Our HUGE board game gift guide 2021 has over 50 recommendations for every kind of board game lover and game night fanatic. Including all types of games, accessories, and apparel that will make the best gifts for board game lovers! Time to get gifting in this board game gift guide for 2021!
Whether you are a board game lover yourself or know someone who loves board games, this board game gift guide will give you all of the best ideas to use as gifts for board game lovers during the Holiday season! From board games to apparel to board game accessory gifts, we here at Game Night Gods have gathered the best gift ideas for board game lovers!
Shopping for a board game lover can be a little tricky sometimes. The first gift that comes to mind is of course, a board game! But how do you know which ones they already have or would even be interested in playing?
While we have a TON of board game and card game ideas listed below in this board game gift guide 2021, we also have a bunch of great gift ideas for that board gamer lover that aren’t actually games, and are more geared towards board game accessory gifts. You can read below for all our gift ideas or skip to the non game gift section using the outline links below.
Holiday Board Game Gift Guide 2021 Outline
Board Game Ideas for Holiday 2021:
- Best Gifts for the First Time Board Gamer
- Must Have Board Games for All Board Gamers
- Best Party Game Gift Ideas
- Best Board Game Gifts for the Solo Board Gamer
- Subscription Box Gifts for Board Gamers
- Stocking Stuffer Games (Small and Cheap Games)
- Hidden Gem Board Games
Non Board Game Gift Ideas for Holiday 2021:
Board Game Gift Guide Ideas for Every Type of Board Gamer
In this section, we will dive deep into all of the best board games that are perfect gifts for every type of board gamer. If you know someone who loves board games, then giving the gift of a board game this Holiday season will sure make someone’s face light up bright.
This section includes the best gifts for every type of board gamer, including the first time board gamer, must have games for all board gamers, best party game gift ideas, best board game gifts for the solo board gamer, subscription box gift ideas, stocking stuffer games, and hidden gem board games that we know all board gamers will love.
It’s time to get gifting! Here are our suggestions for the best board games to give as gifts this Holiday season.
Best Gifts for Board Game Lovers & The First Time Board Gamer
Board gaming is an awesome hobby that is definitely worth getting into. You may know someone who is looking into playing more board games or you may be trying to find unique ways to introduce someone into board gaming. What better way than to give the gift of a board game!
This list of board games is a great place to start, as all of the games below are perfect for the first time board gamer, and expand beyond your classic board games such as monopoly and scrabble. We like to consider these types of games “gateway” games as they are fun games that ease new gamers into more in depth and immersive board games that experienced board gamers enjoy.
Catan is one of the most popular board games on the market for board gamers looking to expand their horizons and enter the ever growing board gaming hobby. Catan’s simple structure of building and trading involves some light strategy that is great for new gamers and old gamers alike.
Catan is first on our list because we feel as though every board gamer should have this game in their board game collection. The foundation of Catan consists of players trying to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. Catan is one of the most popular strategy games on the market because it’s simple components are easy for all audiences to understand and enjoy. Where else could you trade sheep for wood!? If you know someone who is a new board gamer who enjoys simple board games but wants to dive deeper into the rabbit hole of board gaming, then you should definitely give them the gift of Catan this holiday season.
2. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is one of the best board games out there for people who have never played anything beyond roll-and-move games. It’s a fun and simple game that is easy for both young and adult players alike to quickly understand.
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.
This game is downright fun and can be played with 2-5 players. The rules are simple enough to write on a train ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets. It’s easy to learn and quick to play, while still involving some light strategy.
I guarantee that after playing a round of Ticket to Ride, new players will be wanting more. It is very family friendly making it a perfect game for the holidays. As an added bonus, Ticket to Ride is available in many sequel games that offer journeys through new cities and countries such as Europe, New York City, Japan and more!
Kingdomino makes a great game for newer board gamers as it is easy to learn, has a short play time, and an affordable price tag. The game offers great artwork and gameplay. All of these aspects make Kingdomino a great game to introduce to friends or family who have yet to set foot in the board gaming community.
The basic gameplay consists of each player having their own castle where they must use “dominos” with varying terrains to make a grid around their castle. These game pieces allow players the ability to create lakes, fields, plains, mines, and more. The goal is to combine similar terrains together in order to gain more points.
This game is simple to play, yet involves some light strategic play when picking tiles that will enhance your kingdom or prohibit players from enhancing their own. We feel that Kingdomino could really be at the top of the list for one of the best games for new board gamers on the market today.
4. Tiny Towns
Tiny Towns is a board game where players are tasked in planning and building up their town, one building at a time. This board game is for 1-6 players and can be played within 45-60 minutes.
In Tiny Towns, you are a mayor of a tiny town in the forest. The small creatures in the forest have crafted a civilization far from predators and need help collecting scarce resources and building materials. Each player must cleverly plan and construct a thriving town within the forest.
