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Guide

Board Game Gift Guide 2022 – 41+ of the best board game gifts

If you're hunting for the best board game gifts for the 2022 Holiday Season, then look no further! This list has wallet-sized and wallet-friendly games; games for the first timer and for friends who have been playing for years. From lightweight games you can play in minutes to multi-hour games your gamer will love.

The world has discovered a “secret” that board gamers already knew: board games are awesome! If you know someone who loves board games and you want to get them a gift, this list will help you decide. The titles in our 7th annual 2022 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide represent the best games that 2022 to offer, and have been hand picked to provide great holiday cheer to anyone who receives them.

Our 2022 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide features a wide range of categories, from wallet-sized games to wallet-friendly games, games for the first timer and games for friends who have been playing for years. From lightweight stocking stuffer games you can play in minutes to multi-hour epics your gamer will love. Or maybe you’re the board game geek and you’re on the prowl for something new and interesting! But no matter what you’re looking for, or who it’s for, the Meeple Mountain 2022 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide has something for everyone!

Small Games
Games on a Budget
Games for the First Time Gamer
The Essential Collection
Games for the Family
Games for the Young Gamer
Games for the Experienced Gamer
Epic Games
Apparel & Accessories

Small Games

These lightweight games prove that you don’t have to be big to have lots of “game”. Give these great games to your loved one and wait for the fun to start.

SCOUT

Another circus is in town and they’re hiring…YOUR performers. SCOUT is a delightful card game that plays right side up, or upside down, just don’t rearrange the cards in your hand. Be the first player to discard all your cards by playing them in sequential runs or sets of the same number. Be the player at the end of the game with the most cash and come out on top…the big top! SCOUT was nominated for the prestigious Spiel des Jahres, the German board game of the year.

2-5 players, ages 9+, 15-30 minutes

Kinoko

Quirky mushrooms on quirky cards with quirky rules. Players can see everyone’s cards except their own as they try to assemble a set of three cards somewhere on the table by choosing one of three actions determined by rolling dice. Kinoko is a fast play, but one that yields some great moments when the cards are revealed and everyone comes to realize how close (or how far away) they were to their dreams of victory.

Read our review of Kinoko

2-4 players, ages 8+, 20-30 minutes

Abandon All Artichokes

Abandon All Artichokes from Gamewright Games and designer Emma Larkins is a delightful romp through your vegetable garden. Draw cards from a shared garden row, trade cards to other players, and fill up the community compost pile, all by using special abilities on each card. Be the first to offload your hand of artichokes and you’ll have the greenest of thumbs…and the winner’s prize. Pair Abandon All Artichokes with Point Salad and you’ll have a field to table game night fit for a king.

2-6 players, ages 7+, 10-20 minutes

Star Realms

If you’re looking for bare metal deck-building then pick up Star Realms, from Wise Wizard Games. This terse 2 player card game distills deck-building down to it’s very essence. Whittle your opponents Authority down to zero and win the game. But along the way collect cards from the Trade Federation, Blobs, Star Empire or the Machine Cult and turn your starter deck into a fine-tuned machine. Deploy bases and outposts to provide valuable bonuses and to prevent your opponent from getting too close. A single 128-card box will give you hours and hours of fun.

2 players, ages 12+, 20 minutes

Sunny Day Sardines

Sunny Day Sardines is a game in a can—well technically a tin, but regardless this tiny tin will have you and 3 of your friends competing to gather sardines, fulfill orders, and earn points—all to win the title “Employee of the Month Award” at the sardine cannery. Sunny Day Sardines comes in an attractive tin and will easily fit into your pocket, purse, or bag, making it the perfect game on the go.

Watch our review of Sunny Day Sardines

2-6 players, ages 5+, about 20 minutes

Tucano

Tucano is a clever card game all about collecting sets of fruit in the jungle, and hoping those fruits don’t spoil. Papayas, pineapples, oranges, and more. Grab all the star fruit you can, but leave the limes. And watch out for the toucan cards or your opponent might just steal from you. Or will you steal from them? Tucano features adorable and whimsical artwork and gameplay that will delight both young and old. Plus the game is just a little larger than a standard deck of playing cards, so your stocking will have plenty of room for other things.

