GeekDad/GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide – Games

Holiday Gift Guide - Games

We believe that the family that plays together, stays together. Whether that means sitting down for a role-playing session, getting hooked on a videogame, or working on a jigsaw puzzle, we love fun games! Here’s a selection of games and puzzles to share with your friends and family. And if you’re looking for even more tabletop games, check out our list of Game of the Year Finalists, as well as our other GeekDad Approved titles from the past year!

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. This means that the GeekDad/GeekMom contributor may make a small amount of commission if you click through and purchase the item at no extra cost to you. We may have also received the item for review from the manufacturer.

Disney’s Happiest Day Game: Magic Kingdom Park Edition

Suggested by: Sarah Pinault
Mfg: Funko Games
Price: $19.99
Purchase: Disney’s Happiest Day Game: Magic Kingdom Park Edition

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am all in on the recent trend for turning classic theme park rides into board games. Now I can indulge myself in my favorite theme park in its entirety every day, with Disney’s Happiest Day Game: Magic Kingdom Park Edition. The artwork in the game is beautiful, the game play is simple enough to play with my seven-year-old, engaging enough to stop my thirteen-year-old from revolting, and the joy it inspires in this 41-year-old heart is simply priceless. We are all Disney addicts in our house anyway so it’s not hard to keep our interest, and not just because we are counting down to our first family trip to the Magic Kingdom in 2023. Each player makes their way around a day in the Magic Kingdom, riding the rides, meeting the characters, as Tinkerbell flies ever closer to the top of the castle. As night begins, the board flips over and you begin an evening in the Magic Kingdom. It’s an experiential game, that I’m hoping will segue our kids into playing Tokaido with us, which is my husband’s favorite game. It has the same kind of goal as Tokaido, that is to have the best experience possible. As you experience the park, you match your cards with the attractions on the board, asking conversation questions along the way. Who would you take to the parks if you could bring anyone? What’s the first attraction you’d ride when the parks open? At the end of this game, the person with the most stars wins, but in my book, play this with your kids and everyone is a winner. -SP

Jurassic World Aftermath Collection for Nintendo Switch

Suggested by: Z.
Mfg: Coatsink Software
Price: $29.99
Purchase: Jurassic World Aftermath Collection for Nintendo Switch

Previously released as two separate titles on the Oculus, the Jurassic World Aftermath Collection brings the full adventure to those of us without VR headsets. Experience its first-person, stealth-driven gameplay (with a noticeable survival horror slant) on your Nintendo Switch now via the Nintendo eShop. Marvel at its unique puzzles and evocative cel-shaded art style. Quake in fear at the sound of approaching Velociraptors. Regularly ask yourself, “Wait, is that really the voice of Jeff Goldblum?!” Oh, it is, my friends. It really is. Whether you’re looking for a slower-paced, more accessible video game to share with your relatives between dinner and dessert or are shopping for just the right gift for the Jurassic Park fan on your list, the Jurassic World Aftermath Collection is sure to delight and amaze. [Review materials provided by Universal Pictures Entertainment] -Z.

Wentworth Puzzles: Wooden Puzzles With Whimsical Pieces

Suggested by: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Wentworth
Price: Prices vary
Purchase: Wentworth Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles used to all be made out of wood and cut with a saw. The pieces used to be really unusual shapes. Today most puzzles are made from cardboard with pretty predictable shapes, but there are still companies that create wooden jigsaw puzzles, but trading a saw in for a laser cutter. Wentworth Puzzles is one such company. Based in the UK, they make really fun Christmas/winter puzzles along with plenty of other imagery that is relevant any time of year. Each puzzle is packaged in a quality drawstring bag inside a sturdy box, and includes whimsical pieces shaped like objects relating to the theme of the puzzle. These puzzles are treasures to be passed down in the family. Read my full review from this year’s holiday batch. -JB

Yahtzee: Dungeons & Dragons

Suggested by: Paul Benson
Mfg: The Op
Price: $29.99
Purchase: Yahtzee: Dungeons & Dragons

If you’ve got a D&D player in your life that also enjoys playing classic dice games, then you may want to get them the Yahtzee: Dungeons & Dragons set from The Op. It plays just like classic Yahtzee , except your dice are all different D&D monsters, and you’ve got a dice tower instead of a cup for rolling. And of course, you can bring your dice tower with you for your tabletop roleplaying sessions, too! -PB

Ridley’s Games Puzzles: Inspirational Women and Bucket List Items!

Suggested by: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Ridley’s Games
Price: Prices vary
Purchase: Ridley’s Games Puzzles: Inspirational Women and Bucket List Items!

