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Subject: Need an interactive family game. rss

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Alex Brown
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Ok ...

Over the last few years I've been pruning back to a twenty-game collection.
This is for a variety of reasons, but I'm satisfied I've hit on the right number.

I've got nineteen games at the moment:

Mage Knight Board Game
Race for the Galaxy
Twilight Struggle
Android
Imperial 2030
Chess
Yomi
Claustrophobia
Neuroshima Hex!
Carcassonne
Catan
Ticket to Ride
Galaxy Trucker
xxx
Hey, That's My Fish!
For Sale
King of New York
Tajemnicze Domostwo
PitchCar
Wits & Wagers

Essentially I'm looking for one more familyish game to round out the collection. I'd like it to be around that 2.5-3 weight, 60-90 mins, have a board, and have decent, if not Euroish interaction. If I had to lean on one angle, I'd like it to have more conflict than Carc/Catan/TTR but not as much as the 2er games I've listed.

Examples of contenders that have a personal flaw are (hey, in a 20-game collection you get to be VERY picky!)

Pandemic: played 5/6 times - exhausting because of Alpha player
Small World: played a few times and found it dry with just base game - considering Underground.
Wiz-War: I hate unpainted minis and not sure how random it is.
Cosmic Encounter: hate shared victories and a bit too free form (i.e. kingmaking) in negotiation.
Fresco: a bit too much of a point salad
Waterdeep: I don't like transplanted IP themes (I know I'm picky) and also a bit too busy for what I found a very dry decision-tree.
Nexus Ops: Like it, but a bit too samey without an expansion.
7 Wonders: a bit too busy for what you get on the table, expansions suck.

Am I missing anything obvious?

Thanks - Alex
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Rob Steward
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For our family, the most heavily interactive games are the ones with negotiations.

In the weight range you ask about, I'd recommend:
Chinatown
Santiago

A bit heavier, but quite a bit better:
Genoa
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D K
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+1 for Chinatown
 
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Adam Smiles
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Check out Stone Age.
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Contig the fallen
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I don't see any social deduction or traitor games, like Shadows over Camelot or One Night Ultimate Werewolf.

The social aspect makes them fairly interactive and require a fair amount of thought, though as party games they don't carry much "rules weight".
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Todd Kauk
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DigitalMan wrote:
For our family, the most heavily interactive games are the ones with negotiations.

In the weight range you ask about, I'd recommend:
Chinatown
Santiago

A bit heavier, but quite a bit better:
Genoa


These are great recommendations.

-1 for Stone Age as it has little interaction and I found it very dull

Peloponnes is a real favourite of mine and fits your criteria pretty well.
 
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Mark Jackson
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Survive: Escape from Atlantis!?
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Scott Sims
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Lords of Vegas could be ideal.
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Paul Evans
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Hmm - I went to check your previously owned, and saw that my ideas had by and large been rejected by you already. Good luck with the search.
 
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Chris K
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Takenoko
 
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bort
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Rise of Augustus
 
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David Monteforte
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Survive: Escape from Atlantis!is probably one of the more fun family games i have played in a long long time.

a bit of "take that", a bit of luck, a bit of strategy, and simple enough an 8 year old can play. Check it out, it's great fun and has tons of variants should you wanna mix things up.
 
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Chef D
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+1 for Santiago.

Surprised no one has mentioned The Resistance or The Resistance: Avalon.

Both these are highly interactive and go up to 10 people. This was a huge success with my family over the holidays that never played games. This and the Family Feud game that comes on a DVD were a huge hit.
 
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Nevin Longardner
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Test
It's OOP, but Endeavor might be worth a look.
 
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Samo Oleami
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on contenders:
- Underground won't fix Small world. (rather the opposite)
- Wiz war IS random. Come on, it's a take that game. However it's probably the best take that game because of the board play. And it's the board play which makes it less random - who are you going to attack, whose treasure to steal? (Usual group psychology). I like how stupid it is in a good way - theme make sense, whatever you do is tangible. But I couldn't say it's family type fare.
- With your doubts Cosmic Encounter is not for you. (Are you the alpha player you're complaining about? )

On suggestions: you've played the best, you don't like them. Wait for some years, maybe something will come along.
(Survive would be my first pick for an interactive family game and it seems you could like, but apparently do not. ). Maybe Terror in Meeple City? It's flicking, it's theme, it's family level. Components ARE heavy. Chinatown (haven't played) might be a good bet, maybe even 50-50. You can also try Quantum, there's a 15% chance you might like it.
I thought maybe a Knizia would fit your lack of appropriation for the random, but apparently not (and you like Galaxy Trucker for choices? Wha...? I play it for ship go boom, hehehe). Going through your comments I am puzzled, you don't like them too thinky, not too random. Theme matters, only not too much? Looks like a Goldilocks principle.

