Archives for December 2018

Tabletop gaming gift guide for every budget and gamer level

Got a gamer in your life who needs some sweet board games? Buying for “grown ups” who never want to grow up? Not sure what to get your teenager? Want to get started in board gaming and have no clue where to start? I’ve got you covered. From backstabbing games I love to inexpensive games that make great stocking stuffers, I can totally help. And if you want more suggestions…feel free to ask questions or tell me about your gift recipient. I’m sure I can help you find the right game for him or her!

As a disclaimer, I’m also here to inform you that any purchases made from my links may earn me a small commission at no cost to you. That commission helps me continue this writing journey with a fully stocked cheese drawer. So thank you for sticking around. Brian says “thank you” too.

Tabletop gaming gift guide 25+ board game gift ideas for every budget

Tabletop games I just adore

I love playing games, you guys. These are some of the ones I’ve been playing a lot of.

Cash ‘N Guns (Asmodee — $27)

This game is stupid amounts of fun you guys. We like to play with accents to fit the characters. You’re all mobsters, but you want to get as much money for yourself as possible, so you’re trying to kill off the other guys. Lots of bluffing, big wins, and FOAM GUNS. Need I say more?

Above and Below (Red Raven Games — $35)

This is one of my new favorite games. I received it as a Redditgifts gift last year, and it has seriously been such an awesome game to play. It’s got a lot of little details, but the best of them is that it’s a storytelling/choose your own adventure game! You’re building a little village both above and below the surface, but to go below, you need to experience an encounter, based on the roll of your dice. The encounters are found in a story book and each one can reward or punish you based on your answers and how successful you are at the task (rolling dice). It is truly so much fun to play, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone who loves storytelling!

Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley (Pressman Toy — $40)

We went into this game unsure whether it would be more of a classic board game or a more intense strategy game, and we were super stoked to find a really fantastic strategy game that was enjoyable and had a lot of replayability. Additionally, the added theming of a classic from my childhood gave me that nostalgia my generation craves without riding solely on the nostalgia wave. Brian, who wasn’t an Oregon Trail kid—and also is a very serious gamer) really enjoyed it and has confirmed that he will happily play it again, because he has some strategy ideas he wants to try out.

Mice and Mystics (Plaid Hat Games — $60)

This game is near and dear to my heart. Brian and I play it together when it’s just the two of us. It’s our date game. The entire game is a connected campaign with a fantastic storytelling element that weaves through the plot. There are a number of “chapters” which can be played as standalone games. We have made it all the way through the initial game and moved on to the first of several expansions. It plays up to four players, but can be played with fewer people managing all of the characters in the story. It’s detailed but not super difficult to learn. Some of the chapters are harder than others, so you’ll have to replay them if you want to beat them before moving on. We love it.

Tabletop games under $20

Gaming on a tight budget.

Fluxx (Looney Labs —$12)

I really like this free-for-all card game. The base rules are simple: draw one, play one. But that escalates quickly. The cards you draw and play can change the rules, the win conditions, and more. It’s a super fast game and comes in dozens of themes, including licensed versions of Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Trek TNG, and Batman.

Trash Panda™ (Gamewright Games — $13)

I really like Gamewright Games. The card games we own (Loot™, Frog Juice™, Alien Hot Shots™) have simple mechanics with fun themes that make them entertaining to play whether we’re looking for something between longer games/waiting for the people to arrive or playing with kids. Trash Panda is one of their newest card games, and we actually played this with a friend who was also playing another game at the same table (so you can see how your focus can be divided while still enjoying the game!). The theming is SUPER cute and I would definitely play this again.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (Pressman Toy — $15)

I really enjoy this game, and everyone else really enjoyed my rendition of the theme song, as performed by Rockapella (maybe). The dynamic is similar to Clue, in which you need to use logic to eliminate possibilities and determine where you’ll find Carmen. I love Clue, and I was a huge Carmen Sandiego fan (books, TV, song…yes please), so this nostalgic, but timeless, game was a no-brainer for me.

Okey Dokey (Tasty Minstrel — $15)

I really enjoy playing this game with other people and by myself. By myself, it’s essentially like playing solitaire, but with other people, there’s a whole new dynamic that makes it really interesting. You can’t tell each other what cards you have so you have to communicate who is playing which cards when with a little more strategy. It’s a great game for building trust and communication and for people who like cooperative challenges.

