As December days pass, the pressure of finding the perfect gifts for your friends and family grows. Fortunately for you, we’ve got tons of recommendations to make the hunt much easier! For this listicle, we’ve put together a list of fun and exciting board games that you and your gaming buddies will surely love to play over the holidays. Check them out below:
If you want something relaxing yet highly entertaining, Wingspan is a great game to pass the time. It is a competitive, card-driven, engine-building strategy game wherein you attract the best birds to stay in your nature reserves.
Gaming Library explains: “You are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats (actions). These habitats focus on several key aspects of growth: Gain food tokens via custom dice in a birdfeeder dice tower; Lay eggs using egg miniatures in a variety of colors; and draw from hundreds of unique bird cards and play them. The winner is the player with the most points after 4 rounds.”
Lovers of dragons, this game is for you! Flamecraft is a collaborative engine-building game where players bring a magical world to life where their dragons can thrive.
Gaming Library explains how to play the game: “1-5 players take on the role of Flamekeepers, gathering items, placing dragons, and casting enchantments to enhance the shops of the town. Dragons are specialized (bread, meat, iron, crystal, plant, and potion) and the Flamekeepers know which shops are the best home for each. Visit a shop to gain items and a favor from one of the dragons there. Gathered items can be used to enchant a shop, gaining reputation and the favors of all the dragons in the shop. If you are fortunate enough to attract fancy dragons then you will have opportunities to secure even more reputation.”
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3. Kingdomino Origins
Rule over the kingdoms in Kingdomino Origins!
According to Gaming Library, “Kingdomino Origins plays similarly to the original game but introduces new components for additional actions and new ways to score points. Regions in your territory will earn you points if they contain fire. Fire is either part of your terrains or earned by adding dominoes with volcanoes. There are three game modes to play: The first one introduces fire and volcanoes; the second mode uses wooden resources; and the third one features cavemen tokens. You will earn points by collecting resources and additional points when you have the majority of a type of resources. These resources allow you to bring cavemen to your territory, and each type of caveman has its own way to give you points based on their position.”
4. Azul: Master Chocolatier
Ever dreamed of becoming Willy Wonka and owning your dream chocolate factory? With Azul: Master Chocolatier, you get to play against other people to create the most delicious chocolate selection of them all.
Here’s what Gaming Library has to say about the puzzle game: “Azul: Master Chocolatier includes double-sided factory boards, with these tiles being placed on these boards at the start of each round. One side of the factories is blank, and when using this side the game plays exactly like Azul. The other side of each factory tile has a special effect on it that modifies play in one way or another, putting a twist on the normal game. Additionally, the tiles are modeled to look like chocolates and other treats, despite remaining as inedible as the tiles in the original game.”
Strategy board games may be intimidating for beginners, so here’s one of the best we can recommend for them: Everdell, a city builder that mixes worker placement and strategy card game that’s easy enough for first-timers to understand and enjoy.
Here’s what Gaming Library has to say about the game: “Within the charming valley of Everdell, beneath the boughs of towering trees, among meandering streams and mossy hollows, a civilization of forest critters is thriving and expanding. From Everfrost to Bellsong, many a year have come and gone, but the time has come for new territories to be settled and new cities established. You will be the leader of a group of critters intent on just such a task. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, and events to host—you have a busy year ahead of yourself. Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?”
A great puzzle game for all ages, Cascadia is all about tile-laying and token-drafting while educating players on the habitats and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.
Gaming Library explains: “In the game, you take turns building out your own terrain area and populating it with wildlife. You start with three hexagonal habitat tiles (with five types of habitat in the game), and on a turn you choose a new habitat tile that’s paired with a wildlife token, then place that tile next to your other ones and place the wildlife token on an appropriate habitat. (Each tile depicts 1-3 types of wildlife from the five types in the game, and you can place at most one tile on a habitat.) Four tiles are on display, with each tile being paired at random with a wildlife token, so you must make the best of what’s available — unless you have a nature token to spend so that you can pick your choice of each item.”
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