Tips and recommendations to help you enjoy games with your family; at any age, skill level, or player count.
How do you play games with your children without drowning in the monotony of Candy Land? How do you introduce your children to video games responsibly?
Join Andrew and Anitra as they discuss gaming as a family with their three children. Listen to stories of their past, their successes and failures, and learn from their experiences.
Mix this in with some giveaways, commentary about new stuff on the market, and a couple of interviews and you have The Family Gamers Podcast!
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239 – James Hudson, Skybound Games – The Family Gamers Podcast
This week, we welcome James Hudson, friend of the Family Gamers and part of Skybound Games publishing. Also, it’s become tradition – James on the ’39s! He was on episode 39 and episode 139, so why not 239 as well?
You may have noticed we opened the show a little differently this week. That’s because our fact this week is about a band out on the west coast. Playing guitars, banjo and cello, the band is called Trillium 239. You can check out Bullwinkle, the song you heard, and more at trillium239.com.
Sponsor message: Did you know that 401(k) you have from an old employer may be getting weighed down by fees? If you want help looking at your 401(k)s to make sure you’re not overpaying, go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to set up a time to chat.
What We’ve Been Playing
Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games) – our review. Highly recommended for family play – an area-control game that just works.
Fruit Passion (Eagle Gryphon) – basically a memory game, but approaches it in an interesting way, building up stacks in front of you that you aren’t allowed to re-examine.
Maglev Metro (Bezier Games) – pickup and deliver (pick up passengers & drop them off) with an engine-building flair. Pick up robot passengers to upgrade your personal train board.
Pebble Rock Delivery Service (Skybound Games) – we are amazed at how much fits in this box; you might be better off playing this game on the floor rather than on the table. The world feels so real and kids will probably enjoy playing with it just as a map. Also there’s so much art here! Every character and island has its own set. Parents and older kids can enjoy the strategy, while younger kids can enjoy traveling around the islands. There’s also a catch-up mechanism that feels just right (move farther without risking bad stuff).
Aside: James recommends the “Level Up” to lift up games from being “on the floor” or on a coffee table. (YOu can still find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thelevelup/the-leveup)
Poisons (Ankama) – reminds us of In Vino Morte, but with more player agency, and played over several rounds. Place a card in everyone’s “cup”; when your cup returns to you, decide whether to drink (risking poison for a larger point reward) or not (get one point).
Ruins of Mars (Atheris Entertainment) – action selection with lots of resources.
SNAP Review – Kombo Klash
Video and transcript coming soon. We love this Hub Games title and highly recommend it.
Welcome new Community Members!
Join us in welcoming them over at The Family Gamers Community on Facebook.
James Hudson, Skybound Games
Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of board game companies doing “kid” imprints (Space Cowboys with space Cow, Iello with Loki and Lucky Duck with Lucky Kids).
238 – No Reading? No Problem! – The Family Gamers Podcast
Reading is great! But this week we want to talk about board games that don’t require reading (or only numbers). You might be surprised at just how many options there are.
Fact: 238 is a cool looking number in other bases: 11101110 in binary, EE in hexadecimal.
The Family Gamers is sponsored by First Move Financial. To schedule a time to talk to First Move about ways to take control of your finances head over to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to set up an initial 15 minute call.
What We’ve Been Playing
Pebble Rock Delivery Service (Skybound Games) – only once so far! Want to pull the whole family together to play again.
Snail Sprint! (HABA) – has been a huge hit with all. Roll two dice; pick one to choose which snail to move and the other for where to move to. The trail goes up and around the metal tin!
ION: A Compound Building Game (Genius Games) – experiment with pyramid-style drafting for 2 players.
Periodic: A Game of the Elements (also Genius Games) – great for getting more familiar with the periodic table. No actinides or lanthanides, though.
Atheneum: Mystic Library (Renegade) – a family game with a lot of decision making.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 – a loss and a win.
Fleet: The Dice Game (Eagle-Gryphon Games) – again. Andrew used the “get all the coins” strategy this time and he won!
SNAP Review – Bluffaneer Dice Game
Nick and Izzy review this dice rolling and bluffing game. It has the coolest dice! Watch the video or read the transcript on our SNAP review page.
Welcome new community members
Welcome to Troy Williams and David Cooper. Have you checked out the community yet?
No Reading? No Problem! Games that don’t require reading.
Since our youngest was reading a chapter book today, we are probably done with the “pre-readers” chapter of our lives. What are the reasons to play a game that doesn’t require reading?
Why choose a non-reading game?
* For pre-readers or those struggling with reading – lets them participate fully.* Let your brain focus on the game rather than task-switching to read. Anything that isn’t a sight word uses the temporo-parietal cortex and inferior frontal cortex for phonological processing – sounding out words in our heads.* There’s no language barrier. Perfect for a multi-lingual setting.* Accommodate grandparents or others with visual processing issues, whether nearsightedness or more complex. Text is usually the smallest visual element in a game, and game night is not always well lit.* This type of game usually has simpler rules and can be explained more easily. Note that simpler doesn’t mean easy!
