The holidays are for celebrating with friends and family. College students are home from school, most professions allow for time off to spend with family, and unless you live in a tropical climate, most people enjoy staying inside to bundle up and stay warm. Family game night is when everyone gets together to sit down and play games with each other. Eating, telling stories, laughing, playing games, and eventually falling asleep on the couch after way too much turkey and side dishes! Everyone knows the same old games that we have played throughout the years, and although there is nothing wrong with the old “classics”, sometimes we need a little more variety in our lives. Surprise your student this season with a variety of new games to play.

 

Love Letter

Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Play Time: 20 Minutes
Love letter is a quick and easy to learn game played with a set of 16 cards. In this game, all players are attempting to get a love letter to the princess. At the end of each short round, whomever had the princess or the highest card at the end earns a point and starts off the next round.

 

Splendor

Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Splendor is a card drafting game where players take turns collecting chips, buying a card or reserving a card once per turn. These cards represent different priced gems, which are purchased with either the chips or other purchased card throughout the game. The game ends when one person wins by obtaining 15 “prestige points”.

 

Telestrations

Players: 4-8
Ages: 12+
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Telestrations is a fun, family friendly game of telephone, but instead of speaking the words, it is done through writing and drawing. Each person is given a dry erase notepad, dry erase marker and a word or phrase. After writing down the word, the booklet is passed to the next person who draws what the previous person wrote, passing it on to the next person. That person then writes what they think was drawn and passes the booklet along. This continues until everyone has written or drawn in every booklet.

 

King of Tokyo

Players: 2-6
Ages: 8+
Play Time: 30 Minutes
King of Tokyo is a fun game played with oversized character pieces, special dice and a small board. Players take turns rolling the dice and obtaining victory points, gaining energy, restoring health or attacking another player. The player that is currently inside Tokyo can gain the most points, but is also left under direct attack of the other players. Purchasing additional powers with energy will boost your character. The game ends when one player accumulates 20 victory points, or is the last monster standing in Tokyo.

 

Bang! The Dice Game

Players: 3-8
Ages: 8+
Play Time: 15 Minutes
Bang! The Dice Game is an easy to learn game where players are secretly given a team to play on. The way you play is based on if you draw a Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw or Renegade. Players then take turns rolling the dice and attacking other players with their roll, or healing themselves or others. Players can win as a team, depending on their own team’s winning condition for the game.

 

 

Codenames

Players: 2-8 (works best with 4+)
Ages: 14+
Play Time: 15 Minutes
Codenames is a team vs. team game (there are 2-3 player variants, but team vs. team works best). Word tiles are laid out in a pattern on the table, and based on the pattern given on the tile that was drawn, the spymaster attempts to get their team to guess the words they are looking at based on a “code word” they give. Multiple words can be grouped together and guessed, but you must stay away from the other team’s tiles and from the assassin.

 

Exit: The Game

Players: 1-6
Ages: 12+
Play Time: 60-120 Minutes
Exit: The Game has many different versions, such as The Abandoned Cabin, The Secret Lab, The Pharaoh’s Tomb, The Forbidden Castle, The Forgotten Island, & many more! These games are one-time play games that are similar to Escape the Room experiences. A short story is told at the beginning, explaining where the players are and how they got there. Players work together through the different clues given to them, which then can lead to other clues and ideas. There are codes to crack, puzzles to solve, objects to collect and an escape to be made!

 

Pandemic

Players: 2-4
Ages: 8+
Play Time: 45 Minutes
Pandemic is a game where everyone chooses their own role, allowing them to use specific abilities to impact the game. There are outbreaks across a world map, and players work together to cure and prevent the spread of these diseases across the world. The plays and character powers are controlled by the cards drawn from a deck, while the normal spread is controlled by a separate deck. This is a co-op game where everyone wins as long as all 4 diseases are cured.

 

Dominion

Players: 2-4
Ages: 13+
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Dominion is a card drafting game that starts out with a small hand of cards, and 10 piles of cards from which to draft. The piles that are available in the “market” for purchase depend on either a grouping selected from a “starter pack” listed in the instruction book, or from a random draw of 10 separate card types. Players will use their coin cards to purchase cards from the market, putting that card into their deck. Each card allows for additional actions, purchases or things to do that will benefit the player, based on how they draw and play their cards in hand. The player with the most victory points after either two market piles are gone, or the pile of the highest victory point card (providence cards) is gone, wins the game.

 

Photosynthesis

Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Play Time: 30-60 Minutes
Photosynthesis is a multiple award winning game, most recently the recipient of the 2018 Mensa Select Award. In this game, players take on the role of a species of tree, trying to survive with limited space and access to sunlight. As the sun moves around the board, players who are in direct sunlight from that angle receive photosynthesis points and are able to use those points to increase the size of their current trees on the board, or purchase seeds to create new trees that spread across the forest. Whichever player has the most victory points at the end of the suns third revolution around the board wins the game.

 

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