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Christmas Gift Guide: Movie Themed Board Games

Christmas draws ever closer and, while Kevin McCallister gets busy setting traps for the Wet Bandits, many of us are heading out to get the next Turbo Man or whatever the next Christmas gift craze will be.

With that in mind, I thought I would offer some suggestions for gifts this holiday season in the shape of board games, many of which are based on or have similar themes to some of your favourite movies. Obviously, there are the numerous versions of Monopoly and Cluedo, but I felt I would go for some that are a little bit different from those family favourites.

Lockdown saw a big rise in board games and there are some great titles out there. Obviously, always buy from your local game store (I was lucky enough to have one open just down the road from me – Hello to the chaps at Bulwark Games), but if you don’t have one then I have also included some Amazon and other links – As an Amazon Associate Live for Films earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support. If you are using an adblocker you will not see the link.


Alien Fate of the Nostromo

An excellent board game from Ravensburger (who have quite a few games in this list) that is dripping in the Alien theme like a Xenomorph drips slime! A bad analogy but it is quick and easy to learn, looks great, and will have any Alien fan nodding every minute or two as they recognize yet another reference.

In ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo, players take the role of Nostromo crew members Ripley, Lambert, Parker, Brett, or Dallas. Over the course of the game, they collect scrap, craft items, and fulfill different objectives. The crew will lose and gain morale as they encounter the Alien and other situations. If crew morale reaches zero, players lose the game.

Each turn has two phases. In the Crew Action phase, players creep through the Nostromo’s halls, gathering scrap, crafting items, trading scrap and items with other players, and using items and their special abilities.

In the Encounter phase, players draw and resolve an Encounter card. The Alien could be lurking behind any corner…

Once the players fulfill their initial objectives, they face one of five final missions, each with a unique set of requirements. Players must fulfill the final mission’s requirements simultaneously to win the game. Players can also introduce Science Officer Ash for a more challenging game. Ash moves through the ship, removing scrap and forcing the crew to lose morale.

If you want something that is more in keeping with the survival horror and who can you trust type scenario of Alien and Aliens, I suggest you try Nemesis. A game that is full of great miniatures, a changing spacecraft and lots of ways to screw over your fellow crew members!


Horrified

This one is for fans of the classic Universal Monsters as it has the players going up any combination of Dracula, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein. This co-operative game sees players facing off against the monsters, each of which has a separate mini-game that must be completed in order to defeat them. Lots of fun and you can change the challenge by trying different monster combinations.

The stakes have been raised. Imagine living in a place so wretched that it’s not plagued by one, two, or even three monsters — but seven of the most horrifying fiends!

In this game, you’ll come face to face with them all as you work together to rid the town of the maniacal or misunderstood creatures…before it’s too late.

Horrified includes high-quality sculpted miniatures (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon). Its innovative, easy-to-learn, cooperative gameplay has players working together against the monsters with varying levels of difficulty. Just as each monster is unique, they require different strategies and tactics to be defeated.


Watergate

A brilliant two-player game from Capstone Games and is a must for fans of All The President’s Men as it deals with President Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It does sound rather serious but it is a lot of fun and I have played it many times. One player represents the Nixon administration and tries not to resign before the end of the game while the other player represents The Washington Post and tries to show the connections between Nixon and some of his informers.

You get to use the conspiracy board that you see in so many movies and the outcome of the game can change at the drop of a single card if you are not careful. It also includes all the history of the Watergate scandal and the people involved if you want to learn more.

Quick and easy with plenty of depth and replayability.


The Rocketeer Fate of the Future

While I have yet to play this one from Funko Games, my brother has got a copy and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The artwork and the miniatures make this a must for any fan of The Rocketeer.

Trouble is brewing high above the city of angels! The mysterious Rocketeer —who can blast through the skies with an ingenious jet-pack—must stop a sinister plot! Hollywood actor Neville Sinclair is scheming to steal the rocket’s blueprints. This breakthrough of modern engineering could revolutionize the future of flight. But in Sinclair’s hands, it could fuel the dark future of warfare. Play as the heroes or the villains in this action-packed strategy game for two players. Whether for good or evil, you will determine the fate of the future!

More details at the official site.


Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth

Fantasy Flight Games bring us this wonderful journey through Middle Earth, that uses an app to help you set up the board and keep track of all the bits and pieces so you can focus on the game itself.

A fully-cooperative, app-supported board game set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic Middle-earth for one to five players.

Form your own Fellowship as you become heroes of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, preparing your skills and testing your might and wisdom in combat against the dark forces threatening the land. The immersive companion app guides you through each scenario and tracks your progress through entire campaigns.

Choose from six iconic heroes, increasing your power and customizing your skills over the course of your adventures. Journey across 22 map tiles and do battle against 25 beautifully sculpted enemy miniatures.


