2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Kids Games!

2 12 2013

Whether you have kids of your own, know someone with kids, or were a kid once yourself, it can be hard to find just the right game for the tiny little snot factories in your life. So as we continue our gift guides, we’re going to

give you some of our favorite new and old games you can pick up for the kiddos—all of which are in print. And on a few of them we’ve linked to our review of the game, so you can investigate yourself if it’s a game you’d be interested in. We’ll give you the MSRP, and age/audience as it’s appropriate. So without further ado, here’s the list!

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Party Games

27 11 2013

Well, here we go again with our 2013 edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. So let’s get this PARTY started with Party Games! These are the games you’ll grab when you’ve got a room full of friends over and someone says, “Let’s Play Apples To Apples!” Once you kick that dork out of your house, you can pull out one of these fun games…

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The Best Board Games of 2012!

7 02 2013

Thanks for joining us for Post #200 here at Theology Of Games. In the Better Late Than Never category: Here they are—our picks for the best games of 2012! Now, realize that even though we both have a board game group that meets weekly, there are some games we just didn’t get a chance to play. So games such as Mage Wars and Snowdonia and Myrmes just didn’t get played. They might have made the list, and I’m sure we’ll play those at some point. You’ll just have to wait for the review. 🙂 We also went off of the release dates as seen on each game’s page on Boardgamegeek. There are a number of games I was sure came out this year, but I was surprised to see they were actually released earlier (Mage Knight, King of Tokyo, Kaispeicher). So without further ado…

Mice & Mystics10. Mice & Mystics—It’s essentially a dungeon crawler. You go through rooms, you fight swarms of baddies, you have weapons and armor and special powers, you roll dice, and you’re following a loose sort of plot. My group is eight missions into the campaign and we’re having great fun. One big reason it doesn’t rate higher is that once I’ve played through the campaign, I’ll likely never play the base game again. (Or at least until the expansion comes out.)

Lords9. Lords Of Waterdeep—This is a worker placement game with a thick veneer of fantasy to it. There’s a fair bit of mess-with-your-neighbor-ness to it, but I was okay with it.

smashcover8. Smash Up—A card-battling, shuffle-building game, featuring different factions that you can combine to smash up one of several bases on the table. Light rules, cool cards, and fun faction combos. Check out our review here.

PlatoCover7. Plato 3000—This was a surprisingly fun little filler! It’s basically rummy with special powers—if you can snag a copy, you should do so! You can read the review here.

gauntlet6. Gauntlet Of Fools—This is another filler that grabbed our attention. You grab your hapless hero and head into the dungeon, where you’ll almost certainly die. Sounds fun, right?! Well it really, really is. Read our detailed thoughts on it here.

cover5. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game—The minis are way cool. The gameplay is fast and fun. AND IT’S STAR WARS! This is the kind of game I expect to sink a ton of cash into, but the looks on my kids’ faces when we play makes it worth it. Here’s our review of this terrific game.

cover4. Android: Netrunner—The first of two LCGs on the list is a remake of the classic CCG from the 90s. This reboot is excellent. The key is the asymmetrical play—with one playing the powerful corporation and the other playing the plucky, tricky hacker. This has so much potential for interesting expansions…I can hear my wallet screaming now… Here’s our review.

box-SWLCG-left3. Star Wars Card Game—This is the start of something really great; the base set is already climbing to the top of our lists, and they haven’t yet expanded it for 4 players. With the unique Edge Battle mechanic, paired up with some pretty awesome card artwork, the sky is the limit for this LCG. We’re really looking forward to what Fantasy Flight has in store. In the meantime, check out Jeremiah’s review.

Mayancover2. Tzolk’in—I can’t remember the last time I was this enamored with a game. Rather than gush over it here, I’ll just point you to my review.

Avalon1. The Resistance: Avalon—What can we say about this game that we haven’t already? The Resistance is one of our favorite titles of all time, and Avalon adds just enough variance and depth to keep us coming back for more back-stabbing, lying, skulduggery and intrigue. The new/optional roles have increased re-playability even more. Read our review here; then go get the game. Now. What are you waiting for?!

So what did you think were the best games of last year? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you “Like” us on Facebook. And over on Twitter too!





2012 Holiday Gift Guide – Stocking Stuffers!

11 12 2012

Today we’re completing our gift guide with a list of things to get that gamer who has EVERYTHING! These little trinkets are fun, add something to your favorite game, or just add a little geeky Christmas cheer!

Catan Ornament 2012Catan Ornament – For the serious Catan fan, this cut-brass beauty will help you celebrate the season while settling on the newfound island of Catan. The third in the Catan Resource series, this year’s ornament features wool.

