It may only be the 29th November; but we can’t fight it anymore, the season to be jolly is very much upon us and as someone who rejoices in the Yuletide I take great delight in bringing That’s Not Current’s first (of I hope many!) Christmas feature. Although, this one comes with bona fide consumer advice.

    Throughout the land people will be getting all caught up in the festivities with Christmas parties, shopping and general cheer associated with this time of year. And for this week’s Tabletop Tales I’m going to provide a list of ten fabulous little games that are not only perfect for any secret Santa you may have, but are also great little stocking fillers. They all come in a small box and, best of all, each game listed can be bought for under £10 right now!

    10. Mars Attacks: Ten-Minute Takedown


    Kicking off the list is a fun little dexterity game for 2-4 players from Munchkin publisher Steve Jackson Games. Playing in ten minutes (as it says on the tin) this game involves flicking a little dice about a table to try and land on the targets. While it certainly lacks in strategy it compensates with an element of skill. Released in 2015, it was one of a number of games to make use of the Mars Attacks franchise license, but apart from the cool artwork doesn’t really have anything to do with it. If you enjoy pinging things around or are looking for a little filler, this is a definitely worth checking out.

    Available for £8.50 from Amazon.

    9. Cypher


    Released in 2014 by AEG, this little card game is another quick to play micro-game. Accommodating 2-4 players, the game comprises of 19 cards and on your turn each player plays a card, draws a card and then passes a card. Each card features lovely artwork of a citizen, either upper class, middle class or lower class. The upper class is worth the most points, but are harder to play in conjunction with other cards as each card has different abilities. Working out what each player is holding is key to winning, and while this is by no means a heavy game, there is definitely a level of strategy that makes it replay-able.

    Available for £8.99 from Amazon.

    8. Dobble


    Originally called Spot It, Dobble is a fun little pattern recognition game from Asmodee that will appeal to the whole family. It contains 55 unique circular cards that have eight symbols on them each and plays with up to eight players. Each card has one matching symbol with every other card. There is five gameplay options that all involve being the fastest to shout out the matching symbols for the cards and claiming the matching set for scoring. While kids will rejoice in the simplicity and accessibility of this, its innocence also appeals to adults. There is also different themed versions available, such as Star Wars, but alas not in the under £10 price range.

    Available for £9.99 from Amazon.

    7. Hey, That’s My Fish!


    Released in 2003 by Fantasy Flight Games, Hey, That’s My Fish! is a fantastic and deceptively strategic area movement game for 2-4 players that is a superb gateway game. Players control penguins moving around on floating ice tiles to collect as many fish (printed on the tiles) as possible. The catch is every time a penguin vacates an ice tile, it is removed from the game, reducing the available movement with each go. While the original game is around £35, they released a more compact version, almost like a travel version, that still works a treat if you can cope with the smaller components and falls into the perfect stocking filler market.

    Available for £9.99 from Amazon.

    6. Super Rhino


    HABA, the developers of Super Rhino, are specialists in educational games yet this little diamond transcends age and is genuine fun for all ages. Released in 2011, Super Rhino is a card tower building game for 2-5 players. Each player starts with five roof tiles with object of the game to be the first player to play all roof cards. They take it in turns to add walls from a separate deck to the same building and play their roofs cards if possible, with each roof card providing an instruction that alters the flow of the game, such as changing direction, dictating what needs to be played where, moving the Super Rhino figure, etc. If the tower collapses at any point, the winner is the person with the fewest roof cards in their hand excluding the person who knocked it down. Its a magical little game that is great fun to play, and fantastic value for money.

    Available for £6.60 from Amazon.

    5. Werewolves of Millers Hollow


    In 1986 designers Dimitry Davidoff and Andrew Plotkin released the party game Werewolf. It has spawned countless continuations over the years, but 2001’s Werewolves of Millers Hollow falls nicely into the stocking filler list. From publisher Asmodee, this is an 8-18 player party game about secret identities, role playing and voting out players. Each player is assigned a secret role of Werewolf, Ordinary Townsfolk, or special character such as The Sheriff, The Hunter, the Witch, the Fortune Teller and more. Split into two phases, the “night phase” sees the werewolves vote what villager they will kill and the “day phase” the villagers vote on who they suspect is a werewolf. As a social games go, they don’t come much better than the Werewolves of Millers Hollow, although the minimum of eight players means it requires a larger party.

