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Joined: Jun 2008
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I own a lot of games, most of which you can't buy at Toy R Us, but it's not easy to get my family to play with me. It all started when the kids were in elementary school and we went to the toy store to look for something new. Something a bit more challenging than Hungry Hungry Hippos. Something that was not Monopoly. We walked away disappointed.
Then about four years later I stumbled upon a newly opened local game shop - no longer in business. They had a game called Tikal and RoboRally which I bought on the suggestion of the sales person. I couldn't get anyone to play, but the bug had bit me and I had to have more. A few years later I bought Queen's Necklace and Carcassonne and whined until my children played with me. Queen's Necklace has quite a steep learning curve which didn't faze my kids one little bit. I was encouraged by their acceptance and over the years - my son is now 22 and my daughter just graduated from high school - I bought more and more games some of which have never been played but many of which we enjoy.

If I could start all over again I would probably not buy as many games. I own more than a hundred! Many of my games are probably unfamiliar to most of you. I buy from places such as Thoughthammer, Gamessurplus, and Fairplaygames - all online. These games are produced in limited supply, may or may not be something you'd like to play, and sometimes do not attract the entire family - who are often the only people you can find to play with you.
I've played some hits and some misses so I thought I'd share my limited knowledge with those of you who might be interested in playing what are thought of as Eurogames. These are the ones I would buy knowing what I know now about my family's taste and interest in games.

Acquire is an older game currently in reprint. This is a good family business game.

Octiles is one of the first games my husband and I loved to play.

Battle Line is a two player game that we like. It's a card game. It is also known as Schotten Totten which has cute Scotsmen on the cards.

Cartagena is, I think, in reprint and worth a look. It's a quick game of trying to get pirates to safety.

Carolus Magnus. LOVE this one but it's thinky. Great for 2 players (I've not played with more).

Attika needs to be played with three or four players but we really like it.

Dos Rios is scrambling fun for 2 (or more), is a little pricey and has bandits. We will pull this out anytime.

Tikal. It's going to be a classic. It's not too pricey and it's beautiful so don't miss out.

Dragonland. It may still be out of print but look for it. Its great for elementary aged kids and new players.

Expedition. My family cannot get enough of this. Unfortunately, it's needs a reprint. There was a National Geographic print a few years ago.

Goldland. Crazy fun with a group of 4 or 5 players but somewhat flat with less.

Hacienda. Pricey but as beautiful as Tikal. Needs at least 3 players.

Through the Desert. We love the camels. It's a little thinky like Go is thinky.

Jambo. A card game for two. All cards have special information but you get the feel for it in no time. My daughter will play this with me.

Fearsome Floors. For some reason this is a favorite of ours. Running from a monster and slipping on puddles of blood toward the Exit. Good for everyone but especially for family fun.

Heimlich & Co. is great as a family game.

Hey! That's My Fish! Great for the family.

Hollywood Blockbuster. I am distressed that I loaned my copy and haven't been able to play since before Christmas 2007. This one is fun.

Vegas Showdown. Quality isn't great but the game is great with four or five players.

Reiner Knizia's Samurai is pretty good. It's abstract if you like that. Would I buy it again? Probably because it plays well with 2, 3 or 4 players.

The Downfall of Pompejii is disastrous fun. ha ha.

Odin's Ravens for 2 is something I'd buy again.

Wyatt Earp is a western themed card game best with 3 or 4.

No Thanks! is a fast fun card game.

R-Eco good card game especially for eco-conscious teens. It's a theme that's "pasted on" as they say, but it's still a good game.


There are many others but I think 24 games is a good start. If you are thinking about getting into family gaming I believe that the earlier you start the kids (and the hubby) the better. If you need some help I might be able to point you in the right direction or offer an opinion or two.


Good luck!

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Wow - We have a lot of games and I've never heard of any of these games. I'm sort of in the same boat as you. My son is 20 and moved out a few years ago. He recently stopped in and I suggested he look over all his old games in the attic to see if there was any of them he wanted to take to his apartment to play with friends. I was surprised when he came downstairs with a huge pile in his arms. He's a big gamer. So I bagged them up and out the door he went. But that left me with the rest of the younger kids games that he outgrew and just my husband and myself to play them. That wasn't going to happen so now I'm looking to donate them to my sister who has younger children who can use them. Some of them can be played by two adults so I can keep a few. I love games because they really bond a family together. There was only the three of us so we relied on games to keep us close as my son was growing up. Thanks for sharing your post.

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Hiya Deb. Another reason I bought into games was because my husband and I needed exercise for our brains. I can't remember rules to save my life! Learning and playing games, particularly early in our lives, was one way we could connect as a couple, connect with friends and keep our minds active. We also found that gaming was, for the most part, cheaper than going on a date. So it was relatively inexpensive fun.
It's a big concern for me that I buy a game and it turns out that nobody likes it. Luckily, there's a resale market or some institutions will take them as donations for either resale or for play. Then again, sometimes we get back to a game and find that we needed to give it another chance...

Your son might like a game called Nexus Ops. It's Sci-fi, it's a bit luck driven, it's cheap, and it's got ugly little creatures that smell AWFUL just out of shrink. If he's familiar with Axis and Allies then he and his friends might enjoy it.
(off the top of my head). It's more thematic than abstract.
Another game he might like (because it's more thematic than abstract) is Blood Feud in New York. It's got a large map and a few hundred plastic figures, including cars, boats and helecopters.
Just off the top of my head.

Playing different games helps to narrow down preferences. I don't care to play with dice, for example, which both games above have, but some people can't get enough of them.
My husband doesn't really like to play card games so we usually grab a boardgame.
There are SO many games out there. When I discovered that I was blown away and hooked!



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real tweet -
I actually invited people to post in the Creativity forum Creative activities they do as a couple. I just wrote an article on the subject. I never even thought about including playing games in my "20 activities." So if you get a chance and would like to post in the Creativity forum, pop on over and tell everyone about how you and your husband like to play games or cut and paste your last (above) post to the Creativity site. smile

I'm a Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble enthusiast myself.

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RoboRally is a favorite in our house. Sadly I have no idea where it got off to. Too many moves over the years I guess. We thought about buying it again but just haven't gotten around to it.

I also love Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. Tsuro is also a fun one we have played.

My husband likes what I call epic games like Runescape, Game of Thrones, and Descent that take hours and hours to play. They are fun but take a long while. In fact I don't think we've ever finished a game of Runescape! heh

I will definitely have to check some games out on your list as you've mentioned a few that I really enjoy.


Lynn Little
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Too bad about RoboRally. That could have brought some nice coin when it was OOP. Probably still could! I own it but have never gotten around to playing it.


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Thanks for the great game list!! I like finding games that we can play as a family with the younger kids.

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I've always loved playing board games, or any game for that matter. When my son was young we played lots of games, but then he left the nest and has his own family now. I had so many board games already, but when I met my husband who is from Germany, he added his collection. So now, you can just imagine how many board games we have. I can tell you, we won't ever have a boring evening.

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When we go on trips, we always look up the local comic/hobby shop and usually buy a board game. Then we play it at the hotel. I find board games we buy at hobby shops to be a lot of fun. Toys R Us is great for games for my daughter and I love classic board games like Monopoly. It's just really nice to find board games that we both enjoy and haven't played - or sometimes seen - before.

Lynn


Lynn Little
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