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Geeking Out – 2022 Christmas Gift Guide and Giveaway

Ah, yes, December, when we look at the year’s highlights and, of course, give you the chance to win stuff (like, so much stuff) that we think would look good under any tree.

We have games, toys and books galore this season, with plenty of goodies thanks to our chums Hasbro UK and Asmodee UK.

Below you’ll see some of our favourites from the year, along with mini-reviews of each and links to the full reviews. We’ve categorised them by who we recommend them for – we’ve even got a Secret Santa suggestion or two!

There’s a bit of overlap, so use your judgement :)


GAMES (BOARD, CARD AND MINIATURES)


Best for… Nerdy, IP-loving Geeks

Harry Potter fans… Stupefy! (reviewed HERE) – A ridiculous (riddikulus?) shouty game of wand waving and dueling for all ages.

Star Wars (Classic) fans… Star Wars Rebellion (reviewed HERE) – A massive, immersive game that places you as the Empire or Rebels telling your own Star Wars Saga.

Star Wars (Prequel/Clone Wars) fans… Star Wars Pandemic: The Clone Wars (reviewed HERE) – Using the Pandemic engine to show the Separatists’ droid armies overrunning the galaxy and facing down villains in lightsaber duels may seem unlikely but is a sure-fire winner.

Marvel fans… Marvel Champions LCG (reviewed HERE) – Use your favourite Marvel heroes and build custom decks to face off against a host of classic foes, great as a solo or co-operative experience. Yes, it was on last year’s list as well and, no, I don’t care.

Batman Fans… The Dark Knight Returns (reviewed HERE) – Although it’s a solo outing, this truly immerses you in the pages of Frank Miller’s classic.

Dune Fans… Dune Imperium (reviewed HERE) – Wormsign spotted! Part deck-builder, part worker-placement, all Arakis!


Best for… Couples

Splendor / Marvel Splendor (reviewed HERE) – The esoteric game of medieval jewelery design, along with its infinity gem reskin, may seem an unlikely premise but is a tense and deceptively simple game that’s sure to lead to divorce.

7 Wonders: Duel (reviewed HERE) – Probably the best 2-player game on the market; highly focused, completely brutal and utterly devious.


Best for… Families

Dixit (reviewed HERE) – Charming, whimsical and abstract, Dixit revels in storytelling and allows players of all ages to have a genuinely satisfying shared experience.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey (reviewed HERE) – Remarkably, the streamlined version of the Days of Wonder classic is just as playable as the original yet completely accessible to kids and adults alike.


Best for… Solo play

Viticulture Essential Edition (reviewed HERE) – The newest edition of the original Stonemaier is an absolute classic, but is profoundly satisfying as a solo worker placement as well.


Best for… Novice (but keen!) gamers

Wingspan (reviewed HERE) – It’s so mainstream it’s been on Corrie!! The beautiful game of ornithological collection continues to delight

Akropolis (reviewed HERE) – Quarrying stone to build an ancient city has never been as exciting! A great entry game with some surprisingly subtle (and cutthroat) tactics!


Best for… Veteran Gamers

Brass: Birmingham (reviewed HERE) – If you want to pit your wits against a modern heavyweight masterpiece, then this is the game for you: the industrial revolution in exquisite microcosm.


Best for… A Mixed Ability/Experience Group

Red Rising (reviewed HERE) – Stonemaier’s hand-management gem requires a lot of thought to master its deceptively simple core mechanics; this is a seriously challenging and thrilling game that will push gamers of all abilities, with readily scaleable difficulties through the different Houses.


Best for… Miniature Gamers

Firefight (reviewed HERE) – Perhaps the best entry-level one-box miniature gaming experience on the market, everything you need to play Mantic’s fast, furious game of sci-fi combat is simply an absolute belter.


Best for… Miniature Painters

Marvel Crisis Protocol (reviewed HERE, and pretty much every other Geeking Out!) – As well as being one of the most popular miniature games on the market, the core box still features some of the best hard plastic figures out there.

Harry Potter Miniature Game (reviewed HERE) – Yes, this a bit of left-field choice but the simple fact is that, as scale models from movies go, these are frankly unbeatable quality.


Best for… a Big Box Deluxe Treat

Carcasonne – Complete Edition (reviewed HERE) – One of the true classics, this luxurious compilation includes an array of the best expansions and looks darn pretty on the shelf to boot.


Best for… Secret Santa

Love Letter: Jabba’s Palace (reviewed HERE) – Simple, straightforward and ruthless, as you battle it out to secure Jabba’s favour: my kind of scum.


Best for… Retro Gamers

Heroquest (reviewed HERE) – The classic dungeon crawling board game rerelease still stands up as tremendously accessible and family-friendly gaming delight – a step up from Cluedo though!


Best for… Teenagers (whether they’re gamers or not)

Unlock! The Escape Room Game (reviewed HERE) / Unlock! Star Wars Edition (reviewed HERE) – Geeky or not, everyone it seems loves an Escape Room, and Unlock! is an app-driven belter.


Best for… Non-Gamers

Bagh-Chal (reviewed HERE)  – Help keep alive tradition with Nepal’s ancient game of goats and tigers; accessible, but with a strong social message too!


TOYS & FIGURES


There’s been some amazing releases from Hasbro this year. Whether it’s the retro perfection of the pocket-sized treat that is the new Legends and Vintage ranges (reviewed HERE), or the Action Figure gems that are rolling out of Star Wars Black Series (reviewed HERE) and Marvel Legends (reviewed HERE).

Couple that with some amazing cosplay-ready replicas that guarantee all ages fun, especially helmets such as Boba Fett’s Helmet (reviewed HERE)  and Lord Drakkon’s Helmet (reviewed HERE.)

Or, how about checking out a couple of these brand-new treats just in time for Xmas?

Power Rangers Dino Knight Morpher

RRP £39.99 | Ages 5+

The Dino Knight Morpher is inspired by the Dino Fury TV programme, worn by the Red Ranger when he upgrades his powers! It has lights and sounds, is motion reactive (so it responds to kids’ movements), and includes a Dino Knight key that unlocks even more morphinominal sounds! 

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther Legacy Collection Wakanda Battle FX Claws

RRP 38.99 | Ages 5+

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther Legacy Collection spotlights one of Marvel’s most historic and iconic characters! Children can dress up as Black Panther and pretend to save the world against Wakanda’s enemies! Gear up with these Black Panther Legacy Wakanda Battle FX Claws and get ready for action play by performing the Wakandan Salute, and activating left-hand claws, lights and sounds.


BOOKS


We’ve not really touched on geeky reads this year, but I couldn’t let the year bow out without a couple of recommendations from Aconyte books. As an English teacher (and occasional parent) IRL, I know that it can be desperately difficult to engage certain types of readers – but Aconyte’s range of IP-fiction is a great way in.

They have a huge range set in different gaming universes – everything from Computer (e.g. Assassin’s Creed) to board (e.g. Terraforming Mars) to Card & RPG (e.g. L5R) – and there’s no denying it’s great to delve deeper into the fluff behind your favourites. However, for me (and more importantly, my kids), it’s the Marvel tie-ins that are the real treat.

Sometimes, a good way in is the novelisation of the comic or a more in-depth look at a set of events, and the likes of Triptych: Marvel Xavier’s Institute explores fan-favoutire character’s like Fantomex in an engaging, accessible way.

Equally, there are times when you want to delve deeper into something that’s never been fully explored – that’s where the Marvel Untold line comes in, such as Dark Avengers: The Patriot List. 

Of course, you could always go REALLY retro with a dash of Choose your own Adventure, in the Marvel Multiverse Missions Adventure Gamebook such as She-Hulk Goes to Murderworld or the frankly hilarious (if a little bit more grown-up) You Are Not Deadpool.

Whilst I’m a massive advocate of the benefits of comics and graphic novels for impacting youth literacy, there’s no denying the appeal and impact that the Aconyte range can have.


GIVEAWAY TIME!


So to fill you with festive cheer we’ve tried to give you something for everybody, whether it’s smallfolk, grown-up goodies, or overgrown kids.

Here’s what you can win:

BOARD GAMES – Splendor

MINIATURES – Sentinels MK4, Red Skull & Hydra Agents, Harry Potter Gryffindor First Years, Professor Quirrell

TOYS – Legends Megatron, Power Rangers Dino Knight Morpher

ACTION FIGURES – Marvel Legends MODOK (what, it’s not a toy, it’s an action figure, blithering imbecile!)

BOOKS – Fantomex: Xavier’s Institute

That’s over £300 of festive fun! Thanks once again to the brilliant folk at Hasbro UK and Asmodee UK, particularly Ellie @ Hasbro and the guys at Asmodee – massive supporters of the blog and the site as a whole. You guys, quite frankly, rock.

