SU&SD’s Christmas Gift Guide 2023

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Matt: Hello and welcome to The Shut Up & Sit Down 2023 Gift Guide Extravaganza-wham-o-palooza-video! We have got an entire pile of games for you, in a variety of different categories.

Tom: We’ve got so many games… it’s too many! Three categories!

Matt: Ding!

Tom: Fun for Families!

Matt: Ding!

Tom: Games for Gamers!

Matt: And number three!

Tom: Put ’em in your Stuffing…

Matt: Stocking…

Tom: Stuff them in your…

Matt: Stuff them in your Stocking!


Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Matthew tell us about Spots!

Matt: Spots is a delightful game of pushing your luck with some incredibly delightful dogs.

Tom: They got really good dogs!

Matt: Amazing dogs! They hired an artist that specifically just did dogs.

Tom: Really? They only do dogs?

Matt: No.

Tom: Small dogs! Big dogs! Big dice!

Matt: Some as big as your dog! The way it works is you get these dog cards, you roll dice, and then you have to match the dice dots with “spots” on the dogs. He said the name of the game, folks!

Tom: Dogs have spots! Dice have spots!

Matt: And then you basically keep pushing your luck to try and fill his as many dog cards as you can. But, obviously if you go bust, then you’re ruined. You can get little bones that allow you to have re-rolls and there’s different changeable cards that you can activate as powers. Which means sometimes in games someone will have tons of re-roll bones and then you get to watch as they re-roll 20 times and still don’t get the three they needed.

Tom: Beautiful!

Matt: It’s beautiful: hubris, cute dogs, it’s simple, very fun, highly recommended.

Tom: I was going to ask for three words that describe Spots, but you did like six.

Matt: Simple. Fun. Highly Recommended.

Tom: Dogs.

Matt: Dogs.

Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition

Player Count: 2-5

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: You’ve played dogs, now it’s time for cats!

Matt: Ohhh, do I have to put a cat and a dog in my stocking?

Tom: You have to put a cat and a dog in a box.

Matt: That’s like a turducken, but really illegal.

Tom: It’s a crime. This game is a trick-taking game. You’ve played trick-taking games before, but the thing that’s clever about this one is that none of the cards have colours!

Matt: Nope.

Tom: They are all blank and you just say what colour they are when you play them. You go “this is the five of red” when you put on the table. Which already makes it a pretty brain-melting trick-taking game, but you add to that a weird little area control mechanism, which just makes it completely crazy.

Matt: It’s conceptually hellish in the fact that you keep pretending your cards are whatever you think they are until suddenly it’s impossible for that five to be anything other than a blue five, and you realise you’re ruined.

Tom: Yeah you realise that you’ve completely goosed it.

Matt: The thing about this game that I think is actually really neat, is the fact that it sounds unbelievably complicated when you try and explain it because it is literally like Schrödinger’s cat, the card game.

Tom: Yes, exactly!

Matt: But it’s actually not very complicated.

Tom: It’s really simple!

Matt: And makes you feel really clever. Because you’re doing something that feels like it should be melting your brain.

Tom: Yeah, I completely agree. I really like the way that the manual looks like a sort of confidential science document that teaches you about this crazy cat that got stuck in a box.

Matt: The scorecard that you use to mark who’s winning in the games and how many points you’ve got is like laboratory testing things. You’re not marking down your score, you’re marking down laboratory findings. Which is fun. It’s a fun little thing to do with Schrödinger’s Cat and that’s that!

Tom: That’s a stocking stuffer number two!

My Gold Mine

Player Count: 2-6

SU&SD Affiliates: UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: My gold! Mine!

Tom: Mine! This is the simplest game probably, out of the whole bunch that we’ve got here, or one of the simplest! It’s for children!

Matt: Yep!

Tom: And adults! It’s for anyone.

My Gold Mine, it’s a game about being little dwarves trying to get gold in a cave. This is really similar to a game called Diamant / Incan Gold that we have always been espousing the good qualities of, but that game isn’t available very often. This is the closest alternative in terms of vibes that we could find.

Matt: And I actually think I might prefer it.

Tom: No way!

