The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

I'm sure this has come up many times in this thread, but finding things in the past is hard. I've got a soon-to-be 6 year old. We've tried board games with him a few times, but with mixed success. Now that he's a bit older, I might take another run at it. My collection doesn't have many games that are really kid friendly, and I haven't been following game releases very closely.

So I'm looking for suggestions for games that are good for that age, but that won't make me want to claw out my eyes. He's able to read pretty well. I was thinking TTR First Journey as one, but I wasn't sure what else was out there.

Some successful games with my kids at that age were Sleeping Queens (not a great game, but they loved it), Gonuts for Donuts and Sushi Go, all pretty cheap and worth a go:)

Chaz wrote:

I'm sure this has come up many times in this thread, but finding things in the past is hard. I've got a soon-to-be 6 year old. We've tried board games with him a few times, but with mixed success. Now that he's a bit older, I might take another run at it. My collection doesn't have many games that are really kid friendly, and I haven't been following game releases very closely.

So I'm looking for suggestions for games that are good for that age, but that won't make me want to claw out my eyes. He's able to read pretty well. I was thinking TTR First Journey as one, but I wasn't sure what else was out there.

Monza from HABA is great. Look at the HABA games in general. They have awesome kids games.

BoardgameGeekCon badges are on sale now!

And as for games for kids (of all ages), I've never seen Cheeky Monkey fail. Push your luck/ set collection. Other games my kids enjoyed when younger were Outfoxed, Ghost Fightin Treasure Hunters, Loopin Chewie, and Xia. The last is obviously not remotely recommended for that age, but something about it captured my son's imagination at age 6, and it remains his favorite four years later. The big expansion is a must.

Rhino Hero!

Dragon's Breath from Haba was a Christmas present for my daughter and it's been a winner.

Chaz wrote:

I'm sure this has come up many times in this thread, but finding things in the past is hard. I've got a soon-to-be 6 year old. We've tried board games with him a few times, but with mixed success. Now that he's a bit older, I might take another run at it. My collection doesn't have many games that are really kid friendly, and I haven't been following game releases very closely.

I've had a lot of success with games that are fairly short and with gameplay mechanics that ensure a limited play duration. Here are a few that go over well with my (almost) 6 year old:

* Dragon's Breath
* My First Castle Panic
* Tsuro
* Castellan (out of print I think? We play with some simplified rules too)
* Unicorn Glitterluck Cloud Crystals (about as much of a game as Candyland but it only takes a few minutes to play which is nice)

Games that can go on for an indeterminate amount of time (e.g. Chutes and Ladders) are real painful so I try to avoid those at all costs

I've found Quirkle to be a great game to play with kids. Younger children can have fun matching shapes and colors and just trying to find legal moves, even if the bigger strategy is beyond them. And they get to fully participate in the game along with the adults/bigger kids without disrupting the experience for anyone.

My 5 year old loves Patchwork at the moment. Animal upon Animal and Pitchcar mini are the other favourites.

My copy of Blood on the Clocktower just arrived! It's only been ~3 years since I paid for it. But then it's not like I would have had much opportunity to play a big social deduction game during the height of the pandemic. Now that my back yard is set up as a nice outdoor social space I hope I can get a group together to give it a whirl.

I don't think I've seen another board game where the box itself is the main game component. It's pretty impressive when it's all opened up and assembled.

Chaz wrote:

I'm sure this has come up many times in this thread, but finding things in the past is hard. I've got a soon-to-be 6 year old. We've tried board games with him a few times, but with mixed success. Now that he's a bit older, I might take another run at it. My collection doesn't have many games that are really kid friendly, and I haven't been following game releases very closely.

So I'm looking for suggestions for games that are good for that age, but that won't make me want to claw out my eyes. He's able to read pretty well. I was thinking TTR First Journey as one, but I wasn't sure what else was out there.

In addition to the other excellent suggestions I would add Outfoxed! and ICECOOL. Both were hits with my niece and nephew at that age and enjoyable enough for the rest of us.

My 7yo was gifted Trash Pandas and she loves it.

