It’s time once again for me to preach to the masses to encourage more face-to-face time together. Last year’s run-down of recommended boardgames was a great success. Here again are some great examples of boardgames to get you and your family gaming. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Those new to the world of boardgaming may find a bit of a sticker shock as some games are pricier than new release video games, but good boardgames will provide many more hours of entertainment than most video games. Boardgames are also relatively timeless so they can be pulled out years from now and provide the same level of enjoyment. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2010 , 2009, and 2008. For each game I’ve provided the number of players, retail price, and expected time for one game. Note that often these games can be found for 20-30% less than the MSRP.
Last time I talked about role playing games, it was a discussion of Dungeons and Dragons, including the rereleases of many old retro versions of the game and adventures as well as the upcoming revision of the game entitled “D&D Next”. When it comes to Fantasy RPGs, there are many more fishes in the sea. Today we’ll look at two of them. First, we’ll examine Hero Kids, an extremely kid-friendly title for ages as young as four. Next, we’ll look at the “other” top-tier fantasy RPG: Pathfinder, produced by Paizo Publishing – past publisher of the D&D magazines Dragon and Dungeon. While it is moderately complex in its player options, actual player combat and skill resolutions aren’t too bad. What makes the Pathfinder RPG system stand out is the large level of support materials produced by Paizo. The Game Master (the person who runs the bad guys and helps manage the story) has many available options they can use to make things easier and help create a more immersive game (eg. maps, cards, tools to manage fights, etc…).
A year and a half ago, the folks at Wizards of the Coast announced a move to create (yet another) new version of the popular role playing game (RPG) system, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). This is the seminal role playing game that spawned many others, and inspired the use of its theme in other mediums such as computer games (ex. Skyrim, World of Warcraft) and board games (ex. Warhammer Quest, Descent, Castle Ravenloft). This new version, “D&D Next” for now, is freely available in prototype form for anyone interested in playtesting. It is an effort to ‘get back to the roots’ of D&D in some fashion, simplifying the base rules while simultaneously providing many optional bits for gamers who wish to emphasize specific styles of play. Along with moving forward towards a new, retro D&D game, Wizards of the Coast has spent the past year re-releasing many old, out of print titles in both electronic and premium hardback editions.
I recently had the chance to sample a somewhat new puzzle toy. I had such a good time I thought I’d chime in here at GamerDad because it’s exactly the sort of thing a parent might want to foist off on their children (if they can convince themselves to put it down.) Patch Products recently shipped me two of their Perplexus line of puzzle games. They are all a 3D rolling marble puzzle contained in a clear plastic ball. Tilt the ball around to get the marble through the maze without it falling off. It makes for a nice little pastime that takes both some dexterity and a bit of thought.
Each year I try to put together a little something to help gamers spend more face-to-face time together. We missed last year but we’re roaring back in 2012 to provide you with some great examples of boardgames to get you and your family gaming. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Boardgames are relatively timeless so feel free to delve into previous guides for additional advice.
OK, there are all those online tournaments that promote huge fan bases watching people play for thousands of dollars. I’m never going to be one of those people. However, I do get my moment in the sun…
Yes, my favorite hobby, boardgaming, has reached that next level – whatever that is. Thursday evening (Tomorrow – June 28th) at 7:30pm EST, Northstar Games will be hosting a live video feed promoting their new edition of Wits & Wagers. They’ve recruited big names from all over the boardgame blogosphere, and myself for some reason, for a live competition of the new Wits & Wagers Party. Read on for details and the link…
So this past weekend I went to see the Battleship movie. Mainly out of morbid curiosity just to see how they could make a movie out of a board game! It’s a typical summer movie, meaning you have to turn off your intelligence to enjoy it. Since that’s easy for me to do, I thought it was entertaining, at least. But then I started thinking about my favorite board games, and if they would make good movies also. So basically, this is a cleverly disguised blog listing my favorite board games, really. But I’ll try to use my imagination to see if they’d be good movies, too! It might be fun, come on, give it a chance!
Since I’m nearly local, I make an annual journey down to Indianapolis once a year to visit GenCon, one of the largest gaming conventions in the U.S., and one of the most important for board game and role playing game fans. This year, my family conveniently scheduled a reunion for the same weekend but I still managed to attend for the first day of the convention. What follows is a small excerpt of some of the more interesting games I came across. For details on some more obscure titles, visit my photo-centric overview over at the blog Opinionated Gamers.
Two classic games: the arcade favorite Donkey Kong and the tried and true challenge of Jenga. You wouldn’t think at first that they would go together, but they actually do if you think about it. Donkey Kong is all about maneuvering through a teetering construction tower, and Jenga requires you make your wobbly tower as high as you can. So now you can do both in Donkey Kong Jenga. How high can you get?
It’s the week before Christmas and you haven’t bought your family a boardgame yet? It’s time to pick up the pace! Boardgames are a great way for families and friends to get together and enjoy some face-to-face social time. One of my fondest memories of Christmas as a youth waking up on Christmas morning knowing that Santa (or his “associates”) had delivered a new boardgame next to the stocking of each child in our family. As the biggest boardgame fan in our group I would spend most of the rest of the day trying to con my siblings and parents into trying out all the new games. Here’s a short list of some of the newer titles I’ve encountered this year that I think are worth a look. If they don’t suit your fancy, I’ve written up a holiday boardgame guide for the past seven years (feel free to check out last year’s guide or jump to the bottom for links to the others.) more…