Matt: I don’t know. Diamant is fun, but there’s something about the pure simplicity of this. Do you want to get out of the cave before the dragon gets you, or are you going to try and hang around while the dragon visibly moves closer and closer towards you?

Tom: Yes, yes.

Matt: It’s much more kind of knowable, in a way.

Tom: That’s true, it has a very visible dragon threat that’s slowly creeping towards you for the whole game, and maybe you’ll push your friend into it.

Matt: And sometimes the dragon just runs at you out of nowhere, and it’s not fair, and that’s games. But often, pushing other people closest to the dragon whilst you try and run away with the gold is just funny!

Tom: It’s the perfect pub game. Great little tiny game for Christmas.

Matt: Put ’em in your socks. How big are my socks, Tom? How many more things are you going to try to put in my socks?

Trek 12: Himalaya

Player Count: 1-50

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: I’m going to put this one into your sock! Apparently this is in our stocking stuffer category.

Matt: You have to cut that in half and put it into two different socks!

Tom: Depends how large your feet are. Depends how large you want your feet to someday be. If you’re slipping into a pair of aspirational socks, then Trek 12: Himalaya is the perfect game for you.

Matt: Yeah, reignite the aspiration of your feet, with this!

Tom: It’s a great little roll & write.

Matt: I’ve not played this game, Tom.

Tom: It’s really good. Basically you’re trying to climb a little mountain. You’ll be slowly linking these little numbers together as you go up and up and up, but sometimes you won’t be able to put the numbers in the right place! It’s classic roll & write stuff, but here’s the thing that makes it a little bit more special – a little bit more enticing: it has some little mini expansions in the box that only come out when someone does a cool feat. So when someone climbs the mountain in the sickest way possible then they get to open up a little envelope and they get to write their name in the record book.

Matt: And inside the envelope is an airhorn! [Ba-ba-ba-baaaaoooo]

Mindbug: First Contact

Player Count: 2

SU&SD Affiliates: UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: [singing] Mindbugggg!

Tom: Tell me about this one.

Tom: We played this together. And we liked it.

Matt: We liked it. I liked it.

Tom: I like so much that we’re putting it into this video.

Matt: It’s a game by Richard* Garfield, inventor of Magic the Gathering.

Tom: And Garfield!

Matt: And Garfield. And lasagna. And Mondays. He’s done a lot! Most notably in recent years he worked on KeyForge, which was a fun collectible game – and then they broke the algorithm that allowed them to make it, and things have happened, and now it’s back in different form… Games are weird!

Anyway, the way this works is you both have a deck of Mindbug cards, and at some point the other player is going to play a card that you don’t like. And rather than going “no, you can’t use that card” you go, “Mindbug. That card is now mine.”

Tom: “I would like that Compost Dragon please.”

Matt: You’ve got an Owl Spider, you’ve got weird chameleons with… a party popper? No –

Tom: It’s a Chameleon Sniper.

Matt: The art’s great, the theming is fun, it’s wacky, it’s weird, and for me I think it gives you the entire experience of playing like, KeyForge, but without having to collect decks and make decks. You just sit down with one little box and have a wild back and forth, which we found had a surprisingly nice amount of tactics in it. A nice amount of trying to bait other players into Mindbugging something: thinking that it’s the best card you’ve got in your hand when it is not!

Tom: It’s a silly game but it’s not crazy silly. It’s not completely random and bonkers. It has actually got a lot of thought in it.

Matt: It’s not like Fluxx or another awful game like that.

Tom: Your deck is also only 10 cards in this game, so it’s quick. Real speedy.

Matt: It’s weird, but it’s not weird in an obnoxious way. And it’s tight, and fun, and also tiny.

Tom: You can put that in your big socks.

Matt: I can fit this into my socks without irreversibly damaging them, I think.

Tom: Yes, without needing darning.

Mindbug – 24:38

For Sale

Player Count: 3-6

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: Hey, are any of these games today, For Sale, Tom?

Tom: Or Startups?

Matt: Or Startups.

Tom: Correct. You want to play some game about making money?

Matt: I don’t know how to do that.

Tom: Then play both…you’re a YouTuber, you’ve got YouTuber salary.