Gonna say, Foundations of Rome and My Father's Work are bloody amazing. I kinda hate this period of time in our love of our board games can be so inclusive, as I have no idea that either of these are ever released to everyone. Foundations is gorgeous and fun and played in an hour. Father's is longer (2.5-3) but worth the work, gorgeous, and just a joy to play, win or lose.

These are de facto, gated games. If you have $ you can get them, if not, hope you know someone with $. These are too good not for everyone to have a chance to play. This hobby is both rewarding and infuriating at the same time, more often than I would like to know.

Holy chit! They just announced a new version of Clank!, called Catacombs, where you build the dungeon from tiles as you go! I adore games that use that mechanism, like Betrayal, Xia, and the D&D adventure board games.

Clank! has been a big hit with my family, with Legacy having eased the first several months of our Covid lockdown, so this is a day one purchase for sure.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Holy chit! They just announced a new version of Clank!, called Catacombs, where you build the dungeon from tiles as you go! I adore games that use that mechanism, like Betrayal, Xia, and the D&D adventure board games.

Clank! has been a big hit with my family, with Legacy having eased the first several months of our Covid lockdown, so this is a day one purchase for sure.

Same, will likely pre-order once that is an option. I've never been disappointed with a Clank game or expansion.

Just announced from Dire Wolf Digital:

Tabletop Wargame Wings of Glory Goes Digital!
Strategic WWI aerial combat coming to Gameboard, PCs, phones, and tablets!

Completed Betrayal Legacy tonight! We got about halfway through the campaign before COVID hit.

I thought the game started great, middled only okay at times, and finished fantastically well. We talked about letting it rest now and bringing it out for a non-campaign game around Halloween.

Played physical Moonrakers for the first time. Great game. It's a negotiation game with deckbuilder mechanics. It is heavily inspired by Cosmic Encounter, as so many games are. In both games you negotiate with others to team up, but as you approach the target score, people likely have to make it on their own. We had a blast and everyone said they enjoyed it.

There's about a week left in the Kickstarter for three expansions and a big box to rule the entire thing. You can get the core game either in the KS or just directly from their website if you don't want to wait. I have played the Overload and Nomad expansions on TTS once; Overload mainly adds more variety through more cards, which is excellent. Nomad adds a light navigation aspect that affects mission type and who you can partner with, which I'm honestly iffy on, but also an Event deck, which I think is fantastic. Haven't played with the third expansion.

Someone might have posted about this game already but this is a charming video about an ancient and rather incredible game.

A few years back when my D&D players were in a tight spot, they petitioned a powerful entity for help, so I had the entity propose a game of chance, and the players had to play the Ur game against him, for the stakes of one of their lives against the favor they'd requested.

It was a good time, but annoyingly one of the players saw the same article I did, and instantly went "oh is that the Royal Game of Ur? I read all about that it's really interesting I think it's originally babylonian or maybe egyptian I forgot but apparently it..." and the whole scene wasn't as mysterious as I'd hoped.

I went to gencon and played many many games. I will be writing a post con write up, as I’ve done a bunch of previous years, but long story short is that you should buy a copy of Scout from Oink games.

Cat in the Box and Turing Machine are pretty neat, too.

Here's a quick rundown of the games I got to demo (or at least watch enough to get a good feel for):


Starship Captains - I actually went into this one a bit skeptical as I didn't love the graphic design that I saw online, but this ended up being one of my favorite games of the show. Really smooth mechanics and loved how the component design fed nicely back into gameplay. The returning queue for used crew members was not only visually cool but it also served the purpose of acting as an actual queue where the last three members don't get returned to your pool. Everything you did was quick, easy and satisfying. Will be a strong consideration when it releases later this year!

Turing Machine - Interesting puzzle but not a good game. It's mastermind with a three digit number you are trying to solve. Instead of just knowing if your guesses are "correct right spot/correct wrong spot" there are a set of logic tests you make against your chosen code. For example, a test might be "your middle number is equal to 4" or "your first digit is lower than the other two digits". You can choose three tests per round (the demo was an "easy code" with five tests) and your goal is to be the first to solve.

