80 – The Family Gamers Podcast – Fun and Games
What makes a game fun? Andrew and Anitra explore this topic. Although many games are enjoyable, we are trying to call out games that are fun in the moment.
What we’ve been playing:
Match Madness – a neat but hard puzzle game. It contains five different levels of difficulty, and we’ve tried several ways to compete while using different difficulties.
Contact – a verbal game requiring at least three players. A summary of the rules we used. This would be a great car game! Stretch your brain to give clues that other guessers can use, but that the word-holder won’t figure out in time.
A variation of Intrigue (see Board Game Geek), a game of negotiation, bribes, and area control.
Concept – a word-guessing game where the clue-givers use iconography to indicate a primary concept and sub-concepts (as needed). We love the scoring mechanism here: two players are giving the clues, and everyone else is guessing. Successful guessers get 2 points and successful clue-givers get 1 point. The clue-giving “team” rotates each round.
Ancestree – We are loving this game. Expect a review soon.
Top Trumps – we tried two variations: Mischievous Cats & Shopkins. This is a modified War card game that does use a bit of strategy. There are lots of variations, including several educational decks.
Video games too: Horizon Zero Dawn for Andrew, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for Claire, Mario + Rabbids and Seedship (free online text-based game) for Anitra. We digress for a few minutes on the topic of tutorials or other “help” to get through a video game.
Our listeners suggest a few games that their families think are the most fun:
Loony Quest (CORRECTION: not made by Looney Labs, oops!)
We’d love your opinion. What makes these games fun for your family?
We Like Fun
What makes a game fun? While there are no hard and fast rules, (otherwise there would be very few “fun” games), there do seem to be some guidelines. We are aiming for the games where we can’t ever remember somebody saying “can we be done yet?”
- Fast-moving, or everyone involved on every turn
- Player interaction (either in-game, or allowing for fun side conversations)
- Not too hard (“too hard” varies depending on the group) – mechanics are easy to understand and explain.
- group dynamics (party games for larger groups or rowdier groups, but maybe role-playing or heavier strategy for a small close-knit group)
- Preferences come into play. Pay close attention to what kinds of games your friends (or your kids) love. That can help you pick games that will be fun for everyone.
Pre-viewing a game and really understanding the rules/mechanics will be a huge help for the rest of the players to have fun!
Examples from our own library: Dicey Peaks (suggested by Claire), Fluxx (also from Claire), Potion Explosion, Ancestree, and most party games, including Anomia and Sushi Go Party. Lastly, Kingdomino; it’s fast-moving, easy to learn and play, and have satisfaction with what you built whether you win or lose.
Something we missed? Let us know on the show notes.
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This week’s music is “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” by Tomoyasyu Hoteiu, covered by You Bred Raptors? from Astoria, NY.