The Zengrrl Guide to Board Games for Gift Giving

Nowadays, entertainment is often provided by toys and games that have to be plugged in or run on batteries. Those can be fun, but sometimes it’s good to unplug and have some fun.

The Zengrrl Guide to Board Games for Gift Giving

With that in mind, I have suggestions for board games that are great to give as gifts for birthdays and Christmas (or keep for yourself), that don’t need electricity of any kind. They just need imagination and a few players.

As a fan of board games, here are a few I’ve loved for years, as well as a few more that I’ve had the chance to review recently and really liked. Any one of these are perfect to give as gifts, or to buy for yourself to play with family and friends.

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DISNEY PICTOPIA (Wonder Forge)
Ages: 7 and up
Players: 2 to 4
List Price: $22.99

This trivia game is perfect for the Disney fan. Players take turn answering trivia spanning decades of Disney movies, TV, theme parks, and more. When we reviewed this game, we found younger players may not know all the vintage trivia, so I would say teenagers and adults would appreciate this game more.

 

 

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THE GAME OF LIFE (Hasbro)
Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 4
List Price: $19.99

This classic game allows players to explore different jobs and different life choices, without it being permanent. Players pick a game piece and then spin the wheel, advancing on the board and picking cards that affect the course of your life. Once everyone reaches the end of the game at retirement, everyone pays their debts and adds up their wealth. The player with the most money wins the game.

 

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JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – EYE FOUND IT! (Wonder Forge)
Ages: 4 and up
Players: 2 to 6
List Price: $18.99

This game is great for budding history or archaeology buffs, but you’ll need plenty of room to play. The goal is to work together as a team to find hidden objects throughout time from the Prehistoric Era to the Present Day on the six-foot board before the timer runs out. There are plenty of items to search for on the cards players draw.

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MONOPOLY (Hasbro)
Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 6
List Price: $17.99

This classic game enhances strategy and money-counting skills. Players start by selecting a game piece to represent them on the board, and are allotted a certain amount of Monopoly money. The idea is to accumulate money by owning properties on the board and collecting rent from other players who land on the space. Rents can be increased by the owner buying houses and hotels. The goal is to bankrupt the other players.

There are also several variations of the game, such as movie and pop culture tie-ins like Star Wars Monopoly and Game of Thrones Monopoly, so you can tailor the game purchase to a person’s interests.

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OPERATION (Hasbro)
Ages: 4 and up
Players: 2 to 4
List Price: $17.99

This classic game enhances hand-eye coordination. Players take turn being the doctor by taking the tweezers and using them to carefully remove 11 ailments from various openings. If the tweezers touch the sides of the opening, you’ll get the buzzer and light up patient Cavity Sam’s nose. The player who successfully removes the most ailments wins. It’s a lot of fun for kids to play, but I have to be honest: it’s also fun at an adult party where drinks are being served. This game does take two AA batteries, BUT it’s not a game where you’re staring at a screen.

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SCRABBLE (Hasbro)
Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 4
List Price: $16.99

classic game enhances vocabulary and strategy skills. Players start by drawing 7 wooden tiles from a draw-string bag of 100 tiles, each with a letter of the alphabet or one of two blank wild tiles that can be any letter. The tiles are used to form words in a crossword style on the board. Players can only play tiles in one direction per turn, but can incorporate more than one previously played word into their turn. Points are accrued based on the number written on the tile, and whether or not it is sitting on a double or triple point square on the board. I first played this game with my mom, and our game nights are some of my best memories with her. Plus I really increased my vocabulary playing against her.

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STAR WARS PICTOPIA (Wonder Forge)
Ages: 7 and up
Players: 2 to 5
List Price: $26.99

This trivia game is based on teamwork with a competive edge. Sometimes you’ll work alone, and sometimes players will work together as a team, all the while answering questions based on 1,000 Star Wars trivia questions. Those questions can be hard, even for devoted Star Wars fans like myself, so if the Force is with the gift recipient, they’ll really enjoy this game.

 

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SURPRISE SLIDES! PEANUTS EDITION (Wonder Forge)
Ages: 3 and up
Players: 2 to 4
List Price: $12.99

This game is best for families to play together, and encourages strategy. Players place their chosen token on the board and spin the wheel for number of moves. There are opportunites to slide forwards or backwards, as well as to flip parts of the board to alter the course. There are some small pieces, so watch any little ones playing.

If players are not fans of the Peanuts characters, there are alternate versions of the game with Disney’s Frozen, Mickey’s Clubhouse, or Princess Sofia characters.

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Game night is a great way to have fun while interacting with each other, rather than staring at video screens. If you want further proof of how fun board games can be, there’s a whole online series hosted by Wil Wheaton devoted to them, called Table Top.

And I haven’t played every game out there, so if you have some fun suggestions of games to give as gifts, leave them in the comments.


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About zengrrl

I'm Michelle Snow, the writer and creator of Zengrrl. I write about travel, entertainment, women's issues, health, body positivity, and more, both for this blog and freelance. I have also authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. If you aren't already following me, the links are below, as well as on the top right of this page. Thanks!

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Comments: 2

  1. Kristi Pedersen January 15, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I love monopoly! πŸ˜€ haha πŸ˜€ Have a nice weekend πŸ™‚ <3
    Kristi Pedersen wrote this post…It’s sort of like a big dealMy Profile

    • zengrrl January 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Me, too. I love the various versions of it, too. Thanks for stopping by Kristi! =)