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Castle Perilous owner says board games make great holiday gifts

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Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale is pictured.

Board games 2022

Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous Games and Books in Carbondale, holds some of this year's most popular board games.

Looking for a gift that is sure to fit and might even lead to quality family time with memories to last beyond the holiday?

Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous Games and Books in Carbondale, said board games may be the perfect answer.

From classics such as Risk and Monopoly to more recent favorites including Catan and Ticket to Ride, Thorne said board games build relationships while providing fun.

“There’s nothing that compares to sitting across the table from friends and family and engaging with one another,” he said. “Games are a great way to bring everyone together during the holidays.”

Thorne said the return on money spent on games is significant, as each game can provide hours of interaction and memories. He added that a wide variety of games are available ranging from games of luck (with outcomes dictated by rolls of the dice or the drawing of cards) to what he calls “hobby games.”

“A hobby game is a game that relies much more heavily on strategy than it does on dice rolling,” he explained. “A lot of the mass market games rely a lot on chance, but in a hobby game, while there is some element of chance, you may be in a situation where you have to decide how to use the card you drew or what to do. You have more control.”

The appeal of most games is that they provide "old-fashioned" interaction – getting people off of their phones, said Sydney Rather, manager at Castle Perilous – with the exception of one of the year’s hottest games, Alice is Missing.

“Alice is Missing is a great way to have a board game experience, even with people who might not be able to be together physically in one location,” she explained. It’s a game you can play through your phones where the scenario is a local girl is missing and everyone’s texting and gossiping about it trying to find her.”

Thorne said in the game, players each take a role in the hunt for Alice, but communication among players is limited to text messages.

“It’s for people who love texting and the text generation,” he said, adding the game has been so popular he has had trouble keeping it in stock.

The game Wingspan has been a frequent purchase for several years Thonre said. In this rummy-like game, players try to collect sets of birds and attract the best birds to their property. He said the game has great artwork and an expansion pack featuring Asian birds recently was released. Betrayal at House on the Hill is a game where players work together until about halfway through game play, where one player turns on the others.

Games released in recent years such as Night Cage, Pandemic and Sushi Go remain bestsellers. In Sushi Go, players grab card ingredients to make the best sushi dish possible, earning points for their combination. Thorne said older games such as variations of the classic battle game Risk also remain popular.

“Games make great gifts because you draw people together around the table and you get hours of fun and a sense of accomplishment,” he said, explaining that board games start at $10, so they fit most budgets.

Americans find joy in the holiday season. Buzz60’s Keri Lumm shares the results of a new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Dutch Bros. 

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