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Subject: Suggestions for a gift for my sister? rss

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Brandon Mason
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Hello. I was hoping to get a female opinion on some gift ideas for my little sister. A little background -- she's 30, married, and stepmother of a really young boy. She's a pharmacist. She LOVES puzzles, Dr. Who, Star wars (and I mean loves -- she has autographed portraits of all the Star Wars actors on her wall, had a Dr. Who-themed wedding, and did a honey moon at Star Wars Celebrations). Her husband is a horror movie director. After mentioning last year that I had gotten into modern board games she mentioned that she had remembered liking board games as a kid and had bought a couple of the classics (monopoly and sorry, I think) because her husband had never played board games, but when they tried them out they didn't go over well. They also saw Zombies!!!!!! and picked that up and tried it and neither liked it.

I sent them pandemic for Christmas and she said she loved it. She also said that her husband has a short attention span, so Pandemic might have been a little long for him.

So I'm trying to come up with some ideas for a game to get my sister for Christmas. Yes, I shop that early.

I want to get another game for them that excels with 2, is short to accommodate her husband, and is firmly in the gateway-level of games. So far the strongest contenders I'm thinking about are Patchwork, Escape: The Curse of the Temple or maybe Escape: Zombie City?, Jaipur, or lastly New York 1901 -- although that last one might be too long.

Any ideas on others I haven't thought of or a recommendation of one of the above?

Thanks!
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Definite thumbs up for Patchwork. I was slightly worried about the theme, but my husband looks at it as a competitive Tetris like game and kicks butt at it.

If they enjoyed Pandemic but are looking for shorter, how about Forbidden Desert ? Nice cooperative game with the nifty airship components and its got a 45 minute play time.

Morels (which I see you have in your collection) is a nice quick two player game. It always leaves me craving mushrooms though.

Pagoda is a colorful hand management game where you use cards to build pillars and floors of pagodas. When you build floors, you gain actions associated with that color floor which can help greatly. It's fast but sort of zenlike play.
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Rose
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"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." - Khalil Gibran
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Pandemic: The Cure might help the length issue, though obviously that's repeating a theme directly.

I would suggest Burgle Bros., but I think it takes as long.

I keep wanting to suggest 100 Swords: The Red Dragon's Dungeon, mostly because it doesn't feel like it takes too much time. I'm not generally interested in dungeon crawls, but this one is fine with me and kinda amuses me.

Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game is my oil change game of choice. Maybe the theme would appeal to them? It certainly makes me want a beer every time we play. But it's not too complicated and doesn't take too long.


Edit: Also, thank you very much for giving us useful information with your request for recommendations.
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Tally C
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Hey Brandon,
I think Callie's suggestions for Patchwork and Morels are solid, as is Rose's suggestion for Pandemic: The Cure. These are all games I've found to offer some interesting decisions while being rules-light and fairly quick.

Here are some other suggestions that I think might fit the same bill:

If the co-op aspect really drew in your sister and her husband, The Ravens of Thri Sahashri might be a good consideration. I absolutely adore this game and it's unlike any other game I've played. 2-players only.

If a little bit of conflict is okay, I highly recommend Dale of Merchants. This scales from 2-4 players and plays very well indeed with 2. If they're primarily only going to play with 2P, they can even tailor how confrontational they want to be (in a 2P game, only 3 of the 6 animal decks are used). I believe currently this game is only available through the designer's website (Snowdale Design).

If they don't mind abstract games, Hive (or its smaller version Hive Pocket) is exceedingly easy to learn, plays lightning quick, but offers an amazing amount of replayabilty, like any good abstract game should. This is my favorite abstract.

Lastly, Jambo has a very long history of doing amazingly well with couples, regardless of how much their interest and experience with board games varies. It's currently out of print, but Asante is more or less a stand-alone expansion which is basically the same game with a few minor changes. The cards are different between the two games, but they are equally complete games with the same amount of content.

Hope that helps!
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Judy Krauss
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Maybe another co-op game that can also be played solo (most true co-ops can) or a game that also includes solo rules would be good. If you can find one that matches her interests, even when her husband or kid doesn't want to play, she can still play it herself.
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After such an introduction I feel we would all be remiss not to mention Doctor Who: The Card Game (an overlooked and underrated title imho, really good one for any fans of the show, though you need 3+ players) or any of the great Star Wars titles that released last/this year? Rebellion might be a bit heavy and pricey a gift, though it's perfectly suited to a table for two. Risk: Star Wars edition (2015) is solid. Or what about introducing her to a classic gateway like Carcassonne with the SW edition?
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Lynette
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So since she loves puzzles, might I suggest Ubongo: Duel. It is an abstract puzzle game with a bit of competition thrown in... but best of all it doesn't drag, in that you can make it shorter or longer fairly easily since it is a string of solving puzzles game. And even if her husband turns out not to enjoy it... sometimes I find it fun to play solo against the clock.

Next... as a Trekkie myself I ADORE my Star Trek: Catan!! Plus Wil Wheaton did a Table Top episode on it so you can watch a game before you buy to see if it looks like it might work well for them.

Here ya go!

If I think of some more later I will post again.

Good luck!





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Brandon Mason
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Thank you for the input, everyone.
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Rose
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Please let us know what you pick and how it goes.
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Joanna G
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Of the ones you listed: Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a lot of fun and is fast.

Another great coop like Pandemic is Flash Point: Fire Rescue. If you play the basic rules, it works great to introduce to new gamers or non-gamers who like the theme (it's the only game my father-in-law plays, he's a retired firefighter who doesnt normally like games). It plays in 45-60hr, so a little shorter than Pandemic.
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Mitch Willis
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Musée
+1 Ubongo: Duel
+1 Patchwork
 
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