The gameplay mechanics in Tiny Towns consists of each player obtaining a 4×4 grid that represents a town. Resource cubes are placed in specific layouts to construct buildings and grow your town. But be careful! Once a resource is placed, it cannot be moved unless constructed into a building. Each building that is constructed scores victory points!
The game ends when no player can place any more resources or build any more buildings. The player with the most victory points at the end wins! This is a simple and fun game that would be great in a new gamer’s board game collection.
Must Have Games for All Board Gamers – Board Game Gift Guide
That board game lover in your life might have many games that they play over and over again, but their board game collection might just be scratching the surface of the board gaming hobby.
This section is filled with the best board games that they never knew they needed, but will be oh so glad to have! Beautiful components, great replay ability, and lots of fun are what lies ahead with these board games.
5. King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo is a fast paced, high stakes, battle for power, board game! The name says it all, each player must fight to become the one and only King of Tokyo, but be careful not to lose too many hearts while in power! This game is great for geeks who love mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens. Pick your monster and get ready to fight!
In order to win the game, one must either destroy Tokyo by accumulating 20 victory points, or be the only surviving monster once the fighting has ended. King of Tokyo is a 2-6 player game that is quickly learned and can be played in about 30 minutes.
Carcassonne is a top notch game that offers great pacing and approachability for new players making it a must have for all board game collections. Gameplay consists of turns where each player draws and places a map tile. They must choose whether or not to place one of their game piece “followers,” also known as meeples, on that tile.
Tiles consist of objects such as roads, fields, or cities. Each tile must match up with the edges of a tile it is placed next to. There are other rules to the game, but they are very simple to learn. A new player will be able to get the hang of the flow of gameplay after just a few rounds.
The game is scored at the end by how your “followers” were placed on different valued tiles. Carcassonne is played in about 40 minutes and has many different expansions that ensure great replay ability.
With beautiful tile playing pieces, Azul is one of the most visually pleasing board games out there. Azul can be played with 2-4 players in about 30-45 minutes.
The premise of the game consists of players taking turns drafting colored tiles from their suppliers and placing them on their player board. Players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate their own palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets with your tiles. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Azul brings an air of simplicity, elegance, and beauty, making it a great game to play on those nights you just want to relax and chill. We recommend you rip this one open right away to enjoy with friends and family, as it will surely lead to a fun game night on your holiday.
Dominion is a board game for 2-4 players that can be played in 30 minutes. Each player starts with an identical deck of cards. Another set of cards are placed in the center of the table. These cards can be “purchased” once players are able to afford them.
Players must construct their own deck of cards by purchasing cards and playing their hand depending on which cards they draw. The goal is to create the most efficient path to victory points before the game ends.
Dominion comes with 500 cards! You select 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include in any given play, making Dominion a very replayable game. Play your cards right and you just might be victorious!
Our go to cooperative game for first time co-op players, Pandemic, is a high stakes, thought provoking strategy board game that offers players the opportunity to work together to find a cure and save humanity!
It is the perfect gift for the holidays for board gamers who haven’t stepped foot into the co-op board gaming world. Pandemic is a must have for every board game collection as it offers players a chance to work together, rather than against each other, which some players might find more appealing. While the gameplay itself might be intense at times, players sometimes have more fun playing a game where everyone playing wins or loses, rather than having only one winner.
The main goal of the game is to prevent the spread of deadly, contagious diseases. You must work together to stop a shared threat and save humanity. Each player has their own specific roles that grants them a special ability in the game to help the team as a whole. Work together and find the cure before your chances run out!
Wingspan is probably the most well known engine building game to a lot of people, and most likely the first game that you will play in this genre of board games. It’s a competitive, medium weight, card-driven, engine building board game that is a must have tableau building game!
Wingspan is played with 1-5 players and gameplay can last between 40 to 70 minutes. In this board game, you are a bird enthusiast who is researching, watching, and collecting birds with the main goal being to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves.
A player’s actions consist of creating powerful combinations of birds and habitats that will gain you food tokens, lay eggs, and draw from hundreds of unique bird cards. You must use strategic gameplay to plan ahead and choose wisely when playing these unique bird cards.
The winner is the player with the most points after four rounds. Wingspan is a great engine building game that will be sure to take flight at your next game night.
Featuring cute creature meeples and beautiful components, Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement. It is one of our favorite engine building games that is played with 1-4 players in about 40-80 minutes.
In Everdell, a player will be the leader of a group of critters with their intents on performing different tasks. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host, and so on. It’s a busy road ahead!
On their turn a player can take one of three actions. The first action includes placing a worker on one of the board locations, events, or destination cards. Workers will perform actions that will further the development of a player’s tableau. The second action includes playing a card that will either generate resources, grant abilities, and ultimately score points. The final action is preparing for the next season as workers are returned to the player’s supply and new workers are added.
The game is played through the four seasons starting in winter and ending when the following winter ends. The player with the city that contains the most points at the end of the next winter wins. If your board game lover already has Everdell, have no fear! There are THREE expansions, Spirecrest, Pearlbrook and Bellefaire, that are available for the game. They may not be willing to buy them for themselves, making it a great gift for the holidays!
