Every family has their own idea of what a “stocking stuffer” should be, but when I was growing up smaller gifts and candy ended up in stockings — and EVERYONE, even the adults and the pets had stockings. 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. Hope you find something here that is a perfect fit for someone on Santa’s “Nice List.” (If you want to support The Game Aisle, please use the Amazon links… pays for my hosting!)
This is another one of MY games (yay!). Not originally designed as a co-op, but after a little tweaking and the addition of some yummy artwork Blue Plate Scramble would be on my list even if it wasn’t mine! The goal is to remember what kind of wacky pairings all of the customers order (you can vary how many customers you have to make it easy or difficult). Working as a group you you have to remember which items are paired and which customer to serve them to. Screw up and you make an angry customer! Five angry customers before you get through the 3 meals and you’re toast!
Forest • Helvetiq, ~15 minutes, 1-4 Players, Ages 6+, $13
Forest is in this line of little slender “pocket games” from Helvetiq that also includes Bandito and Hippo but I thought that Forest felt sort of holiday-ish because there’s a gnome that looks like a little Santa! The goal is to collect the most cards in this draw and play game. Players start with 3 cards and on their turn they play cards in a row to create a little forest (trunks on the bottom trees on top). You want to be the player to spot seven of the same type of create in the forest. If you do, you collect those cards! At the end the player with the most cards wins!
Junggle • Z-Man Games, ~10-15 Minutes, 2-10 Players, Ages 7+, ~$17*
Talk about bang for your buck; Junggle has FIVE games in this one little tin! Besides using the same deck for each game, the overarching idea that the animals are all ranked and they all scare one other animal is a theme throughout all five games. (Don’t worry, there are reference cards so you don’t forget!) Each game is in a somewhat different “style” — like bluffing, speed, memory, etc. — so they all have a different “feel.” Not all of them are for 2 players, some require 3, but overall it’s a great game to travel with as you have lots of options in one little tin! If you want to read more about the games go to the Z-Man site HERE. (*This will be cheaper at your local game store ~$11.)
Last Letter • Think Fun, ~10 Minutes, 2+ Players, Ages 8+, ~$8
This game has been out for a few years but I just had the chance to play it. We all know the last letter game where you have to think of a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word right? So “Holiday – Yule – Elves” and so on. Well Last Letter takes the same basic idea but each player has 5 beautifully illustrated cards in their hands and they have to say a word that relates to one of their cards that also begins with the same letter as the previous word. Get rid of all of your cards to win!
Qwixx and Rolling America are dice games I absolutely love and in the same style packaging is Qwingo! It’s a little less complex than Qwixx and Rolling America (so less to explain), but it’s still good for groups. So have Santa bring it and then bring it with to your family party! Also good for road trips if you want to buy it before the holidays and take it with you when you travel. With only one die it’s perfect for airport or car play (just don’t have the driver play please.. we’re aiming for HAPPY holidays!)
PDQ • Gamewright, ~15 minutes, 2+ Players, Ages 10+ ~$12
PDQ is a re-release but if you know someone who loves word games this game is for them! As part of the port-a-party line, it’s a super small cube of letter cards and the game is simple, draw 3 cards and players all race to find a word that uses all 3 letters. So if you have the letters ATS you might say “Santa” or “Naughtiest.” Quick to learn, fun to play if you like word games, and is the PERFECT size for a stocking stuffer!
Rocky Road a la Mode • Green Couch Games, ~20 minutes, 2-4 Players, Ages 10+, $17
I backed this game on kickstarter and it’s pretty cute! The theme is something everyone can love (ice cream truck and ice cream treats!) and the visuals are top notch. Inside the little box comes a board and 4 ice cream truck movers and whoever is furthest back on the board takes their turn. You can choose from several actions on your turn but goal of the game is to earn 9 loyalty points before anyone else. It’s like a mix of Patchwork and Splendor wrapped up in a yummy ice cream wrapper.
Jaipur is back!! It wasn’t being published for a few years, but it’s back so you definitely need to snag a copy if you can! This is a great 2-player game card game with beautiful artwork, minimal setup, and you’ll enjoy it for years to come. It’s played in 3 rounds and you are playing the markets against each other, which sounds a little strange for a 2-player but it works! Bit of strategy, bit of luck!