Matt: I’ve been running this business for 10 years, I need help.

Tom: For Sale is a classic tiny little auction game that should be in everyone’s collection. It’s really good. It’s really quick.

You have little fistfuls of coins, and you buy houses with them, and then you have to sell those houses for more money.

Matt: You do two auctions, it’s kind of weird and unknowable. I don’t like auction games, but I like this one. It feels like it’s more about vibes than anything else – and I’m really good at it as well.

Tom: Oh, well that’s a bonus!


Player Count: 3-7

SU&SD Affiliates: Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: I don’t know why I lump these two together, but Startups is another tiny little business game about investment. It’s not really about auctioning, it’s just similar weights and they’re small and they’ve got money in them.

Matt: Startups is absolutely sick.

Tom: It’s classic.

Matt: It is – look at that, it’s a hot pink and green box.

You’ve got all these different fictional companies that players are investing in; trying to build them up so that the ones they own the most of are the most valuable, but you’re all doing the same thing with these same companies. It’s so simple, it’s fast, and the art is cool as heck!

Tom: Yeah, the art really cool. Minimalist and delightful. We put this in our Top 10 Oink Games video and I think it was close to number one, if not number one. It’s up there isn’t it?

Matt: It’s really up there.

Tom: It’s in the trilogy of great Oinks, isn’t it?

Matt: Yeah, Scout and this, they’re probably the two best Oinks?

Tom: They absolutely are.

Matt: Oink, Oink.

Tom: Oink, Oink.


Player Count: 2-5

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: That’s the small games category finished, Matt!

Matt: I’m going to put these in my socks right now.

Tom: But wait, there’s three more games! Cause I brought some surprise extra bonus games that I didn’t tell you about beforehand.

Matt: I love surprises.


Player Count: 2

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon

Tom: I’m going to run through these real quickly, firstly Sail! It’s a two-player trick-taking game, it has vibes like The Crew. It’s very good. Me and Quinns talked about that on Podcast #235.

Sail – 26:53

Splendor: Duel

Player Count: 2

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Next up! Splendor: Duel. Another two-player game! We’ve got a two for two for two player here.

Matt: Two for two for two for two.

Tom: You like Splendor, right?

Matt: Mhm.

Tom: It’s a game about efficiently making people happy.

Matt: Gems?

Tom: Yeah, it’s got gems in it. Ding, ding, ding. You got that right.

Matt: That’s how you make people happy.

Tom: This is a two-player version of that game. Emily did a great review of it on her own channel, we’ll link to that somewhere, cause it’s great. It’s a good little game, it’s lovely, it’s delightful, it’s really good for two players.

Matt: I believe you.

Trio aka Na Na

Player Count: 3-6

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Finally not for two players, NaNa. Which has been…

Matt: Is it about bananas?

Tom: No it is not.

This has been reprinted or reimagined as Trio if you can’t get this version – this is the import version, which is a little bit more expensive than if you were to buy Trio.

Matt: Trio slash NaNa.

Tom: Trio slash NaNa. I’m going to show you the art cause you’ll like it, this is basically like a mixture between Go Fish and a memory game.

Matt: They’re quite cute.

Tom: Very good for four players, it’s the kind of game you could teach to anyone, even you’re NANna.


Matt: Hahahaaa. So that’s all of the stocking things, I’m going to put these to one side, so I can put them into my socks later and now it’s time for category number two.

Tom: It’s family time! Oh dear!

Matt: Ahhh!

Tom: What are you doing?

Matt: I’m whirring us up, for another hot category in this exciting video!

Tom: It look like you were sort of reeling in a family here.

Matt: I am! I’m reeling in a family!

Tom: Here they come, woahhh!

Matt: It’s the classic dance floor move where you pull an entire family towards you.

Tom: And then you dance with them all individually.

Matt: Dance with them all individually, put them in a net, and then take them home and sell them for the best market price, as freshly picked families.


Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Cascadia?

Matt: Yes.

Tom: It’s a game.

Matt: And what a game this is. A game of animals and locations that animals like to be in.

