Archive dead of winter

Published on November 24th, 2014 | by Across the Board Games Staff


Board Game Holiday & Christmas Gift Guide 2014

The Best Board Games and Roleplaying Games to Get As Presents

Buying presents for people with specific hobbies can be kind of intimidating if you aren’t familiar with their likes and dislikes. It can be even more difficult if you aren’t very familiar with the hobby yourself. We thought we’d try to be helpful and make a board game gift guide for those trying to buy presents for their board game playing friends and family members.

This guide is divided into a couple small sections, separated by the type of person you might be buying for. After the main suggestion we also listed some other games that might suit your fancy if the first one we recommended wasn’t exactly what you were looking for.

You will also find links to Amazon, where you can buy these products. We don’t own any of the digital stores we link to, that said, we do use affiliate marketing, which means that if you buy something after clicking our link to Amazon then we’ll get a small percentage of that sale. This doesn’t cost you anything more, it’s basically just Amazon’s way of thanking us for sending them business. Ads like this help us pay for the site infrastructure, don’t cost you anything, and the link shows exactly which product we are recommending, so there is no confusion as to edition or expansion.


For The New Board Gamer

If the person you are buying for is relatively new to the hobby, then this section is a safe bet for them. If they’ve already played one or two of the following: Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassone, Smallworld, Munchkin, Dominion, or Cards Against Humanity but not much more, then this is a good place to start looking at. Those initial games are also some of the most common ones, but people who get deeper into the hobby might find them too simple or might already be very tired of them.


olympus board game


Published by Fantasy Flight
Game Type: Historical/Mythological, Worker Placement

Olympus is a great entry level worker placement game that has an Ancient Greek Myth theme. You are the leader of a city state and are trying to be more impressive than the other cities nearby. To do so you must petition the gods to help you in certain ways, but the gods only give out a limited amount of favor per turn. Olympus plays in about 90 minutes, so it won’t eat up a whole evening, but it has a very fun petitioning mechanic that is great for casual play.

You might also like:
A smaller, more portable worker placement game of entry level complexity. This one focuses on a bidding mechanic to get resources which you use to upgrade cards for points. It has a neo-Victorian look and feel, which I hear is popular.


dix it cards

Dix It!

by Asmodee
Game Type: Illustrated Storytelling, Card Game

Dix It is a great game for people who like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. On your turn you look at a set of cards, tell a story about something inspired by one of the cards and then everyone else guesses which card you were telling a story about. Bonus points goes to the person who can convince everyone that their reason was the best! The art is very pretty and the gameplay has won many awards, including the coveted Spiel de Jahres.

You might also like:
Tales of Arabian Nights Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? When you play Tales you choose traits like “charm” for your character to have, then go about having adventures. Sometimes you get additional options because of the skills you chose. It’s not competitive, but it can be a lot of fun!


belle of the ball

Belle of the Ball

by Daniel Solis/Dice Hate Me Games
Game Type: Internationally Fancy, Set Collection, Card Game

Belle of the Ball is a fast paced, light-hearted card game about assembling the perfect guest list for your fancy party. The art on the cards makes a great impression, and the goofy names of the characters are bound to make you laugh. If the person you’re buying for likes to get fancy, then Belle of the Ball is the casual card game to get them.

You might also like:
Elevensies- For those that like tea parties more than any other type of fancy get together. This is more of a memory game, though the card counting does get rather fierce.



For the Genre Enthusiast

It’s hard to go wrong when the one you’re buying for really likes a certain genre! Whether your special someone is a comic book fan or a horror movie geek, we’ve got a recommendation for you.


Sentinels of the Multiverse

Sentinels of the Multiverse

by Greater Than Games
Game Type: Superhero/Comic Book Cooperative Card Game

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a game where you and your friends take on the roll of a super hero group and fight an evil mastermind. But first you must fight through their minions and survive the secret base! There isn’t a better game that models the dynamic of fighting in a group like the Avengers or the Justice League, and the original characters are surprisingly well thought out. This is our favorite superhero game, and it stays fun for a long time.

You might also like:
DC Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite This expand-alone version of the DC Deck-builder has much more interesting mechanics than the base set, and is a lot more fun. The Infinite Crisis expansion can be added, giving you a co-op version of the game as well.

Legendary: Marvel Deck-Building Game- Exactly what it says on the box. If the person you’re buying for is more into Marvel Comics specifically, then you’ll want to grab this one instead.


dead of winter board game zombie

Dead of Winter

by Plaid Hat Games
Game Type:
Zombie Apocalypse, Set Collection, Meta-Cooperative Game

Dead of Winter is one of the best horror games on the market and definitely the best zombie apocalypse game. From the high production values of the board and pieces to the “choose your own adventure” style narrative choices, to the unique co-op mechanics that leaves each person with a secret agenda- some benign, others not. This is one of two games that make you fell like you’re in a zombie movie while playing, so well done.

You might also like:
Zombie 15′- You have only 15 minutes to get through a horde of zombies and into the safe zone on the other side of town! Zombie 15′ gives you 15 progressive scenarios, each one building on the last. The timer is a soundtrack that will keep you nice and jumpy! A great zombie experience itself, the second game that lets you feel like you’re in the action



Elder Sign board game

Elder Sign

by Fantasy Flight Games
Game Type: Cooperative, Lovecraftian, Dice Game

The Ancient One has opened rifts from its horrid dimension and plans to enter our own! Only by risking your life in the bizarre museum can you get the eldrich knowledge needed to close the portals and save the day. Players do this by cooperating together to navigate and investigate the museum, collecting Elder Signs to seal the rifts. The dice mechanics are fun, plus the game is easy to learn and teach.

You might also like:
Mansions of Madness- This is a game where you control a character as they explore a Lovecraftian short story. One person controls the forces of the world, the players are all interactive and independent of each other, though ostensibly working together against cosmic horror. One part board game, one part roleplaying game, all Mythos based. 


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About the Author

Across the Board Games Staff

We are a diverse group of gamers who mostly live in the Seattle area and we have been playing games together for several years now. What you see here is our collective knowledge of and feelings towards board games. We are working to make an awesome space where people of all stripes can share their love of all things board games. Please join us!

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