2-4 players, ages 6+, about 15 minutes

Dustbiters

Two players and 21 cards is all you need for a good time with Dustbiters from iam8bit. High-octane art revs up this quick and punchy game in which both players compete to keep their own post-apocalyptic vehicles intact during a no-holds-barred demolition derby. Older children and young adults will enjoy the irreverent, over-the-top art style, but the sleek gameplay is what really makes this little hotrod run.

2-4 players, ages 12+, 30-45 minutesBuy now


Games on a Budget

While there’s nothing wrong with expensive games, we know there’s people out there who want to maximize their dollar. The games on this list will help you pinch your pennies without sacrificing great gameplay.

Gift of Tulips

It’s hard to find a more perfect game for the giving season than Gift of Tulips. Players take on the role of tulip traders preparing for the upcoming Tulip Festival by gathering their own blooms, sharing a few with their neighbors, and dedicating the choicest ones to the Festival itself. Beneath the elegant gameplay and gorgeous artwork is an important lesson: to win, you need to give as much as you get. It’s a great reminder of what the holidays are really about.

Read our review of Gift of Tulips.

1-6 players, ages 8+, 20 minutes

Downtown Farmers Market

Downtown Farmers Market, from Blue Orange Games, is a tile drafting, tableau building game with a ‘choose your own adventure’ style twist. Before the game even begins, each player will create their own scoring criteria. As the game goes on, they will be trying to draft tiles from a central offering in order to fulfill those criteria they set out for themselves the best they can. When the game comes to an end, the player with the highest score wins. Contained in a compact, magnetically sealed box, Downtown Farmers Market offers a lot of replayability in an easy to teach and learn, fun to play, package with a short playing time. It’s the type of game that can stand on its own as the star of the show, or act as a filler between other games.

Read our review of Downtown Farmers Market.

2-4 players, ages 7+, 20 minutes

Lost Cities Roll & Write

Lost Cities Roll & Write is a follow up to the now-classic two player card game Lost Cities, but with dice. In this version players push their luck through multiple rounds of rolling and writing, and crossing off bridges on their scoresheet, each one getting them one step closer to ending the game. I never imagined that a roll and write version of a game would ever surpass the original game that inspired it, but Lost Cities Roll and Write has done it.

Read our review of Lost Cities Roll & Write.

2-5 players, ages 8+, 30 minutes

Voyages

Postmark Games is a print-at-home publisher with two reputable designers at the helm. Matthew Dunstand and Rory Muldoon released the roll-and-write seafaring adventure, Voyages, via Kickstarter and have since expanded the series to include several maps that require only pencils and three standard dice. Players roam the seas in search of treasures, battling sea monsters, visiting lucrative islands, and generally enjoying a bit of uncertainty. If you want to spruce up the gift, take it to a local print shop and have them glue up a color pad. But at £4 (roughly $6), this is a top-notch game on a tight budget.

1-100 players, age 7+, 20-30 minutesBuy now

Super Mega Lucky Box

Say the name Phil Walker-Harding around the Meeple Mountain team and you’re sure to get our attention. He’s the designer of titles like Sushi Go, Imhotep, and Gizmos, and he easily flexes between lightweight titles and heavier strategic games. His newest release Super Mega Lucky Box is a lightweight “flip and fill” game in which players take turns turning over cards from a shared deck, then deciding where they mark the resulting number. Fill in rows and columns to gain valuable bonuses, then chain those bonuses together to complete cards and earn points.

1-6 players, ages 8+, 20 minutes

Port Royal Big Box

While Port Royal is a release from 2014, it got the big box treatment this year, and while there’s been some debate about whether the artwork is an improvement, this push-your-luck classic continues to be a crowd-pleaser, and you can get all of the content for the game in a single box for a cool $20-30. Raise the black flag and go sink some ships.

Read our review of Port Royal.

1-5 players, ages 8+, 20-50 minutes

The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

The cooperative trick-taking game The Crew blasted off the “Planet Nine” in 2019 and into the hearts of gamers everywhere, and on to win the coveted Kennerspiel des Jahres award. The Crew is back, but this time they’re going deep under water in The Crew: Mission Deep Sea. Work together with your teammates to successfully pass through level after challenging level in your quest to find the lost continent of Mu hidden deep below the murky waters.

