by Leen Hseiki
There are multiple explanations why board games are ideal for the holidays; they will keep you occupied throughout the holidays while catching up with your friends and family in a cheerful and nostalgic setting.
We’ve rounded up a few awesome board games to keep on hand for the holidays.
You have been sailing for weeks. You embarked on a quest to settle the legendary island of Catan!
On these famed lands, natural resources abound but competition is fierce. You are not the only settler who reached these shores. Do you have what it takes to become the Lord of Catan?
Reveal Catan’s plentiful wealth: coasts, plains, forests, hills, mountains and deserts. Invest resources, negotiate and expand strategically.
But beware! Space will become increasingly scarce, and clever trade will be a necessity. Become the best trader and guide your settlers to victory and prosperity! Catan’s random mix creates a different board every game. It has thrilled millions around the world and now it is yours to enjoy!
Dice Info Language: English and Arabic Age: 10+ No Players: 3 – 4 Game Time: 60 – 75 min
The research teams are outfitted and ready to embark on their adventures to find five forgotten cities.
Who will lead the way to fantastic discoveries?
Each player guides a team of explorers on up to five expeditions. To advance along an expedition path, a card in the path’s color must be played for each step forward. The card must be of equal or greater value to the player’s card previously played on that path. After playing or discarding a card, the player draws a new card.
Skilled team leaders assess when to play, hold, or discard their cards to move their own teams forward while at the same time preventing their opponents’ teams from getting ahead.
In this two-player version of the award-winning Imhotep board game, players take on the roles of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, one of ancient Egypt’s most famous royal couples.
Game pieces must be cleverly placed so that players can unload the most valuable tiles from the six boats.
While this is happening, each player builds their own four monuments in order to gain as many points as possible.
Icecool is a flicking game in which each round one of the players takes the role of the Hall Monitor (also called “the Catcher”)
The aim will be to catch each other penguin and get points for that.
The others (also known as “Runners”) will try to run through several doors, thus gaining fish (that give them points) on their way.
When either the Hall Monitor has caught each other penguin once or any of the others has gone through all 3 doors that have fish on them, the round is over.
Each player will take the role of the Hall Monitor once and at the end of the game the winner will be the one with the most points on their fish cards.
The penguins can be flicked in a straight line, make curves and even jump over the walls! Each player will have to use the best of their skills in order to get the most points in this fun and exciting game.
Rulebook Info Language: English Age: 6+ No Players: 2 – 4 Game Time: 30 min
Explore places, combine items, and experience stories in Adventure Games. Players are presented with a mysterious story that they must unravel over the course of play. Working together, players explore common areas, talk to people, look for clues, and combine various items to reveal the secret of the story.
Depending on what decisions the players make, the course of history changes and there is no going back!
Unlike the co-operative EXIT: The Game series, titles in this series focus on the telling and discovery of the story with no time pressure. That said, many different paths can be experienced during play, with more than one correct resolution to the story waiting to be discovered. Each title consists of three chapters, each taking about 75 minutes to play.
Nothing is destroyed, so the games can be played multiple times. In The Dungeon, the players awaken in a prison cell in the middle ages with no memory of how they got there. What happened? What strange things are taking place in this dungeon? And most importantly, how can they get out?
Over three chapters, players will jointly explore rooms, combine objects, and perhaps even encounter creatures that lurk in the dark rooms of the old castle…
Rulebook Info Language: English Age: 12+ No Players: 1 – 4 Game Time: 75 min
Explore places, combine items, and experience stories in Adventure Games. Players are presented with a mysterious story that they must unravel over the course of play.
Working together, players explore common areas, talk to people, look for clues, and combine various items to reveal the secret of the story. Depending on what decisions the players make, the course of history changes and there is no going back!
Unlike the co-operative EXIT: The Game series, titles in this series focus on the telling and discovery of the story with no time pressure. That said, many different paths can be experienced during play, with more than one correct resolution to the story waiting to be discovered.
Each title consists of three chapters, each taking about 75 minutes to play. Nothing is destroyed, so the games can be played multiple times. In Monochrome Inc., players have been instructed to break into the research building named in the game’s title, and once they get inside this tower’s mirrored windows, they are left on their own.
What they find there, what conclusions they draw from these items, and how this nerve-wracking story ends is entirely in their hands. Only by co-ordinating their team will they avoid potential pitfalls, carry out their mission, and solve the mystery of this building.
Rulebook Info Language: English Age: 16+ No Players: 1 – 4 Game Time: 75 min
Azul invites you, a tile laying artist, to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora!
Introduced by the Moors, ÒazulejosÓ, originally white and blue ceramic tiles, were fully embraced by the Portuguese, when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the beauty of the decorative tiles.
