Episode 330 – The Family Split – Multiple Games on Family Game Night

The Family Split - Multiple Games on Family Game Night
The Family Split - Multiple Games on Family Game Night

Does it make sense to split up the family into groups on game night? It can solve arguments, but it also creates some unique challenges.

330 Fact (provided by a show listener): Rickenbacker 330 electric guitar.

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What We’ve Been Playing

Unmatched: Houdini vs. The Genie
KuZOOka – it feels like Liar’s Dice, but cooperative.
Turing Machine

The Monthly Report – January 2023

Andrew: 27 games, H-index: 2. Most played: Star Trek Super Skill Pinball (reviewed this week!) Also Chronicles of Avel, Flamecraft, Jekyll vs. Hyde, Featherlight, Fantasy Realms, Turing Machine, Scribbly Gum.

Anitra: 43 games, H-index 3. Most played: Grove. Also Featherlight, and Turing Machine.

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Anitra and Andrew with Star Trek Super Skill Pinball

SNAP Review – Star Trek Super Skill Pinball

Star Trek, pinball, roll-and-write? Sounds good to us! Although Super Skill Pinball can run a little long, Trekkies will enjoy this game.

Read the transcript or watch the video for this review.

Splitting Up Family Game Night

Can we split up the family for family game night? This topic was suggested by a listener, interested in the unique benefits and challenges of running two games at once.

Obviously, not every family is going to even think about this question! It assumes at least two adults and multiple kids.

Why, in this case, would you want to split into groups? Because including multiple children means you’re dealing with different ages, interests, and skill levels. “The differences between a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old are pretty substantial.”

We want “family game night” to include interaction across the whole family. Which means it is NOT adults at one table and kids at another. But it doesn’t have to be the game itself that brings the family together! It’s the experience that should bring people together – have the tables next to each other, share snacks, take breaks together.

It’s like running a game night with any other relatively small group (under ten people). You don’t want to frustrate people by forcing them to only play games they don’t like, or with wildly different skill levels. This ties into a question we often get, “How do I get my kid to like games?” Answer: you can’t MAKE them like something. You find something they enjoy and you try to keep it enjoyable.

Explicitly change up partners partway through your family game night. Like square dancing!

Stick with games that are easy to pick up and/or drop out (especially with younger kids). Ideally half an hour or less per game. Party-ish games like Root Beer Float Challenge, Tapple, or Similo work really well for this.

Two or more options will make it easier to find agreement… but you might still find an odd person out. All of the same issues will exist, but multiple games can just make it easier to deal with.

Want more about family gaming? Check out these episodes:
292 – Making Time for Board Games
284 – Five Fantastic Family Filler Favorites
90 – Top 8 Games for Multi-Generational Play

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