The most insanely clever Christmas gift idea of the year must be Hide&Seek's inspired Boardgame Remix Kit. Having observed that the four most common household boardgames — Monopoly, Cluedo (AKA Clue), Trivial Pursuit, and Scrabble — are often tedious and frustrating and overlong, the game designers at Hide&Seek set about to create a whole book's worth of variant rulesets and tweaks that use some or all of the pieces from some or all of the games. After exhaustive playtesting, they've arrived at a set of games that are insanely fun to play, treating the wicked bits and pieces (all those green houses, exciting little murder weapons, handy letter-tiles, question cards and pie-wedges) as infrastructure on which new, better games may be built.
Some examples: a Monopoly-based solitaire where you have to lay out the property cards in a grid while following certain rules (each card must touch another from its set, railroads need to be in the same row but not adjacent, etc); a Scrabble-meets-Balderdash word game where you have to make words that "beat" other words (e.g., Robot beats Twig, Twig beats Wasp) and then convince your fellow players you have the winning word; a full-blown zombie-combat tabletop strategy game made out of the Clue board, the lead pipe, and some Chess pawns; and "Dadaist Trivial Pursuit" where players are read out an answer and have to come up with odd questions that suit it.
It's fun, it's beautifully designed, and it will save the sanity of anyone stuck indoors over the holidays with nothing but Christmas reruns and stale boardgames. You can get it in book (coming soon)/ebook (now available) form, as a deck of cards, or a mobile app. Here's the sample PDF.
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