116 episodes

We all know that board games are the cornerstone of every great civilization.

Now finally, as never before, there’s a podcast that can help you discover which games to play!

Celeste DeAngelis hosts the panel of intrepid game explorers and designers Mike Grenier, Ed Povilaitis, Evan Bernstein and Joe Unfried. Each episode they explore the hilariously huge world of board gaming, unearthing the gems and the junk.

Which Game First: A Board Game Podcast Which Game First

    • Games
    • 4.8, 20 Ratings

We all know that board games are the cornerstone of every great civilization.

Now finally, as never before, there’s a podcast that can help you discover which games to play!

Celeste DeAngelis hosts the panel of intrepid game explorers and designers Mike Grenier, Ed Povilaitis, Evan Bernstein and Joe Unfried. Each episode they explore the hilariously huge world of board gaming, unearthing the gems and the junk.

    Potion Explosion | Sapiens | Capt’n W. Kidd

    Potion Explosion | Sapiens | Capt’n W. Kidd

    First up we puzzle together the most recipes to brew in Potion ExplosionNext we puzzle together safe sustainable environs for our prehistoric clan in SapiensAnd lastly we’re just puzzled as we navigate the jigsaw of enemy borders in Capt’n W. Kidd

    Potion Explosion

    Designed by: Stefano Castelli, Andrea Crespi, Lorenzo SilvaPublished by: Horrible Guild & CMON (2015)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 8 & upPlaying time: 30 – 45 min

    In Potion Explosion, it’s time for your final exam in the potions class! 

    The rules are always the same: Take an ingredient marble from the dispenser and watch the others fall. If you connect marbles of the same color, they explode and you can take them, too! Complete your potions using the marbles you collect, and drink them to unleash their magical power. 

    Each Potion recipe may need between 4 and 7 Ingredients. They are represented by the holes on the Potion tiles themselves. Put the marbles of the correct color on your Potion tiles: when all the holes have been filled with a marble of the corresponding color, the Potion is completed.

    When a player completes 3 Potions with the same power, or 5 Potions with 5 different powers, they receive a Skill token, which is worth 4 points.

    The end of the game is triggered when the required number of Skill tokens have been awarded, which will vary depending on the number of players.

    The player who brewed the most valuable set of potions is the winner!


    Designed by: Cyrille LeroyPublished by: Catch Up Games & IELLO (2015)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 10 & upPlaying time: 45 min

    In Sapiens, you are the chief of your cave people clan, and the time has come for the tribe to leave its shelter and head for new lands. 

    Each player has a personal game board that represents the valley on which they will play tiles to determine the journey of their tribe through several prehistoric life scenes. Their aim is to gather food points on the plains and in the forests of the valley and to get shelter points for reaching caves in the mountains. A player’s turn consists of two steps:

    Connect one new tile from the four in his personal pool to the tiles already in play on his board, with connected scenes needing to match. These placements earn food points when a connection is made, earns shelter points when a cave is reached, and sometimes provides a special ability based on the connected scenes.

    Choose a new tile from the five available in a common pool to refill his personal pool to four tiles.

    The game’s end is triggered when the common pool and stack are empty.  The player who has the most points in their lowest domain (food or shelter) wins!

    Capt’n W. Kidd

    Designed by: Günter CornettPublished by: Bambus Spieleverlag (2004)Players: 2 – 3Ages: 9 & upPlaying time: 15 min

    In Capt’n W. Kidd, you are commanding your crew from your crow’s nest view of the ship, where each space connects with two other spaces.

    The game includes three variant rules of play: Loyal Captain, Quedah Merchant, and Madagascar

    Each player has 7 tokens in their color available.

    The players take turns each moving one of their tokens (either: place a new one or: move 1 from a space to an adjoining space).

    Tokens, or groups of tokens, which are threatened by opposing pirates on all sides are captured and removed from the game.

    • 33 min
    Koryŏ | Space Cadets: Dice Duel | Coup

    Koryŏ | Space Cadets: Dice Duel | Coup

    First up we take control of governing families to dominate the political landscape in KoryoNext our  galactic crew is our family as we scramble to survive and oh yeah kill the other guys in Space Cadets: Dice DuelAnd lastly we scheme to put our family in charge of our Italian city state in Coup

    Guest Panelist Doug Levandowski is a designer from New Jersey. His games include Kids on Bikes, Aunt Agatha’s Attic, and the forthcoming Kids on Brooms. He’s on Facebook as himself and on Twitter as @levzilla


    Designed by: Gary KimPublished by: Moonster Games (2013)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 13 & upPlaying time: 10 – 20 min

    In Koryŏ, players vie for influence in an uchronian and politico-steampunk universe.

