Quick Picks: 5 Board Game Gift Ideas

Board games have come a long way in the past decade. The introduction of adult-friendly party games, new interactive games that are actually fun and challenging for the whole family, and new technologies that allow you to integrate your TV or other gizmos have all helped make the board game – and board game nights – cool again. Plus there’s also the fun retro feel of being a square and staying in to play board games, and possibly get drunk, on a cold Canadian winter’s night.

My favourite place to browse and shop for board games is boardgames.ca. Simply titled, it’s easily got the best selection that beats out any board game department in any toy store (although do check there first to save yourself some shipping $$$). I’ve talked about board games before, but today’s post is simply to direct you to five games that might help you cross off a name on your holiday shopping list.

1) Best Party Game You’ve Never Played

Would You Rather? $13.95-$38.95
My friend bought Would You Rather? when we were vacationing in North Carolina and looking for something to entertain us on the road. What followed therein was a few of the most hilarious nights in my life, compounded by the fact I bought the adult version (‘Sick, Twisted, and Wrong’) for us to play when we were back home. The gist of the game is to try and determine the possible consensus among the other players regarding some pretty messed up questions. For example, “Would you rather stick your hand up an elephant’s rear end or lick a cadaver?” There’s more to it than that, but it provokes tons of discussion, reveals interesting facets of people’s personalities, and gets lots of laughs while it’s at it. You can either pick up a board game version of the kid-friendly or adult incarnations, or get your toes wet with one of the party game card-based versions for just $13.95.

2) Best Replacement for Monopoly

Ticket To Ride – $54.95 (+++ expansions)
This game has really taken on a life of its own, as the 21st century answer to the ‘property game’. Ironic, given it deals with a relatively antiquated form of transportation – the train. Regardless, ┬áthe game is set at the turn of the previous century. The aim is to collect cards to ‘claim’ train routes across America. The longer your route, the more points you earn, which logically means you win. Along with the base game have come many a expansion pack or variation on the game. While it’s not quite as expansive as the Monopoly universe, if you’re looking for a different take on the ownership-driven board game, Ticket to Ride is just the ticket.

3) Best Card Game

Killer Bunnies $10.95 a pack
My sister – and I’ll say this just this one time in my life – is not a nerd. Nor are her friends. And yet they can be found at a local pub once a week playing Killer Bunnies for hours at a time. What is this game you ask? Well it’s something akin to the card-duelling games out there. You know…like…Magic, The Gathering. The aim is to collect carrot cards, one of which is revealed to be the winning card at the end of the game. In order to obtain carrots you must off your fellow bunnies through various means of destruction. There are a bajillion Killer Bunnies expansions that allow this game to be quite, well, expansive. If you’re looking for a fun, addictive way to gather your friends on a regular basis, Killer Bunnies is a cheap, non-repetitive way to kick things off…but be forewarned, you’ll be snapping up those expansions in no time (perhaps as additional gifts!).

4) Best Canadian Game

The All Canadian Trivia Board Game $39.95
Learn something while you play with the All Canadian Trivia Board Game. A takeoff on Trivial Pursuit, the game challenges you to answer questions related to geography, history, the arts, and general factoids related to our great nation. The latest incarnation incorporates questions from the original, supplementary, and Millennium versions making the game feel fresh and new all at once.

5) Best Stocking Stuffer Game

Pass The Pigs Party Dice – $17.95
This little game packs a surprising wallop of fun. Essentially you throw two dice that are shaped like pigs. Depending on how they land, you earn points and get to roll again. If, however, they land in an undesirable position, you will lose all of your points that you collected on your turn. Almost kind of like Wheel of Fortune and how you risk going bankrupt. The aim is to collect a set number of points before anyone else does, which means the game can go either lightning fast (as it did the time my sister rolled her way to victory on a single turn) or be a nail-biting cat and mouse wherein you decide whether to go for the big bucks or settle for a few points. A little pricier than your typical stocking stuffer, this pint-sized game is a perfect, fun activity for Christmas morning.

One Response to “Quick Picks: 5 Board Game Gift Ideas”
  1. ianthecool says:

    Would you Rather is one of the worst games there is. However, Ticket to Ride is great and Killer Bunnies is a lot of fun.

    And Pass the Pigs, I almost forgot about that game!

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