Forbidden Island (Gamewright Games — $18)

This is a super fun cooperative game, and probably the easiest of the Forbidden games. It was one of the first cooperative games that we owned, and it plays really nicely between two to four players. You have to work fast to collect four treasures before the island floods. There are several ways to lose and only one way to win, so it can be tricky for new players.

Tabletop games for Harry Potter fans

It me!

Harry Potter™ Magical Beasts (Pressman Toy — $17)

This game is perfect for classic board game (Clue, Monopoly, Life) lovers who are also huge fans of Harry Potter. Kids especially will really enjoy the play and theming, and the mechanics are simple enough that you can learn it quickly and play it right away! The design is beautiful and the components are very well made. My favorite part is the switching game board, which flips from inside to outside in a neat way. I also really appreciate that the four players are Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny (instead of Neville, which happens in a lot of games). Because I would TOTALLY play Ginny Weasley.

Codenames Harry Potter™ (USAopoly  $25)

I demoed this at GenCon this summer and it was really fun. If you’ve played original Codenames, this one is a little bit different, as it’s cooperative, like Codenames Duets. You have to work together to find all the right clues before time runs out. Both people or teams (this can be played with two players or with full teams) have a marked board with their own answer code, and you need to have all of them completed together. It’s fast-paced and fun without being competitive.

Munchkin Deluxe: Harry Potter™ Edition (USAopoly — $35)

I haven’t played this, but OMG. Munchkin meets Harry Potter and there is no way this could go wrong. Munchkin is a dedicated deck card game infused with so much humor and cleverness. We currently have five different versions of Munchkin and various expansion packs for them, as well. It’s fun to play with two players, but it’s so much better with a group of 4-5. Dear Brian. Pretty please with chocolate frogs and butterbeer on top?

Harry Potter Clue (USAopoly — $40)

I played this with some friends and their children, and it was lots of fun. The board game moves (just like the moving staircases) on spinners so things can be rearranges and swapped to make it trickier (or easier!). Otherwise, it plays just like regular Clue.

Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Battle (USAopoly — $50)

This is one of my all-time favorite board games. It’s a cooperative deck-building game for up to four players, and, just like the books and movies, the game is designed to grow with the players. In the base game, there are seven varying degrees of difficulty, each year adding new components, rules, and villains. It’s really fun to play through and has a lot of replayability. At this point in time, I do not recommend adding the expansion because the difficulty level is INSANE. We’ve only played through the first level (and lost every time — we won’t move on until we’ve beaten the round).

Tabletop games for Disney addicts

Also me.

Codenames Disney (USAopoly — $27)

Another spin on Codenames, this one is so perfect for DIsney lovers of all ages. Like the Harry Potter version, on one side of the cards is pictures, and the other side has words associated with the House of Mouse, so you can play either side. We’ve played with a five-year-old, and she had just as much fun as everyone else.

Disney Villainous (Wonder Forge — $35)

I raced out to buy this game as soon as we got home from GenCon (because it sold out at the con. Any opportunity to play Maleficent in a board game already has my vote, but it was also a really fun game. Each character has their own strategy and win conditions, so you have to learn to play the game and then understand your character’s motivations. There is a lot of room for expansion here, so I hope Wonder Forge runs with it.

Snow White Gemstone Mining Game (USAopoly — $35)

This is a push-your-luck style game in which you are competing to get the most and best gems from a mystery bag. I demoed this at GenCon as well, and I really enjoyed playing it. Honestly, I’m just a total Disneyphile and want everything that says, “Disney” on it.

Party games for casual gamers

Listen, I know Cards Against Humanity is still supes popular, but let’s give some other new party games some love, shall we?

Monikers (Monikers — $25)

I love this game. It’s part Taboo part charades and based on speed as well as memory. Each player chooses several of the choices that will be used in the deck, and you play three rounds with the same deck. Each round gets harder. in the first round, you can say anything but the words on the card. In the second round, you can say one word. The third round is charades. It is so much fun.

Pantone™ the Game (Cryptozoic — $25)

Guys, if Disneybounding were a game, this would sort of be it. Like Monikers, it’s played in three rounds that get progressively more difficult. Basically you have a selection of Pantone™ swatches to create an abstract design to get other people to guess what pop culture character or characters you are referencing. I love this game, but Brian hates it.

