‘Tis the season for board games

Photo by Tj Turner

Family downtime is a blessing and a curse, and finding the right activity to span the generations (and make up for sometimes hostile weather) can be a challenge. Fortunately, the modern board game renaissance has (many) answers to the question of “what do we do now?” We chatted with Bob Seabold, the owner of Tower Games (3920 Nicollet Ave. S., Ste 150, Minneapolis) to snag his top three recommendations for new games to get your friends and families beaming with joy and/or howling with frustration this holiday season.

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Alderac Entertainment Group

Plan and construct your own miniature town. On your turn as “master builder” you pick a resource, and each other player will get that same resource…but how will you use it? Each player has a 4×4 grid in which they will place resources and construct buildings. You’ve got to plan ahead and change your strategy on the fly to build the densest, best-designed tiny town!

2–6 players, 45 minutes; $39.99

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Fight in a Box

Earth has fallen to an alien invasion, but there is still work to be done. The Alien Overlords have enslaved you to help sort out Earth’s remaining survivors in this “social game of terrible democracy.” Complication: They can’t tell the difference between hipsters and cows. Cast votes along the conveyor belt of survivors to determine who gets freed, who gets probed, and who gets processed. Barter, plead, lie, do whatever it takes! Will you survive?

3–6 players, 30 minutes; $29.99

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Alderac Entertainment Group

Collect your veggies and point cards from a constantly changing market. This game features quick and simple game play but includes loads of strategies—there are more than 100 ways to score points. On your turn, choose either two veggie cards or one point card. Once per turn, you can also turn over one of your point cards to change it into a veggie to instantly change your strategy. It’s a game of getting what you want, but also making sure someone else doesn’t get what they want!

2–6 players, 15–30 minutes; $19.99