From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
It’s that time of year again – the time to panic buy a present for yourself or another gamer in your life. But what to get? Just ‘any’ board game won’t do; the world does not need yet another edition of Monopoly. Luckily there are plenty of good games out there, and I have selected these 5 as the best you could look for.In each case the name is a link to Board Game Geek where you can find more information and images.
In this game up to 4 players compete to build the best zoo they possible can, filling it with animals from around the world to attract the most patrons and sponsors. Zoos can be enhanced with international partnerships and other arrangements. This game is best known for its punishing scoring system, which will often see you finish the game with negative points. Play time: 2-3 hours.
Best for: Dedicated gamers who enjoy a longer gaming session that provides challenge as well as enjoyment.
Lost Ruins of Arnak is a game of exploration for up to 4 players, and comes with a single-player mode too. Here are are competing to explore the lost land of Arnak and find hidden treasures and (hopefully) avoid or tame fearsome monsters. Players have to balance exploration with knowledge, devoting their time to completing their journal as well as exploring new locations. The Indiana Jones type theme makes this game quite approachable. Play time: 1-2 hours.
Best for: Lost Ruins of Arnak can be enjoyed by casual and experienced gamers alike. The rules are easy enough to learn, and there is plenty of depth to keep you coming back. The two-sided boards also provide variety.
Nidavellir is a fast and fun card game where you try to recruit norse dwarfs into your army to protect the realm. The best way to do this of course is to offer some coin in the local tavern. Attract warriors, smiths, scouts, rangers, and miners into your force, but always put some time aside to increase the value of your coins. Recruiting one of each type allows you to recruit a hero of the land, adding more depth and power to your force. Nidavellir can be played by 2-5 players and will be over in 40-60 minutes.
Best for: A party game for experienced gamers, or a fun game for casual players, Nidavellir offers value to anyone who likes board and card games.
Splendor was released in 2014, making it the oldest game on this list. We really are in a golden age for tabletop games. Its popularity keeps it in print and you will have no issue finding a new copy. Splendor sees up to 4 players being jewelsmiths competing to attract the attention of powerful patrons. Set up your supply lines and produce the gems your potential patrons want to see. Splendor take 30-60 minutes to play, depending on the experience in the group.
Best for: Splendor is a great gift for people just discovering the wider world of tabletop games, and also makes a great after dinner game that experienced gamers can bring out and play without either being bored or befuddling their guests.
Wingspan is a multi-award winning board game all about birds. Each player has a boar din front of them, and can use food to attract the various biard sin the game to their forests, plains, and waterways. The game itself will provide bonuses after each round for certain achievements, which are randomly selected at the start of the game. No two games play the same, with the variety of birds and challenges making for a different experience each time you play. The game has a few moving parts but is surprisingly easy to learn and play, providing depth through the abilities in various bird cards. Wingspan plays with up to 4 players, and will take 1.5 – 2.5 hours to play depending on the experience of those playing.
Best for: Wingspan provides a challenge for more casual gamers, but it’s one they can have fun with. Experienced gamers would do well to have a copy on their shelf. If the experienced gamer you know already has a copy, an expansion of birds of Asia hits the shelves this month, providing new play modes and challenges – and of course more birds!.
Whoever you are buying for (or trying to drop hints to) there should be something in this list for you!