Lift Off! Get Me Off This Planet! board game
Coerceo board game
Pandemic board game
Codenames party game
Dimension board game
New York 1901 board game
Coconuts children's game
Roll For The Galaxy dice game
Tsuro board game
Timeline Challenge card game

Best Board Games 2015 – Nominees are set!

The Dice Tower Awards 2015

Lots of great games in The Dice Tower Awards nominees list.

What are the best board games and card games from 2015?

We’ll soon find out because the annual Dice Tower Awards are upon us.

The annual awards recognize the best board games published every year and the 2015 nominees were just announced.

Over 4,000 new board games, card games, dice games, and party game are published each year. So finding the best board games and card games takes a bit of time.

Lucky for you, board game reviewers from around the world take part in The Dice Tower Awards.

This year there are 14 game award categories with 5 games nominated in each category — except for the Game of the Year which has 10 nominees.

Without further ado, here’s the list of game nominees for Best Board Games of 2015 (each listed in alphabetical order).

Roll for the Galaxy dice game

Roll for the Galaxy is a pretty cool dice game.

Game of the Year

Best Family Game

Pandemic Legacy board game

Pandemic Legacy is getting a lot of love.

Best Co-op Game

Best Party Game

7 Wonders Duel card game

7 Wonders: Duel is a great 2-player implementation of 7 Wonders.

Best Two-Player Game

Best Strategy Game

Best Game Expansion

Between Two Cities board game

We’ve really enjoyed playing Between Two Cities.

Best Game From a New Designer

Best Small Publisher

Best Board Game Components

SaltCon 2016 Above and Below board game

Above and Below was fun to play at SaltCon 2016.

Best Game Artwork

Best Game Theming

Mission: Red Planet board game

Mission: Red Planet is a game I’m excited to play.

Best Game Reprint

Most Innovative Game

What a great list of nominees!

We’re excited this year because it may be the first year we’ve already played all the games in one category before the nominees were announced. The games in the Best Family Game category are all games we’ve already played. So we don’t have any catching up to do with those games before casting our vote.

(Of course, I’m not going to spill the beans yet on which will get our vote for Best Family Game.)

We’re also close to already having played all the nominated games in some of the other categories as well. So we’ll only have a handful of games to play between now and final voting.

Overall, my guess is that Pandemic Legacy and Time Stories are the games to beat for 2015. They’ve been talked about constantly in the board game industry this past year and have a lot of love still going their way.

The winners will be announced this summer.

In the meantime, you can check out the winning games from previous years.

The Dice Tower Awards: Best Board Games from years past:

2014 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Dead of Winter
2013 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Caverna: The Cave Farmer
2012 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Star Wars: X-wing Miniatures Game
2011 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Eclipse
2010 – Best Game of the Year Winner: 7 Wonders
2009 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Smallworld
2008 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Dominion
2007 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Race for the Galaxy

Which games do you think will win for Best Games of 2015?


Crossing is a fun game for families

Crossing board game

Crossing is a quick and fun family board game.

If you’re looking for a light and quick game your whole family can enjoy playing together, we’ve got a game for you — Crossing.

While the name of the game may sound very generic and non-descript, the game play is rather fun.

Actually, even the objective of the game is a very common goal for games: Collect sets of valuable gems to get the most points by the end of the game.

However, the fun of the game is the way in which players go about snagging the gems — or “life stones” as they’re called in this board game.


How to play Crossing

Crossing is a super simple game to learn and play.

Set Up

Crossing board game

Ready to begin a 5-player game of Crossing.

Each player places a character tile in front of them and mushroom tiles are set in the center of the table equal to the number of players minus 1. So if there are 5 players, there will only be 4 mushroom tiles in the center.

All of the life stones are placed in the bag and 2 stones are randomly drawn on placed on each mushroom tile to begin the game.


In Crossing, players don’t take turns. Instead the game is played over several rounds in which all players act simultaneously.

On the count of 3, everyone points to a tile of their choice containing life stones.

  • If a player is the only one to point to a tile with stones, that player takes all of those stones and places them on their character tile.
  • If more than one player points to the same tile, then no one gets those life stones. They remain on the tile.
Crossing board game

Which mushroom should I point at?

It’s that simple!

Ok, there is a bit of a catch to the game. Because players can also steal life stones from other players!

Here’s how that works.

Once a player has placed life stones on their character tile, that tile can also be the target of other players. Instead of pointing at a mushroom tile that has stones on it, players can also point to other players’ character tiles to steal their stones.

