Give someone the right board game, and you’re offering easy entree to endless fun. Choose imperfectly, and you’re giving misery in a box. Create here instead, with the best Best 2015 Gift Games.

Last week, in a heartfelt letter to his baby, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife are donating 99 percent of their Facebook shares. It’s one of the most liberal gifts in the history of philanthropy, but awful news for those of us who were planning to give away $45 billion this festival season. Now people will think we’re just jumping on the bandwagon.

gift games

Luckily, there are other gift options. Board games, for example. After all, $45B will fetch you about 2,250,000,000 copies of Monopoly. Just envision the look of surprise on your cousin’s face when he finds them under the tree, not to talk about his sincere “You… shouldn’t have…”

And he’s right: You shouldn’t! Why buy a sector billion copies of Monopoly when there are so many modern games of which you could buy a quarter billion?

That’s where my annual Good Gift Games direct comes in, highlighting those board games of the last year or so that are easy to learn and teach, fun and absorbing to play, and that can be completed in 90 minutes or less.

With a few sound savings in the items listed below, you can provide gifts that reward the recipients with fun, engaging experiences offline. Yes, that might mean less time on Facebook, but it serves Zuck right for swiping your thought.

Patchwork

Designer Uwe Rosenberg is recognized for big, sprawling, award-winning policy games, the sort that take 30 minutes to set up and more than a few hours to full. So it was something of a upset when he released Patchwork, a light, addictive, two-player game. Like a non-digital account of Tetris, Patchwork has player’s appropriate erratically shaped tiles (representing patches of fabric) into their individual quilts, striving to cover as many seats as probable.

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

Tile-laying games (such as Carcasonne) and set-collection games (such as Ticket to Ride) are among the most accepted genres for families, and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival cleverly combines the two into a single, stylish game. There are cards of seven colors in the game, and these same colors come into sight on the edges of the square tiles; when you play a tile to the middle tableau, everyone receives a card of the color that faces them.

Ca$h & Guns (Second Edition)

Perhaps robbery isn’t your thing—maybe you desire to skip right to the part where you divvy up your ill-begotten loot. But if you think that’s gonna be any easier, Ca$h & Guns is here to adjust your brain. First, each player clandestinely decides whether to load their gun with one of their few projectile cards. Then everyone concurrently points their foam gun at someone else at the table.

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Give someone the right board game, and you’re offering easy entree to endless fun. Choose imperfectly, and you’re giving misery in a box. Create here instead, with the best Best 2015 Gift Games. Last week, in a heartfelt letter to his baby, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife...