11 Games to Stuff Those Stockings With

11 Games to Stuff Those Stockings With

November 18, 2020 0 By Ryan Sanders

Looking for some small games to stuff in those stockings this Christmas season? We got you covered in this brief listicle.

Balloon Pop – (1-6 players)  A push your luck, roll and write game from TMG. It’s easy enough to understand (on par with Qwixx and Rolling America) – but has some tension as you try to score as many points as you can without popping your ballon (and losing a lot of those points). You can order Balloon Pop on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Tasty-Minstrel-Games-TTT3015-Balloon/dp/1938146026

Criss Cross (1-6 players) – Another simple roll and write (even simpler than Qwixx or Rolling America) but you really have to think about the choices you make. This is a great one to play on those days you are looking for a fast game with gameschooling. Designed by Reiner Kniza, the designer behind Lost Cities, Ingenious, and many more classic games. Published by Grail Games. You can order Criss Cross at https://www.amazon.com/Grail-Games-GRL0505-Criss-Cross/dp/B0793FRS3W/

Game of Trains – (2-4 players) from Brain Games, can be summed up as a set up from Racko. Like Racko you are trying to get your line of cards in number order, unlike Racko card has special abilities. Game of Trains can be ordered via Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/BRAIN-GAMES-Game-Trains-Strategy/dp/B018L5VD1A/

The Great Barrier Reef Card Game (1-5 players) is a new 2020 game from Travel Buddy Games. Players will draft cards and make their own reefs in front of them trying to make certain scoring sets. We previewed this one earlier in the year at https://www.adventuresingameschooling.com/take-the-great-barrier-reef-with-you/.  To order the game at the publisher’s website – https://www.travelbuddygames.com/shop/

Pocket HIVE – (2-players) – This one is sort of cheating because to get it into a stocking you will need to get it out of the box and put it in its travel bag. However, for those that are not familiar with Hive, it is a 2-player chess-like game. Each bug has its own movement set (the game is played without a board) and the object is to be the first to surround their opponents Queen Bee. Hive Pocket which is smaller than regular Hive also comes with 2 of the 3 expansion bugs as well (the Mosquito and the Ladybug). Hive is a highly recommended game for fans of Chess or abstract strategy games. You can purchase Hive Pocket at https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Zone-Games-Hive-Pocket/dp/B0079L0EKY/

Kariba (2-4 players) – Back in September we did a special post on this one on our Facebook page. This is a good one for those of you that have younger kids (pre-K and up). All players have 5 cards in their hands. On a player’s turn, you can play 1 to 5 cards of the same type of animal on their spot at the watering hole. If the pile has 3 or more cards now – they scare the next lowest animal away from the watering hole (with exception of mice which scare away the elephants). You take scared animals and place them in front of you. When the draw deck is empty and one player has played all their cards the game ends. Whoever has the most cards in their scared away pile wins. You can order a copy of Kariba on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Helvetiq-8923-Kariba-Card-Game/dp/B07NSRH8ZK

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L.L.A.M.A.  (2-6 Players) – Designed by Reiner Kniza, L.L.A.M.A. has been nominated for quite a lot of game awards. It’s a family card game that is even simpler than UNO. Players have a hand of cards with the numbers 1-6 or a llama on it (llama’s are 7s) on a turn you have to play a card that is either the same number or one higher (a 1 goes on top of a llama). If you cannot, you can choose to draw a card or quit the hand. Why quit? Because the more cards left in your hand when someone goes out the more points you will get, points are bad. Fun, simple game. You can order it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/AMIGO-Games-Llama-Themed-Family-Nominated/dp/B07W8ZL5M7

PUSH (2-6 players) –  a really good family push your luck game (maybe the best one currently on the market) that uses both cards and a special die, from Ravensburger. It can be ordered via amazon at the following link https://www.amazon.com/Ravensburger-60001776-Push-Card-Game/dp/B07KK52FSM/

ORC (2-players) is another gum sized game. In it players are trying to 6 different territories, but to optimize your score you need cards left in your hand that match the territories you won. I am a big fan of this little game. This little gem along with other gum-sized games can be found on the publisher’s Perplex website at: https://www.perplext.com/packogame

Tussie Mussie (2-4 players)  – is a “wallet game” (the game comes in a vinyl wallet), from Button Shy Games, designed by Elizabeth Hargrave (Wingspan). It is an I cut and you choose type game, where players are trying to score the best flower arrangement. The theme itself is an interesting one dealing with the Victorian custom of giving flowers to people due to their meaning. Tussie Mussie can be purchased via Button Shy at: https://buttonshygames.com/collections/wallet-games-1/products/tussie-mussie

Wonder Tales – Last but not least, is another Button Shy Wallet game for 2-players. This one for ages 8+ players are using fairy tale characters and their connections to each other to outscore their opponent. Don’t let the fairy tale theme and art fool you, this one can be thinky at times.  Wonder Tales can be purchased at Button SHy Games’ official page at: https://buttonshygames.com/collections/wallet-games-1/products/wonder-tales

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Ryan Sanders is the founder, owner, and editor-at-large of Adventures in Gameschooling. He’s also the guy behind its social media accounts. God has blessed Ryan and his wife Mary, with five children, which he homeschools. As a Christian, he believes that he should not only look out for your own interests but other peoples too (Philippians 2:4) and this is one of his guiding principles for Adventures in Gameschooling. Ryan’s expertise is informed by almost two decades of experience as a stay-at-home father and from the running The Inquisitive Meeple where he performed over 300 written and podcast interviews within the board game industry.