Tom: Mhm. It’s a lovely little tile laying puzzle where you make some habitats for your animals and then you put animals on those habitats. And you want to get all your eagles in a line, all your salmons in a slalom, all your bears in a huddle – and if you do that the best, then you’re going to win.

Matt: Huddle them bears.

Tom: Mhm!

Matt: It’s super satisfying putting down little hexes and trying to match them all up so you have a nice big beach and a nice big lake and a nice big forest. It’s very gentle, it’s very nice.

Tom: Very, very gentle. It’s a really good family game for the sort of families who want something that isn’t mean – cuz a lot of families over Christmas times, they want to really tear each other to pieces in Monopoly. They want to absolutely shoot each other down in Trivial Pursuit.

Matt: They just want to wrestle really, but they’re not being honest about it. They’re trying to find other mediums to get that out and it doesn’t work as well as wrestling. Just wrestle.

Tom: Just wrestle. So Cascadia is for the family who doesn’t want that – it’s for the family who wants to chill out, relax, and you know they’ve eaten a giant turkey together – now they’re going to revel in nature.

Cascadia: Landmarks

Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: There’s also an expansion for Cascadia called Landmarks. It adds… landmarks.

Matt: Interesting.

Tom: Mmm, it’s nice and it’s out now. You can get it, if you like your Cascadia, you could. Or, if you have a family member who already has Cascadia, get ’em the expansion. Do it.

Stomp the Plank

Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: Reeling in another one now, what have we got next in the family zone?

Tom: Wahh, and this one is actually from the ocean?!

Matt: Oh it’s Stomp the Plank!

Tom: You can smell the sea air on it already.

Matt: That’s not sea air and – I apologise.

This is Stomp the Plank. I love this game. I love this game an awful lot. It’s basically a game where – well, you know what, I’m just going to show you really easily, cause basically the box itself becomes a boat.

Fantastic! That’s pretty much the game setup. And then all you’ve got to do is try and push your luck by flipping over cards, and if you go too far then you have to walk your elephant down a plank space.

Tom: How far can he go?

Matt: Well, who knows, because the other thing you can do is stop pushing your luck at any point, and put your collected discs on the end, and on the end of other players’ planks.

Tom: You can weigh them down.

Matt: So it’s half dexterity game, half push your luck. You can keep flipping cards, and if you get six that are all unique you just win the game. So there is the constant temptation to be like “well I could just keep going and win the game!”

It’s ostensibly meant for little kids, but it’s very fun with open-minded or drunk adults. I recently bought two copies of this game, and I gave one to a 5-year-old – and 5-year-olds are classically a little bit fickle – but then I saw that 5-year-old a couple of months later, and the first thing they said when I came in was” Stomp the Plank!” which is like wow, okay!

Tom: You’re now Mr. Stomp the Plank!

Matt: It’s been a hit!

Tom: To that child you are that and you are nothing more.

Matt: They probably think I made it. And I’d be happy if that were true.


Player Count: 4-8

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: I recently played a little game called Trapwords with my family, and I liked it a lot. It’s basically like Taboo, if you ever played Taboo before, the game where you have a card that has a word on it, let’s say “elephant,” and then a list of words that you can’t say when describing that word. So you can’t say “trunk” or “gray” or “forget”. Trapwords is sort of a twist on that formula, where you are going through a little dungeon. Initially I was really worried that this game would be a sort over fantasy theming of what is a really simple game, but it’s actually super breezy and super light theming in a way that works.

Essentially, you’re going through this little dungeony, cavey thing, but you are writing words that the other team are not allowed to say. So they’re going to have to describe “lighthouse” and you can get rid of the words “shore” and “ship”. And then when they’re describing it, you’re waiting, going “oh please say it,” and then when they do, your whole team goes “yeahhhh!!” It’s delightful!

Matt: So you’re trying to basically get people say words they’re not supposed to say.

Tom: Yes exactly. It makes Taboo into more of an active sort of game.

Matt: It feels kind of Decrypto-y as well…

Tom: Yes!

Matt: …that thing of really trying to get inside people’s heads and being clever about “what can we do that’s going to force them into a horrible hole?”

Tom:  And say the word was “elephant” right? The other team, has assumed that you’ve written things like “gray” and “trunk” and “forget”. So you’re there thinking “well what’s the next layer of things that they’re going to try and guess”.

