So you don’t want to spend $60 on a complicated game your non-gaming family members might not enjoy. Here are some small…. most small enough to stuff in a stocking… games to get them hooked.
For the writer and storyteller- GLOOM.
Gloom is a fun card game in which you get to tell gory dreary stories on unhappiness and death… and it’s FUN. Each player has a family and their story to tell. You want your family to have horrible lives and an untimely death…. your opponents want your family to have happiness and live a long time. You take turns playing (translucent) cards on your family members or on your opponpent’s families. As you lay down the card you describe exactly how it happens (this is where the storytelling comes in). How exactly did the ghost of the 2 year old come to haunt the family dog?? The family that all dies first with the worst existance (lowest score) wins. There are several expansions that include some twisted fairy tales and recognizable horror and gothic tale tropes.
For that D&D player or fantasy book reader- WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON
You have a hero, a dungeon, and a plethora of baddies. In this case all the players are vying to be the hero in the center of the table… or to stack the dungeon so full of baddies that no hero could survive. Game is played as one hero and all his/her gear and abilities are layed out in cards in the middle of the table. Each player draws a baddies card and
either adds it to the dungeon or lays it to the side and pulls off one of the gear cards. After the first round players can pass if they think the hero can’t win. Last player left has to then used whatever hero gear is left and enter the dungeon, fighting off the baddies one at a time. A fun game that kids can pick up easily. There are also 2 new versions/expansions- Welcome BACK to the Dungeo with more heros
and baddies, and Rent-A-Hero where instead of adding baddies to a dungeon your collecting heroes to form the adventuring party.
For card players and Star Trek/Wars nuts- STAR REALMS
Star Realms is a quick 2 person deck-building game. You start with a few ships and gold and use them each turn to build your fleet from the cards are the center of the table at the same time trying to knock down your opponent’s health points. Ships and bases come in different factions with different abilities… you can mix and match or try and focus on one type.
For the history nerds- TIMELINE
The name says it all- it’s a timeline. Each player gets some cards with an invention or historic event, and you have to put your events into the group timeline CORRECTLY before
everyone else does… get one wrong you have to draw a new card. First player with no cards wins. Easy, right? That is until you are holding these all in your hand- saxaphone, typewriter, hyperdermic needle…. good luck! There is the basic set with is world wide inventions, then there are- Music & Movies, USA History, Discoveries, Diversity, Events, and Inventions… get them all and really make your history major friends go bonkers!
Want to add to a gamer’s fun? Here are a few goodies you can pop in their stocking-
FLUXX DICE- add more zaniness to the every changing rules game by the roll of the dice to determine the draw and discard rules FOR EACH TURN!
ALVIN & DEXTER- Ticket to Ride over played in your house? Add these two menancing minis for a whole new level of fun! The alien and generic monster prevent you and anyone else from building routes, until they themselves are on the move. They can appear in any game… so watch out!
And of course there is always DICE. What gamer wouldn’t want to wake up in Christmas morning and find some nice new shiny dice in their stocking!?!