We’ve all been there at some point in our lives; it’s the week of Christmas, the holidays are in the air, and you’re trying not to panic because you still don’t have all of your Christmas gifts figured out. Whether it’s a Secret Santa gift you’re not sure about, or a close friend or family member who is particularly difficult to give gifts to, you’ll sometimes find yourself scrambling for something to wrap up and give out on the 25th. As someone who has a tendency to pick up gifts last-minute, I’ve gotten used to going to a store with a vague idea about what to buy someone but not knowing for sure until I actually see it. This year was the first year in a long time when most of my Christmas shopping was done well
beforehand, so I am on the outside looking in to the hectic last-minute rush, but I can honestly say I’ve felt your pain. So, in order to help with your struggles, I’ve compiled a list of some fun and simple board game gifts that you can find easily in stores this week!
Now obviously, board games are not the perfect gift for everybody. There are plenty of people out there who, for some reason, don’t enjoy board games as much as me. But for nieces and nephews who enjoy playing kids games or for older friends who like to host an occasional game night, there are some great options out there for you to find. Below I’ve listed my top ten Christmas gift games you can find in stores this week:
- Apples to Apples– Apples to Apples is a great family and/or party game, and luckily enough it’s still around in stores pretty much everywhere you look. The game focuses around choosing the noun card that best fits a card picked by the judge. Fun and easy to play, it’s relatively cheap and popular among friends.
- Clue– The mystery-based board game has gone through some changes since it was first created, but at its core it’s still the same game we all played as a kid. A popular game for youn
ger audiences, I’ve used it for the occasional game night too so it’s not completely outdated for older groups. Make sure that the person you get this for doesn’t already have the game before you buy it for them!
- Headbanz– The new version of an old game, Headbanz takes “Who Am I” and simplifies it for younger audiences. This game is fairly popular now and can be found in stores like Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us.
- King of Tokyo– I found this game at Target when I bought it, and its popularity hasn’t waned since so it is definitely available in a number of different places. A topic of my most recent blog post, King of Tokyo is a dice rolling game that is perfect for all kinds of gamers.
- Pandemic– Pandemic is a very popular cooperative game currently on the market, so it can be found pretty much anywhere you look. It is slightly more complicated than the average game, but is a good purchase for people who like to have friends over on a regular basis and would be interested in trying something new.
- Quiddler– A less known game created by the designer of the card game Set, Quiddler is not the most common of games but I’ve seen it in department stores and most frequently in Toys R Us. The game revolves around spelling out words with letter cards and trying to use up as many
cards in your hand as possible. Good for kids as it helps with critical thinking and mental acuity.
- Qwirkle– The colorful mix and match game, Qwirkle focuses on matching shapes and colors to form groups and earn points. A good game for younger audiences, but also has appeal to older groups. The game is a bit older than some of the others so it might not be in every store, but it’s considered a staple of the board game industry and shouldn’t be too hard to find.
- Settlers of Catan– It’s fairly self-explanatory as to why this game is on the list. Settlers is considered one of the most important board games in the industry’s growth and is a heck of a lot of fun to play. If you know someone that doesn’t have a copy of this game, go to any store and you’ll be able to buy it for them (along with many of its expansions).
- Sorry!– A game that brings back memories for me, Sorry has been a popular game for a while. Based on moving four pieces around the board, the trick is to avoid getting your pieces knocked off by other players as you race towards the finish. While the original is probably hard to track down, the newer version of the game is available in most stores.
- Ticket to Ride– The ever-popular railroad expansion game is pretty pricey in comparison to others on this list, but is worth it if your friend or family member hasn’t played the game or doesn’t have a copy. The game focuses around building rail tracks from city to city, and can be found in all of the major stores without any difficulty.
This list isn’t all-exhaustive, and is more meant to prove the over-arching point that board games can be a good last minute gift for anyone on your list this year. Walking around a game section of a department store is a good way to find something that fits a person’s personality and offers a fun and interesting gift idea for a number of different audiences. To those of you who still have gifts to buy, good luck, and enjoy your holiday rush!