Matt: Yeah!

Tom: Oh, feisty. Good little game! And there’s all these weird modifications as well, like where everyone just has to close their eyes, which doesn’t make much sense but it’s quite funny! Everyone just shouting things out in the dark. It’s good, it’s a good little game, Trapwords, I like it a lot!

Next Station: London

Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: And now over to our foreign correspondent Emily, all the way in Australia. She’s got the Christmas games that you’ve got to play!

Emily: Next Station: London is a whole lot of fun tricky puzzle, inside such a cute little box. I originally reviewed it as a solo game at which it is amazing but that experience can be taken up to four players. Making it a perfect gift for family fun.

The game has you competing to create your own subway network across London, flipping over cards with destinations on them, that you’ll have to incorporate into your line by drawing on your map with these cute little colored pencils. And while this doesn’t sound too tricky on the surface, the game challenges you to make it more difficult with its various scoring conditions that ask you to spread and entangle these lines that otherwise cannot cross. Then it lets you make the game even more juicy, by adding challenge and pencil power cards that shake up the game: giving you more scoring opportunities and fun new reasons to make your network a godforsaken hellscape.

I’ve been going to it pretty much non-stop since I got it months ago. It feels light enough and comforting enough to just pick up and play at any point, while also having enough challenge to make you want to come back and try for a higher score. I really like it.

Dorfromantik: The Board Game

Player Count: 1-6

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Emily: If you know someone, or you and your family love the feeling of sitting down and solving a jigsaw puzzle together, Dorfromantik: The Board Game captures that feeling so well – and amplifies it in so many different ways. You’re picking up these tiles with different landscapes on them, and adding them to an ever-growing village of your own creation. Your main aim is to complete these challenges that ask you to make certain sized areas out of the different features, scoring you points. While that’s the aim, you aren’t locked into connecting these features, with the exception of rivers and railways, giving it a free form feel that’s incredibly relaxing. There’s also no way to lose, just encouraging you to go for higher scores, and to progress through its campaign, which will unlock new tiles and challenges for you to explore. This makes it great to play as a family, as it’s entirely cooperative and has almost no real stakes.

It’s just such a fun, cosy experience where you get to work together to build these little towns and unlock all sorts of goodies along the way. It’s really good!

Don’t Get Got!: Shut Up & Sit Down Special Edition

Player Count: 2-10

SU&SD Affiliates: UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: Thanks for that Emily! And now back to… this.

Tom: The final game in our family extravaganza!

Matt: Don’t get whaaaat?

Tom: Don’t Get Goooot! It’s us, it’s our game.

Matt: Yeah we made this!

Tom: We made this.

Matt: Quinns did a lot of the writing on it, and had a lot of fun testing this game, in which you have to try and do silly things, in increasingly odd ways, without anyone noticing that you’re doing something odd.

Tom: Like getting a player to ask to see your ID and then you show them the card instead. It’s a thing that you put into a sort of regular social situation and turn it maybe a little bit cursed, but also quite fun!

Matt: Like “invent a new catchphrase and get another player to use it,” and then there’s a third example here to “boo something and get another player to join in.” It’s a game that you play over a period of maybe days? And effectively, you’re just trying to get other people to engage in odd things.

Tom: Odd behavior.

Matt: But if at any point they go, “hang on a minute, is this, is this part of the game?” Then they’ve caught you out.

Tom: But if they don’t do that, then they got got!

Matt: They got got!

Tom: Get them before they get you.

Matt: Some people think this is one of the most electric and exciting things that you can do within a social social situation. I personally find it far too anxiety inducing to play for longer than about two hours, but your mileage may vary! And honestly it is very, very exciting.

Tom: It is.

Matt: It’s kind of perfect for Christmas, if you find Christmas boring.

Tom: Yeah, haha.

Matt: Because suddenly, every interaction you have with your aunt is going to become a fraught, tactical minefield.

Tom: It’s going to become very suspect.

It’s good! It’s a good game, this is our version of it and there are copies available in the UK. If you still want to grab them while they are still available.

