Everybody loves games, but some people really love games! Whether it’s a friendly round of monopoly, or a marathon game of risk, for some people gaming is basically a way of life!
For people with friends and family fitting this description, the good news board games are a great gift for any occasion. The bad news is, it can be hard to find a game these fanatics don’t already have!
Fortunately, thanks to kickstarter and independant game publishing, we’re actually living in a golden era of gaming! We’ve rounded up a ton of lesser known indie games, that are super fun and well reviewed. Our hope is you will find something below that your gift recipient doesn’t already have and will enjoy for a long time to coe!
Co-Operative Game Gifts
* Co-Operative Gameplay * For 1-6 players * Est. 1 hour playtime * Ages 10 and up Castle Panic is a cooperative tower defense board game. The co-op element makes Castle Panic a great family game and the perfect kick-off for your weekly game night. You must work together to defend your Castle, in the center of the board, from Monsters that attack out of the forest, at the edges of the board. Trade cards, hit and slay Monsters, and plan strategies together to keep your Castle towers intact. The players either win or lose together, but only the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer. Players must balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win!
* Co-Operative Gameplay * For 2-4 players * Ages 11 and up Take on the role of Harry Potter and his friends to defend Hogwarts from Villains and their Dark Arts in order to save the wizarding world. With every turn you and your fellow wizards must defend magical locations including Diagon Alley, the Chamber of Secrets, and even the Quidditch Pitch from villainous attacks and Dark Arts events.
* Co-Operative Gameplay * Est. 60 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 13 and up Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters' strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. The diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.
* Co-Operative gameplay * Est. 30 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 10 and up You and your team can be the first to breach the borders of the Archaeans' ancient mystical empire in the collaborative card game Forbidden Island, by Gamewright. In this game, teamwork is essential to locate the Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean's Chalice as the Island floods beneath your feet. Adventure... if you dare!
* Co-Operative game play * Est. 15 min playing time * For 1-8 players * Ages 8 and up Recently stripped of your possessions, your group of down-on-their-luck adventurers has nary a copper piece between you. Your only option if youre to resume your dungeon-delving activities is to sack the local mall of valuables and supplies. Magic Maze is a real-time, co-operative game. Each player can control any of the 4 Hero pawns whenever he wants in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which other players do not have access: move north, explore a new area, ride an escalatorall of this requires rigorous co-operation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes wisely, and complete your mission before the sand timer runs out.
* Co-Operative game play * Est. 5 min playing time * For 3-6 players * Ages 10 and up Spaceteam is a fast-paced, cooperative shouting card game where you work together to repair your malfunctioning spaceship. Coordination with your team is crucial as you try to escape an impending black hole. Success is seeming just out of reach as you encounter one complication after another. Your only hope is to work together with your Spaceteam to repair the ship before it's too late. The Spaceteam Card game was adapted from the award-winning indie smash-hit mobile game of the same name. Spaceteam launched on Kickstarter in October 2015, and raised almost $200,000 from 5,000 people in the first 30 days.
Game Gifts For Everyone
* Est. 1-2 hours playing time * For 3-6 players * Ages 10 and up Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure... with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. Be sure to don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm... or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon. Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria. And, while they're laughing, you can steal their stuff.
* Party Game * For 2-5 players * Age 7 and up Exploding kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats. In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an exploding kitten, at which point they explode, they are Dead, and they are out of the game -- unless that player has a defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the exploding kittens. Exploding kittens is the most-backed crowd funded project ever, the most-funded game in the history of Kickstarter, and has paved the way for peace and tranquility in the modern world.
* Est. 3-4 hour playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 14 and up Star Wars: Rebellion is a board game of epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance! Experience the Galactic Civil War like never before. In Rebellion, you control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. You must command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to your cause. Featuring more than 150 plastic miniatures and two game boards that account for thirty-two of the Star Wars galaxy's most notable systems, Rebellion features a scope that is as large and sweeping as any Star Wars game before it. Yet for all its grandiosity, Rebellion remains intensely personal, cinematic, and heroic.
* Est. 45 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 10 and up Quest for the favor of the gods with Dice Forge, a board game from Libellud that challenges you to harness your powers and challenge up to three other players in a battle for dominance. During the game, your dice provide the resources you need, but throughout the game, youll change your dice, snapping new faces on and improving your chances of claiming victory. When the gods call an end to your contest, the player with the most glory wins the game.
* Est. 30-90 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 11 and up Your fleet of loyal ships, powered by the might of quantum probability itself, carries your empire to the far-flung stars. How will history remember you? As a ravenous destroyer? A clever tactician? A dauntless explorer? Command your armada, construct world-shattering technologies and rally the remnants of humanity for a final confrontation. With elegant mechanics, an infinity of scenarios and easy-to-learn rules that lead to deep gameplay, Quantum is a one-of-a-kind game of space combat, strategy and colonization that will satisfy both hard-core and casual players.
