Day Fifteen of The 2023 PopCult Gift Guide sees us recommending gifts that can be fun for the whole family.

Unless some of your family is ultra-competitive and ruins things when you try to play games. In which case, nevermind.

Today it’s board games. Rather newish games, at that, and each of them can be found for under thirty bucks at major game retailers and department stores.

Our choices today include a game based on a movie, a game based on an amusement park ride, and a game borne from the unholy union of two of the greatest board games of all time.

Without any futher ado, shall we play a game…or three?

Monopoly Scrabble
by Winning Moves Games, under licence from Hasbro

Winning Moves Games, the folks who produce a lot of the retro-games for Hasbro, came up with the idea to merge Scrabble with Monopoly. On the surface, it seems like the kind of idea that folks who really, really like to drink too much beer would think of, however the end result is actually pretty fun.

Let’s look at the PR, complete with fancy registration symbols…

Experience the totally unique gameplay of Monopoly® Scrabble®— the innovative game that combines the best elements of the Monopoly® game with the crossword-building play of Scrabble®.

In place of rolling dice to move around the board, players build words and move ahead by their score. Build a word on a premium space and claim a Monopoly® property.

Clever gameplay twists, along with custom Community Chest and Chance cards, keep things moving at a fast pace.

The winner is the player with the highest total of cash and property value when the last letter tile is played.

Contains: 1 Quad-Fold Gameboard, 5 Wooden Scrabble Tile Racks, 1 Bag of 100 Wooden Scrabble Letter Tiles, Tile Storage Bag, 9 Silver-Toned Monopoly Tokens, Deck of 24 Community Chest Cards, Deck of 24 Chance Cards, 10 Title Deed Cards, Monopoly Money Pad (Sixty $100 bills and Sixty $500 bills), and Illustrated Rules. Ages: 8+; Players: 2 to 4

It’s a stripped-down, simplified version of Monopoly, but instead of rolling dice, you move what you get on your Scrabble score. One added bonus is that the tokens included with this game are the classic Monopoly tokens, so if you wanna be the Scottie Dog or the Thimble, knock yourself out.

You ought to be able to find it anywhere games are sold, or you can be lazy and get it from Amazon.

Disney Space Mountain, All Systems Go
by Ravensburger Games

Based, thankfully, on the famous ride at Disneyland, and not on Ric Flair, this game lets you experience the thrilling action of Space Mountain from the comfort of your home.

In this exhilarating racing game, you’ll zoom across space, using wormholes to reach distant Starports. On your turn you’ll roll the dice and move your rocket according to what you roll. The planets, asteroids, and comets you pass can be used to complete missions.

The first pilot to complete their missions wins and reach all five Starports wins!

It’s an exciting racing game based on the classic Disney Attraction for Ages 8 and Up

Contents include: 3 Navigation Dice, 1 Space Mountain Dice Tower, 20 Starport Tokens, 20 Mission Cards, 25 Mission Marker Tokens, 5 Starport Standees, 16 Encounter Tokens, Galaxy Board, Fuel Gauge, Fuel Marker, 4 Rocket Movers, Rules.

You ought to be able to find it anywhere games are sold, or you can be lazy and get it for half the list price from Amazon.

Adventure X: Jurassic World
by Playmonster

Okay, this one is a hybrid of a board game and an escape room, and it’s pretty much a single play game. But it’s a very novel concept, and it is based on a hit movie.

As part of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, you and your team members work to track down dinosaurs around the globe and transport them to Biosyn Sanctuary where they can live freely. You pilot a cargo plane that can carry dinosaurs as large as a T.rex. Your Mission today is to deliver three rare dinosaur eggs to Biosyn Valley in the Dolomite Mountains. You look at the portable incubator in the seat next to you. These eggs must be pretty special…

When you begin your adventure  you’ll find that AdventureX is a collaborative dinosaur-themed board game that has an unfolding 3D game board as part of the box.

You will follow clues and solve puzzles to unfold the layers of the game as you journey to get your dinosaur eggs to safety.  Share information and work together. You can refer to the hint card and use the red filter on the Satellite Radio to reveal more hints.

This one-time mystery board game can be played only once with 1 to 4 players and for kids ages 8 and up. It’s really more of an elaborate puzzle than a game, but it can be loads of fun for a family, especially if the kids in the family love Jurassic World.

The game comes with everything you need to complete your mission including an unfolding 3D Game Board with Hidden Puzzles, Satellite Radio Decoder, Plane Instrument Panel, and 39 Cards.

At thirty bucks, it might seem a little pricey for a game you only play one time, but that’s less than taking four people to most movies, so if you think of it that way, it’s not so bad.

You ought to be able to find it anywhere games are sold, or you can be lazy and get it (at full price) from Amazon.