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Go to the Castle Panic page
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Go to the Ascension page


23 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

Ascension is a good time-waster game. It requires little thought to play successfully (I suppose one could put a great deal of thought and planning into it, but we never do), and we love playing it to relax. It’s easy to learn, quick to play (20-30 minutes) and has just the right amount of fantasy and dark for my fantastical, dark child. In our house it’s the fantasy equivalent of cribbage or go fish; don’t know what to do? Haul out Ascension.

The high replay value listed above depends on what you want from the game. If it’s high drama and innovation, keep moving on. If it’s a relaxing thing to do with your hands and brain with a friend, come on in.

Go to the Super Munchkin page

Super Munchkin

14 out of 21 gamers thought this was helpful

Super Munchkin is another Munchkin game. There are lots of them, and we have quite a few, and enjoy them all. Well, except this one.

We usually play two player sessions, which aren’t ideal for Munchkin (we find we can’t use expansions, as we become too overpowered too quickly), but find Super Munchkin the least two player friendly. It seems the super powers mount too quickly, making the monsters too easy to defeat, and the game a bit boring. This also seems to happen in larger playing groups as well. Basically, it’s just too easy.

Super Munchkin was the first Munchkin game we bought, as it was the only one we could find when it was decided (after playing at friends’ houses) that we NEEDED to have a Munchkin game. We have since bought others, and Super Munchkin languishes at the bottom of the game shelf.

Go to the Gloom page


39 out of 44 gamers thought this was helpful

Gloom is a great game for ages 8ish and up. Reading fluency is really the only requirement for the game. That, and a dark outlook on life.

The game is quick to learn and easy to teach.

This is a story-telling card game, where the aim is to make your chosen family of 5 characters as miserable as possible, and then kill them off in suitably bizarre ways at the nadir of their lives. The game finishes when one player succeeds in slaughtering their entire family, and the winner has the least happiness/most misery points (depending on your world view).

The game is made up of clear plastic cards, through which you can see past details; misery or happiness points. The players can either play cards on their own characters to make them unhappy, or on others’ characters to make them happy, or kill them at opportune or inopportune times. This mess-with-your-neighbour aspect can get a bit out of control, and can need to be supervised a bit if playing with children, so older or more sophisticated children don’t victimize the less-so with happiness.

The story-telling aspect of the game is the best part. If you have a generous, skillful story-teller, the game will be a marvel of ludicrous misery, spiraling the despair out of control and weaving the lives of the families together in an epic tale of Greek tragedy proportions that all will get caught up in. One good story-teller can raise the game and creativity of the whole group.

The game can be played with minimal story-telling, which I’ve used as a way to entice reluctant players. However, I’ve found that within a turn or two, everyone is spinning completely outrageous tales of woe.

We love this game (adult and 10 year old), and I love the imagination and language skills that the game fosters. The kid just likes making people miserable and then killing them off.

Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

69 out of 84 gamers thought this was helpful

Forbidden Island is one of our go-to games for introducing reluctant gamers, both children and adult. The simple game mechanics and quick turnplay make it easy to grasp and enjoyable within a turn. The gameplay can require some management to ensure that dominant personalities don’t monopolize the planning, but that can be easily done by the host bringing the more retiring into the planning specifically.

We regularly play with 10 year old boys, and the co-operative nature of the game makes it a great deal of fun. No-one’s feelings get hurt, and even when we lose we have a good time.

The re-playability is high, and I find that when playing with children, winning doesn’t happen often enough to make it boring.

I definitely recommend the game to families. It might get a bit tired with only adults.

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