This week’s podcast, we talk to Brian and Jill Bollinger from Wild East Games. We have mentioned their games Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm and Pitman in previous episodes. They have a new expansion for Pie Rats, out on Kickstarter now.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time for board game presents! If you’re wondering what to get the gamer(s) in your life, we can help. » Read more
It’s time for another interview! This week, we’re talking to Jason Kotarski from Green Couch Games. Their new game Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun is on Kickstarter now.
You love gaming so much that you want to go to a convention. Your kids love gaming, and you want to bring them too. What should you know? A good convention experience starts with good preparation, and that goes double when there are children involved.
Welcome Stephen Duetzmann from Engaged Family Gaming this week! Since EFG has already released their holiday gift guide, we decided that Stephen would be an excellent resource for our listeners. We present our top ten(ish) video game purchases for your family this holiday season.
What We’ve Been Playing
We all loved Boston FIG, and re-visit a few of the games we first mentioned on our post-BFIG episode. King of the Hat reminds Andrew a little bit of a game called Gang Beasts (another over-the-top brawler game, but not as appropriate for kids).
Anitra has been playing more BOO, a great game for $5. See our review.
Stephen asks about Dairyman, which we really enjoyed (and reviewed).
Speaking of fighting games, our kids have not yet tried Street Fighter on our SNES Classic, but they love Super Punch Out. Stephen gives some excellent advice on how to introduce Street Fighter (or similar fighting games) to children or anyone who hasn’t played them. Start with move, jump, and ONLY ONE attack button that you all agree on (ie. “heavy kick”). This will teach strategy and positioning, and gives opportunities to learn fighting skill without having to grasp the special moves (ie. fireball).
Andrew’s first try on the SNES Classic was Starfox. Anitra’s was Mario Kart.
Bob Ross Art of Chill – it’s a game that is “mechanically neutral, and therefore relies on its theme”.
Top Ten Video Game Gifts
Toys-to-life: most of them are well-designed for kids, and the older styles are aggressively marked down, making them an excellent deal – as long as you don’t need the online features. Our favorite is Disney Infinity; Stephen’s is Skylanders (Superchargers version). We’re not a huge fan of LEGO Dimensions; it’s much more expensive even though it has been discontinued.
LOVERS in a Dangerous Spacetime: an excellent co-operative game, and no one player is dragging the other(s) along. Note: LOVERS is an acronym, and the spaceship is powered by the “ardor reactor” and the power of love. The actual characters are cute bunnies/frogs/etc. ($15)
SNES Classic (mentioned above). An excellent value for the money, and it will introduce your children to video game history. Nearly all of the games included were groundbreaking when they were first introduced and have stood the test of time – true classics. ($80)
Nintendo Switch: it’s an excellent time to buy it. Between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, this is an excellent buy for your kids. A home console that is also a handheld seems too good to be true, but it really does work and is sturdier than it looks. ($300 + games)
Note: if you have Amazon Prime, you get 20% off pre-ordered video games. What a deal!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: among other things, it has accessibility controls that actually make it possible for a 2 or 3 year old to really play! This may be added to the Smith family Christmas list, even though we already have Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU. Especially since with the Switch, you and your kids can play it anywhere. ($60)
Splatoon 2: A great way to introduce a third-person shooter to your kids, without any of the PvP violence usually associated with shooters. And it will help your kids develop the skills they will want when they grow up and want to play Call of Duty. ($60)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: A turn-based strategy game. Not a great introduction, but great for moms & dads who grew up playing Final Fantasy Tactics, XCom, or other heavy strategy games. It’s a challenging game, but also inviting. Not for everyone, but perfect if you enjoy strategy games and would like to be able to play in front of and with your children. ($60)
Rocket League: if your kids want to play something that looks more grown-up. Adults and older kids can hone skills; young kids can have fun driving up the wall and bouncing the ball around. ($20-60 depending on platform)
If your kids are getting old enough that they really want to play Call of Duty, Gears of War, and other M-rated shooting games, you could compromise with one of these T-rated games instead.
Star Wars Battlefront 2: You are a clone trooper or rebel trooper. The dead just give off sparks. This version introduces a single player story mode, but the first version ($20) is also good. TURN OFF VOICE CHAT in multiplayer. ($60)
Overwatch: cartoony, but some blood. Avengers-style heroes battling. Another T-rated shooter. TURN OFF VOICE CHAT. ($40)
Horizon Zero Dawn: story-driven. This would be the compromise versus Assassin’s Creed Origins. There are some bloody parts and some language, (rated T for a reason) but the rest is killing robot dinosaurs. ($50)
More game suggestions:
Minecraft: The only reason why we haven’t gotten Minecraft for our kids is because it’s so hard to stop once you start, and we limit our kids’ screen time. Educational, creative… if you haven’t heard of Minecraft, we’re not sure what else to say. ($20-30)
Cuphead: It’s basically an old-school cartoon made consumable in the form of boss battles. Tamer than some Bugs Bunny cartoons, surprisingly! It’s really hard, but simple to learn. Failure is built-in but obvious; if your kids can handle a game with a lot of failure, it could be a great option. Rated E10+ (mild language, fantasy violence) Also note that it is a Microsoft title, therefore exclusive to Xbox ONE and PC. ($20)
We hope you enjoyed the show and it gave you some ideas for your holiday shopping! Whether you liked the show or not, we would love your feedback. Leave us a comment on the show notes, on iTunes, or your podcast catcher of choice.
