The board games category is always a solid choice when looking at gift ideas. And whether you know someone who loves classic board games, or someone who is into the newer tabletop games, you can always find a great present idea when browsing through new board games.
But, I’m here to help you take out the guess work, as I’m somewhat of a board games guru (my level of skill in Settlers of Catan is unprecedented).
With that being said, here are 8 new board games for some great gift ideas:
The majority of this list doesn’t feature games aimed at families, but we’re going to include Spuntuneous because of how fun it is. The game is a hilarious and interactive family party board game that makes a great board game gift for music lovers of all ages. Players hear a word, and the first song that pops into their head with that word is belted out gloriously. The goal is to stump the other players from being able to sing a portion of a song containing your trigger word. It’s an award-winning board game, and it’s one of the top new board games of 2015, especially for families.
Price: $29.99 (14 percent off MSRP)
Sapiens is one of the shorter games on this list, having about a 40 minute playtime. But, that doesn’t make it any less awesome. It’s a domino-like game that’s actually fun, and is playable with up to four players. As clan chief, players will guide their people through the valley, hunting and gathering food, discovering safe caves to shelter them from winter and interact with other nomad groups. Connecting tiles to create a path for your tribe through the valley. At the end of the game, players compare their domains, and the player with the most points in the weaker domain wins the game.
3. Fief: France 1429
Fief: France 1429 is one of those games that will create a perfect evening, meaning it’s super long. Games last from 2 to 3 hours usually, with up to six players. It feels like Risk meets Game of Thrones: The Board Game. Players assume the roles of nobles in the 15th century Kingdom of France, with each player trying to become the most powerful ruler in the Kingdom. To do so, they’ll have to gain control of Fief and Bishopric territories. They’ll acquire Royal and church titles to give their families influence over the lands, with players strengthening their claim to the throne by negotiating marriage alliances between families, setting the stage for a brand new Red Wedding. It’s easily one of the best new board games available.
Price: $51.99 (31 percent off MSRP)
Elysium is from the makers of last year’s Splendor. It’s quickly rising in the ranks among gaming groups because of its high replay value and fast-paced direct player interactions. In the game, players take on the role of an ambitious demigod who is trying to claim a spot on Mount Olympus. To do so, players will have to recruit heroes, acquire artifacts, undertake quests and earn the favor of the gods. The goal of the game is to earn as many victory points as possible (like in Catan), with Victory points being won mostly with legends that players will write through the cards they’ve transferred to their Elysium. The game is well-made with great-looking graphics, and it’s well worth the price of entry, making it one of the best board game Christmas gifts this year.
Price: $40.26 (33 percent off MSRP)
5. Sheriff of Nottingham
Sheriff of Nottingham is not only fun to say, it’s fun to play. The game is engaging and social, as players have to bribe, bluff and negotiate on potential deals. It’s great for some laughs, and it’s the first game in the new Dice Tower Essentials line of games. In Nottingham, players take turns playing the Sheriff, with others acting as merchants and attempt to bring their goods into the city for profit. But, there’s always the possibility of contraband being smuggled into the city, and it’s your job as Sheriff to keep the city clean. It’s one of the best Christmas gifts out there that works universally well, as it will quickly become the favorite game of most gaming groups.
Price: $25.50 (27 percent off MSRP)
6. King of New York
King of New York is a fast-paced, simple game that’s like its predecessor, King of Tokyo, although it’s a bit more in-depth, with more decisions to be made. Each game takes about an hour to play, and it’s playable up to six players. It contains cool artwork, and it’s a lot of fun. There are buildings to stomp, vengeful military units to destroy, and the game comes with six brand new monsters to play. The object of the game is to defeat the other monsters, rule the city, and become the King of New York.
Price: $31.80 (36 percent off MSRP)
7. Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
With the zombie craze being an all-time high, it’s only right that a company (Plaid Hat Games) came up with a zombie-themed board game that actually works well. Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game is for ages 13 and up and up to five players, and each game can last up to 100 minutes. The game pits players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a zombie-overrun world, and each player leads a faction of survivors to victory. Players must work together to earn victory, and the game has many different outcomes. Sometimes, no one will win, other times a few players will win, and other times all players will win. It’s all about how your character overcomes their psychological imperative to reach victory, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun (although, what else would you expect from a zombie board game).
Price: $43.60 (27 percent off MSRP)
8. Catan 5th Edition
If they’re a board game geek and they’ve heard about Settlers of Catan but never got into it, Mayfair Games (the company behind the game) has created an updated game this year, simply called Catan 5th Edition. It simplifies and clarifies the rules, and the board and cards have updated graphics on them. It’s best played with four people, and it’ll make and break friendships, for sure. It has tons of replay value, and it’s literally the best board game ever made. Period. Whether you’re looking for cool gifts for boys or great toys for girls, Catan is a great choice.