Tom: It’s still available [for a limited time only – the game is now out of print with the publisher and is not planned to be reprinted], it might not be available forever!

Tom: No, it’s true!

Matt: So this could be the last Christmas.

Tom: [singing] Last Christmas…

Matt: [singing] I gave you my Christmas…

Tom: [singing] I gave Christmas day…

Matt:[singing] I gave you games…

Tom: [singing] and I gave you a game. and we went away.

Matt: [singing] the next day, and we played it, again.

Matt: [mumbling] Nice one.

Tom: [whispering] Great at our jobs.

Matt: [whispering] Music!


Don’t Get Got!: 2021 Edition

Player Count: 2-10

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Once our version is out of stock the original should still be findable, and we liked it very much! That’s why we got involved to do the version above! Here’s Quinns’ review of the original:

Tom: Okay!

Matt: Surely Tom, the next fun family like game is War of the Ring: The Card Game?

Tom: No Matt, don’t be silly, it’s Ra! It’s not Ra, it’s none of these, we tricked you! We’re in the new section!

Matt: [gasp]

Tom: We’re in the Games for Gamers section! And we should probably talk first about our fallen comrades, the games who did not make it here today because they were too big and heavy and I couldn’t be a**ed.

Ark Nova

Player Count: 1-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Ark Nova is a big old zoo game that me and you liked quite a lot.

Matt: Yeah!

Tom: A lot of people love Ark Nova, a very good game to get for the person in your life who likes aminals!

Matt: It’s specifically about animal preservation and reservations…

Tom: Yeah!

Matt: And the weird economies of that.

Tom: There’s something quite nice about the way that it’s a zoo game that isn’t just “put an animal in the cage”.  It asks you to study the ecology of the piranha. You know, it’s nice, it’s got good politics!

Matt: It’s massive!

Tom: And it’s also a fun game, and it’s also huge, but a very good crunchy Eurogame for the person in your life who likes animals and likes…

Matt: Thinking!

Tom: …thinking.

Undaunted: Stalingrad

Player Count: 2

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: The other game that I didn’t bring because it was absolutely huge, but is also absolutely brilliant, is Undaunted: Stalingrad. We did a whole review of this, the sort of pinnacle – the zenith of the Undaunted system. It’s a game where two players and two players only kill each other over and over and over again, doing a big war. It’s pretty spicy! We’ve got a whole review of that if you want to check out why that game is good – and it is really good. We really recommend it.

Matt: It’s great!

Tom: If you’ve got one person in mind who you want to play a game with, it’s like a social contract: if you get your best pal that game for Christmas, you’ve just bought that game for yourself! That’s psychopathic, but also: true.

Matt: Yep, and I feel like if you want to stop playing a campaign game halfway through with someone who’s your best friend, then the only way out of it is probably just to permanently end the friendship.

Tom: Mhm.

Matt: So be careful.

Tom: Be careful what you wish for this Christmas.

El Grande

Player Count:

SU&SD Affiliates: UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: And finally, there’s a reprint of the classic area control war game El Grande kicking around, though still very hard to find.

Matt: [singing] El Grandeeeee!

Tom: I thought you were going to go for El Nombre there, which was a kids show that I watched when I was very small that had El Nombre in it. He was a little mouse with a hat and he’d write numbers in the sand and he was called El Nombre. Anyone remember El Nombre?

Matt: I don’t remember El Nombre…

Tom: El Grande is great. It’s a classic. It’s being reprinted: it looks better and it’s got very little/no plastic in the production, which is great!

Matt: Hmm, they hadn’t invented plastic in the 1980s.

Tom: Exactly, exactly. Great game, worth getting. It looks nice, it’s new, it’s from Hans im Glück, which is a publisher name I love saying.

Matt: Hans im Glück?

Tom: Hans im Glück.

Matt: I think Glück means either luck or left.

Tom: Hans on luck.

Matt: Get your hands on that luck.

Tom: There’s a burger restaurant in Essen called Hans im Glück.

Matt: Hmm!

Tom: Hmm.

Matt: Maybe it means tasty?

Tom: Maybe…

Matt: I don’t know, I don’t know German.

Tom: No that’s “lecker.”

