225 – Video Game Gifts with Stephen Duetzmann – The Family Gamers Podcast

Engaged Family Gaming holiday

It may be too late to shop for board games, but you can still get video games (downloaded) in time for Christmas! We ask our own Mr. Video Game, Stephen Duetzmann, talk about the games he would recommend for families this year.

Fact – The Antonov AN-225 is the biggest plane in the world. In fact, there’s only one of them.
And it’s huge. It can carry 250 tons of freight. (that’s 500k lbs).
88m wingspan, 85m long. See it here: fastaviationdata.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/antonov-an-225.jpg

Thanks to First Move Financial for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. If you want some help finding solid footing underneath you, or help finding the right step to leap to the next level, head to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers to schedule a quick phone call and see how First Move can help.

What We’ve Been Playing (Video Game Edition)

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands – This is the 9th expansion for the franchise and it is a huge improvement over previous expansions, especially for new players.

God of War (don’t be fooled – still not child appropriate!!) – Andrew has been thoroughly enjoying this.

If there was a cheat code I could enter that would make it so all the bad guys just said BUTT all the time…


Call of the Sea – if you want to play a game like Myst, this is it (but very creepy) – currently included on XBox Gamepass.

Carto – “the most ‘The Family Gamers’ videogame”. Lay tiles that become the map you explore; change their position to solve puzzles. (Also included on XBox Gamepass.)

We discuss XBox Gamepass and XBox All Access – they’re both a great deal if your family plays any quantity of video games.

What We’ve Been Playing (Board Game Edition)

Pan Am – definitely our top game of the year.

Ticket to Ride: France and an anecdote that shows Andrew is a great gift giver.

Voltage (Mattel) – a great two-player game of making “circuits” and flipping values.

Dungeons & Dragons (mostly using Roll20 to facilitate)

We’re excited for the announcement of new Unmatched sets with Marvel characters. Andrew bought himself Unmatched: Bruce Lee for Christmas and immediately played three times in a row.

Atheneum: Mystic Library (Renegade) – we really like the puzzle and interaction here. Shorter and less overhead than other library games like Ex Libris.

Gem Hens Midgame

SNAP Review – Gem Hens

Nick and Izzy tell us about this imaginative game of chickens pecking up sparkly gems. Can your chicken make the most beautiful Fabergé egg for the tsar?

See more pictures and read the transcript at the SNAP review page.

Video Games Recommended for Families

Much of this comes straight out of the Engaged Family Gaming Holiday Gift Guide for Video Games.

The best and safest option is to buy digital video games. They’re NOT cheaper, but you can buy them any time you want, with no need to step in a store or hope it ships in time.

How to Give a Digital Game as a Gift

Stephen recommends “be fun about it” – download the game(s) to your console on Christmas Eve (you can set this up ahead of time!), and then wrap up something ridiculous with a note. It will be funny and memorable as your child unwraps a package of egg noodles…!

The Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch) – bright and wholesome. Can be played in small chunks of time. Stephen gives tips on how to manage sharing across accounts on a single Switch. The biggest tip: have the most detail-oriented person (maybe mom or dad?) be the “island representative” (first person to play).

Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics (Nintendo Switch) – a collection of classic board games (and yard games). It seems silly, but Stephen assures us that it is “way better than it has any right to be.”

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Playstation) – shorter than the last generation Spider-Man game, but well worth it (if you buy the “remastered” edition, you get the original Spider-Man included!)

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Playstation) – a battle royale game of silly wipe-out challenges. We grabbed it when it was free on Playstation Plus, but it’s well worth the usual price of $20. Rounds are short, it’s fun to watch, and it’s easy to pass the controller between rounds.

For XBox: Buy a Gamepass gift card instead of a game. For $10/month, you’ll give access to hundreds of great games.

Minecraft Dungeons (all platforms) – “What if Diablo, but Minecraft” themed?

Star Wars: Squadrons (all platforms) – spaceships! Not an easy game.

Hades (all platforms) – this is for mom or dad, not kids. Based on Greek mythology, you’re trying to escape Hades. It’s a rogue-lite, so you’re sent back to the beginning every time you die and the runs are randomized. Now that Andrew knows it’s from Supergiant, he’s far more interested.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising (all platforms, including PC/Steam) – as if Pixar made Assassin’s Creed. Exploration, fighting using ridiculous weapons, etc. Language and innuendo make it rated T for teen. Curious? The ESRB summary gives you all you need to know: www.esrb.org/ratings/37283/Immortals+Fenyx+Rising/

Find Stephen Online:

Engaged Family Gaming Community on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/EngagedFamilyGamingCommunity)

Twitter: @SDuetzmann

Find Us Online:

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Or, for the most direct method, email us! andrew@thefamilygamers.com and anitra@thefamilygamers.com.

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The Family Gamers is sponsored by First Move Financial. Go to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers to learn how the team at First Move Financial can help you pile up the victory points.

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