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Sunday, November 29, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Meta-guide

Plenty of people have plenty of gift ideas for the holidays, so rather than compile my own list to add to the rest, I've assembled my second annual collection of holiday gift guides with recommendations from all over the blogosphere.  At the end, I'll highlight the most frequently recommended games from all these lists.

SAHMReviews posts a number of gift guides, including a couple of game-focused categories:
Board Game Family has posted eleven categories of gift recommendations:
 Theology of Games has posted a series of five gift guides:
 Board Game Quest posted their recommendations in nine categories:
Dice Hate Me always has a unique take on gift categories:
  • Best Game for Ye Olde Salty Dog
  • Best Game For Those Who Prefer Nightmare Before Christmas Over Holiday Inn
  • Best Game with Dice for Players Who Hate Dice
  • Best Stuffer for the Stocking
  • Best Game to Buy the Kids and Then Play It More Than They Do
  • Best Game to Move ‘Em On Up From Ticket to Ride
  • Best Classic Game That Your Euro-Loving Cousin Eddie Will Absolutely Adore
  • Best Game for Your Uncle Steve Who’s Always in Atlantic City
  • Best Game for Your Favorite Sports Freak
  • Best Game That’ll Satisfy Just About Everyone
  • Best Game That’s Bigger Than Your Tree for Your Favorite Space Marine
  • Best Train Game That They’ll NEVER See Coming
  • Best Game for Those iOS-Addicted Relatives
  • Best Game For When the Eggnog Starts Hitting Hard 
Aint It Cool's Eric "Quint" Vespe buried his idiosyncratic game recommendations deep into his Part 2 of Holiday Gift Guides.  Search for "game section" to jump straight down to the boardgames.  He has a fascination with IP-themed mass-market games, from Back to the Future Monopoly to Star Wars Sorry.

Anton Olsen from GeekDad returns this year with a full slate of 19 game recommendations.

And Jenny Bristol from GeekMom returns as well with her own 13 recommendations.

[Fri 4 Dec]  And here's a hot-off-the-press late addition:  Kim "Brainy Chick" Vandenbroucke from The Game Aisle provides ten recommendations in three categories:
  • Top Two Most Played by Kim in 2015
  • Children's Games
  • Adult and Family Games
And one more:  Anna Washenko has posted 13 recommendations on Mashable for the following people on your gift list:
  • The party hosts
  • The strategizers
  • The business buffs
  • The collaborators
  • The families
[Added Mon 14 Dec:] iSlayTheDragon has posted gift guides for the following categories:

So among these lists, almost 190 different games are recommended, of which a few received multiple mentions.  Here are the most-frequently recommended games:
  1. Codenames as a party game that will appeal to everyone (and I will second that recommendation)
  2. Pandemic Legacy as a cooperative game for gamers
  3. Mysterium as a cooperative deduction game (or as Dice Hate Me puts it, "for those who prefer Nightmare Before Christmas over Holiday Inn") 
  4. Camel Up (or as I prefer, Camel Cup) as a family game that involves friendly (?) wagers
  5. Castles of Mad King Ludwig for gamers
  6. Colt Express as a family strategy game
    [late additions:] 
  7. Between Two Cities as a semi-cooperative Euro game
  8. Elysium as a gamer's strategy game
  9. New York 1901 as a family strategy game that is a good "next step" after new gamers have learned Ticket to Ride
  10. Roll for the Galaxy as a dice game, even for people who hate dice games
  11. Two Rooms and a Boom as a party game

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