There have been so many great releases (and new to me) this year and there seems to be no end in sight. Christmas is a time of getting together with the family. While we don’t get the cold weather that forces us inside, the weather is often too hot to be outside, so we have that going for us at least. I have tried to put together a bit of a list for what sort of boardgames I would recommend for a family with a wide range of interests and ages. You can always check out my list from last year as well to get some more ideas.
This year has been the year of the Roll (or Flip) and Writes. These games are often quite simple with a lot of strategy, meaning that they can appeal to the new to games and the serious gamer. Play a card or roll a dice and then add this to your own personal grid or map. These games are small setup and space (because who wants to move the pudding) and often played pretty quickly (under half hour). The picks of these would be games like Welcome To and Cartographers.
You are sick of playing Catan and have decided that it’s time to move on, not only that but some of the family have worked out the maths of the game and have decided to use this to their advantage. There are a couple here that I think fit:
- Orleans – a bit more complex than Catan, but pretty easy to explain to the new player. Still lots of building, but no trading.
- Carcassone – tile laying, the ability to out maneuver others, but readily accessible to younger players as well.
- Clans of Caledonia – you are still jostling for space but with the added element of working with an economy that is constantly fluctuating
If you are looking for chilled out strategy there are a few really good choices. With rich food, alcohol and noise Christmas isn’t always the best time to be trying out something with deep rule set or difficult decisions. There have been some great games that have been released over the years that fit this including Wingspan or the iterations of Azul and Sagrada are all great options.
If you are looking for something that is great, interactive fun you really can’t go past this year’s big winner – Just One. This game can be calm or raucous and allows players to come and go across the course of the game, if you wish. With a simple rule set, this is one that is really going to shine at the holiday period.
So with these games I think that there is a great range of experiences to have with the family. What else have I missed, and what would you recommend to take with you on the Christmas break?