What do I recommend players look for in a great family board game? Take a guess!
The game doesn’t have to be quick [or take forever] but interaction between players should be as close to non-stop as possible.
This is a time to actually socialize! Face to face, not Cortana to Siri. There should be a lot of talking! And smiling and laughing – unless it’s an eerie game, then make that “a lot of big eyes and ‘you take the card, I don’t want the card’”.
A time to face the impossible and not have to worry about someone actually croaking or getting stuck in a temple for all eternity. And that’s a good thing.
2. There must be tension and release.
I need a 6, or, get me that blue card, or, no more giant scorpions please! Followed by, yay, I got it!
This cannot be constant [too much of anything becomes repetition and thereby boring] but it must be present. And when it’s present, it should be BIG!!! Game changing [literally] BIG!
So that each player can enjoy the game equally. This is what I think is either the hardest part or the part where too many games simply fall short. How many times have you been in a game and thought/said, ‘You are so far ahead, let’s just quit now and call you the winner’?
No one wants to beat a dead horse…unless the game is called Beat a Dead Horse, I guess.
This aspect is especially lacking in many family games. It’s either for kids or it’s really for grown ups; not both. And it should be for both. Family game time with kids is an excellent way to build lasting bonds.
4. [last but not least – and this is why my 1st game is a co-op game] That moment where the game’s outcome is going to be decided on one final turn. Win or lose on this roll / draw/ reveal…. And when you do win, it’s a wonderful feeling. You have worked as a team and just won the championship! What family would not be better off with more doses of that feeling?
What about you? What do your favorite family [or any type, really] board games have that you think makes them better than the rest? What are your #1, 2 and 3 [or add #5, 6 and 7 to my list]?