A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Family Games

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s not always easy to shop for the gamer in your life. Don’t fret. I’m here to help. I’ve prepared a series of gift guides to help you navigate the waters of games and accessories that are sure to please both new and veteran gamers alike. Each guide will be tailored to a different crowd, and each of them will contain links to the other as they get posted. Whether it’s stocking stuffers you’re after or a mega game to put a smile on their face, I’ve got you covered.

There’s nothing like playing games with family over the holidays, especially when they’re brand-new games! When taking the entire family into account, you need to make sure the price is right, the rules are simple, and the theme is something broadly appealing. Something easy to find at a local store is also a plus. Here’s a list to get you started on your holiday gaming with the fam.

Other 2020 Gift Guides:
[A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: D&D] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: RPGs] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Expansions] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Board Games] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Cornerstone Games] [A Pawn’s Perspective 2020 Gift Guide: Gaming Accessories]

Dungeon Drop

Drop into the dungeon, literally, and grab as much loot as you can while avoiding monsters and fighting the mighty Draglin! Dungeon Drop is a unique game where you drop cubes onto the table to form a dungeon, then take cubes from rooms formed between three pillars. With multiple characters and classes to play, no game is ever the same!

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Ticket to Ride: New York

One of the greatest gateway games gets a smaller, less expensive, and more compact play experience with Ticket to Ride: New York. Playable in 15 minutes, TTR: NY plays on a smaller board and has players completing various small routes inside the Big Apple. Easily available in most Walmart and Target stores for $20, it handles 3-4 players and is easily played by children as young as six.

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Pandemic: Rapid Response

Another compact, quicker version of a popular board game, Pandemic: Rapid Response, brings the original Pandemic’s cooperative virus containment in a 20-minute experience. It does so with a smaller board, dice, 7 different roles, and real-time play. At $25, it’s a steal and will provide hours of entertainment. The cooperative nature keeps the family from getting overly competitive.

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Part of Looney Labs Pyramid Quartet, a series of popular, stand-alone pyramid games, Nomids is the most basic and family-friendly of the bunch. The best part is that the box comes with a ton of pyramids that can be used to play a multitude of games, starting a pyramid collection to eventually play even more excellent games. You can read all about it in my Nomids review.


The latest game in the Sparkle*Kitty series from Breaking Games, Shadow*Kitty is a board game of silly words, cute witches, and even cuter familiars. The entire family will have a ball creating spell chains, reading aloud silly word combinations, and fawning over the 14 included familiars that need to be saved. Shadow*Kitty is also a cooperative game; players work together to beat the clock before it strikes thirteen.

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Dark Side Rising

USAopoly’s Rising series of games are cooperative where players are trying to stop the big bad from completely their evil plan. In Dark Side Rising, the Rebels must recruit new forces to stop Darth Vader and the Empire from completing the Death Star. Simple to learn, tough to beat, and with a Star Wars theme to boot, Dark Side Rising is sure to be a hit, especially with younger players.

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