Board Game Gift Guide 2015!

board game gift guide

‘Tis the season for giving great family board games as gifts.

Once again it’s time for our annual Board Game Gift Guide!

The time of year where we share a bunch of ideas for fun games you can get your family and friends.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, now is a perfect time to find some great games to enjoy.

And that’s where our Board Game Gift Guide can help!

Over the last 4 years we’ve suggested a combined total of 121 games to consider. And with thousands of new board games, card games, dice games, strategy games and party games being published every year, there are plenty of great games for us to recommend each year.

This year we’re even packing more of a punch with 41 games covering a wide range of types of games so you’ll be able to find a game for anyone on your list.

Also with the epic release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this year we’re including a section below for Star Wars games!

Here are quick links to our previous Board Game Gift Guides:

Now, on to this year’s recommendations.

 

2015 Board Game Gift Guide

To easily find what you’re looking for, we’ve grouped this year’s round of games into the following 11 categories. Click on a category to jump right to that section.

Games for Kids:

These are games that young kids will understand and enjoy playing.

Goodnight Moon
Goodnight moon children's gameAges: 3+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 10 min

If you’re wondering what board game to start toddlers out on, Goodnight Moon is a great contender. With such a popular children’s bedtime story as a base, this simple game is a great matching game for young kids to enjoy. The game helps children develop many cognitive skills as well as new social skills like taking turns, following rules, sharing and respecting others. It can also be looked at as a cooperative game because the game doesn’t end until all players have matched all the items on their boards.
Rhino Hero children's gameGet a copy of Goodnight Moon

Rhino Hero
Ages: 5+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 5 – 15 min

Rhino Hero is a card stacking game – like building a house of cards – but with special challenges. In Rhino Hero, players compete to be the first to get rid of their roof cards. The first player to do so will win the game. That is, if he or shee has a chance to play all their cards because the game may also end with a building collapse. If it does, then the person with the fewest roof cards left wins the game.
See our review of Rhino Hero
Get a Copy of Rhino Hero

I Spy Eagle Eye
I Spy Eagle Eye board gameAges: 5+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 20 min

Our kids have all enjoyed I Spy books over the years. So it’s fun to pull out an I Spy game now and then as well. I Spy Eagle Eye is a matching game based on the popular I Spy series of books. The game includes four boards filled with pictures of various objects. A deck of cards includes one matching card for each of those objects. Each turn, a card is turned over. The first player to find the matching object on their particular board wins that round and takes the card. The first to earn six cards wins.
Get a copy of I Spy Eagle Eye

Doodle Quest
Doodle Quest board gameAges: 6+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 15 min

While not everyone thinks himself or herself an artist, everyone can draw lines and circles. And that’s all it takes to play Doodle Quest. In Doodle Quest players look at a drawing on the table and then draw on their own transparency according to the particular challenge. Then players take turns placing their transparency on the central drawing to see how many points they scored (if their lines and such are in the right place). Every drawing sheet is also double-sided – with a simple challenge on one side and a more difficult challenge on the reverse side. So if parents and kids want to challenge each other, it’s easy.
Watch our video review of Doodle Quest
Get a copy of Doodle Quest

The Little Prince board gameThe Little Prince: Rising to the Stars
Ages: 6+, Players: 2 – 6, Time: 30 min

The Little Prince is a children’s book that was written in 1943 and is the 3rd most-translated book in the world. The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars is a cute new board game published this year where players move their biplane from cloud to cloud, collecting stars on their way to the Little Prince’s planet. Players move their plane different distances by playing the fox cards from their hand. The game ends when everyone arrives at the planet or runs out of cards. The player who collects the most stars wins.
Get a copy of The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars

Brain Quest gameBrain Quests
Ages: 2 – 13, Players: 2+, Time: 5+ min

If your kids haven’t tried any of the Brain Quest question and answer games, now’s a perfect time to give it a shot. There are Brain Quest challenge sets for kids of all ages – starting at age 2. Each Brain Quest game contains cards of various types of questions for players to challenge each other. When our kids were younger, we loved playing Brain Quest challenges during long vacation drives. It really made the time go by quickly and kept everyone engaged in discussions.
Get a copy of Brain Quest


 

Family Strategy Games:

This category is a tough one because most every game in our gift guide could be considered a family game. After all, we’re only interested in recommending games that you can enjoy with your family.