Cost: $48.00

Available from: Mayfair Games

Pirates of the Spanish Main card game – Wizkids Games’ latest reboot of their former titles, turns their classic consrtuctable strategy game, into a single-deck card game, perfect for the nostalgic Pirates player, with lots of art that has been re-purposed for the game.

Cost: $10.60

Available from: Amazon, or your local game store

Ages: 8 & up

When Zombies AttackWhen Zombies Attack – Because Attack Dice (makers of When Zombies Attack), isn’t Steve Jackson Games, this fun little dice roller has been somewhat overlooked. Unlike Jackson’s “Zombie Dice”—which is basically a re-themed version of Farkle—When Zombies Attack is a competitive dice game that has players trying to eliminate not ALL of the zombies, just ones attacking them! Totally worth picking up and stuffing someone’s stocking with this one!

Cost: $14.99 (And they’re running a special Christmas deal 2 for $25.00!)

Available: Right here!

Ages: 8 & up

Alvin and DexterAlvin and Dexter: A Ticket to Ride Monster Expansion – By far one of the coolest mini expansions for a game to come along in a while! This was released last year and is becoming harder to find! They’re out there, so grab a set for your gamer and become the hero of the day! It’s like a Godzilla effect for Ticket to Ride! ‘Nuff said!

Cost: $15.00

Available from: Amazon, and your local game store.

LOTR SleevesLord of the Rings card sleeves – Fantasy Flight released a series of card sleeves featuring art from LOTR: the card game, every gamer wants to sleeve their cards, but most of the time they buy the cheap clear sleeves because that leaves more money for more games. So a couple packs a snazzy LOTR sleeves is sure to make the yuletide gay! (Note- there are Star Wars sleeves available now too!)

Cost: $5.00

Available from: Amazon, and your local game store

IronDieIronDie – I saw these at Origins this year and HAD to buy one. Simply because they are so cool! There is a game that is played with them if you choose to buy the whole set, but if you play any game that requires a 6-sided die, pick up a couple of these to replace them! There are now also polyhedral designs for that role player on your list!

Cost: $5.00 (6-Sided) $25.00 (Polyhedral, 7 die set)

Available from: Amazon, and your local game store.

Thanks so much for reading and being a part of Theology of Games; we hope this guide has been helpful to you during this wonderful season!

As always stay tuned for more great features from the gaming world!

Merry Christmas, everyone!





2012 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide—Gamers’ Games

7 12 2012

Here it is folks, the list you’ve been waiting for. You have a total gamer geek at work, and you pulled that person’s name in the office secret Santa gift exchange! Now what? Never fear…below you’ll find a list of games we ourselves are clamoring over and would love to see under the tree! We give you: the Gamers’ Games gift guide!

Star Wars the Card GameStar Wars The Card Game—Fantasy Flight has been working on getting this game out for years now, and they say it will be in stores for Christmas! We’re very excited about this, their newest addition to the Living Card Game line up. And so will most any gamer out there! We interviewed Eric Lang the designer of the game last month; check it out here!

Cost: TBA (Estimated around $39.99)

Available from: Amazon and your local game store (Coming soon!)

Ages: 10 & up

Lord of the Rings the Card GameLord of the Rings: The Card Game—Yes, yes, we know… Two “living card games” in the same guide?! But really, if you’re a fan of co-op games, this is probably one of the most elegant, and strategic of them all. It scales incredibly well—from 1-4 players—and is one of our favorite games here at TOG.
If the gamer in your life is already into LOTR:TCG check out the new saga expansions The Hobbit: Under Hill and Over Hill, The Hobbit: On the Doorstep, and The Heirs of Numenor.

Cost: $39.99 (Base Set) $29.99 (Saga Expansions)

Available from: Amazon and your friendly local game store

Ages: 10 & up

DominionDominion—The card game that turned card games on their collective ears. Dominion is the premier deck-building franchise; it’s incredibly rare for a game to create a genre, and then remain (arguably) the best game in that genre. Chances are if you’ve played a card game that was released in the last four years it was influenced in some way by Dominion. There are multiple expansions for Dominion that continue to strengthen this modern classic. If your gamer has Dominion already, check out the Prosperity expansion, and the newest Dark Ages!

Cost: $39.99 (Base set) $29.99 (Expansions)

Available from: Amazon and your local game store

Ages: 13 & up

Mage KnightMage Knight—This game is for serious gamers only! Deep, complex, and rich game mechanics, and multiple campaigns to play. It’s like role-playing in a growing board game. (Some campaigns are estimated to take up to 8 hours or more to complete!) If your gamer is a fan of games set in the fantasy realm, and highly involved game play, this is the game for them! Check out our review of the game right here!