    Each turn, players simultaneously choose a family of politicians from their hand, and play as many cards of this family as they have and wish to. Each family has a value ranging from 1 to 9, which indicates both the number of cards in the family and the number of victory points the player controlling this family will score at the end of the game.

    A game lasts exactly eight turns, and on each turn a family grants its specific power to the player controlling it. Thus, efficient handling of these powers is the key to success! While their influence increases turn by turn due to the number of authorized cards in their council, the number of cards drawn each turn dwindles, making choices all the more difficult.

    At the end of the game, the player having gained the greatest influence wins the game.

    Space Cadets: Dice Duel

    Designed by: Geoff Engelstein, Sydney EngelsteinPublished by: Stronghold Games (2013)Players: 4 – 8Ages: 12 & upPlaying time: 30 min

    In Space Cadets: Dice Duel – the “Team vs. Team, Real-time, Dice-Rolling Game of Starship Combat!” – two spaceships face off against one another in quick-paced combat. The players are divided into two teams, each team playing the crew of a ship and winning or losing together based on how well they perform. 

    Each ship has six Bridge Stations:

    * Engineering generates power for the other stations.* Helm maneuvers the ship on the map.* Weapons load the torpedo tubes to attack the enemy.* Sensors lock onto the enemy so torpedoes can hit, and use jammers to stop the enemy from locking on.* Shields helps protect the ship from enemy torpedoes.* Tractor Beams can grab the powerful crystals, move the enemy ship on the map, and launch Mines.

    Players are in charge of one or more of these stations, or have the overall role of Captain to coordinate everything. There are no game turns in Space Cadets: Dice Duel; instead the game continues with players acting as quickly as possible until one side wins.

    The game ends when one side destroys their opponent by causing four points of damage through torpedoes or mines.


    Designed by: Rikki TahtaPublished by: Indie Boards & Cards (2012)Players: 2 – 6Ages: 13 & upPlaying time: 15 min

    In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game

    Each player starts the game with two coins and two influences, which are represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.

    The fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique power such as stealing coins or assassinating another character etc.: Duke, Assassin, Contessa, Captain, & Ambassador.

    On your turn, you can use any of the unique powers,

    • 50 min
    Contract Bridge | Mahjong | Hnefatafl

    Contract Bridge | Mahjong | Hnefatafl

    This is our 100th episode and in celebration we’re bringing you board game treasures from over a 100 years ago.

    First up we find out how rich pleasure cruisers passed their time a century ago before there were round the clock buffets as we play Contract Bridge.

    Next we fly back millennia as we help build a great wall with our friends and then try to win it from them in Mahjong.

    Lastly it’s the middle ages and we pit ruthless invaders against a well protected king in a race to the edge in Hnefatafl: The Viking Game.

    Contract Bridge

    Designed by:Harold Stirling Vanderbilt (1925) Players: 4

    In Contract Bridge, or simply “Bridge”, two partnerships are pitted against each other in a trick taking card game that uses a standard deck. 

    The first phase is the auction, where partners communicate information about their hands by bidding, in order to arrive at a successful contract. The contract specifies how many tricks must be taken by the team that wins the bid. 

    Then, the team that won the bid tries to win as many tricks as possible while playing both hands from the partnership. One hand is played normally while the other (the “dummy hand”) is placed face-up on the table, allowing for greater control. 

    The defenders attempt to take enough tricks to make the contract fail.

    A game continues until one partnership earns 100 points “below the line”; 

    And the first partnership to win two games wins the rubber!


    Players: 3 – 4

    Mahjong is an ancient Chinese game, played with a set of 144 tiles, that is similar to Rummy. Four players take turns drawing from the wall, or from the other players’ discards, in an attempt to form a set of “Melds”.

    A “Chow” is a numeric sequence (e.g., 5-6-7 of the same suit). A “Pung” is three of the same tileA “Kung” is four of the same tile, which can be taken out of turn from the discard.  An “Eye” is a pair of tiles, which can only be taken from the discards to win the game calling out “Mah Jong”.

    A winning set must have 4 melds and one eye.

    Hnefatafl: The Viking Game

    Players: 2

    Tafl games (also known as hnefatafl games) are a family of ancient Nordic and Celtic strategy board games played on a checkered or latticed game board with two asymmetrical  armies referred to as the attackers and the defender. 