Splendor card gameSplendor
Ages: 10+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 30 min

Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. Of course, we don’t really pay attention to the theme in Splendor because we’re too busy grabbing gems and plotting which cards will give us the best advantage. It’s a very simple game to learn, play, and enjoy with your family.
See our video review of Splendor.
Get a copy of Splendor

Timeline Challenge
Timeline Challenge board gameAges: 10+, Players: 2 – 10, Time: 30 min

Timeline is a fantastic family card game that we’ve reviewed a number of times. We’ve reviewed it a number of times because there are many different iterations of the game with different card sets. But now that we have Timeline Challenge, I’m not sure if we’ll ever play the traditional way again. Why? Because Timeline Challenge wonderfully adds in a variety of ways to use the Timeline cards in sort of mini-challenges. We highly recommend Timeline Challenge.
See Brooke’s video review of Timeline Challenge.
Get a copy of Timeline Challenge

New York 1901
New York 1901 board gameAges: 10+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 30 min

In New York 1901 players compete to build throughout the city and score the most points along the way. It has easy to understand rules, simple game play, great components, and a good balance of strategy and luck. All elements that make a great family board game. Since players only have to choose between 2 options on their turn (Acquire Land/Build or Demolish/Rebuild), the game doesn’t overwhelm players with lengthy game turns. Having said that, there is still plenty of strategy and depth to consider while playing the game.
See our video review of New York 1901.
Get a copy of New York 1901

Colt Express
Colt Express board gameAges: 10+, Players: 2 – 6, Time: 30 – 40 min

Colt Express is a fun family game about train robbers vying to grab the most loot. One of the reasons we really enjoy Colt Express is because it’s a game of pre-programmed movement. There are two phases in each round. The first phase is where everyone chooses which action cards they want to play and in what order. Then in the second phase, all those actions take place. The actions include moving from train car to car, moving up or down from the roof, picking up some loot, punching, shooting, or moving the sheriff. But since they’re all programmed in advance, the outcome will depend on what the other players end up doing as well. And the 3D train is one of the best board game components we’ve enjoyed playing with. So fun.
Get a copy of Colt Express

K2
K2 board gameAges: 13+, Players: 1 – 5, Time: 60 min

K2 is a board game that I was hooked on the moment I played it. The game mechanics tie so incredibly well to the theme, that I was anxious for more. In K2, players race to climb the second-highest mountain on Earth – K2. Of course, with changing weather, limited oxygen, and other players to contend with, a quick ascent may not be in your best interest. Because if your climbers can’t survive the mountain through to the end of the game, no matter how high they climbed, it won’t do you any good. While we haven’t posted our full review of K2 yet (it’s on the docket), you can read more about it in our SaltCon write up.
Get a copy of K2

Sheriff of Nottingham
Sheriff of Nottingham board gameAges: 13+, Players: 3 – 5, Time: 60 min

Sheriff of Nottingham is a fun bluffing game where players are trying to sneak goods (and contraband) past the sheriff. Players declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack. The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated! Everyone gets to be the Sheriff twice during the game, and thus plenty of deals to be made. After all, bribing the Sheriff may just be about about striking the right deal. Very fun.
Get a copy of Sheriff of Nottingham


 

Cooperative Games:

If you haven’t played a cooperative board game before, you’re missing out. We love cooperative board games because everyone works together as a team to beat the game. Either everyone wins or everyone loses. We’re all in it together!

