While I’m working on my 2016 Holiday Picks article, I thought I’d post my stocking stuffer list (not idea, but I’ve been busy with ChiTAG stuff!) I know that stocking stuffers vary greatly from family to family, but when I was growing up smaller gifts and candy ended up in stockings. I’ve written “stocking stuffer” articles in the past and while the max price point is a little flexible, the games always have to be pretty small so Santa still has room for other goodies. Without further chatter, here are some recommendations:
The Parent Quiz — Haywire ~$5, 2+ Players, Ages 6+
A little bit of self-promotion with this first pick, but it’s a PERFECT stocking stuffer for the holidays. It’s small, portable, and it’s a great way for kids to get to know the adults in their lives. The adult provides the correct answers in this game; they read the question and supplied multiple-choice answers inserting their answer. The younger generation (1 or more kids needed to play) then guess which answer they think is correct. Great for kids to play with aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, older cousins, etc. – nice easy fun for the holidays!
Perplexus Qbot — Play Monster ~$12, Solo play, Ages 8+
The Perplexus Qbot is a mini robot-themed version of the larger Perplexus ball. It’s a 3” cube and it’s got 33 “challenges” – and it’s hard to do all of those 33 challenges in a row! Each challenge is numbered on the plastic inside the cube so you know where you need to go next. It’s little but will keep kids busy for some time!
Splish Splash Catapult – HABA ~$10, 2-5 Players, Ages 5+
This is a tiny little dexterity game where you are shooting water balloons at rabbits using a mini-catapult. If your balloon lands on a rabbit token you get to keep the balloon, but if you miss you leave it on the table. Each balloon is a different color on each side and when you successfully land a balloon on a rabbit, you get to take any balloons of the same color that were missed shots. Each balloon is worth 1 point a the end, and the player with the most points wins!
Space Planets — HABA ~$13, 2-4 Players, Ages 6+
Throw a die at a grid of 3 x 3 tiles and hope you land on a good planet — if you do, pay the fuel costs using crystals and keep the planet tile. If you don’t like the planet you’re on, take crystals instead. Each planet tile you essentially buy gives you victory points (aka “star values”) and sometimes bonus fuel crystals or other bonuses. Nice mix of trying to “aim” a the die mixed with some light strategy all packed into a game that lasts ~10 minutes.
Rory’s Story Cubes and Expansion Packs — Gamewright $4-10, 1+ Players, Ages 4+
If you don’t already own a set of Rory’s Story Cubes you should start off with the Original pack or one of the larger sets, but if you already add a set it’s a lot of fun to mix in one of the smaller 3-dice expansions. Use the dice to tell great stories and/or come up with creative ideas. Great stocking stuffer for all ages and easy to take with for some storytime on Christmas Day!
Others Already Reviewed in 2016:
Tutti Frutti – Gigamic $11, 2-6 players, Ages 4+, 5 minutes
Super cute and very quick speed matching game where players pair up fruit tokens to created the largest stack. Comes in a nice quality tin! READ FULL REVIEW
Zany Penguins – Asmodee $18, 2-5 players, Ages 7+, 20 minutes
Family-friendly card game where players try to dominate “zones”/suits so they end up with the highest point total at the table. Easy to learn with well done funny penguin art. READ FULL REVIEW
No Thanks — Mayfair $10, 3-7 players, Ages 8+, 20 minutes
Family friendly and great for parties with non-gamers and gamers alike, this card game is as simple as saying “sure I’ll take that card” or “no thanks” and pay a chip. Add up cards at the end to see who won in this surprisingly easy and fun game! READ FULL REVIEW
Bring Your Own Book – Gamewright $12, 3+ Players, Ages 12+, 20 minutes
Everyone brings their own book and they’re going to use their book to find sentences and phrases that fit the request on cards. One of the funniest games I’ve played all year! READ FULL REVIEW