December 2022 Staff Picks!
- Posted on
- By Wes Patterson | he/him
- Posted in Staff Picks
Curious as to what the BHG staff is loving this holiday season? Look no further!
Every month BHG staff pick out 1-2 of their favorite games to share! We strive to highlight a diverse range of tabletop games!
What would be your top pick this month?
Verdant - Solo, Strategy, Territory Building, Set Collection, Puzzle Game
In Verdant players take on the role of houseplant enthusiasts trying to create the coziest interior space by collecting and arranging houseplants and other objects within their home.
Players must position their plants so that they are provided with the most suitable light conditions and take care of them to create the most verdant collection. Each turn, the player will select an adjacent pair of a card and a token, and use those items to build an ever-expanding tableau of cards - in their home. Players will need to keep various objectives in mind as they attempt to increase plant verdancy by making spatial matches and using item tokens to take various nurture actions. The players will also build their ‘green thumb’ skills allowing them to take additional actions to take care of their plants and create the coziest space!
—description from the designer
WA Local: Flatout Games (Seattle-based publisher & designer team: Shawn Stankewich, Molly Johnson, & Robert Melvin), designer Aaron Mesburne (WA-based!), designer Kevin Russ (Portland-based!), & artist Beth Sobel (Bellingham-based!)
Yarr Har Hunt! - Cooperative, Exploration, Pirate Themed, Family Game
It’s a treasure hunt race: players help Captain Casey and her crew discover the Shell Island Treasure by uncovering clues. But be quick: the ship will soon be back to end the hunt! Players work together and problem solve to figure out where the treasure is hidden. This cooperative game has all players working together to win!
• Uncover clues together to discover the Shell Island Treasure!
• Kids learn communication, simple strategy, cooperation and shared-decision making
• Cooperative games help kids learn to play well together. Build your collection with more favorites like Race to the Treasure, Feed the Woozle and more!
• Includes 1 gameboard, 5 Pirate Movers, 1 Draw Bag, 10 Treasure Cards, 18 Clue Cards, 6 X-Marks-the-Spot Tokens, 1 Ship Marker, 52 Shell Tokens, Instructions
Age Recommendation: Ages 4 and up
-description by publisher
Queendomino - Tile Laying, Strategy, Family Game
Build up the most prestigious kingdom by claiming wheat fields, forests, lakes, grazing grounds, marshes, and mountains. Your knights will bring you riches in the form of coins — and if you make sure to expand the towns on your lands, you will make new buildings appear, giving you opportunities for new strategies. You may win the Queen's favors ... but always be aware of the dragon!
Queendomino is a game completely independent from Kingdomino, while offering a choice of more complex challenges. Two to four players can play Queendomino independently, but also in connection with Kingdomino, allowing for games with 7x7 grids for four players, or for up to six players if you stick to 5x5 grids.
Dutch Blitz - Pattern Building, Speed-Matching, Family Game, Card Game
In Dutch Blitz, each player has her own deck of forty cards, with cards 1-10 in four colors; red and blue cards show a Pennsylvania Dutch boy, while yellow and green cards show a Pennsylvania Dutch girl. Each deck has a different symbol on the back to aid with card sorting between rounds.
At the start of each round, each player lays out three cards face up in front of her to create her post piles; places a face-up stack of ten cards, seeing only the top card, next to her post piles to create her blitz pile ; and holds the remaining cards in hand face down.
Playing at the same time, each player tries to empty her blitz pile. If she has a 1 on the top of any face-up stack, she plays it to the center of the table to create a Dutch pile. If she has a 2 of the same color as any 1 on top of a Dutch pile, she can place the 2 on the 1. All cards on a Dutch pile must be played in ascending order and must be the same color. A player can also play from the blitz pile onto a post pile, or from one post pile onto another, but only if the numbers are in descending order and the boys and girls alternate.
If a player can't play anything, she can reveal cards from the stack in her hand, counting them out in groups of three, then laying them face up while revealing only the top card. She can play this top card onto a Dutch pile or post pile as long as she meets the rules for doing so.
