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A family-friendly gift: Board games

Various board games.

These board games make for a great family (or friends) gift: Gather everyone around, and let the fun begin. Prices can vary dramatically depending on where you buy, so shop around.

Zen-filled fun

A simple, Zen-filled game for the family that takes travelers down a historic road in Japan. The winner takes the most interesting journey in “Tokaido” — stopping along the path to meet strangers, enjoy panoramic views and donate coins at a temple. $29.49. amazon.com

Power up your monster

 
"King of Tokyo" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

A clever take on “Yahtzee,” but it’s life or death! In “King of Tokyo,” monsters deal damage with “claw” dice or roll “hearts” to heal. Amass energy points to buy special cards that can power up your monster. Fun for all ages. $43. amazon.com

Stop the outbreak

The game “Pandemic” has you work with teammates to cure four deadly diseases and stop outbreaks from spreading to more cities. This thrilling game won’t always end in victory, but when it does, you’ll feel like you saved the world. $27.98. amazon.com

Inspire the imagination

 
"Dixit" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Looking for a “Pictionary” replacement? This is it. “Dixit” comes with a set of surreal and beautiful cards that inspire the imagination. A storyteller gives a clue to induce players to pick the right card. $29.99. amazon.com

Howl at the moon

 
"One Night Ultimate Werewolf" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

This bluffing, party game for up to 10 people encourages lies and suspicion as villagers and werewolves try to outsmart one another. Each player is secretly assigned a role — including the drunk and the troublemaker. “One Night Ultimate Werewolf” comes with an optional audio app that guides you through the game. $12.21. amazon.com

Make some noise

 
"Clank" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Hunt for treasures down the depths of the dragon lair, but how deep you are willing to go? In “Clank!,” your strength grows as you acquire more and better cards. The more noise or “clanks” you make, the more likely the dragon will come after you. Run to the surface or push your luck in search of more loot. $40.93. amazon.com

Anxiety-inducing run

 
"Escape the Curse of the Temple" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Stressful, hectic and loud. “Escape: The Curse of the Temple” comes with an anxiety-inducing soundtrack that runs the duration of this 10-minute dice game. Everybody’s on the same team — which means everybody wins or everybody loses. Work together to escape the temple before it collapses. $44.93. amazon.com

Deny your rivals

 
"7 Wonders" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

You’re an ancient civilization trying to impress the world by building one of the “7 Wonders.” This fast-paced game of strategy for up to seven players lets you draft the best cards while denying your rivals. $44.97. amazon.com

Pretty cool...

 
"Dice Forge" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Players customize and swap out removable dice faces to make them more powerful over time. How cool is that? “Dice Forge” is unique and easy to play. $32.94. amazon.com

Deceptively brutal

 
"Evolution Climate" Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

“Evolution: Climate” is easy to teach, but deceptively brutal. This dynamic game involves serious strategy to outsmart your opponents as you evolve your species to survive weather changes and carnivorous predators. $49.85. amazon.com

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