87 – The Family Gamers Podcast – Granite Game Summit 2018

Granite Game Summit

This past weekend, The Family Gamers attended Granite Game Summit in Nashua, NH. We give you an overview of what we played, plus three interviews with designers and publishers!


But first, congratulations to the winners of our survey giveaway!
The Ecret Family (CA)
The Nelson Family (OR)
Elena in Southern California
The Mercer Family (GA)
The DeVries Family (central MA)

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey. Your feedback has been enormously helpful.

Granite Game Summit

Nashua NH is about a 1.5 hour drive for us. We left right after the kids got out of school on Friday and stayed through Saturday evening. We played a ton of games. Some of the best games at G2S were not part of the “official library”, but brought by other attendees for anyone to borrow.

Asher wanted to play familiar games and sought out strangers to play with him. Claire wanted to try new games but with familiar people. Both of them did leave their comfort zones on a few occasions.

Games that were new to us:

  • Indulgence – a trick-taking game with variable goals (Restoration Games)
  • King of Tokyo – we liked how big this game felt and the fierce competition without a direct take-that mechanic. Great for families, since it’s approachable by kids without feeling like a “kid” game. (IELLO)
  • Lazer Ryders – fun, but better for teenagers or detail-oriented kids (Greater Than Games)
  • Ice Cool – super fun dexterity game. We discuss whether trick shots give it more replayability. (Brain Games)

    Mark Corsey

    A literal house of cards with Mark Corsey

  • Card-chitecture / Deck Construction – a prototype from Mark Corsey
  • Stir Fry Eighteen – only 18 cards, cook the best stir-fry while deceiving your opponents (Yanaguana Games)
  • Pirates’ Blast – dexterity game that uses air puffers to move pirate ships and fire cannons (HABA)
  • Sparkle*Kitty (Breaking Games)
  • Pallina – like the classic game Kerplunk, but with a bit more strategy (HaPe)
  • Super Mario Level Up (USAopoly)
  • Bonk – chaotic game of rolling marbles to knock a larger ball into the goal (not Gigamic, sorry – actually Buffalo Games)
  • Sundae Split (Renegade Games)
  • Anomia Kids – we played right after G2S. Same mechanics as Anomia, but totally accessible for kids. Loved it! (Anomia Press / Everest Games)

Shout out to The Castle (in Beverly, Massachusetts), who ran the Geeky Trivia competition.

Shout out also to Jeff Johnston! He showed the kids both his prototype games (Asher had previously seen them at TotalCon), as well as Deep Sea Adventure. They taught him Sundae Split.

Andrew mentions our experience with damage to our copy of Ancestree. It could have been unpleasant, but the staff at Granite Game Summit and at Calliope Games went out of their way to make it right. Thanks!


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.


Darren Kisgen (Designer of Dragonwood). He designed Dragonwood to have a fantasy-adventure game to play with his kids. There wasn’t anything available that was not too gory, not too difficult, and with a short playtime. Dragonwood is published by Gamewright, and there’s a sequel in development now (working title: Dragonrealm), which introduces area-control. Reach out via @Gamewright on Twitter.

Jim Fitzpatrick (Designer of Mission to Planet Hexx). It was originally inspired by Dr. Who; retro sci-fi where the players travel through space (and time). Once he brought it to Boston FIG, Jim was excited to see that people actually like to play it! Collect 6 hexes to fill your mission file, while building a map of planets & space and playing events to help yourself or slow down your opponents. There are take-that cards, but they tend to be indirect, impacting only one aspect of the game. The best place to find out more information is on Facebook. Jim is also present on Twitter and Instagram.

Jason Tagmire (C-everything-O of Button Shy Games). Button Shy publishes “wallet games”: 18 cards in a small wallet-sized package. Jason and his family assemble every game by hand. They work with lots of different designers and release at least one game each month. Their best-selling games include Circle the Wagons and Avignon: A Clash of Popes. Our current favorites are Kintsugi and In Vino Morte. Button Shy started a design contest to reward game designers for cool ideas, but have gained a lot of games to publish that way. “Designers love restriction,” says Jason. They’ve worked with 30+ different designers to publish games at this point. Many of the games are very approachable and quick to learn, but they’re not all filler games, despite their small size. At their website, www.buttonshy.com, you can buy games individually or sign up for a monthly subscription. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


That’s it for the show! You can always find us here, or on social media:

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