The king then immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles.
Rulebook Info Language: English, Arabic and French Age: 8+ No Players: 2 – 4 Game Time: 30 – 40 min
My City is a unique, family-oriented legacy gaming experience that is played in relatively short episodes.
The game consists of 24 different episodes beginning with the development of a city in its early preindustrial stages and progressing through industrialization.
In Deception, players find themselves in a scenario of intrigue and murder, deduction and deception.
The Murderer secretly chooses their means of crime.
The Forensic Scientist holds the key to convicting the criminal but is only able to express their knowledge through analysis of the scene.
The Investigators collaborate to interpret the clues with their wit, their hunch, and their keen deductive insight – but the Murderer is among them!
Will the Investigators have what it takes to see through the lies and catch the criminal hiding in their ranks or will the latter muddy the waters long enough to get away with murder?
In Marrakech, each player takes the role of a rug salesperson who tries to outwit the competition.
Each player starts with 10 coins and an equal number of carpets.
The game ends when all players have played all carpets.
Each gets 1 coin per visible square. The player with most coins wins!
Welcome to the elephant festival in the Indian province of Kerala!
Exquisitely decorated elephants parade the streets. The celebration is alive with color and music.
To participate in the revelry, you want to fashion the most elegant platform for your elephants.
You want your festival platform to have at least one tile of each color, with all the tiles of a color contiguously placed, and showing as many elephant symbols as possible.
Each round, you move one of your two elephants to place a new tile and expand your platform.
You will have to adjust your plans as your rival platform builders grab the desirable tiles before you can get them.
You will need clever tactics and good luck to win the award for the best in show!
In Sheriff of Nottingham, players will not only be able to experience Nottingham as a merchant of the city, but each turn one player will step into the shoes of the Sheriff himself.
Players declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack.
The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated!
There’s hustle and bustle at Istanbul’s grand bazaar as merchants and their assistants rush through the narrow alleys in their attempt to be more successful than their competitors.
Everything must be well organized: wheelbarrows must be filled with goods at the warehouses, then swiftly transported by the assistants to various destinations. Your goal?
Be the first merchant to collect a certain number of rubies. In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and four assistants through 16 locations in the bazaar.
At each such location, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge, though, is that to take an action, you must move your merchant and an assistant there, then leave the assistant behind (to handle all the details while you focus on larger matters).
If you want to use that assistant again later, your merchant must return to that location to pick him up.
Thus, you must plan ahead carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do anything… When a merchant has collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow, players complete that round, then the game ends. If this player is the only one who’s reached this goal, he wins immediately; otherwise ties are broken by money in hand.
Rulebook Info Language: English and Arabic Age: 10+ No Players: 2 – 5 Game Time: 40 – 60 min
In the co-operative trick-taking game The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, the players set out as astronauts on an uncertain space adventure.
What about the rumors about the unknown planet about?
The eventful journey through space extends over 50 exciting missions.
But this game can only be defeated by meeting common individual tasks of each player.
In order to meet the varied challenges, communication is essential in the team.
But this is more difficult than expected in space!
Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive, and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game.
Players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes.
The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get.
The player with the most valuable gem treasure after nine rounds of solving puzzles wins!
The ultimate city-building video game lands on your tabletop!
In this board game version of the best-selling PC game of the same name, players work together to plan, build, and manage a city.
The key to a successfully developed city is a happy population; as players decide how and where to build, they must consider a variety of factors such as the environment, crime, traffic flow, education, and financial resources.
Rulebook Info Language: English Age: 10+ No Players: 1 – 4 Game Time: 50 – 70 min
Abalone is a game of reflection and logic that invites you to try to get out of a hexagonal plateau six balls of your opponent by pushing them with yours.
Players can perform one action (or move) per turn. In turn, you will be able to move one to three balls from your side to one or more free spaces in the same direction.
Calculate your shots well, because any movement made can not be modified! New design modernizing the codes of the essential game.
Multiplayer – 20-30 minutes duration – Age: 7+ years
What’s a Pun? A joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.
Why did we make a game about puns? Because fun is our resPUNsibility (pun Intended). GREAT GIFT FOR PUN LOVERS! Everybody knows somebody who loves puns and they think they are so punny.
But look, some people like puns and other people like pickles, so just dill with it! Pun loving friends and family will love this game. PERFECT FOR FAMILY GAME NIGHT Tons of people do it every day, so why not play a game and see who’s a Pun Lover.
Bring the fun to your next game night or family party. The Game is played by a minimum of two groups and each group should have a minimum of two players involved.
18+ Years Old Number of Players: 4+ Duration: 90 mins