Splendor is a strategic engine building game played with 2-4 players in about 30 minutes.In Splendor, you must use your resources and recruit artisans to collect gems and become the most influential merchant of the renaissance. As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, you can invest in mines and recruit the most renowned artisans. Create a commercial empire of diamonds and gems to attract the nobles of the time and earn glory and prestige!
Turn-taking is fast: you have one and one only action! Watch your opponents, anticipate their actions and save your best cards. Try different tactics and strategies because only one player will become the richest and most influential guild master. With appealing components and fast gameplay, Splendor is a must have for board game collections and the perfect gift to give for the holidays.
Our FAVORITE cooperative game featuring all the best classic movie monsters, Horrified is an intense and sometimes scary board game for 1-5 players. Use teamwork to stop the monsters from terrorizing the town or suffer the consequences! Horrified highlights Seven of the most horrifying fiends including Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy,
Each monster requires a different set of rules and tactics to be defeated offering great replay ability. Fans of classic monster movies and the horror genre in general would love this game. We feel it deserves a place ok every board gamers shelf and would make a great gift for the holidays.
Best Party Game Gift Ideas for Game Night – Board Game Gift Guide
Board gamers are a diverse group of people. Some prefer simple straightforward easy play games while others cannot play anything that doesn’t contain some sort of strategy. Then there’s that group of board gamers that are here for the fun and laughs! This section is for you guys!
Here is our list of the best party games perfect for any occasion! Featuring unique, bizarre and downright hilarious components, each of these games are guaranteed to draw in a crowd and offer hours of high energy gameplay.
14. Sushi Go
Grab some chopsticks, because it’s time to give the gift of Sushi this Holiday season! Sushi Go is a fast paced card game for 2-5 players that can be played in as little as 15 minutes!
You are eating at a Sushi restaurant working to grab the best combination of Sushi dishes. Different cards can be made into unique combinations that score you points. Collect the most sushi rolls or make a full set of sashimi to gain you the most points to win the game! With so many combinations to be made, and a quick pace players will be hysterical with joy.
Choose your cards wisely and be careful as to which cards you let your neighbors take. They may be creating combinations of Sushi cards that will beat you. This simple “draft and pass” game is great for playing with board gamers and non gamers alike. Sushi Go is a great card game to add to your board game collection and have to have on hand for special occasions. It is easy to learn and loads of fun for everyone involved!
15. Cards Against Humanity
Looking for an adults only, mildly inappropriate, hilarious game to play with friends (maybe not family) while enjoying a few drinks after a long week? Then Cards Against Humanity is the game for you! It’s one of the best adult party card games that is bound to create tons of laughter while melting away the stresses of everyday life.
It doesn’t take much to get the hang of matching cards together to make up hilarious scenarios and wildly inappropriate statements. You may see this game advertised as a “party game for horrible people,”and this statement most certainly holds true when alcohol is involved.
Cards Against Humanity is one of the best games to whip out during a party with friends. The concept is simple, but you need to turn on your charm and sense of humor to make sure you are making the best combinations with the cards you have been dealt. You can never go wrong with cards against humanity. Just make sure your friends aren’t overly sensitive and can take a joke. Think of it as the perfect adult gift that can be played that same day so that you can enjoy as well!
16. Exploding Kittens
Kittens and bombs? What could possibly go wrong?! Exploding kittens is a fast paced, Russian roulette-ish card game perfect for parties! Get ready for high energy and a ton of laughs because you never know what cars you’re gonna get.
The website describes this game as “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions, and laser beams, and sometimes goats.” We think that speaks for itself, after all, who doesn’t love goats?
Exploding Kittens is known for being the most-backed game in kickstarter’s history. Meaning that people saw the awesomeness of this game before it was even released!
17. Telestrations and Telestrations After Dark
The hilarious drawing and guessing game, Telestrations is when Pictionary meetsTelephone! This game really has no winner making it the perfect choice for creating a lot of laughs and endless fun.
There are two versions of the game “Telestratons.” The regular version contains ordinary prompts that are suitable for younger audiences. Telestrations after dark contains mature content and is most definitely adults only!!
At the start of a round each player grabs their whiteboard booklet and chooses a prompt. They then flip the page and proceed to draw that prompt. Once everyone has finished drawing, players pass their booklet to the person next to them. It is then their job to guess the prompt from the drawing given to them. Once each player has made a guess, everyone passes their booklet to the next player for them to then draw the guess prompt. Play continues until each player receives their original booklet back. Players finish the round by flipping through their booklet and sharing the guessed prompts and drawings!
18. Jackbox Party Packs
When you’re in the need of a game for a crowd, Jackbox Party Packs are the way to go. They’re full of a variety of engaging unique games that will draw in a crowd. Think board game meets video game, the best part being everyone can sit comfortably around the room, no table necessary.