The problem I have with the game is that since every set of clues needs to get you down to a single three digit code there's no real deduction, it's just working through the logic until you have the answer. Working through the logic is easier by doing tests but there's no timer or anything so someone could just sit there and work it out until they have it. There's no real "game" here, it's just a puzzle to solve. The puzzle is interesting but it seems like a terribly awful game experience. No interaction and since its a race players are incentivized to take a long as possible each turn. Maybe adding a sand timer would help but even then I don't think it would make it fun. Ultimately I feel like this should just be a daily web app puzzle.

Critical - Pitched as a super easy introduction to RPGs. The demo mission was incredibly simplistic, maybe too much so. It felt a lot like an escape room game that offered a little bit of player agency, which is actually pretty interesting. We did have some pretty funny emergent moments happen even in the simple demo so I could see this being fun for a group that wants a real quick semi-roleplaying experience.

SolForge Fusion - Richard Garfield's follow up to Keyforge, SolForge Fusion is another "unique deck" game. The trick this time around is that you aren't buying a single bespoke deck, instead you buy multiple bespoke decks and mash two together for your play session! It's a pretty awesome tweak to Keyforge as it opens up the combination space giving you lots of options even with just a handful of decks.

The other primary new mechanic is how the power curve work. Each half deck is made up of 10 cards that each have level I, II, and III variants (so 30 cards total). Your starting deck is the combined 20 level I cards. Each turn you draw five cards, will only play two and discard the rest. Played cards are one use (either a monster that sits in front of you until it dies or a spell that is used immediately) but when you play it you put its next level version into your discard pile.

This means that you are continually improving your deck just by playing your cards. It also means you know what cards your opponent is upgrading so you can somewhat anticipate which cards they are more likely to play in the future. It's an awesome mechanic that guarantees your deck is never really stalling out and you are always feeling more powerful.

Additionally the game ends either when one player runs out of health or at the end of four rounds, where whoever has the most health wins. I love having a turn limit, helps keep the game focused and fast.

Finally, the game is also going to support online play! Right now you can only play through Tabletop Simulator but apparently there's an app in the works too. Really excited for that.

Northgard: Uncharted Lands - 4x game based on the video game property. I walked away feeling pretty indifferent about this one. Part of the problem is that the demo seemed significantly scaled down where entire mechanics were left out. When asked about them we were just told "those aren't in the demo so we're not going to talk about those". I felt the game was pretty lackluster but that may have been due to some of the missing mechanics? Hard to say. Right now it didn't seem better than other dudes-on-a-map games that I have and enjoy though.

Skate Summer - This one was a real surprise for me! Skate Summer is essentially trying to be Tony Hawk Pro Skater in board game form. Mechanically it is a push your luck game with board movement which is something I haven't really seen before. You play "tricks" that impact your skateboard balance and the more tricks you do the more likely you are to wipe out. After balancing your board (or wiping out which just reduces your movement by one and denies you a bonus resource) you move on the map according to the trick cards you played.

It's a real simple game but I liked how the push your luck integrated mechanically. Also you are going around collecting letters in the word S-K-A-T-E-R. Love it.

This is on my short list for post-GenCon purchases.

Twilight Inscription
- How do you make Twilight Imperium wrap up in 2 hours? Make it a roll and write! This is a real ambitious roll and write and I actually felt like it largely delivered on what its going for. Combat is in there so you have to pay attention to your neighbors and the galactic senate is in there so you get to spent votes on new laws. High player interaction for a roll and write is really welcome. It also felt like players have a lot of agency in how you navigate through your boards which is also great.

As much as I enjoyed it, the game has a $65 price tag I believe which is madness. This should be $40 tops. Had it landed at a better price point I'd be all over this as my group largely loved it but that's too steep.

Powerline - Another surprise of the show! Really simple dice game with a clever mechanic: you are required to take a certain number of actions over the course of the game, and those actions decide how much flexibility with your dice placement. You have flexibility on which actions you take in what order but you have to do them all, and combined with the randomness of the dice you have some real nice tension. I love clever dice games and this really hit that spot!

