102 – The Family Gamers Podcast – The Variety Show

Episode 102 - 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.

Bananagrams for the first time ever! (As we mentioned on Instagram) It’s a great word-building game that’s much more approachable than Scrabble.

Tzolk’in – Andrew loves this engine-building game

Kingdomino as a palate-cleanser after Tzolk’in. Love how speedy it is! (We reviewed Kingdomino about a year ago.)

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.

Downforce – Anitra won for the first time ever. It’s such a fun game – see the review that Corey wrote.

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.”

Ancestree (see our review) – still love it.

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.

Century: Golem Edition (check out Nick’s Century: Spice Road review) – it’s easy to understand, with very straightforward mechanics.

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…

We often talk about different kinds of games. Area control, tile laying, worker placement, deduction, etc. We think it’s important to have many kinds of games, and our listeners do, too.

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!

Find us online:

Facebook: @familygamersaa

Community: thefamilygamers.com/community

Twitter: @familygamersaa
Instagram: @familygamersaa

Please don’t forget to subscribe to the show, tell your friends about the show, and leave us a review at Apple Podcast or whatever your podcast subscription source is.

The Family Gamers Podcast is sponsored by Wild East Games. Find Wild East Games online at WildEastGames.com, or @WildEastGames on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

One comment

  • Peter Ellis

    Greetings Family Gamers

    I think i was one of the people who recommended “Incan Gold” to you. I am sorry it is not the right fit for your family. I will admit that it is not actually one of my “favorite” games. I have been doing a top 50 monthly as an experiment and “Incan Gold” usually does not make the cut. In spite of that I play it fairly regularly and it is staying in my collection. Why? Variety. It is a game that fills some holes in my game collection.

    Some points in it’s favor.
    Compact: The box is small enough to fit in around the bigger games that I am hoping to get played.
    Quick: I once set-up, taught, played, and put away a game of this in less than 25 minutes (which is how much time we had to play before the library closed.)
    Accessible: I have played this with kids as young as 5 and with grandparents. It is a Entry/Family/Filler game that people have fun with, and it plays up to 8 players,

    On “Machi Koro”; I have only played it once, and found I prefer “Valeria Card Kingdoms” which uses a similar mechanism. I will admit that VCK is probably not as good a fit for young kids. I have heard some good things about a new game called “Space Base” which uses similar mechanisms, but I have not played yet myself.

    On “Ethnos”: This was a Cool Mini Or Not game (clearly part of their “or not” line) that was released at Cmon Expo 2017. It was not a Kickstarter. It managed to get a lot of positive hype early in the year ahead the typical May – August convention season. The first printing at this point is sold out. According to the designer there is a second printing “on the schedule” but until then some people are taking advantage of the temporary scarcity.
    While the first round of reviews were positive, there was a second round of reviews where some people had complaints. Specifically a number of people don’t like the amount of “top-decking” (draw top card off the deck) in the game. I personally don’t mind “top-decking” so put it on my wishlist and got it for Christmas. I then discovered that I am not a big fan of “area majority” games.
    So if you are interested I would be willing to sell you my copy at original price of $40 plus shipping.

    And now a game we recently found to play with the 5 & 7 year old grandkids.
    “Daddy Cool” is a press your luck dice game, where a papa polar bear is escorting cubs across ice flows to get them to take a bath. Whoever gets their cub in the bath first wins, but are 2 problems. First you have six dice to roll to find out how far you can move. As long as you roll at least one ice flow you can choose to re-rolling the rest, but if you ever roll zero ice flows then you don’t get to move that turn. Second the ice flows keep shifting and the more turns you spend getting to the tub the farther away it floats. This is a game that kids can handle, but won’t bore the adults.

    “Daddy Cool” is published by HUCH! in 2004
    Designed by Heinz Meister
    Art by Markus Binz and Neuland ID