Matt: Ohhh, you know more German than I do, this is embarrassing.

RA: Deluxe Edition

Player Count: 2-5

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: But now we can talk about the games that are really here in front of us!

Matt: The games that actually made it here today!

Tom: That are on the table! Should we talk about a good little reprint, a classic reprint first?

Matt: It’s Ra!

Tom: It’s Ra! Ra! What is it good for?

Matt: I was thinking [singing] “Ra, ra, rasputin, Ra, is the sun god of Egypt.”

Tom: There’s something in there isn’t there?

Matt: There is, but we’re not going to find it.

Tom: [singing] “Ra ra rasputin, auction tiles, on the Nile, no!”

Matt: Haha, you’re so close!

Tom: Haha

Matt: Anyway it’s an auction game about Egyptians and auctioning tiles. Yeah, I quite like it, which is strange because I don’t like auction games…

Tom: You said that again, twice in this video!

Matt: I really want people to know! Stop buying me auction games!

Tom: It is a crackin’ game. It’s really good, it’s maybe my favorite auction game.

Matt: It’s really good.

Tom: It’s by Reiner Knitzia. Big Knizzle, shout out to the Doctor!

Matt: Shout out to the Knizz!

Tom: This version’s got artwork by Ian O’Toole as well! It looks great, it’s not too expensive, but it’s a good luxury little gift to give to your to your friend who likes board games. Or yourself. Treat yourself this Christmas.


Player Count: 1-5

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: ZatuDeluxe Edition: SinisterFish

Tom: Moon! You did a review of this.

Matt: Moon is a game that we reviewed quite recently. It’s just a really tight little box, it’s a pick-and-pass base building game for one to five players – it says on the box.

Tom: Wow! Oh, they said it on the box, less impressive.

Matt: Yeah I’m not very good at sentences like that.

So what you’re doing is trying to make your own little moon base; you’re passing cards around constantly, and it means that whenever you’re drafting you’re asking yourself “which of these do I want and which of these will I never see, ever again?” It’s fun with three, with two I think it’s the best.

Tom: Yeah two it’s real spicy.

Matt: It’s so mean.

Tom: It’s sharp.

Matt: You’re constantly throwing other people’s things in the bin and then digging through the bin to try and find the things the other person threw away. It’s got a slightly kind of cold, clinical, crap vibe, in a good way of like: space travel, but actually this kind of sucks.

Tom: “Actually, we don’t really like it very much out here.”

Matt: “Well, we’ve made a hot dog and coffee place on the moon.”

Tom: “Mmm.”

Matt: “Hooray.”

Tom: “Look how far we’ve come.”

Matt: It’s got some really lovely tokens, everything neatly organized, in a tight little box: a very satisfyingly, rich little thing.

Tom: Look at that!

Matt: Ooof! It’s great, it’s a good gift and I think that would fit in socks arguably better than some of the other so-called sock-stuffer games…

Tom: We could do that right now.

Matt: I mean I…

Tom: We could, we could get the sock out right now!

War of the Ring: The Card Game

Player Count: 2-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Matt: War of the Ring: The Card Game! I reviewed this as well quite recently.

Tom: You did!

Matt: And this is a real treat. You can actually get full-fat War of the Ring as a gift for someone, but gosh that’s a big flipping gift!

Tom: Are you sure you like Eric that much?

Matt: I don’t know, I don’t know… can we not talk about this now?

Tom: Okay.

Matt: This is a really nice little distillation of that idea though. It plays with two to four, and what you’re doing is crunching down the entirety of the War of the Ring into four little decks of cards that represent the different factions. It’s got a really nice flow to it in terms of different things that can be played during different parts of the game. And it means the Nazgûl are kind of really strong at the start and in the middle they’re like “where everybody gone?” cause they went underground.

Tom: Makes sort of thematic sense if you’re a big LOTR head, but also I don’t even know who Gandalf is, but I like this game a lot.

Matt: It’s really fun.

Tom: It’s good!

Matt: It has a theme to it, it has a shape to it, and all sorts of stories come out of it. I think it’s very different to the full-fat game, but if you got someone in your life who really loves Lord the Rings stuff, this is solid.

