The 2022 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide

A festive hello, Dear Readers! It’s time for that great annual tradition where I curate some excellent games to gift those special someones in your life. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 12 years since I put together the first Holiday Gift Guide and many of you have been here for all 12 years. That’s amazing.

I’m so thankful for those of you who have returned to revel in some holiday cheer – and thankful for those of you who are new to the tradition! Get cozy, put on some Vince Guaraldi, and enjoy. Happy Holidays and Happy Gaming!

Best Game for Your Favorite Spatially-Gifted Multi-Tasker

Puzzle games can be hit or miss for some, but for my family and friends it doesn’t quite feel like the holidays without some brain teaser hitting the table. Q•Bitz delivers that puzzly goodness while also looking great on the table, which is what makes it such a nice little gift. In the game, each player has a tray and 16 wooden cubes covered in designs. Each round you’ll flip over a card with a specific pattern each player has to recreate using the wooden cubes as fast as they can. The real fun is in the variety of play in the three rounds. In the first round, players are free to grab cubes, rotate them, and place them as they like. In the second round, players must continually roll their cubes like dice, looking for the appropriate designs to recreate the pattern. The third is a game of memory – look at the pattern card for ten seconds and then try and recreate the pattern as close as possible. Yes, this game definitely suits players who have great spatial and memory acuity, but most players find that they excel in at least one of the rounds. It’s frantic boisterous fun, sometimes filled with a few expletives, so be sure to keep your vocabulary in check when the kids are competing lest Santa writes your name on the naughty list.

Q•Bitz is a game for 2 to 4 puzzle lovers by Peggy Brown for MindWare. It retails for about $30 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store.

Best Game for That Friend Who’s Seen Twister 87 Times
Storm Chasers: The Game

I’m not going to lie, I’m that friend who’s seen Twister 87 times. I love that movie, I love extreme weather, and I love this game. In this real-time dice-rolling game (don’t be afraid) you play as leader of a team of, you guessed, it storm chasers who are trying to research extreme weather under extreme circumstances. Each round, lasting three minutes, players continually roll custom dice that allows their team to move around the board, encounter weather systems, and commit dice for research that can can be used to complete objective cards when the team returns to a research station. The true challenge? One player each round controls the big twister, trying to catch the teams in its suck zone. If the storm catches a team, the storm player spins a tornado top and the player(s) trapped inside can’t roll their dice until the tornado dissipates (the top stops spinning). It’s madcap fun with great components and all for a great price – perfect for adding some cyclonic chaos to your Christmas.

Storm Chasers is a game for 2 to 4 weather wizards by Dan Halstad from Buffalo Games. It retails for about $16 and you can find it online here or at a physical Target store (it’s an exclusive).

Best Game to Move ‘Em On Up From Ticket to Ride (Just Kidding)
Twilight Inscription

This year’s gift guide features three roll-and-write games because, well, they’re the hotness – and no other roll-and-write is quite as epic in scale as this one. Suitably enough, Twilight Inscription is set in the universe of Twilight Imperium, an epic gaming experience in its own right. Each player takes on the role of one of 24 unique factions, all with variable powers and abilities, in a bid to become the greatest empire in the galaxy. Players use resources from custom dice and variable event cards to manage their empire’s progress in Navigation, Expansion, Industry, and Warfare on four hugemongous player sheets. As you can expect, managing a galactic empire isn’t exactly an easy task and it’s going to take some time – usually around 2+ hours for each game. For those looking for an incredibly immersive and unique game that let’s them scribble furiously with dry erase markers, you’re going to make their year with a whole universe to explore and conquer under the tree.

Twilight Inscription is a game for 1-8 galactic geeks by Anders Finér, Tomasz Jedruszek, Alex Kim, and Stephen Somers from Fantasy Flight Games. It retails for about $65 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store.

Best Game to, Yet Again, Keep Uncle Joey Away From the Track
Long Shot: The Dice Game

Racing may not seem like a holiday staple for some, but for this gift guide the theme certainly is, whether it’s cars, camels, or horses. Long Shot: The Dice Game is an adaptation of the original Long Shot, a satisfying betting game full of excitement and just a bit of treachery. In the game, players will press their luck buying and betting on horses, while the dice randomly decide which horses move along the track and what actions are available each turn. You’ll manage all these actions on a dry erase sheet which actually makes this Long Shot: The Dice Game: The Roll-and-Write Game, but that title was probably a bit long – and this coming from the guy who published VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game. What can I say, I love games that use lots of colons. You’ll certainly press your luck while playing Long Shot, but you won’t be pressing your luck when you pick this up for friends and family who are fans of betting on the ponies.

Long Shot: The Dice Game is a game for 1 to 8 racing revelers by Chris Handy from Perplex. It retails for about $30 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store (maybe).