If you’re looking to uncover some inspiration or motivation with your puzzle assembly, Ridley’s Games has some fabulous options. They’ve made one of my favorite puzzles ever, The Inspirational Women puzzle (J.K. Rowling’s inclusion, notwithstanding). There is also a related trivia game with the same theme. Both are worth checking out. They’ve also put together literal buckets of bucket list items in puzzle form—one for books and one for travel destinations. Any of these items will give you some new ideas for where to go, what to read, and who to learn about. Read my full reviews at GeekMom for the Inspirational Women products and the Bucket List Puzzles. -JB

Schitt’s Creek: Love That Journey

Suggested by: Sarah Pinault
Mfg: Funko Games
Price: $19.99
Purchase: Schitt’s Creek: Love That Journey

If you long to stay in the Rosebud motel, find yourself pining for a movie about crows, or just worship the ground that Johnny Rose walks on, then you might find yourself in need of Schitt’s Creek: Love That Journey. My friends and I were obsessed with Imaginiff in the early 2000s, and this is very reminiscent of that style of party game. Guessing wild things about your group, but this time with a theme. You get to guess who would do what about the people you are playing with, and answer conundrums about the characters from the show based on how you feel about them. Instead of a standard board, you make your way around everybody’s favorite small town. The winner is the player to arrive at the beautiful town sign first, having successfully pondered and guessed through all manner of scenarios. Would you ask Moira or Ray to choreograph a dance number? Would you accidentally sell a car? Would your spouse join a cult, and who would go with them! How would you RSVP to open mic night at Rose Apothecary, and what would you sing? It’s awkward and hilarious and for fans of the show, a must have this year. You don’t need to be a die hard fan to enjoy this, but general knowledge of the show is a must. Full blown obsession will probably win you the game. -SP

D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle

Suggested by: Z.
Mfg: Wizards of the Coast
Price: $19.99
Purchase: D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle

With family around for the holidays, now is the perfect time to begin your own Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and the new Dragons of Stormwreck Isle starter set gives you everything you need in one simple box. Its truncated Starter Set Rulebook comes in at a tidy 32 pages and leads D&D newbies from the bare-bones basics to abilities, checks, and modifiers, the ins-and-outs of combat, and even the long/short rest mechanic before wrapping things up with equipment and spells. Of course, older players will also appreciate that the full-color paintings that punctuate this rulebook include player characters clearly based on the cast of CBS’s 1983 Dungeons & Dragons animated series! Consider picking up a copy for the D&D curious on your list or as a fun alternative to your regular family holiday puzzle or board game. [Review material provided by  360PR+ for D&D] -Z.

Literary Puzzles and Puzzles of Collections

Suggested by: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Laurence King Publishing and Princeton Architectural Press
Price: Prices Vary
Purchase: Literary Puzzles and Puzzles of Collections

Whether you collect details from classic literature or facts about different chickens, pigs, or classic cookbooks, two (related) publishers have put out some fabulous puzzles this year. Laurence King Publishing has made a series of puzzles including many details from the worlds of Jane Austen, Alice’s Wonderland, Dracula, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, and many others. Each puzzle includes fun details to identify as you assemble it and an informative guide to every detail in the puzzle. Additionally, Princeton Architectural Press has created a series of puzzles that include chicken breeds, pig breeds, classic cookbooks, winter pursuits, museum and bookstore scenes, and more. Puzzles from both of these series are as informative as they are fun. Read my full reviews at GeekMom of the literary puzzles and the Chickenology puzzle. -JB

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet

Suggested by: Z.
Mfg: Nintendo/TPCI
Price: $59.99
Purchase: Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet

The days are never more merry and bright than when I’m playing Pokémon with my oldest child. My son’s been enjoying the world of Pokémon with me since before he could read, and now, halfway through his senior year of high school, we’re once again ringing in the season with another exciting, monster-catching, gym-battling adventure. Unlike previous entries, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer an open-world experience, meaning you can make a name for yourself in the Paldea region by fighting your way through the traditional gym system, taking on massive Titan Pokémon, or facing off against the schoolyard misfits of Team Star. With two different versions available—each offering a slightly different story and including a number of exclusive Pokémon—these latest additions to the franchise are perfect for family gaming around the holidays, whether you’re exploring together, battling for household supremacy, or just trading Pokémon on your way to catch ’em all! [Review materials provided by Nintendo of America] -Z.

Infinity Game Table

Suggested by: Paul Benson
Mfg: Arcade1Up
Price: $699.99 – $999.99
Purchase: Infinity Game Table

Want to have a digital board game library at your fingertips? With the Infinity Game Table from Arcade1Up, now you can! The Infinity Game Table comes free with classic games like Monopoly, Clue, and Scrabble, and you can purchase and download other premium titles like Ticket to Ride and Pandemic directly to your table. With a touch-sensitive HD screen that comes in either 24” or 32” sizes, the Infinity Game Table is fun for the whole family, and the perfect size for your living room. Look for a review soon on GeekDad! -PB

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