It’s back! A staple of your inbox since 2015! Not sure what to get your aspiring nerd for the holidays? Look no further than our guide! We request that you support your local game store, but, if you do decide to go the Amazon route, make sure to list us as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile. You can do that here! https://amzn.to/1SyoonV
The Hobbit: I think this makes my list every year. If your child hasn’t read it yet, they should!
Tetris: the Games People Play: A graphic novel about the creation of Tetris. Recommended by the YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association.) It’s something I’ll be picking up to read this holiday season!
Ready Player One: With the movie that just came out, awareness of the book has increased, but even still this is a fantastic book! Elements of D&D and nostalgia for the older “kids” on your list, but a fun look at the past for the younger ones as well.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Have a young and aspiring artist in the family? I recommend this book as a great way to improve and enhance those young artist skills! It’s got a series of activities meant to give aspiring artists new ways of seeing the world and translating that to paper.
Elminster’s Forgotten Realms: For the dungeon masters, this is a handy tool that gives flavor and variety to your tabletop world. It has rich information about normal everyday items and activities that would take place in the fantasy realm of Dungeons & Dragons to help make those stories come to life. It’s a wonderful handbook to keep at the table for when the players ask those often small questions like “What kind of dance would one do at a wedding for a farmer?”
Gloomhaven: Sure, the box is big, the price is (admittedly) high, but the hours of stories, adventures, and surprising twists, I think it’s all worth it. I am personally getting this for my board game group, and I can’t wait to include it more into Hero Spark!
Clank!: A Dungeon Crawl/deck building game hybrid. You are trying to steal items from a sleeping dragon’s dungeon. What could go wrong? A favorite of the After-School Adventures program, when we are not playing D&D.
Sagrada: The surprise hit of our Family Game Night program. In Sagrada, you are trying to build beautiful stain glass windows, using dice, skill, and some luck! This was a game I recommended (and played a lot of) at every Family Game Night event this year!
Dracula’s Feast: A quirky fun game of hidden roles where you’re invited to a party. You must mingle with the other guests by dancing or asking a single question “Are you Dracula?” to determine the roles at the table. Guess correctly and win, but misjudge and be kicked from the party. (Linked is the Cthulu edition)
Onitama: The challenge of chess but with a twist. This two-player game has a twist where only certain moves can be made each turn. Strategy and critical thinking and planning increase in this fun alternative to chess or checkers. With a beautifully simple cloth board, it also looks nice on the table.
Redshirts: Take command of your Redshirts in this bizarre little card game where you are actually trying to get rid of your Redshirts the quickest. Find bizarre ways to send them on missions as you set them up for failure and add to the success of your opponents’ teams! Be the first to get rid of your team to win!
3D Pen: Ok so, normally ThinkGeek is overpriced, but this is a reasonable 3D art pen, that will be a lot of fun for all of our would-be artists! Plus the cute little dog totally sold me on it. (I am very easy for marketers.)
Warhammer Basing Set: This kit will help complete your student’s miniatures by painting the base of the model! With a bunch of choices and paints that specifically go on the base of the mini, and make them even cooler.
Funko Pop Figures: These are very fun collectibles and there are about a zillion of them. There is a figure out there for everyone! Personally, the Ron Swanson one is my favorite… then again, it is proven you can make a great Ron Swanson out of Marshmallows too.
Ugly Christmas Sweater RPG Style: We all love a good ugly Christmas sweater, but now we can also wear it with nerd pride as we sport this snazzy top to the party!
Electric Stippling Pen: Have a young artist that likes to draw manga or pointillism pieces but don’t want them getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all that tedious motion? Check out this awesome electric stippling pen that can quickly lay down dots. It’s rechargeable and comes with a case for ease of travel.
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit: A great way to get into electronics, learn to set up home automation, and play with technology is with a Raspberry Pi starter kit. This kit includes everything you’d need to get started in the hobby, including a bunch of project ideas.