102 – The Family Gamers Podcast – The Variety Show
As the Family Gamers, we have a wide variety of games on our shelves. We feel that having variety in your collection is very important. But first, what we’ve been playing!
What We’ve Been Playing:
Let Them Eat Shrimp – by the fantastic Dr. Finn (of Herbaceous and The Little Flower Shop).
Deep Sea Adventure – we’ve found that the mechanics are as solid at 6 players as they are at 2 players. Definitely a favorite.
Tea Dragon Society – it’s available now! Expect a review within the next two weeks.
Tzolk’in – Andrew loves this engine-building game
Chupacabra: Survive the Night (from Steve Jackson Games and Haywire Group) – roll your dice for livestock and monsters. Use your chupacabra to eat your neighbor’s animals. Collect all the dice to win.
Monster Match (see our review) – the more we play this, the more we like it for mixed-age groups.
Machi Koro (with the Harbor expansion) – we used to like this a lot. Played a game on a whim and it went really long; almost 90 minutes.
Unreal Estate (from Grand Gamers Guild) – glad we’ve finally tried it!
Flash Point: Fire Rescue (Urban Structures) – we lost on the very last die roll.
Secrets – a hidden identity game. Not bad, but we had fun in spite of the game, not because of it.
Spaceteam – played this twice with some new friends. It’s so fast-paced that they seemed somewhat overwhelmed by the first play, but ready to try again. The whole game is over in 5 minutes. “like Pit, but co-op.”
Super Kitty Bug Slap – Claire’s favorite speed-matching game.
Sushi Go Party – we tried new combinations we hadn’t tried before. The “spoon” card lets you steal a specific card from someone else’s hand, a little bit like Go Fish.
Azul – Anitra and Andrew had both been looking forward to playing this for a while. It’s light, but the scoring was hard to wrap our brains around. We’d be happy to play it again, and we think the kids could easily pick it up as well.
Ethnos – take over regions for victory points. Play sets of colors or “races”. Each race has its own special power that you may be able to use as you play their cards.
Meuterer – German for “mutineer”. You’re on a boat, playing resources and selecting a role. One of the roles available is Captain (who gets extra victory points and controls movement), but another is Mutineer. If you have enough combat cards, you may overcome the Captain and his First Mate, and become the new Captain!
MegaLand (coming fall 2018, exclusively to Target, from Red Raven Games) – the best parts of Machi Koro and Incan Gold, combined. A completely different game than other Red Raven Games (Above and Below, Near and Far). It moves quickly, but there are two distinct phases for each round, which may be confusing for kids who haven’t played a lot of board games before.
Is Variety the Spice of Life?
Well, it certainly adds spice to gaming…
If you limit yourself to only one or two styles of games, you may find as your tastes evolve, that you begin to enjoy types of games that you hadn’t before.
We mention Coldwater Crown (a game about fishing), and it may be a gateway game for a friend of ours who loves fishing but hasn’t been interested in boardgames!
It’s also important to have variety for your kids’ sake. Kids are people, with their own tastes in games, and their taste is likely to change MORE than an adult’s would.
It’s helpful for our kids to have many different games they can play with their friends, too: one set to play with “gamer” kids, and another lighter set for kids who haven’t played a lot of games.
You don’t need to play the same kind of game all the time, anyway! Sometimes you want light, and sometimes you want to play a game that will take 2 hours or more. Green Couch Games was founded on the idea that even filler games can be GOOD games.
Kids tend to favor lighter games and luck-based games, and adults do not. Adults play board games to exercise their brains, not their hands. Or do they?
Listener, what does your game collection look like? Is there a lot of variety or does it lean heavily on just a few styles of games?
Here’s a mission: look for adult-level games that your kids can play! That will add more variety to your collection but serve multiple purposes.
Thanks to Nick Martinelli and Bobby F for your comments!
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