Until next week, play games with your kids!
We’ve been looking for games that capture some of the spooky feeling of the Halloween season, without being too scary or too difficult for younger children. We cover four of our favorites, recommendations from our listeners, and give the run-down of what we’ve been playing.
We have a great Halloween-themed game to share with you this week. Dennis Michael Sawyers from Amber Palace Games joins us. His game Scream or Die is a family-friendly dice game for 2-8 players. » Read more
We’ve been doing dice game reviews, and we’ve got dice on the brain this week! Listen as Andrew and Anitra each list their top 3 dice games.
It’s our favorite time of year! We discuss our favorite games from Boston FIG, with special guest, Corey Lagunowich. Then, listen to interviews from the show floor with Andrew.
It’s been quite a week! We define a handful of board game terms (what’s a meeple?) and talk about lots of games we’ve been playing. Andrew describes his recent cooking experiment “FOR SCIENCE” and we share a big announcement!
Aditya Batura is co-founder and CEO of Codomo Inc., a technology education group based in Singapore. They teach children about programming at an age-appropriate level, and wanted to bring that to a larger community.
Enter Potato Pirates, the game that “teaches 10 hours of programming in 30 minutes”.
Sometimes you just need to buy a game in person, whether it’s because you don’t want to buy online or because you need to pick up a last-minute present. We share with you our top games that we found at our local Target store.
This time we have a special guest in the studio! Our friend Liz Kelley is a staff writer for The Family Gamers website, but she’s also a teacher. Since school starts this time of year, we wanted to talk to her about something special: she coaches the board game club at her school.
What We’ve Been Playing:
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Our listener Nick M (@ShredDemon) tweeted us a selfie with Andy Geremia!
His highlights include:
Fireball island from Restoration Games was the most exciting news for me. (Remake of Fireball Island circa 1986. Molded plastic board with tiki idol in the raised middle. Periodically spits out “fireball” marbles that roll down the mountain, knocking over pawns or destroying bridges.)
Santorini & 5 Minute Dungeon both sold out on the first day at GenCon.
(5 Minute Dungeon: cooperatively escape a randomized dungeon – in under 5 minutes. Use the cards in your hand to fight monsters and the final boss.)
Century: Golem Edition – Plan B’s popular Century: Spice Road, re-themed. Manga-like illustrations, beautiful crystals as currency.
HABA Tiny Park – basically Barenpark for kids!
Slide Blast (FoxMind) looks fun.
Everyone was tweeting about Clank! In! Space! Still a deckbuilder, still traverse the board trying not to make too much noise. Board fits together like a puzzle. More compact than the original Clank!
Welcome to Dino World – PnP roll and write game. Build a dinosaur theme park, and try to avoid having too many “incidents”. James O’Connor (Stellaris Games), illustrated by Beth Sobel (Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, World’s Fair, Coldwater Crown, Viticulture, etc.)
Photo contest – http://www.gencant.com/2017-photo-contest-winners/
This week’s interview is with Chris Anderson, a board game designer (Blue Cube Board Games) and host of The Board Game Workshop podcast.
As we mentioned last week, we’ve been camping! We talk about several camping-themed games from Education Outdoors.
We are not here. We are camping! No electricity means no computers, no microphones, no podcast. We will be back next week with a great episode centered around games to play when camping, of course.
We’ve brought Andy back on the show to talk about two new games he has coming out now from FunWiz (a division of FoxMind), Brew Dice and Sports Dice: Baseball.
We are all about teaching our kids (and others) to play games. But how do you teach skills that are integral to good game-playing: concepts like logical deduction, planning ahead, and making strategic choices? With games, of course! We highlight our top 5 games to teach game-playing skills.
It’s an odd-numbered show, so that means we have a guest! This week, it is Chris Nichols, inventor of The Card Caddy. The Card Caddy was born of necessity; when Chris’s son was younger, he wanted to play Uno everywhere. The cards were always getting mangled by rubber bands, or slipping out of the crummy paperboard box to scatter everywhere.
We discuss the features of the Card Caddy. It is a hard plastic case that protects your deck of cards, but once opened, it converts to a discard tray. There is a hole in the center, with a bevel that will hold a poker chip. You can keep a first-player token there, and also use the hole to see which game you are keeping in the case.
The goal of the Card Caddy is to make it easier to play cards anywhere you want. Andrew and Anitra relate the struggle of playing a card game (Anomia) while waiting in the airport.
At the beginning of 2017, Chris ran a Kickstarter campaign to begin producing a double-capacity Card Caddy, as well as accessories:
- A storage box to store dice or tokens with your cards
- The connector / scorepad – keep two Card Caddys together in your bag. Open it up and use the Cribbage-style pegboard to keep score.
- Dice tower (still in design)
- Card shoe (still in design)
The Card Caddy is designed to be very sturdy and heavy-duty. Chris dragged one behind a golf cart to help demonstrate the kind of abuse that it can take!
If The Card Caddy sounds interesting to you, we are partnering with Chris to give six away! Check out the giveaway on our website.