Games Gist

Family Gaming

Favorite Family Games – April 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

We have a fairly nice selection of games for 5, 6, or 7 players, and we try to play most of them at least a couple of times a year. Some games are played almost every weekend, and we still have two games unplayed (Cartagena and Australia). I have been thinking about which games seem to be most popular with the family, and decided to just do a survey. I typed up a list of 30+ games we play the most often and asked each person to put a check mark by their five most-favorite games. I also invited them to place an “X” by any that they would just as soon not play again.

The favorite votes tally was interesting. One game received 5 votes (out of seven people voting); two games received 4 votes; three games received 3 votes; four games received 2 votes; and five games received 1 vote. Nineteen games received no votes, but everyone really wanted to be able to vote for more than five. Natalia marked four games that she doesn’t care to play again (not surprising, since she isn’t a big-time game player in the group), and Dan voted to not play one game. No one else marked any games to never play in the future. Dan voted to not play Tongiaki again, and I know it’s not really popular with Katrina or Sue.

Here are the results:

Votes —– Game

5 Bohnanza
4 Alhambra
4 Ticket to Ride
3 Around the World in 80 Days
3 Carcassonne
3 Royal Turf
2 Coloretto
2 For Sale
2 Hunters and Gatherers
2 Settlers of Catan
1 Boomtown
1 Circus Flohcati (Flea Circus)
1 Oasis
1 Princes of Florence
1 Through the Desert

The games we enjoy playing, but are not our top favorites are: Africa, Can’t Stop, David & Goliath, Frank’s Zoo, Go Wild!, Hare and Tortoise, Hattrick, Hearts, The Last Card, Mississippi Queen, Mü, Pick Picknic, Santa Fe Rails, Station Master, Tightrope, Trumpet, and Vampire. Tongiaki was on the list, as was Carcassonne – The Princess & the Dragon. There is some question whether we’ll ever play Tongiaki again, and I’m not too certain about The Princess & the Dragon.

These types of card and boardgames are popular with us: negotiation (Bohnanza, Settlers of Catan); tile-laying (Alhambra, Carcassonne, Hunters and Gatherers, Oasis, Princes of Florence); track-laying (Ticket to Ride, Through the Desert), races (Around the World in 80 Days, Royal Turf); card sets or rummy-types (Bohnanza, Coloretto, Boomtown, Circus Flohcati); bidding (For Sale, Boomtown). We also enjoy trick-taking card games, such as Hearts, Oh Hell, and Trumpet. In general, we like a good variety of games, but especially Euro-games.

One type of game missing from the above list is dice-based. We have played and enjoyed Yahtzee, Five Thousand, and Fill or Bust for many years. After seeing Scott Nicholson’s video review about Um Krone und Kragen, I am seriously considering adding that game to the collection. I believe the family would enjoy it more than the other dice games we’ve played, and I think it might even get a vote or two in a future family survey.

Hacienda was not on the ballot, because we had played it only once before the survey. Having now played it twice, I’m betting it might have received some votes.

When not all the family is present for game day, we sometimes play a party game (which doesn’t count in our records), such as Inklings, Scattergories, or Anybody’s Guess. Hugger Mugger is a game I enjoy playing anytime, but it is not strongly liked by most of the family. There are other games (card, dice, domino, party, and boardgames) that we will occasionally play, but the ones listed above are definitely our favorites at this time.

— Gerald … near Denver, Colorado; April 2006
aka gamesgrandpa — A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming


May 1, 2006 - Posted by | Games


  1. That’s a pretty interesting cross section of games that could keep a family engaged for quite some time. Princes of Florence looks a little bit out of place (in terms of depth and “Euro-ness”) compared to the others — do you think PoF is one of the “heavier” games your family regularly plays?

    Comment by Jason Little | May 6, 2006 | Reply

  2. At this time, PoF is definitely the heaviest game we play, but we do enjoy it. Hacienda is probably our next heaviest (not included in the survey, because we had not played it more than one time by then). We consider Alhambra to be a light game similar to PoF, and it is very popular with us, so I’m not certain how often PoF will get played in the future.

    Comment by Gerald McD | May 6, 2006 | Reply

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