Friend or Faux (Games Adults Play — $25)

I talked about this super inappropriate game over the summer with my GenCon haul, and we’ve played it a couple of times since. This is great for a group of friends who know each other, but it’s surprising even with people who don’t know each other that well. The first two rounds are all-ages appropriate, but by round 3, you’ll want to leave the kids (and your Great Aunt Lorraine) at home.

Blank Slate (USAopoly — $25)

This was a super fun party game that felt like the opposite of Scattergories, which is one of my favorite OG party games that I refuse to play with my family. With Scattergories, there’s always fighting. It’s always crazy. Because you want the most unique answers, people get defensive and yelly super fast.

What do you Meme? (What do you Meme — $30)

This was another game from my GenCon haul, and we had a lot of fun playing it with a gaggle of friends. If you’re playing with kiddos, make sure you go through the entire deck of memes before playing to pull out the NSFW pics.

Tabletop games that might actually break the bank

Serious gamers only. Make sure you’ve got plenty of refreshments.

Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition  (Fantasy Flight Games — $90)

This is a badass freaking game. Based on the H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu stories, this game uses an interactive app to guide you through a changing mansion set up as you fight bad guys and try to solve the mystery before time runs out. If you can’t tell, I love story based games, and this is another one. The theming is on point, and the app integration is perfect. This is a loooooooong game. Even the shortest game is a few hours. But it is worth it for a day of intrigue and madness. We have the first and second edition of this game because the second edition is superior (Less set up and no need for someone to manage the game villains and bad stuff because the app takes over).

Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game (Flying Frog Productions — $90)

I really like this game with its Indiana Jones-esque adventure theming and the intricacies that come with it. Not for the faint of heart, this game has also been known to go all day (it plays up to eight people, and the more people, the longer the game), but when you’re fighting Nazis and zombies with movie-style cliffhangers (and hopefully eating lots of snacks), you don’t even notice how much time has passed!

Cthulhu Wars (Peterson Games — $200)

This is one of Brian’s favorites. It’s big and bold and there was no making these miniatures miniature. Another Cthulhu game to call out. The world has ended and the elder gods are vying for control. The few remaining acolytes are assisting you, as you take on the roles of the various elder gods, and your minions on a giant world-map board. For as big and badass as this game is, the play time is actually very doable, even on an evening game night. There are different strategies for each role, and tips are provided to help you succeed. If you can find it on sale, I highly recommend it. There are also several expansions that can increase the player limit and change things up with more characters and sweet miniatures.

WOWEE that was a lot. I hope you found it helpful and can find some great gifts for your friends and family! If you’re still looking for other gift ideas, I’ve got you covered!

Need more gift ideas for everyone else on your list? Consider some of these other guides I’ve created:

 

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guideUncommon Goods Gift GuideUnique holiday gift guide for kids, pets, and grown ups

2018 quirky holiday gift guide

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

20 Last-minute gifts for your quirky wife

Yep, I see you. Waiting until the last minute to buy those Christmas gifts for your wife. I see you, because I live with you…HUSBAND. Brian is infamous for waiting until the eleventh hour to buy Christmas gifts (even though he is RIDICULOUS with ordering birthday gifts so early that I have to restrain myself from investigating and playing 20 questions).

That being said, here are some gifts that should (hopefully) arrive in time for Christmas. And make sure you fill a stocking for her. She’s already got one for you, so you should probably return the favor. (And if you’re the wife in this relationship, add these puppies to your wish list so he knows what to get you!) Full disclosure: product links may be affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a few pennies from any purchase you make. All of the products mentioned either live in my home already or are on my current wishlist.

Last-minute gift guide for your quirky wife

Order online — pick up in store

My new favorite thing to do? Buy something online and then go pick it up in the store. I know it’s in stock (instead of racing to three different Targets looking for something and not succeeding) and will be in my greedy little hands immediately. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Barnes & Noble are on my list of favorite places to do so.

Cozy essentials

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ cozy essentials (1)

I know I need some downtime with the mass amount of energy I exude, and these are a few gifts that can help your favorite lady chill the fuck out. There’s something warm and cool (I know. At the same time) about a salt lamp. We have one in our front room, and it’s a favorite piece of decor to be sure. These elf slippers are perfect for the holidays…and pretending you live in the North Pole with Santa Claus year round.

