Episode 166: 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Release Date: Dec. 10, 2011

Running Time: 180 min.

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Give the gift of play. With over 40 game suggestions in 10 categories, you're sure to find a great game for someone this holiday season.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

This year's Game Buyer's Gift Guide has 10 categories: card, dice, board, party, kids, thematic, euro, small press/kickstarter, big spender, apps & accessories. 

The first five categories feature games for new or non-gamers. The last five categories highlight games for gamers.

Of course, the guiding principle for our list of games is quality and availability. All the games on the list have should be available from multiple brick and mortar and online retailers. In a few cases,  the games may be available in Europe. Not to worry, these games can be ordered from the German version of Amazon and can easily arrive in time for the holidays.

While the list is certainly not comprehensive, we're betting a lot of people on your list might enjoy games from one of these categories. If you decide to order a game from our list, feel free to let the shop or retailer know you heard about it on The Spiel. I have provieded shopping links below to Amazon, our fine sponsor Starlit Citadel, and other retailers.

We hope everyone has a great holiday season filled with fun and games! 

Games for New & Non-Gamers

Card Games

The Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  | Starlit

Chronicle  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon | Starlit

I'm the Boss  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Love Letter  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  | Funagain

Dice Games

Escape   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Vegas  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon.de  |  Boards & Bits

1st & Goal BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Claim It  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Boards & Bits

Board Games

Quartex   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Cool Stuff Inc.

Take It Easy  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Time Well Spent

Indigo  BGG  |  Buy it:  Amazon.de  |  Starlit

Palaces of Carrara  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon.de  |   Thought Hammer 

Party Games

Riff Raff   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon.de  |  Time Well Spent

Make 'n Break  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Dixit Jinx   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon   |  Starlit

Czech Pub   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Kids Games

Sticky Stickz   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Skippity   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Shrimp (Cocktail)  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Troll & Toad

Spinnengift und Krotenschleim   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  | Milan Spiele

Games for New & Non-Gamers

Thematic Games

Smash Up   BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Space Cadets  BGG |  Buy It:  Cool Stuff  |  Funagain

City of Horror  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Funagain

Sentinels of the Multiverse  BGG |  Buy It: Amazon  |  Starlit

Euro Games

Ora et Labora BGG  |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Seasons  BGG |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Tzolk'in  BGG |  Buy It:  Funagain  |  Starlit

Myrmes    BGG |  Buy It:  Funagain  |  Starlit

Small Press & Kickstarter Games

Schlock Mercenary: Capital Offensive   BGG |  Buy It:  Game Salute  |  Starlit

Decktet   BGG |  Buy It:  Decktet.com

Pirate Dice  BGG  |  Buy it:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Alien Frontiers: Factions   BGG |  Buy It:  Game Salute  

Big Spender

Pitchcar + all Expansions   BGG  |  Buy It:   Starlit 

Spellbound   BGG  | Buy It:  Fragor Games  |  Funagain

Weykick Minigolf   Weykick.de  |  Buy It:  Weykick

Crokinole   BGG   |  Buy It: Mr. Crokinole  |  Hilinski

Apps & Accessories


7 Little Words    Blue Ox Technologies  |  Buy It:  iOS  |  Android

Moxie 2    Blue Ox Technologies  |  Buy It:  iOS  

Fairway Solitaire  Big Fish Games  |  Buy It: iOS

Cribbage HD    Trivial Technology  |  Buy It: iOS

Backgammon HD   Trivial Technology  |  Buy It: iOS

Disc Drivin    Pixelocity  |  Buy It: iOS


Penny Gems   Improbable Objects  |  Buy It: Etsy

Artisan Dice  Artisandice.com  | Buy It:  Custom Wooden Dice

Dave's Wish List

Tzolk'in  BGG |  Buy It:  Funagain  |  Starlit

Stephen's Wish List

Archipelago  BGG  |  Buy It:  Amazon  |  Starlit

Robinson Crusoe  BGG  |  Buy It:  Funagain  |  Miniature Market


Music credits include:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen  by  The Border Brass  | Holiday Freak Out Album

Rudolph's Trumpet  by People Like Us  | the song

Donde Esta Santa Claus?  by Toni Stante  |  Holiday Freak Out Album

White Christmas  by Corporal Blossom  |  Holiday Freak Out Album

Santafly  by Martin Mull  |  Holiday Freak Out Album

Hark the Herald Angels Sing  by Chinese Kids Choir  |  Holiday Freak In Album

Santa Claus is Coming to Town  by Herman Apple  |  Holiday Freak Out Album

C'est Noel  by Les Intimes  |   Holiday Freak In Album

Frosty the Snowman  by Esquivel  |  Holiday Freak Out Album


I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!


I highly recommend the 1st & Goal football game. It's easy the learn and play. It flows and feels like a real football game. The expansion sets are great but not needed to have a great time. Although the game can be played fast, I recommend a more casual pace with a microbrew per player per half for a really memorable football gaming experience. Have a really good beer to match the really good game. 


Regarding David's faux pas, you should have insisted that he recommend  4 cross-gender games. 

Paul Marshall

Glad to hear I'm not alone in my love for 1st & Goal, Paul. It really captures the ebb and flow of the game very well without being overly complicated.

I'll have to institute the 1 beer = 1 half rule the next time I play!

As for Dave's gender-bending, I think you just came up with his next Sommelier Challenge!