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Best Gifts for Board Game Lovers

Ariel Sandler
ByAriel SandlerFeb 11, 2021 | 2 comments

We’ve spent a lot of time together this past year and are readily looking for new and different ways to interact. As another winter storm warning rolls through, there is no better time to gift the gamer in your life one of our greatest pastimes – board games. Whether you stick with tried-and-true tabletop games or embark on a new board game adventure for family game night, try out a subscription or game box experience, or are simply looking to switch things up from a classic board game, there are plenty of gifting (and receiving) options to keep the board game lover in your family entertained.

We’ve rounded up the best gaming options to reward friends and family with an enjoyable evening in. Classic trivia. Family fun. Epic adventures. Tests of strategy, memory, and skill. These options for board game lovers offers something for everyone. Because these days, every night is game night.

Are games not your thing? Prefer a good book while the rest of the family is immersed in tabletop gaming? Read our list of the 15 best book subscription services.

Board Game Gift Ideas for Your Stay-at-Home Vacation

 

1. UnboxBoardom — A Subscription Service that Selects Games for You

UnboxBoardom

Image via UnboxBoardom.

The Cost: UnboxBoardom offers multiple subscriptions for gamers of varying levels. The “Gaming Guru” offers a new game every month for $29.99. The “Casual Gamer” is a bi-monthly subscription at $30.99. And for the amateur “Board Game Beginner,” a quarterly subscription can be yours for $31.99.

About the Box: What do you do when you don’t know what game to buy? You subscribe to a subscription box service that chooses them games for you. UnboxBoardom delivers brand-new gamer options directly to your door. Whether you’re looking for strategy, trivia, or party games, UnboxBoardom is sure to offer highly-rated and highly sought-after fun in the form of games of all kinds. But it’s not just a gift idea solely for your benefit. With every 10 purchases, UnboxBoardom donates a board game to an organization helping children who can’t afford them.

Check out our UnboxBoardom details to learn more. Ships to the continental U.S. There is a flat $5 shipping fee per shipment. If you choose a pre-pay option, all the shipping fees are pre-paid with your subscription.

 

2. Awesome Pack — A Fun-Filled Subscription for Everyone

Awesome Pack

Image from our review.

The Cost: Awesome Pack’s “Family Pack” and “Big Kid Pack” can be yours for $39.00/month + shipping.

COUPON: Use code MSAISAWESOME to save $5 off your first box!

About the Box: Awesome Pack offers a curated pack of – you guessed it – awesome options for families, kids, and “big kids.” The monthly subscriptions are handpicked by staff experts following hours of research and gaming. The “Family Awesome Pack” offers fun for everyone and includes 6-8 games and activities. The “Big Kid Pack” is prepared with adults in mind and contains 4-6 gaming options. This great gift idea is guaranteed to contain at least one board game suited for every gamer in your family. 

Check out all of our Awesome Pack reviews and Awesome Pack details to learn more.

 

3. Escape The Crate — Turn Your Own Home Into an Escape Room

Review for Escape the Crate Review + Coupon - "Escape The High Seas"

Image from our review.

The Cost: Escape the Crate’s escape room adventures ship straight to your door every other month for $29.99 per box + shipping.

COUPON: Use code SUMMER2021 to save 20% off your first box.

About the Box: Round up your loved ones (at least virtually) to solve riddles and conquer puzzles through a series of puzzles, ciphers, and sleuthing tools with Escape the Crate. Receive a new subscription box every other month and enjoy all the mystery and intrigue of an escape room from the comfort of your couch. Internet is required to play and confirm you’re on the right track. Everything is a clue – including the box! 

Check out all of our Escape The Crate reviews and Escape the Crate details to learn more. Ships throughout the U.S. for $5. Shipping cost varies internationally.

 

4. Hunt A Killer — You are the Detective in this “Whodunnit” Subscription Service

Hunt A Killer Episode 2 June 2017 - 0001

Image from our review.

The Cost: Varying Hunt A Killer plans are offered for the current season. Single episodes are $30/box + shipping but reduced rates are also offered when prepaid ($165 for six months and $300 for 12 months). You can also purchase previous seasons for prices ranging from $140-180 + shipping.

COUPON: Use code HAKFRIDAY25 to cYBER MONDAY SALE 25% OFF YOUR 1ST BOX. USE CODE HAKFRIDAY25 AT CHECKOUT.

About the Box: Hunt A Killer is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat subscription gift idea in which you and your friends play the role of detective. A team of true crime enthusiasts write and design each six-episode “season” from scratch. The plot thickens as each episode offers carefully-crafted clues, leaving you highly immersed in a fictional world of “whodunnit” and guarantees you won’t leave the tabletop until you solve the murder. 