    Available for £9.95 from Amazon.

    4. Welcome to the Dungeon


    Released in 2013 by Iello, Welcome to the Dungeon is a push-your luck adventure game for 2-4 players. At its core, its basically a game of daring your opponents to enter the dungeon. On each players turn they either choose to enter the dungeon or draw a card from the deck. If they draw a card, they may either keep it and remove an item from their inventory, ultimately weakening them, or place the card face down in the dungeon deck. If they pass, they are out of the round and the last person left in the round must face the dungeon. They flip over the face down dungeon deck cards one at a time and must fight off the monsters with any equipment they have left. If they defeat all monsters they win the round and if they don’t, they lose the round and a one of their two lives. The winner of the game is the first person to complete the dungeon twice or the last left standing. Beautifully designed and illustrated, its a fast, frantic and fun game that is a both easy to learn and a perfect filler.

    Available for £9.99 from Amazon.

    3. Port Royal


    From publisher Pegasus Spiel comes another push your luck game. Comprising of 120 cards that are used for both gameplay and currency, Port Royal is all about 2-5 players playing as merchants in the age of sail. On a players turn they turn over as many cards as they want from the deck, creating the harbour. At any point they can stop turning over cards take one from the harbour. However, if they turn over two cards of the same colour then there go ends immediately. Once they have selected and paid for the card of their choice, every other player has the option to select a card if available, they wish to do so and can afford to pay for it by paying an additional coin to the first player. The object of the game is to gain 12 influence points and this is achieved through hiring crew and completing the expeditions that appear over the course of the game. Not only is this a simple game to learn, it mixes push your luck with strategy to perfection. It is a highly replay-able and thoroughly enjoyable game that provides outstanding bang for your buck.

    Available for £9.88 from Amazon.

    2. Love Letter


    When AEG released Love Letter in 2012 they had a real hit on their hands. As simple as it is intriguing, it has gone on to produce multiple licensed versions such as The Hobbit, Batman, Archer and Adventure Time. Comprising of 16 cards, the purpose of the game is to figure out who is holding the princess card or eliminate all other players. Starting with a single card, players draw one and play one, following the action on the card and guessing what your opponents has. There are eight different cards, each with a varying amount in the deck. The skill comes in the form of observing what your opponents are doing, using deduction and luck to win a round. It really is such a wonderfully crafted game, my particular favourite being the Batman version.

    Available for £7.99 on Amazon.

    1. Sushi Go


    Not only is Gamewright’s 2013 release a fantastic stocking filler, it is a fantastic game, full stop! Coming in a gorgeous little tin, it features 108 wonderfully illustrated cards. Taking around 15-20mins to play for 2-5 players, Sushi Go recreates the famous conveyor belts of sushi restaurants in the form of a card drafting game. Using a draft and pass mechanic, players play simultaneously, selecting a card from their hand and passing the remaining hand to the player sitting next to them. The goal is about creating the best sushi meal, getting sets and bonuses. However, players must always be mindful of what they are handing to their opponents and what they require. With multiple paths to victory, its offers quite deep strategic thinking in a easy to learn, fun to play package. It serves as a perfect warm up game or indeed a gateway game to new gamers. And with a price below £10, its my top tip for a stocking filler this Christmas!

    Available for £9.99 from Amazon.


    NEXT WEEK: I continue the preparation for the most wonderful time of the year by bringing you my top 10 games to bring out once you’ve had your fill of Turkey!

    Jamie Glasgow
    Jamie likes stuff. He also like talking nonsense about said stuff. Said stuff includes, but is not limited to, board games, video games, film, TV, music, football, LEGO, books, cooking, politics, red wine, onesies and novelty hats. This proud Scotsman is the evil mastermind behind Tabletop Tales and Retro Requisition.

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