Hey! How about a quick, last-minute-ish board game gift guide for Christmas? If you're stuck for ideas, and you're almost thinking about buying Stoke-on-Trent Monopoly, then this might help.

For kids (not too young):
* Forbidden Island: simple co-op game - so adults can guide children rather than playing against them, with really nice pieces chunky pieces and tiles. http://www.analoguediversions.com/2011/forbidden-island/
* Qwirkle: A little like scrabble but with colours and shapes rather than letters. A bit of counting, but not too much. http://blog.metagames.co.uk/2010/01/22/review-qwirkle/
* Incan Gold: A short press-your-luck game. One decision each turn - go deeper and grab more treasure or lose it all, or make good your escape. Incan Gold Review - with Tom Vasel

For couples:
* Carcassonne: You can't go wrong with Carcassonne. http://www.analoguediversions.com/2011/carcassonne/
* Jaipur: Three rounds of set collection that's simple but deep. http://www.analoguediversions.com/2011/jaipur/
* 1960: The Making of the President: Kennedy vs Nixon, a big map of the US, an election to win. Not an entry level game, but one to think about for a history buff or Mad Men fan. http://playthisthing.com/1960-making-president

A bit geekier:
* Ankh Morpork: A definite for anyone who likes Terry Pratchett - but anyone not familiar with his books will also have a fine time. A chaotic area control game with hidden victory conditions. http://littlemetaldog.com/2011/09/11/disc-overy-discworld-ankh-morpork-review/
* Small World: Don't let the goofy fantasy element put you off. This is a game of competing for space on a too-small map. If you're thinking of Risk, get this instead. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/11/small-world-is-big-fun/
* Space Alert: A co-op game played in real time - then reviewed to see where everything fell apart. Losing is fun. Honest. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/11/not-cardboard-children-space-alert/

Stocking fillers:

* The Resistance: 5-10 players, a few of whom will be traitors. Great bluffing game, if you have enough players. http://www.boardgamereviewsbyjosh.com/2011/09/resistance-review.html
* No Thanks: One simple decision each turn, not always an easy one. Simple to play & teach. http://www.analoguediversions.com/2011/no-thanks/
* Citadels: Chaotic role-selection game, a classic: http://www.downtimetown.com/2009/07/16/citadels-review/
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