The HFoG Buyer's Guide
for a game that the whole family can enjoy? Then you need a
family game. Family games are games that typically support
four or five players and can be played in an evening. Most of our
games fit in this category. The games on the previous page all
fit in this category and I'd recommend that you check those out
first but here are a few others that you might want to consider.
Dominion (Rio Grande Games - 2008)|
Dominion won the 2008 Spiel des Jahres (German Game of the Year)
due to its innovative and very approachable game play.
Dominion is a unique game where players use the cards in their decks
to acquire more cards which eventually help them acquire still more cards later in the game.
At some point, it becomes important to stop trying to acquire action cards
and begin aquiring victory point cards but the trick is deciding
exactly when. This game is all about the interactions between the
cards and with dozens of possible starting configurations to choose
from, each game is different from the one before. Also keep an eye out
for this game's two excellent expansions.
Kingsburg (Z-Man Games - 2008)|
Kingsburg is a dice game that is unlike any other dice game I've ever played.
Most dice games are extremely dependent upon luck but Kingsburg does a
great job of tempering that luck with a heavy dose of strategy.
In Kingsburg, you try to curry favor from the king and his advisors in
order to acquire the resources you need to build various improvements
to your province. As your province is built up, you acquire
even more powers which you can use to speed your way toward victory.
This is one of those games that I will happily play over and over and over again.
Zooloretto (Rio Grande Games - 2007)|
Zooloretto won the 2007 Spiel des Jahres
and with good reason. It's easy to learn, easy to play, and gently strategic with
enough luck to allow every family member at least the outside chance of winning.
This boardgame version of Michael Schacht's hit card game
is about collecting animals for a zoo. Players are rewarded for
collecting sets of animals but penalized for collecting animals they
can't use. Like the card game, this game is great for kids because nothing is
hidden, which makes it very easy for adults to offer strategy suggestions
to the kids.
Pillars of the Earth (Kosmos and Mayfair Games- 2006)|
Based on the popular novel by Ken Follett, Pillars of the Earth is a game about building a
cathedral in 12th century England. Its virtues are that it plays relatively quickly, it works
well across its range of players (2-4), it's easy to play, and it's
a heck of a lot of fun. There is a lot of strategy to this game but just enough luck to make it family
friendly. Also, this is one of the more beautiful games I've seen, featuring a gorgeous board with lavish illustrations,
eye pleasing pawns in varying shapes, and a very nifty wooden cathedral that is constructed in
the center of the board to mark the game's progress.
Puerto Rico (Rio Grande Games/Alea - 2002)|
Puerto Rico is number one on my top games list. This game is a
little harder and a little longer (two hours) than the ones on the
starting page. Don't let that scare you away. It's still pretty easy
to learn. What makes Puerto Rico really shine is that there is so
much going on and there are so many different ways to win.
This game will keep your family gaming for years. If you buy
one game on this page, this is the one to buy. It supports
three to five players ages 12 and older.