One of the things I found in my Christmas stocking was a new game called CLR. It stands for “Center, Left, Right” and is an easy little game involving dice and chips. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but it looks like a fun little game. That got me to thinking about other stocking stuffer games I’ve received over the years. If you’re looking for a small gift for a gamer friend here are some to consider. So I guess I should have written this post right before Christmas, not right after 🙂
Rage – I got this game when I was a little kid, and it became part of our family rotation for years. I talked about it in an earlier post, so I won’t repeat too much here. I will add a couple of memories that I had forgotten about when I wrote the earlier post though. There are six suits in Rage: blue, yellow, red, orange, green, and purple. At the beginning of each round you flip up a card to indicate the trump at the start of the round, and every time the upcard was yellow my grandpa would say “I wonder where the yellow went?” which is apparently a line from an old-time song. Also, being a long-time pinochle player, whenever he was out of the led suit Pa would ask, “Do I have to trump?” We still say that sometimes as a family joke 🙂
Rook – I got this on another Christmas and I think we played it once or twice but for some reason it never really “stuck” with our family and we never played it after that. I know it’s a pretty popular game and I still have a copy of it, but I’ve never played it. I need to just bring it to the next family thing and make everyone play!
Set – Made by the same people that made Quiddler (a game I’ve mentioned a couple times) this is a pretty unique game. It also wasn’t technically a stocking stuffer, but it could have been 🙂 You flip up a dozen cards with different symbols on them and try to make sets of 3 as fast as you can. It’s a fun game and there’s a daily puzzle you can try on their website here (there’s also a daily Quiddler puzzle). There is also a board game version called Set Cubed and I really like that version, maybe even more than the original.
Milles Borne – A fun little racing card game. You play cards to move ahead miles in the race or you can wreck an opponent’s car, repair your own, etc. Not something you’d want to play over and over again but definitely a fun one to pull out every once in a while.
Fluxx – I’ve talked about Fluxx before and it even has its own entry, but I wanted to mention it again here because it’s a great stocking stuffer.
Three Dragon Ante – I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned this game before here! It’s sort of (but not really) like a cross between a fantasy setting (like Dungeons and Dragons) and poker. It doesn’t actually play at all like D&D or poker, but it shares some traits with both. Very well-designed game, and tons of fun. It’s best with about 4 – 6 people and you’ll need some markers (chips are best, but coins, paper clips, or M&Ms will do in a pinch). There’s an expansion that makes it even better, so be sure to stuff that stocking with both versions!
Scrabble Slam! – A fast, card based version of the classic word game. You start out with a 4 letter word that everyone plays off of, and you play by changing one letter at a time to form a new word, and the first person to get rid of all their cards wins. For example, if the word is TIME and you have an L card you can play it on top of the T to make LIME. It really doesn’t have anything in common with Scrabble, other than being a word game, which can be good or bad depending on how you feel about Scrabble. It’s pretty fun, but I haven’t gotten a chance to play it with a bigger group yet.
Phase 10 – This game has been around a long time, and is pretty popular. You draw cards trying to make certain 10 card combinations in order, and the first one to make all 10 combos wins. It’s a pretty lengthy game, but pretty fun (and sometimes frustrating). There’s also a dice version I’ve played a couple times that is pretty fun; I don’t remember if it played faster or slower.
Munchkin – A crazy, hilarious card game for the geek in your life. There are tons of versions with different settings (superhero, fantasy, kung-fu, pirates, ninja, etc.) but they’re all totally hilarious, and half the fun of the game is messing with the other players. I mean, you have to love a game that has a card called “Cheat” 😉
There are tons and tons of other good stocking stuffer games out there, but this should get you started. Again, sorry I didn’t get this up before Christmas, but hey it’s only 94 days until Passover!