Top 10 Family Board Games (List Two of Three: Joe’s List)

My last post was Kai’s Top Ten Family Board Games list.

Today is my husband, Joe’s list. His list has a few similarities to Kai’s list, while it has several different ones that Kai has, as well.

Machi Koro is a game that’s fairly new to us, but it’s . Basically, you’re wanting to develop a city. To do this, you buy cards that give you benefits (money) if the number on the dice rolled matches the number on your developments – sometimes it is activated on other players’ turns, sometimes only on your own. To win, you have to build all of your required landmarks. Some reading required.

Formula D is a racing game. The cars in it are itty bitty (see picture for scale – that’s Joe’s finger). We’ve often tried to introduce it to people who scoff at the idea of a racing board game, but I’ve yet to hear a person say, “That was as bad as I thought.” Most people end up enjoying it. But if you have a kid who still “mouths” things, you want to keep it away from them. Also, some younger kids have a tendency to want to play with the cars. Requires number identification but no reading.

Carcassonne is a tile placement game. You’re trying to build a countryside, with roads, cities, grassland, etc. Each feature scores differently and, at the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. Typically, this game is my number one suggestion for a “gateway game,” which means it’s the first one I recommend to people wanting to get into games. No reading required.

The Duke is a two player game that’s vaguely like chess, but with more options. (And I think all of us like it better than chess.) The pieces in this game are square tiles that you flip when you move. Each side shows how the piece can move while that side is showing. Minimal reading required.

Castle Panic This is basically a tower defense game made into a board game. You’re trying to defend the castle in the middle from everything that’s attacking it. And it’s cooperative – you either all win or you all lose, making it excellent for those kids who have a hard time not being the winner when someone else is. Also, because you can all see each other’s cards, only one person has to be able to read.

Eldritch Horror is a cooperative game where you’re play as investigators traveling around the world, trying in order to gather clues to prevent an elder being from destroying the world. This game is based on the HP Lovecraft “universe”.

Small World is a game where you play as fantasy races, trying to conquer as much of the board as possible before your race goes into decline. When it is time for your race to decline, you pick another race and play as that one. It’s lots of fun. I will say, however, that it is one of the more complex games on this list. There’s a lot of interesting mechanics and a lot to keep track of. However, it’s also fairly easy to help your kids with it if they have a harder time grasping the game. Kai plays it and loves it, but if you’ve got kids mainly under eight, this game will be harder for them. The more other games the play, the easier this will be for them. Minimal reading required.

Pandemic: Contagion

In this game, you’re playing as a disease trying to infect the world. Unlike the original Pandemic, this game is NOT cooperative. The game uses cards to represent various cities. Each turn, players may choose to draw cards, spread disease, or advance “mutations”.

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game with Dungeons & Dragons style “flavor”. Complete quests and build buildings to gain points. The gameplay is really simple and it’s a lot of fun. I also like how “scalable” this game is – it plays well with two people or with several people.

King of New York is a lot like King of Tokyo but a bit advanced (and, obviously, you’re in New York). You’re monsters, attacking the city. This one also adds in military units that can cause you, the monsters, problems.

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