    The defender and his entourage begin in the center of the board with the attackers surrounding them on each side. Each piece moves orthogonally and may move as far as it wants until blocked by another piece, the edge of the board, or a one of several special restricted spaces that only the king may occupy. To remove an enemy piece, you just need to place one of your pieces on opposing sides of it. 

    The goals are simple. For the attacker, surround the king on all 4 sides. For the defender, get the king to one of their special spaces located in the corners of the board.

    • 45 min
    Villagers | Chocolate Factory | Arktia

    Villagers | Chocolate Factory | Arktia

    First up it takes a village of highly skilled tradesmen to be the best darn town around, in VillagersNext up it takes more than cocoa to be the best darn candy maker around in Chocolate Factory And lastly it takes ice cold strategy to build the best darn intergalactic research module in Arktia


    Designed by: Haakon GaarderPublished by: Sinister Fish Games (2019)Players: 1 – 5Ages: 10 & upPlaying time: 30 – 60 min

    In Villagers, You are the founder of a new village during the middle ages, in the years after a great plague. The villagers have valuable and unique skills, but they all rely on other villagers with very specific crafts to be able to work, such as raw materials, tools and services.

    Each turn, you’ll draft a number of villagers from the road based on the amount of food in your village. Then, you’ll build a number of homes for your villagers based on the number of builders in your village. If you find people that can work together to make a profit, you’ll do well when the Market comes to town.

    The game ends after two Market rounds, and the player with the most prosperous village, Wins!

    Chocolate Factory

    Designed by: David Digby, Matthew Dunstan, Brett J. GilbertPublished by: Alley Cat Games (2019)Players: 1 – 4Ages: 10 & upPlaying time: 45 – 90

    In Chocolate Factory, you are assigned the task of chief chocolate maker!  Everyone starts with a Factory with two parts along a conveyor belt of several pallets.

    At the beginning of each Day (turn), everyone will draft one new factory part and hire one new employee that will arrive with the day’s shipment of coal. 

    Then players will run their factory for three shifts, that starts with pushing a cocoa bean down their conveyor belt. You’ll need coal to power the parts that will convert your beans into delicious chocolates!

    At the end of the day, sell chocolates that you made to the corner store or the department stores. Or sell them for some more coal. 

    The game ends after 6 days, and the player with the most money, wins!


    Designed by: Stefan KöglPublished by: Murmel Spielwerkstatt und Verlag AG (2008)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 12 & upPlaying time: 15 – 45 min

    On the distant ice moon Arktia, players must try to place their futuristic habitation and science modules – called moogloos – on adjacent ice tiles in such a way that they control as much of the ice as possible.

    But be warned! Moogloos which are separated from the main group of the same colour cannot survive in this hostile climate and will be removed.

    Each turn, players can either place a Moogloos, or move one tower they control. Players who have placed all their moogloos can start to remove empty ice tiles from the board.

    Players earn points for each: 

    * ice tile they control* moogloo that they have removed* ice tile that they have removed

    The game ends when all players have run out of moves, and the player with the most points survives the arctic challenge of Arktia and wins the game!

    • 37 min
    Dragon Castle | Through the Ages | Red 7

    Dragon Castle | Through the Ages | Red 7

    First up we stack our palace walls mahjong style in Dragon CastleNext we stack the cards in our favor to secure the grandest culture in Through the Ages: A New Story of CivilizationAnd lastly we stack rules upon rules upon rules to rule out the competition in Red 7

    Dragon Castle

    Designed by: Hjalmar Hach, Luca Ricci, Lorenzo SilvaPublished by: Horrible Guild and CMON (2017)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 8 & upPlaying time: 30 – 40 min

    In Dragon Castle, a game inspired by Mahjong Solitaire, you are local lords competing to build a magnificent castle using tiles from the ancient castle.

    Each turn, you must take one tile from the top layer and then either:

    Take a matching tile, Take a shrine, or Discard the tile and take a VP.

    Any tiles you take, are then placed in your realm. if you have a set of 4 or more matching tiles adjacent to each other in your realm, you consolidate them, earning VP based on the number of tiles.

    You may build shrines when you consolidate, which are also worth points based on their height. 

    You may also take advantage of the available spirit card and its game-changing powers…but this will come at a cost! Don’t forget to check the dragon card to score bonus points.

    When the Dragon Castle has been reduced to only one floor, players may summon the Dragon to end the game! The player with the most points is the lord of the new Dragon Castle…and the winner of the game!

    Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

    Designed by: Vlaada ChvátilPublished by: Czech Games Edition (2015)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 14 & upPlaying time: 120 + minutes

    In Through the Ages, a civilization building game, each player attempts to build the best civilization through careful resource management, discovering new technologies, electing the right leaders, building wonders and maintaining a strong military. Weakness in any area can be exploited by your opponents. 

    The game takes place throughout the ages beginning in the age of antiquity and ending in the modern age.

    Each turn, players will use their Civil and Military actions to draft cards from the center row and play them.   

    In order to use a technology you will need enough science to discover it, enough food to create a worker to man it, and enough ore to build it. 

    While balancing the resources needed to advance your technology you also need to build a military.

    There is no map in the game so you cannot lose territory, but players with higher military may steal resources, science, kill leaders, take population or culture, if they sense weakness in their neighbors.

    The game ends with the Modern Age deck has run out.

    The player whose nation has the most culture is Victorious!

    Red 7

    Designed by: Carl Chudyk, Chris CieslikPublished by: Asmadi Games (2014)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 9 & upPlaying time: 5 – 30 min

    In Red 7, you start with a hand of 7 cards from the deck.

    On your turn you may:Play a card to your Pallet And / OrPlay a card to change the rule!

    There are seven rules for the game, one of each color of the rainbow.  

    * Red -> Highest card wins* Orange -> Most of one number wins * Yellow -> Most of one color wins* Green -> Most even cards wins* Blue -> Most different colors wins* Indigo -> Most cards that form a run wins* Violet  -> ...

    • 38 min
    Kingdomino | Spirit Island | Just 4 Fun

    Kingdomino | Spirit Island | Just 4 Fun


    Designed by: Bruno CathalaPublished by: Blue Orange Games (2016)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 8 & upPlaying time: 15 – 20 min

    In Kingdomino, you are a lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, including wheat fields, lakes, and mountains, in order to spot the best plots, while competing with other lords to acquire them first.

    The game uses tiles with two sections, similar to Dominoes. Each turn, players will select a new domino to connect to their existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen, with better tiles forcing players to pick later in the next round. 

    The game ends after a set number of rounds and points are counted based on the number of connecting tiles and valuable crown symbols. The Lord with the most points, wins!

    Spirit Island

    Designed by: R. Eric ReussPublished by: Greater Than Games (2017)Players: 1 – 4Ages: 13 & upPlaying time: 90 – 120 minutes

    In Spirit Island, players are spirits of the land, each with their own unique elemental powers, forced to defend their island home from colonizing Invaders spreading blight and destruction. Work with your fellow spirits and the Dahan (local islanders) to increase your power and drive the invading colonists from your island in this Cooperative area-control game!

    Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively. 

    In the Spirit phase, spirits gain energy, and choose how they will use their power cards and spread their presence on the island.

    The Invaders expand in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they will explore new lands; and then build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. Then they will ravage those lands, bringing blight and attacking any natives present.

    The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped.

    The game escalates as spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. 

    Defeat will come if any spirit is destroyed, if Blight overruns the island, or the Invader deck is depleted. You are Victorious if the Invaders are destroyed or driven from the lands in FEAR!

    Just 4 Fun

    Designed by: Jürgen P. GrunauPublished by: KOSMOS (2005)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 9 & upPlaying time: 20 – 30 min

    In Just 4 Fun, players use cards to place stones on a 6 x 6 gamebord trying to claim four squares in a line, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

    Each turn, you play any combination of your hand of 4 cards to place a stone. The value of the cards must equal the value of the location you claim, which are numbered 1 through 36.  

    Multiple stones can be placed on a square, and a square is only safe if a player has two more stones on it than any other player. 

    The first player to have 4 squares claimed in a line, or the player with the most points after 20 turns, wins!

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Maximo0927 ,

Professional and fun - Best of its type

I love this podcast! It's format is perfect (explaining brief overview of rules, example of play, opinions, explanation of components, great interplay, clean, clean audio, no talking over each other and everyone clearly loves to play games - it comes across.) keep up th good work.

Adam & Kayla ,

Excellent in depth game reviews.

Which Game First is a great show to subscribe to if you have children that enjoy games. The podcast crew discusses the different aspects of each game, and it is a very effective way to learn about new games your family might like. It’s fun to hear these guys talk about a game they recommend, then purchase it and play it with family.

turbo_v ,

Great break from other podcasts

This quirky fun podcast definitely fits a niche in my collection. It’s a lighthearted break...but also informative from a cast of friends you’re obviously having a good time... it is contagious!

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