GeekMom 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Board Games

We continue our GeekMom’s gift guide series with board games for the whole family. Games for little kids, teens, adults, and stocking-stuffers for the entire family can be found in our guide this year. If you are looking to buy clothes for the person on your gift list this season, check out our clothing guide, too.

7 Wonders Image: Amazon.com
7 Wonders Image: Amazon.com

Seven Wonders is for 3-7 players. Build civilizations while you create the seven wonders of the ancient world. Strategy, planning, and history all combine into an addictive game. Expansion packs available. $49

Mensa Mind Game Winning Board Games
IMensa Mind Game Winning Board Games mage: Bezier Games

The 2013 Mensa Mind Games Tabletop Games Every year, Mensa holds a weekend-contest rating submitted tabletop games to see which five will receive the coveted Mensa Select seal for that year. This year’s winners contain some well-known titles, and some more obscure ones. Any would be a great gift idea for the game lover on your shopping list. Price varies

Chronology. Image Fundex games
Chronology. Image Fundex games

Chronology is a board game that comes out again and again, both for people who love history and trivia and those who don’t. Chronology is a card game where everyone creates their own timeline of events through history. When were the Boy Scouts founded? What year was paper invented? Especially good for groups of four or more people: this game is relatively quick and everyone comes away learning something. Price varies

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Count Your Chickens Image: Amazon.com

Count Your Chickens Cooperative Board Game In this game, players work together to help Mother Hen collect her chicks and bring them back to the coop.  Players learn counting and social development skills with no reading required. This game is the winner of the Oppenheim Platinum Award, Creative Child Game of the Year, and MajorFun! Award. For ages 3 years and older. $15.99

The Extraordinaires
The Extraordinaires Image: The Creativity Hub

The Extraordinaires Both a game and a learning experience, The Extraordinaires is an inventing game where players design inventions for specific kinds of people and specific needs. Can be played alone, or in a group. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are useful in this game. $45

Fluxx: The Board Game Image: Amazon.com
Fluxx: The Board Game Image: Amazon.com

Fluxx: The Board Game Looney Labs has long been changing the rules on gamers with variations of Fluxx. This year, they have taken it up a notch with Fluxx: The Board Game. With new cards, new rules, and the zany game time you’ve come to expect from Fluxx, this is a great addition to family game night. This would be a great game for the post-Christmas-morning haze. $29.99

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Hoot Owl Hoot! Image: Amazon.com

Hoot Owl Hoot! Cooperative Board Game In this award winning game, players work together to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Learn simple strategy with no reading necessary. There are two play levels so the game grows with your child. For ages 4 and up. $15.99

Iota Image Amazon.com
Iota Image Amazon.com

Iota The Great Big Game in The Teeny-Weeny Tin In this tiny card game, make sets of 2, 3, or 4 cards for big points. This game comes in a tin smaller than a band-aid box and would make a great stocking-stuffer. $11

LazerMaze
Lazer Maze: LazerMaze Image: Amy Kraft

Lazer Maze Move lasers, mirrors, and beam-splitters around the game-board to make the laser hit the target. 60 challenges with four different levels of play means that the whole family can play and be equally challenged. Ages 8 and up. $24

Marsbarn Square Bottom Dice Bags Images: Marsbarn, used with permission

Marsbarn Square-Bottom Dicebags If you need a dice bag, check out the custom dice bags by Marsbarn on Etsy. The bags are sturdy, roomy, and easy to carry. She has many geeky options, but if you don’t see a design for you, ask! She will take custom orders until December 1st but her shop will be open for general bag purchases until the 14th. $13 and up

Pathfinder Card Game Image: Amazon.com
Pathfinder Card Game Image: Amazon.com

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords Base Set Not into role-playing games? Do you like Living Card Games or deck-builders? Then Pathfinder is the game for you (and your family member or friend who likes playing through campaigns). Choose a character and gain better equipment and skills as you complete adventures. For a full review, check out Jonathan Liu’s article over on GeekDad.

rock me archimedes Image www.marblesthebrainstore.com
Rock Me Archimedes Image: www.marblesthebrainstore.com

Rock Me Archimedes is a beautifully crafted wooden game that combines strategy, skill, and a little bit of luck. Slide the tray of marbles from the board and set it up to rock like a teeter totter. To win, just be the first player to oh-so-carefully get four marbles to your end of the board without reaching the tipping point. This is just one of many brain-building games offered by MarblesTheBrainStore.com. $34.99

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Rory’s Story Cubes Image: Amazon.com

Rory’s Story Cubes Rory’s Story Cubes are a perfect toy for any child, especially one with a knack for storytelling. Each set comes with nine dice with a total of 54 possible images and over 10,000,000+ storytelling combinations. I love how my son can play with them by himself, or my husband and I can join him for some family fun. Each set comes in a sturdy box that’s perfect for the backpack or purse. If your child is a high-seas adventurer, I highly recommend the “voyages” set”! $7.99 and up

Schmovie: Schmovie. Image: Schmovie
Schmovie: Schmovie Image: Schmovie

Schmovie What would you call a sci-fi movie about a mutant lunch-lady? Or a drama about a bank-robbing artist? In this game, take turns being the movie producer and see who can come up with the funniest (or punniest) title for your movie. The game is recommended for ages 13 and up, but we’ve seen kids as young as eight having a blast with it. $29.95

Set Junior: SetJunior.jpg, Amy Kraft
Set Junior: SetJunior. Image:Amy Kraft

Set Junior Set is one of our all-time favorite early math games, and now Set Junior lets even younger kids join in the set-making fun. For ages 3 and up. $13.99

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The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game Image: Amazon.com

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game is a clever nature-themed game that helps develop matching, sorting, strategic thinking, and fine motor skills. For children 3 and up. $17.16

Tapple Word Game Image: Amazon.com
Tapple Word Game Image: Amazon.com

Tapple  In this verbal version of Hot Potato, pick a category card and take turns (or challenge yourself) to come up with a words starting with all of the letters in the alphabet before time runs out. $19

We Didn't Playtest This Image: Amazon.com
We Didn’t Playtest This Image: Amazon.com

We Didn’t Playtest This series If you are looking for a quick card game with no rules you can use as a stocking stuffer, this is the game. Follow the short, and sometimes punny, rules on the cards and try to be the first player to win – or the last player to lose!  $17-$37

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