Each Jackbox party pack game comes with 5 games in one great pack. Jackbox is now up to their seventh pack! That’s seven options to choose from or if you’re like us, you own them all! Jackbox Party Packs are a great addition to your holiday festivities as well as being an awesome gift idea for the board game lover in your life.
19. Throw Throw Burrito
Card game meets dodgeball with this high energy slightly dangerous game. Yes, you heard that right. In case you didn’t hear us the first time, we said dodgeball and a card game in the same sentence and that game would be Throw Throw Burrito.
Now this game definitely requires an open area with no valuables that you don’t want to be damaged laying around. Once the game gets going the burritos will be flying so use caution when gifting this one. However, if the circumstances are right, Throw Throw Burrito is a super fun, high energy game that is bound to become a favorite.
The rules are simple. Collect cards, play your hand, and throw things at your friends! Playing this game for the first time was so much fun. Who knew chucking a squishy burrito at your friends face would bring so much joy? We sure didn’t.
This is another fast paced game where you must stay on your guard at all times. Get ready to dodge, duck, and dive to avoid those flying burritos!
20. Unstable Unicorns
Unstable Unicorns is a card game built to destroy friendships… in a good way. Don’t be fooled by the cute unicorns pictured, these magical beings are full of destruction and betrayal. Recruit unicorns to your stable and work to build up your unicorn army in order to destroy your friends and come out victorious.
With bright and fun art, Unstable Unicorns is yet another card game that is bound to bring joy to any game night. This card game can be played with 2-8 players and is the perfect party card game for your next game night!
21. You’ve Got Crabs
Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t judge a game by its title! Before you scroll past this one, give me a chance to explain the game. You’ve Got Crabs is a hilarious team-based party game from the creators of Exploding Kittens.
Players divide into groups of two. Before sitting team members must come up with a secret signal that they will use to give each other a heads up that they’ve completed their match. After everyone has decided on their signal, each team sits opposite each other at a table. Starting with one side of the table, players try to be the first ones to collect four of the same card type. Once they do, they then must pass the secret signal to their teammate.
If your partner sees your signal and yells, “You’ve Got Crabs,” your team gains a point. If an opponent sees your signal and yells, “You’ve Got Crabs,” you lose a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!
Best Board Game Gifts for the Solo Board Gamer
Sometimes getting a group together to have a game night is basically impossible, so in comes solo board gaming. Personally, there are times when I find more enjoyment in playing board games alone. It’s rewarding knowing I won by myself and playing alone helps to develop my strategic skills without embarrassing myself in front of more experienced players.
If you know someone who likes to play board games as a solo gamer and are looking to expand their collection, here are some ideas on the best board games that can be played solo to give as a gift this holiday season.
In Gloomhaven, you can play as a single player who has their own set of skills and quests of exploration throughout the game board that you must use to progress further into the game.
This is a board game that contains a persistent and changing world. This game can fall into the “choose your own adventure” category, as players will make decisions that will determine how the story continues. All outcomes can differ each time you play making Gloomhaven’s replayability super high!
You must navigate through a medieval town completing different objectives and side missions. There are opportunities to level up your character as you complete different quests. During your playthrough, scenarios will popup where you will have to make important decisions to progress further in your game.
This is the perfect game to set up and come back to at your own leisure, as it can be played over many different game sessions. It’s like playing a role playing video game, where you can play for a few hours and then take a break and come back to it later on.
23. Terraforming Mars
Develop a ‘New World’ by making difficult choices in order to bring life to the planet in this single player board game set in the 25th century. Terraforming Mars can be played with 1-5 players, but it is set up perfectly for solo play as well.
As mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars, you must work as a large corporation and play project cards that will introduce plant or animal life to mars, build cities, or collect resources. Players keep track of their production and resources which go towards increasing your overall rating in your process to terraform mars.
You can acquire unique project cards (from over two hundred different ones) by buying them and adding them to your hand. The cards can give you immediate bonuses, as well as increasing your production of different resources. Terraforming Mars is the perfect solo game for those wanting a taste of the future and would be the perfect gift for the space enthusiast board gamer lover in your life.
The board game Scythe is based in an alternate reality, where the world is in disarray in the midst of a war. You must work to return the world to all of its former glories. This game is made for 1-5 players, but is perfectly made to be played solo.
This game takes place in 1920s Europa, as players are tasked with regaining territories and earning the trust of civilians after the first great war. In this engine-building game, you must conquer territories, enlist new recruits, collect resources, gain villages, build structures, and more.
Scythe gives players complete control over their fate and hidden objectives. Players can upgrade actions to become more efficient and expand your territories to collect more resources. There is just so much to do in this game making it a personal favorite for solo board gaming!
25. Mage Knight
In Mage Knight, players battle to conquer cities and emerge victorious in this epic fantasy game. Mage Knight offers a highly unique gaming experience for solo gamers as players are set on a path of exploration and conquest. It is the perfect solo board game for lovers of epic adventures.