Check out all of our Hunt A Killer reviews and Hunt A Killer details to learn more. Ships throughout the continental U.S. (multi-month membership boxes ship free).

 

5. Catan — 25 Years of Strategic Seafaring and Tactical Trading

Image from catan.com

The Cost: The original Catan board game is available on CatanShop.com for $55. Expansion packs and other editions vary by price.

About the Game: Catan (formerly Settlers of Catan) places you and your opponents on an uninhabited land for this epic strategy game as you combine tactical skill – and a bit of luck – in a race to settle the island. A great gift idea dating back to 1995, Catan forces you to build, trade, and maneuver for resources as you build settlements on a crowded board. If the original isn’t enough, Catan offers a number of expansion packs for additional variety. Having just celebrated its 25th Anniversary, Catan has expanded digitally and offers customers the perfect gift for the virtual lives we now lead.

 

6. Codenames — A Challenging Word Game Built on a Simple Premise

Component arrangement

Image from BoardGame Geek.

The Cost: Codenames can be found at multiple retailers, and is currently on sale at Amazon for $14.88.

About the Game: Simple in concept, Codenames is a newer board game gift pitting opponents against one another in a dizzying word game in which one wrong clue could lead to disaster. Rival spymasters offer one-word clues to teammates that may point to multiple words on the table. Teammates must guess words correctly and avoid those of their opponents. Beware of the assassin – or you’ll be going home early. Codenames requires linguistic creativity, careful strategy, and strong memory. Win or lose, it’s sure to provide excitement and fun for you and your loved ones.

 

7. Gloomhaven — Role-Playing Meets Board Game in this Epic Fantasy Quest

Official box front for Gloomhaven with design elements

Image from BoardGame Geek.

The Cost: Gloomhaven is currently available on Amazon with a listed value of $140 (on sale here for $101.70) for the original game.

About the Game: A multiple award winner, Gloomhaven continues to delight board game lovers and rpg enthusiasts thanks to its “choose-your-own-adventure”-type gameplay through the city of Gloomhaven to defeat hordes of monsters. Throughout the saga, players work together as they encounter different scenarios and make narrative decisions affecting the game’s direction. Gloomhaven’s innovative card system determines the order in which players fight the monsters, continue world-building, and capturing loot. The choice is often yours in Gloomhaven – a freedom that offers an intriguing and evolving cooperative experience. 

 

8. Ticket to Ride — A Cross-Country Train Adventure for the Whole Family

Ticket to Ride iPad Game overview

Image via Board Game Quest.

The Cost: Ticket to Ride is available on Amazon for $39.99 but a web version can also be found on the Days of Wonder site.

About the Game: Compete against the gamers in your family as you build your railway empire in this board game adventure. Ticket to Ride is easy to learn and offers long-lasting fun. Players race to build the longest train car collection while also capturing the most desired and valuable routes. Pick your strategy – if not both! Ticket to Ride’s original game is set in North America but additional versions offer board game lovers the option to ride across other available countries and continents. 

 

9. Root — Battle Through a Vast Wilderness in this Asymmetrical Game of Adventure

Image from Leder Games.

The Cost: Root is available on Amazon for $74.99. Expansion packs vary between $40-50. And a digital version is now offered via the Mac App Store for $9.99.

About the Game: Rich in story, Root is a game of adventure and war as varying factions battle for wilderness control. It’s sure to be one of your new favorite games. Immerse yourself in this unique gameplay featuring an asymmetric design in which each controlling player has a different path to victory. Take control of one of four animal factions – The Marquise de Cat, The Eyrie Dynasties, The Woodland Alliance, or The Vagabond – and battle for the fate of the woodlands. Root is designed for 2-4 players and now offers the option of expansion packs.

 

10. Pandemic — Band Together to Stop A Deadly Disease from Spreading

Disease spreading like crazy.

Image from BoardGame Geek.

The Cost: Pandemic is available at the Z-Man Games Store on Amazon for $27.90.

About the Game: In a board game that may be a little too relevant, Pandemic requires all participants to work together to stop the spread of deadly diseases and find cures before they wipe out mankind. In some ways, it may be the perfect gift! It’s a race against time so players must leverage the strengths of each character to build the perfect disease-fighting strategy. Travel the world to treat patients while collecting cards to complete your research.  This 2008 best-selling cooperative board game demands that now is not the time to be a hero! Pandemic is suggested for ages 8 and up and 2-4 players.