Watch our video review of the original The Crew

2-5 players, ages 10+, 20 minutes


Games for the First Time Gamer

Can you believe that every day there are people who are playing modern board games for the first time? The games on this list are sure to delight and engage first-timers and experienced players alike. If you’re trying to introduce board games to someone in your life, these titles are an excellent place to start!

First Rat

First Rat, from one of the designers of Grand Austria Hotel, is a fantastic gateway game. The theme—rats are trying to build a spaceship using common household products you probably threw away before reading this article—is great, it’s easy to teach, and even with a full player count of five you can get a game done in just over an hour. This Pegasus Spiele release is the Euro I will get my kids to play before I warm them up for rounds of more advanced experiences, but I was surprised how well First Rat landed with adults, too.

Read our review of First Rat.

1-5 players, ages 10+, 30-75 minutes

Snakesss

Welcome to a party game where not everyone is telling the truth.  The pesky snacks in the group will keep trying to lead you astray as you answer multiple choice trivia to gain points but it hard to tell them apart from the crowd.  At least you can trust the mongoose of truth who can prove they are not a snake…but do they know the correct answer to the question? Use your wits and knowledge to lead your opponents astray and gain the edge in this awesome party game.

Watch our review of Snakesss

4-8 players, ages 12+, 20 minutes

MicroMacro: Crime City

If you always wished they’d make Where’s Waldo into a board game, then you’re in luck! MicroMacro: Crime City combines the thrill of finding tiny figures on an intricately detailed map of a fictional city, with the excitement of solving crimes. Included in the box are 16 cases ranging from 1 to 5 stars in difficulty, and covering a wide variety of crimes: from simple robberies all the way to nefarious murders. Not to mention that MicroMacro: Crime City also won the prestigious 2021 Spiel des Jahres award. MicroMacro: Crime City is a game the entire family will love.

Read our review of MicroMacro: Crime City

1-4 players, ages 12+, 15-45 minutes

Horrified: American Monsters

In 2019 the original Horrified cooperative board game came stomping out of the mists to “terrorize y’all’s neighborhood”. It was a fantastic romp through an Eastern European hamlet, fighting to stay alive against an onslaught of classic Hollywood monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, The Mummy, and others. Now Ravensburger has released a North American specific version of the game featuring the Chupacabra, Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and other Cryptids that haunt prowl around the continent. These monsters won’t be as easy to defeat as Dracula!

Read our review of Horrified

1-5 players, ages 10+, 60 minutes

Summer Camp

Ah, summer camp, the quintessential summer pastime. Weeks spent along the lakeshore, weaving baskets, shooting bows and arrows, paddling canoes, and getting wedgies from older kids. Now you can have that experience any time of the year (minus the wedgies) with Summer Camp, a delightful deckbuilding game from the mind of Phil Walker-Harding. Starting with your base deck of cards, each camper will build up their unique experience by collecting cards from 3 merit badge decks chosen at the beginning of the game: adventure, arts & crafts, cooking, friendship, games, outdoors, and water sports. Collect the most points during your stay at Summer Camp, win the game, and be the envy of your friends!

2-4 players, ages 10+, 30-45 minutesBuy now

The Essential Collection

Azul

Azulejos are a form of intricately detailed and colorful glazed tile found all over the country of Portugal. They were also the inspiration for the smash hit and Spiel des Jahres winning strategy game Azul. In Azul players collect tiles from a central play area and place them onto their personal player board; the goal being to cover one section of their board with tiles of 5 different colors. Easy to teach, satisfying to play, and full of gorgeous artwork and great components, Azul is a board game that belongs in any collection.

