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Holiday recommendations 2013

With each new holiday season, comes The Game Preserve’s Holiday Suggestion List.  Below, you will find a small list of games we believe are first and foremost fun, affordable and games you will want to play again and again.



Snake Oil is from Out of the Box Publishing, the same folks that brought us Apples to Apples originally. Published in 2013, this is a fun party game that fits in the Apples to Apples family. There’s no board to keep track of who’s in the lead; no playing pieces to get lost. It’s just cards, lots of cards.

One player draws a customer card such Nurse, or Caveman or Last Man on Earth

The other players from a hand of five cards choose two to make an item that they try to “sell” to the customer.

  • Players: 3 – 10  Players
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 20 -30 minutes a game
  • Price: 19.95


Here’s a quick video describing the game.

Out of the Box Video How-To-Play Snake Oil


Published 2011 from R&R Games Ticked Off is a trivia game turned on it’s ear.  Based on a category card drawn by the first player each player bids on how may correct answers he/she thinks they can write down in less than 30 seconds. But… yes, there’s a but; right before the players are to write down their answers, a second Mystery Category card is drawn. Now it is up to each player to decide which category they are to write their answers from.  If you don’t get your bid, you lose! You get nothing! For each unique answer a player gets(one that is not the same as another player’s) they get one point.  The first player gets two points each.

  • Players: 3- 10 players
  • Ages: 13+
  • Time: Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Price: $24.95



Also from R&R Games  Hanabi is a cooperative game where you and your friends try to score as many points as possible all the while only seeing your friends’ cards but none of your own! You give hints to one player at a time as to what he/she has. But, you only have so many opportunities to give clues.  This is definitely the type of card game, you’ll play over and over-trying to get a higher score than the last time.

NOTE: This game is extremely popular, availability can be uncertain. Feel free to contact on our four stores with questions.

  • Players: 2- 5
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Price: 10.95




This very simple card game is all about card counting. What do you know about on the table, and what do you know what cards that have been played? You are trying to get your love letter to the princess. But, you must make your way through a varying array of the princess’ retinue of guards, a barons, handmaidens, priests, or the King himself.

Each card has an ability that you use every turn. Swap hands, compare strength of cards–the lower number being out for a round, etc. The player who ends the round still standing wins the round. Number of rounds played varies with the number of players. The is a very fast game that is small and compact contained within a red velvet draw-string bag.

  • Players: 3 -6
  • Ages: 10+
  • Times: 5 minutes
  • Price: $9.95



Follow Tokaido, the East Sea Road,  and discover the beauty that is Japan! Published by Fun Forge Games, designed by the well-know game designer Atoine Bauza – the same designer who brought us 7 Wonders. Tokaido is a game where Mr. Bauza wanted to show his love for Japan. As introductory strategy games go, this a beautiful looking game with its simple yet elegant artwork.

You travel the road by placing your playing piece at various points of interest. Stop at an Inn and buy some sushi – the player who buys largest variety of food gets victory points. Stop at a temple and donate your money as a tithe – the player who tithes the most gets victory points.  These V.P. are recorded on a track along the side of the board, similar to Ticket to Ride.  The player with the most V.P. win.

  • Players: 2 – 5
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Price: $39.95



Out of the box, Pajaggle is a self published,  single-player puzzle game where a player tries to fit as many pieces into place before time runs out.  There are various ways to play with more players. One could do a hot-seat style play where each player gets a turn and in the end compare their time versus the number of pieces correctly placed. There’s lots of potential to this unique  puzzle game. Additional colored pieces are available for order to add new dimensions to this game.

  • Players: 1 – 4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: how long is the timer set?
  • Price: $29.95



Get through the cards as fast as you can. Find the word, move on to the next card. There’s a word in each circle. The hard part is figuring out what the word is. Published by Thinkfun, the same company that brought us the classic like Rush Hour, this is a quick word-party game.  Small enough to travel with or makes for a great gift for those people in your life who like scrabble.


  • Players: 2 – 6
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Price: $12.95







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