I’ve already gone through my 2020 holiday game picks list so now it’s time for my stocking stocking stuffers list. Normally these are smaller boxed games that are easy to cram into a stocking or are just easy to bring or ship as a gift. And again, 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 we want them to be around next year.
Loki • 2-4 players • ages 5+ • ~15 minutes • ~$11 on Amazon
Farmini is a very cute “tile laying” game for children (they’re cards not tiles) where players are laying cards to create their own farm. Player grow corn and pen animals in, so the wolf won’t run off with them, to score points. One point for each corn that’s protected from the animals, and one point for each animal at the end of the game makes for easy scoring. Fun introduction to tile laying and easy strategy decisions. The little box doubles as a pen to hold all of the animal tokens during play — super cute!
Amigo • 2-6 players • ages 8+ (maybe younger) • ~15 minutes • ~$10 on Amazon
If you and your family need something that’s kind of like UNO but different — like a classic-style “play-a-card and try to go out first” card game that anyone can play, L.L.A.M.A is the game for you! It’s an iota more complex than UNO and it’s played in rounds, but the rounds are quick. You receive scoring chips (which you don’t want) based on the number of cards left in your hand and if you’re the one to go out in the round you get to put chips back. There’s some fun scoring too – like if you have a bunch of one number left in your hand you only score one of those cards. Player with the lowest chip score when someone reaches or exceeds 40 is the winner! Read more in my review.
Blue Orange • 2-6 players • ages 7+ • ~10 minutes • ~$16 on Amazon
Cross Clues is a cooperative party game that’s great for a family game night! Words are placed on the X and Y axis of a grid and players are given cards with coordinates like D1 (which means Word D mixed with Word 1) and they have to come up with a one word hint that embodies both Word D and Word 1. (that sounds so complex but it REALLY isn’t) The game is timed, but there are no turns in this game so there’s no pressure to quickly come up with your clue. Say it when you’ve got it and myybe you’re a better guesser and that’s okay! This plays really well with 2 players as well as larger groups and the cooperative nature makes it fun for all sorts of non-gamers too. Read more in my review.
Schmidt/Stronghold Games • 1-6 players • ages 8+ • ~20 minutes • ~$18 on Amazon
Encore! is an amazingly frustrating and very enjoyable little roll and write dice game that I’ve played DOZENS of times this year. Players take turns rolling the dice, with the roller selecting their dice first and the other players have to select from what’s left. Everyone has the same scoresheet and players score from crossing off all of one color as well as completing columns. Complete a column or a color first and score more points than everyone to follow. There are some rules to how you cross off color boxes on the board, but that adds to the complexity and fun! Read more in my review.
Silver & Gold
Pandasaurus • 2-4 players • 8+ (maybe younger) • ~20 minutes • ~$20 on Amazon
Silver & Gold is an all-play game that has player crossing off boxes on their treasure cards in a particular shape. Finish as many cards as you can and collect coins and palm tree bonuses to have the high score after 4 rounds. This slim small box packs quite a bit of game into it and without any reading, it’s great for somewhat younger gamers all the way up to adults. Read more in my review.
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.). Happy Holidays!!