Board Games

Published on December 30th, 2015 | by Carli Spina

Fun Tabletop Games of 2015

Whether you are looking for a new game to play during your upcoming days off, a gift for the holidays, or new games to add to your library’s game collection, here are five interesting new tabletop games that debuted this year. The list includes a variety of types of games, number of players, and age groups, so there is a little something for everyone!

codenamesCodenames – This has been a very popular new release this year, which means that it may be tough to track down a copy, but it is worth the effort. In the game, there are two spymasters who know the codenames of their side’s spies. Their objective is to get their teammates to guess these codenames faster than their opponent. The game shares some features of Taboo, since players have to come up with single word clues that connect as many codenames as possible, but the added element of risk that comes with needing to avoid the other team’s spies and the hidden assassin make the game more complex and suspenseful. It works with two to eight players and can be played relatively quickly, so there is enough flexibility to make it a versatile game. Great for playing in the library with small groups or loaning out.

Flea Market – At the start of this game, everyone is given a specified amount of money and some dice. As gameplay moves forward, players take turns becoming the Auctioneer and the other players must roll their dice to determine whether they can purchase the items up for auction. Everyone’s goal is to find treasures on the cheap so they can be resold at a profit with the first player to earn $45 winning. This is a game for three to five players and anyone eight or above can play, so it would be a nice addition to any children’s game collection your library may have.

221B Baker Street – This is a bit of a cheat since it is also a 40-year old game, but since it is a personal favorite andbakerst a new edition was released in 2015, I thought I would include it. In it, players move around Sherlock Holmes’ London, collecting clues and trying to beat their opponents to solve a mystery. There is lots of reading and deducing, so be sure to break out your deerstalker cap! Though the gameplay is definitely a bit longer than many popular games, this game has a lot to offer. Players get to use their strategic and investigative skills and the mysteries are complicated enough to keep even serious mystery readers guessing. It is good for older children and adults and can be played with two to six players. This is a great game for mystery fans and Sherlock Holmes fans. It is perfect for any Sherlock Holmes birthday parties you are planning for January or for displays that highlight mysteries or classic literature.

Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game – Portal and Portal 2 are two very popular video games that have not only appealed to video game enthusiasts, but also to educators who have developed curriculum materials that make use of the game. If your community includes many Portal fans, this boardgame is a sure hit. Created by members of the same team that created the original video games, the gameplay and objectives of this game are made to fit with the video game. Players move test subjects through testing chambers with the goal of earning prizes, including the illusive cake. And, of course, trying to eliminate their opponents test subjects along the way. This game is designed for two to four players. It is a great option for Portal fans of all ages, and offers a fun way to have Portal-related programming even if you don’t have the ability to load the game on your library’s computers.

werewolfOne Night Ultimate Werewolf: Daybreak – A new release in the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series, this is a standalone game that assigns each player a hidden role that informs their choices throughout the game. The game is designed for three to seven players, which makes it a great game for groups of patrons either at events or just in the afternoons at your library. Better yet, if you already have One Night Ultimate Werewolf at your library, you can combine the games to accommodate up to ten simultaneous players.

Hopefully one of these games will be a perfect fit for your library! If there are other games that have been very popular at your library, let us know on Twitter @CCGCLibraries.


About the Author

Carli Spina is an emerging technologies and research librarian at an academic library. She is a big fan of graphic novels, young adult and children's literature, and popular culture and writes about these topics for several blogs including the Horn Book's Lolly's Classroom blog and YALSA's The Hub blog. You can find her on Twitter as @CarliSpina or on her website at

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