𝟭𝟬 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗚𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬! 🎁

It’s nearing the middle of November (how, we don’t know either) so it’s about that time to start thinking about the Christmas craziness!

While Christmas this year might look a little different, the silly season certainly will not! 

In fact, thinking about your Christmas gifts earlier this year will absolutely help ensure that your giftees (yes, that is word, we will fight you on this) will get exactly what they want under the tree, despite longer shipping times and lower stock levels everywhere. 

Here at Gameology we’ve thought of everything, so in addition to ordering a BUTT-LOAD more games for you guys to enjoy between now and Christmas,  we’ve also compiled a list of the 10 best games that make great Christmas gifts for any age and ability! 

Check them out below:

1) Azul

A fantastic 2-4 player abstract game, Azul is one of the best ways to introduce new players to the weird and wonderful world of board games! 

Tasked with searching Portuguese factories and their leftovers for beautiful tiles, players compete to build the most beautiful wall possible and gain the most victory points at the end of the game.

End game is triggered when a player constructs a full horizontal row of tiles, but fear not, as this rarely means said player will win! 

Points are gathered during and after play based on a number of different rules, easily turning this seemingly innocuous beginner game into a tense war of strategy with each play. 

2) Betrayal at the House on the Hill

An excellent immersive experience for 3-6 players, Betrayal is an acclaimed thematic game for good reason.

Horror surely awaits as suspense looms over the creepy House on the Hill where the layout and scenarios change every play!

In this constantly evolving game, players will work together to build a haunted mansion  - or will they?

Suddenly, you feel a waft of a misty air breeze against your skin and hear the faint desperate scream of a long-gone fair maiden carried on it…

The Haunt has begun and someone isn’t at all who they seem.

Survivors must now work together to uncover the Betrayer and escape the confines of the House before they become the next ghost of the manor!

Arguably one of the best value-for-money board games currently on offer as no two plays are ever the same, Betrayal and its expansion - Widow’s Walk - that introduces an entirely new House level to build and explore, are the perfect addition to any board gamer's collection.

3) Sushi Go! Party

A great game of family fun, Sushi Go! Party is the ultimate game for foodies of all ages!

The fast-paced 2-8 player game builds on the wild success of its predecessor, Sushi Go!, where players dine at a sushi train, trying to grab the best combo of dishes as they whirl past.  

Players score points for collecting the most sushi rolls or for crafting a full set of sashimi. Players score extra points by dipping their favourite nigiri into wasabi as well. 

Sushi Go! Party builds on this, allowing players to customise each game by choosing “a la carte” from a menu of more than 20 dishes.

But, beware the sushi you allow others to take - it might be exactly what they need to win!

4) Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

One of our pre-order must-haves out now and a perfect gift for board game fanatics, Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a 1-4 player strategy game drawing on all the epic best-bits of the Gloomhaven realm and condensing them down to an easy-to-digest version for casual gameplay. 

Playing directly on a scenario book featuring new artwork and 25 new and unique adventures, Jaws of the Lion builds on the combat-centric mechanics of its predecessor, while also inviting heroes to explore more of their worlds and investigate a series of mysterious disappearances across their cities. 

One of the best ways to slowly and almost inconceivably transition friends and loved one’s alike to the universally praised Gloomhaven big box, you’ll need to get in quick, as release day will surely see a sell-out!

5) Pandemic

A classic 2-4 player cooperative saga perfect for the current circumstances, Pandemic sees players work together to fight off four deadly diseases that are rapidly spreading across the world. 

As players move across the globe setting up research stations, using their unique character advantages and gathering city cards to eradicate the virus at those locations, the game has other ideas. 

Each turn, the game and its viruses try to thwart these noble efforts, raising the infection level and causing outbreaks in neighbouring cities and countries. 

Can you and your team of doctors and scientists rise to the occasion and help find the cures? 