As soon as a player empties her blitz pile, the round ends. Each player scores 1 point for each of her cards among the Dutch piles, then loses 2 points for each card remaining in her blitz pile. Players then sort all the cards and play another round. As soon as at least one player has at least 75 points, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.
Note that while the Dutch Blitz: Expansion Pack allows for play of Dutch Blitz with up to eight players (by having differently colored card backs), it is also a standalone game and is therefore listed as a separate edition of Dutch Blitz despite the name.
Oak - Fantasy, Hand Management, Set Collection, Worker Placement
In the center of a vast, but secret forest stands the Arch-Oak — a majestic tree that was already a sapling when the world was still young. It is even said that from its wood, the Gods crafted the first humans and animals.
Druidic orders from far and wide flock together around its roots to bathe in its glory. Arch-druids sanctify sacred places and erect rune-etched monoliths, while bards tell the tallest tales to recruit a greater following. Ovates read the omens to gain a glimpse of the things to come, while sacrificers use force to defend their Order's beliefs.
Oak puts you in the role of the leader of one of four different druid orders, with you attempting to establish that your order deserves to be chosen by the Arch-Oak's spirit to stay and learn its secrets. Your order starts out small and insignificant, but if you choose your actions wisely and use your druids efficiently, you will see it grow in power and stature. You will gain the friendship and help of otherworldly creatures like the mischievous brownie, the terrible merrow, and the magical pixies. You will learn powerful spells of the wild and uncover mighty artifacts. You might even risk upsetting the natural balance by creating new sacred places in the forest to house your growing flock of druids.
Will you be able to prove to the Arch-Oak that your order is worthy? Will you be able to unlock the secrets of the ancients?
—description from the publisher
Hanabi - Cooperative, Set Collection, Communication Limited, Deduction, Hand Management, Card Game
Hanabi—named for the Japanese word for "fireworks"—is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by placing the cards on the table in the right order. (In Japanese, hanabi is written as 花火; these are the ideograms flower and fire, respectively.)
The card deck consists of five different colors of cards, numbered 1–5 in each color. For each color, the players try to place a row in the correct order from 1–5. Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite, as in this game you hold your cards so that they're visible only to other players. To assist other players in playing a card, you must give them hints regarding the numbers or the colors of their cards. Players must act as a team to avoid errors and to finish the fireworks display before they run out of cards.
An extra suit of cards, rainbow colored, is also provided for advanced or variant play.
Hanabi was originally published as part of Hanabi & Ikebana.
Prosperitea - Food/Drink Theme, Economy, Set Collection, Card Game
In Prosperitea, you are the proprietor of a small artisanal tea shop in a local neighborhood. Like all artisans, you pride yourself on your craftsmanship and strive to be the most prestigious shop in town. You will source ingredients, then blend them into a wide variety of teas to satisfy the demand of local market. Sell your teas for instant profits to secure more ingredients or display them in your shop window for prestige. The shop with the most Prestige at the end of the game is the winner!
—description from the publisher
Scattergories - Paper/Pencil, Party, Real-time, Word, Party Game
"The Game of Scattergories," published in 1988 by Milton Bradley, is a great game for any group to play. In the game each player fills out a category list 'with answers that begin with the same letter.' If no other player matches your answers, you score points. The game is played in rounds. After 3 rounds a winner is declared, and a new game can be begun.
Schotten Totten 2 - Hand Management, Set Collection, Poker-style, Asymmetrical, Card Game
Panic in Scotland: play the attacker or the defender in this fast asymmetrical game!
Schotten Totten 2 features gameplay familiar to anyone who's played Schotten Totten, but with a few twists.
This time, one player is the attacker who is trying to breach the walls of the defender, and players will assemble their forces by playing cards into formations at seven locations on the battlefield. Locations will hold 2-4 cards as depicted on each spot, and in most cases (but not all) the strongest formation in a location will claim that spot. The strength of a location is determined by the poker-style hands that players will create by playing cards one by one.
The defender has three boiling oil tokens available to them to clear out the attacker's cards. The deck consists of cards numbered 0-11 in five colors, along with ten tactical cards.
-description from Boardgamegeek.com