Going fast and turning left: racing hasn't changed much in the last 2000 years. But that doesn't mean racing is boring. In this episode, Chris and Laura explore the chaotic fun inherent in the chariot racing game, "Circus Maximus" from Avalon Hill. They discuss ancient Roman life, how games build an intuitive grasp of statistics and probability, and have some book and movie recommendations as well.
Circus Maximus & Gladiator - Both currently out of print, these...
What game do you play when you've exhausted the possibilities of mystery games like "Clue"? The answer, dear listeners, is elementary. This week, Chris and Laura wrap up their Month of Mystery with "221 B Baker Street", a Sherlock Holmes inspired investigation game which expands on the deductive reasoning genre of games. What adaptations did we do to make it accessible to our younger children? What kind of advanced skills in deduction and inference can be gained? Why is the replayability so...
Brother Adelmo has been found lifeless at the foot of the cliffs of the Templars' Abbey. Did he slip, or was he pushed? And if so, by whom? It's your job, as monks brought in from outside, to investigate the crime while continuing to participate in the regular life of the Abbey.
This week, Laura and Chris continue their Month of Mystery with "Mystery of the Abbey", a medieval whodunnit published by Days of Wonder. Combining the investigation and questioning elements of Clue, while adding...
A sneaky fox has taken Mrs. Plumpert's prize pot pie. Four chickens must join forces and uncover the clues to identify which fox or vixen made away with the pleasing pastry become the fox returns to its hole.
This week, Laura and Chris continue their Month of Mystery with "Outfoxed", a cooperative whoodnnit game from Gamewright. They discuss the distinctions between spectacles and pince nez, the value of figuring out clues as a team, and why this game really is fun for the whole family....
October is here. Time for falling leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and curling up with a good mystery book. Or better yet, pulling out a mystery game and spending time with family as the days (eventually) become crisp. And what better game to start off this Month of Mystery than the classic board game "Clue"? Chris and Laura discuss the game's history, how deductive reasoning lies at the heart of the game, and provide some suggestions for speeding up the game when it's dragging without...
This week, Laura and Chris dive into "Outmatched", a fast paced card game designed to help memorize history facts. After a brief overview of the game, we interview Nathan King with the Institute for Excellence in Writing and talk with him about the history and development of the game, it's designer, Dr. James Webster, and what it takes to make memory work not feel like work.
Outmatched Ancient History
Outmatched Medieval History
Be sure to check out the Outmatched...
This week, we continue our exploration of "Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea" with part 2 of our interview with the game designers Christopher Vorder Bruegge and Mark McLaughlin and game developer Fred Schachter. Tales from the convention table and wisdom won from years of game play help bring home the genius of this game: play can be as competitive or friendly as you wish it to be. In the end, it's not about winning or losing; it's about fun with the people playing at the...
This week, we continue our exploration of "Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea" with part 1 of our interview with the game designers Christopher Vorder Bruegge and Mark McLaughlin and game developer Fred Schachter. Join us for a wide-ranging, laughter filled conversation with tales of game play, and loads of history.
This is probably the most games or books ever mentioned in an episode we've done to date.
Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea
This week begins a three part series on "Ancient Civilization of the Inner Sea", recently published from GMT Games. Join Chris and Laura as they gush over the gorgeous artwork and clearly written rules (seriously, we cannot emphasize enough how important those are), talk about a game mechanic inspired by an epic poem, and discuss how resilience and negotiation skills can be developed though the unpredictable game play.
Be sure to listen through to the end. We have a brief sneak peak at...
Ancient doesn't have to mean dry and dusty. This week, Chris and Laura unearthed By Jove from Aristoplay while searching for missing game pieces. The result? We discuss a fun, accessible, and beautifully illustrated Monopoly-style board game that helps bring Greco-Roman myths to life.
By Jove - Originally published by Aristoplay, "By Jove" is currently out of print but copies can be found easily on eBay.