You must build your army, learn powerful spells and actions, explore caves and dungeons, and conquer powerful cities. Become immersed in the Mage Knight universe in this self-contained gaming experience. As a Mage Knight, you must upgrade your character and fight off monsters in order to progress further through the game.
Fans of conquests will certainly have fun playing Mage Knight. Gameplay lasts for about three or more hours making it one of those solo board games that is best set up and played out in stages.
26. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island
Based off of the famous book by Daniel Defoe, in Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island, you are stranded on an island alone and must fight for your own survival. Your main goals are to protect yourself from hazardous weather conditions, build a shelter, find food, and fight off the island’s predators.
Fully immerse yourself in Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island as you strategically plan each choice you make, as it can affect you in the long term. This game is so much fun to play as a single player. Gameplay is pretty short, ranging from about one to two hours, so you may find yourself wanting to play multiple rounds. With great replay ability that is definitely an option!
27. Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Those with a love of adventure and horror, will find the perfect fit in the card game Arkham Horror! This single player game puts you as the head investigator of evil throughout Arkham City.
As the investigator, you have specific strengths and weaknesses and must use your abilities to gather clues and solve mysteries. Every task and mystery you solve allows you to gain experience points which you can use to upgrade your character and deck.
The horror aspect of the game shines through the strange creatures and haunted houses that you will encounter along the way. Arkham City has many expansions to it that keep the mysteries coming and create great replay ability. If you know someone who has an itch for horror and adventure, then you should definitely get them a copy of Arkham Horror: The Card Game. If you know they already have the base game, give them the gift on an expansion to further their game!
Subscription Box Board Games
Subscription boxes have become more and more popular over the past few years and for good reason! There is something so exciting about receiving a new fun experience all ready and wrapped up to go in a box! Game nights can be made so much more fun when there’s little to no thought involved in planning them! Subscription boxes offer the opportunity for unique gameplay to be had with the ease of ordering a simple box.
We have been lucky enough to try out many subscriptions boxes and below you will find our favorites that frequently make it to our game table!
28. Hunt A Killer
Hunt A Killer is a murder mystery subscription box game where your role is to become a detective and work to solve a crime. Specifically, the crime involves a murder with many different unique suspects. Once you subscribe, you are in a Hunt A Killer ‘season’ and each season lasts 6 months.
You don’t have to be a ‘murder mystery junkie’ to perk up and be pumped about this idea of a ‘murder mystery subscription box.’ If you know someone who likes playing games where they can be fully immersed in the content and experience, then this may be the right fit for them.
With the Hunt A Killer subscription, you receive a box once a month for the duration of your season. Each box is full of unique objects; including paper documents, physical items, puzzles, and clues. It is your job to decipher the clues and lead the investigation that will carry on over to the next month. Complete the full sixth month investigation and find out if you were successfully able to Hunt A Killer.
We have played through many of the Hunt A Killer subscription boxes, and have had such a great experience living through every chilling tale.
This monthly board game subscription box is a MUST HAVE for all board game lovers and makes for a great gift this holiday season! The best part is that you can give an UnboxBoardom subscription to someone as a gift, and they will receive a new board game every month. These board games are usually games that are new and hot on the market, so your board game lover will most likely not own it yet.
If you know someone who has been wanting to dip their feet into the idea of subscription box gaming, then this is the perfect box to start with. The UnboxBoardom Subscription box includes everything from strategic board games, tabletop card games, and fun party games.
The awesome thing about this box is that you have the option to preview and choose from three selections as to which new game you would like to receive. So if you purchase a subscription for an avid board gamer, then they will be able to choose the game and never have to worry about getting a game they already have!
A bonus to hopping on board (see what we did there) with this subscription box service is Rhys for every 10 new subscribers that sign up for them, the team at Cratejoy will donate a game to kids in need!
UnboxBoardom is definitely worth a try if you know an avid board gamer looking to experience fresh, new games and grow their board game collection.
30. Escape the Crate
If you love escape rooms and are missing being able to do an escape room due to the coronavirus pandemic, then this box is for you! Escape the Crate is a bi-monthly “Escape Room” subscription box full of puzzles and mysteries to solve. We love going to escape rooms, but what we love even more is being able to do an escape room in the comfort of our own home.
Being able to work together to solve puzzles and mysteries is something we enjoy doing with friends and/or family. We have found that the ‘Escape the Crate’ subscription box is perfect for this! The box is packed with ciphers, letters, sleuthing tools, puzzles, and more that will make for a great game night with over an hours worth of content. When subscribed, you receive a different escape room box every two months so that each adventure is unique and different.
31. Deadbolt Mystery Society
If you know someone who is a fan of mysteries and true crime, then this subscription box is a must have gift for them this Holiday season! With the Deadbolt Mystery Society subscription box, players are thrown into the action where they must work to solve a new and exciting mystery each month.
Each monthly box brings a suspenseful stand-alone mystery, complete with intriguing characters and storylines, and packed with plenty of challenging puzzles, codes, trivia, and clues. Designed for between 4-6 players, keep the whole team on their toes as everyone works together to unravel the mystery.
