I’m hoping for lots of board games this Christmas. I will be buying them for my three boys and I am hoping to be spoilt too. Hopefully my wife will read this so I won’t be too grumpy and disappointed over the festive period! Now a Christmas wishlist needs to balance hope with expectation so this is very carefully considered. Here in priority order are the games I want this year…
Every time I do an order with Zatu, which is more frequent than my bank would like, Mysterium enters my shopping cart. I have read lots about it, seen the sumptuous cards and have always been impressed. Yet when I go to check out, and see the balance of my shopping cart, sacrifices have to be made. Mysterium has never been the first to leave the basket but when difficult decisions have had to be made this game has never survived the final cut. I hope this Christmas will finally address this.
Mysterium just sounds different to anything else I have played. For those that don’t know, Mysterium sees one player take up the role of a ghost who silently gives cryptic visions through a limited selection of beautifully illustrated cards. The other players are clairvoyants who are working co-operatively yet individually. These players look to solve who murdered the ghost, how they did it and where it took place.
This unusual gameplay gets rave reviews and recommendations. It has also spawned two expansions: Hidden Signs and Secrets & Lies. Because I have put it off many times, this game has to be top of my Christmas wish list this year.
Ticket to Ride is among my favourite games of all time and is the game that opened my eyes as to what modern board games had to offer. Small World is also a hit among my family. They both have cracking competitive gameplay coupled with gorgeous artwork. I mention these two as they are both published by Days of Wonder who this year published Deep Blue.
Deep Blue looks magnificent and the game play sounds like it equals this quality with press your luck and engine building mechanics that you know most of the family (except perhaps the very young ones) will enjoy. That ticks all the boxes and makes it my second most hoped for game on my Christmas wish list.
Sushi Go Party
Christmas is a time to gather - family, friends, colleagues, whoever. We eat too much, drink too much and watch too much telly. This year I want to play too many board games – if that is even possible? So Sushi Go Party is added to the list as a game that can be played with up to eight players. Perfect for when my family collides with another family. We get to play a game over some mince pies and cold turkey sandwiches. I will be longing for something else by then and sushi will be a welcome break!
Star Wars Outer Rim
I am a huge Star Wars fan and Star Wars Outer Rim sounds to be an epic game based around the scoundrels of the franchise, the lovable rogues, super cool bounty hunters and shameless mercenaries of a galaxy far, far away. It should be higher up the list. But I know with a play time of a couple of hours I won’t get to play this as often as I would like to. I also have an inkling my wife won’t be as keen to play as me, which moves it into the ‘playing it with a friend’ category which will muscle in on my Magic the Gathering and X-Wing play opportunities. But, I still want it, so it is going on my Christmas wish list!
I like the premise of Monster Slaughter - actually being the monsters and attacking the insufferable teenagers in their cabin in the woods. This role-reversal of wanting the so-called bad guys to win really appeals to me. Once again you have an awesome looking game with a three-dimensional cabin and 31 fantastic, detailed miniatures. You get to play as a host of classic monsters from werewolves to vampires. My only concern is that it is only available for pre-order currently. So regardless of how many pennies I throw in a well, or shooting stars I see, however hard I wish for this game, it still may not arrive with Santa this Christmas!