Circus Maximus - A chariot racing game from Avalon Hill, this...
"No plan survives first contact intact." A useful aphorism, but how do you internalize the lesson and learn to deal with plans that go awry from the get-go?
"It ain't over 'til it's over." How do you teach the value of perseverance and the reality that the tide can turn at any moment?
"You have to play the hand you're dealt." Decisions are rarely made with perfect information, and even more rarely are problems solved with the ideal set of resources. How do you help kids learn to avoid...
Have you been wondering if you can integrate games into a formal school curriculum? Do you want to enrich a potentially dry subject area with something fun? How do find games that intrigue students and light the fire of interest? More importantly, how do you make the time?
This week, Laura and Chris pull back the curtain and show how they plan for games during the school year that enliven studies and reinforce concepts. Join us as we talk about games for Ancient Roman History.
Looking for a portable, fast-playing game that develops story-telling, arithmetic skills, and strategic thinking? Then "Gloom" is the answer. This week, Chris and Laura discuss this tabletop card game from Atlas Games and dive into game play, skills development, and common pitfalls in game play to be aware of. If you or your children love Victorian fiction, Edward Gorey, or A Series of Unfortunate Events, this might be up your alley.
Gloom - The core game. This is...
This week, Chris and Laura dive deep into the classic board game, "Civilization", originally published in the US in 1981 by Avalon Hill. We discuss the elements of play, recommend ideas for both learning and teaching the game, suggest where it might fit within a curriculum, and cover both what it teaches and how to avoid likely pitfalls in play. This strategy game is remembered fondly for good reason and suitable for play for middle grades and older.
This week, Chris and Laura talk about games that work well on the go. Whether you're spending your summer at the pool, on the beach, or camping in the mountains, we have suggestions for ways to keep cabin fever at bay.
Magic: the Gathering - If you've never played before, starter decks and the most recent rules are easily acquired. If you played 20 years ago, and aren't interested in tournament play, Ebay is your friend and you can easily acquire large numbers of...
This week, Chris and Laura discuss fatigue, failure, and spectacular tantrums thrown by adults who didn't realize that it's hard to play a new boardgame when you're exhausted. If you're looking for ideas to play games successfully when you're overscheduled and underslept, or just want to hear some tales of games gone horribly, laughably wrong, listen in.
Civilization - This game by Avalon Hill is out of print, but it, and its companion game Advanced Civilization, is...
This week, Chris and Laura continue the conversation about adapting roleplaying games for younger children. We give concrete suggestions for choosing game systems and settings, ways to make the game fun and accessible, and, as usual, tell lots of stories.
Cavemaster - This stone age roleplaying game can easily be adapted for younger players, and will work whether their interest is paleontology or the Ice Age movies.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark
This week, Chris and Laura start a conversation about adapting roleplaying games for younger children, discuss how Chris became a gamer, talk about the origins of our family gaming group, and lay out just what sort of adjustments need to made when introducing new players to keep the game fun and approachable. This is a two-parter, so stay tuned for the conclusion next week.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark
Dungeons & Dragons - This is the fantasy roleplaying...
This week, Chris and Laura discuss what to look for when choosing a game for children who are not yet strong readers and realize that most of their favorites are made by Ravensburger. If you have small children and want to find a game that's a little more engaging and replayable than Candyland, this is the show for you.
Carcassone (Star Wars Edition)
Kids of Catan (Link is to Amazon. You might want to check Ebay as well. Pricey...
This week, join Chris and Laura as they discuss how to use games to reinforce geography in education. They talk about how you can spend a fortune on Ticket to Ride, use GeoGuessr to learn real world geography from Google Street View, and take a deep dive into Queen Games' Thebes and how it integrates with an ancient history and geography curriculum.
Recommended Books and Games:
Fire and Axe
Fire in the Lake
Motel of the Mysteries
Ticket to Ride -...