161 – Boston FIG Fest 2019 – The Family Gamers Podcast

Boston FIG Fest 2019

Episode 161 – Boston FIG 2019

We’re here with interviews from this year’s Boston FIG Fest! We’ll tell you about a few of our favorites, have a SNAP review, then get right into the interviews.

What surprised us about Boston FIG this year?

How much less crowded it felt at the new location. Harvard Athletic Center had a lot more room than MIT.

Andrew was surprised by Starport, a tabletop RPG designed for kids. Beautiful art, but gameplay boils down to rolling a D20 and spending tokens (smart, sneaky, strong, and help). We warched Kevin run a short session for our kids, and it was amazing.

A game called Zaam used sound waves to move pieces around a board. More of an art installation than a viable game, but really neat.

As always, we love talking to people who designed games together with their family, and seeing families support their resident game designer.

Most Wanted game

SNAP Review: Most Wanted

Andrew and Anitra review Most Wanted, a poker-inspired game with a Wild West theme. Can you become the most notorious outlaw – or will you get stuck paying bail?

Read the transcript and see all the pictures on our SNAP review post.

Auction Comics (and Board Game Workshop) with Chris Anderson

Auction off comics and sell them to collectors in this game for 2-5 players. But collecting sets of comics is not your goal – show me the money! Sound interesting? Sign up for the Auction Comics email list.

Chris is also the brains behind the Board Game Workshop podcast. They’re currently running a game competition, but they’re also running a Design Day. Come to Taunton Massachusetts on October 19, either to get help designing your game, or to come playtest lots of games!

Shifting Stones game

Shifting Stones with Evan Raitt

Shifting Stones works like a sliding 9-piece puzzle, but you can flip stones over as well as shifting them. Try to shift and flip stones to match at least one of the cards in your hand. Claim patterns from your hand to score points.

Shifting Stones should be published with Gamewright sometime next year.

Curse of the Pyramid with John and Emerus Herman

A cooperative adventure game that promotes literacy, inspired by the pyramid at Giza.

Lay out cards to build your Egyptian pyramid. Explore the pyramid by gradually flipping over cards. Collect amulets by spelling/acquiring hieroglyphs. Don’t get thwarted by curses! Unlock the pyramid and stop the Pharaoh’s curse!

Emerus liked drawing the cards and researching the spellings for the amulets. But his favorite part to play is collecting the hieroglyphs!

We just like games, and we like having fun, and it blows my mind to look at the table and see people playing our little game.

John Herman

Find out more about the game and get in touch with the designers at JohnHerman.org

Gemstones roll-and-color game

Gemstones with Garrett Sendlewski

Gemstones is a marriage between roll-and-writes and Zen coloring books


Draft a color each round, and color in as many “gem facets” as shown on the dice. “Refine” gems of 5 facets or more, create veins of many gems that connect. Use the rainbow itself, coloring in “opals” (one facet of each color) and a large gem in the corner of the player sheet.

Scoring too complex? Playing with younger players? Just roll the dice, draft colors, and color in wherever you’d like.

Rushmore with Joshua Black

Rushmore: Let’s Get Rocked! with Jeff and Joshua Black

Play cards to create 4-part faces – the best faces can become part of Mount Rushmore.

Joshua has been designing games together with his dad since he was about 7 years old. Check them out on Twitter: @JBFeast.

Starport with Kevin Ferrone

Playing Starport

Starport is a role playing game for kids. Kevin created it for his own boys, starting when they were about 6 years old.

There’s no violence inherent in the game, although you can add it if you’d like. Use your trait tokens (smart, sneaky, tough, helpful) to increase your D20 rolls to succeed at specific actions.

Like many role-playing games, actions in Starport are primarily determined by the game master (or parent). The book allows for additional complexity with pets, equipment, leveling, etc.

There are pre-made adventures in the book, but there’s also a map to get imaginations firing!

Find out more at RPGforKids.com, or look for Starport on DriveThruRPG or Amazon.

LOTS with Zach Connelly

LOTS is a 3 dimensional puzzle game with tetrominos. Build a tower together and get points when you match colors or complete a level. On Kickstarter now, LOTS has already hit its funding goal.

LOTS is simple enough for our 5 year old to play, but strategic plays will be rewarded!

Return from Boston FIG with The Family Gamers

We recorded a short interview with our kids in the car on the way home.

What was your favorite game?

Elliot – LOTS because of the giant foam blocks.

Claire – Flights of Fancy; a game about creating the best craft beer combinations with dice drafting. A multi-layered set collection game, we are excited to see where this game goes!

Anitra – other than LOTS, my favorite was Gemstones. I liked the flexibility in how to choose colors, and how to fill in the gems on your sheet.

Andrew – Curse of the Pyramid was my favorite. I loved the cooperation, where everyone at the table is searching the great pyramid at Giza. Every time you get an amulet, it unlocks a curse, but it also unlocks a door. The more amulets you get, the more risky the game becomes. (Elliot liked the sarcophagus.)

Asher – I have two favorites. Starport, the RPG book, is one. My other favorite is Mechanica. You’re making robots, and you can get upgrades to your assembly line. It’s an engine-building game about building a robot factory.

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