Snow is on the ground. There’s a chill in the air. If you listen closely, you can hear sleigh bells ringing in the distance. Do you know what that means? It means Christmas is upon us, and the holiday is right around the corner! Just because we’re nearing this festive day doesn’t mean that your time for shopping is over, not by any means. So, keeping that in mind, we wanted to put together our own little holiday suggestion lists to help you pick the best gifts for your gaming friends this year. You’ve seen lists from other I:T staff, and now it’s time to put my spin on things, so here we go!
Light Game – The Resistance (Indie Boards & Cards)
I love games that include deception. While The Resistance isn’t too big on story (which can be changed with the right imagination), the game does an amazing job of keeping players immersed in its world. It will take a handful of friends – at least 5 – to enjoy the game properly, but if you are willing to devote some time you can get many intense games in before your night is over. Players will go on missions as they try and deceive each other, the Resistance members trying to succeed against the Empire and the spies fighting to see the Resistance fail. The Resistance is an inexpensive, amazing game that nearly anyone will love. It’s quick to set up, and you can play a whole multitude of rounds even within a half hour time span.
Heavy Game – Battlestar Galactica (Fantasy Flight Games)
I know you’ve seen this already on Kae’s list, but that only means it’s that more important. Of all the game’s I’ve played that take some serious involvement, BSG takes the cake. As a fan of the series, I feel that Fantasy Flight Games has outdone themselves by keeping the game’s core gameplay well-aligned with the television series. This is a game of strategy and deception. You’ll need to stay on your toes as a human player while trying to flush out the cylon traitors, and as a cylon player you need to play your cards right – literally – to avoid detection. The character roles hold true to the series, and character abilities sync up near perfectly with those from the show. The only issue with this game is that it has the potential to ruin friendships if you let it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a handful of fun. Plus, the expansions only take immersion further by adding more characters and Crisis cards that dive even deeper into the series.
Family Game – Pandemic (Z-Man Games)
An oldie, but goodie, Pandemic is a great game for the family. You’ll all work together as a team to eradicate diseases to save the world. Now this game does require a bit of thinking, but if you work as a team and help each other out you can get through it. Pandemic offers a lot of fun, and if you pick up any of the expansions for it you’ll never play it standalone again.
Party Game – Cards Against Humanity (Cards Against Humanity)
When I think about party games, Cards Against Humanity comes to mind instantly. Not a game for the younger audience, CAH is a great game for horrible adults. Think of this game as a naughtier version of Apples to Apples, which is awesome. Players take turns asking each other questions and playing cards to answer them. The funniest answer earns the owning player a point, and the game continues on. I think CAH is a great game in small doses, as you’ll no doubt get through the entire card library in one sitting if you are determined. Thankfully there are expansions to keep things interesting, which is a great bonus! If you’re looking to hang out with some friends, have a beer, and play a fun game. CAH gets my vote.
Two Player Game – Warmachine (Privateer Press)
It may be a bit involved, and I may be a little bias, but Warmachine gets my vote for a two-player game. For $100 you can pick up a two-player starter set and get to work in the world of Immoren. Players build armies, paint models, and set them to battle across a field of your own design. This game is great for two players, as it can be played right in the comfort of your own home. Should you decide to venture out, however, you can do so with ease and find even more players to go against! Whether you’re wanting to play with your best friend, family member, or even spouse, Warmachine is a great game to try out and get into. The amount of time you can invest in this game will no doubt create a bond that’s great for a couple to share.
Stocking Stuffer – Straw (AEG)
If there’s one game I really enjoy just popping out and playing, it’s Straw. The game is extremely easy to learn, easier to set up, and fast-paced. It’s a great push your luck game, and players of nearly all ages can enjoy it. Take turns putting weight on the camel, but be careful not to break its back, or you’re out of the round! What’s better is that the game isn’t expensive, so it makes a great gift for multiple people on your list that will fit right into their stocking with ease!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my recommendations, and be sure to click on the game links to pick up copies of them for yourself! If you hurry you can get things delivered before Christmas, and then you can wrap them and get them right under the tree. I’d love to see some of your recommendations, as well as what you hope to get this year. Tell me what you think below!