it's partly that board games are seen as trendy; a kind of hipster thing. Geek culture is also cool at the moment.

"People who like computer games and comics are often into board games but now a lot more of my friends who are not into that kind of thing at all are interested. There is a strong social aspect. Games, especially the co-operative ones, are often played in teams. Many of the games cost £40 upwards so the cafe is a great way to come and try them out before you buy anything."

Though this Sunday's cafe - which will see the launch of Glasgow first Glasgow Games lab for those developing their own board games - will be the last this year, Li plans to look for a dedicated space to run the pop-up board games cafe full time in the new year.

Alex Willey, 24, a board games enthusiast who helps out at the Dice Roll cafe, said that games had moved on far beyond the traditional favourites like Cluedo, Monopoly and Guess Who. Cult games now gaining overground status include classics like The Fury of Dracula - which sees one player assume the role of Dracula, while other players hunt for the vampire count - and the strategy game Risk, while new kids on the block like Exploding Kittens - a card game version of Russian Roulette - and horror survival games like Last Night on Earth are also becoming bit hits.

"At the moment people really seem to be enjoying co-operative games where they are stacks of cards and sometimes up to 200 pieces, which are like little artworks. It is massively appealing when you see the effort that has gone into them," Willey added.

"There really is something available for everyone. When you talk about games people think about the classics like Cludeo, Scrabble and Monopoly where the winner takes all. But these are very different. They are much more complex and the stakes are much higher.

"In Snakes and Ladders a bad roll of the dice could see you go back 10 paces. If you roll badly in some of these games, you can unleash monsters, spread disease across the world - it can mean the world gets destroyed before you even have a chance to scream. The great thing about board games is they encourage you to engage your imagination."

Horror and Zombie games are particularly popular at the cafe, added Willey, with the "beautifully simple" games such as Love Letters, a 2-4 player card game where you have to try to get your love letter to a princess appealing to others.

Some 3,000 games are now released every year, according to experts and in the past four years purchases have

risen by between 25% and 40% annually with top games selling millions of copies. In the run-up to Christmas retailers expect to sell a vast number of board games.

Owen Duffy, who runs Unplugged Games Club in the southside of Glasgow, said: "In the past it was seen as a specialist geeky hobby but being geeky is currently cool - the geek badge is being worn with pride. People are discovering that the games are actually really good. Waterstones are now carrying games - you don't have to go to a specialist shop up a back street. There's also a burgeoning independent design community."

The growth of the kickstarter crowd funding platform was key, added Duffy. Jamie Keddie, a game developer from Dundee, used Kick Starter to launch Jackpot!, his own card game released in December 2013, parodying the trend for zombie games.

"A lot of the games are based on computer game style,' said Duffy, 'others have a retro feel. A lot of people who are interested in computer games are getting more into board games. I think that's the way the trend is going.

"In the old days people would go round to one and another's houses and pick up a games controller to play together but that is not the case anymore. I think the appeal of board games is about having face-to-face contact.

"There's such a big range to chose from and that's also a factor. In one game you can be fighting a troll in a dungeon and in another you can be a train conductor trying to fix the train as part of a team."

Others said they expected the trend, which has been growing over the last few years, to continue to move further into the mainstream.

Nick Pitman, a hospital consultant and organiser of the Glasgow Games Festival, a now annual event, which ran for the second year at the Glasgow Concert Hall last week said about 300 people attended the event, a 100 percent increase on the previous year. "What surprised us was that though a lot of people said board games were their hobby, there were others who had only played a few games. Some people were definitely experimenting," he added. "We are already planning next year's event and will be booking more rooms to increase our capacity.

"Modern board games are so varied. There are light party games to heavy, economic games and every theme you can think of from transport to fashion or war."

Ten cult board games

1. Fury of Dracula - a board game of deduction and gothic horror based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel.

2. Exploding Kittens - a Russian Roulette, family friendly card game for people who are into kittens and explosions.

3. Pandemic - players treat disease hotspots while researching cures for plagues before they get out of hand.

4. Risk - Only the strong will survive in this exciting, unpredictable game of global domination.

5. Call of Cthulu - a role-playing game inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

6. Last Night on Earth - a survival horror board game that pits small-town Heroes against a horde of Zombies.

7. Carcassonne - a civilisation-building board game which is wildly addictive

8. Diplomacy - set before the beginning of World War I players control the armed forces of a major European power.

9. Random Encounter - build 'encounters' with fantasty creatures and win as many battles as possible.

10. Treasure Hunter - get as much treasure and coins as you can but watch out for treasure that isn't treasure at all.