With hits like Wil Wheaton’s YouTube show TableTop, and major retail chains like Target and Amazon featuring games from the show, it is no surprise that board games are prime gifts to give during the holiday season.
I wanted to add all of the games from last year’s gift guide (as I played several of them—like Pathfinder ACG—multiple times throughout the year), but instead I will just say that the games from last year are still highly recommended, along with new games GeekMom writers have played this year.
Gravity Maze This award winning game, from the makers of Laser Maze, is marked as a single-player game but would be great to keep one or many players entertained and puzzling for hours. Who would have thought a marble run could make your brain hurt…in a good way! $23.99
Krosmaster Arena This game is worth the price tag. Made for family gaming, the rules are mini-game boards that prove as a learn-while-you-play tutorial. With miniatures and cute cartoon cardboard cut-outs, this game feels like a table top version of a turn-based RPG video game. Once mastered, there are expansions available, too. $54.18
Council of Verona Backstab your foes and try to get ahead in this fantastic card game set in Romeo and Juliet‘s Verona, Italy. Will the lovers be united? Will the families betray each other? It is within your power to affect the outcome. $14.99
Damage Report You and your friends are the crew on a heavily-damaged spaceship. Can you repair it before the life-support gives out or the enemy craft blows you to pieces? This real-time strategy game is an exciting adventure for two to six players. There are several missions of varying degrees of difficulty and lots of fun little bits to pass around. $52.31
Gravwell In this game, which loosely (okay, not really) follows the laws of gravitational pull, use periodic table elements (again, not quite accurate) to boost your way out of the black hole. $31.50
Happy Birthday In the same vein as Apples to Apples and Dixit, Happy Birthday is a great game for kids in a small or large group to judge their favorite and least favorite white-elephant type gifts. This would also make a great stocking stuffer. $12.17
Machi Koro Enhance your city in this nail-biter of a resource collecting game. $23.20
Machine of Death This morbid, cooperative party game places you and your friends in the role of a group of assassins who need to creatively use the tools you are given to make sure your target dies in the manner fate has determined. If you need more reason to add this to your gift list, I can give you eight. $39.99
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Base Set The second game in the Pathfinder ACG series offers more characters and more difficulty as your party of adventurers travels the seas in search of booty and trouble. $38.48
Pixel Lincoln You are an 8-bit time-travelling President Lincoln in this retro-video game style deck builder. Since the game offers different level cards, difficulty can be set easier for family gaming or harder for experienced players. $30.00
Rampage (Terror in Meeple City) Agility and reflex control is the basis of the game Rampage. Flick, drop, and blow buildings full of meeples to the ground so you can get them in your monster-belly! $39.53
ROFL Illustrated by the amazing and talented John Kovalic, this game challenges you to encode phrases with the shortest number of characters possible, and then decode those phrases made by others. It’s trickier than it sounds! $20.66
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Monopoly The makers of TMNT Monopoly did a great job putting everything turtle fans love about the show into the game. $27.00