113 – The Board Game Spotlight with Derek & Lizzy Funkhouser
Is episode 113 the episode of Funk? No, it’s the episode of Funkhouser! Derek & Lizzy Funkhouser run a social media community called “Board Game Spotlight”.
They have been called the “Carebears”, because their rule is to be nice, even in disagreement. They want to make a friendly, inclusive place on the internet for all board gamers. It’s ok not to like a game, but we won’t allow that to divide us.
Derek and Lizzy run The Board Game Spotlight full-time, so they have lots of scheduled events. They livestream 3x/week evenings (Monday, Tuesday Wednesday), and usually 1 or 2 daytime (Thursday morning with an interview, Friday mid-day).
They also just launched a podcast! As of this airing, they have done two episodes. Find the links at the bottom of this post.
Unlike The Family Gamers, where we try to talk mostly about games that are currently available, Derek and Lizzy get really excited by Kickstarter. So The Board Game Spotlight does a lot coverage of Kickstarter games in their videos.
Playing games with kids
Derek & Lizzy also have a one-year-old son (“Sebzilla”). What’s their advice for how to play games when you have young children?
The short answer? Naptime and bedtime. (The best time to play games with your spouse.) It’s a balancing act, because that alone time is precious.
But if you have slightly older children, there are a ton of great games you can play with them: Splendor, King of Tokyo, HABA games, Azul, etc. Your kids will surprise you with the games they are interested in playing – as Derek found out first-hand when his five-year-old nephew beat him at Azul.
MegaLand from Red Raven Games is a great family game (our review). Derek thinks that Villainous is simple enough for a 8 or 9 year old to pick up the rules.
We say: pay less attention to the recommended age range on the box. Look for the amount of reading required and the playtime (since younger kids don’t have “stayability” for long games).
Andrew recommends Scarabya, a new release from Blue Orange Games, as a great game for kids. Not a lot of sitting around and waiting for people to do things. (Review coming soon!)
Kingdomino is another great game for kids (as we’ve already said in our review).
Above and Below
We discuss our recent plays of Above and Below (as mentioned last week). Derek enjoys a lot of Red Raven Games, but prefers Near and Far.
We enjoyed the game a lot, but Andrew was annoyed by the reputation track. It seemed random; you make a decision in the caves and hope it’s a good choic. Above and Below is a great resource management game (we know because at the end of the game you just want to play one or two more turns), and the randomness was a little frustrating, as it took us out of the narrative theme.
We discuss the possibility of adding a little flavor text after an encounter to explain the after-effects (why you just received resources or gained/lost reputation).
We all enjoyed the above and below aspects. Derek tells us they made the system better in Near and Far. Because we had played MegaLand first, Anitra understood right away the “unique items” for better income and a higher score.
Andrew is a little concerned about replayability, since in just two plays we ran into the same narrative sections once or twice. However, with modern games, many give you the “full value” after only playing 4 or 5 times. We compare Pandemic Legacy and Charterstone, which both guarantee at least 12 plays if you play all the way to the end.
Derek explains that in Near and Far, you use the storybook as a map. Move your characters, build camps, fight bandits, and then come back to town to gain resources.
Why the Board Game Spotlight podcast?
Engage more of the audience. Not everyone enjoys watching videos. Derek used to do a lot of writing, and had gotten away from that when they started doing more videos.
They brainstormed with James Hudson and decided that a podcast would help showcase their personalities and reach out to a segment of their audience that doesn’t really enjoy watching videos.
The plan is for it to be about an hour, showcasing industry news, general entertainment, and short interviews.
Find the Board Game Spotlight online:
Facebook page: @BoardGameSpotlight
Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BoardGameSpotlight/
website: coming soon to boardgamespotlight.com
And find The Family Gamers online:
Until next week, PLAY GAMES WITH YOUR KIDS!