2020 Holiday Picks


Well… we’ve almost made it to 2021 but before that we have to make it through the holiday season — and what a great year to give GAMES!  Now before I go into my picks below, I am asking you kindly to not use my links but instead call up your local toy and game store and see if they have the game you’re looking for.  Local stores need us more than ever this year — and usually they’ll wrap so that’s one less thing to thing about!  Picks are from youngest to oldest hope you find something that’s the perfect gift!

Fish Club Game Fish Club

Fun for Kids Blue Orange • 2 players • ages 5+ •~5 minutes • $22 at Amazon

In a way, Fish Club is like free-form Connect 4 (formerly Connect Four).  Players are trying to get five red or blue fish to touch each other, but the fish bounce all around the inside so it’s hard to pick a precise spot and get it to land there.  There are also yellow bits that can be used to block and move stuff around — honestly it’s quite fun and the way the pieces move around is annoyingly satisfying (if there can be such a thing!)

Unicorn Glitterluck Cloud Stacking Box

Unicorn Glitterluck Cloud Stacking

Unicorn Stacking Fun for Kids and AdultsHABA • 2-4 players • ages 4+ •~15 minutes • $25 Check Your Local Game Store or Amazon

Mix a little bit Unicorn Glitterluck and a little bit Animal Upon Animal and you get Unicorn Glitterluck Cloud Stacking game.  And in pure HABA fashion, it’s quality pieces with great gameplay.  The perfect game gift for any young girl or boy who loves unicorns.

While I’m talking about Animal Upon Animal (a HABA stacking classic) there’s a Limited Edition CHRISTMAS version of Animal Upon Animal!!

Tiny Park Box

Tiny Park

Fun for Kids and AdultsHABA • 2-4 players • ages 5+ •~10 minutes • $15 Check Your Local Game Store or Amazon

(looks like it’s sold out right now)

Tiny Park is a cute risk-taking dice game where players are tasked with collecting ride tiles in a variety of shapes.  There 6 shapes that cover 1-4 squares on your board.  You’ll have to roll exactly what is on the top of a shape pile to collect it.  Sounds easy, but you only have 3 rolls to figure out what you want and to try to get it!  Hopefully you get the piece you want, if not did you roll something that matches a different shaped tile?  Without words and with a super cute theme, Tiny Park is great for the younger gamers who are ready to play games that aren’t just about luck. (It’s enjoyable for parents too; we’ve played this one A LOT)

Bear Down Game And Box

Bear Down

Kids Game with Gameplay and FunAmigo Games • 2-4 players • ages 6+ • ~20 minutes • ~$25 Check Your Local Game Store Amazon

The tagline to Bear Down is “Catch the most fish, but don’t go with the flow!” and that pretty much sums up the game!  Your bear wants to stay on the top of the waterfall and collect as many fishes as it can, periodically bringing them back to the rock so you can collect them. But on each player’s turn they roll the die which will tell them to either put more fish on one of the 5 lanes or to push water in causing fish (and maybe a bear or two) to tumble over the water fall.  Good fun game with quality pieces and light strategy play that’s enjoyable for a variety of ages..

A Pet's life Game BoxA Pet’s Life

Top Pick! Fun for 2 or 3 players of any age!IDW Games • 2 or 3 players • ages 10+ (but I’d say 5-6+) • $25 Check Your Local Game Store or AmazonA Pet’s Life

has to be my #1 choice for this year.  I cannot even count the number of times we’ve played this and we’re still regularly pulling it out.  It’s only a 2 or 3 player game, but plays great both ways.  The box says ages 10+ but this quickly became one of our 5 year old’s favorite games and us adults like it too. It’s a super cute light strategy game that is very easy to learn.  You can read more of my ravings in my review from earlier in the year.

Who's the GOAT? BoxWho’s The G.O.A.T.?

Fun for 4 or MoreBig G Creative • 3-6 players • ages 8+ • ~10 minutes • $25 TARGET ONLY

If you have a larger family this is a great party game for a variety of ages.  Players vote who they think is going to be the best and then those players show off their wackiest skills trying to be dubbed the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) in ridiculous categories. Plus there are squishy goats — so really what’s not to love?!  You can read more from my earlier review.

Cloud City game Box

Cloud City

Light strategy building funBlue Orange • 2-4 players • ages 10+ (I’d say closer to 8) • ~30 minutes •$35 Check Your Local Game Store or AmazonCloud City

is a 3D placement light strategy game that plays very independently until the end when players compare scores.  Each player creates their own amazingly intertwined city hoping to score the most points for the walkways they’ve used to connect their three leveled buildings.  Another one that’s easy to learn and relaxing and enjoyable to play. You can read my review for more details.

Master Word game boxMaster Word

Cooperative Word GameIELLO USA and Scorpion Masque • 3-6 players • ages 12+ • ~15 minutes • $23 Check Your Local Game Store or Amazon

In Master Word players work together to guess a word in a manner a bit like classic Mastermind.  One player knows the answer “the guide” and everyone else works together and each player writes a clue on a card.  The guide gives a thumbs up chip for each correct clue but gives them in a big batch so you don’t quite know which ones are right, just how many of the clues are right.  The group has to figure out the word before round 7 and you can only make 3 “solution” guesses during play.  A fun challenge for players of a variety of ages.

 

Next up is going to be my 2020 Holiday Stocking Stuffer list!  But if you didn’t find something that you thinks fits the bill, please search “Holiday” to find more yearly lists of my faves.  I also have an Amazon storefront where I’ve made lists of some of my faves.  (Again.. Please try to buy local if you can.)

 

I know this is going to be a trying holiday season, but I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Happy Holidays!