Gift Guide

Having trouble deciding what board games to give? Here is a gift guide to find games for players of every variety.

Popular games for everyone

New to board gaming and unsure where to start? These award winning games are both an excellent introduction to boardgaming or as additions to an existing game collection.

CATAN

As you build settlements and roads across an uncharted island, you gather the resources you need for your building projects.  Be careful where you expand as some regions are more productive than others. 

But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan.  Although the others compete to claim the best regions, you can trade with them to obtain resources you might lack.

Ages: 10+
Players: 3-4
Playing time: 45-90 min

Or try:

  • Catan: Junior introduces a modified playing style of the classic Settlers of Catan, giving players as young as five a perfect introduction to the Catan series of games.
  • Catan Family Edition is a cut-down version you can learn to play in about 15 minutes. Then enjoy countless hours of fast-paced fun!

TICKET TO RIDE

Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities across the United States and southern Canada.

The longer the routes, the more points they earn.

Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.

Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 30-60 min

Or try:

  • Ticket to Ride Europe. From Edinburgh to Constantinople and from Lisbon to Moscow, you’ll visit great cities of turn-of-the-century Europe.
  • Ticket to Ride: First Journey takes the gameplay of the Ticket to Ride series and scales it down for a younger audience.

PANDEMIC

Prefer something less competitive? Pandemic is a cooperative board game that simulates the fight against world wide plague. As skilled members of a disease-fighting team, you and the other players work together to keep the world safe from outbreaks and epidemics. Only through teamwork will you have a chance to find a cure.  

The ability to set difficulty level makes Pandemic a great choice for both beginners and experienced gamers

Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 45 min

Or try:

  • Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a new take on the classic co-operative game but this time the infection is true and ancient evil.
  • Pandemic: Fall of Rome combines the cooperative gameplay of Pandemic with innovative new mechanisms to take players back in history to the time of the world’s greatest empire

DOMINION

One of the most popular and awarded modern games, Dominion is the game that started a new genre: Deckbuilding.

Your deck contains cards with your resources, your victory points, and your possible actions. Each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the centre of the table is a selection of other cards the players can “buy” as they can afford them.

What starts out as a small sad collection of Estates and Coppers, you hope by the end of the game will be brimming with Gold, Provinces, and the inhabitants and structures of your kingdom.

Ages: 14+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 min

Hot Games for Board Gamers

Looking for a serious strategy game for the discerning player.  Delight your giftee with these currently hot items.

EVERDELL

You are leaders of a group of critters intent on settling new territories in the charming valley of Everdell. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host—you have a busy year ahead of yourself. Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises? 

Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement

Ages: 13+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 40-80 min


WINGSPAN

You are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitat.

Wingspan is a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game.

Ages: 10+
Players: 1-5
Playing time: 40-70 min


SPIRIT ISLAND

You are spirits of the land defending your island home from colonising Invaders. Each spirit has its own unique set of elemental powers. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively.

Spirit Island is a complex and thematic cooperative game. 

Ages: 13+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 90-120 min


TERRAFORMING MARS

You each control a teraforming corporation, working to make the red planet habitable.  Although you share this common goal you are also competing to become the leading corporation of Mars

Terraforming Mars is medium-weight, card drafting, tile laying game

Ages: 12+
Players: 1-5
Playing time: 90-120 min


ROOT

Root is a game of woodland might and right. Stalk the woods as one of the Vagabonds, seize the initiative with the Eyrie birds of prey, rule over your subjects as the Marquise de Cat, or command the Woodland Alliance to create a new order. With creatures and cunning, you’ll rule a fantastic forest kingdom in the ultimate asymmetric game of adventure and war.

Root is a medium complexity, euro/wargame game for 2-4 players.

Ages: 10+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 60-90 min


IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD

In It’s a Wonderful World, you are an expanding Empire and must choose your path to your future. You must develop faster and better than your competitors. You’ll carefully plan your expansion to develop your production power and rule over this new world.

It’s a Wonderful World is a medium light cards drafting and engine building game

Ages: 14+
Players: 1-5
Playing time: 30-60 min


VISCOUNTS OF THE WEST KINGDOM

Set during the decline of West Francia, you as viscounts must be wise and decisive. Loyalty is to be upheld, but gaining favour among the people must be your priority, should there be a sudden shift in power.

Created by New Zealand’s own Garphill Games, Viscounts is a medium complexity worker placement game.

Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 60–90 min

Or try:

  • Architects of the West Kingdom. As royal architects, you compete to impress the King by constructing various landmarks throughout his newly appointed domain
  • Paladins of the West Kingdom. As noble men and women, you must gather workers from the city to defend against the Kingdom’s enemies

Family Favourites

Give the kids a break from the screen. Board games are a fun way to get everyone around the table to engage in some group entertainment… and learning, shh 🙂

ZOMBIE KIDZ EVOLUTION

Gather your friends together for this co-operative game.  Come up with the best strategy to save your school from a cartoonish zombie horde. The first legacy style game for kids. Unlock fun new content with each game you play!

Ages: 7+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 5-15 min

Or try:

  • Zombie Teenz Evolution. Zombies are attacking the entire town! Cooperate with your friends and launch an expedition to drive off the overwhelming hordes

RINO HERO

Super Rhino! presents players with an incredibly heroic – and regrettably heavy – rhinoceros who is eager to climb a tall building and leap other tall buildings in a single bound. First, though, you need to construct that building.

Ages: 5+
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 5-15 min


ICECOOL

ICECOOL is a flicking game in which each round one of the players takes the role of the Hall Monitor (also called “the Catcher”) – his aim will be to catch each other penguin and get points for that. The others (also known as “Runners”) will try to run through several doors, thus gaining fish (that give them points) on their way.

Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 min


MY LITTLE SCYTHE

In this competitive, family-friendly game you each control 2 animal miniatures embarking upon an adventure in the Kingdom of Pomme.

Increase your friendship and pies, complete quests, learn magic spells, discover precious resources, deliver gems and apples to Castle Everfree, and perhaps even engage in a pie fight!

Some of My Little Scythe’s mechanisms are inspired by the bestselling game, Scythe

Ages: 8+
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 45-60 min


TINY TOWNS

You are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest in which the smaller creatures of the woods have created a civilization hidden away from predators. Cleverly plan and construct a thriving town, and don’t let it fill up with wasted resources! Whoever builds the most prosperous tiny town wins!

Ages: 14+
Players: 1-6
Playing time: 45-60 min


UPKEEP

In Upkeep, your perfect and beautiful yard is being bombarded with unusual Autumn weather. Stormy weather or not, you must do everything you can to clean your yard before your neighbours.

Created by New Zealand’s own Gametime Again

Ages: 6+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 20-60 min


CALICO

Compete to sew the coziest quilt as you collect and place patches of different colours and patterns. Each quilt has a particular pattern that must be followed, and players are also trying to create colour and pattern combinations that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also able to attract the cuddliest cats!

Ages: 13+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 30-45 min

Stocking Stuffers

Looking for a little something to fit a stocking – or a tight budget. Try these excellent little games.

OAXACA

You are a family of skilled Oaxaca (pronounced wah-HA-kah) handicraftsmen preparing to sell your artisan wares to eager tourists at a bustling tianguis (a large, outdoor market) within Oaxaca City. Can you lead your family to a distinguished position with your exquisite craftsmanship, or are your crafts common for the culture?

Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 20-40 min


THE RESISTANCE: COUP

You are head of a family in an Italian city-state, a city run by a weak and corrupt court. Be the last family with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.

Ages: 13+
Players: 5-19
Playing time: 30 min


CITADELS CLASSIC

You and your opponents vie to build the most magnificent medieval city. Featuring easy-to-learn rules and engaging social interactions, Citadels Classic is a perfect entry-level game for younger or less experienced gamers.

Ages: 10+
Players: 2-7
Playing time: 30-60 min

Or try:

  • Citadels 2016 (Deluxe Plus) – Expanded edition of the classic game which includes expansions plus extra characters and districts, as well as player order tokens to make play easier still.

LOVE LETTER: BOXED EDITION

The noble Princess is looking for an ideal partner and confidant to help with her royal duties. Playing cards one at a time, players use the abilities of these key people in the Princess’ life to outwit their opponents and successfully deliver their letter and gain her favour.

Ages: 10+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 20 min

Or try:

  • Love Letter: Revised Edition – features new artwork by Citadels artist Andrew Bosley, screen-printed tokens, and two new characters (five cards in total) that allow for games with up to six players.  Comes in a cloth bag!
  • Love Letter Premium – features are supersized cards, wooden heart tokens, and hard-sided box with magnetic closure. Plays with up to eight players thanks to the inclusion of an additional set of cards
  • Lovecraft Letter combines the Love Letter system with the world of H.P. Lovecraft.