* Est. 30-60 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 12 and up Burgle your way to adventure in Clank!, the new deck-building board game. Sneak into an angry dragon's mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow. Be quick and be quiet. One false-step and -- CLANK! Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. You can only enjoy your plunder if you make it out of the depths alive!
* Est. 1-2 hours playtime * For 2-6 players * Ages 13 and up Step into the world of redneck life with "The Game of Redneck Life" where a roll of 2 dice determines the grade you complete in school, which sets you up for one of 11 fabulous careers, such as Mullet Salon Operator or Monster Truck Announcer! Journey through Blue Collar Americana using credit to buy vehicles, get married, purchase a home, get divorced, remarried, and raise a passel of young 'uns. Through accidents and brawls, players lose teeth during the game. Buy some back if you can, as the player with the most teeth at the end of the game wins!
* For 2-12 players * Ages 7 and up It's fun, it's challenging, it's exciting, it's Sequence! Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board. When you have five in a row, it's a Sequence. Learn to block your opponents or remove their chips, and watch out for the Jacks - they're wild! With a little strategy and luck, you'll be a winner. With touches of canasta, rummy, and poker, this game could easily become a Friday-night favorite
* Est. 60 min playing time * For 3-4 players * Ages 10 and up Your adventurous settlers seek to tame the remote but rich isle of Catan. Start by revealing Catan's many harbors and regions: pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert. The random mix creates a different board virtually every game. Proceed strategically! If you found your settlements in the right places and cleverly trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favour. But your opponents are smart too!
* Est. 60 min playing time * For 1-4 players * Ages 14 and up Plague Inc: The Board Game is a strategic game of infection, evolution and extinction based on the smash hit video game Plague Inc. with over 100 million players. Each player is a deadly disease, evolving unique symptoms to customise their pathogen as they compete against each other to infect cities across the globe and be the first to wipe out humanity! The engaging theme and intuitive game mechanics allow players to rapidly start the outbreak whilst the constantly changing world, advanced genetic tactics and contagious gameplay ensures repeat infections for years to come!
* For 2 players * Ages 6 and up In a world of smartphones, blue screens, tablets and gadgets, rekindle the joy of pure (offline!) fun with a 4000-year-old board game! Although the rules are simple enough for children, Mancala is also an indisputable source of joy and competitiveness for long-time players. Due to its combination of strategic and tactical skills, chance and fast-thinking, it is an all-time-favorite for newbies and seasoned board game masters alike. Mancala is known as the world's oldest board games. The legend says that it was played by workers during their breaks while building the famous Egyptian pyramids.
* Est. 115 min playing time * For 1-5 players * Ages 14 and up It is a time of unrest in 1920 Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as "the factory," which fueled the war with heavily armored Mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries. Scythe is a board game set in an alternate-history 1920 period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and Valor. In scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead their faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous Mech.
* Est. 45-60 min playing time * For 3-5 players * Ages 14 and up In Sheriff of Nottingham, players will take turns stepping into the shoes of the Sheriff himself, while others act as Merchants attempting to bring their goods into the city for profit! Beware though, while many may act as honest merchants, there is always the possibility of contraband being smuggled into the city!
* Est. 90 min playing time * For 3-6 players * Ages 14 and up King Robert Baratheon is dead, and the lands of Westeros brace for battle. Can you claim the Iron Throne? Taking control of the well-known characters from George R.R. Martin's beloved fantasy series, players must fight for dominance of the realm. Will you take power through force, coerce your way onto the throne with persuasive speeches, or rally the townsfolk to your side? With opportunities for strategic planning, masterful diplomacy, and clever card play, this game gives you a host of ways to spread your influence over Westeros.
* Est. 30-90 min playing time * For 5-10 players * Ages 17 and up The Voting Game begins when the first question card is revealed. e.g., Who would survive the longest in a zombie apocalypse? Players then vote anonymously for the player that is best described by the question. Results are tallied and revealed to the group - laughter is guaranteed! Each player guesses who voted for them. Players get one guess for every vote they received. If they guess correctly, the truth is revealed.
* Est. 30 min playing time * For 3-7 players * Ages 13 and up You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Gather resources, develop commercial routes and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times.
* Est. 1-2 hour playing time * For 2-6 players * Ages 14 and up Play your way out of the rat race by generating passive income through real estate, stocks, companies and more. The updated Cashflow starts you in a typical 9-to-5 drag of a job, from there youll battle to acquire stocks, houses, apartments, companies and more to build up your passive income until you graduate from the RAT RACE to the FAST TRACK (Where the real money is made).