Pandemic the Cure
Pandemic the Cure dice gameAges: 8+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 30 min

Pandemic: The Cure could just as easily have gone in our Dice Games category. It’s a dice-based version of the popular Pandemic board game. As in the board game, four diseases threaten the world and it’s up to the players – working together as a team to save humanity. Players roll dice each turn to determine the actions available to them. They can fly and sail between the six major population centers of the world, treat disease in their current region, collect samples for further study, exchange knowledge, and use their unique character abilities to help them in their goal of discovering cures.
Our full review of Pandemic the Cure will be out early 2016.
Get a copy of Pandemic the Cure

Pandemic Legacy
Pandemic Legacy board gameAges: 13+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 60 min

We wrote about our excitement for Pandemic Legacy just last month. So of course we’re going to recommend it on our Board Game Gift Guide this year. If you like Pandemic, then all sources say you’re going to like Pandemic Legacy too. It takes the standard game play of Pandemic and ratchets it up a notch as players make permanent changes to the game while working together through a campaign of saving the world from terrible diseases. Still can’t wait to play it.
Get a copy of Pandemic Legacy

Dead Men Tell No TalesDead Men Tell No Tales
Ages: 13+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 60 – 75 min

Dead Men Tell No Tales is a recent addition to our game shelves from Minion Games and we’ve had a great time playing! We’ve only managed to win once, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had a great time trying. It only makes us more determined to do a better job next time storming onto the burning ship in search of loot. The challenge is that powder kegs and rooms are exploding all around as we battle skeleton crew, guards, and pesky deckhands. It’s a very fun pirate-themed, cooperative game.
See Dad’s video review of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Get a copy of Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Undercity
The Undercity board gameAges: 14+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 60 – 120 min

The Undercity puts a spin on the classic dungeon crawl adventure as players head underground to uproot evil masterminds. One of the things we enjoy about playing The Undercity is battling through a 7-adventure campaign together. The cooperative play is great. There isn’t as much exploration as other dungeon campaign games, but there are a lot of fun dice-rolling battles. Oh, and of course let’s not forget the cool artwork and miniatures.
See our video review of The Undercity.
Get a copy of The Undercity


 

2-Player Games:

Some of the most challenging games we’ve played are 2-player games. Going head-to-head with another family member or friend is a lot of fun. Here are a few 2-player games to consider.

Longhorn
Longhorn board gameAges: 8+, Players: 2, Time: 15 min

In Longhorn, players go head-to-head to snag cattle for their own herds and amass the most money by the end of the game. For such a small game, there’s plenty of game play packed in. With a random set up (tile locations, amount and color of cattle, and special ability tokens), every game will play out differently. It’s simple to learn, quick to play, and has fun, tactical decisions throughout.
See our review of Longhorn.
Get a copy of Longhorn

Kahuna
Kahuna board gameAges: 10+, Players: 2, Time: 30 min

In Kahuna, 2 players compete over control of 12 islands in the Pacific. The game is played over a series of 3 rounds – with scoring taking place at the end of each round. The player controlling the most islands when those moments occur will score points. The player with the highest score after the third round wins the game. The goal may be simple, but achieving it will take some work. Like most 2-player games, Kahuna is best when equal-level players square off.
Read our review of Kahuna.
Get a copy of Kahuna

Rush Hour Shift
Rush Hour ShiftAges: 8+, Players: 2, Time: 10 min

If you’re looking for a simple 2-player game for younger players, Rush Hour Shift might fit the bill. In the game 2 players face off to be the first to get their car to opponent’s side of the playing area. The game board is a multi-lane highway with a number of trucks and cars scattered across the shifting lanes. Players use cards to either move vehicles, shift sections of the highway left or right, or both. The first player to move their car off the far edge of the game board wins.
Get a copy of Rush Hour Shift


 

Party Games:

One of the best things about games is that they provide a setting for social interaction. And a great setting for that interaction is at a party. Here are a few games that are well suited for party time.