To make it seem like I'm trying (I am!), here's some stuff that doesn't fit your criteria at all, but hey, it's a tough criteria, consider these anyway:
- Kakerlakenpoker Royal. Not what you're after, but different enough I'm not sure you'll hate it. Ha!
- Geistesblitz - it's like Jungle Speed with steeper learning curve. Best way to annoy the eurosnots.
- Condonttierre (play with 1st/2nd edition rules). Interactive, simple, deep, might not be family level, but good fun. However you have to play the opponents, not the game.
- Indigo. Light-ish, family-ish, filler-ish. Simple abstract with shared incentives (ooo!)
- Libertalia? Hell, maybe. Weight fits, playing time fits, kinda sorta family fits, theme it has (pasted on, but you can't tell unless you read the designer's journal, thank God for developers). It's gamier than citadels, then again if fixes what it bothers you on Citadels. Which means: not as interactive. But still - it's a doublethink game of sorts (crossed with engine building of sorts). 25% chance!
- Kingdom Builder. Is pretty dry. Okay, totally dry. Art generic even more than the game's title. But for spatial sorta abstract it's an interesting take and deeper than it seems. Maybe even more accessible than Carcassonne.

That's as much as I can do.
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Alex Brown
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Alright, thanks everyone, maybe I need to go back to Survive: Escape from Atlantis!.

Had it and the expansions but felt like the first few turns were too easy (everyone's high numbers bolts on boats) and the game didn't have enough to be able to stop it.

Sort of thinking along Survive - Wiz-War - Small World - Nexus Ops mashup.

Maybe Samo is right and I've just got to wait (but no one really makes those games anymore ).
 
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Dr. Saari
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Alex Brown wrote:
Alright, thanks everyone, maybe I need to go back to Survive: Escape from Atlantis!.

Had it and the expansions but felt like the first few turns were too easy (everyone's high numbers bolts on boats) and the game didn't have enough to be able to stop it.

Sort of thinking along Survive - Wiz-War - Small World - Nexus Ops mashup.

Maybe Samo is right and I've just got to wait (but no one really makes those games anymore ).


It's a pretty common strategy to load up a boat, but you're one sea serpent away from that strategy becoming a disaster. Plus, if everyone does it and everyone succeeds, it then becomes about getting the smaller valued guys in, which is harder and more interesting.

If you want to make it harder, get the giant squids expansion. They can wipe people off the main island if chosen to be put on the board in lieu of a whale.

Of course, I love Small World. Great game. Sometimes a race/power combo comes up that is too powerful, and I think there should be more turns in a game (which you can always do as a personal adjustment), but overall I love it. The artwork biases me a bit, admittedly.
 
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Alex Brown wrote:

Am I missing anything obvious?


Yes, That there is not such thing as a perfect 20 game family collection which encompasses all.

Variety is the spice of life and so I think the point is that the plan should be to pick up a few games every so often ... and if you wish ... sell or give away a few games every so often.

Want a good new Family game you haven't tried .. pick up Camel Up

{edit} .. ok read your profile. You sound a bit disgruntled after working so many years in the games industry. Well, maybe its not all pretty out there ... your project to get to 20 games sounds a bit like a game you are playing with yourself ... good luck.
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Samo Oleami
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Alex Brown wrote:
Alright, thanks everyone, maybe I need to go back to Survive: Escape from Atlantis!.

Had it and the expansions but felt like the first few turns were too easy (everyone's high numbers bolts on boats) and the game didn't have enough to be able to stop it.

The original game had the dolphin expansion which made it harder to swim to shore and the monsters moved faster (2 dice for movement - each moster could move up to 2 spaces and dive).

Alex Brown wrote:
Sort of thinking along Survive - Wiz-War - Small World - Nexus Ops mashup.

Maybe Samo is right and I've just got to wait (but no one really makes those games anymore ).

Try Quantum - it's not brilliant, but given your cryptic taste, it might suit you. Basically it's a light DoaM in space with a sort of puzzlish thing going on. Groupthink is rampant and the game is AP prone. Still - try if you find it.

For me the gamer's game of this type is CitOW, which needs repeated play to shine (you must play it with same group which is of size 4 players exactly). For the more casual 8aka family) I like King of Tokyo over the 'fat' New York version.

Tammany Hall is also said to be good and nearly impossible to get hands on.

You could go retro and try Vinci... Still dry, probably (haven't tried).

How about 1775: Rebellion? Haven't played but gets pretty good reviews.
Mission: Red Planet? it's said to get a reprint soon. (Haven't played, but I expect it to be faiduttean (chaotic)).
 
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Mindy Basi
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If you can find River Dragons, that might be a good fit.
 
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