It’s a tradition every year for Gnome Games staff to choose one among the many, many games they see every day as their Holiday Game Pick. It’s hard to select just one when you see so many great games on our shelves, but here are some of our Gnomes’ favorites this year!
Jen’s Pick – Qwixx
Looking for a quick game that the entire family can play together? Check out Qwixx!
Qwixx is a fast-paced dice-rolling game with simple rules – players use the roll of the dice to cross off numbers from their score sheet. The more numbers they cross off, the more points they score, but there’s a catch: the active player has extra dice to use.
Qwixx is a great family game with the perfect blend of luck and decision-making that everyone can enjoy. Qwixx comes in a standard version that accommodates 2-5 players, which is small enough to throw in a purse or backpack for fun on the go; there’s also a Deluxe version that lets up to 8 people play and includes dry-erase boards, markers, and an alternate version for even more fun!
Qwixx is one of those games that sees play at our house quite often. With its simple rules, fast pace, and just enough strategy to keep everyone thinking, it’s easy to get hooked on Qwixx! – Jen
Mike’s Pick – Pathfinder Second Edition
The second edition of Pathfinder brings a bevy of character choices to help any group of role-players tailor their character ideas to the fun, new mechanics of Paizo’s game. Do you want to bring a furious warden who guards the dead and punches ghosts? A scoundrel of a rogue smoothly talking their friends out of trouble they most assuredly got themselves into? A goblin champion of the goddess of beauty, who finds the best thing in life is redeeming those the world thought lost to evil’s grasp? A former barkeep, forced to take up the sword and shield after one too many barfights burned down your livelihood and left only a life of adventure to locate those responsible and bring them to justice?
The possibilities that Pathfinder’s second edition allows for in the RPG skeleton that they provide lets players and GM alike to flesh out their game into a fantastic shared experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love first edition Pathfinder. Both allow for a degree of customization in mechanics that provides a platform for creative ideas and unique problem-solving tools for those who pick up their dice to play. Diving into the new edition has been exciting and rewarding in play, allowing for the moments of joy and reward that I’ve always looked for in a RPG. I highly suggest giving the new edition a chance at your game table soon! – Mike
Hannah’s Pick – Spell Smashers
Use your vocabulary as your weapon in Spell Smashers!
Slay monsters by spelling creative words that take advantage of your enemy’s weakness but be careful – every fight brings the risk of being wounded! Wounds force you to use tricky combinations of letters in your upcoming battles. After you emerge victorious, you can spend your hard-earned loot in town on new weapons and equipment, take on quests for fortune and fame, stop at the tavern to brag about your battle scars, or pay the local doctor to patch you up.
Spell Smashers can be played with up to five players, but if you can’t find anyone to spell your way to victory with, this game does have a solo variant that plays just as well as the multiplayer version. As a game that balances both competitive and cooperative strategy as well as wordplay, Spell Smashers will appeal to all types of players. – Hannah
Robin’s Pick – Godsforge
Roll dice, craft creations and spells and try to eliminate your opponents to take control of the Godsforge! Choose your cards carefully; as you’re attacking the player to your left, the player to your right will be attacking you. Once a player is eliminated, remaining players take significant damage every round, speeding the game to a conclusion so everyone can join back in for another round. Best of all, players take their actions simultaneously, so no waiting around for your turn!
The stunning illustrations of this game are unconventional and perfectly capture the feel of the game’s tone and setting. The artist, Diego L. Rodriguez was discovered by a fortuitous mistake. A different artist with the same name had been recommended, but the team found this artist and his style was a great match! – Robin
Anthony’s Pick – Terraforming Mars
Giant corporations, sponsored by the government on earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage of the planet Mars until the world is inhabitable. You are one of the corporations earning victory points, awarded for your contribution to the terraforming, and advancing human infrastructure in the solar system. Once, Mars has reached its desired levels of temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage, the game is over, and players tally their points to see which corporation is victorious.
I play Terraforming Mars because I am a huge nerd and love Cosmology and resource-based strategy games. I play with my friends and twice a year all of my cousins get together to play and catch up with each other.
There are plenty of expansions to keep adding new aspects to the game. They are: Terraforming Mars Prelude, Terraforming Mars Colonies, Terraforming Mars Turmoil, Terraforming Mars Venus Next, Terraforming Hellas & Elysium: The other side of Mars.
This is only part one – keep an eye out for the rest soon!