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Board Game Gift Guide 2018 (Part 1)

Posted Thursday, 22-Nov-2018

Board games make the perfect holiday gift! Here are some of our favorite board games you should be giving away this holiday season.

Contributed by Paul Normandin


Looking for a great board game for family and friends to play this holiday season? Trying to find the perfect board game for a couple or the kids in your life? Or are you looking for the best board game for you to play across all of 2019? BoardGamePrices has a game that answers every gift buying question. 


All-Time Classics

Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep is the perfect competitive game filled with quests, secrets, and power – while being easy to learn and teach.


# of Players: 2-5

Playtime: 120 minutes


Set in the famous Dungeons and Dragons’ Forgotten Realms city, Lords of Waterdeep casts players as secret influencers in the town, using minions (a worker placement mechanic) to achieve your secret goal. Your minions gather resources, purchase buildings, and complete quests in this fast paced, turn based battle to win control of the City of Splendors.

Easy to learn, Lords of Waterdeep provides a deceptively strategic gaming experience.

Featured Review of Lords of Waterdeep

Game designers Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson have put together something really cool with Lords of Waterdeep—a game that departs drastically from other available D&D games on the market but still maintains the spirit and the lore of the Realms. This is a game solidly rooted in the Euro-gaming tradition with D&D flavor for good measure.

Erik Kain, Forbes.com

Lords of Waterdeep is a great board game gift filled with intrigue, strategy, and fun. The expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport, will allow a sixth player, more intrigue, quests, and buildings, but can add up to an hour of game time.

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Azul is a fast paced, light, tile-drafting game that uses color, patterns, and sets, allowing the winner the honor of decorating the Royal Palace.



# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 45 minutes

Azul is a simple family game that is quick to learn, easy to lose, and fun to play. Using gorgeously designed tiles to act as components, players draft their sets in hopes of collecting all the tiles needed to score points. Failure to complete your patterns or disrupting the pattern with other tiles results in lost points. Taking your neighbors critically needed tile that completes your own long set is often the key to winning Azul and one of the things that makes it so fun to play.

Featured Review of Azul

The game is puzzle-y, spatial, and tactical, filled with set-collecting goodness, pretty bits, and the kind of gameplay that welcomes everyone to the table.

Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

If you are looking for an award winning (2018 Spiel des Jahres), quick, fun board game gift that has amazing table presence to play with up to four of your family members and friends, Azul is your answer.

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Pandemic: Iberia

Pandemic: Iberia is a cooperative game in the Pandemic universe that transports you back to 1848 to stop the spread of Malaria, typhus, yellow fever, and cholera.   


Florence, I presume?


# of Players: 2-5

Playtime: 45 minutes

Pandemic: Iberia places you in the role of doctor, nurse, agriculturalist, politician, sailor, scientist, or railwayman, each with their own special skill. Determining how best to use your skills in cooperation with the other specialists in the game is the key to fighting the spread of the diseases in the game. Pairing this with significant diseases and important events, adds a layer of historic perspective to Pandemic: Iberia.

Featured Review of Pandemic: Iberia

Pandemic Iberia feels a lot like Pandemic, but with some clever twists, and I think fans of the series will enjoy what Matt Leacock and Jesus Torres Castro have done for this special edition.

Chris Wray, The Opinionated Gamer. 

Pandemic: Iberia is a great cooperative game that offers replayability and a bit of history. A board game gift must have for fans of co-operative games.

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New Games in 2018

Century: Eastern Wonders

Century: Eastern Wonders is a pick up and deliver game based on the trading of spices set in the Indonesian Archipelago.



# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 45 minutes

Century: Eastern Wonders brings the spice trading game to the open seas through the use of a pickup and delivery mechanic that allows players to change strategies quickly. The play revolves around move, harvest, trade, and construction actions. Victory points are gained by delivering needed spices to distant locations.  

Featured Review of Century: Eastern Wonders

I like to say that a “good” game is one that you want to play again, and Eastern Wonders will get lodged in your head like a catchy song, always at the back of your mind and always on the tip of your tongue until you relent, grab the box, and sail off to make your fortune.

Logan Giannini, Geek Dad

Fans of the spice trading game Century: Spice Road will enjoy Century: Eastern Wonders dynamic game play, trading on the high seas, and the multiple paths to victory as well as the ability to combine both games to make a third: Century: Sand To Sea.   

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Root is an asymmetrical game of ‘woodland might and right’ where each player controls a faction with completely different play styles, mechanics, and opportunities for victory.



# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 90 minutes

An accessible war game with adorable artwork and unique game play, Root features four factions: the Marquise de Cat; the flying, infighting Eyrie; the Alliance of Woodland Creatures; and the lone Vagabond. All vie for control of the wilderness and he ever shifting power dynamics matched by well balanced game play allows each player to be a constant threat to win.       

Featured Review of Root

Root is one of the best games I’ve played all year. It’s no small feat to combine four disparate player factions into a single, cohesive game.

Alex Singh, ISlaytheDragon



Given the asymmetry of each faction, the alternative win conditions in the game, and the shifting balance of power in play, Root is a game you will want to replay often and differently each time.

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Betrayal Legacy

Betrayal Legacy marries permanency and multi-game narrative storytelling with the exploration of a haunted mansion.



# of Players: 3-5

Playtime: 90 minutes

Betrayal Legacy offers each player control of a single family with characters or their heirs visiting the mansion over decades. Items in the game can become an heirloom, giving bonuses and benefits to any of the family in future mansion visits. The uncertainty and range of events that can have permanent effects keeps the game alive and fresh with every play session, betrayal, and death.

Featured Review of Betrayal Legacy

With the creepy, detailed illustrations and evocative text, playing it feels like wandering through an immersive choose-your-own adventure, where anything could jump out at you from the dark.

Pia Ceres, Wired

Betrayal Legacy offers permanence, change, and betrayal in a world where families are pitted against one another driven to discover their hidden legacies. Betrayal Legacy is a great board game present for the horror fan or legacy game enthusiast in your life.

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