Wonder what the Gnomes like this year? Look no further – here is the annual Christmas Staff Picks (Part 1)! You can always come into any Gnome Games store and we will be happy to share all our current and old favorites, but here are some of our special games for the holidays.
Dale’s Staff Pick – Betrayal at the House on the Hill
Betrayal at the House on the Hill: Do you like haunted house movies? How about episodes of Scooby-Doo? Then this is the game for you.
Work together to search the House on the Hill. But BEWARE! One of you will turn on the others.
Walk through the house, flipping tiles for each new room. Most rooms will contain events. And while you start out working together, eventually one of you will BETRAY the others Mwahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!
(There’s a great legacy version now available too!)
Hannah’s Staff Pick – Sunset over Water
Sunset over Water
is a beautiful game that puts players in the shoes of a travelling artist, hiking across the countryside to paint the perfect landscape. Each landscape contains a mixture of different features, from flowers to mountains. In order to turn a profit from their paintings, each artist must try to appeal to the tastes of current commissioners – this is how a player earns points.
At the beginning of each round, each player chooses when they want to wake up. The early birds get to go before anyone else gets a chance, snatching up the most desirable painting spots; but they’re still tired, so they can’t move as far or paint as much. Those who sleep in, on the other hand, may not get first dibs but they do have the chance to take a long walk and paint several landscapes in one day.
As a single person game, Sunset over Water feels like a logic game where the player must plan their moves out carefully, deciding what needs to be done and in what order before they run out of time. With several people pitted against each other, strategies for cutting off your opponents or claiming the resources your opponents want become important.
Jen’s Staff Pick – Bring Your Own Book
Bring Your Own Book is a great game for families and groups. Each player grabs a book – any book, fiction, non-fiction, auto repair manual, cookbook, it doesn’t matter. Every player flips through their book to find a phrase to best satisfy the prompt for the round. Find the name of an action film in your psychology textbook. Does your cookbook have a good line from a country song? What would Shakespeare have to say to graduating seniors?
Bring Your Own Book is a great way to exercise creativity and make unusual connections. It’s also an enjoyable way to break the ice in a group of people.
Bring Your Own Book is listed for 3+ players, ages 12 and up (although I’ve had success with younger players also).
Mike’s Staff Pick – A Song of Ice & Fire Tabletop Miniature Game
A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is an exciting back and forth strategy game that pits the various houses and factions of the world of “A Game of Thrones” against each other for military dominance. With the core game providing multiple scenarios for play, terrain, miniatures for Houses Lannister and Stark two players can launch into deciding who would really win if The Mountain were to face Robb Stark.
Expansions add additional factions, with each faction being its own colored plastic: allowing for game play directly out of the box as well providing excellent figures for a hobbyist to bring to life. A Song of Ice & Fire is my staff pick this year because I’ve wanted the opportunity to conquer the battlefield with the Starks or the Night’s Watch since reading the books years ago. Plus I can help prepare myself for the massive battles coming in the final season of the show!