 

11. Clue — A Murder Mystery Classic where Everyone is the Detective

Image from Amazon.

The Cost: Clue is available for just $9.84 on Amazon.

About the Game: The whodunit that started it all. Clue is a classic mystery game every board game enthusiast should have on their shelf. Players gather clues to determine “who”, “what” and “where.” Plum in the library with the candlestick? Or Green in the Conservatory with the wrench? Rely on your memory and sleuth-solving to determine the suspecting room, weapon, and guest to solve the murder mystery. 

 

12. Monopoly — Buy, Sell, and Trade Your Way to Property Riches… GO!

Image from Amazon.

The Cost: You can find the classic Monopoly game at retailers everywhere, including Amazon for $19.82. But don’t stop there – numerous alternate editions are also available.

About the Game: Sit your family around the tabletop for another Hasbro classic that tests your business savvy in this fast-moving property trading game – a must-have for every board game lover. Monopoly is a favorite of families around the globe and packs a ton of fun with each roll of the dice. Buy, sell and trade your way to riches. Build houses and hotels and become the envy of the competition. And change your fortunes by selecting the Chance and Community Chest cards. But whatever you do – don’t go to jail! Monopoly is best played by ages 8 and up and for 2-8 players.

 

13. Trivial Pursuit — A Classic Trivia Affair for the Entire Family

Image from Amazon.

The Cost: Now available in multiple editions, Trivial Pursuit’s classic gameboard is available at multiple retailers, including Target for $17.19.

About the Game: Settle around the tabletop for a night of challenging trivia with one of the best board games of all-time. Trivial Pursuit is a great educational gift idea offering 2,400 questions across six categories: geography, entertainment, history, arts and literature, science and nature, and sports and leisure. Show off your knowledge by maneuvering around the board with the correct answer and picking up colored wedges as you go. The first player to collect all six and answer the final question wins! Trivial Pursuit is for ages 16 and up and is best played with 2-6 players. 

 

14. Tokens — Upgrade Your Everyday Game Piece

Image via Etsy.

The Cost: Find pieces for varying costs on Etsy and Amazon.

About the Accessory: Want a more substantive addition to your gaming experience? Upgrade your coins, cards, and meeples with game tokens.

 

15. Dice Trays and Towers — Spice Up Your Dice Game

Custom Leather DND Dice Tray RPG Dice Tray TTRPG D&D Gift For image 0

Image via Etsy.

The Cost: Find dice trays and dice towers for varying costs on Etsy.

About the Accessory: If you’ve ever expressed concern over the validity of a competitor’s dice roll, or are simply tired of searching under the couch for a single die, it’s best to consider dice accessories. Dice towers offer a consistent variation with every roll. And dice trays ensure each toss stays within the confines of your rolling space. 

 

16. Card Sleeves — Keep Your Playing Cards Grease-Free

Image via Amazon.

The Cost: Search for various options on Amazon.

About the Accessory: Real gamers know game night typically means snack night. Why sacrifice the pristine condition of your oft-used cards for a slice of pizza or a handful of popcorn during your card game? Card sleeves of varying plastic protect and extend the life of your cards in a cost-effective manner. 

 

17. Game Mat — For a More Safe and Secure Gaming Experience

Image via Amazon.

The Cost: Search for various options on Amazon.

About the Accessory: Game mats can serve a couple of options: keeping your game table or floor space clean from unanticipated spills or messes and offering a more tactile experience. There are even mats specifically designed for certain games.


Looking for more information on board game options? Check them out here.


Ariel Sandler
Ariel Sandler
Ariel is adjusting to dad life after recently welcoming a daughter into the world. Before fatherhood (and, hopefully, still during), he enjoyed exercising, craft beer and coffee brands, and discovering new gadget and fashion trends. He's excited to join MSA because nothing is better than learning more about these passions than with a knock and a box at your door.

Ariel Sandler
Ariel Sandler
Ariel is adjusting to dad life after recently welcoming a daughter into the world. Before fatherhood (and, hopefully, still during), he enjoyed exercising, craft beer and coffee brands, and discovering new gadget and fashion trends. He's excited to join MSA because nothing is better than learning more about these passions than with a knock and a box at your door.
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2 comments

Flo

Looks like awesomepack has been out of business for a couple of years? Even on their site last reviews see from 2015.

Suzanne

I haven’t heard of Root, looks pretty interesting. Some of my favorite board games: Terraforming Mars, Everdell, Agricola, Transatlantic, Wingspan, Blue Lagoon, Bohnanza, and Sushi Go.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.