We have found that the Deadbolt Mystery Society boxes from Cratejoy are perfectly put together and our gameplay lasted for hours of fun, without anyone in our group getting bored or disinterested. It makes for a perfect game night or date night activity for all.
Lastly, this subscription box has an awesome online community, with others playing through the box and there to help if you need it.
32. Finders Seekers Mysteries
Step up your board game lover’s game night and have them solve this awesome mystery in a box! Bringing between 2-4 hours of gameplay fun, Finders Seekers Mysteries offers a one-of-a-kind game night experience by immersing players into a new city and culture where they will encounter a mystery that’s waiting to be solved.
This subscription box is definitely one of our favorites as we are able to explore a new city and culture every month. The contents of the box consists of solving puzzles and deciphering codes with a fun escape room challenge every month!
The Finders Seekers Mysteries subscription box is great for game and mystery fans, puzzle solvers, and travel enthusiasts! It is family-friendly and includes everything you need for a fun game night at home.
33. The Conundrum Box
The Conundrum Subscription Box is a newer box from Cratejoy that has definitely made it’s way on our list of our favorite board game subscription boxes for game night. Get a monthly adventure shipped right to your door! Part Escape room, part choose-your-own adventure, wind your way through fun and exciting narratives by solving puzzles with your family and friends.
With this subscription box service, players will immerse themselves in different story environments through music, food, history, fiction, and drink recommendations. Contents within the box include physical objects to manipulate and solve, puzzles, ciphers, hints, stories, and plenty of material to contemplate. Additional resources include in-theme recipes and drink cards, suggested playlists, and other goodies.
Our group deems this box as fun, interactive and challenging. Something we love to do is solve puzzles and put our mind to good use. This subscription box allows us to do just that, as well as providing the opportunity to go on adventures around the world and find out the answer to unsolved mysteries.
Stocking Stuffer Games (small and cheap)
What could possibly be better than unwrapping a new board game? Well, finding a fun board game related item stuffed in a stocking of course!
The games we have listed below are not only small enough to fit in that tight space, but also easy on the wallet. Keep the theme going for your board game lover by adding one of these games to their artisanal!
34. Phase 10
Phase 10 is the rummy-type card game where players compete against one another to see who can complete 10 varied phases first. The cards look a lot like uno and the different phases consist of matching different sets of cards or creating runs of consecutive numbered cards.
This game can be a bit chaotic as some players can move to new phases while others are left behind. Work fast to complete your phase before others so that you can leave your opponents in the dust!
35. The Resistance
In the board game The Resistance, you are part of a rebellious group that has been suppressed by a tyrannical government. You must work to take back your freedom by completing different missions.
However, this won’t be an easy task. Spies have infiltrated the Resistance and are working to sabotage each mission. Noone can be trusted! You must work to figure out who you can trust in the Resistance and which members are actually spies, working to sabotage the missions.
The Resistance is a great social deduction and bluffing party game. You are either on the good side (The Resistance), or on the bad side (the Imperial Spies). Which side will you be on?
The game consists of players secretly voting whether a mission will succeed or fail. Spies must work together to sabotage the missions and The Resistance members need to figure out who can and cannot be trusted.
Hanabi is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by working together to place cards on the table in the right order.
The card deck consists of five different colors of cards, numbered 1–5 in each color. For each color, the players try to place a row in the correct order from 1–5. Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite, as in this game you hold your cards so that they’re visible only to other players.
To assist other players in playing a card, you must give them hints regarding the numbers or the colors of their cards. Players must act as a team to avoid errors and to finish the fireworks display before they run out of cards.
37. Love Letter
In Love Letter, players are trying to get their love letter delivered to the princess who has locked herself away in the castle. The cards in the deck represent the various members of the court who all have a different role and action when playing a card.
During gameplay, players start with a card, draw one more, then play one of the two in their hand. When playing a card, players have the chance to seek information, perform a duel, or grant immunity.
At the end of the game, the member of the court remaining in one’s hand represents who carries your letter to the princess. The player with the highest value card remaining in their hand wins the round, first to win a set number of rounds wins the game.
Love Letter is quick, fun, portable, and cheap, making it a great stocking stuffer game.
In Coup, you are head of an Italian family in a city run by a weak and corrupt court. You need to manipulate, bluff and bribe your way to power. Your object is to destroy the influence of all the other families, forcing them into exile. Only one family will survive…
In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.
Each player will take turns taking different character actions, whether actively on your turn or defensively in response to someone else’s action. Depending on gameplay, if your character succeeds, then you must turn one of your characters face-up. Face-up characters cannot be used, and if both of your characters are face-up, you’re out of the game.
The last player to still have influence – that is, a face-down character – wins the game!
Qwixx is a quick-playing, fun little dice game in which everyone participates, no matter whose turn it is. Each player has their own scoresheet and in order to score points, you want to mark off as many numbers as possible on your scoresheet during gameplay.
