Tis the season for giving with Hanukkah upon us and Christmas close behind, but not everyone is in the know on what board games are good for different people so CMON is stepping in by offering a gift giving guide. While the list they offer is not exhaustive, it does touch on some key personality traits like people who are artsy, adventurous, a social butterfly, and even the know it all smarty pants.
For the artsy person in your life, CMON suggests either Reiner Knizia’s classic Modern Art, or their newly released game called Dream On. Modern Art is an auction style game where each player will be putting a piece of art up for auction, hoping that other players will buy it from him. If they buy it then he gets their money, but if no one buys it he can buy it from himself, but then he has to pay his money to the bank. This continues until all paintings are sold, and in the end each painting is valued by how many of it sold and the richest player is the winner. So while the game is a solid auction style game, the art of the cards is beautiful and feature a lot of classic and modern works, plus there is an included guide book in the instructions that talk about all the different works of art in the game. Then there is the fact that since this is an art game, you can find different versions of the game form all over the world, featuring art from that region, making it something truly unique for a world art lover. Dream On is a very different game but still taps into that creative side by being a group memory game with story telling and excellent art. In the game you will play down a card, each of which have beautiful abstract art, while telling a story about it, then the next person will do the same, continuing until everyone has played down their cards. Then it’s time to try and remember the dream by going around the table and saying what the next card that had been played is, so the more memorable a story you tell, the easier the memory part will be. Based on how far you get will determine your score, so the game definitely caters to those more creative people.
For the adventuring type, CMON recommends two of their newer dungeon crawl style games with Massive Darkness and Gateway: Uprising. Both games feature characters that you will be able to play through a campaign with, leveling up and gaining new abilities and gear as you go along. You will be fighting all sorts of evil and monsters as you journey through the game to it’s conclusion. The question is, what kind of adventure do you want to go on? If you want to be lightbringers fighting against the oncoming darkness, pushing back against the great evil trying to overthrow the world, then pick up a copy of Massive Darkness. Does fighting against an oppressive rule in your city that has outlawed magic in a bid to concentrate power into their own evil hands sound more like you? Then Gateway: Uprising is the game you are looking for.
For the social butterfly we have some brand new party games you can get int he form of Sherlook and Raise Your Goblets. Sherlook is an interesting party game in that you are famous detectives trying to solve a case, but while you were away from the crime scene a rookie cop messed it all up. Now it’s up to you and your fellow detectives to put things back where they were. In the game there will be two pictures, the original and what the room looks like now, and it’s a race to pick out all the differences between the two before everyone else. Raise your Goblets is more of a social deduction, party game that resembles a popular scene from the movie Princess Bride. In the game everyone is vying to become the next ruler, and is willing to eliminate all the competition to achieve their goal. Each round someone will secretly give out drinks with some being poisoned, and others being just wine, and on your turn you either drink what is in front of you, or swap it with someone else. Once everyone has either drunk or swapped, everyone drinks what is front of them and those who were poisoned are out. Last one standing is the winner.
And finally, we come to the recommendations for the intellectual of your group, with a heavier game like Lorenzo Il Magnifico, or a tough cooperative game like The Grizzled. Lorenzo Il Magnifico is what come call a crunchy game, something will lots of choices but not enough actions to be able to do everything you want. Plus there is a lot of things to juggle as you “gather resources, construct buildings, conquer territories, make powerful allies, and pay homage to the church” in a bid to become the most prestigious family. The game is undoubtedly fun, but it’s going to give you a mental workout as you play this game. The other game, The Grizzled, is difficult in a different way as playing the game is very simple, either play a card or withdraw from the round. The thinking part of it comes with how far can you push your luck? Who do I need to support to eliminate a troublesome negative effect? How many cards do we need to play in order to reduce the deck while not failing the mission? It’s all these questions and working with your friends to beat this game that makes it both tough and satisfying as you work towards victory.
You can read more about all of these games in CMON’s game guide article, and pick up any you might need at your friendly local game store.