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Games That Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts

Posted Thursday, 22-Mar-2018


Contributed by Andrew Knighton & Calvin Wong


Panic grips you.  It’s your friend’s birthday tomorrow and you haven’t gotten them anything yet.  You don’t even have the first clue what to buy – how are you going to get out of this?


Photo by JD Hancock via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by JD Hancock via Flickr Creative Commons


By getting something from our last-minute buying guide, of course! Here are some board games that will go over great no matter who you’re getting them for.


For that awkward relative

The problem: Aunt Gertrude keeps insisting that she doesn’t like games, but she has all the romance books she can read, and you know nothing about how crochet works.  Short of writing your own crochet-themed romance, what can you get?

The solution: Anybody can string letters together to make words, but not everyone has the patience for Scrabble, so get her a copy of the fun word game Paperback.




A simple, easy to teach card game where spelling words through cards is the name of the game, Paperback can be played competitively or co-operatively depending on the mood you’re going for.


For the kids

The problem:  They’re still too young for proper games, but you need something substantial enough to keep them entertained while you cook the dinner.  TV is out of the question – if you have to sit through one more Pokemon cartoon you’re going to go on an a killing spree.

The solution: Magic Maze


Magic Maze
Magic Maze


Four mighty adventurers are stuck in a shopping mall, where they plan to complete a heist! Each player controls one DIRECTION of movement, not a character – so one player is responsible for moving left, another is responsible for moving up, and must direct their attention all over the board.

(Did we mention you can’t talk or point?)


For the television fan

The problem: Jo spends his whole time in front of the TV.  When he isn’t re-watching episodes of Game of Thrones he’s analyzing the themes behind Orange is the New Black.

The solution:  A TV-related board game of course, in Geoff Engelstein’s terrific The Expanse.


The Expanse
The Expanse


Based on the hit sci-fi book and TV series, The Expanse makes you maneuver through politics as well as fleets as four human factions compete to exert their control over the Solar System. Play as the Earth-based UN, the Martian MCR, the Outer Planets Alliance, or sinister Protogen as you do battle with wits and timing.


For the soft touch

The problem: Sarah likes the idea of board games, but she’s not very competitive, and gets intimidated by aggressive players and strategic confrontations.



The solution:  Take your friend on a gentle stroll through the Japanese mountains with Tokaido, a relaxing game in which you win by seeing the prettiest views and eating the nicest food.


Need more ideas?

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Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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