Holiday Game Guide
It’s that time of year, everybody! The Holiday season is upon us! Break out the decorations, put another log on the fire, and get ready for shopping! Here at the Goblin Gazette, we wanted to make a holiday game guide for those of you who are looking to buy something for your special little goblin! Or maybe you’re like my family where you always play games when you get together and you’re looking to buy a new game that the whole family can play!
Well today, we hope we can deliver! For this post, there will be a recap for a lot of board games we already reviewed, with a link in the description directing you to a more detailed review of the game. There will also be some games that we have yet to play or review, but they are definitely on our radar! So here is our holiday game guide!
Looking for an awesome party game! Look no further! Two Rooms and a Boom is a super fun party, icebreaker game. This game is all about figuring out the roles of other players and using that information to gain the advantage for you team. There is the Red team and Blue team. The Red team has the Bomber, the Blue has the President. The groups are divided up between two rooms, with both teams mixed up between the rooms.
You must figure out who is on your team by sharing your character card with others in the room. The leader of the room must then decide who they want to send over to the other room, to mix things up. This happens several times during the game. At the end of the game, if the Bomber is in the same room as the President, the Red team wins. If the President is in the opposite room as the Bomber, the Blue team wins.
Pandemic is a four-person, strategy game where you work together as a team to find a cure for four diseases/viruses spreading across the globe. Each player receives a special character card, with special abilities. The board is a globe of the planet where little disease “cubes” spread and multiply throughout cities. Your characters will travel the globe and move from city to city to prevent the disease from spreading, removing cubes from the board, and collecting cards to eventually turn in and cure a disease.
However, there are several ways to lose, and only one way to win. There have been many times where I have played this game where it has come down to the very end. It is a super intense strategy game, with no competitiveness towards other players because you are all working together as a team against the game.
Forbidden Island is another great team game where you and other players (up to four!) are playing against the game itself. You and other players are a group of adventurers trying to gather four rare artifacts on an island that is sinking to the bottom of the sea. You and your team must gather all four pieces before the island sinks. Once again, there are several ways to lose this game, and only one way to win. You must collect all four pieces and all four adventurers must leave the island in order to win.
I love the set up of this game. Each area of the island is a tile on the board. You draw cards to figure out which areas (tiles) are sinking. If you draw one card for a specific area, that tile is flipped over and now has a blue tint to it to signify that it is sinking but can still be moved through. If the area card is drawn one more time, the tile is removed and that area is now gone for ever, under the sea.
Are you a fan of deck-building games, but don’t have the time or money to commit to something like that? Check out Smash Up, an awesome, low-key deck-building strategy game. This game is super simple to learn, has a lot of strategy and replayability, and it comes with all the cards you will ever need. The whole concept of the game is that you pick two factions of minions (for example, aliens, zombies, dinosaurs, or ninjas to name a few) and they battle it out on lands, bases, and territories.
To many minions on a base, breaks it. When a base breaks, awarded points go to the player who put the most, second most, and third most cards on that base. You can combine the factions to create different strategies and techniques for your smashed up deck. This game is great for the casual and competitive player, and you can also purchase several expansion packs to add different minions into the fray.
Codenames is a fun, laid back game that is great for the whole family. The concept is very easy. There are two teams, each team has a leader. The leader of each team looks at a grid that shows their team’s agent locations. On the board, there are codenames that correspond to the grid. The leader must look at the board and the grid and try to get their team to guess the appropriate codename to find their agent, without actually saying the codename. The game is so much fun, and surprisingly intense! If the leaders team guesses wrong, that could either lead to the other teams agent being picked, or finding the assassin, which is an automatic loss. Whichever team finds all their agents first, wins the game!
The Resistance is a deductive reasoning game. Each person receives a character card. You will either be apart of the resistance, or a spy, trying to ruin the resistance and make it fail. Each round, a person will be in charge of picking a team and going on a mission. Once the team has been picked, everyone votes to approve or disapprove of the mission. Upon approval, the mission starts and the players chosen put cards into a pile. These cards are either a success or failure.