Our top 5:
Follow the links for more information on any of these games.
* Drop It* Kingdomino – lots of arithmetic, but only numbers to be put in order!* Draftosaurus* a href="https://www.thefamilygamers.
237 – Dungeons & Dragons & Untold! With Rory O’Connor – The Family Gamers Podcast
Welcome again to long-time friend of the show, Rory O’Connor!
237 fact: Room 217 was switched to be room 237 for The Shining at the request of Oregon’s Timberline Lodge (used as the exterior for some shots).
Don’t forget about using annualcreditreport.com!
Here’s a link to the FTC’s website with information about credit counseling and debt management plans: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0153-choosing-credit-counselor
Remember, you can always schedule a short phone call by going to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers and even if they aren’t the right fit to help you, they can point you in the right direction.
What We’ve Been Playing
We find out that Rory streams game playing as a way to get to play games ;)
He’s testing out (with Michael Fox) new additions for Prisma Arena, but he also enjoys Marvel: Champions (solo) and Test of Honor.
Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games) – some really neat mechanics.
Periodic: A Game of Elements (Genius Games) – we finally got around to playing this after getting it in a trade at PAX Unplugged 2019. A great game to get more familiar with the periodic table. Rory likes the idea that energy is never created or destroyed, so the energy tokens just get moved around, never discarded.
Deckscape: The Mystery of Eldorado (dV Giochi) – more on this in the SNAP review. We didn’t like it as much as Decktective, but it does compare favorably with Unlock.
Kombo Klash (Hub Games) – coming in late April. We’ve been really enjoying it, and it works for all ages in our family.
Welcome to the Community
Welcome to the newest members of the Family Gamers Community!
SNAP Review – Deckscape: The Mystery of El Dorado
Watch the video or read the transcript of our review of this pocket escape room.
Storytelling with Rory
Rory likes to “escape grownup reality” through play. It’s awesome to create a story that didn’t exist before.
With Rory’s Story Cubes, he gives a starting point, “If you can lie, you can tell a story.” Look for the first thing that grabs your attention and keep going. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. “It’s like exercise. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.”
Hub Games is all about storytelling – it’s a huge part of so many of their games.
Rory had been trying to figure out the backstory for the world of Prisma Arena for a while, but had to stop “inventing new stuff” so they could get the game done. He always intended it to be a living, breathing world, and mentioned to Michael Fox that he was thinking about exploring this world as part of a href="https://nanowrimo.
236 – Babies and Boardgames – The Family Gamers Podcast
When did you start playing games with your kids? And how do you get started if you haven’t played with them before – no matter what age they’re at?
Fact: We found 2 Lego sets that had 236 pieces. Both Star Wars: A New Hope Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder and the LEGO Friends 2020 Advent Calendar have 236 pieces!
(Think this fact was lame? Send us a better one for an upcoming show!)
If you want to talk about more ways to teach your children to manage their personal finances, set up a time to talk by going to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers.
What We’ve Been Playing
My City (KOSMOS) – adding a legacy aspect to a simultaneous tile-laying game has helped move the game along and keep trying again and again.
Via Magica (Luma / Hurrican) – we reviewed this last week.
Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games) – splitting the play area and then divvying up the tiles feels unique, although it did remind us a little of Ursa Miner.
The Grizzled (CMON) – this cooperative game is a little weird at two players, but a great addition to our homeschooling.
Side note: Andrew recommends “Valiant Hearts: The Great War” as a video game that explores World War I.
ION: A Compound Building Game (Genius Games) added to the science portion of our homeschooling.
Deblockle (Project Genuis) – really digging this two player game, even though Claire always wins.
Cat Tower (Renegade Games) – more on this in the SNAP review.
The Manhattan Project (Asmodee) – worker placement game to harvest yellowcake, turn it into uranium and plutonium, and create atomic bombs. You can also bomb your rivals’ buildings
Magic: The Gathering – because our son always wants to play.
Timeline: Discoveries – We’re finding these really tough for upper elementary age range. Can’t recommend them for homeschooling unless you’re using them with middle or high schoolers.
SNAP Review – Cat Tower
Super adorable, but how does this dexterity cat game stack up?
Read the transcript or watch the video on the SNAP review page.
Welcome to The Family Gamers Community!
We welcome new members to the Facebook group.
Start Playing Games at Any Age: Babies and Beyond
This started with a question on Facebook:
How did you start playing games with your kids? And how young were they?
Let’s start with talking about our own kids. When we started the podcast, our oldest was 6 years old. It was odd playing games with her because she learned to read and count at a very young age; so our struggle was finding games that accommodated a short attention ...
235 – Board Games in a Minute with Sarah Shah – The Family Gamers Podcast
We’re not known for doing anything in only a minute, but Sarah Shah is. She created “Board Games in a Minute” videos… but more on that later.