Read our review of Azul

2-4 players, ages 8+, 30-45 minutes

7 Wonders

If you’ve ever wanted to play a game with 7 people that wasn’t Codenames or some other party game, then 7 Wonders is probably what you reached for. 7 Wonders is a buttery smooth and lightweight simultaneous-play civilization game. Build up the wealth, science, culture, and military of your unique empire over 3 rounds through card drafting. Be mindful of your neighbors and pay close attention to what they’re giving you, and what you’re passing on. Earn the most victory

Read our review of 7 Wonders

2-7 players, ages 10+, 30 minutes

Splendor

If you’ve played board games in the past few years then there’s a good chance you’ve either played, or at least have heard of, Splendor from Space Cowboys. It’s a streamlined engine building game in which players work to gather raw gemstones, polish and refine them, before finally selling them to various wealthy patrons. Sure the theme is a bit dry, but the gameplay is great, and those gem tokens are so satisfying to play with.

Find out why we love Splendor

2-4 players, ages 10+, 30 minutes

Wingspan

Who knew that a game about birds, from an unknown designer, would descend upon the gaming world like a flock of starlings? Stonemaier Games did when they took a chance on Wingspan! And they were rewarded with a huge hit, including a Kennerspiel des Jahres win. Wingspan is a card driven game about bird enthusiasts – discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves and earn the most points to win the game. Come for the gameplay, stay for the multitude of photorealistic bird illustrations.

Read our review of Wingspan

1-5 players, ages 10+, 40-70 minutes


Games for the Family

Family game night is a classic activity dating back decades. It’s good to know that with the surge in popularity for board games, many families are still sticking to this tradition. Liven up your family game night with one of these modern choices, and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

Gimme That!

Speaking of frantic, Justin’s plays of Gimme That!—from the same people who gave us the family classic card game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza—were so frantic that someone was actually injured during a game. The idea is simple: someone has a pencil, and everyone else takes turns rolling a die, yelling all the while. Justin played this with his wife and kids, his wife’s parents, other kids, and with other adults. A game with a very reasonable price point that plays in less than 10 minutes, Gimme That! is a great time.

Read our review of Gimme That!

3-8 players, ages 8+, 5-10 minutes

Wildstyle

For gamers who like chaos, street art, an easy teach, and real-time simultaneous play, Wildstyle was one of the big surprises of 2022. Players will draw cards and build sets so that they can drop Life Saver-sized discs in their color on a visually busy map of a made-up city. They’ll do this by drawing cards from decks around the table or discard piles scattered between the players; watching everyone frantically grab cards while trying to rush their sets is one of the highlights of the year. Justin watched a group of three new players play this game three times in just over an hour, and they couldn’t get enough of it. Variable end-game bonuses and a draw deck that leaves certain cards out each round make each experience unique.

Read our review of Wildstyle

2-5 players, ages 14+, 40 minutes

1001 Islands

Taking place in the world of 1001 Arabian Nights, this game picks up sometime after Sinbad’s seventh voyage. 1001 Islands is a tile drafting, tableau building game. Each round, one of the players is draws tiles from one of four different stacks, three correspond to specific rows in the players’ tableaus and the other consists of scoring tiles. From those tiles, that player chooses a tile for themselves and then chooses which player selects the next tile. Then that player chooses their tile along with which player comes next. The last player receives the leftover tile, but becomes the first player for the next round. Played lightning fast, this easy to teach and learn game is a great filler and would make a good gift for just about anybody… especially if they’re a fan of the 1001 Arabian Nights.

Read our review of 1001 Islands

2-4 players, ages 12+, 30-45 minutes

Akropolis

Players are architects, building the greatest city the land has ever seen. Score points by deftly balancing the requirements for merchants, military barracks, temples, gardens, and houses. The neat twist here is that players can build atop their existing tiles to increase their scores. Build atop a stone quarry and you’ll get a token that can be spent to get better tiles.

Akropolis landed on Tom’s list of his Top 5 games for 2022.

Read our review of Akropolis

2-4 players, ages 8+, 20-30 minutes

Skull Canyon: Ski Fest

The summit is full powder and you and your friends / rivals are set to shred the slopes of Skull Canyon during the annual ski fest. Over the course of 3 days you need to pull the gnarliest tricks and the fastest times in order to beat out your competition. Collect and play matched sets of cards in order to take ski runs of ever increasing difficulty in order to land your name on the trophy.

