It's getting close to Christmas. It's a weekend afternoon - the weather's too cold to go outside, so it's board game time again! You look at the shelf. Forbidden Island. Ticket to Ride. Pandemic. All the family favourites you've played time and time again. 'Great games,' you think, 'but we just want something new.'
Well, whaddya know - the Board Game Santa's in town and ready to dish out his best recommendations!
2-6 players, 30 minutes, age 10+
A Great Time To Play Is: Christmas Eve. All the pent up excitement for the next morning means you'll be more dastardly than ever in your quest to be the biggest and best bandit in the wild, wild, west!
As your friendly neighbourhood Board Game Santa, let us first introduce you to the wickedly wild west in Colt Express! It's hot off the Essen wagon so it's new in town and causing quite the commotion. You're bandits. Dirty dealin', train robbin', gun slingin' bandits. You've got 5 rounds to steal the best stash of stuff from the terrified passengers, plus the ever-enticin' suitcase full of dosh under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford. First you scheme. Pick your actions. Plan your criminal activity. Then it's all guns blazing, baby! Pick up loot, punch and shoot the other bandits and use your special powers wisely. Jump from one carriage to the next on the 3D train of terror until each bullet's been fired and it's time to cash up. The bandit who nabbed the most shiny stuff wins!
2-6 players, 40 minutes, age 8+
A Great Time To Play Is: Christmas Day. You saw 'It's a Wonderful Life' last year - this time, switch it off and clear the table for an after-dinner, turkey-fuelled, cracker-strewn and crazy game of monster warfare!
'These little town bluuuuueeesss... are melting aw - ARRRGHHH!' screams tiny Frank Sinatra, as the giant feet of a mutant monster smoosh him into the concrete. Like in King of Tokyo, you're a bunch of freaky beasts looking to claim a city as your own, but now, you've hopped across the pond, transatlantic style. 'ME WANT STOCKS. MANHATTAN HOME OF LUCRATIVE BUSINESS DEALS,' you scream. You're in New York, hurtling from one borough to the next! This time, you're smashing buildings from Madison Avenue to Bleecker Street and getting bonuses for it too - watch out for that military response though! When you're done beating things up, pick up the mic and make your way to the stage, because it's time for your 15 minutes of fame! Get Victory Points for being a superstar but enjoy it while it lasts, for fame is a fickle thing! Make Manhattan yours, defeat everyone else and rule the city to become the top of the list, king of the hill, A-number-1.. Kiiiiiing of New York! Dun dun de duuun!
3-4 players, 60 minutes, age 14+
A Great Time To Play Is: Boxing Day. Cleanse the Christmas palate with some swashbucklin' sea salt! Be amazed at how even the dulcet tones of Wizzard can fade into the background when you're thousands of miles away at sea!
Arrrrr, so it's maritime mischief you're after, sonny? Look no further than Black Fleet, every pirate's favourite board game - well, if we had two eyes to see the board and at least one working limb to move the pieces! In this game, you'll see yerself in a bit of a moral grey area. You're determined to save the governor's daughter, but you're blastin' and sinkin' everything in your way for no apparent reason. You'll want to upgrade yer vessel by buying special cards, and figure out which ships are best used and when - your merchant ships haul goods and earn money, but your pirate ship does all the attackin' and thievin'! Trade for gold (or just nick it) until you can pay the ransom for the governor's daughter and be peglegged the ultimate winnin' sea scoundrel!