Tabletop games are always a great gift during the holidays, in part because the holidays are the perfect time to sit down and play them. The tabletop industry is experiencing a boom as of late, with tons of great games available both at hobby retailers and through mainstream channels like Amazon and Target. Just about everyone loves to play board games, although everyone has their own preference as to how complex they want a game to be and what sort of themes they enjoy. We've made a list of some recent games from the last year or so that make for perfect gifts for the board game lover in your life!
Betrayal Legacy is a re-make of sorts of the popular Betrayal at the House on the Hill game. The horror-themed game revolves around players exploring a haunted house, with one player eventually betraying the others. While the "haunts" that determined who betrays the party and what their new abilities are were random in the original game, Betrayal Legacy adds a storyline component that has players survive a series of haunts played out over the house's nearly 400 year history. You'll get to add stickers to game tiles or destroy cards as you play through Betrayal Legacy, which eventually turns into a replayable version of the game. Betrayal Legacy is a great game for someone who has a dedicated playgroup that wants to experience a terrifying (and immensely enjoyable) story in addition to playing a classic game.
Betrayal Legacy is available on Amazon and other hobby retailers.
The Seventh Continent was a groundbreaking "choose your own adventure" exploration game when first released back in 2017. A co-op game in which players explore a newly-discovered continent while trying to lift a curse placed on them, the game earned tons of acclaim and led to a host of other games copying its combination of tile-laying with a complex storyline. While the game was initially released only to Kickstarter backers, its publisher recently released a new retail version of the game. The Seventh Continent is perfect for players looking for a complex, replayable game focused on story and co-op adventure.
The Seventh Continent is available on eBay and via hobby retailers.
Wingspan is arguably the hottest board game of 2019. The game hit a unique intersection due to its unusual game subject (it's a game about birds) and medium-weight complexity. In Wingspan, players compete to attract different species of birds to their habitats, scoring points and gaining more resources with each rounds. The game is perfect either for bird lovers or for players looking to get into more complex games.
Wingspan is available now at Amazon and from other hobby retailers.
Ecos: The First Continent is a unique game about competitive continent crafting. In Ecos: The First Continent, players attempt to shape a shared continent to their liking, scoring points based on how the continent grows and what animals, trees, and mountains appear on it. Gameplay is simultaneous, with players placing energy cubes on different element symbols on their cards based on what tiles get drawn from a bag. While Ecos: The First Continent might seem complex, the game is very easy to learn and supports up to six players with few problems. This is another great game that satisfies both veteran players and serves as a gateway game for those interested in trying out more complex tabletop games.
Ecos: The First Continent is available at Amazon and at other hobby retailers.
Marvel Champions is a unique "living card game" set in the Marvel Universe. In Marvel Champions, players assume the role of a Marvel superhero like Iron Man or Captain Marvel as they fight to stop a villain's evil scheme. Unlike card games like Magic: The Gathering, players will have everything they need just by picking up the box set, although new expansions released monthly will add more heroes and villains to the mix. The game is a co-op deck-builder and has earned praise for both its innovative play style that plays out over three phases and for its simplified take on the often complex "living card game" genre.
Marvel Champions: The Card Game is available on Amazon and through other hobby retailers.
Villainous is the perfect tabletop game for any Disney fan. Villainous is a unique asymmetrical game in which players take control of a Disney villain and try to complete their villainous goals before other players. Each villain has their own objectives and playstyles, so there's a lot of replayability just by learning how each villain operates. Unlike other competitive games, players largely keep to themselves, as each player has their own decks of cards and their own board. The only way villains really interact with each other is using their Fate action to impede other players using popular Disney heroes. Villainous is a light- to medium-weight game perfect for both new and veteran tabletop players.
Villainous and its expansions are available on Amazon and at other hobby retailers.
Everdell is a fun competitive game in which players compete to build their own peaceful woodland village, populated with furry animals. The game combines worker placement, resource management, and city-building together in a beautiful to look at game centered around a large 3D tree. Players compete for the best spots to gather resources and to reach certain milestones to earn victory points, but a player usually achieves victory by having a flexible strategy and utilizing their workers to the fullest. If you enjoy the aesthetics of Redwall or Watership Down and want a more challenging game, give Everdell a try.
Everdell is available at Amazon and through other hobby retailers.
Hellboy: The Board Game is one of the best comic-based board games out there, with fantastic artwork and miniatures, and replayable scenarios that will challenge and delight Hellboy fans. The game is a one-to-four player co-op board game in which players take on the roles of Hellboy and his allies as they fight everything from ghostly apparations to undead Nazis. Hellboy: The Board Game feels like a walk through one of the Hellboy comics and is a must have for any comic book fan.
Hellboy: The Board Game is available on Amazon and through other hobby retailers.
Horrified is a lightweight game that pits players against the iconic monsters of Universal Studios. Players try to collect different items from a haunted town, protecting innocent villagers and avoiding monsters like Dracula, the Mummy, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Horrified is great because the gameplay is simple for newcomers, but has lots of replay value thanks to the different combinations you can throw at monsters. Each monster has their own unique style and can quickly overwhelm players if they don't stay out of the way. Perfect for any movie lover, Horrified is the perfect game for anyone looking to try out a new board game, regardless of their experience level.
Horrified is available at Amazon and through other hobby retailers.
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