Holy shit! Christmas is almost here and you:
a) don’t have a gift yet for a friend who plays games
b) don’t want to hear your dumb fuck family members arguing about Obama and Fox and “gay rats” and “white male privilege” any more
c) want to help defray my cost of running this site all year
What do you do? Consider picking up one of these games to round out your 2013.
Trust me, it might save your life.
Or the life of your bastard uncle Gooberballs McCracken.
Games for four people or less
Boss Monster is a fun little game for up to four players. Think of it as a table top game set in the art style of a Nintendo side scrolling dungeon video game like Ghost & Ghouls or Castlevania. Except you’re the biggest, baddest boss monster and you’re trying to kill the hapless heroes.
I recommend this game for contentious families / friends because while it is competitive, it is not directly competitive most of the time. This game is best for groups who can’t be trusted to play a collaborative game, but chances are also high your aunt may shank someone at the table if the game gets too fierce.
Games for six or more players
Because of our Board Game and Burger Night we’ve cultivated a ton of games that can be played with three to 6, 7, 8 or more players. I have quite a few recommendations here.
Bang! is a great card game for four to seven players. Action is fast, game play is relatively easy to explain, and depending on the group you might break this out just as an excuse to say you want to bang everyone at once. Here’s my review.
Castle Panic is a game we’ve owned for a while but we’ve really started playing it more frequently this year. It’s a game we love to hate, so when someone at the table is feeling particularly grumpy or punchy we bring it out so we can all yell and swear and get all of that vitriol out of our system. Castle Panic is a hoot.
King of Tokyo is an absolutely adorable game about monsters trying to assert their dominance over Tokyo. The game play is really easy to pick up and time flies by while playing. The game scales really well from three players up to six.
Games for big crowds
I know it’s expensive, but the Zombicide Base Game is an incredible value and is definitely the best game I played all year, and one of my favorite games of all time. We have logged a ton of hours playing this game and I liked it so much I participated in the Kickstarter community capital raising for the expansion. This is my review of the base game. Two expansions have launched since this game came out, and getting them all at once is a pretty big investment. Start with the basics and see if your friends and family love this game as much as ours do.
7 Wonders is another card game that supports up to seven players. The game is a lot easier to play than to explain, but I will try to do it justice. You play a great historical city and attempt to gain points by making things, building up centers of knowledge and wonder, building a military, or establishing a flourishing culture. Of course, you can’t do all of these things (usually) so you have to understand what everyone else is doing and try to make the best decision. The draft mechanic is great and means that the game is different every time you play.
If you’re reading this blog you probably already own Cards Against Humanity but here’s my recommendation just in case. Cards Against Humanity is played similarly to that old snoozebag Apples to Apples. The biggest difference is that the cards in Cards Against Humanity (CAH) are all horribly inappropriate and should only be played by reprobates. See why I think you already own it?
You can also pick up any of the five retail expansions. I recommend subscribing to the Cards Against Humanity email list, as they often have extremely limited run cards that are seasonal or given out at events.
Here’s my combination review of Cards Against Humanity and We Didn’t Playtest This At All, the latter of which seems to be out of print right now.