It’s December and for a chunk of the populace that means Christmas shopping. Those of you who celebrate the season and have tabletop gamers in your lives might be looking for what games to buy them. We’ve got your back with our Top Ten Tabletop Games for Christmas 2015. These are games that are either available in bricks and mortar stores here in Australia, or available for import from large online retailers. We’ll also cover all prices so if you’re on a tight budget you still have choices. Games marked (Stocking Stuffer are smaller / cheaper / filler games).
Top Ten Tabletop Games for Christmas 2015
T.I.M.E. Stories board game
“T.I.M.E. Stories” has already hit bricks and mortar stores in Brisbane (and has probably already sold out), but if you can’t find it on store shelves you will find it online. “T.I.M.E. Stories” is one of the games that garnered so much hype this year and not just from reviewers, but also the gamers themselves. The catch, it’s a scenario based game, so once you’ve played it, you’re unlikely to play it again, upside there’s already an expansion and more to follow. If you’re looking for something you know the gamer in your life is going to love, definitely check out “T.I.M.E. Stories” from publisher Asmodee. Aussie RRP of $80.
T.I.M.E. Stories, one of the big buzz games of 2015. Scenario driven with expansions to give it more longevity (one out so far).
Roll for the Galaxy game
Got some deep pockets, check out “Roll for the Galaxy” from Rio Grande Games. Retailing at around $96 in Australia and technically from last year, “Roll for the Galaxy” uses a dice mechanic in which players build up space empires. “Roll for the Galaxy” plays with 2-5 players and we think you’d be hard pressed to find a better dice chucking game for this year. “Your dice represent your populace, whom you direct to develop new technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods”. The player who best manages his / her workers and builds the most prosperous empire wins! This is a big box game, so though $96 is pretty steep, you’re getting a fair bit of galactic bang for your buck.
Roll for the Galaxy, a little expensive, but a lovely game.
Broom Service game
2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner (that’s THE kids board game award of the year) “Broom Service” isn’t just for kids. Sure it’s officially ages 10 up and winning the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner sort of reeks of kids game, but no, adults will have fun with this one too. “Broom Service” sees players delivering potions via their Broom Service throughout a magical realm. “Broom Service” is a well-balanced card-based game with a hand-management and luck mechanic. Not one for “serious” gamers (if the gamer in your life turns their nose up at games that look ‘kiddiefied’ avoid), but definitely one for gamers who enjoy just having fun and kicking back. Particularly good if they play some of their games with younger players (though not necessary). Aussie retail around $70-$75.
Broom Service! Looks like a kids game, fun for adults too.
7 Wonders Duel – two-player game
If the gamer in your life has been a gamer for a few years chances are they own a title called “7 Wonders”. Chances also are they may not own the new 2-player version of that game “7 Wonders: Duel“. Retailing at around $55 here in the land down under, if you can find this one it is a must buy. If the gamer in your life is more often than not left playing tabletop games with just their partner, must must buy.
7 Wonders Duel. 7 Wonders especially for just two players.
Above and Below game
Looking for some cute fantasy / world building / choose your own adventure style board gaming? Look no further than “Above and Below” from designer / artist Ryan Laukart (of Red Raven Games). A big box game with a really sweet game mechanic of building up a village ‘Above’ and “Below’ ground. Don’t be fooled by the cartoony look of this one, it’s a reasonably deep game with some really nice touches. The board gamer in your life will love you if this appears under the tree this festive season. Aussie RRP around $92.
Build Above and Below, a really nice story driven, fantasy world building game.
Pandemic Legacy game
Okay folks this is a big one, you MUST have “Pandemic Legacy” in your gaming collection and if you’re purchasing for the gamer in your life, this is THE game of the year. Sure it’s a ‘legacy’ game meaning you can really only play it through once for full effect, but that ‘once’ is a multitude of hours, days, weeks or months of gaming, dependent on how often you game. A wonderful game and a fantastic Christmas gift. Retailing in Australia for around $110 and available in most bricks and mortar stores and online stores, just get it! Check out our full written “Pandemic Legacy” review if you still need a clip across the ear about it.
Don’t worry, there’s no spoilers, we woudn’t do that. Pandemic Legacy, the MUST HAVE game for the gamer in your life this Christmas.
Stocking Stuffer Tabletop Game Ideas
Strapped for cash? Fear not, we’ve got cheaper games for the tabletop gamer in your life.
The Game card game – Stocking Stuffer
Looking for a great Stocking Stuffer, look no further than “The Game” (yeah dumb name). “The Game” is a seemingly simple card game that sees up to 5 players (1-5) working together to play all cards from their hands to the four discard piles. The catch? Two piles you can only play lower than the last card played, the other two piles you can only play higher than the last card played. There’s also a cool mechanic in which you can wind the piles up or down by ten by matching the number by exactly ten over or under the last card played. It all sounds easy, but it’s not, you see the other rule is, you can’t directly tell the other players what cards you have in your hands. “The Game” was a 2015 Spiel des Jahres Nominee and it retails at a mere $25 (and you can get it even cheaper online). Check out our TL;DR review.
The Game, great stocking stuffer for gamers and non gamers alike.
Codenames deduction game – Stocking Stuffer
Ahh “Codenames” you cheeky devil, yes this one was a surprise hit, not only with us here at Gameapalooza when we snagged one early, but also to many other gamers too. “Codenames” comes to us from CGE (Czech Games Edition) and is a deduction card game based in the spy genre. Reminiscent a little of games like “Battleship”, “Codenames” sees players trying to uncover the identities of their spies before the spies of the other side uncover all of theirs. Despite the pasted on theme, “Codenames” is a wonderful little game with an Australia RRP of just $35, meaning it just scrapes in as a stocking stuffer. Check out our full review if you need to know more, but we think anyone getting “Codenames” this Christmas season would be mightily happy.
Codenames by Czech Games Edition – Loads of fun!
Patchwork two-player game
Time for another Stocking Stuffer, though a little on the top end of that category. “Patchwork” is a wonderful two-player only title from Uwe Rosenberg (a well know game designer). If you read out TL;DR review for “Patchwork” you’ll know we rather like it. We think if you’re looking for a great two-player / relaxing game for the tabletop gamer in your life, this is it. To top it if it’s not overly expensive, coming in at around $45 from some online retailers (including amazon).
Get some Patchwork in your Santa sack people!
The Grizzled card game
A game that even has a little bit of Christmas in it, “The Grizzled” from Cool Mini or Not is a grim but beautiful “cooperative game about survival in the trenches during the first World War, where players win or lose together”. We loved this game and its clever game mechanics. If you’re looking for a nice little card game for the tabletop gamer in your life, look no further than “The Grizzled”. Available in bricks and mortar stores in Australia (we’ve seen it in a few) or you can easily get it online. Price in one Aussie store we spotted it in was a mere $26. Great stocking stuffer!
The Grizzled, a tragically beautiful little filler game. Perfect for Christmas.
There we have it. We think these games are awesome and will make the gamer in your life happy on Christmas morning. We would certainly be happy to receive them… if we didn’t own them already.