And the most important accessory for any cozy evening: BOOKS. Now, I’ve had a Nook (GlowLight) and I currently have a Kindle (Paperwhite). And I miss my Nook like you wouldn’t believe. Sure I can get books on Amazon now. But I miss the design and style of the Nook. It was at least a pound lighter, which makes a big difference when your e-reader has a tendency to fall on your face with more frequency than you’d like…But you know…both e-readers do the job. So order one or get some books to add to the one she already has.

Order online — fast delivery

Prime shipping. I don’t have to tell you, I’m sure. But Prime one day? If you spend $35 or more, you can get your gift TOMORROW. You can even have that shit wrapped up. And who doesn’t love those pretty (and reusable) Amazon bags?

Quirky style

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ style essentials

Y’all may know I’m something of a self-proclaimed style maven. And let me tell you, there’s so much more to style than traditional wardrobe essentials. It’s the add-ons that really make you stand out. The year Brian got me a light-up skirt for Christmas was seriously hard to top. Here are a few Chrissy-approved ideas for your wishlist or gift list.

I love holiday sweaters, especially this slothy sweater I wear every year. I also highly recommend a pair of butterfly wings, because you never know when they’re going to become useful. Nerd con events? Renaissance faires? Vacations? Costume parties? Wings are a staple, people.  And of course, what’s a mermaid without her tail? This mermaid skirt is the best!

Kwirky party game

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ party games

What better to give to a quirky lady than a party game with her name on it! With this Goliath Games gem, Kwirky, the possibilities (and laughs!) are endless. It’s a fast-paced quiz game where the answers don’t matter nearly as much as your conviction! It’s fabulous for improv lovers and anyone who enjoys friendly banter!

Adult coloring books

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ coloring books

Listen, people. We love us some coloring books. You Are Here, from Jenny Lawson, is especially magical. Not only does it have incredible art to color, but it also has blurbs and affirmations from The Bloggess, queen of the quirky wives. This is a great gift for anyone who suffers from anxiety, depression, or even just boredom. It’s full of positive vibes and magic. I love my copy, and I’ve given it as a gift a number of times. It never fails me. Other coloring books I recommend? Calm the Fuck Down and Sloth are two that really get me.

Colored pencils

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ colored pencils

While you’re getting her some coloring books, make sure she’s got a good set of colored pencils. Personally, I prefer Faber Castell to Prismacolor, but to each their own. I have friends who swear by the Prismacolor though I think the tips break too easily. For the less expensive route, you can always go with the trusty Crayola pencils (in a fancy new box for “grown ups”).

Quirky stocking stuffers under $10

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ stocking stuffers under $10

I love stockings. I love little things. I used to make my brother play a game I called little things. The art of filling a stocking with as much little stuff as possible makes my heart happy in a really weird way. But these gift ideas also make my heart happy. I own two of the three, and I want the third. Can you guess which is which?

Aqua notes are incredible for writing in the shower, by the pool, or wherever. You can leave love notes for your best friend who stays at your house with some frequency or you can jot down ideas for your next Instagram post. I am obsessed. Taco Socks? Yes please. Also bring me tacos. Always. Octopod wine stopper? Cork your wine with pizazz, kids!

Email delivery

Happy gift cardsLast-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ gift cards

Okay, let’s be honest here. The easiest gift you can get her is a gift card. And she’s probably okay with picking out her own goodies…assuming you know the right store to include in the gift card. These Happy cards, though…they bring something even better to the table. OPTIONS.

The Happy Lady gift card can be redeemed at:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
  • Panera Bread
  • Sephora
  • Spafinder
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Lord & Taylor

And if she’s more of a foodie, consider the Happy Dining gift card which she can use at:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Red Lobster
  • Bravo
  • Texas de Brazil
  • Brio

Personally, I would be ecstatic with the Happy Teen gift card, which includes (books books books!):

  • Regal Cinemas
  • Sephora
  • Dave & Buster’s
  • Nike
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Jamba Juice
  • American Eagle

Need more gift ideas for everyone else on your list? Consider some of these other guides I’ve created:

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guideUncommon Goods Gift GuideUnique holiday gift guide for kids, pets, and grown ups

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!