On a turn, the active player rolls six dice: two white and one of each of the four colors of dice. During each role, a player can decide to mark off different areas of their scoresheet. The more marks you can make in a row on your scoresheet, the higher your score for that row. There are also penalty boxes where if you fail to cross off a number when you’re the active player, you must mark one of four penalty boxes on your scoresheet.
When either a player has four penalty boxes marked or is able to lock two colors on their scoresheet, the game ends immediately. Players then tally their points for each color, sum these values, then subtract five points for each marked penalty box. Whoever has the highest score wins!
40. Deep Sea Adventure
In Deep Sea Adventure, a group of poor explorers head out to recover treasures from some undersea ruins. They’re all rivals, but their budgets force them all to share a single rented submarine. In the rented submarine, they all have to share a single tank of air, as well. If they don’t get back to the sub before they run out of air, they’ll drop all their treasure. Now it’s time to see who can bring home the greatest riches.
The game takes place over 3 rounds, and the player to gain the most points over the 3 rounds is the winner. In order to gain points, you must bring the most chips back to the submarine. You can only return to the submarine once per round, and you cannot progress more after returning. You cannot return to the submarine without bringing any ruins chips.
Deep Sea Adventure is a fun little game that you can take anywhere! It will fit perfectly in someone’s stocking this Holiday season.
Hidden Gem Board Games
Sometimes the best board games aren’t the most popular or well known games. Just because they aren’t featured in Facebook groups or social media doesn’t mean they aren’t great!
These are our picks for games that aren’t well known but we know your board game lover will really enjoy!
41. Lanterns the Harvest Festival
Bright colors and beautiful artwork are the highlights of this quick to learn tile placement board game. In Lanterns the Harvest Festival, players act as artisans who have been commissioned to float lantern-like colorful ornaments in the palace lake to celebrate the latest harvest. The players garner honor (aka points) from the palace court through dedications that they make using their collected lanterns.
Lanterns is our must play game during the winter months. The vibrant colors bring a bright and warm cheerfulness to a time that is sometimes very cold and dark, making it the perfect gift for the holidays.
42. Forgotten Waters
Forgotten Waters is a fantastical pirate adventure where players take on the role of pirates sailing together on a ship, attempting to further their own personal stories as well as a common goal.
This co-op board game adventure is silly and magical, with stories designed to encourage players to explore and laugh in delight as they interact with the world around them. It’s a game in which every choice can leave a lasting impact on the story, and players will want to turn over every rock just to see what they find.
Parks is a breath of fresh air. It reminds us of our favorite nature themed board games such as Wingspan and Everdell, but it differs from each of those with new components that we were happy to explore. Being outdoor enthusiasts, the idea of making our way down the hiking trail to purchase some of our favorite National Parks was highly appealing and the game does not disappoint.
Take on the role of two hikers as they trek through different trails across all four seasons of the year. On the trail, hikers will take actions and collect memories of all of the places they visit.
As you collect sets of memories, you can trade them in to visit a National Park at the end of each hiking trail. Each trail represents one season of the year and a new trail will be constructed and grow longer with a new season. After all four seasons, the person who visited the most National Parks with the most victory points, wins!
Board Game Gift Ideas that Aren’t Physical Board Games
Now that we have gone over our recommendations for board games of all types, let’s step away from game gifts and jump into what we feel are the best gifts for board game lovers that aren’t board games!
This includes board gamer apparel, accessories, and gift ideas for the super board game enthusiast.
Board Game Lover Apparel
We believe that the best way to showcase a hobby or interest that you are passionate about is through your clothes. Nothing speaks “I Love Board Games” faster than a graphic tee or sweatshirt.
Along the same line, nothing brings people who share a common interest together faster than apparel that includes “inside jokes” or something only board game lovers would understand.
Below are the board game apparel items we love and wear on the daily. They have sparked numerous conversations and helped us to meet and greet with so many others who share in our favorite hobby, board games!
44. My Adventures Take Place on A Board – Shirt & Hoodie
This design was inspired by a love for the outdoors combined with board gaming. If you know someone who has a deep appreciation for board gaming, then this is the perfect shirt for them.
45. Three Things I Love – Dice, Pawn, & Meeple – Shirt & Hoodie
This one is one of the “inside joke” shirts we were talking about above. The three components that are necessary for gaming and therefore, board game lovers could not live without.
46. Board Game Socks
Board game lovers are usually pretty introverted. After all, many of our adventures (see what I did there?) take place in the comfort of our homes. Featuring the three staple components, these socks are the perfect addition to any board game lovers wardrobe!
47. Board Game Holiday Shirts & Sweaters
“Ugly” sweater parties have become all the craze the last few years. I put quotations because these holiday shirts are far from ugly! With options of holiday meeple, card tossing snowman and cute and cozy board game, there’s a holiday shirt for everyone!
