5 Board Game Christmas Present Ideas

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The Season is getting late yet there is still time to order some great games just in time for Christmas and the holiday season!  Today I will discuss 5 games that I have not fully reviewed yet, but have played quite a few times and have enjoyed them all.

Smallworld by Days of Wonder

Smallworld by Days of Wonder
Smallworld by Days of Wonder

This game was recently introduced to me by a good friend.  In this game you gain control of various races or civilizations and vie for control of the world.  You score points for how many territories that you control and for achieving specific quests per say.

When you choose a race they are also matched up with a random trait.  This helps to make the game fresh and different each time that you play it.  Also, don’t get to attached to any one race as this game is about the rise and fall of them.  They splash onto the scene and before long it is time to move onto the next group so that you can continue to score points to win the game.

The game itself picks up fairly easily and plays with a very good flow to it.  With a limited number of turns to win the game it also helps to keep it to a good time frame when playing.  I have had a lot of fun with this game and am looking forward to many adventures with it.  If you want to add this to your collection, help support this site by purchasing Smallworld by Days of Wonder.

Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder

Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder

Ticket to Ride is a great game that has been on the scene for quite a few years and has enjoyed tremendous popularity.  I have played this game on and off again with friends over the last few years and every time we play I have a good time.

In this game you draw cards that give you perspective routes to complete on the map in order to score points at the end of the game.  Then you draw and play cards throughout the game to place your trains on the map in order to achieve your route goals.  This can be very challenging especially when other players are competing for similar routes to you.  You can also draw for new routes throughout the game, but beware that uncompleted routes will cost you points so plan carefully!

This game has enjoyed a lot of popularity do to the ease of play that it brings to the table.  It has a very simple concept and game play that not only make it easy to learn, but also helps to keep the game chugging along at a good pace.  There are also a lot of different expansions available for it as well now with new routes and totally different boards!  To add this game to your collection and help us out here, purchase Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder.

Shadows Over Camelot by Days of Wonder

Shadows Over Camelot by Days of Wonder
Shadows Over Camelot by Days of Wonder

Shadows Over Camelot is one of those games that I enjoy for it’s unique gameplay.  Time and time again I find myself voting for this one when my friend hosts his game nights.  Are you ready to help the Knights of the Round Table protect the lands?

This is a cooperative game with a twist… as their might be a traitor amongst the knights!  Overall gameplay consists of working together to complete quests to fill up the round table with white swords, before failed quests load it with black ones.  Also, one player could actually be a traitor and secretly working against the team.  I personally love this aspect as it always keeps you thinking about everything that is going on.

Quests involve things such as finding the Holy Grail or getting Excaliber, to fighting the Black Knight and invading forces.  Some quests are completed by one player only and others can be worked on by several players.  In the end it is a race against time as each turn bad things happen and you have to complete enough quests before it gets too late.

I would state that this game is a bit more involved and would be for a more experienced gamer.  There is a lot of rules and things going on, but once you understand the game it plays pretty well and does not take up too much time.  If you have an experienced gamer or someone that likes more detailed type games then this one is for you.  If Shadows Over Camelot by Days of Wonder intrigues you, then add it to your collection and help support this site!

Survive by Stronghold Games

Survive by Stronghold Games
Survive by Stronghold Games

Atlantis is sinking and it is up to you to save your group of people at all costs!  In this interesting game you start by building the island of Atlantis and placing your pieces on it.  This game keeps you on your toes as other players will be making it harder for you tin win in this highly competitive playstyle.

Gameplay consist of the island slowly sinking by removing pieces of the island on each turn.  As the island goes down it is up to you to use boats to help get your people to safety, but watch out for the seas monsters, sharks, whales, and most importantly… other players!  It takes a good bit of strategy and a little luck, but the more people of yours that you get to safety the better your chances of winning!

This is a quick paced and fun game, but it is definitely a competitive one. I particularly enjoy the building of the island in the beginning of the game as it helps to keep the game a little bit different each time that you play it as well as adding in subtle strategies.  It is a fairly easy game to pick up and learn as well and can be enjoyed by all ages. Add Survive by Stronghold Games to your collection and help support us here!

Talisman 4th Edition by Fantasy Flight Games

Talisman 4th Edition by Fantasy Flight Games
Talisman 4th Edition by Fantasy Flight Games

Talisman is a classic game reborn in this edition which updates a few things for better gameplay and adding in a few of it’s own twists.  You take control of a specific character in this game and roam the board in attempts to gain power and be strong enough to reach the center of the board to claim your victory.

This game is one of those games that does take some time to play, but in light of that can create some pretty epic moments.  Everyone starts off with a unique character with their own stats and special abilities.  As gameplay progresses, your character can grow in power with the acquisition of powerful objects, spells, and followers.  Once you feel strong enough and have your talisman, you can brave the center of the board’s challenges to reach the center and dominate your fellow players.

Planning ahead a little bit for this game helps as it can have long playtimes.  While there are a lot of rules per say, the game itself is actually pretty easy to pick up and play.  If you enjoy a good adventure over an evening of fun and laughs, then this game is for you.  It is always nice to have at least one epic game in your collection, so why not add Talisman 4th Edition by Fantasy Flight Games to yours!

Wrap Up

I have played all of these games and have had a blast with each individual one.  They all bring various different mechanics and gameplay to the table.  If you are not sure which one is right for you, feel free to ask questions in the comment section below and I will answer them for you.  I think that all of the games are definitely deserving a slot in your collection though as we know with games… the more the merrier!

James W D
james@familygamenightideas.com

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2 Replies to “5 Board Game Christmas Present Ideas”

  1. These board games all sound terrific and I’ve heard good things about Ticket to Ride. I absolutely love board games and want to instill this love and my children. We sat down at least once a week to play a board game. So I’m always on the lookout for something new. I have a rather smart six year old and an eight year old. Do you know the age guide for each of these games? It would be really helpful. Many thanks and have a great day.

    • Debra, Here are the recommended ages for the listed games here: Smallworld 10+, Ticket to Ride 8+, Shadows Over Camelot 12+, Survive 8+, and Talisman 9+.

      If your six year old is any like my youngest both Ticket to Ride and Survive should be fine games. Smallworld might also work, but I would think the other two are a bit more complex. I would also recommend Castle Panic as that is a good family game especially being a cooperative one.

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