Sunday, December 16, 2007

Boardgames for Christmas

It's fun to play games, but it's fun to give games too. And with Christmas on the way, giving things is definitely on my mind. (Unfortunately, it's also the reason why I skipped posting last week - between family, Agricola and work, the last few weeks have been a bit mad).

We have a friend who loves penguins. Like us, she has a 5' high inflatable penguin; unlike ours, I think hers is still inflated. Last year, we found the perfect Christmas gift - the game Weihnachtspinguine (Christmas Penguins). Not only does it have penguins and even a polar bear, it's also a pretty fun game. Chalk up a gift-giving success.

Some games really scream out to be given to particular people. Here's my list.

Game Name: On the Underground
Designer: Sebastian Bleasdale
I'd like to give it to: My friends Jane and Stuart, who lived in London for 5 years or so.

Jane and Stuart introduced us to The London Game during the '90s - and we spent many happy times exploring the Tube together from our dining table. On the Underground is a great game for two or more players, so they can play it with one another or with friends, or with their children as they grow up.

They'll love the theme, and it's a great game as well.

Game Name: Thebes
Designer: Peter Prinz
I'd like to give it to: My brother, who studied ancient history and classics at University.

My brother doesn't play a lot of games any more, but I think this one would be an exception. Players take the role of archaeologists at the start of the twentieth century, travelling around Europe doing research and exhibiting their finds, as well as visiting archaeological sites to excavate for treasure.

The theme of this game is a real attraction - it works so well, you can really believe that you are on a dig (especially when your precious dig turns up only pot shards). There's enough luck that everyone has fun, and enough skill that the game never gets boring.

Game Name: Trötofant
Designer: Roberto Fraga
I'd like to give it to: My 4- and 9-year-old daughters

Who doesn't need some silliness in their life? This game provides it in elephant-sized doses.

Each player represents an elephant, trying to collect as many logs as possible from the top of a tree. But they can't use their hands to collect the logs - they must pick them up in a party tooter whistle, as it rolls back up.

I've never played this game, and I honestly don't know whether I can recommend it to anyone else. But I think it sounds great fun, and I think the girls will too!

Game Name: Uno Attack
Designer: (Uncredited)
I'd like to give it to: A "giving tree"

This has become a family tradition. A few years ago, my elder daughter and I decided to buy a gift to put into a charity basket.

"What should we buy?" I asked her.

"Well, we really love games, and other kids do too, so I think we should buy a boardgame"

After much careful selection, Uno Attack was chosen - and it continues to go into the basket each year.

Who would you like to buy a game for? And what is the story?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I'm giving Trötofant to my 7-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece, but really want to keep it for myself instead! It looks like an incredibly silly and fun game, along the lines of Loopin' Louie.