It’s time for the festival of lights! In the depths of December, Hanukkah comes along as a celebration of hope, community, and of course the miraculous oil that kept the original menorah lit for eight days and eight nights. Whether you light candles, put up sparkly fairy lights, or try to beam away your Seasonal Affective Disorder with a special blue lamp, I think we all need a bit of brightness in our lives this time of year. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy these games celebrating light, but they can certainly make your Hanukkah nights!
One of our most popular games all year round is Hanabi, which takes its very name from the Japanese word for fireworks. The players work together to put on the best possible firework show, but your own hand of cards is hidden! It is a game of memory and deduction, as players may only communicate via certain hints in order to place the perfect set of fireworks as a team. It’s a great party game for the young and old; quick and easy to learn, but also something you can play over and over. Pandemonium only has the Deluxe version in stock at the time of writing, but we expect more copies to arrive very soon if you're looking for a last minute gift.
Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky also involves fireworks, as well as decorative floating lanterns. Unlike Hanabi however, here the players are competing against each other in order to best please the emperor; the harvest festival is coming up, and everyone wants to be the artisan who did the best job of lighting up the night! Lanterns Dice is an easy game to learn, based on pattern building and (naturally) dice rolling, all about bright colors and clever planning. If you're looking for a bit more depth, check out the expansion. And no matter what, remember to brighten and beautify the sky!
From the past to the future, our next game is Farlight! Light is more important than ever in the vast darkness of space. The players set out to explore and build upon distant planets, bidding for necessary resources to create their colonies. Most important of all, they must conserve and manage their supply of light! Take on missions for your personal space agency, strategize about where to place your tiles, and be sure to keep everything lit up brightly.
If both the past and the future are too mundane for you, enter the world of the mythological with Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. When a god steals the stars from the sky, new constellations must be created out of lanterns with the help of magical phoenixes. The first phoenix to create a seven-star constellation will have the eternal gratitude of the entire world! Tsuro is in fact a whole series of games, so if this one is your new favorite, there are also a few more to discover, like Tsuro of the Seas.
May those who celebrate it have a happy Hanukkah, and may everyone keep a light burning through the darkness of winter!
Written By: Mira G.