Help me pick the best game for a Christmas gift.
December 21, 2003 6:12 AM   Subscribe

I've got a game enthusiast on my Christmas list and have the opportunity to buy him a vintage game from a collection that includes Contack, Kimbo, Numble and 3M bookshelf games Acquire, Executive Decision, Facts in Five, High Bid and Point of Law. Anybody care to make any recommendations? [more inside]

Contack looks like an early version of Tri-Ominoes, Kimbo looks like an early version of Quoridor, Numble is a mathematical Scrabble seemingly aimed at grade schoolers (though I can't be sure), and Facts in Five looks like an early version of Scattergories. Not that I'd disqualify any for those reasons, but if the new iterations are improvements, then that would be a strike against them, for me. I'm leaning toward Acquire, but that's solely based on some basic web research. I'd love some firsthand opinions ....
posted by blueshammer to Shopping (6 answers total)
I suspect you've already found Boardgamegeek which is one of the best board game resources on the Internet. Acquire is definitely very highly rated - I haven't played it myself but judging from the reviews and reports I've read, it sounds like a lot of fun.
posted by adrianhon at 6:44 AM on December 21, 2003

Facts in Five is a lot like Scattergories, but made about 40 years earlier. The categories are just as relevant - I haven't come across a single one which doesn't make sense in the present. Some of the cards are focused on things that aren't necessarily common knowledge (military leaders, religious figures, engineering constants), but they can always be given a pass. Overall, it requires more non-everyday knowledge than Scattergories but is just as fun.
posted by whatzit at 7:08 AM on December 21, 2003


My parents played this game weekly for years, and now I'm hooked as well. I'd highly recommend getting it both as a gift for a collector (you'll want to snag an older bookshelf version and NOT get the newer larger more kidlike version available new at some stores.

The game itself is a financial game with some elments of luck, and quite a bit of skill. As with any good game there is no single killer strategy, and I'm often amaized at what other people come up with. There are plenty of variations on the rules that I've played over the years as well, including getting bonus money for playing a corner tile, or variations on how much you can tell other players about your current holdings.

Good luck with it.
posted by woil at 2:06 PM on December 21, 2003

I'll recommend Facts in Five. It's best played with 4-6 people. As the review notes, the game gets fun when people try to defend their answers (or just make stuff up).

I also played lots of Acquire in my youth -- it's rules are fairly simple whereas the strategies can be complex.

It just occurred to me that I played Acquire with my parents and siblings, but Facts in Five was the game I played with friends. In retrospect, I can't envision it being the other way around. Maybe that's a calibration point for your choice.
posted by joaquim at 6:04 PM on December 21, 2003

Settlers of Catan, either the board game (for 3-4 players, with a 5-6 player expansion) or card game (2 players) is possibly the greatest game I've ever played, and I've played a lot of games. The entire "German" genre of games is worth checking out- they tend to be rule-heavy, but they're extremely well done.
posted by mkultra at 6:38 AM on December 22, 2003

Yeah, mk, this is the guy that got me San Marco, which I just played last night with a couple of friends who commented on its Settlers of Cataniness. That's all Ravensburger, right?

Thanks for all the comments from everyone.
posted by blueshammer at 7:56 AM on December 22, 2003

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