235 Fact – Uranium 235! Uranium 235 was one of the first uranium isotopes that gave scientists really crazy, broad ideas about what nuclear power could do. Andrew found an old issue of Popular Science from 1941, and it’s fascinating: https://books.google.com/books?id=ftkDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA1&dq=Popular%20Science%201930%20plane%20%22Popular%20Mechanics%22&pg=RA1-PA1#v=onepage&q&f=true
Thanks as always to our sponsor First Move Financial. If you want to talk to a professional to see if you are on track to achieve your goals go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to schedule a quick phone and see if First Move is the right fit for you.
We asked Sarah what she thinks about last week’s topic of kids books as games, especially our favorite “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”…
And Anitra and Sarah bond over their love of Louis Sachar (Wayside School books, Holes).
What We’ve Been Playing
Canvas (Road to Infamy Games) – beautiful, but don’t hang it on the wall. Create beautiful “paintings” by layering elements.
Horrified (Ravensberger) – Sarah is playing with a friend on video chat!
Flyin’ Goblin (IELLO) – part dexterity game. Catapult your goblins into the castle.
Fleet: The Dice Game (Eagle Gryphon) – a favorite.
Kombo Klash (HUB Games) – “It’s good!”
Orconomics (Ares Games)
Calico (AEG / Flatout Games) – Anitra played solo.
Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden (Ludi Creations) – solo game highly recommended by Sarah. Late pledge still available! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ludicreations/mr-cabbageheads-garden-returns
We once again recommend Shobu from Smirk & Dagger.
My City (KOSMOS) – we’re still working our way through this no-conflict legacy/campaign game. We love how the difficulty level has slowly balanced out, while also getting slightly more complex with each new “episode”.
Andrew is very excited by the announcement of Baseball Highlights 2045: The Dice Game.
SNAP Review – Decktective: Bloody Red Roses
See the video or read the transcript of this unusual one-time use, mystery-solving game. 5 out of 5 red roses on this one!
Interview with Sarah Shah
“Board Games in a Minute” is exactly what it sounds like: an overview of a specific board game, in under a minute.
It started on Tiktok – Sarah had been watching videos on Tiktok for over a year, and decided that she couldn’t sing or dance or do something traditionall...
234 – Children’s Books as Games – The Family Gamers Podcast
Episode 234Children’s Books as Games
This week, we’re talking about games inspired by children’s books – games that actually exist, and games we’d like to see!
234 Fact – Jacob Bigelow was born 234 years ago, on February 27, 1787. He’s best known as a botanist, and his botanical illustrations are still used today.
Sponsor message – Time for another listener question. Where do you start when wanting to buy a house? If you want to talk through your specific situation and how to achieve your goals set up a time to talk at firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers today.
What We’ve Been Playing
Orbital Velocity (www.orbitalvelocitygame.com) – an educational game that is educational first and a game second, but we’re enjoying it quite a bit. Very nicely put together.
Space Explorers (25th Century Games)
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner (25th Century Games) – SNAP review included in this podcast.
Decktective: Bloody-red roses (dV Giochi) – much more game-like than other escape-room / one-time games that we’ve played.
Pandemic Legacy 0 (Z-man Games)
Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games)
Kombo Klash (Hub Games) – we have already played this a lot; and the kids are playing it without us, too! Already highly recommended (coming out in April).
SNAP review – Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Steal chickens from the coop – and from each other! Elliot helps us review this silly game that’s not TOO silly.
Watch the video or read the transcript for this SNAP review.
Welcome to the Family Gamers Community!
We say hello to new members in our community.
Children’s Books as Games
Inspired by Little Big Thumbs “3 Books we Want to be Games” and our Facebook community post, let’s talk about books that we’d like to see as games, and a few that already have game implementations.
Anitra would love to see a game based on Make Way for Ducklings. Some kind of path-finding game for little kids? (Nick suggests Ducks in Tow by First Fish – seems like too much for younger kids though.)
A game does exist for The Princess and the Goblin, a very early “modern” fairy tale for children.
Naturally, Nick Martinelli wants a Transformers game.
… but how about Harold and the Purple Crayon? Maybe using Untold as a system to allow for the same sort of free-form storytelling that the Harold books exemplify.
We’d love to see anything like Mo Willems Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! in game form. (Mo Willems did a three-week series of videos called LUNCH DOODLES last March and April, which really inspired our kids.) There are some great a href="https://amzn.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I would need at least five hands to count the amount of times that my family has enjoyed a game recommended by The Family Gamers. Their podcast is well edited/produced and enjoyable to listen to. They often have interesting guests as well. If you are in a gaming slump, need a new game, or simply just want to listen to an enjoyable podcast....check out TFG. They also have a great website full of great game reviews and overviews. If they say something is good. It is worth your consideration.
Don’t play games with my heart!
I love how these two gamers compliment one another so well!! Great show!
Love how thoughtful they are about games and everything that goes with them. Game Reviews through family and adult lenses.