The best way to ruin Thanksgiving is to propose to someone your family doesn’t like at the dinner table, or to bring a board game to family members that hate board games.
This list is designed to help you bring your family together, rather than make them rage quit Thanksgiving. They are compiled by games released in 2018, or just brought to our attention this year, as we figure you know what games you like from other years, but this years finds may be something new to you.
There will be no games here that should cause controversy, and I have tried to include only games with relatively easy to master rules sets. The following list, is in no particular order, other than my memory of 2018.
drop it - Kosmos
When I first saw drop it, I thought it required no thought or effort. It is surprisingly thinky, despite the fact that even given those thoughts, you may very well not be able to accomplish your goals.
I regularly play it with my 6 year old daughter, and she gets it. In fact, she asks for this game more than any other in 2018.
Dude - North Star Games
I really am not a fan of this play style. With that being said, watching the sheer joy of others playing this makes me realize, I do not need to be a fan for other people to think something is fun.
What Dude has going for it is that you need not be gross or crass to laugh like an imbecile this year at Thanksgiving. Nor does the humor have to be against humanity.
Flotsam Fight - Oink Games
I like games that fit in your pocket. If they have some depth, all the better. I would have easily included Deep Sea Adventure on this list, but that was not a find in 2018.
Instead, this new “bidding” game, will take its place. I like it’s simplicity, and the way the cards are designed, makes it so that even a younger player can play, if not always succeed.
Raccoon Tycoon - Forbidden Games
This is probably one of the heavier games on this list, as it is economic in nature. The bidding and play of the game though is just so easy to get into, and art is so cute that it should make it fun for even a non-gamer.
It was one of my personal favorites of 2018.
Istanbul Dice - AEG
Istanbul has become a household favorite here. The dice version takes less table space and still has a very similar feel to it.
Almost anyone can get the idea of getting and selling resources, and the jewels just feel like you are working towards something tangible. If your family doesn’t like this game, I’ll make one of the other writers eat their hat. I have a hat allergy.
The Mind - Pandasaurus
This is most likely the game on the list that will create the most controversy. I have heard more than once it is not a game, but simply a “something” that is playable.
I am not sure entirely what that means. What I can tell you, is we have played it sitting at a bar multiple times, trying to get farther into the game. We play it over and over, and when you win, you feel like you have accomplished something. Isn’t that what family time at Thanksgiving is all about?
King's Struggle - WizKids
Not all trick taking games are created equal. This game is a fantastic little game, that tells you the win conditions of a hand on each card. You will get used to which cards do what, but if you forget a lot like me, there are cheat cards.
It has just enough stabbiness take that which makes it utterly a delight to play.
Holding On - Hub Games
Here’s the thing… if “The Mind” didn’t phase you on this list, Holding On, might…
This is an experience, that if you have a mature enough family, easily can replace a TV for a few hours. The question is, do you want to play and have fun, which is totally acceptable, or do you want to be a part of an experience with your family that you will talk about for years to come? I cannot answer that for you, I can tell you I have seen people have real emotional response to this experience.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Michael Fox plans on writing for MeepleGamers, he will abstain from forming any editorial opinion on ALL Hub Games releases.
Castell - Renegade Games
This game was introduced to me by one of our writers, Valeria Carcaiso. She has taken off on a world trip, and I hope she gets to see these majestic human towers in Spain.
The game, is just so neat, and allows for the player to imagine what it would take to build these monstrous towers. They are pretty darn cool. The game literally builds on that idea.
Hardback - Fowers Games
Steve Mayne, who writes just a ton of reviews for MeepleGamers loves Hardback. Says he plays it with Grandmother and Niece regularly.
When I was at his house, it was the only game that was out in the open, ready to be played. How many games of yours are permanently on display?