Cash ‘n Guns
Cash n Guns board gameAges: 10+, Players: 4 – 8, Time: 30 min

Cash ‘n Guns is about mobsters splitting up the loot of their big heists. Of course, since they’re mobsters, they don’t trust each other and can’t agree on the split. So players point foam guns at each other over 8 rounds and try to bluff their way to victory. And who would have thought that it would be our daughter who absolutely loves this game? She was very quick to say she wanted to do the video review.
Watch Brooke’s video review of Cash ‘n Guns.
Get a copy of Cash ‘n Guns

Duplik
Duplik board gameAges: 12+, Players: 3 – 10, Time: 45 min

It didn’t take long for Duplik to shoot up on both mom’s and Brooke’s favorite board games lists. In Duplik players take turns describing a drawing. The describer picks the top card of the stack and describes the drawing on it. While doing that, everyone else quickly draws what they hear. After the timer runs out, everyone stops and the describer uses a red decoder card to read 10 items associated with the drawing. Players that included that item correctly in their drawing score a point. So no matter how crazy your drawing may be, you can still score points. For sure Duplik is going to get a lot of plays with our family during our upcoming holiday breaks.
See Brooke’s video review of Duplik.
Get a copy of Duplik

Codenames
Codenames party gameAges: 14+, Players: 2 – 8, Time: 15 min

Codenames could also fit in our Deduction Games category because players need to put on their thinking caps. It’s an engaging word game where 2 teams compete to locate their agents first – amidst a 5 x 5 grid of words on the table. Each team has one Spymaster who can give a 1-word clue each round for their teammates to locate their agents. Spymasters need to think creatively and their teammates need to decipher the clues well to find their agents first. With 200 double-sided cards, the possible mix of words in the grid are endless – creating a game with a ton of replay value. It’s a game that anyone can join in having fun playing.
See Brooke’s video review of Codenames.
Get a copy of Codenames


 

Dice Games:

Many games involve dice in one form or another. Most board games just use dice as a randomizer. But here are some fun games where dice are the crux of the whole game.

Alien Frontiers
Alien Frontiers board gameAges: 13+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 90 min

As with any exploration, there’s an element of luck. And Alien Frontiers is no different. In Alien Frontiers players roll and place their dice in different areas of the board to gain the best advantages in securing resources and colonizing the most advantageous territories of this alien planet. Players have the make the most of every turn in order to beat out their fellow colonizers. After all, they’re trying to build the most colonies as fast as they can as well.
Watch our video review of Alien Frontiers.
Get a copy of Alien Frontiers

Roll for the Galaxy
Roll for the Galaxy dice gameAges: 13+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 45 min

Roll for the Galaxy is a dice game of building space empires for 2–5 players. Dice represent a player’s populace, whom they direct to develop new technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods. The player who best manages his workers and builds the most prosperous empire wins. During play, players roll their dice and secretly assign them to determine their possible actions for the turn. Through the use of these roles players will build a little empire of tiles. With 111 custom and colorful dice in the game, you better hone your dice rolling skills before diving in.
See our full review of Roll for the Galaxy.
Get a copy of Roll for the Galaxy

Dice City
Dice City dice gameAges: 14+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 45 – 60 min

Dice City is a “dice-crafting” game in which the locations in a player’s city act as the changing faces of their dice each turn. Every player has their own player board where they’ll place their dice and cards as they alter their city buildings throughout the game. Dice are placed on city buildings (cards) and used to take advantage of the different abilities of each building and earn victory points. The artwork of the game also does a good job at demonstrating that it’s a very approachable game for family play.
Get a copy of Dice City


 

Abstract Games:

A lot of times, an engaging theme will increase a player’s enjoyment of a board game. And at other times, an abstract strategy game can be just as engaging. Here are a few new abstract games for families to enjoy playing.

