It’s always easier to buy Christmas presents for someone when they have a hobby to inspire you, but a quick look at most board games will show you that they don’t tend to fit the cheaper, ‘stocking filler,’ category.
To help you narrow your search, I’ve put together my top five stocking fillers that would make a great gift if you’re on a budget or looking to bulk out the stocking. To give you a bit of context, the games in this short list can all be bought for under £20 from Zatu Games, the boxes are all much smaller than regular game boxes, and they’re all games that a lot of hobby board gamers enjoy.
Top 5 Stocking Fillers!
5. Magic Maze
Magic Maze is a neat little game with a fun twist for one to eight players. It’s co-operative, which means that everyone is working together to beat the game, rather than each other. Players control members of a fantasy adventuring party who are trying to steal equipment from a mall that they’re trapped in before the time runs out. There’s a catch though, players aren’t allowed to speak to each other!
Magic Maze is a fun, quick game of chaotic teamwork that will appeal to fans of puzzles and the fantasy genre.
4. Ticket to Ride: New York
Ticket to Ride is a modern classic in board gaming and one that many board gamers will have played. It’s younger sibling, Ticket to Ride: New York, condenses the experience into a smaller, cheaper bundle. Players earn points by building train tracks throughout New York, with bonuses for making famous landmarks more accessible.
Ticket to Ride: New York will appeal to fans of the original game and board gamers who often play games with people who aren’t as into games as they are.
3. The Mind
The Mind is a truly unique game, built out of little more than a deck of cards numbered one to 100. Two to four players are dealt hands of cards, which they must keep secret and play into a central pile in ascending order. As with Magic Maze, players cannot talk. Instead, they have to play cards in the right order based on reading each other’s body language, often with hilarious results.
The Mind is a quirky game that has been very popular among fans of the hobby this year. Most gamers will be able to enjoy it and it’s a great one to play with family and friends.
Jaipur is a quick little card game for two players. It’s been around for a few years now has received a lot of love from board gamers across the world. Turns progress quickly as players compete to build up matching sets of cards that they then trade in for points.
It’s easy to teach to anyone, but there’s enough meat in the game to keep regular gamers interested time and again. Jaipur is the perfect gift for couples or people who regularly play games with just one other person.
1. Star Realms: Frontiers
Finally, we’re at my number one top stocking filler. Star Realms: Frontiers is the latest instalment in the hugely successful Star Realms series of card games. This self-contained sci-fi experience is chock full of gaming goodness with fast, interesting gameplay for 2-4 players. Unlike previous instalments, the game also comes with solo and co-operative game modes to spice it up further.
Fans of science fiction will be the most attracted to a game like this, but there’s a solid game behind the theme that has a wide appeal. I’ve taught Star Realms to a lot of people and the vast majority love it. Frontiers looks like a great point for players to jump into the series and will make a very exciting stocking filler for the gamer in your life.