Tis the holiday season, and one of many reasons to be in a merry mood is the love of board games! Little meeples toppling and turning, cards leaving your decks, and bluffing till you can’t bluff anymore, all encompass why we love playing with a group of friends on the tabletop. In our board game buyers guide we have highlighted several titles, old and new, that we recommend having a place under your Christmas tree.
Gateway Games: Ascension, DC Deckbuilding Game, Arcadia Quest, Settlers of Catan, Chocoly, Machi Koro, Welcome To The Dungeon, Dungeon and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft, Big Book of Madness, Splendor, Iello Fairy Tale Series, Bring out yer Dead
You've got all the ingredients for a great game night. You dug out that extra leaf for your dining room table from that stack of junk in the basement, finally got that signed copy of Alf's Christmas Special framed and hung on the wall for all to see, and set out your collection of dice towers all along the outskirts of the table. All that's needed now is a set of games that will not turn off your less board game devoted friends. Look no further than the titles listed above. Their gameplay loops and mechanics are easy to grasp and explain, but the longer you play the more depth you discover. Whether you like puzzles, miniatures, card games, or superheroes, there is a little something here for everybody.
Fun For The Family Games: King Of Tokyo, Timeline, Colt Express, Clue, Ticket To Ride
Family game night is a wonderful tradition, and if you are looking to start one of your own, then here is a great place to start. All the games above are quick setups (Colt Express is the one exception, but after the initial setup, you don't have to do it again), and feature gameplay that is engaging for the entire group, and constantly requires you to pay attention to what is going on. Most of the titles featured also either already have expansions (numerous in Timeline's case) or will have them soon (Colt Express), so you can keep the game interesting for many nights to come.
Game Enthusiast Games: Mice and Mystics, Eldritch Horror, Dead of Winter, X-Wing, Superstar Showdown, Vs System 2PCG, Legendary, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Gears of War, Infinity, Zombicide, Star Wars Edge of the Empire
Consider these the games that might take a bit of setting up and a wee bit of time in the rulebook before you get the hang of them. Once the initial learning is done however, these games are immensely rewarding, and all of them offer a great deal of replay value straight out of the box. Most of these titles also offer expansion sets, so your game doesn't have to end after you finish the original campaign or storyline.
Party Games: Apples To Apples, Cash'n Guns, Codenames, Spyfall, Sheriff of Nottingham
Rule number one for a party is to have games that you can explain in about 5 to 10 minutes, and these all fit that bill. Everyone is interacting with each other on every turn, whether in competition, wordplay, bluffing, or sabotage, and more often than not, they are having a blast while doing so.
That's our list, but of course there are so many other games that can be part of the discussion that I open the floor to you. What games are you looking forward to playing this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!