Ubongo
Ubongo board gameAges: 8+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 20 – 30 min

Ubongo is definitely a board game that the whole family can enjoy. It’s such a simple game to understand and play, that everyone can join in. Using Tetris-like pieces, players race to complete puzzles on their personal boards. Players collect gems along the way and then just total up their gem value at the end of the game. The first players to complete their puzzle each round get to take an extra gem. Yet, the real fun in Ubongo is the personal success felt when solving your puzzle.
See our video review of Ubongo.
Get a copy of Ubongo

Dimension
Dimension board gameAges: 8+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 30 min

Dimension is a puzzle game using colored spheres. Players stack their spheres in a pyramid fashion while trying to keep the various rules of that round in mind. Each round players score 1 point for each sphere in their completed pyramid. But they must comply with the 6 different rule cards that are placed face up or they lose 2 points for each rule broken. For example, Green spheres must touch Orange spheres, or Blue cannot touch White, or the pyramid must include 2 and only 2 Green, or Black cannot be under any others. It’s tough to build quickly while still keeping the various rules in mind, but very fun.
See Brooke’s video review of Dimension.
Get a copy of Dimension

Laser Maze
Laser Maze board gameAges: 6+, Players: 1, Time: 5 – 10 min

Unlike the other games in our gift guide this year, Laser Maze is a puzzle game for one player. The player picks a challenge card and sets up the game grid to match. Then, they must figure out where to add the indicated number of tokens to the grid so the laser hits its intended target. With 60 challenge cards ranging from beginner to expert, this beam-bending game is great for the developing minds of growing children.
Get a copy of Laser Maze


 

Deduction Games:

While some may not enjoy exercising their brain too much while playing board games, there are plenty of people who enjoy the challenge of a good brain-bender. Here are a few great games for those game thinkers.

Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard family board gameAges: 10+, Players: 3 – 6, Time: 45 min

Scotland Yard is a fun semi-cooperative game of hidden movement and deduction. One player takes on the role of the criminal Mr. X who moves around London unseen except for a few turns when he “surfaces”. The rest of the players are detectives working together to catch him by moving onto the same location he is on by using various modes of transportation. Because it’s a semi-cooperative game, even kids younger than the recommended age can enjoy playing. They can join in as a detective and move around the board to help corner and capture Mr. X.
See our full review of Scotland Yard.
Get a copy of Scotland Yard

Inkognito
Inkognito board gameAges: 10+, Players: 3 – 4, Time: 90 min

In Inkognito, players take on the role of spies in Venice during Carnival. The goal of each agent is to complete a mission together with his or her partner. The catch is that at the first of the game, no one knows who their partner is nor what their mission is. So players must first discover who their partner spy is, then they must accomplish their joint mission. The first pair of spies to complete their mission wins the game. It’s a great premise for a deduction game and one that’s executed really well in Inkognito.
Read our review of Inkognito.
Get a copy of Inkognito

Mysterium
Mysterium board gameAges: 10+, Players: 2 – 7, Time: 45 min

I first had the chance to play Mysterium at SaltCon 2015 and had a great time. It’s a cooperative deduction game and even though we lost every time, it was very engaging and left me wanting to play again and again. One player takes the role of a helpful ghost who lives in a mysterious ancient manor. Other players are a group of psychics invited to solve the mystery and bring peace to its residents. The ghost player hands out cards with super creative artwork on them to each player to give clues for finding the person, place, and weapon that caused his/her demise. It takes a lot of thought and if you’re on the right wavelength as the ghost, you’ll win the game.
See our full review of Mysterium.
Get a copy of Mysterium


 

Gamer Games:

Is there someone you know that really, really loves board games? Then consider giving them games that require a bit more strategy or are dripping with a lot of theme.