48. I Love Game Night (with Meeple) Shirt
49. Keep Calm and Play Board Games Shirt
Board Game Lover Accessories – Gifts for Board Game Lovers
So maybe geeky graphic tees aren’t your board game lovers thing? We got you covered! Below we have our must have and favorite accessories that any board game lover would be happy to receive. Check out our favorite gifts for board game lovers that don’t include a physical board game.
This list includes accessories that will help enhance anyone’s board game experience and gameplay. After playing board games for many years, we have taken into consideration things we felt were “missing” and that we felt like would make our playthrough of board games more enjoyable.
See below for our top picks of board game accessory gift ideas for every board game lover.
50. Mug – Three Things I Love
Mugs are a great gift that can be dressed up and filled with gift cards or candy to make an extra special personalized gift! These mugs contain our favorite board game slogans that always bring a smile to our faces when we reach for a cup to fill with coffee or hot cocoa in the morning.
51. Tote Bag – My Adventures Take Places on a Board
Perfect for bringing those smaller party games over to a friends house for game night, this tote bag is a cute and functional accessory for your board game lover. Swap your generic reusable bags for this sturdy tote and see who can impress!
52. Dice Rolling Tray
Whether you are a hardcore board gamer or just play roll and write games, we all know that dice can go everywhere! Under the couch, across the room, in someone’s lap… yup we’ve been there.
We have found dice rolling trays to be super useful when it comes to games involving rolling multiple sets of dice.
Here is a heavy duty dice rolling tray with a black velvet surface that is perfect for any board game involving dice rolling.
53. Collapsible Game Piece Storage Bowls
A lot of our favorite games come with tons of components and little pieces necessary for gameplay. Usually most games don’t come with any storage bowls to use while playing.
Therefore, we have found that using collapsible game piece storage bowls have been super helpful in keeping all of our board game components organized and all together while having our board game out on the table. These fall under the category of “a board game accessory that would make gaming so much easier, but that a gamer would never buy for themselves”. Our favorite thing about these is that they fold up and can be easily stored without taking up too much room on the game shelf!
54. Wooden Playing Card Holder
While there are collapsible trays to store all those components, what do you do about an excess of cards in your hand?? These wooden card holders are great for children, games where you hold an intense amount of cards and people with small hands! They’re a simple and unique accessory that your board gamer lover would never ask for but didn’t know they needed!
This one is for the creative and artistic board game lovers. Give them the gift of being able to take their passion of gaming to a whole new level by providing all they need to create their very own board game!
We find this one so unique and fun! It is also low stress for you because they can’t possibly own a game they haven’t created yet!
56. Folding Card Table
Every board gamer needs a table top to play their favorite games on. If you know someone who never has the room to spread out their board game during game nights, then consider purchasing them a folding card table to give as a gift!
This folding card table is perfect because it can be folded flat when stored away and easily put together for game nights. This is the kind of gift that seems odd to give, but is so practical and will be well used, that the receiver will wind up loving it!
57. Trays and Storage Cases for Board Game Pieces
This set of 4 storage cases work as a board game playing tray to hold your bits & pieces during play. Stop your bits & pieces from flying around inside the game box when storing by keeping your bits & pieces organized when you zip up the case. They also flip open to use as trays during gameplay!
Gift Ideas for the Board Game Enthusiast
We jokingly call this the big bucks section. These are the board game enhancements that most gamers either live without because they don’t want to spend the money, or save up for because they tend to be on the pricier side.
If you’re looking to splurge and make your board game lover the happiest board gamer in the world, this section is for you!
58. Ultimate Board Game Backpack
For those who love to travel and take their games with them, a board game backpack is a must have. This backpack is made especially for board games and will make sure your precious cargo is safe and sound during your travels.
This backpack can expand to fit even the largest of games, yes we are looking at you Gloomhaven. It is also reinforced to prevent any damage to those beloved board games.
Pick your board game lover’s favorite color for their backpack, including black, blue, grey, or purple.
59. Game Table
A specialized gaming table is every board game lovers dream. If they have the space for it and you’re looking to treat them, this is the way to go! Board gaming tables are designed for an optimized gaming experience. They literally take away every frustration gamers have when playing on regular tables and make the gaming experience so much better.
With features like cup holders, removable tops, drawer space for storage and luxury playing surfaces, gaming tables are the ultimate accessory for game nights.
2021 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide for Board Gamers
We hope you enjoyed this massive board game gift guide! If you read through the whole gift guide for board game lovers, we hope that you were able to find some gift ideas for someone special in your life. We really tried to pick the best of the best to ensure your board game lover will be overjoyed when they receive their gift this holiday season. With over 50 ideas to choose from, we are sure there is at least one, if not many gift ideas that will bring a smile to your board game lovers face.
If you yourself are a board game lover, don’t forget to treat yourself to something we have listed above! After all, sometimes some of the best gifts we receive are those we gift ourselves!
We would like to wish a very Happy Holiday from the Game Night Gods team. Whatever you celebrate, we hope it is joyful and merry!
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