One significant concern though: the game is going to be printed with alternative green-friendly components. Conceptually that is incredibly awesome but the boards we saw were incredibly warped and the overall component quality was quite low. We didn't get to find out if this was production quality or prototype, but if it was production quality then I have concerns.

eXplorers - Probably my biggest letdown of the show. It looked like a fun little flip and write with a cool modular board. Unfortunately there wasn't enough meat on this one, the gameplay was just far too simplistic for what I want. I could see it clicking for some but it just didn't do much for me.

Nacho Pile - Bad. I don't feel compelled to say anything else.

Akropolis - Might be my top game of the show. Incredibly elegant, it feels like a modern classic Euro. Also only has a $30 price point which is incredible. Fun tile laying mechanic where you are trying to satisfy the positional requirements of various buildings, with the twist that you can build "up" and cover up building to reshape the landscape. That vertical play opens up tons of possibilities. It sold out far too quickly otherwise this would be in my collection already!

Armada - Naval combat game akin to something like Star Wars X-Wing. Pretty simple movement and combat rules. Didn't really impress me much gameplay wise but the ship models are fantastic!

Dungeons, Dice & Danger - Hello again Richard Garfield! This time with a roll and write! Unlike many roll and write games this has virtually no dice mitigation, it's really about making sure you keep your options open for dice probabilities. There's a lot of really interesting subtle depth to the game as it's a race to defeat all the monsters on your map but points matter in the end. Really like how Garfield has been putting fun subtle tweaks on popular genres lately and this was a real hit for me. The game also comes with four different maps, each with different features so there's quite a bit of variety. Awesome pick if you enjoy this style of game.

Reload - Another big surprise for me! I went in knowing almost nothing of this and demoed it on a recommendation and it was a real blast. It's essentially a battle royale in a board game and surprisingly it works. Everything is there: drop in to the map, open chests to get weapons and gear and run around taking out your opponents.

What makes it really work is that you earn "achievements" for doing things like wounding an opponent, killing an opponent, depositing collected resources into the center of the map, etc. Each achievement is a little cardboard chevron of varying length depending on the difficulty of the achievement. As you earn them you fill up your point track and first to the end wins. I really like that you earn some points for doing simple things and more for the more difficult tasks; you can always at least make some progress!

There's also a cool dice mechanic where your dice are your actions, but reserving some dice allows you to be more effective on defense during others turns. I liked how the dice work and while not very thematic I felt it worked really well given the mechanics. Another in my group picked this up so I'm looking forward to playing more!


Galactic Renaissance - This was supposed to be showed but it was never out on the show floor. We did manage to essentially get a private overview of the prototype version though and this game looks absolutely stellar. It is the follow up to Inis which is a personal favorite, and while there are some similarities it is certainly its own beast. Instead of a drafting game it is a deck builder, and there's less focus on combat and it's all about majority control of planets and controlling jump points. The prototype was incredibly rough but I was still able to get a good sense for the game and I think this is going to be an absolute banger of a game. Can't wait for it to come out.

Cat in the Box - Looks like a super fun trick taking game. The gimmick is that there are four suits but your cards don't have a suit until you play them on the table, then you get to decide which suit it is! But because it is a "deck of cards" there can't be more than one card of each suit so you can't make a card in a suit where that number has already been previously declared. Brilliant concept and I want this game.

Kites - Very simple real time game where you are trying to collectively play through a deck of colored cards, where the color determines which sand timer you flip. If any sand timer runs out of sand you lose. I thought it looked a bit drab in that there's no real strategy and the end is going to come down luck but my friends said that it was fun for what it is.

Planet Unknown - Not sure I get the hype. Mostly the lazy susan seemed kinda pointless and not that much fun as a game mechanic. Maybe there's more to the game than what was described to us but I walked away pretty underwhelmed.

Also I have to say that lazy susans were absolutely everywhere. If cats are the new hot theme, lazy susans are the hot new board game feature.

