Games We Love – December 2017

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Hello readers! As you might have noticed, I enjoy boardgames a bit. So, Games We Love is a new feature that I’m trying out and I can imagine it becoming a regular thing on Dad Kingdom. I’m going to write about the games that my family and I have been playing most frequently over the last month or so.

My wife and I are expecting our third child in a few months, and I have grand plans to eventually highlight games that all of my three kids are enjoying. They’ll each be about 2 years apart, so we should be able to cover a lot of ground! It will be fun to document their evolving tastes. But, enough introductions, let’s get to my inaugural edition of Games We Love

Games My 1yo Loves

Okay, I won’t pretend he has a favorite game at the moment. He’s not ready. My goal right now is to keep him from eating the game pieces! But… He turns 2 soon, and if he’s anything like my daughter, there will be a lot more to write about in future editions of Games We Love.

Games My 3yo Loves

SAGRADA

Sagrada is one that’s enjoyable for both of us.

Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, Sagrada is very easy to teach and has scoring objectives which can be omitted for younger players. My daughter (almost 4yo) is at a point where she occasionally likes to play more advanced games, but I have to simplify a few things. It helps that she doesn’t care about winning or losing. So, we follow the standard dice-drafting rules, but leave out the scoring. She occasionally breaks the adjacency rules (dice of the same color or number cannot be adjacent), but for the most part she understands what she’s supposed to accomplish. Sagrada is one that’s enjoyable for both of us.

games we love
A beautiful dice puzzle. (Photo by punkin312 – boardgamegeek.com)

KINGDOMINO

Kingdomino is a wonderfully simple game about building a 5×5 (or 7×7) kingdom of tiles featuring various land types – water, grass, forest, etc. Each tile you place must touch a matching land type, like dominoes. There’s an elegant drafting mechanic where whomever chooses the least desirable tile gets to choose first in the next round (the tiles have a ranking printed on the back). My daughter picked up the tile-drafting faster than I expected and she loves the little castles and king meeples. Scoring is easy – (number of adjacent same-type squares) X (number of crown icons). But, as with Sagrada, we don’t keep score in Kingdomino – mostly because multiplication is over her head. Another game I would gladly play with her any day, even without a “winner.”

games we love
Building a kingdom one domino at a time. (Photo by saksi – boardgamegeek.com)

OUTFOXED

Outfoxed is a game that my daughter and I recently reviewed in a giant comparison. We rated over 20 games that prove children’s games don’t have to suck for adults! This is one that’s proven to have some staying power. (Another one she often requests from that comparison is Cauldron Quest.) Outfoxed is a fun little “who done it?” game with a cute fox theme and a nifty decoder. It’s not my favorite game, but well above average for children’s games – and my daughter loves it.


Games Dad Loves

Okay, enough about the kids. From time to time, after a long day and after the kids are tucked into bed, dad likes to play boardgames. Periodically with some buddies, or sometimes taking advantage of games that include solo rules (mom isn’t a huge fan of games, but the kids and I are working on her).

TINY EPIC GALAXIES

Tiny Epic Galaxies is a game I’ve enjoyed quite a bit recently, both solo and with friends. For many reasons it has been one of my go-to solo games. It’s lightning fast to set up, doesn’t overstay its welcome and offers a variety of “AI” opponents. Each AI opponent has its own difficulty rating and play style. (It’s also a blast with a few friends.) I enjoy the components, iconography and dice mitigation (to reduce the sting of bad luck). As with most dice-chuckers, “TEG” doesn’t offer an overly deep strategic experience, but sometimes I don’t have enough energy to invest in a heavy game. In those cases, TEG fits the bill perfectly.

games we love
Colonizing planets! (Photo by Heath Washburn – DadKingdom.com)

AEON’S END: WAR ETERNAL

Speaking of investing time and energy; On occasions when I have more of it that I’m willing to give, Aeon’s End: War Eternal has been my no-brainer choice for solo play. It’s a newly released game – a standalone expansion to Aeon’s End – that I backed on Kickstarter last spring. Aeon’s End is a cooperative card game where heroes build up their card decks with gems and increasingly more powerful spells to hopefully defeat a nemesis (super villain) and its minions. The team vs. villain aspect reminds me of an old school RPG, like Final Fantasy III on Super Nintendo. Because the game is co-op, it’s really simple to play solo by controlling two heroes. It’s also a really fun and satisfying team experience for up to four players.

So, there you have it. A brief glimpse into the games we love and the ones which have been getting the most plays recently. If you liked reading Games We Love, share it, comment with constructive criticism and let me know if I should post future editions.

Dad Kingdom was not paid for this article, nor was any free promotional product received. Dad Kingdom earns revenue through AdSense advertising and also receives a small commission percentage from purchases made through Amazon links. For details, read About Dad Kingdom.

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1 thought on “Games We Love – December 2017

  1. Wow, some great choices in games. Been meaning to watch some playthroughs and reviews of Kingdomino for a while now. I just may later today.

    Enjoy your other site very much so looking forward to reading your posts here as well.

    Maybe you’ll once in a while even combine the 2 for some really creative fun.

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