Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Engaging Boardgame for the Family rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Manfred Bohms
msg tools
My 13 year old daughter has started getting into more-engaging boardgames over the last year or so. She loves Ticket to Ride, really got into backgammon, and is eagerly awaiting Takenoko as a first day of school gift, and we're debating about picking up Tokaido. We've been wanting to get Catan, but my wife and 19 year old daughter are turned off by anything remotely "geeky", so finding a reliable third for Catan is difficult. SO, we're looking for some somewhat engaging boardgames that we can play two-player, but might be able to get the other two to play (they enjoy playing "normal" boardgames). So this is what I'm thinking as criteria that might entice them:

1. Playable as two-player, in case the other two don't get into it.
2. Fairly engaging and difficult - we don't want it to be too difficult, but definitely don't want a pedestrian game.
3. Pretty (but not necessarily feminine).
4. Okay to be competitive. We're a competitive family
5. Easy to set up and break down - if it's a chore, they're not going to play it.
6. Somewhat short playing sessions, or easy to pick a game back up at a later date.
7. Must not appear geeky - there's no way we'll get the other two to play if it smells of "geekness".

I think that's about it. Any recommendations are appreciated. From a guy who would play marathon sessions of Empires in Arms as a younger man.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephanie L
msg tools
Avatar
Our families seem to enjoy similar games. Have you tried Survive: Escape from Atlantis!? It's engaging for all ages and abilities and looks pleasant. I've never played with two, though, but I think it would be one.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Hjelmberg
Sweden
Saltsjö-Boo
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wonder if Sheepland would suit your family? It fits all your criteria and is a very clever and cutthroat game in spite of its "friendly" look. The designer is actually the same guy who did Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar so he knows his profession.

Basically, the game is about driving sheep to regions where they will earn money while also buy "shares" in those regions to get a part of the profit - all in a fierce competition with the other players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julie (Juju) B.
United States
Herriman
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How about something artsy like Fresco or Pastiche? They play well with 2-4 and are very "pretty" and don't take too terribly long, while still being strategic. Pastiche is the easier of the 2.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You'd need to get it used but it might fit your criteria.
Return of the Heroes
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
WD Yoga
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dungeon Petz looks cute but offer serious thinking, especially when preparing for the pets' needs.

Galaxy Trucker offers fast and fun gameplay when building the spaceships.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stone Age might work for you, but it might be a bit longer than you prefer. Typical game sessions last about 75-90 minutes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Fradette
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
mb
Takenoko?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew VanSpronsen
Canada
Kitchener
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Rococo: simple mechanics but thinky game. Its a deck/hand building area control game about making dresses. Scales very well from 2-5 players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Campbell
United Kingdom
Ilkeston
Derbyshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure about the "geekness" factor but Carcassonne is playable with two, can be played in a friendly or competitive manner (whether you try to 'steal' each other's roads or cities) and can be played quickly. It has limited set-up time, just take the tiles out of the box and away you go.

I don't think it would win a beauty contest but it's pleasing enough on the eye. It might be seen as a bit old hat now, but it's still one of the best tile-laying games and a personal favourite.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next total solar eclipse holiday in 2017 in the USA.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Carcassonne reminds me of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival for 2-4 players.

* It's pretty without trying to be cute or geeky.
* It's simple, but reveals strategy on repeated plays.
* Has tile laying, color matching and set collection.
* Scales well for 4-3 players. I have not tried 2-player though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Mench
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the idea of Rococo. Dress making, but not. Good family fun with deep(ish) game play. On the same line as Fresco - which we don't like as two player... But it does work.

On the lighter, fun, competitive side:

I'd also suggest Camel Up. Super fun family game with lots of yelling and cheering. Plays well with 2 and is a blast with 4. I think everyone would enjoy this game. Cute artwork, fun game play and random in a good way! Very competitive.

If you are interested in spending some money... We just picked up Junk Art and are really enjoying it! You need a sturdy table!! Balancing 'junk' blocks of wood to make art as you tour around the world visiting different cities with different mini-games for each city. Easy setup and cleanup too. Very competitive and light fun.

Well, that's it from me. You should get lots of suggestions!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M Smith

UK
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You have got a good game in Takenoko already.
I play Parfum with the missus and Daughter with nan joining in too if she pops round.
Now here is the weird thing our dear daughter loves spooky games more , she will almost always play Elder Sign and has also pulled up a chair for Zombicide,BattleCON: Devastation of Indines, Castle Panic and Defenders of the Realm.
Out of these games she was prepared to try Elder sign with her two friends.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vanilla Ice
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
I've found tile laying games to be good for this purpose. Building something that looks different at the end of each play tends to pull in people who might not normally play games. My recommendations in this category are:

Ingenious (best with 2 players, excellent using team play with 4)
Carcassonne (great with 2 players, enjoyable but not as good with 4)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (probably best with 4, but certainly playable with 2)
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (haven't played with only 2, but people seem to enjoy it)

Some other recommendations:

Splendor
Blokus
Karuba
Sushi Go Party!
Biblios
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Camel Up is an excellent option for the whole family + any casual visitors (plays up to 8 out of the box). It's a fun game about betting on racing camels.

As for both of you, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation might be an option: a 2 player game that is competitive, easy to setup, plays quickly, and not too easy. I guess the LOTR theme is not too geeky since the movies came out?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael McElroy

Cedar Hill
Texas
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1 Survive: Escape from Atlantis!. We also enjoy Splendor and it would play well with two. My kids love Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game because it's not as geeky, I think, and the Prisoner's dilemma two player variant (which can be found via google search) is supposed to be pretty awesome but I haven't tried it personally. I'm looking at Letters from Whitechapel for very similar reasons you posted. Lastly, I would check out New York 1901, it's right towards the edge of geeky, of course I'm not really sure I'd be the person to determine what's geeky or not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe H
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd agree with many of the suggestions, especially New York 1901. It has straightforward rules, beautiful design and graphics, very nice components and, although very accessible to the casual gamer has enough depth for someone who wants more.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brandon Fox
msg tools
Escape: The Curse of the Temple Can even be played solo and the expansions add so much replay-ability. Not "geeky" and straight up fun. Cooperative but has a element that someone usually takes the lead where to go next. Plays in 10 minutes.

RoboRally By far my favourite game in my collection. Plays up to 8 and sometimes even plays better with only 2 as it's less chaotic. The only downside is that teaching rules can prove to be a bit confusing - if you miss one little piece of information and die, you'll fall behind in the game and sometimes those players give up.

Flick 'em Up! Great alternative to a "board game" in a sense where your table top is the game board. If you can flick, you can play this game. Great with 2 or teams of 2.

Colt Express Fun components, definitely fits the "competitive" bill. Lots of different ways to play and also has an expansion to keep it interesting.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liam (Away/AFK)
Scotland
flag msg tools
admin
badge
I am BGG's official honey trap
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
welcomeblankManfred

Tales & Games: The Hare & the Tortoise (Cute, quick, clever and fun)

+1 Forbidden Island or it's bigger brother/sister Pandemic

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.