Holiday Gift Guide - Page 8 - Game on!

Holiday Gift Guide
- Page 8
Game on!

Board games are as popular as ever for gift giving


By Linda L. Esterson, Contributing Writer


The holiday season is a time for spending time by the fire, with friends and family members, enjoying time off from school and work. What better for togetherness than game night? “Everybody likes games,” says Legend Dan Hoffman, owner of Canton Games. “And everyone talks about getting their kids away from electronics. Board games are a good way to sit down and interact with people face to face.”


Board games have long been a staple of family time. Who doesn’t remember playing Monopoly or Clue, Scrabble or Life, Candyland, Sorry or Chutes and Ladders? These games still exist today, but they have more competition as games have evolved into many genres including puzzle games, cooperative games, competitive games, social and party games, memory training games and individual games.


“Today, board games allow families to have a quality time together and learn communication, teamwork, strategizing, math and other skills, especially important in our modern world of the digital revolution,” adds Olga McKenzie, co-owner and manager of the games department at Alternate Worlds Comics & Games in Cockeysville. “They give families a chance to socialize and build quality family relationships.”


Some families, McKenzie notes, keep a stack of games by the table and spend an evening playing four or five games, one right after another. Games also serve as a focal point for building friendships, as kids can spend many an afternoon immersed in battle and strategy on board games with their buddies.


The holiday season is the perfect time to give the gift of games. Whether a new release or an old staple with a new twist, games provide something for everyone – from stocking stuffers to party games to full blown battle games.


Cooperative Games


Non-competitive and all about teamwork. Group of players work together to achieve the goal during the game.




Escape room games to play at home. Unlike an escape room where the cost is $30 per person and the game ends after an hour, these games are affordable and there’s no time limit! Play at your own pace until you’re finished. Games include props for a fun experience at home. Nine different games available for Exit and for Unlock. (Canton Games)




2 to 4 players


Four diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. Players work together to control the disease, prevent it from spreading and find a cure. (Canton Games)




Up to 7 players


A murder-mystery clue game. One player takes the role of ghost while everyone else represents a psychic medium. The ghost chooses the clue cards for the players to solve the crime. (Alternate Worlds Comics & Games)




2 to 4 players


Students work together to ensure the safety of the school by defeating villains and consolidating their defenses. Players take on the role of a Hogwarts student: Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville, each with their own personal deck of cards that’s used to acquire resources. (Alternate Worlds)




2 to 4 players (or more)


A team experience during which players must stack the playing cards in ascending order, without speaking. Success is based on non-verbal cues and mind reading. Players start progress levels and start with that number of cards each round until lives are expired. (Canton Games)