Let's hypothesize that you're one of the few who did not finish all your holiday shopping last Friday while braving middle-of-the-night mall crowds. Need some ideas? How about board games all around? Between brand spankin' new releases and recent editions of old favorites, you're likely to find some kind of game to suit everyone on your list, from the grumpy teenager to the leisure-loving retiree.
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York spans what river? Which happened most recently in history: the stone age, the bronze age or the iron age? How many stomachs does a cow have? If Trivial Pursuit is a little too far out of your knowledge league, this game—based on the TV show of the same name—leaves the obscure behind and gets back to your elementary-school roots. Or not. The premise of the game is deceptively simple: correctly answer questions from your early childhood education against a team of fifth-graders. Be forewarned, however, it's harder than it sounds to dig through the haze of all those years of life that separate the adult you from the fifth-grader you. Ages 8 and up, Hasbro, Hasbro.com.
Monopoly, Boston Red Sox World Series Collector's Edition,
A third-generation Yankees fan myself, this edition of Monopoly will not be on my Christmas list, birthday list or other want list of any kind. Ever. But the BoSox do have many a fan in our fair city and no doubt, a few of those are fanatical enough to pencil this one in on their gift list. Play one of six game pieces (the World Series trophy, a batter, a pitcher, a ball in glove, a Red Sox cap or a catcher's mask), round the bases, trade players and enjoy reminiscing because next season ... Ages 8 and up, Hasbro, Hasbro.com.
At a recent BW retreat, the boss lady ordered that all employees and their significant others in attendance participate in the most-competitive event of the BW calendar year (yes, it was even bigger than the infamous cherry-spitting contest); it was a battle of luck for which the ultimate prize was a garden gnome. It was a Blokus tournament. Four players, each with a collection of Tetris-like pieces, attempt to rid themselves of as many pieces as possible before running out of room in the board. It's a dog-eat-dog world on that board, however, as your opponents (or coworkers, as was our case) block your path in an attempt to be the player with the fewest remaining pieces. Ages 8 and up, Sekkoia, Blokus.com.
This classic now comes in super-size options. The old-school dice game Yahtzee that requires a heavy hand from lady luck to win has a new version out that's on steroids with a wheel-shaped dice tray and the opportunity to score double or triple points. Ages 8 and up, Winning Moves, Winning-Moves.com
Hablas espanol? Adivina Quien? (aka Guess Who?) is another old-school game with a recent revival for a new generation. This one banks on that generation being bilingual. Players ask "yes" or "no" questions in order to crack the mystery of whose face is on their opponent's card in this Spanish version. Ages 6 and up, Hasbro, Hasbro.com.