Giving the gift of games this holiday season? Sick! … Don’t get sick. It just is sick. Clearly I am down with the lingo of the times…
Anyway! It’s always fun to try and get more people into board games with a starter game, or get the gamer in your life some nice accessories for their current favorites. Whether it’s for a Secret Santa, a stocking stuffer, a gift for bae, or something else entirely, here are some awesome gift ideas for gamers all under $25! Even fancier, I've linked to BGG pages in the titles, and sites for purchase in the descriptions. You are so welcome. Let's GOOOO!
As you've probably learned from some of my other posts (feel free to reread if you haven't figured it out), I'm no stranger to hardcore, heavy board games. However, that's not to say that I'm a hater of simpler classics and other easy finds. In fact, one of my all time favorite games is Splendor, and I have to admit that it's pretty simple. Despite that, it's actually a lot of fun and makes for a good beginning game, filler game, or family game. Here's the lowdown.
In the game, you are playing as a merchant in the Renaissance looking to acquire gems and, eventually, gem mines, hoping to own the most prestigious ones in order to be the richest of them all! (i.e. have the most points). You are also trying to use your riches to impress the nobles, thus earning you even more prestige.
That title's no joke. Fluxx is a simple, cute game that comes in dozens of different themes to appeal to everyone, BUT it can literally last a quick 5 minutes, or has the potential to go on for a few hours. Oh, that still sounds interesting to you? Well then... let's continue!!
No, we aren't actually going to the town in France (boom just gave you the definition of the game, and a quick geography lesson), we're just learning how to play the game. This is one of the simplest games I have ever played, so it baffles me that it comes with 7 pages of instructions - that's excessive if you ask me. But, if you really want me to hold your hand, I can walk you through the game one step at a time.
Step 3: Take all of the tiles out of the box and place them face down. You can slide them around the table to shuffle them up if you really want to, but it's pretty unlikely that anyone would have memorized each and every tile and where it was in the pile. So spare yourself the silly steps.
Step 4: Pick your turn order and proceed as such (see bullets below) for every turn. Literally every. single. turn. They are all exactly the same until you run out of tiles. It's not that exciting, I promise.
Look at that, I made a rhyme!
Red Dragon Inn is a game where adventurers (the playable characters in the game) stop at ...go on guess... yupp, an Inn, have a few drinks together, and maybe gamble a bit. You want to keep up your strength, and keep down your drunkenness, all while weakening others and making them drink, a lot.
This is not only one of my favorite games, but also a game I tend to dominant at. No really, I've only lost this game twice, and I've played over forty times. Some would probably argue that it's dumb luck and there's no real strategy to winning this simple game, but I care to disagree. So here are a few tips I tend to follow which may help you win a few rounds of Red Dragon Inn too.
1. Pick a Character you Like and Understand - I have to admit, I'm often guilty of picking my character based on who looks the coolest, but I learned in this game, that's not the best choice. All of the playable characters have their own individual deck of cards, which means they all have abilities and powers specific to them. Some are better at cheating during gambling, some are so strong they make their opponents lose fortitude (what your strength is called in the game), and others have magic that allows them to avoid drinking.
So sure, choose someone you like to look at, (you'll have to stare at their mug the whole game between your cards and your player mat) but also try out different characters until you find one or two whose powers you like and can use expertly (like by combining cards and chaining their effects to wreck your opponent).