Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in Mr Bezos' hat. Wait, is that how it goes? The biggest problem with Black Friday is frankly buying stuff you don't need: every year I seem to end up with something daft that I bought just because it was cheap, which goes in a drawer never to be seen again (hello to last year's smart lightbulb).
- All the best Black Friday PC gaming deals right now
What I tend to do now is use it to get a head-start on the family Christmas, because I know roughly what I'm spending on each person, and one of the gifts I regularly buy people are board games. I've always loved board games, and now I have kids spend a lot of time digging out games that they can play with me. I look for that sweet spot some games hit where, after a brief run through the rules, you can play with a 10 year old.
Here are some of the best Black Friday discounts on board games that I reckon you'll get a lot of use out of. Most are focused towards playing with the family, but there are a few near the end more suitable for bigger kids and adults (aka the biggest kids).
The best Black Friday board game deals
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle | 2-4 players |
$49.90 $34.99 at Amazon (save $14.91)
This is one of my eldest's Christmas gifts (thankfully she doesn't read PC Gamer). She adores the books and has recently finished them, and what really jumped out at me was that this is structured as seven different card sets that mirror the structure of the books and become progressively more difficult. Best of all, it's a co-operative deck builder that I can play with her, and second-best of all is that it's 30% off.
Disney's Villainous | 1-6 players |
$39.99 $20 at Amazon (save $19.99)
I've been waiting on a discount for this one for a while, and snapped it up at 50% off which is by far the largest I've seen. It's an asymmetric board game that's easy to learn the rules of and, crucially when it comes to my kids, has that mischievous flip on the Disney universe at its core. Come Boxing Day, I shall be roleplaying Captain Hook.
Ticket To Ride | 2-5 players |
$54.99 $30 at Amazon (save $24.99)
Now we are seriously talking. Ticket To Ride is an amazing game where you build train routes across the country, and a 45% discount is as good as it gets. I play this with my eldest regularly and, even though I bought it at a much higher price, it was worth every penny.
Scrabble Junior | 2-4 players |
$16.99 $9.99 at Amazon (save $7)
Skewing a bit younger now, but Scrabble and Clue are probably the only two 'classic' board games I enjoy with my kids, and when I bought Scrabble Junior a couple of years ago it was an instant hit. Kids five and up can get their heads around this and, best of all, the board can be flipped from a simpler variant to a more advanced version of the game as they get more comfortable. At 41% off this is an excellent stocking filler (even if it wouldn't fit in a stocking).
Catan Junior | 2-4 players |
$34.99 $25.99 at Amazon (save $9)
"My unpopular opinion is not liking Catan" says PCG hardware editor Jacob Ridley, which is why he's over there fiddling with RTX 4080s and I'm looking at this deal thinking "OMG Catan with pirates?!?" I love Catan and, while I would say the big boy version is probably too advanced for my kids right now, I've found Asmodee's simplified versions of their games to be great at keeping the heart of the experience, while making it easy enough for younger players to wrap their heads around.
Wingspan |1-5 players |
$65 $46.99 at Amazon (save $18.01)
This isn't really one for the kids, teenagers will probably be fine, but it is one of the best recent board games there is and this is as low as I've seen the price. It's a wonderful competitive card game where, basically, you all play birds and try to become the king of the birds.
Dominion | 2-4 players |
$49.99 $39.99 at Amazon (save $10)
Look, I don't play this with my kids, and 20% isn't the biggest discount you'll ever see. But Dominion is my absolute favourite deck-building game, and one of the board games I genuinely return to over the years. If you've never played this, and have a partner or friend you could get interested, give this serious consideration: maybe as a 'me' gift. After all you've worked very hard this year.
Alien: Fate of the Nostromo | 2-4 players |
$29.99 $14.69 at Target (save $15.40)
Definitely not one for the kids but this is a brilliant adaptation of the Alien experience onto the board, as daft as that may sound, and a decent discount too. You play the Nostromo crew members and try to do various missions while avoiding the Alien hunting everyone down. This is a really well-made game with beautiful pieces and, best of all, when you've learned the ropes you can add Ash, the nasty android boi, to make everything that tiny bit tougher for the meatbags.