Best Game for Cousin Timmy That Can Find Waldo in 2.5 Seconds
MicroMacro: Crime City/Full House

As the gift guide title hints, MicroMacro is a bit like Where’s Waldo? except if Waldo was fleeing from a bank heist and it was up to you to figure out how he did it as well as discover his whereabouts. Players will gather around a huge city map teeming with charming cartoon characters, all with intriguing stories to tell. Some of those characters will be be part of a crime that needs to be solved, revealed by a series of cards that give clues for players to figure out while pouring over the map. If everyone involved works to piece together the clues and successfully answer all the questions at the end of a case, the city is safe – until the next crime! Younger players with keen eyesight will be especially good at this engaging puzzler. As for me, I needed a magnifying glass (included with the game) – but that only made me feel a bit more like a classic sleuth, squinting for clues.

MicroMacro: Crime City is a game for 1 to 4 discerning detectives by Johannes Sich from Pegasus Spiele. It retails for about $28 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store.

Best Stuffer for the Stocking

It’s been a little while since Dice Hate Me Games released a new title, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole catalog of awesome titles from previous years still in print. Microbrewers condenses its bigger Euro brother Brew Crafters into a tiny but still satisfying experience, filled with beer-making goodness. Just like in Brew Crafters, players manage a local brewery, using a hand full of cards to hire specialty workers and install necessary equipment to brew the best beer and become the brightest in the city. Microbrewers was previously released as Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game, and some of you may already have that in your collection. But it’s worth noting that this edition adds a few alternate cards and some rules updates, so if you enjoyed Brew Crafters: TCG it may still be worth picking up this fun and extremely portable stocking stuffer.

Microbrewers is a game for 2 to 4 brew crafters by Ben Rosset from Dice Hate Me Games. It retails for $9.95 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store (hopefully). 

Best Game for Families That Like Puzzles, Cryptids, and Cute Things
Block Ness

The phrase “toy factor” gets tossed around quite a bit when it comes to board games; sometimes they just happen to look more like toys than games. That’s certainly true with Block Ness – it looks a bit like a toddler’s learning puzzle at first glance. But behind that colorful, toy-like facade lies an adorable little abstract that is perfect for families. In the game, each player has 12 plastic pieces that make up segments of their lake monsters. Players take turns placing a piece on the lake board, then moving the monster’s head or tail to the end of that piece. The trick is avoiding other players’ monster segments so that they’re not blocked in; players can cross another segment only if their segment piece is taller than the other pieces it crosses. The game ends when only one player is left unblocked or until everyone has placed their segments, with the player who has the fewest pieces in reserve the winner. Kids and adults alike will love the toy factor and easy of play, making this game an easy way to invite some cute cryptids to your Christmas.

Block Ness is a game for 2 to 4 lake monster lovers by Laurent Escoffier from Blue Orange Games. It retails for about $27 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store. 

Best Game About Gardening for Those Without a Green Thumb
Three Sisters

Three Sisters is the final game in this Holiday Guide’s roll-and-write trilogy, but it is by no means the least. One of the crunchiest in the roll-and-write stable, this game is all about backyard farming, centered around the indigenous technique used for centuries that incorporates pumpkins, corns, and beans (the titular “three sisters”). Players manage their backyard bounty each round by drafting dice which are rolled, grouped by number, and placed on the action board. Actions can involve planting crops, watering crops to make them grow, composting (later used to adjust die values), tending to your apiary (gotta save them bees), gathering fruit, and beefing up your shed with useful tools. To say that Three Sisters has an abundance of choice would be like saying that the Empire State Building is kinda tall – the words just don’t suffice. Three Sisters was designed by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle of Fleet and Fleet: The Dice Game fame (among many others), so you know that pedigree means quality and fun. The weather outside may be frightful, but you can share the joys of spring and summer when you give this gracious gift of gardening.

Three Sisters is a game for 1 to 4 backyard boardgamers by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle from Motor City Gameworks and 25th Century Games. It retails for about $30 and you can find it online here or at your Favorite Local Game Store. 

Best “Gift” for That iOS-Addicted Relative
Marvel Snap

Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re already familiar with the hotness that is Marvel Snap. It’s only been all over everyone’s social media for the past month, and people are absolutely insane for this game. Although it’s not an adaptation of an existing board or card game, it plays like one – sort of like if Smash-Up and Magic had an addictive little baby full of superheroes, supervillains, and mutants. The quotation marks around “gift” in the title is because the game is free, which makes it pretty easy for you to afford and wrap. Just tell them Santa recommended it.

Marvel Snap is from Second Dinner. You can learn more about it here and download it for multiple platforms. 


Although I provide convenient links to buy many of the games in the gift guide online, I highly encourage all of you dear readers to shop at and support your local game store. Without the heroic efforts of the intrepid brick and mortar store owners, the hobby wouldn’t be half as amazing as it is today. Here is a list of Dice Hate Me-approved local game stores that I have either visited or have been helpful to me and the hobby. If you’re near one of these, buy there and give small business owners a warm glow this holiday season!

Don’t forget to check out previous Holiday Gift Guides below – there are 11 more years of great gift ideas!

Related posts:

  1. The 2020 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
  2. The 2016 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
  3. The 2018 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
  4. The 2019 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
  5. The 2015 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
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