Tesseract - Pandemic with a cube of dice instead of a map. Players are collectively trying to "contain" enough dice before one of a few loss conditions happen. The overall mechanics feel very familiar but the dice cube is an awesome feature and it seems like there are some pretty interesting subtleties with how removing cubes from the center impacts overall play. I'll be keeping an eye on this one!

Nice write up, thank you! I was curious about solforge but didnt have time to try it out. After reading your description I think I will stick with Keyforge as me and my kid both like and play it a lot.

I disagree a lot with your review Reloaded but if you like it, awesome! I will have my own thoughts about it as soon as I have time to sit down and write.

Allright. It's been a couple of years since I've done this due to Pandemic, but here we go again. Fred's Giant Post of Doom of Games I Played at GenCon. Grab your beverage. It's a lot with a ton of photos. They load fine for me on desktop but my phone browser struggle with them. Not sure why. Because google photos is a junk host. All images rehosted now.

First up was Ragnarocks:

If you have played Hey! That's my fish! you are half way there. Instead of removing pieces to trap your opponents pieces you drop in a rock. You make one move in a straight line and then drop one rock in a straight line from where you moved your piece. Goal of the game is to capture as much area as you can before all the pieces are stuck. It's a solid little puzzle, but I like Hey! better because removing pieces are a much clearer way of seeing how much is left of the game. Quite a few times we said "that's game" and the demo person said "no.. you can move here". It does have some cards with player powers that may make the game a bit more interesting, but we weren't allowed to use them. Average.

Primordial Secrets:

This caught my interest quite a bit. It's a deck builder, where you invite yourself over to steal secrets or get sacrificed depending on the power level and powers of the cards you play. You basically set up a defensive line and an offensive line and pick a direction that you are attacking. If your attack is successful you actually steal a direction card from the losing player, so eventually you can start directing where other players attack. We played a two player game but I really believe this one will shine at 4 players. It felt fresh and interesting, and a deck builder for 4 players is rare. Also, dope art and very fun card powers makes this one to watch. And it's on kickstarter now which I just backed.


Very cool little warhammer light game. The "hook" of the game is that both players get a set amount of play-doh and builds their army using that clay. So build your army, set it up and attack each other in standard warhammer format. When you kill an opponents monster, you have a ring that you squish losing players monster. That pile of squashed monster is now an obstacle on the board. I can see that younger kids would absolutely love this game. The movement and attacks and such are super easy to learn as well. Really neat little game. Just keep that play-doh fresh or you have a hunk of plastic molds that are useless.

Tenpenny Parks:

This was a pleasant little surprise. A worker placement game mixed with a Tiny Town puzzle. You place workers to gain money, to be able to afford attractions. The cost of those attractions vary between turns thanks to the lazy susan at the top of the board. Once you purchase an attraction, you need to place in on your little board (the green grass boards seen in photo) in a tetris like way. If a tree is in the way, you may need to spend some money to chop it down, but doing that lowers the value of your land. It seemed kinda gentle as you there are many more slots than workers, so if you like direct competition this might not be for you. Pleasant surprise!

Life Siphon:

By the same people who made Dragoon if you are familiar with that. You play as a Lich trying to drain the life out of the other players Liches. You do this by summoning familiars and demons into an arena. Every time you summon something, it sucks life out of you, but you steal life from the other players when your monsters attack. It has a neat idea, but seemed pretty shallow and I doubt it would have staying power. I had fun demoing it and if someone asked if I would play, I would say "absolutely".

Weirdwood Manor:

Another lazy susan game like Tenpenny park above. This time you are trying to break into a deadly mansion, find the evil inside and murder it. A cooperative game where the manor shifts depending on the time of day. Each action costs time so for every action you do, pieces on the board (the brown line with blue numbers) slides around which creates or blocks openings into the mansion. Also, all rooms can be flipped over for deadlier versions of the room. I was kinda impressed with how modular the game is, but I can only imagine the nightmare of a setup it would be. It's neat. But not great.

Studies in Sorcery:

Oof.. hire a graphic designer, please. You try to create potions by digging up graves and collecting things inside. The more you dig up, the angrier the townsfolk get. You get it, right? There are many prettier and better ways to spend your time.

