Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeonology
Dungeons & Dragons can be intimidating for new players of any age, but Dungeonology tries to demystify the tabletop classic. It's a large, kid-friendly book full of illustrations, dazzling fold-out maps, and other interactive elements, and it helpfully breaks down the D&D experience and universe into approachable chunks.
Templar Publishing/Candlewick Press, $25
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
With the new Second Edition release, Mansions of Madness integrates a smartphone or tablet companion app and becomes faster and more compelling in the process. The Lovecraftian horror game is much easier to learn now, and the essential app both adds atmosphere and streamlines the experience to great benefit.
Fantasy Flight Games, $100
Your tabletop gaming group might get pretty raucous, but your characters will have to stay near-silent in Clank! Renegade's deck-building adventure finds each player's hero attempting to steal precious loot from a dungeon, but get greedy and/or create too much noise and the dragon will deal out swift punishment.
Renegade Game Studios, $60
Scythe more than lives up to the hype from its $1.8 million Kickstarter campaign: This was the best new strategy game we played at Gen Con, and blends elements from European worker-placement games with an area-control classic like Risk. The alt-history, "1920 Battle of Warsaw with mechs" aesthetic is sharp, too.
Stonemaier Games, $80
Codenames is the hottest party game around right now, and The Broken Token continues that reputation as a tabletop player's best friend with the official Codenames Organizer. Not only is it built to house both the main game and expansion set, but it even comes with an exclusive add-on card to expand the spy-themed sensation.
The Broken Token, $15
Head back to Polygon’s 2016 Gift Guide hub.
Header illustration: Alice Carroll