The 5 Best Board Games You Might Not Have Heard Of

Below I have listed the top 5 board games which would make great gifts this 2010 Christmas, and all of them provide an interesting twist on the plain old board games everyone has played a hundred thousand times. They all combine basic elements of strategy and luck to create unique gaming experiences each time you play. Everyone from teens to adults should try these out – in time I believe their uniqueness will make these bestsellers.


This game is easy to learn, fast paced and relatively cheap. It basically involves taking turns placing landscape tiles to build the old French town of Carcassonne in whatever manner the players choose. From there, you gain points for completing roads and castles, farming fields, and manning cloisters. Again the gameplay is simple and the replay value is high.


Alhambra is a card and tile game, in which you purchace different pieces for your individual palace (or Alhambra) with the currency cards you acquire throughout the game. The twist is that there are 4 different currencies, each only able to buy from one market. This game is also simple to learn and not too taxing on the beginner gamer.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a fantastic strategy game. It is quite complex and difficult to master, but the variety of pieces ensures that you will never play the same game twice. Each player tries to build up their own Puerto Rican colony, through crop plantation and production as well as through buildings and factories that improve the economy. Once you get the hang of this game the replay value is massive.


Agricola, like Puerto Rico, is a very complex strategy game that involves many different resources and cards to give the player nearly infinite unique gaming experiences. Players go through life utilizing occupations, resources and improvements to create the most successful worker family in the game. While quite hard to understand the first time, Agricola is immensely fun and engaging the second through thousandth time.

The Settlers Of Catan

The Grand Daddy of strategy games on this list, Catan involves a risk like style, whereby players attempt to create the most powerful empire in Catan through settlements, cities, road building and resource accumulation. Perfect for those transitional board gamers who are trying to get away from Monopoly and Clue, Catan remains simple and accessible yet engaging and addictive. I know people who, after playing Catan, became hooked on an online version of the game and played hours each day.

All of these games provide solid entertainment for about an hour and a half each time they are played. They are a nice alternative to watching hours and hours of TV or trying to stay awake through another game of Snakes and Ladders.