94 – The Family Gamers Podcast – House Rules
House rules! Love them or hate them, everybody has played some games not quite as written. When done well, house rules can help equalize skill levels or make a game more fun. We ask our listeners for some of their favorites.
What We’ve Been Playing
POW! from Gigamic. Build a stable of comic-book villains and heroes, primarily through dice rolls.
Imhotep: Builder of Egypt from Kosmos. Quarry stones, put them on boats, and bring them to various building locations. It feels a bit like a worker placement game, but not exactly.
Dimension, also from Kosmos – speaking of house rules, we do away with some of the bonus points in this game.
Who Did It? from Blue Orange. Every player has pets, and someone’s has pooped in the living room. You accuse other’s pets, and they defend by playing a matching pet, becoming the new accuser. Your kids will love it.
Spaceteam is a cooperative, real time game. Play tools from your hand to defeat “problems” and avoid “anomalies” and pass tool cards to your fellow players.
Organ ATTACK! by Awkward Yeti – a take-that game to play diseases onto other bodily organs and own the last surviving organ. You won’t learn much about the human body, but you’ll learn fancy medical terminology.
10 Days in the USA from Out of the Box – an educational geography-based game. Fairly light but definitely fun and you will definitely learn the geographical relationship between states in the US.
Funky Chicken (with teenagers! not great.) But here’s a great video from Engaged Family Gaming showing a mashup of Funky Chicken and Happy Salmon.
We asked you, our community, what you think about using house rules.
Much thanks to Ryan Gutowski, Ric White, James Correia, Josh Cade, and everyone else who responded.
We talk about rule-shifting frequently. In our family, we tend to use house rules to equalize difficulty among adults, older children, and younger children.
As parents, we need to remember that board games are fundamentally toys, and that means there’s really no wrong way to play with them. As long as everyone is having fun, make whatever kind of rules you’d like! (Just don’t turn Candyland into Calvinball.)
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