Cost: $69.99

Available from: Amazon and local game stores

Ages: 14 & up

Star Wars X-WingStar Wars: X-Wing Miniatures—Easy rules. Amazing miniatures. Fun gameplay. This game is going to end up costing me sooooo much money, but playing this with my kids will lessen that sting considerably. There are official scenarios, fan-made scenarios, or you can just have a wipe-out-the-other-guys dogfight. If you have a Star Wars fan on your list, this one should be on your short list. If you want more info, you can read our in-depth review.

Cost: $39.99

Available from: Amazon, department stores and your local game store

Ages: 14 & up

Mice & MysticsMice & Mystics—This game is basically a dungeon crawler, but instead of a typical fantasy theme, here you’re playing as a group of mice trying to get to the bottom of a deadly conspiracy. Each scenario is a “chapter” in the story, with objectives, special powers, and dangerous enemies, such as rats, giant centipedes, huge spiders, and a cat!

Cost: $74.99

Available from: Amazon
and your local game store

Ages: 7 & up

Gauntlet of FoolsGauntlet Of Fools—Even hardcore gamers sometimes need to play a quick game to start or end the evening—or to play while waiting for other people to finish another game. Gauntlet of Fools is the perfect game for that. You’re heading into a dungeon with your chosen hero. Everyone is going to die, but if you can die with the most money, you’ll win. Lots of fun. You can read our full review of the game here.

Cost: $19.99

Available from: Amazon and your local game store

Ages: 8 & up





2012 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide—Gateway Games

30 11 2012

So it’s New Year’s Eve, and you and your spouse are having another couple over for “games.” It’s easy to pull out the old standbys—the games that everyone knows how to play. But you have a plan to foist some games on these unsuspecting people, but you don’t know where to start. We’re here to help. These are some games that are good introductions to the vast world of board games…we call them Gateway Games.

Ticket To Ride—I (Firestone) think this is the best gateway game out there. It’s colorful. It has great production values. The rules are easy to explain. And there’s just enough luck that the newcomers have a chance to win, too. Oh yeah, and it’s fun! And if they like this, there are a number of expansions and maps you can slowly add in.

Cost:~$40

Available From: Amazon, many department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Carcassonne—This tile-laying game is an excellent choice for newbies and nongamers. Draw a tile, place a tile, and decide whether to place a person down; that’s  it! It’s also the very first review we did here at Theology of Games!

Cost: ~$30

Available From: Amazon, some department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up.

Bohnanza—This card game sounds weird: You’re bean farmers and you’re trying to be a better bean farmer than your opponents. But you have to work with them to get your beans planted. I told you it sounds weird. But it’s a fun card game that’s cheap and portable.

Cost:~$20

Available From: Amazon and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up

Lost Cities: The Board Game—Based on the two-player game Lost Cities, this is a terrific board game that has plenty of interesting choices to make but is simple enough for nongamer friends.

Cost:~$30

Available From: Amazon and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Snow Tails—We talked about this game in our Family Games edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. And it’s just as true here: Race games are a fun and easy genre.

Cost: ~$35

Available From: Amazon
, and your friendly local game store

Ages: 8 and up

Kingdom Builder—This may be a step up for newcomers. Maybe you’ve played Ticket To Ride a bunch of times, and the other couple is ready for the next step. Kingdom Builder is that game. It’s still simple enough, so don’t be afraid. Here’s our review right here!

Cost:~$45

Available From: Amazon, some department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Mystery of the Abbey—Do your friends like Clue? Well Mystery is kind of like Clue but with fantastic production values, and much more interesting things to do. It’s better than Clue in every way…

Cost:~$50

Available From: Amazon
, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up

Star Trek Catan—For lots of people, Settlers of Catan was their “gateway game”—the game that got them into the hobby. They now have a Star Trek-themed version, and it looks much more thematically fun than the original version.

Cost: ~$40

Available From: This is exclusively available at Target.

Ages: 10 and up





2012 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide—Party Games

26 11 2012

Today’s category for the Gift Guide is Party Games! These are the ones you bring out when everyone’s crashed your pad for Christmas. Or when your adult small group gets together for New Year’s and someone wants to play Catch Phrase for the millionth time… Or when you have a group of restless teenagers wanting to burn off some energy.

The Resistance—This is hands down one of our favorite games of the year. It’s also a great game for larger groups and supports play with up to 10 people! Take all of the elements you like about Mafia, or Werewolf, and leave out the bad, and you have The Resistance. Players are members of the Resistance trying to topple the evil oppressive government, but there are spies among them trying to sabotage them at every turn! The Resistance is a quick playing highly interactive game, that will have players wanting to play again as soon as the first game ends! We seriously can’t get enough of this game! You can read our review here. There’s also a new version called The Resistance: Avalon that has some special powers, and is a good next-step after the original.)