So to win, just let us know: what are you hoping to find stuffed in your stocking this season? Let us know in the comments!

And remember to Like, Comment and Share across your socials (FB, Insta and/or Twitter) tagging us @bigcomicpage & @games_with_graven to bag yourself a bonus entry! UK only unless you’re willing to fork out the postage, alas.

As ever, we’ll do the draw at the start of next month – but don’t forget to pop back mid-month, where we’ll be taking a look ahead to 2023 and Star Wars: Shatterpoint, the new 40mm sci-fi character skirmish game coming in 2023 from Atomic Mass (and of course, blag a contest bonus entry too)!

And finally, the winner of our Marvel Champions LCG Giveaway is… Ross McLatchie!

Congratulations! Remember to get in touch with admin@bigcomicpage.com within 30 days to claim your prize!


The Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
Article Archive: Geeking Out
You can follow Sam on Twitter and Instagram


25 Comments on Geeking Out – 2022 Christmas Gift Guide and Giveaway

  1. Would love splendour or books 📚 😍

  2. Iain McDonald // December 21, 2022 at 8:27 am // Reply

    Hoping for some MotU Battleground from Santa.

  3. Michael Campbell // December 20, 2022 at 4:30 pm // Reply

    A nice copy of Dune Imperium would be lovely thanks Santa.

  4. Anton Sandström // December 19, 2022 at 10:56 am // Reply

    Definetly some more mcp models

  5. Andy Oldfield // December 18, 2022 at 7:22 pm // Reply

    Would love some more MCP or Battletech this Christmas

  6. darthtater77 // December 14, 2022 at 8:38 pm // Reply

    Don’t think I will be getting much if anything, but in the new year I’d like to grab either the new Warcry or the Streetfighter Miniatures game!

  7. Lego Bowser might be too big to fit in my stocking but I’ll take him!

  8. Gofur Hunter // December 6, 2022 at 4:23 pm // Reply

    As always, I want more MTG, but I’d also not be disappointed with minis or good quality new brushes.

  9. I’d love to see Obsession or Meadow: Downstream in my Christmas stocking.

  10. Really hoping to wake up to frosthaven stuffed inside a massive stocking on Xmas morning 🙏🙏🙏 or any expansion to MCP collection would still keep me happy!!

  11. Anything to expand my Marvel Crisis Protocol collection and a Sagitaur from the new 40k Leagues of Votann.

  12. I’m hoping for some Votann this year, or Amazons for Blood Bowl.

  13. Honestly this year I would love to get some marvel crisis protocol minis. Been trying to get my younger brother into painting/ tabletop gaming with me and he really enjoys the idea of hydra as a faction so that red skull would be an awesome Christmas gift. That modok has been at the top of my wish list a while now, so I’m hoping for that for Christmas! Merry Christmas and thank you for your generosity and information on this page!

  14. theamazingmrg // December 6, 2022 at 9:28 am // Reply

    Sadly, Christmas us always disappointing on the geek front. It’s like my family think I’ve got too much stuff, but how ridiculous is that? Too much? Never…. (He says as he files away the 8 RPG books that arrived yesterday…)

    I’d really like to receive some Legion, MCP, or Arkham Horror LCG stuff though. Those collections need completing!

  15. Ross McLatchie // December 6, 2022 at 9:22 am // Reply

    I’m hoping to venture into the world of Marvel Minature Painting with Crisis Protocol. Merry Christmas!

  16. Lego Optimus Prime is my nerdy ask this year; combines 2 iconic, favourite properties for me

  17. Anton Sandström // December 6, 2022 at 6:46 am // Reply

    Definetly hoping for some x-men to mcp!

  18. Gavin Watson // December 5, 2022 at 11:32 pm // Reply

    A dark chocolate orange is all I need to feel christmas has been served 😁

  19. Hoping for a big MCP haul!!

  20. I am hoping to find some dungeons and dragons books failing that a chocolate orange 🤣

  21. Some MESBG minis.

  22. Steven Cavanagh // December 5, 2022 at 9:44 pm // Reply

    Would love a nice Army Painter Speed Painting set under the tree this year… or more batman, or 40K…infact loads of stuff!!

  23. Wingspan Asia so I can give it to my geeky husband, I’m really just hoping for shoes 🤷

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Geeking Out 2023 Preview – Star Wars Shatterpoint, Deck-building, Marvel Madness and beyond! – BIG COMIC PAGE
  2. Geeking Out – New Year, New Mutants (and more!) – BIG COMIC PAGE

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