Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Fandomentals Board Game Gift Guide 2023

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As you gather around the table this holiday, look around at who you still have to buy gifts for. Some people you may have had planned for months while others you have earmarked for the perfect Black Friday purchase. But what about some of the more stubborn members of the family? The ones you’re never sure what to get them? Well we’re here to help with some new board games you can get to make everyone on your gift list happy.

As always be sure to check in with and support your FLGS when purchasing games this year! And for more ideas, check out our other gift guides now!

For The Gearhead

Thunder Road: Vendetta

Publisher: Restoration Games

It can be hard to get someone out of the garage and around the table for a board game, but the newest title from Restoration might just do the trick. Those of a certain age might have a fondness for the 1986 classic Thunder Road, which Restoration resurrected with some major tune ups under the hood. New hazards, crazy ways to take damage, and more make the chaotic demolition derby gameplay something worth experiencing. You can practically hear the engines roar already!

For The Metalhead

Iron Maiden Monopoly

Publisher: The op

It’s Monopoly…with Iron Maiden! If that doesn’t sell you on this then I’m not sure what will because look at all the Eddies on the cover. How can you not love that? This version of the classic game is a love letter to everything Maiden and is packed with references to iconic songs, moments, and tours from the band’s long and loud history. Like any game from The op this is as much a game as a collectible and they’ll love putting this on the shelf next to their pile of records and old concert tickets.

For The Party Monster

Dumb Ways To Die

Publisher: Spin Master

No matter how much someone likes to go out, they always can bring a little something with them to pump up the party. Why not help them with this brand new title from Spin Master adapting the Australian public safety campaign turned meme. You’ll start each game with three beans to protect, your job being playing your cards right to not only keep them safe but make sure your opponent beans all die in as many hilarious and, of course, dumb ways as possible.

For the Cat Lover


Publisher: Smirk & Dagger

One of the cleverest and cutest games on the market, Boop! is all about keeping your kitties on the bed and knocking the other kitties off. You’ll start with Kittens who move similar to chess pieces, the main issue being they have weight and will bounce other kittens around and, hopefully, off of the bed. But you can eventually turn kittens into full cats, who are heavier and harder to move. It’s a surprisingly challenging strategy title that’ll put your spatial awareness to the test while still wrapped in an adorable package. The board is a little quilt that goes OVER the box to make the game! It’s honestly hard to beat. You can also check out BOOoop! for something a little more spooky.

For The One Stuck In The 90’s

Gargoyles: Awakening

Publisher: Ravensburger

A bit of a sleeper from Ravensburger compared to some of their other Disney titles, Gargoyles: Awakening is a great way to travel back to a time when the Greg Weisman classic was still on the airways and traumatizing children with some heavy, heavy themes. Like many Ravensburger titles it’s a co-op game where each player acts as a Gargoyle or their allies against Xanatos or Demona, playing through four episodes and working together to achieve victory with unique powers. One cool thing about the game is that the board is 3D, making the New York setting of the show feel much more real and dynamic as you play within it.

For The Animal Lover

Miller Zoo

Publisher: Hachette/Randolph

Created by Quebecois company Randolph, this game is themed around their favorite local zoo of the same name and produced in collaboration with them. In it, players take on the roles of real life zoo staff as they work to take in new animals and overcome some real life challenges animals in zoos have to face. It’s sort of like if Zoo Tycoon had a board game. It’s all rendered in a beautiful painterly style and a fun play for gamers of any age.

For The Disney Adult

Disney Animated

Publisher: Funko Games

I know your Disney friends are already frothing at the mouth at the centennial, so why not give them something special to help celebrate with this title from Prospero Hall. In it, you’ll work to create some of the most iconic films across Disney’s history using their art, sound, and more. But the villains of those movies will try to rush your deadlines and mess things up so players must work together to defeat them. One special highlight of the game are the transparent animation cards made to replicate real animation cels!

For The Competitive One

Overboss Duel

Publisher: Brotherwise Games

The newest addition to the Boss Monster family, Overboss Duel is an exciting stramlined version of Overboss that sets things up as a one-on-one battle for supremacy. New villains Shellda, Dr. Deadly, Baron Hex, and Umbra join new versions of King Croak and Belladonna in this fight. You’ll work to create your own evil world while ruining your opponents plans by making their land worse and sending heroes to mess with them. Fans of the original will find this game is perfectly compatible, while new players will like the easier pick up especially for younger players. This was a big hit with kids at Gen Con.

Images via Respective Owners

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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