Read our review of Skull Canyon: Ski Fest

2-4 players, ages 14+, 45-60 minutes


Games for the Young Gamer

The dream of every board game loving parent is a child to follow in their footsteps: shuffling cards, rolling dice, and maybe even beating mom or dad at their favorite strategy game. But you can’t just expect your little one to jump into a game of The Castles of Burgundy, you’ve got to start them off gradually. The games on this list are tailor made for younger minds and hands, and are sure to grab their attention.If this list isn’t enough, then check out our top lists of games for younger kids, and for older kids.

Flotsam Float

A dexterity stacker for 2-4 players, Flotsam Float is a family game that plays fast and brings laughs every time it hits the table. With a teach simple enough for a five-year-old, and challenges that even a 40-year-old will enjoy, Flotsam Float’s colorful pieces and engaging gameplay make it a game recommended for anyone looking to shake up their routine after playing Jenga a hundred times!

Read our review of Flotsam Float

2-4 players, ages 5+, 15-20 minutes

7 Wonders: Architects

The most recent offering in the 7 Wonder-verse is the most kid-friendly title in the bunch. Turns are super simple: take one of three cards available. While there are strategic thoughts behind the decisions for the more avid gaming parent, our children adore this game (especially our five-year-old) for several reasons. First, each player is building a cardboard wonder on the table. Cute! Second, there is an ancient cat standee that comes with certain cards which they love chasing. Cuddly! Third, war is always approaching, making the game rather exciting. Catastrophic! With a possibility of seven players and an experience that often lasts less than a half-hour, what’s not to love?

Read our review of 7 Wonders: Architects

2-4 players, ages 14+, 45-60 minutes

The Quest Kids

We’re always looking for great ways to introduce young gamers to the modern gaming world, and The Quest Kids did that better than almost any other game we tried in 2021. A dungeon crawler with great miniatures, resource gathering and player boards, The Quest Kids works for a variety of kids under 10 years old and is a blast to play. The icing on the cake? Player scoring sheets that double as coloring pads. A top-flight production where everyone wins!

Read our review of The Quest Kids

2-4 players, ages 5+, 20-45 minutes

Spy Connection

In Spy Connection, from Pegasus Spiele, players act as spymasters placing agents in cities all across Europe, doing their best to build up a communications network they can call on to help them complete their schemes. Move your spymaster around your network and be the first to complete 7 mission objective cards, and prove that your spycraft reigns supreme. Spy Connection is a great intro to more complex route-building games like Ticket to Ride or Hansa Teutonica

2-4 players, ages 8+, 30-45 minutes

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game, designed by design superstars Inka and Markus Brand, is a cooperative family game in which players must rescue a pack of wolf cubs lost in a dwarven mine before the dastardly dragon arrives at the castle. Along the way players must work together to solve a series of side quests. Can you complete all your tasks, rescue the cubs, and make it back to the castle in time?

2-4 players, ages 7+, 30-45 minutes

Zombie Teenz Evolution

The Zombies are back! But so are a new crop of heroes. Building upon the fantastic Zombie Kids Evolution (the best gaming experience I’ve ever had with my kids), Le Scorpion Masque is releasing the next chapter in the zombie story your family will love. The goal is simple, clear the zombies from your town. The gameplay is simply, roll a die, move your character, defeat some zombies. But over time you’ll open different mystery envelopes which will permanently change the rules of the game. Fans of the original will love this new version, but first timers can jump straight to Zombie Teenz Evolution without having played the original. As an added bonus Zombie Teenz and Zombie Kidz can be combined for even more fun.

2-4 players, ages 8+, 15-25 minutes


Games for the Experienced Gamer

Experienced board games can be hard to please. They’ve either played every game, or own every game. But we guarantee that the titles on this list will delight even the most discerning gamer.

Cascadia

There are few indie publishers with as great a track record as the Flatout Games team. With smash hits like Point Salad, Calico, and Cascadia, they’re turning out the hits. Cascadia is a lovely and thinky tile laying game which asks players to build a cardboard countryside nestled in the Pacific Northwest. Layout landscape tiles to earn majority bonuses while keeping in mind the needs of the animal tokens you’ll be placing on those landscape tiles. Cascadia has been a smash hit among everyone who’s played it.

