140 – Build Me Up, Buttercup – The Family Gamers Podcast

Building Games: Tournament of Towers, Castellan, Sprawlopolis, Supertall, Machi Koro, The Stars Align

Episode 140
Build Me Up, Buttercup!
(Building Games)

We just got Tiny Towns in the mail, and it is rekindling our love for games where you build something. We talked with Peter McPherson a few months ago and Andrew has been hyped to play his game! We did a live unboxing video the day we received it, and immediately played a few rounds after the kids went to bed that night.

What We’ve Been Playing

Besides just Tiny Towns – although we’re already trying variations here. Can’t wait to play it with the kids!

Fire in the Library – Andrew had a much better time than his previous play. Press-your-luck games can be tough because they can swing wildly. It helps to realize that in this game, your odds get progressively worse as the game goes on.

Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark – Andrew has played it several times now, and we haven’t even opened our own copy yet (oops!)

Shadows in Kyoto – a 2 player game of hidden information. Move your spies across the board and try to capture your opponent’s “real” intelligence or force them to take your “fake” intelligence.

Pyramid of Pengqueen – feels a little different as a 2 player game. The “treasure hunter” gets two penguins to move, to keep the mummy from being able to lock down on a single area.

Deblockle – we played several times in a row one night. It’s quick and thinky.

Wisdom of Solomon – a worker-placement / area control / resource management game with classic euro art (very utilitarian). Theme: Israel during the reign of Solomon. We started with trepidation (Bible-based games aren’t always good) but really enjoyed it.

Unlock: The Formula – Anitra feels the secret is to just play for fun and don’t be stingy with hints.

Anitra played some Rolling America with her special tray in the car. Looking forward to spending less time waiting in the car when summer comes.

Asher beat Anitra in her favorite, Imhotep. We couldn’t be more proud.

Elliot (4) is getting the hang of Kingdomino. With a little help, he beat Anitra too!

Banagrams is good with kids who are fluent readers. “Everything that Scrabble should be – just about fitting words together well.”

Tiny Ninjas battle

SNAP Review: Tiny Ninjas

Let Anitra and Asher tell you about this two-player battle of cards and dice. Check out the post for pictures and full text.

Building Games

We like building things! We’re taking a lot of liberty with this idea, but centering around creating a “structure” you can see throughout the game.

We asked for input and got some confusion from our listeners – we’re not really looking at engine building or deck building. Although “Engine Building: the engine builder” sounds like a fantastic idea – somebody make it!

  • Tiny Towns, naturally…
  • Best Treehouse Ever
  • Tournament of Towers (our review)
  • Tokyo Jutaku – Andrew wonders if every box has the same pieces, since the wooden pieces are so shaped so oddly.
  • Ticket to Ride – build a train network
  • Tesla vs. Edison and Power Grid – building an electrical grid
  • Imhotep – “builder of Egypt”
  • Supertall – build towers in this 18-card game.
  • Sprawlopolis and Circle the Wagons – build your city or your boomtown
  • Kintsugi – work together to build (repair?) beautiful pottery.
  • The Grimm Forest – an odd edge case. The goal of the game is to build three houses! But that’s not really the focus of the game.
  • Through the Ages – “empire building” ?
  • Catan – create a network of buildings and roads
  • Barenpark – build the bear park (our review)
  • Quadropolis
  • Flip City (our review)
  • City Square Off
  • Castellan – an area control game where you build as you go
  • Carcassone and many other tile laying games

Suggestions from our listeners:

  • Above & Below (also Megaland and Near & Far)
  • Sprawlopolis
  • Catch the Moon
  • Menara – I guess this means Rhino Hero qualifies as a building game, too!
  • Galaxy Trucker – build a spaceship!

Our Favorite Building Games

Andrew’s favorite: Barenpark

Anitra’s favorites: Sprawlopolis and Castellan

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This episode of The Family Gamers Podcast is sponsored by Breaking Games. Check out their games Order of Invention and The Stars Align:

Breaking Games: Order of Invention

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