Magic Mountain:

Winner of Kinderspiel des Jarhes 2022. On your turn, you roll a marble of a certain color down one of 6 ramps. If the marble hits a token, it moves down a step to the next circle of the same color as the marble you rolled. Try to get 4 blue tokens to the bottom and you win. If you get 3 black tokens down to the bottom you lose. It's super, super, light weight fun for kids 3-6. It's a solid game, no doubt. Easy, fun and super easy to learn. Good stuff.


I think we played this one correct! I am not 100% sure as there wasn't a demo person there. So from what I gather, you roll the die and try to fit the pieces you get from the symbol of the die, and fit them into a preset space. I can see why it's sold so many copies. Incredibly easy to grasp and has a good degree of challenges. It's not for me, but it's a solid, solid, game.

Catch the moon:

Incredibly easy and horribly frustrating game. Roll the die and the new ladder you are placing must either touch 1 ladder, touch 2 ladders, be the highest ladder. In our demo game, me and my friend actually ran out of ladders before the game ended and the demo guy had to go ask what happens then. Apparently nothing! In subsequent plays, the structure collapsed much earlier so it must have been a fluke. It's an easy to learn good time stacking things on top of each other.


If you like your euro games / worker placement games, this might be right up your alley. My friend (not pictured) tried it and his comment was this: "It seemed like they had not just one idea for a game, but a dozen and scotch taped them all together into an incoherent mess". So yea... I guess the verdict wasn't great for this one. You play as a coven of witches trying to become the next head of the coven. While you are doing witchy things like brewing healing potions and fixing up people in the hospital the witch hunters get mad at you for doing nice things and eventually hunt you down and put you on trial, but you can try to stack the jury in your favor.

Folklore: the affliction:

Well, this was a pleasant surprise! After the gloomhaven behemoth (70+ games under our belt) it was nice to see another company take a stab at the DnD on a board idea and actually succeed (more or less). Lots of flavor text to read with choices build into it. You then head off into wilderness to try to make it to your goal. As you traverse the overland, events happen which can help or hinder you. When you reach the destination, a small map is laid out and you do the fighty fight. An easy to learn combat system (some really good ideas in here such as all the monsters share health pool, easy to learn combat and interesting things on the map to investigate), fun player powers, and some really smart ideas has gone into this title. There's some really good stuff in here if you are looking for a multi session game with tons of expansions once you have finished up the core set. Good! Yes!

Town 66:

Oink games are awesome. We can all agree on that. Small format, big ideas. Some more successful than others but always interesting and usually pretty fun. Town 66 is.. ok. Yea. On your turn you place a tile. The trick is that you can' have another tile of the same color or the same shape in both row or column. Once you can't place any more tiles, the game ends. The player who can place tiles the longest wins. It's.. ok.


Which is then compared to the immensely fantastic Scout. My favorite game of the con. It's a trick.. laying... card game.. Yea. Let's go with that. You are dealt a hand of cards which you are NOT allowed to alter in any way except for in the beginning of the game when you can flip it upside down for another set of numbered cards (a card can have a 1 at the top and a 7 at the bottom for example). Once you have determined your orientation you start playing. First player puts down a card or a set of cards. The next player must then either beat that show by playing MORE cards or the same number of cards, but in a higher value set. If they can't they scout a card from the edges of the set played. Play continues around the table until a new show can be played. When one player has 0 cards left in their hand, the round ends. If you have cards left in your hand, those are negative points. Easy to learn and plays with all your expectations of what a trick taking game is. Utterly phenomenal game.


Reload is a Battle Royal video game in a box. Unlike Dreaded Gazebo I did not like this game very much. It has some good ideas such as using your dice to either spend them for movement / build / attack or save them for defense. In reality you really don't need to save them at all because any dice you spend are used for defense anyway. We had the good fortune to have the developer walk by as we were trying to learn it and ask if we wanted help. And boy did we. The rule book is a mess and as we were learning it, he kept stacking on features upon features upon features until my head was swimming with a million small rules that quite often contradicted each other. You use X to do Y sometimes, but sometimes X does Z. It needed to be split into a core game and have expansions that build on that core game.