Read our review of Cascadia

1-4 players, ages 14+, 30-45 minutes

Terracotta Army

If you’re looking for a worker placement game that brings something new to the genre, Terracotta Army is a great choice. It manages to create more interaction than your average resource management Euro, thanks in large part to the mausoleum. The game is remarkably easy to teach, thanks in large part to sensible design choices from the team at Board & Dice, and quite possibly the best manual we’ve ever read.

Read our review of Terracotta Army

1-4 players, ages 14+, 90-120 minutes

Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

if you haven’t heard of the board Terraforming Mars then perhaps you’ve been on the red planet. It landed in the board gaming community like a planet ending meteor and it hasn’t let up since. Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is the most recent evolution of the game, a more streamlined version which plays in less time, but keeps all of the same complex gameplay you know and love.

Read our review of Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

1-4 players, ages 14+, 45-60 minutes

Tiletum

The year in Eurogames was competitive, but Tiletum might be the best of the bunch. 12 turns doesn’t sound like a lot, but in Tiletum (designed by the same people who gave us games like Barrage, Grand Austria Hotel, and other “T” games like Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar), you get those 12 turns plus a ton of bonus actions thanks to some of the most combolicious gameplay featured in a game this year. The board is a little bland, but Tiletum makes up for this with an innovative dice mechanic and very thinky turns. This one will be hard to find, but if you can get your hands on a copy of Tiletum, maybe you can treat yourself this holiday season!

Read our review of Tiletum

1-4 players, ages 14+, 60-100 minutes

Caylus 1303

Chances are, the experienced gamer on your list has either played the original version of Caylus, and/or has been keeping an eye on this one. Caylus 1303 is an updated and streamlined version of that earlier game, with changes made by the designer himself. Breathing new life into one of the earliest worker placement games, players will move quickly through the process of improving the city outside the Caylus castle walls. Resources will be acquired and traded, new buildings (that offer better resources) will be built, and offerings will be made to help with the building of the castle. Nine short rounds later, the game is over.

Read our review of Caylus 1303

2-5 players, ages 12+, 60-90 minutes

Verdant

Verdant is the perfect gift that hardcore gamer, plant lover, and interior decorator in your life. That’s quite the venn diagram of interests, but Verdant fits the bill. Lay out your perfect home with various rooms with differing amounts of shade. Then select plants to populate those rooms; making sure that each plant collects exactly the right amount of light. Verdant contains plenty of gorgeous and lifelike illustrations to match up with its puzzly gameplay.

Read our review of Verdant

1-5 players, ages 10+, 30-45 minutes


Epic Games

If you love multi-hour gaming sessions that immerse you into other worlds, with deep lore, and strategic gameplay, then the games on this list were designed just for you. Epic in scope, and sometimes in physical weight, these games will take you on a deep dive and keep you immersed from beginning to end. Just make sure to stay hydrated, and don’t forget the game night snacks!

Circadians: Chaos Order

You’ll need to set aside about three hours for this big piece of chicken, but if you’ve got gamers in your life looking for an exceptional wargaming experience with strong Eurogame bones, Circadians: Chaos Order might be for you. The production is stellar and the asymmetric factions are glorious; just make sure the recipient of this gift has a really, really large gaming table because the board, the bits, the player mats, the components, and the resources will take up plenty of space.

Read our review of Circadians: Chaos Order.

2-5 players, ages 12+, 120-240 minutes

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile

Leder Games and designer Cole Wehrle have been having a great few years. Buoyed by the massive success of Root, they focused all their efforts on Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile, a sprawling legacy style game like no other, which takes place over decades and centuries. Oath’s game state is a swirling, ever changing tapestry of people, conflicts, and intrigues. Seize control by sowing distrust and future games will be forced to deal with the fallout of your actions. You might found a dynasty that lasts multiple generations, or will be crushed by a stronger power. You and the other players will guide the course of your unique world along paths of your choosing, and make if it what you will.

1-6 players, ages 10+, 45-120 minutes

Dune: Imperium

Dune: Imperium board game is hot. A card driven, worker placement, deck building game set on Arrakis, with the fate of the galaxy at stake? Sounds like just another day for House Atreides. Struggle against the other houses in the Landsraad that attempt to squeeze Arrakis for it’s main resource, the spice melange. Will you choose intrigue by courting the Emperor’s favor, or will you build up your Fremen army and conquer the deep desert? Gather valuable spice, precious water, and lead your house to victory.

