Holiday Gift Guide, Part 5 – Some game recommendations from our writers

Well, about a month ago, we (as a group) had a great idea to get a bunch of things written down and provide our readers with a nice gift giving list.  Welp, let’s just say that we didn’t get our you-know-what together…  So, instead of a big list, I have decided to just make some shorter posts with things that catch my eye (or things that I notice to be on sale).   As I make these impromptu posts, I will try to stick to things which can be delivered prior to Dec. 25 — this likely means that they are things in stock on Amazon Prime.  (All the Amazon links here are affiliate links, and the Opinionated Gamers may earn a commission if you buy from those links)

You know, some days you just want to recommend some games that you like.  So we asked some of the readers to propose some games (and why) for gift giving purposes…

Dale: A few gateway games – Games that you can give to folks to introduce them to these games of ours…  


Crokinole – This dexterity game is one of my all time favorites. I have three boards in my game collection!  This flicking game involves a lot of teamwork and strategy – very similar to the strategy used in curling.  This is a tournament board – –  but there are also many other levels available online!


Ticket to Ride

Ticket To Ride – one of the classics.  I’m always surprised how many people have already heard of this from playing on their phone, but didn’t realize it started as a board game!  If you’re introducing a child to the game, there is a nice “First” version too!

ticket to ride first

A re-review here


carcassonne 20th anniversary

Carcassonne (new 20th anniversary edition) – A new shiny version with a few expansions added in.   Our review can be found here


Wavelength – a really intriguing party game where you have to be on the same wavelength as your teammates – anyone can play this, and it can handle an unlimited number of players!  You can see our review here


Mitchell:  For Improvisational Excellence:


Mandala two player card game) throws a new situation at you every turn. Think on your feet but know where you’re going!



Botanik ( is a quick-playing, interactive semi-abstract games that reward clever play.


Faiyum, a mid-weight Euro, blends card-drafting with an intriguing collaborative, competitive dynamic that is alternately cooperative and cutthroat.

You can read our review of it here


Tery – a few Two player games


Glasgow  – 2 player city building. Players take turns moving through the available actions and building their own city, trying to create combos to maximize point scoring.  This great little game came out in 2020 but I feel like it didn’t get a lot of notice, and I really enjoy it. 


azul queens garden

For 4 family players who like a smooth game which is so good you just want to play it over again, Azul: Queen’s Garden is the ultimate Azul experience: from tactile tiles to simple rules and tricky choices, it packs an awful lot into a reasonable price and just the right level for holiday season enjoyment.

Sadly, this is pre-order only now –


jekyll vs hyde

For fans of 2 player trick taking games – Jekyll vs Hyde ( on amazon) This is a fun trick taking competition with asymmetric goals and some special power potion cards. The little two faced Hyde/Jekyll bust is a nice addition.  We reviewed here in the past


For fans of drafting cards and/or dice plus fantastic art – Glow. (on Amazon here: )This game is primarily illustrated with interesting black and white design. Players compete to draft a team to help collect light shards. The game also comes with a two sided board with slightly different movement mechanisms for variety.


If I can herd the other writers here to give up a few more reocmmendations, i’ll post those tomorrow!


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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