Steam Up:

Kinda neat set collection game where a lazy susan (again!) moves dim sum's around and you get to pick items from the steam baskets. What I liked most about this one is that the baskets function as a timer as well as a way for the players to collect things. I like game objects that work double duty. It was fine but nothing special. Moving on.

Animals in Espionage:

I cut you pick game where you are trying to foist off a certain animal on to the other player while trying to collect as many of another type. Draw 5 cards. Set them 2, 1, 2 face up. The other player grabs one stack of two, pushes the other two towards you and gets to choose who gets the 5th card. Not awful, not great.

Block and Key:

I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. First off, the box is brilliant. That's the box you see right there. It has insets so the cover becomes to the top etc. You get a set of four cards and you have to place tetris shapes so you can see the shape somewhere in those blocks, from your straight on perspective, and you score that card. Easy, right? Yes, but you can't really see what the other player is placing. So you can't really mess with their structures because you can't see what they are building unless you walk over or rotate the box. So it becomes a very solitaire game. I really wanted to like this, but it falls down due to how the box is constructed.


A fairly simple bluffing game. You put a card face down and say you are following suit and a higher number. Other players can then call your bluff and state "you are bluffing about the number" or "bluffing about suit". If you didn't they draw more cards into their hand. First to get rid of all their cards wins the round. It's a simple formula that works really well because you are playing the people across from you and not the cards themselves. Solid little title.


Less successful bluffing game from same company. I honestly can't remember much about it. Pass.


This title was SO close to being great. SO close. The best part of the game is the action selection part where you have 6 slices (seen at the bottom) of a circle. Each slice has a few tokens on it and each slice represent an action you can take each turn. Move, crusade, build, etc. When you use an action the amount of tokens on it determines how powerful that action is. After you are done, you spread the tokens around on the other actions in a circle movement. This keeps the game from stalling as you can quickly plan your next couple of turns very easily. At one point I counted the seconds between turns and it was 12 seconds. Incredibly fast euro game. Where it falls down is the big map part. Basically you move your little horse around to an empty hex and either fight or build. Some hexes give you bonuses. That's it. That's the game. If the action selection mechanic had tied into a more interesting rest of the game, I would have been over the moon about this game.


I was so disappointed. Move your ship. Place a worm hole. Move your ship place another worm hole. Deliver cards from one planet to another. If you use another player's worm hole they get paid a piddly amount. For all the hype about this game it felt like a game that has been absolutely stripped down by a publisher shouting "Make it simpler!! SIMPLER!" until it's just the bare bones of what used to be an interesting and tense strategy game. Hard pass.


I am not sure we played this 100% correct, but I think we did. It's a head to head card battle game with a mechanic that both does and doesn't make sense. You have three camps at the bottom. Protect those camps from damage by playing cards in front of them and if they survive you can attack your opponent with the same cards. Ok, cool. That makes sense, right? But see that card at the bottom left? That's a raid card. Those raid cards go straight through any defenses and damages your camps and you can't do anything about it. And you can't heal / fix your camps. So what' the point of building those defense? As far as I can figure, it works as a timer to make a game end that is so poorly designed that if they didn't have those raid cards it would never end. No, thanks.

Ducks in Tow:

Allright. Pay attention. From the publisher: "In Ducks in Tow, you are walking around the park feeding the ducks their favorite food. When you feed them, they start following you and you must lead them to their favorite location in the park.When you successfully lead them to their favorite location, you take a photo with them and they waddle off to find their friends. Maybe you’ll see them again later as you continue your walk around the park."

Sounds lovely and gentle, right? WRONG!! What they don't tell you is that you can lure other players ducks away from them and shove them into ponds and insult their grandmother while you are at it. Well, ok.. no shoving or name calling, but I bet when this gets on the table those things will start to happen. It's a ruthless competition to collect just the right ducks. Been collecting yellows? Well, screw you, I am stealing all the yellow ones and you CANT HAVE THEM! One of my favorite designs I saw at gencon.