The Princess Bride – Adventure Book Game

“As you wish!”

Such a brilliant film gets a beautiful board fame contained within the pages of a book from Ravensburger.

  • Inconceivable! Climb the Cliffs of Insanity, brave the Fire Swamp, and help Buttercup, Westley, Fezzik, and Inigo survive the dastardly machinations of Prince Humperdinck, Count Rugen, and Vizzini. From the classic Film The Princess Bride!
  • Perfect for Families and Princess Bride Fans – Whether you’re playing with a group of Princess Bride fans, classic board gamers, or your family, this is perfect addition for any game night occasion and makes a great gift!
  • 1-4 players ages 10 and up and takes approximately 15 minutes per chapter.


Marvel Champions: The Card Game

Not one I have played myself, but I keep hearing good things about it, and I do love the Marvel universe. There are plenty of new decks coming out, so if your favourite hero is not present in the game, they are bound to show up at some point.

  • Marvel Champions: The Card Game brings the heroes of the Marvel universe to life in a cooperative adventure
  • Escalating scenarios provide plenty of replayability, as players can select a difficulty that fits how they want to play the game
  • Choosing between jumping into the action as a hero or plotting your next move in your alter ego makes gameplay tense and tactical
  • Simple deckbuilding and Hero Packs that come with pre-built decks help players get started
  • As a Living Card Game, continuing releases of Hero Packs and Scenario Packs give you new ways to play, while Story Boxes offer a larger addition to the game

There are lots of other Marvel games – Marvel Villainous, Splendor, Wakanda Forever and more.


Jaws Strategy Board Game

Basically, two games in one and both are wonderfully presented. The first side of the board sees some of you play as Hooper, Quint, and Chief Brody as they hunt for the Shark and buildup resources. Once that is done, you flip the board and set sail in the Orca on the hunt for the shark. However, the shark slowly rips the boat apart and it is a race to see who will be victorious.

  • A perfect strategy board game for families and fans of Universal, Jaws and classic strategy gamers. fans and families. Jaws is perfect for any game night occasion and makes a great gift for shark lovers
  • Great replay value – in this asymmetric style of game play you can either play as the Shark or cooperatively as a member of the crew. Each game will be different as the results of act 1 will affect act 2 either in the crews favour or the Shark
  • Clear instructions – high quality, easy to understand instructions make it easy to start playing right away
  • This 60 minute game for 2-4 players will have you playing the epic finale to the classic film over and over again


Gloomhaven

I know it is not movie-related, but it has been the top of many board game lists and is a great big box full of quests and battle in a fantasy realm.

  • Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives
  • Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins
  • In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make
  • After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues
  • For 1 to 4 players


Star Wars: Outer Rim

There are lots of Star Wars movies, TV shows, comics and books so it is no surprise there hear there are many board games set in a galaxy far, far away. However, as many of us wanted to be Han Solo flying the Millennium Falcon I thought I’d focus on Outer Rim.

  • In Outer Rim, players take on the roles of outlaws on the fringes of society and set out to make their mark on the galaxy.
  • You’ll travel the Outer Rim in your personal ship, hire legendary Star Wars characters to join your crew, and vie to cement your place in the legends of the Star Wars galaxy!
  • Do you have what it takes to survive the dangers of the Outer Rim while building your own legacy?
  • The goal of Outer Rim is to be the first player to ten fame, but the path to notoriety can be different for every scoundrel.
  • 2 – 3 Hours Playing Time


Dune

Denis Villeneuve’s new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel has reignited interest in all things Arrakis. Gale Force Nine updated the forty-year-old board game which looks gorgeous.

Imagine you can control the forces of a noble family, guild, or religious order on a barren planet which is the only source for the most valuable substance in the known universe.

Imagine you can rewrite the script for one of the most famous science fiction books of all time. Welcome to the acclaimed 40-year-old board game which allows you to recreate the incredible world of Frank Herbert’s DUNE.

In DUNE you will become the leader of one of six great factions. Each wishes to control the most valuable resource in the universe – melange, the mysterious spice only found at great cost on the planet DUNE. As Duke Leto Atreides says “All fades before melange. A handful of spice will buy a home on Tupile. It cannot be manufactured, it must be mined on Arrakis. It is unique and it has true geriatric properties.” And without melange space travel would be impossible. Only by ingesting the addictive drug can the Guild Steersman continue to experience visions of the future, enabling them to plot a safe path through hyperspace.

Who will control DUNE? Become one of the characters and their forces from the book and . . . You decide!


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to board games and, if I have time, I may get another list sorted soon. I will also be doing a Gift Guide for the many different role-playing games out there. In the meantime, let me know what some of your favourite board games are.

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