Super Dungeon Explore: The Forgotten King
Super Dungeon Forgotten King board gameAges: 12+, Players: 1 – 6, Time: 90 – 120 min

Super Dungeon Explore is a family of dungeon crawl fantasy games, notable in part for its chibi art style and miniatures. Super Dungeon Explore: The Forgotten King is a second base set full of map tiles, heroes, bosses, creeps, and spawn points, as well as the generic tokens, dice, and cards necessary to play the game. One of the things we like best about Forgotten King is that it contains two play modes: Classic Mode, in which someone controls the dungeon and its monsters while everyone else takes the roles of the heroes, or Arcade Mode, which allows for a fully co-operative game for up to five players. Since it’s sometimes tiring to get beat by my hero boys, I really like the Arcade Mode where we’re all on the same team against the onslaught of monsters.
See our full review of Super Dungeon Explore: The Forgotten King.
Get a copy of Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King

Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Castles of Mad King Ludwig board gameAges: 13+, Players: 1 – 4, Time: 90 min

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is about building crazy castles one room at a time. In the game, King Ludwig II has commissioned the players to build the biggest, best castle ever. Each player acts as a building contractor adding rooms to the castle he’s building while also selling his services to other players. When a room is added to a castle, the player who built it gains castle points based on the size and type of room constructed, as well as bonus points based on the location of the room. It’s one of the games I played at SaltCon this year that immediately went to the top of my wish list and I ended up getting it a month later. Love it!
See our full review of Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
Get a copy of Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Lords of Xidit
Lords of Xidit board gameAges: 14+, Players: 3 – 5, Time: 90 min

Lords of Xidit hit my board game wish list when it came out in 2014 and I finally got a copy this year. One of the biggest draws for me was that it includes a programming element. Players need to plan wisely and anticipate what the other players will do in order to perform well in this fantasy world. But the most unique game play element is the way final scoring is resolved. There are 3 categories for scoring points and in each game the order of scoring is random. At the end of the game, the first category is scored. Whoever is in last place in that category is out. The same happens for the next scoring category – with the player (of those remaining) in last place being knocked out. Then out of those who are left, the player with the highest score in the last category wins. Very fun.
Get a copy of Lords of Xidit

Dungeons and Dragons Sword Coast adventure guideDungeon & Dragons Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

If you’ve got a gamer on your list that loves fantasy, don’t forget Dungeons & Dragons as a possibility. New this year is the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. It’s a campaign sourcebook that explores the Sword Coast and offers many new character options. The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide provides the setting, story, and character options needed to participate in a game anywhere along the Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms.

Or get your budding roleplaying gamers to begin with the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set.


 

Star Wars Games:

We’re sure the Force is strong in your family as well. So why not pick up a copy of a Star Wars game or two for the Jedi in your life to enjoy?

Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Ages: 12+, Players: 2 – 5, Time: 90 min

Star Wars: Imperial AssaultImperial Assault is an awesome game!
Over the last couple years, our boys’ most-played game hands down is Descent: Journeys in the Dark. What Fantasy Flight Games did with Imperial Assault was to take the Descent game play and port it to the Star Wars universe. And the outcome is brilliant! Unlike in Descent where I feel like my boys playing the heroes constantly beat up on me as the overlord, I love playing the Imperial forces while my Jedi boys try to take me down. With both a Campaign Mode and a Skirmish Mode and plenty of Star Wars miniature figures and tons of map tiles, the game play seems endless. Huge thumbs up!
See our full review of Star Wars: Imperial Assault.
Get a copy of Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion
Star Wars Empire vs Rebellion card gameAges: 10+, Players: 2, Time: 60 min

Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion is a 2-player card game where players square off to seize control in military and political battles of the brewing galactic civil war. One player will play as the Rebel Alliance and the other will play as the Galactic Empire – each with their own, unique deck of cards. The main objective of the game is to claim the Event cards (worth differing Victory Points) until one player has 7 or more Victory Points at the end of a round. It’s a light card game that’s easy to pickup and play with your child, parent, sibling or buddy. They don’t have to be Star Wars fans, but it’s much funner when they are. Good grab for under $15.
Read our review of Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion.
Get a copy of Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion

Star Wars Galactic Dice Game
Star Wars Galactic Dice GameAges: 7+, Players: 2 – 8, Time: 15 min

Roll six six-sided dice with iconic images from Star Wars to rule the galaxy. The rules are similar to Farkle in that three-of-a-kind gets you 100 times the value. You also get points for single rolls of Darth Vader (100 points) or Yoda (50 points). If you set aside some scoring dice, you can re-roll the others, but if you ever roll without any scoring dice, Jabba takes your points. However, if you score all six dice, then the Force is strong with you, and you can re-roll all six if you want to press-your-luck. The first person to score 5,000 points wins. Pick it up for under $10.
Get a copy of Star Wars Galactic Dice Game

Star Wars: The Card Game
Star Wars Card GameAges: 10+, Players: 2, Time: 60 min

Like most of the Star Wars 2-player games, Star Wars: The Card Game also has one player taking control of the Rebels and one player commanding the Empire. The game is set in the time period of the original trilogy. Each player has a deck of objective cards representing various missions plus a deck of player cards of units (characters, vehicles, droids and creatures), events, enhancements and fates. Game play consists of deploying cards to a tableau, attacking opponent’s objectives, defending their own objectives, and committing cards to the Force Struggle. Since it’s a “living card game”, there are plenty of additional card decks available to beef up the game.
Get a copy of Star Wars: The Card Game

Star Wars: Armada
Star Wars: Armada board gameAges: 14+, Players: 2, Time: 120 min

In Star Wars: Armada, players assume the role of fleet admiral, serving with either the Imperial Navy or Rebel Alliance. Using high quality, detailed miniatures, players assemble their fleets and engage the enemy on a massive galaxy board that fills a table. Fantasy Flight Games is hitting on all cylinders with their use of the Star Wars license to create immersive game play. And Star Wars: Armada is a great example of such game play.
Get a copy of Star Wars: Armada

Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebellion board gameAges: 14+, Players: 2 – 4, Time: 180 – 240 min

Star Wars: Rebellion is an epic board game where players control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. Both sides command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to their cause. Given the differences between the Empire and Rebel Alliance, each side has different win conditions. Featuring more than 150 plastic miniatures and two game boards that account for thirty-two of the Star Wars galaxy’s most notable systems, Rebellion features a scope that is as large and sweeping as any Star Wars game before it.
Get a copy of Star Wars: Rebellion

Of course, you can also find a huge number of Star Wars tie-ins to popular board games like Star Wars Monopoly, Star Wars Stratego, Star Wars Battleship, and Star Wars Risk.


 

Digital Board Games:

Over the last 5 years, it’s been amazing to see how many board games have gone digital. And this digital explosion, instead of taking people away from the physical face-to-face board game playing, has helped fuel the explosion of the board game industry this decade. People find out about board games in digital form and then go by the physical board game. It’s quite interesting.

So if you want to go an iTunes gift card route as a gift, here are 11 very popular digital implementations of fun board games to be snagged:

There you have it – a list of 41 fantastic board game ideas to give your loved ones this year.

(By the way, did you notice for how many of these games we mentioned, “our review is coming soon”? That’s because we’ve got a pile of great games to do full reviews of. Who knows, maybe you’ll snag a copy and find out for yourself before our full reviews are up. Either way, trust us, they’re great.)

And if you want to glance back at our page Board Game Gift Guides, here are the links:

Have a fantastic time gift giving!




 

Comments: 2

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No Galaxy Trucker digital game? Even though it is mentioned by many as one of the best digital implementation of the board game?

 

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    Petr – Since Galaxy Trucker was #11 on our list and just missed the cut, we’ve gone ahead and changed it to 11 popular games instead of 10.

     

    Reply

 

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