Bounce Off:

Bounce ping pong balls into slots in a set amount of time. Balls need to bounce before hitting the slot. For family games there are much better dexterity games out there.

Last one alive:

I think it's a more complicated zombie dice. Roll dice. Defend against zombies. Pass zombies off to the next player. I say "think" because the guy who demo'd it couldn't answer our questions and was VERY stoned. Good for him, but bad for his company and for us. Seemed ok, I guess?

Cat in the box:

Another one of my favorite games this Gencon. It's another trick taking game, but this one just throws all the rules out the window and say "f*ck it... play whatever you want as long as you can". Want to play a card as a green? Go for it. It's a phenomenal little trick taking game that will be around in my game group for a LONG time. Want rules? Sure. Ok. So the cards have no colors. Just number. When it's your turn you can just say "green 2" and play a 2. Then you put a little marker on the middle board on green 2. Cool. Easy. What if you really want to win a trick? Just say "red 7" instead and put your marker on the trump color red. Yay. You win! Well, hang on. Did you bet that you would win 3 tricks? You better have some good cards. Because when you said "red" that meant you are not allowed to play green anymore. ANY GREEN. For the rest of the round. Phenomenal game.

Nut Hunt:

A solid little strategy game. Try to herd squirrels from one location to other. But you can't move them by yourself. You move a fox into a tile and all the squirrels scatter to nearby locations. My friend played it so I wasn't paying attention 100% but there was also nest building and some other things happening. It looked cool so if you want a fairly easy to learn strategy game that looks adorable, might want to look into this one.


Sigil is great. Sigil is GO. Sigil is area control. Sigil is magic. Sigil will be awesome when it's released. Abstract strategy for two players that has no downsides to it. Highly recommended.


This was both easier and more complicated than it should be. So you play cards into this machine right? When you play a card, you get some resources. You then use those resources to repair those machines, remove them from the machine and score points. What makes this game good is that each machine you play also has special powers so you can gain more resources and make little chains of feel good interactions. What sucks is that every card has a indecipherable icon on it, so you have look that up which slows the game down tremendously. AP prone players beware.

The mirroring of Mary King:

I love Devious Weasel games. Cosmic Frog was my game of the year last year and it still stands out as the most absurd fantastic thing in the board game industry. This year, they had a new 2 player game and no, it's not what you think. You both play as Mary King, but one of you are actually possessing Mary King and you are both fighting to be in control of her. So it's an area control game of the mind and soul. So how does it work? Each turn (of 5 total turns) you can play some control cards. Those control cards will flip the cards that make up Mary. The more cards you flip to your side, the more cards your opponent must discard. Then it's your turn and you do the same thing. But there are also "ideas" you can use which are basically more powerful control cards or cards that have powers on them which are VERY powerful. Those ideas can be drafted and used. As the game goes on, the fewer cards you can play so it has a natural and elegant ramp towards the end game. Oh my gosh I love their games. Highly, highly, recommended.

That is it! Those are all the games I played at Gencon 2022. Thanks for reading all of that if you did, and if you didn't I am sorry I took so much space.

Edit. These are the games I purchased:


So I hit the quote button so I could try to fix the image tags, and the tags are actually correct. Further inspection reveals that the ** URLs that I'm seeing are themselves... well they're kinda like images but appear to be some other sort of file. Curious.

Where should I be uploading them instead? I would rather not use imgur. How about imgBB? That seemed to work! Sorry about that! Note: Don't use google photos to host images.

Well it's working for me now. Not sure what was going on. I'm enjoying the pictures and the writeup!

Two things were clearly very hot right now:
* Games with cat themes
* Games with a lazy susan component

Seriously, there were so many games that had some sort of lazy susan/rotating component. And many of them didn't need it at all. I'm all for cool components but it felt like it was getting a little out of hand

I've got some friends who put their Dominion cards on a lazy suzan so everyone can shop with them right side up. Can't think of another board gaming use for them offhand. Maybe if you're getting REALLY ambitious with a Roborally expansion...