War of the Ring (full-fat Edition)

Player Count: 2-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: You got a whole lot of games over there.

Matt: Ah you didn’t get many games this Christmas, Tom!

Tom: Ahaha, I know, I only got two games but they’re great games. They’re better than all the other games cuz these are the ones that I reviewed! That’s right, we’re talking about IKI and we’re talking about Heat: Pedal to the Metal. They’re not similar.

Heat: Pedal to the Metal

Player Count: 1-6

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon Canada: Rain City UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Heat is in high demand at the moment. It’s fantastic. It’s in high demand for good reason. It is a racing game where you’re driving little Formula1 cars around a track. It’s immediate, it’s snappy, it’s a deck builder, it’s great! It plays up to six people, but it works great with four or three!

Matt: It’s honestly just an incredibly good game…

Tom: It’s very, very good!

Matt: …of just trying to work out how fast you can keep your car going around a corner without causing yourself trouble now and in the future.

Tom: And I don’t even think you need to be big into cars or racing! I don’t care about cars, I don’t care about racing, I don’t care about going fast. I don’t like any of those things.

Matt: It’s more about momentum and risk.

Tom: Yes and I think that’s the thing: it makes Formula1 exciting to people who don’t care about it. Which includes me. I think that game inspires feelings that most board games would only dare to dream of.

Matt: Mmm.


Player Count: 2-4

SU&SD Affiliates: USA: Amazon UK & Europe: Zatu

Tom: Iki is for the person who just likes a really good, solid Eurogame. Big, dry, quite boring, but very, very, very fun. This is a really good game where you’re moving little pieces around a street in Edo-era Japan, trying to trade, trying to put some little people in shops, and tempt others with your goods.

Matt: You’re trying to get other people to come to your shops and you get bonuses, but they don’t want to do that, because it’s a game, and people are competitive, and you’re like “just come to my shop!”

Tom: “Pleasssse”, the reason they don’t want to come to your shop as well, is because the person working in the shop will become better at their job and then eventually maybe they’ll get to retire, so you not visiting their shop is actually pushing them into servitude for even longer. Weird game when you think about it for more than a minute, but it’s good.

Matt: It’s very good.

Tom: It’s also got an expansion, which I think is fine.

Matt: Heard it here first.

Tom: You heard it here first. That’s games!

Matt: That’s all the games we have, we’ve just recommended 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…loads of games!

Tom: Loads, more than five…

Matt: Buy for your families, buy for your socks!

Tom: For yourself!

Matt: For the people in your game that love…

Tom: Life!

Matt: Thank you very much! What do you want for Christmas Tom?

Tom: I want a big roast dinner.

Matt: I want bigger socks! I hope we get what we want!

Tom: You want a sock that will fit Ra inside of it.

Matt: I want a sock full of roast dinner now.

Tom: Mmm.

Matt: I need to be put on a list.

Tom: The only country pub that serves your roast dinner in a sock!

Matt: haha!

Tom: Thanks for watching!

Matt: Thank you, see you soon! Bye!

Matt: And that’s all the Christmas Gift Guide holiday time we have time for. Thank you so much for joining us this year!

If you’ve enjoyed this, then please do watch some of the aforementioned videos. A lot of the games we’ve talked about have been reviewed on the channel. Chunky videos that tell you why things are exciting, and fun, and cool.

Here’s our list from last year if you need even more ideas, and our video from JUST LAST WEEK on what games to play with your family this holiday!


Finally, it is coming up to our Donation Drive time – it’s always awkward when we do this – so do keep your eyes on the channel. If we’ve given you a good recommendation here and you think “Oh! That’s good. I’ll get that for that person!” Then please consider chucking us a couple of quid.

The affiliate links above & on our game pages also help, or adding ?tag=shupsido02-20 to the end of the URL bar and pressing Enter to refresh the page before you make your Amazon purchases. It works for all your non-boardgame Amazon purchases as well, and doesn’t cost you a thing! Yay Bezos Bucks! If you have Amazon Prime you can also subscribe to our Twitch to give us more free Bezos Bucks. How To.

That’s my shamelessness gone. For now. Goodbye!