* Est. 30-60 min playing time * For 3-16 players * Ages 13 and up Find out which of your friends is just as messed up as you thought! Each Round one player is the Judge. The Judge combines two Poison cards creating a really hard "would you rather...?" scenario. Players ask questions about the Poison cards and the Judge expands on them as they wish. Players anonymously "Pick their poison" and hope the other players agree with them. Votes are revealed and points are tallied by the Judge. The Judge wins when players disagree, players win when they vote with the majority of other players.
Kids Game Gifts
* Co-Operative Gameplay * Est. 20-30 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 5 and up Mrs. Plumpert's prized pot pie has gone missing, and now it's a chicken chase to crack the case! In Outfoxed, you move around the board to gather clues, then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects. You have to work together quickly because the guilty fox is high-tailing it towards the exit! Will you halt the hungry hooligan before it flies the coop or will you be outfoxed?
* Est. 20 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 8 and up Quick! Find a state that ends with the letter A. Now find one that borders Tennessee. Have fun learning about the United States in this madcap game of observation and quick reflexes. Collect state cards by matching them to a Scramble challenge. Or Go the Distance and find a states closest neighbor. Win the most cards and call yourself the Head of States!
* Est. 15 min playing time * For 2-5 players * Ages 3 and up As each Hisss snake slithers its way across the playing area it introduces color identification and visual logic: Does it make sense to have a snake with two tails and no head? Are those two colors the same or not? In this simple, elegant card game, players match colors and and make snakes from heads to tails. Long snakes, short snakes, purple, yellow and rainbow snakes. Finish a snake and add it to your snake pit. The player with the most snakes at the end of the game wins.
* Est. 15 min playing time * For 2-6 players * Ages 6 and up Primo the Monkey was fast asleep until his friends swung by for a surprise pajama party! Help Primo chase away the primate pranksters by flipping and swapping cards in numerical order. Watch out for elephants and giraffes who want to crash in on the fun. And if you're lucky, draw a wild monkey card to clear out the room in one clean sweep! The first player to stop the monkey mayhem and get Primo back to bed wins.
* Est. 15 min playing time * For 2-4 players * Ages 3 and up Too many monsters? Reach into the bag and feel around to find the pieces that fit your bedroom game board. If you pull out a monster, don't be scared just tell that silly old thing to go away. Then get rid of it for good by tossing it into the monster pit and out of your room. You take charge, and the monsters take off! Teaches shape recognition, sharing and cooperation, and best of all, a master over those pesky nighttime monsters!.
* Est. 15 min playing time * For 2-5 players * Ages 3 and up This game brings new meaning to the term full house. Just imagine what it would be like to have a herd of giant moose eating out of your refrigerator, sleeping in your bed, and bathing in your bathtub! The absurdity of the situation is enough to make you giggle, which is part of what this game is all about. Laughter is an important component of any group gathering, and There's a Moose in the House is the perfect game to bring out for a round of light-hearted fun. Just be careful if you invite a moose over to play, as they hate to lose!
* Est. 15 min playing time * For 2-5 players * Ages 3 and up Feed the Kitty is as simple as a cat's life. Mice are on the menu, and as they move from place to place, it's anyone's guess who will end up hungry and who will get to have a full belly. Will you be caught catnapping or will you pounce into the lead? The answer is all in the roll of the dice. The game is simple and fun for young kids to play. Just roll the dice and see which side it lands on. Depending on what you get, you can pass one of your mice to the next person, take a mouse from the bowl, feed one of your mice to the cat or even do nothing at all. It's a great way to develop your child's understanding of math. They'll learn how to count, add and subtract as they gain and lose mice.
* Est. 20 min playing time * For 2-8 players * Ages 10 and up Set sail for an exciting adventure of strategy and skullduggery in this captivating card game. Storm your opponents' merchant ships and seize valuable treasure. But watch your back, matey - plundering pirates are out to capture your ships as well! The player with the most loot rules the high seas.
* Est. 15 min playtime * For 2-5 players * Ages 8 and up Imagine a place where there's a queen of all pancakes, a king of cookies and a pack of over-protective dragons? If this sounds like something out of a dream, it actually is! Sleeping Queens was invented by 6-year-old Miranda Evarts, who thought up the game one night when she couldn't fall asleep. She awoke the next morning and with help from her older sister, Madeleine and her parents, Denise and Max created this wonderfully whimsical world of napping nobles. As you immerse yourself in the Evarts' fantasyland, you will find a game that helps develop memory, strategy, and elementary arithmetic skills. Just be careful when playing potion cards or you could wind up putting all the players to sleep!
* Est. 20 min playtime * For 2-6 players * Ages 6 and up A game of suspense, strategy, and anticipation. Get rid of the high cards (rats) and go for the low cards (cats). Sneak a peek, draw two, or swap cards for an added twist. Low score wins the game. A poker face helps! Delightfully witty pictures of cats (the good guyslow points) and rats (bad guyshigh points) illustrate each of the 54 cards. Young card sharks will develop a sense of timing and greater ease with numbers, and can begin to grasp the concept of probability.