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Subject: Family-friendly games but NOT for kids (10 GeekGold bounty to the winner!) rss

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Metäl Warrior
Netherlands
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I'm looking for a family-friendly board game to play with my elderly parents (three players). They seem to like Alhambra which we played over the summer.

Requirements:
- My mom is an artist (painting) so something with vivid colorful artwork is a bonus
- My dad is OK as soon as mom is happy. He's smart that way.
- I like heavily themed (Ameritrash) games, but this is not a requirement
- No kiddie games, or games which have graphic violence, sex or crude humor as a central theme, or which are heavy on lying or cheating (e.g. Secret Hitler and Cards Against Humanity are out, Small World and Catan are in)
- Player interaction a bonus, can be coop or confrontational
- Complexity at the light end of medium-heavy game, up to two hours
- Optimum play with three players, but bonus points for having 4-5 as max players in case others join
- Not too heavy on language in the components as their English is not that great; I can translate the rules. e.g. Puerto Rico is out due to this, as is Munchkin (and for so many other reasons...).

I saw Lanterns: The Harvest Festival played on Tabletop, and it looks perfect match for us. Any other similar recommendations of games which are in print?

10 GeekGold for anyone who recommends a game which I end up buying (other than Lanterns )!
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Jerry Martin
United States
Loveland
Colorado
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Carcassonne?
Istanbul
Race for the Galaxy has a learning curve but once you know what is going on I think it is not hard to understand how to play and is a fantastic game.
 
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Violet Mackerel
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Hanabi or Takenoko?
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Jamie Specht
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
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Vikings on Board
 
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True
United States
Seaside
California
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Abyss
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
Cubist
Steam Park
Tokaido
True
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lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
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Arkadia
 
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Dan Mansfield
United States
Poway
California
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Five Tribes might work.
 
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Cyrus the Great
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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Fresco?
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Adam D
United States
San Diego
California
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I really like Flash Point Fire Rescue. The double sided board looks nice and the Extreme Danger expansion gives you an extra map & a half as well as minis if that interests you.

The theme is strong and easily understandable with nothing child-like, violent or crude. Three characters is the best but it easily scales from 1-6. There isn't a ton of player interaction outside of it being a coop and needing to coordinate. The "family" version is pretty light weight and the "veteran" or regular version is about medium.



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Steven McKinney
United States
Kingsville
Missouri
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Archipelago?
 
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Mads Fløe
Denmark
Aarhus C
DK
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Cottage Garden has lovely artwork, kinda abstract though, but has tile laying that's easy to catch up on if they've played Alhambra.

Stone Age could maybe also work if you want something different.
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Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
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Isle of Skye
Quadropolis
Ra
 
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Matt Lord
United States
Washington
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Splendor
 
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Nik Macmillan
Canada
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Power Grid or Pirate's Cove!
 
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Jamie Specht
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
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Jamaica

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Jamie Specht
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
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Nothing Personal
Tokaido
Takenoko
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L S
Germany
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Dream Factory
 
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Jan-Fredrik Wahlin
Sweden
Malmö
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Head like an orange
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Dixit
7 Wonders
Fleet
Alchemists

Enjoy, have fun!!
 
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No Cat - No Cradle
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I would say either Fresco or At the Gates of Loyang
 
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Jamie Specht
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
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Mysterium
 
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One of my favorite short three player games is the The Bottle Imp based on the classic short story. Very easy to learn rules but lots of replaybility and room for clever play. Art based on illustrations for the short story
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(ɹnʎʞ)
Germany
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7 Wonders

Great artworks
Player interaction (unless you consider card drafting/denying cards interaction, plus the minimalistic military phase and trading aspect)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
No downtime, since everyone is constantly drafting
Expansions available

E It's ranked as the family game #1.
E Winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres award in 2011


Dixit

Great artworks
Player interaction (bluffing/getting into the heads of the others)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
More depth if the players know each other very well
Elegance on a meta level
Expansions available

E Winner of the Spiel des Jahres award in 2010


Lords of Vegas

Great artworks
Player interaction (bluffing/getting into the heads of the others)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
The luck/dice aspect makes thematic sense and balances itself out
Very opened-up trading phase -- almost anything goes
Expansion available (+1 player)


Pandemic

Great artworks (rather minimalistic look)
Player interaction (tense cooperative teamplay)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent (Almost. There are a few event cards with unique but short texts, the rest is just names of cities.)

Other positive aspects
The quintessential cooperative game
Very balanced game design
Adjustable difficulty
Expansions available (including one allowing +1 player)

E Nominee for the Spiel des Jahres award in 2009


Pergamon

Great artworks (average/okay)
Player interaction (indirectly, like blocking)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent (Almost. There are a few event cards with unique but short texts, the rest is just names of cities.)

Other positive aspects
Still great with just 2 players, since the 3rd dummy player is very streamlined
Nice mix of bidding/set collecting/tile puzzle


Splendor

Great artworks (rather minimalistic/cold artworks)
Player interaction (indirectly, like blocking)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
Nice poker chips as components

E Winner of the Golden Geek Board Game of the Year award in 2014


Stone Age

Great artworks
Player interaction (indirect blocking)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
Great components (wooden resource pieces)
Rather universal theme that works with most people
Intuitive concept (send X workers, roll X dice)
Expansion available (+1 player)


Takenoko

Great artworks
Player interaction (none at all - even blocking is not possible, since players' goal cards are kept secret)
Light to medium complexity
Good with 3+ players
Language-independent

Other positive aspects
Great components (wooden bamboo pieces, 2 miniatures)
Cute theme
Panda !
Nice light-hearted atmosphere
Expansion available



Good luck with your research and have fun !
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Dan
New Zealand
Auckland
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I would recommend Castles of Mad King Ludwig as a nice next step from Alhambra. My mother-in-law really enjoys both games.

Ticket to Ride: Europe is also good, especially if you want it to go up to 5 players.
 
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C&H Schmidt
Germany
Heidelberg
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Pandemic -- classic coop, and still one of the best medium-light coops there is, in my opinion. I like the theme, and it is usually tense and exciting. Language-independent.

Tajemnicze Domostwo or Mysterium -- these two are the newer and older edition of the same game; I prefer the older Polish edition Tajemnicze Domostwo (actually completely language-independent; I don't speak any Polish!), but the newer English one will probably be more easily available.
A cooperative game about solving a crime by interpreting dream-like images -- it's like a mixture of Dixit and Cluedo.
In particular the Polish edition has amazing and evocative artwork on large cards.
I love it very much, and even my parents, who normally don't like gaming at all, really enjoyed this one.

Happy Pigs -- this may seem a bit odd theme-wise; it's about being the best pig farmer! An introductory economic game where you need to second-guess the actions your opponents will take in order to make the most of the available actions yourself.
Maybe the artwork is a bit too childish?

Tokaido -- beautiful and engaging game about having the best time on a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto (or possibly the other way round).

Sushi Go Party! or Sushi Go! -- a light and quick, but fun, drafting game about eating the best sushi meal. The artwork is cute. Almost entirely language-independent. This is definitely for in between, not a full game night.

Concept -- more like a creative party game, but it works well with fewer players and can get a wide variety of people interested. This one you would probably need to get in your language.

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Sarah
United Kingdom
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Seeland would be perfect I think for the lighter side, also maybe +1 for isle of skye.

Also Yunnan for amore complex one

Both quite interactive with opportunity for a little meaness but quite intuitive and attractive

Oh and The Downfall of Pompeii seems to go down well with everybody and also very interactive and simple - you get to throw each others meeples in the volcano occassionally
 
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