126 – 2019 Goals and Resolutions – The Family Gamers Podcast

Episode 126 - 2019 Goals and Resolutions

Happy (almost) New Year! We’re back to doing “regular” shows after our PAXU blitz, and it feels good.

Games Given and Received for Christmas:

IceCOOL (which we had before we received IceCOOL2 from Brain Games for review! Argh!)

Mole Rats in Space – a nice cooperative game from Peaceable Kingdom. Draw cards that determine what you’re allowed to do on your turn. Not a lot of room for error, which makes for a good cooperative game. We found it a little easy, but there are additional challenges we’re looking forward to trying.

Lots of EXIT and Unlock! boxes.

Cosmic Run Regeneration – we mentioned this when we talked to Dr. Finn’s Games at PAX Unplugged.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (for Nintendo Switch) – had a great time playing this on Christmas Day with most of the extended family.

LEGO Incredibles (also for our Switch)

Kinect RUSH – to replace the old version for the Xbox 360 that our kids liked but had a really tough time with (due to buggy 360 Kinect implementation)

Andrew’s favorite moment was making his sister cry. The whole family pooled our money to buy her a nice 3D printer.

What We’ve Been Playing:

Smallworld – we can see why this is a classic example of an area-control game. We ended up only playing 4 rounds because it ran very long, but we’re willing to try it again.

Kingdomino – Anitra played this with our youngest. So cute. Not really about keeping score, but it’s interesting that understanding the strategy does not require understanding the math.

Jumanji – we played this after watching the original movie (which holds up surprisingly well! We love Robin Williams). It’s not a great game, but we played semi-cooperatively, as the game was intended, and had a decent time with it. (Don’t play it as a take-that game! Flip The Table tried that and most of the players ended up miserable.)

Movie Time (a Slight Digression)

We watched A Wrinkle in Time. It was a fantastic theatrical spectacle, but it wasn’t a good representation of the book. There were a lot of decisions that didn’t make sense and took away from the cohesion of the story told in the book. The kid who played Charles Wallace did a wonderful job, though.

If you want a movie spectacle… watch Mary Poppins Returns! This was a lot of fun. Emily Blunt was fantastic.

Back to the Games!

Potions Class – a cute little game from Button Shy which we’ll review soon. Not a favorite, but a decent ultra-portable game for two players.

Ticket to Ride New York – we picked this up right before Christmas. We played with the grandparents and Asher. Anitra says it felt very much like the original Ticket to Ride, but shorter. Andrew got destination tickets that were unobtainable and spoiled his experience. We don’t know yet whether that was a fluke or a normal problem in the game. The components (taxi cars and board) did feel rather cheap, but on the other hand, it’s a cheap game.

Dinosaur Tea Party – another one played with the grandparents. It brought non-gamer stepmom out of her shell; by the end of the game she was asking questions and using funny accents like everyone else. Something to add to Nick’s review: this is a tough game to approach for a player that gets sensory overload, because there is SO MUCH to look for. Eventually, you can learn what to look for and what to ignore, but that’s a learning process.

Get the MacGuffin – a light silly game from Looney Labs. A fun 5-minute filler that works well anywhere from 2 players to 11 players. Makes for a great restaurant game.


Dave mentions a few of his favorite games for 5 players (Dixit and Spyfall). Along with Concept, we think these feel like team games but with enough rotation that an odd number of people aren’t a problem.

Dwayna asks how other parents make time to play games with their kids during the rush of the school week. We have one or two nights a week where the family is free in between dinner and bedtime, which makes a good time for games.

Another follower thanked us for recommending Ancestree as a gift for her family: it even got her 3 teenagers playing!Robots and Rockets LIGHTSPEED

SNAP Review: Robots & Rockets LIGHTSPEED

Nick and Izzy tell us about this colorful rocket-launching game. See the summary and pictures on our SNAP review.

(interstitial music: “In Dulci Jubilo” from Barry & Beth Hall)

NEW! Board Game in the Middle

Which one of the following games has the middle BGG rating (1-10)?

Smallworld, Jumanji, or Kingdomino?

Tell us on our Facebook page, and stay tuned for the answer next week!

New Years Board Game Resolutions

Happy New Year! We’re playing board games on New Year’s Eve, but what are you doing on New Year’s Day? Are you making New Year’s resolutions? Ever thought about making one related to boardgames..?

We asked our community about their plans, goals, or resolutions regarding boardgames in 2019.

Examples: “Buy less”, grow a boardgame meetup group, do a 10×10, 5×5, or 20×5 challenge. Do an alphabet challenge (one game for each letter of the alphabet). Reduce the “shelf of shame”. Play the games that I’ve only played once.

What’s a 10×10 challenge? The first number represents a number of different games, and the second number is how many times they’re played. For a 10×10, that’s 10 different games that you’ll play at least 10 times each.

See Art of Boardgaming for help on completing YOUR board game resolutions for the new year!

Anitra’s 2018 resolution was to record all boardgame plays on BGG. It’s been super helpful in recording the show, and also interesting to look back on statistics. She plans to continue this for 2019.

Andrew is ambitious, of course. His goals include:

Complete a 5×5.

Cut the “shelf of shame” in half, and cut our to-review pile by more than half. The base goal is to stop the games from overflowing off our shelves. (This resolution is good for you, the listener!)

Andrew has an idea for a game that he’s been talking about for about a year. In 2019, he wants to make a prototype and start playtesting.

Additional goals: Andrew plans to go to Dice Tower Con, Anitra plans to go to Origins, and of course we’ll go to Boston FIG and PAX Unplugged again.

We’re hoping to raise funds so we can afford to go to these conventions without paying for it out of our regular family budget. If you want to help, check out our PodPledge. For even $1/month, you can get some fun stuff and become part of the Family!

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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.