Ric’s Holiday Buyers Guide

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I love Winter holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Chrismahaunakwanzaa, there’s plenty of love to go around. One thing I am terrible at: buying gifts. I also seem to be just as bad at having gifts purchased for me. That’s why the wishlist is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the stuff I’ll have on my list, and that you may want to consider adding to yours.

7 Wonders Duel

The game 7 Wonders is a staple of many a board gaming collection. A card drafting game with a ridiculous number of ways to score victory points, it does a great job of scaling to however many players you have. Two players, however, has a few shortcomings. Enter 7 Wonders Duel.

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You know all that stuff I said about 7 Wonders? Ignore it. This game is solely for 2 players, and its mechanics work a bit differently. I have done some research and don’t even know the rules that well myself, but every person I have spoken to about this game speaks very highly of it, usually calling it the best two player game ever. That works for me.

Buy 7 Wonders Duel on Amazon

Jaipur

I put this card game down as a recommendation for two player games, and I had mentioned I would be picking it up quickly. But I didn’t! And that’s dumb! Jaipur is a great little card game that I think I would always find myself willing to play. It’s quick, so you could squeeze in a play right before bed. Hopefully it makes it under the tree this December.

Buy Jaipur on Amazon

Tales of the Arabian Nights

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I have wanted this game for a very long time. You remember “choose your own adventure” books? This is like the board game version of that, except there are SOOO many more outcomes. You pick skills at the beginning of the game that will help you make the choices in each of your encounters. For example, say you come across a vicious attacker. Are you going to fight him, or try to buy him off? Or maybe instead you beg for your life? The results of the encounter depend on the skills you have, and success may lead to treasure or victory points. This game is definitely one where I don’t even care about winning – it’s going to be all about the experience. I look forward to sitting down with this game for a night and going on a great journey with some of my friends and family.

Buy Tales of Arabian Nights on Amazon

Splendor

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I really should already have a copy this game. I consistently qualify this as my favorite game that I don’t own. Splendor is not a game that will blow you away or that comes with a giant, ‘never before seen’ twist. Instead, Splendor is an almost perfectly balanced game with simple mechanics that still lead to a great amount of strategy. This is a bit of a thinking man’s (or woman’s) game, but that’s definitely fine with me.

Buy Splendor on Amazon

Junk Art

Junk Art

I had the privilege of playing this game with Ryan and his family at the Atlanta Game Fest, and I am very impressed with its design. What you really have here are about 15 games all in one box, using the same pieces. The game suggests that you do 3 different rules sets for one game, but you can add to that if you’d like. One rule set may have you building with 10 blocks as quickly as you can. Another set of rules may have you and the other players trying to build on the same set of blocks, with the loser being the one who knocks it all down. I didn’t get to see all the sets, but I know that I was having just as much fun as the kiddos. I think dexterity games are usually great entry points for your non-gamer friends, and this is one that I believe will definitely get the party going.

Buy Junk Art on Amazon

Do you have a game that would make an amazing gift this holiday season?  Post your favorites in the comments below and help our readers buy the perfect game for their loved one.

  • Ryan Gutowski

    Junk Art is so good! This was definitely one that we’ll be picking up in the future. Just make sure you have a steady table. I’m blaming all my losses on the table the last time we played.