Cost: $20

Available From: Amazon, your local game store, and soon big box department stores.

Ages: Probably 14 and up for this one.

Fluxx—This signature game from Looney Labs has become a staple game for larger groups. It’s easy to learn, but hard to win—in fact when the game begins there is literally no way to win! Players take turns drawing and playing cards. As cards are played new rules, goals, and items are added to the game; once a goal is met, then the game is over. The game is always changing, and planning a turn in advance is nearly impossible; it’s high on luck, and low on strategy, which makes the game both fun and frustrating at times. Fluxx comes in many different flavors, including Pirate, Wizard of Oz, Zombie, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Check out our review of Fluxx right here!

Cost: $15

Ages: 8 & up

Available From: Amazon, most department stores and your local game shop.

Time’s Up: Deluxe—I’ve (Firestone) played this charades variant a RIDICULOUS number of times, and I love it. We play in teams, and everyone is given the same 40 names of famous people. You play in three rounds: In the first one you can use words and actions and sounds and pretty much whatever to get your team to guess the name. In the second round you’re all playing with the same exact words, but this time you can only use one word (but still actions and sounds). And finally, in the third round, again using the same batch of words, you can only use actions and sounds. So much fun.

Cost: ~20

Available From: Amazon, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: Adults (I don’t think this would be a good game for teenagers—too many names they’ve never heard of.)

Wits & Wagers—The great thing about this “trivia” game is that you don’t have to know a lot of trivia to do well. The game asks a question—such as “How tall is the Statue of Liberty?” Everyone answers, and then you bet on whose answer you think is actually closest. You do get points for having the answer closest to the actual answer, but you can still do well by betting well.

Cost: ~$20

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up (There’s also Wits & Wagers Family, which removes the “gambling” element and has questions that are appropriate for kids and the whole family.)

Dixit—Bring your creativity for this game. There are lots and lots of wild and interesting pictures. Everyone is dealt a hand of the cards. On your turn, you pick a card from your hand, place it facedown, and say a word or phrase that describes that picture in some way. Then everyone picks a card from their hand that could also describe the word or phrase you said and adds it to the facedown pile. You shuffle the cards, place them faceup, and guess which card you think was the original card. You don’t want to be too obvious in your descriptive word(s), because if everyone guesses correctly, you get no points. And anyone who played a card that was guessed (incorrectly) gets points, too. I really like how this stretches me creatively.

Cost: ~$25

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 & up

Spot It!—This might be a little short for a party game, but if your group likes short games, this is perfect for large groups. Everyone is trying to be the first to spot the symbol on the middle card that matches one in front of them. It’s harder than it sounds. This game is cheap, portable, and easily explained—perfect for a party! Check out our full review here!

Cost: ~$14

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 5 and up. This would work great with any group.

Jungle Speed—Everyone has a pile of cards. Each person in turn flips the top card of their pile. If the pattern matches someone else’s, there’s a duel where you both try to grab the stick in the middle. Bandage everyone up, and continue! We reviewed the whole game a few weeks ago.

Cost: ~$15

Available From: Amazon, department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 7 and up

Say Anything—You’re asked a question, such as “What is the most overrated band of all time?” People write down what they think your answer would be. You secretly pick one of the given answers as the “correct” answer. Then everyone bets on which of those answers they think you picked. (BTW, the correct answer is The Dave Matthews Band.)

Cost: ~$20

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 & up (Like Wits & Wagers, this one has a Family version with more family friendly questions.)

Bang!—The Spaghetti Western card game, another fun “role” based game in which players are dealt a role card that determines how they play and win the game. Lots of finger pointing, dueling, and just plain taking pot shots at your friends! Check out our full review here.

Cost: $20

Available From: Amazon and your local game store

Ages: 8 & up

We Didn’t Playtest This at All—A game that not only rivals the quirkiness of Fluxx, it surpasses it! WDPTAA is a very fast-playing game for larger groups. The goal is simple: win. There are a few ways to win, but the best way is to not lose. And there are a TON of ways to lose. Players can lose one at a time, or in large fell swoops, depending on the card played. It’s totally random, but totally fun! Every time we play it there are a ton of laughs! And you can read the full review on the game right here!

Cost: $15 (On Amazon, although my copy was $8 at my local game store)

Available from: Amazon, and local game stores

Ages: 8 & up

So what did we miss? Leave a comment and let us know. And thanks for reading!








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