'Tis the season for gift giving and gift getting. 'Tis also the season for wondering what to get for those special folks in your life (maybe including yourself, since the sales are pretty terrific these days). In keeping with our helpful attitude here at Gamesopedia, here are some on-line board game gift guides and what they're all about to help you on your quest. This is not a directory of Gift Guides, nor even a "recommended" list (although I do recommend some of them). It's more of a "sampler" - a variety of resources to get you started.
First on my (more or less random) list is the Board Game Quest 2014 Gift Guide. With nine comprehensive categories, and three or more recommendations in each, this is a pretty nice list. Most gamers will have some or all of these, so be sure to check first, but it's a very good summary of top-rated and popular modern board games.
Amazon, of course, offers up a gift guide based on popularity - not so much on evaluation or reviews. In my experience, popular doesn't necessarily mean worthwhile, but their Top 100 list does contain a couple dozen pretty decent games for all ages and styles. The problem is, without searching the product pages, there's really no “guidance” here.
The folks at The Board Game Family do a very nice job of reviewing from a family perspective with input from every member of their own family. Their recommendations, given in seven categories, reflect a wide range of tastes and preferences, and the reasons why the games are on the list. Very helpful.
Long Island News Day? This one showed up on a Google search, so I checked it out. It's purely a mass-market collection that tend to be more “toy” than “game.” There are a couple of good party games in this list, and a few decent kids games, too. Overall, not much fun for game-players on this page.
Board Game Duel me Duel took a different approach to the "Guide" idea. This link is not a list of games. It's a decent list of “game gift tips” to help you, the shopper, with some guidelines to choosing a game as a gift. It's well done, succinct, and helpful. In some ways this is much better than a list of game recommendations, and well worth a few minutes to read it through.
Stuff.tv is a rather strange little list on a British website with some very light juvenile games and very heavy hobby games on their list of 33 “recommendations” with no categorization. It's interesting in the apparent randomness of the selection - and a curious little game called “Cornish Smuggler” which I've never seen before.This is not a site I have ever visited before; it just happened to pop up in a Google search.
“I Slay the Dragon” is a well-regarded source of information and reliable reviews, and Jason Meyers offers several categorized gift guides on the site. His tastes and values are easy to discern from the content, contributed by his entire family. If you're looking for a family-friendly opinion, this is a good resource, with clear and helpful information.
What's hot in the U.K. for the man's man's magazine reader? This FQ 2014 Gift ListList includes a few mass-market products, and a few really obscure (and I do mean obscure) games. This is mostly a quirky list of quirky games, and if your gift-getting objective is not interested in the mainstream, here are some (did I say quirky?) ideas for your shopping list.
Engaged Family Gaming is anoher new one for me, and I think I'll come back again to check them out. Their game gift guide is sparse, but they appear to have a pretty good variety of reviews on the website. Not terribly helpful as a gift guide, but the list of games here are quite mainstream. If you're into video games, this will be more “up your alley” I think.
The folks at Casual Game Revolution are doing a great job keeping hobby gamers and family gamers informed by providing a publication with lots of useful game information. Their website is a go-to resource for me, and has replaced the old Games Magazine fix with a much better option for my interests. Their gift guide is not too lengthy but the games and summary descriptions are very high quality and useful.
So, there you have 10 random Game Gift Guides to start with. There are many, many others, including Top Ten and Top Hundred lists from lots of bloggers, reviewers, and podcasters. At some point, you just need to stop reading and go buy something! Here's hoping your gift is exactly what the recipient will enjoy over and over for years to come.