1-4 players, ages 14+, 60-120 minutes

Ankh: Gods of Egypt

Take control of ancient Egyptian deities in this “minis on a map” area control game from acclaimed designer Eric Lang. The third in his area control trilogy (Blood Rage, Rising Sun), Ankh uses clever action selection, board state manipulation, and card-based combat in a new experience that feels both familiar to Lang’s previous designs and innovative in its gameplay. Gain devotion to become the greatest deity, or risk being forgotten and lost to the sands of time.

Check out our initial thoughts on Ankh

2-5 players, ages 14+, 90 minutes

Apparel & Accessories

If you a real gamer, then you know that cardboard just isn’t enough. Fly your board gamer flag high with these great t-shirts and accessories; an excellent way to let friends, family, and perfect strangers know just how much you love board games.

The Tennessee Meeple T-Shirt

Are you, or someone you know, proud to live in the Volunteer state? Is Nashville or Memphis your second home? Mix your two favorite loves with the Tennessee Meeple tshirt, printed on soft and comfortable 100% ring-spun Anvil 980 t-shirts and is available in sizes S through XXXL.

 Buy now

Crit Falls Apart T-Shirt

Celebrate all the pieces with this Crit Falls Apart Slim Fit T-Shirt. Just don’t do this with your own pieces. Sure, it might be fun to see all your pieces fall like a tabletop waterfall, but remember: what comes from a box must go back into a box. Available in sizes S through 4XL.

 Buy now

Seabed Treasure Green & Purple Glitter Resin 7pc Dice Set

Stop submerging your tabletop games! This Seabed Treasure Green & Purple Glitter Resin 7pc Dice Set will give you all the benefits of underwater accessorizing without any of the moisture. Finally, you can feel like you’re playing under the ocean with these cool dice.

 Buy now

Meeple Coffee To Go Boardgame T-Shirt

The “Meeple Coffee To Go” tee is part of the Board Games & Coffee collection. Perfect for the Board Game Geek that is also a coffee geek. A beautiful t-shirt with one-of-a-kind artwork that consists of a to go coffee cup with a meeple sticker on it. The text reads, “Coffee and Board Games”. Available in sizes S through XXXL.

 Buy now

Omnigamer Board Gaming T-Shirt

Perfect for those board game geeks who love to play everything under the sun and over the table top. This t-shirt is everything you’ve dreamed of and more. It feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It’s comfortable and flattering for both men and women. Available in sizes XS through XXXXL.

 Buy now

Board Game Addict

Board gaming is life. Being addicted to board games is fine right? We can quit any time we like. But have you seen that new Kickstarter board game? And there’s a sale at Target and Amazon! Available in sizes S through XXXXXL.

 Buy now

Recommendations From the Team

The Meeple Mountain team eats, sleeps, and breathes games – of that lovely scent of cardboard and ink – but we also enjoy things that aren’t board games. Here’s a list of some things that we are grooving on these days.

Bob Pazehoski, Jr.

Crema.co

We have loved Crema.co as a coffee subscription service. We’ve used them as a gift service in the past, and we’ve enjoyed a subscription ourselves. Their introductory quiz will set you up according to your preferences, and their rating system will keep the good recommendations flowing. Good coffee doesn’t come cheap, but it can come easy. You can start and stop as you like. 

Hamro Village

My wife is into all things yarn, so we’ve found Hamro Village to be a quaint online shop for unique gifts. They have an ethical approach to their business, and their charming products are of a stellar quality. They carry everything from clothing to toys to felted flowers. If you’re looking for a crafty gift, give this Canadian business a look!

If you must Amazon… try these search terms: 

Classics Reimagined will yield a set of strangely illustrated classic works in oversized hardback. I highly recommend Alice in Wonderland and Frankenstein. (If you want to stick to the text, Word Cloud Classics are a great way to gift a classic novel, set of short stories, or poetry collection.) Pantheon Graphic Library should present a series of occasionally unorthodox graphic novels. Maus is the can’t-miss title, but we’ve loved the historical offerings nuzzled in this category like Lovelace & Babbage. If you have older kids heading for those tween years, a stop at Brian Selznick will blow their little minds with a mix of text and pencil drawings. The Adventures of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck have been made into top notch films as well. Lastly, try The Center for Cartoon Studies Presents for some lightweight historically-minded graphic novels. Oh, and Boxers & Saints.