6) 7 Wonders: Duel

A compact 2-player version of its parent game of the same name, 7 Wonders: Duel is the perfect gift for twosomes stuck in #iso who want all the fun of playing a big group game, but lack the big group to play it with!

Like the original 7 Wonders game, players draft cards over three Ages to acquire resources or develop their military/scientific knowledge to advance their civilization and build their respective Wonders. 

Duel sees players draft cards from a tabled display instead of simultaneously, meaning that timing and gaining bonus moves will be the overarching mechanics that govern play. 

The player with the most points at the end of the game, wins, unless of course you’re cunning enough to develop your military or scientific knowledge beyond your civilisations capability...

7) Wingspan

A wonderful strategy game for 1-5 players, this fast-paced engine builder will not only see players fawn over the excellent game mechanics, but the beautiful artwork and componentry as well!

Players are bird-enthusiasts seeking to attract only the best birds to their wildlife reserves. 

Taking turns to draft bird cards on their player boards that will extend a chain of powerful combinations within each habitat, players will focus on gaining the most points to win by game end by meeting bonus round criteria, laying eggs on nests, cacheing food on birds and tucking birds underneath other birds. 

But beware, the amount of turns available after each round is drastically reduced as players move through the game. 

An addictive, visually appealing game, Wingspan and its Euro Expansion are guaranteed to delight whomever is lucky to receive them!

8) Obscurio

From the publishers of Dixit, Dice Forge, Mysterium and the soon-to-be-released Athenuem: Mystic Library, Obscurio is the must-have 2-8 player semi-cooperative game that delights and astounds with its visual mastery!

Combining image-based communication and secret role playing, players are encouraged to work together to collectively guide the team towards the exit of the immense library. 

But players be warned, the Sorcerer is out to mislead and keep you from ever escaping, unless you can uncover their identity before it’s too late!

Supported by rich contents and a fantastic gaming pedigree, Obscurio is a fantastic family and party game alike, designed to be enjoyed by the masses but varied enough to play over and over again!

9) Nemesis

One of the most anticipated games of the year, Nemesis is the ideal space-themed survival adventure gift for the hard-core board gamer in your life. 

A 1-5 player semi-cooperative sci-fi horror game, Nemesis is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Navigating their way across a decimated spaceship filled with hostile organisms, players must complete a set of objectives and board an escape pod back to Earth in one piece.

But all is not as it seems.

Player objectives are both cooperative and individual in nature; so who do you follow? Who can you trust? Players won’t know, right until the very end!

A fantastic game that builds and settles climactic moments across play, Nemesis is an immersive experience that is both enjoyable and enjoyably frustrating at times. 

10) Oceans: Deluxe Edition

A visually stunning stand-alone game in the award-winning Evolution series, Oceans is a 2-4 player interactive engine-builder, based upon, you guessed it - the ocean!

Players aim to cultivate the most productive ecosystem by building and evolving the various species they draw, keep or discard from their hand each round. 

By using Surface and Deep card abilities to their advantage, aiming to feed their organisms or risk them going extinct, players must also navigate between two unique scenarios that activate and deactivate at certain points. 

Experiencing a varied, challenging and constantly-changing game play that sees them adjusting their strategy to win, this game is the ideal gift for experienced board gamer's seeing their newest challenge. 

Why the Deluxe Edition you ask?

The upgrade is well worth it as in addition to receiving all base game components, owners also receive the 5-6 player expansion, upgraded acrylic components (*drools*), printed card sleeves (*double drools*) and silky drawstring bags adorned with beautiful and vibrant artwork in which to hide your fishy-loot. 

The Deluxe Edition just adds that little something special to the gaming experience - and extra expense that will seldom go underappreciated by the recipient. 

 

 

Aaaaaand there you have it, our definitive list of the best Christmas gifts to satisfy every level of board gamer this silly season!

Think we missed a game? Let us know!

Comment below what board games you’re planning to nestle under someone’s tree this year or tell us what you’re adding to your Xmas wish list!

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