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The Meeple Guild: Gift ideas - Part I

Game gift ideas for couples
Don't overlook a classic game such as backgammon.
YORKTON - When you are a couple, the quiet years before adding children to the household, or that blissful time when children have grown and are their own, you might actually have time to play a board game with your partner. 

So come the holiday season a game you buy jointly can be a really good gift to enjoy for years to come. 

But, what are a few of the better games ideal for couples? 

Well, here are five recommendations to consider. 

To start, do not overlook the classic Backgammon. 

The game is thousands of years old, and that it has lasted through time is testament to it offering something special. 

The game mechanic at play is to roll dice and move pieces in order to be the first player to clear your stones off the board. 

While there is skill involved, knowing which pieces to move and when to move them, but dice rolling is a great equalizer and that can be important to keep a couple happy. 

King’s Cribbage is another great game, one that has edged ahead of cribbage for us, and that is saying something as cribbage has been one of the greatest games in the collection for decades. A nice cribbage board and a deck of cards is excellent for a couple too. 

With King’s Cribbage the best aspects of cribbage are combined with elements of Scrabble to create a fast-paced game which allows for some big score swings. You can be down 30 points and not fret, at least through the first half of the game and there are opportunities to get that back, even on a single turn. 

Just get the points before the board gets too crowded as big points are harder to get as that happens. 

The game plays four too, which is a bonus. 

Several years ago I happened upon a copy of Quixo released by Gigamic in 1995 from designer Thierry Chapeau.  

At the time it wasn’t a game I knew much about but the box top showed it was a game using chunky wooden pieces, which always piques my interest.  

There is something about wooden games that for me hearkens back to an early time, a time before even I was born, when artisans would have crafted games, not some plastic injection machine, and that effort of old intrigues me.  

So for a few bucks I grabbed Quixo, and found it a simple, but fun, five-in-a-row offering where two players are moving those chucky wooden blocks into position to win what is at its heart, a game of Xs and Os.  

The board for Quixo is plastic, but overall the game looks great and is usually left out on the coffee table because it is an abstract strategy game I can get my better half to play.  

And for some fun over a coffee with your partner Quixo is hard to beat. 

Qwirkle is a great-looking game based on getting colourful shapes into rows on a grid to score points. 

The game is simple to learn, and since you pull pieces out of a bag, luck balances skill nicely. 

The game looks nice on the table. 

The pieces are big and chunky to move around. 

The game can play with three and four too. 

And a final suggestion is Kluster. 

Kluster is about placing as many of your pieces – which are magnets – as you can within a defined area before they snap together with other pieces – that are then collected to your hand. You want to be the first play with no pieces left to place. 

The game is fiendishly simple. 

It takes a steady hand, and even then it can be a wonderfully frustrating experience. 

The game is compact, great for some fun at the coffee shop, or when on the road. 

A great couple’s offering. 

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