Each year that our daughters get older, it becomes more apparent how difficult they are to shop for. We can purchase gift cards or give them cash, but it’s just not very personal. We know we aren’t alone in these hiccups. Shopping for older kids as well as adults can be enough to cause you to pull your hair out. Tabletop games continue to be our favorite gift for this awkward group. We’ve prioritized these gifts for years because they give those recipients the opportunity to enjoy the gift with friends, family or total strangers. Hearing about the girls attending board game meetups at college just solidified for us that we have been on the right track.
With that in mind, this list includes games that are perfect for this demographic! Or if someone is asking for ideas for YOU, point them here with a hint to which are your favorites. As mentioned previously, click through our logo to learn more about any titles it is displayed next to.
Experience an entire year in feudal Tokyo! In Iki, not only are there artisans, but street vendors, sellers at the shops, and professions unique to this time and age. Hire these professionals who will gain experience and earn income for you at the end of every round. But watch for fires that happen each season. After the new year, whoever has the most points after twelve months wins.
Frosthaven is the story of a small outpost far to the north of the capital city of White Oak, an outpost barely surviving the harsh weather as well as invasions from forces both known and unknown. There, a group of mercenaries at the end of their rope will help bring back this settlement from the edge of destruction. Not only will they have to deal with the harsh elements, but there are other, far more dangerous threats out in the unforgiving cold as well. There are Algox, the bigger, more yeti-like cousins of the Inox, attacking from the mountains; Lurkers flooding in from the northern sea; and rumors of machines that wander the frozen wastes of their own free will. The party of mercenaries must face all of these perils, and perhaps in doing so, make peace with these new races so they can work together against even more sinister forces.
Frosthaven is a standalone adventure from the designer and publisher of Gloomhaven that features sixteen new characters, three new races, more than twenty new enemies, more than one hundred new items, and a new, 100-scenario campaign. Characters and items from Gloomhaven will be usable in Frosthaven, and vice versa.
COMING TO RETAIL SOON!
Suspects is the first in a line of investigation games with streamlined rules and plots centered on the psychology of characters in the style of Agatha Christie’s novels. The first chapter features the ingenious and fearless Claire Harper in three stories that pay tribute to the great classics of detective literature, set in an English theater, Scottish mansion, and Egyptian pyramids!
Nominated for game of the year in several countries, Nidavellir is a snappy set collection game set in Norse mythology. Each turn, bid a coin on each tavern. In descending order, choose a character and add this character to your army. Each dwarf class has its own scoring way: blacksmith, hunter, warrior, explorer, and miner. A meticulous recruitment will allow you to attract a powerful hero to your army.
Assume the role of one of Earth’s most powerful Heroines as you settle their disputes with each other through excessive firepower! Use your actions to form Patterns, clear your board of bullets, and assault the opponent! Keep up dealing with the curtain of bullets coming at you each round and be the last Heroine standing to win!
Mortum: Medieval Detective
Flamecraft is a beautiful game of dragon-placement and engine building. It has been described as “one of 2022’s best [games]” and “the sweetest blend of art and design that I’ve seen in a tabletop game since Scythe, and a top-tier contender for my personal game of the year.” by Charlie Hall of Polygon.
Arcana Rising invites up to six spellcasters to participate in a competition to acquire arcane artifacts and cast mighty spells in an effort to gain knowledge and power. As they gather their mystical relics, they note the passing of the moons which amplify the power of certain schools of magic allowing wizards to cast spells at the peak of their power and prove themselves the wizard most worthy of ascension!
Cult of the Deep
It’s a Wonderful World
It’s a Wonderful World is a card-drafting and engine-building game from 1 to 5 players. Each round, players will draft 7 cards and then choose which ones will be recycled to immediately acquire Resources, and which ones will be kept for construction to produce Resources each round and/or gain victory points.
Tiny Epic Dungeons Deluxe
Tiny Epic Dungeons is a fully cooperative dungeon crawler for 1 to 4 players set in the fantasy world of Aughmoore. In Tiny Epic Dungeons, players control a band of Heroes exploring a treacherous dungeon in search of the fearsome Dungeon Boss. Heroes make their way through the dungeon one room at a time. Around every corner goblins and ferocious minions seek to block the Heroes’ path. Where there isn’t an enemy, traps are set, ready to spring on even the most prepared Hero. Tiny Epic Dungeons features a modular dungeon that is unique with each play.
Our other gift guides, such as the guide to awesome family games we posted on Monday, include games that would also work for these gift recipients. The ones on this list, however, are what we think will be most enjoyed by older kids and adults. They may involve more thought-provoking strategies, feature a darker theme or take a larger investment of time. Read over the descriptions to determine which are the best fit for your gift recipient!
Do you have any of these games on your wish list?