A friend of mine wrote with a Christmas conundrum–he wanted to give someone a board game for Christmas but had no idea where to start. I asked him for the number of kids in the family receiving the game, their age range, interests, and attention span. His answer: 4 kids, ages 7-12, they love Marvel / Star Wars, and can focus for 30-45 minutes.

My hope is you will see this list and a) see some great games for your family, and b) see how easy it can be to pick great games based on some those four simple facts: # of kids, age range, interests, and attention span.

With that, let’s look at some games!

#1: Sushi Go Party: 2-8 players, 8+ age play, and very simple rules. The basic premise is that you’re trying to get all the best sushi combos before everyone else does. It’s silly, fun, and a win even with people who don’t love games. Play time is 20 minutes. $22. You can check out more about it here on Board Game Geek if you’d like.

#2: Munchkin: Marvel Edition: 3-6 players, 10+ age, 60-120 minutes. This is basically a fast-paced fighter/warrior game. It’s very similar in difficulty to the Star Wars Destiny Game (a 2/5), but takes longer (90 minutes is a safe average). There are plenty of games our boys love they don’t finish, so you’d have to decide if the Klangs would be cool with that. It’s $25 on Amazon. Here is a link to a great 5-minute intro to the rules that will really help them if you buy it. Also, Here’s the BGG link for the deep dive.

#3: Star Wars Destiny: 2 players, 10+ age, 30 minutes. This is two player, so not the best for all four at once, but it does allow them to battle each other using some of their favorite heroes and villains from the Star Wars universe. It’s a quick and the rules are pretty straight forward. If you choose to go with it definitely send them this link to the video instructions. It’s a fantastic walk through of how to setup and play the game. I cued it so it starts after all the commercial fluff at the start. $15. 

Note: Since this one is cheaper I’d suggest you also buy an expansion like Boba Fett or Luke Skywalker for about $12. 

#4: Thanos Rising: 2-4 players. 10+ age, 60-90 minutes. This one is the most intense of all four, but I like it because it’s cooperative so all the kids have to work together to win. This is also the most expensive game at $43. Here’s the intro (the rules take 10 minutes to explain). And the deep dive:  Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War | Board Game | BoardGameGeek

The Result

My friend ended up buying Munchkin: Marvel Edition. Within a week I received a picture from the recipient family saying “Thank You!” and showing their four kids playing the game together at the kitchen table. My heart truly warmed when I was told they skipped their morning Nintendo Switch time in order to play the board game together. =) Choosing board games > Drool Tech doesn’t always happen, but when it does it makes my heart happy. =)

None of those tickle your fancy?

Check out some of these awesome games that are good fits for just about any beginner board gaming audience:

A: Qwirkle: Scrabble but with shapes and colors! This game just keeps getting better as the players get older. It gets very intense when some dedicated adults set their minds to it. =) BGG score.

B: Carcassonne: a 2-5 person puzzle. You play a single tile, can lay one of your tokens on that tile, and work together to find places to build your roads, towns, fields, and monasteries. 30 minute playtime. BGG score.

C: Blokus: 2-4 player. Simple, fun, fast. Basically like competitive tetris.

These are just good games that are very safe as far as content, easy to get into, and a great introduction to games in general. 30 minute playtime. BGG score.