Andrew Lynch

The Banshees of Inisherin, directed by Martin McDonagh
Chapter 11 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Infernal Affairs, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak
The other chapters of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Lucifer on the Sofa by Spoon
V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
“Nashville” by CMAT
The 45 minutes in the middle of The Northman when they raise Cain, right up through Nicole Kidman’s astonishing monologue
That room in the Cloisters at the Met with the sarcophagus covers
“L’enfer” by Stromae
Crying for the last thirty minutes of Everything Everywhere All at Once

Andrew Holmes

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay is easily the best book I’ve read all year, a gorgeous and thoughtful read regardless of your genre preferences (Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter is a close second, a powerfully devastating book, whilst The Salt Path by Raynor Winn places third, documenting Winn’s homeless travels around the same landscape as this year’s Tinner’s Trail).

For the First Time by Black Country New Road is easily my album of the year, veering slickly between post-punk, klezmer, free jazz, and math rock to create something both intimate and epic.

I’ve become addicted to Mischief Theatre and their ‘Goes Wrong’ productions – there are two inventive series of The Goes Wrong Show to choose from and then a few longer productions, including A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong if you’re looking for something festive.

All of the above can be perfectly accompanied by Disaronno Amaretto served over dice-shaped ice cubes.

Justin Bell

According to my logged plays in BGG, I’ve played a board game 308 times this year in person. While Beyond the Sun and Iberian Gauge are two of the best physical games I played in 2021, I want to recommend another gift for all of you: a premium subscription to Board Game Arena, the best place to play hundreds of games online with your friends any time, particularly to those who are still uncomfortable playing games in person. $30 for a 12-month premium subscription supports the developers who have brought so many classic games to the service; every month, something amazing hits the service. Let me tell you why I love BGA so much!

Andy Matthews

Lately I’ve been doing a deep dive into music from the 1970s; Bruce Springsteen in particular. If you’ve never had a chance to listen to The Boss, then check out The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Born to Run, and Darkness on the Edge of Town for perhaps the best “three albums in a row” of all time. Songs like Rosalita (Come out Tonight), Born to Run, and Badlands will live rent free in your head for weeks.

And if you’re a reader then make sure to check out Delta-V from Daniel Suarez for some hard-edged sci-fi ala The Martian by Andy Weir, and The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey.

And finally I’m really starting to get into woodworking as a way to make tangible things. I’ve been enjoying watching YouTube videos from Jonathan Katz-Moses, 731 Woodworks, Fix This, Build That, and 3×3 Custom.


Looking for something we've recommended before? Check out the ghosts of Holiday Gift Guides past!

Disclosure: Meeple Mountain receives a commission from any of the Buy Now links pointing to Amazon.com.

About the author

Andy Matthews

Founder of Meeple Mountain, editor in chief of MeepleMountain.com, and software engineer. Father of 4, husband to 1, lover of games, books, and movies, and all around nice guy. I run Nashville Game Night, and Nashville Tabletop Day.

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  • What a great guide! I’ve been thinking about getting The Mind for my mom as she enjoys quicker card games that play well at 2 or 4. It’s a great game that deserves its popularity.

    I wouldn’t have thought to buy game apps as a gift, either. I’m glad to know that Cat Lady has an app. I might need to get that for myself soon!

    • Cat Lady is a great card game, and the app is a perfect translation to digital form. In fact it’s even better than the card game because it offers fun achievements, and some buttery smooth animations.

  • Thank you so much for this guide! we were looking desperately for a good game to ship to our Croatian friends who are very passionate about board games, shipping was a whole different problem, but this article gave us some great ideas to follow!

    • Turns out we were a little aggressive in linking to the “old” version of this page. We’re in the middle of building out the newest version of the guide for this holiday season. Thanks for letting us know Taylor.

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