If you are a spy, you will want the mission to fail, and if there is one fail card among the pile, the mission will fail. But you have to chose wisely, because only the spies no who they are, but no one else knows who is who. This causes a lot of fun disputes, accusations, and finger pointing. If there are three successful missions, the resistance wins. If, by the end of the game, the resistance doesn’t have enough successful missions, the spies win!
If you are looking for a fun, goofy, crazy intense game, then Spaceteam is the game for you! This game allows up to six players to play. You are all on a spaceship (a space team if you will) and suddenly your ship starts to get swallowed up by a black hole. Your teams ship starts to malfunction and fall apart, and you only have about 5 minutes before you are entirely sucked up by the black hole. You must work together to fix your failing ship and get all systems back up and running.
You rifle through card decks to fix malfunctions. In order to fix those problems, you must have specific tools. But those tools are limited and scattered among your teammates. So you must yell out the name or describe the picture of the tool that you need. That tool must be past along to you, all while others are desperately doing the same. On top of that, you will come across fun cards that will cause even more chaos, like getting up and rotating seats, exchanging hands, and becoming silent until you teammates notice and help you. This game makes for a great ice breaker game. It forces people to work together and communicate.
This game is another deductive reasoning, who-done-it type game. One Night Ultimate Werewolf might possibly be one of my favorite games. Each person receives a card with a specific character on it. The people, or villagers, try figuring out who the werewolves are, and the werewolves must avoid getting caught. Once everyone has a character and knows their role, the night phase begins. During this phase everyone closes their eyes and in order, each character wakes up and performs their role. A character might move other character cards around or look at someone else’s character card.
When everyone is done, people open their eyes and discuss what happened during the night, trying to figure out who are the werewolves now. There is a lot of finger pointing in this game, and trying to figure out who is lying and who is telling the truth, and trying to figure out what happened during the game. The worst part is, you might have become a werewolf yourself, and not even know it! There have been many fun and intense (and playful) arguments during this game, making it super funny and intense. This game was a no brainer for me; it had to be on the holiday game guide.
Game Reviews Coming Soon
Smallworld is a strategy game, similar to Risk. You have several different factions from elves to orcs, to trolls and dwarves. Each faction also receives special power-ups. This allows for a lot of replayability and different strategies every time you play. The board consists of a world that is, well… small. There is constant conflict and taking of land and resources between you and other players. Each faction you play eventually goes into decline and therefore turned in for another faction and special ability.
However, you must strategize to use each of your factions to the best of their ability and gain enough money and resources at the expense of other territories and players. This game is fast paced and can require a lot of strategy, but anyone who understands the rules of the game can still have fun and still have a chance at winning. If you want to know more, check it out here!
Concept is a very similar game to charades. The only difference is that you use pictures to describe the answer (or concept) to other players. This game is super easy to understand, but can be difficult to express your answer to others when it is your turn to describe it with pictures. There is a board with all different kinds of pictures describing anything from ficitonal or historical persons, colors, and body parts. The answers you get can be quotes, people, places, ideas, etc. And you can chose easy, normal, or hard answers. This game is quite enjoyable and is always a family and friend favorite. I haven’t met anyone that has played this game and didn’t like it. If your interested, here it is on Amazon
Wits and Wagers is a fun, betting-numbers game. Someone reads a question out loud (example: How many stairs are in the Eiffel Tower?). Everyone writes a number down on a card and puts it on the table. Once everyone has an answer, the cards or shown and tossed out on a betting table. The highest number is for the lowest odds, and the lowest number is at the highest odds. Once the cards are put in order, everyone bets with chips on the number(s) they think is correct. Then the actual number is read and who ever bet on the closest number without going over, wins chips according to the odds. This game is a classic for my family! If this sounds like something you would like, check it out here.
Well, hope you all enjoyed our holiday game guide with our favorite board games here at the Goblin Gazette! What are some of your favorite games that you play around the holidays? What board game are you asking for a holiday gift? Tell us in the comments below and share with us some of your favorite games!
Happy Holidays from all of us at The Goblin Gazette!
Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann