With 17 shopping days remaining before Christmas 2022, are you stuck on the proverbial one-more-present? Or one-more-present for the entire family, not just Dad?
If so, you’re welcomed to the 33rd annual Tribune Holiday Game Survey.
The Head Elf is quicker than in past years, too. He’s usually so busy pre-Christmas that the suggestions are only a week before the holiday. This year, reluctantly dragged into it, he recognizes that some shoppers go online, not nearly the fun of walking into a store. So be it.
The Head Elf has eight allegedly outstanding recommendations for you. One (or two) might prove to be your answer?
Monopoly Black Panther-Wakanda Forever (Hasbro, $22 and up, 8 and older, four to six players). Does it seem like classic Monopoly has more and more options? Yes, and this is the 2022 release. Battle for Vibranium. Choose whether you play on the side of the Wakandans or the Talocanil in an epic clash across land and sea.
Or, if Black Panther isn’t in your interests, Monopoly-Cheaters Edition (Hasbro, $21 and up, 8 and olders, two to six players). Your goal is to get away with as many cheats as you can. Try collecting extra money when you passed Go or secretly swap your property for someone else’s. Get caught and you’ll be handcuffed and sent to jail, plus paying restitution.
Or if you don’t want Black Panther or cheating? Settle for classic Monopoly, decades proven, for only $15 or more.
Disney’s Sidekicks (Spin Master Games, $33 and up, 8 and older, two to four players). Treacherous Disney villains have teamed up and captured your favorite Disney heroes. The heroes are locked up in the castle. As Disney sidekicks, you work together to rescue the heroes and defeat at least one of the villains.
Unsolved Case Files — Harmony Ashcroft Case (Pressman, $26.97, 14 and older, one or more). It’s a murder mystery game that lets you be a cold case detective. On May 8, 1998, the small Indiana town of Riverdale was shocked by the brutal murder of one of its beloved citizens. Harmony was murdered in the parking lot behind a restaurant during her wedding rehearsal dinner. Bones McBride, a local vagrant, was framed for the murder and has spent more than two decades behind bars despite being innocent. Your job is to prove his innocence and convict the real killer — with the help of photos, newspaper articles, witness reports, interrogations and maps.
Are you ready for Tribune reporter-columnist Kathy Hedberg’s recommendations from game headquarters in Grangeville? Here are three:
Redneck Life (Gut Buster Games, $23 or more, 13 and older, two to six players). The player with the most teeth remaining wins in this board game.
Qwirkle (Mindware, $25, 6 and older, two to four players), proven a winner with the Hedberg grandchildren. It’s easy for beginners and challenging enough for teens and adults. Qwirkle teaches young player colors, shapes, math, strategy and problem solving and sharpens older players’ strategic thinking.
Guess In 10 — Animal Planet (Skillmatics, $25, 6 to 99, two or more players). It’s a trivia game for 6 and older, having more than 300 fun facts about animals. This was co-designed by educators and play experts.
And a game that ranks high in national sales, one the Head Elf couldn’t resist:
Things They Don’t Teach You In School (Hugge Games, $23, 17 and older, two or more players). It’s an untraditional trivia game, not with boring questions about who wrote the Sherlock Holes stories. Or where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held. Instead, why doesn’t the Mona Lisa have eyebrows? In what year was shampoo invented? What is the most common day of the week to have sex?
And the Head Elf also reminds that an option is to replace worn out classics, or buy one that you haven’t bothered with before. Lowest prices appear to be: Battleship, $17. Operation, $16. Pictionary, $22. Clue, $17. Rummikub, $16. Trivial Pursuit, $21. Yahtzee, $8.50.
With that, the Head Elf rests.
Alford is president of TPC Holdings, parent company of the Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at (208) 848-2250.