Happy Holidays! We are well into the holiday season at this point (tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, for example), but I know that we are always looking to add a few more gifts into the mix of what we have available! So, we got together with our friends from Punchboard Media and put together a number of ideas that you could use in order to get the people you love some gaming gifts. Check it out!
This holiday season, I am going to be giving quite a few roll and write games to the people I game with. This year has been filled with all sorts of great games, but there are definitely a few roll and writes that stand out. Harvest Dice from Grey Fox Games, Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama (which is not a roll and write but always gets categorized as one because where the heck else do you put it) from Indie Board and Cards, and even older favorites like Qwixx. They’re affordable, they’re fun, and they are flexible with player count – many of them even play solo! What more could you want from a gift?
Oscar González – @ElDocLogan
El Doc Logan – www.facebook.com/eldoclogan
I think that the best gaming gift you can give right now is a party game or dexterity game that can have everyone interested and active, Ice Cool is the first that pops into my mind but of course there are others I haven’t played like Mars Open (which Eric showed quite a lot), other games I can suggest you are any of the Codenames variants (either the original, Disney, Pictures, etc) which will get all the family involved. The idea here is to be inclusive and that all the family can have fun at the same time.
Brandon Kempf – @Vacabck
What Did You Play This Week – www.wdyptw.com
Gaming gifts can be so difficult to figure out, buy a gateway gamer something too complex and you’ve ruined them for life and they may never play a game with you again after that. Buy a long time gamer something too light and they may think you have flipped your lid. Which is why I normally don’t buy gaming presents for adults, but for children, that’s a whole other story. I like to start them young and I’ve bought many a Haba game to fill this first game void, but the one we’ve had the most luck with has been My Very First Orchard from Haba Games. If they are a couple years older and starting Kindergarten, maybe go with Monza. I honestly don’t think either of these will miss the mark with younger gamers this holiday, or any holiday season.
Eric Buscemi – @ericbuscemi
The Cardboard Hoard – https://www.punchboardmedia.com/cardboard-hoard/
I wouldn’t want to get anyone an expensive big-box game for the holidays — there’s too much chance they wouldn’t like it. If they are gamers, they may already have it, or had it and sold it, or played it and didn’t like it, etc. If they aren’t, it may go in some closet in their house only to never get played. This is why I think the best holiday presents are inexpensive, small box stocking stuffer type games. Green Couch Games are known for these types of games, as are Button Shy Games, Oink Games, and Dice Hate Me’s Rabbit line of card games. For some more specific suggestions: Green Couch’s recent Ladder 29 is great for relatives that are already familiar with card games, Button Shy’s Circle the Wagons is great for a couple that plays two-player games, and Oink’s Deep Sea Adventure, which plays up to six, is perfect for a family game night.
Joe Sallen- @goodboardugly
The Good, the Board, and the Ugly
The Sallen Coefficient
The Long View
I’m going to throw this question right back at the audience: what does your family member or friend enjoy?
Get them something based on what they’re passionate about. My brother-in-law works hard to fight disease as a researcher, and he already has everything Pandemic. So I grabbed him a small box game about finding the cure for a poison you’ve all drunk: Antidote.
My parents-in-law appreciate fine games and simple mechanisms, so I grabbed them the beautifully redone classic: Modern Art.
My brother has always enjoyed Scottish portrayals in popular culture and he enjoys heavier games, so he’s getting Clans of Caledonia.
My parents want extremely simple games that they can use in volunteer work at a local nursing home. I grabbed them Herbaceous and Skull (and Roses). Skull involves the bluffing of poker but doesn’t have a hierarchy of combinations to memorize.
Eric Yurko – @whatseplaying
What’s Eric Playing? – https://whatsericplaying.com/
Honestly, a lot of the people I would get games for are either far away from me or just getting their collection started, so I’d probably start with any of the great gateway games or games I’ve really enjoyed this year — I’m looking specifically for games that are quick to pick up, easy to play, and a lot of fun.
My first thought is any of the Oink Games, as well (Maskmen, Deep Sea Adventure, Startups), Werewords, Ice Cool, Rhino Hero: Super Battle, or Kingdomino are all great games that are relatively inexpensive and should be pretty easy to make space for in a collection. My classic go-to is always Burgle Bros., as well. If you’re buying for a couple, Codenames Duet isn’t a bad pick, if they don’t already have it. Either way, I’d say you can’t go wrong with simple games.
Chris Kirkman – @dicehateme
The State of Games podcast + www.dicehateme.com/tag/state-of-games/
There are so many wonderful games out there that you could give to your friends and loved ones that it’s hard to narrow them down, especially because they vary in price, complexity, and size. For me, I love getting and giving games that are just a bit bigger on the inside – small box games that have a lot of playability after you open them up. As Eric Buscemi mentioned earlier there are quite a few publishers that specialize in this (including my own!), but Oink Games definitely warrants a recommendation. A Fake Artist Goes to New York is a wonderful place to start; one player picks a word or short phrase and the other players take turns drawing one continuous line to try and illustrate that subject over two rounds. The trick is that one of the players is the Fake Artist and has no idea what the subject might be. The real artists must try and figure out who the Fake Artist is, while the Fake Artist needs to guess the subject and remain hidden. It’s a challenging and often-hilarious social exercise in an extremely small package. If you’re feeling adventurous, also pick up Insider – it’s like 20 questions with a traitor! – and Deep Sea Adventure – press your luck to rescue treasure at the bottom of the sea! Happy Holidays and Happy Gaming!
What gaming gifts do you suggest? Have you considered one of the many games that are mentioned here, or would you add some to the list yourself? Let us know in the comments, or talk to us on social media – all of our Twitter handles are listed in the post!
Game On and Happy Holidays!
Your Friends at Punchboard Media