  • Just like before, if only one player points to a character tile with stones, that player takes all of those stones and places them on their own character tile.
  • If more than one player points to the same character tile, then none of them get to take the stones.

However, players can also prevent their stones from being stolen.

Crossing board game

Is someone going to try to steal my stones?

Instead of pointing to a tile with stones on it, a player can place their hand over their own character tile. This guards the stones from being stolen. That player then removes the stones from their character tile and places the stones into their storage pile. Once life stones are in a player’s storage pile, they can’t be stolen.

Any other player that pointed to that character tile is out of luck and gets nothing.

However, there’s a cost to storing stones.

After a player stores their stones, they flip their character tile over. While it’s flipped over, they must sit out the next round. After that following round ends, they’ll flip their character tile back over and are back in on the action.

Crossing board game

Once stored, I have to flip over my character tile.

After the end of a round, players refill the mushroom tiles with more life stones from the bag.

  • If a mushroom tile is empty, add 2 life stones randomly selected from the bag.
  • If a mushroom tile has at least one stone already on it, add 1 life stone from the bag.

Then the next round begins by again counting to 3 and pointing.

Game End and Scoring

Once the last life stone is drawn from the bag to refill mushroom tiles, there will be one final round of the game.

If there aren’t enough stones to completely refill all the needed mushroom tiles, the player drawing from the bag gets to chose where they are placed.

Once that round ends, players tally up their points — comprised of stones they’ve stored as well as what’s still on their character tile:

  • The white stones are each worth 2 points.
  • Each set of 3 stones of different colors (blue, yellow, red) is worth 5 points.
  • Each single colored stone not fitting in a set is worth 1 point.

The player with the most points is the winner.

If you’d like to see more, check out the Game Boy Geek video review below.

Crossing board game

A final score of 16!


Can the whole family enjoy Crossing?

One of the great things about Crossing is that the whole family can enjoy playing the game to player!

Since all you have to do is point, it’s super simple to play. And it’s simply fun.

Crossing board game

We’ve all stored some stones along the way.

Even young kids will understand how to play and quickly pick up on trying to be the only one to point at a tile with stones to collect them. If they’re really young, they may not quite understand the scoring of sets. But you could easily adjust that when playing with youngsters.

Lest you think this is just a kid’s game, older kids, teens, and adults can enjoy it just as much.

In fact, with teens and adults you can easily find yourself in very competitive situations where everyone’s wary of their stones being stolen. (It’s quite funny actually.)

There’s also no downtime in the game waiting for players to take turns. Everyone is engaged in the game the whole time. There’s not time to be distracted by electronic devices or gadgets. It’s a steady course of game playing fun.

Another thing we love about Crossing is that 6 players can play!

That means our whole family can play together and have a great time.


How does Crossing score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Crossing board gameBecause Crossing is such a quick game to play, it scores high on our “let’s play again” game meter.

It’s super simple to play games back-to-back. Just put the life stones back in the bag and play again.

It’s also a board game that’s simple to take along on trips — like we recently did during Spring break. It packs up nicely and was fun to play in the hotel room after a day of activities.

Thanks Asmodee for for a light and fun family game!

Buy a copy of Crossing for your family.


The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 3.5 Meeples Caleb
Brooke: 4.0 Meeples Brooke
Jaden: 3.5 Meeples Jaden
Trevor: 3.5 Meeples Trevor
Mom: 3.5 Meeples Mom
Dad: 3.4 Meeples Dad
Average: 3.6 Meeples Average


International Tabletop Day – April 30, 2016

tabletop day logo

Are you ready to play?

If you’re looking for an excuse to play a bunch of board games, card games, dice games, and party games this weekend, you’ve got one — International Tabletop Day.

You won’t be alone in your game day this Saturday because a gazillion people around the world will be doing the same thing.

Ok, maybe not a gazillion. But there will be a ton!

International Tabletop Day started in 2012 by the folks at Geek & Sundry and it’s caught on big time with more than 3,000 scheduled events on all 7 continents around the world!

Even if you don’t make it out to one of the hundreds of community centers, libraries, churches, cafes, pizza joints, and more around the world you can have your own game day at home.

International Tabletop Day locations

Find an event in your community or have fun playing games at home.

We think the best way to prepare is to start setting out the games you’d like to play that day. That way, all week you’ll see the games just waiting to be played with your family and friends.

If you need ideas, here’s our recommendation of fun, family-friendly games to play this coming Saturday:

Board game closet

Time to choose some games to play.

And if you need additional ideas, has a number of great games on sale for their Deal of the Day leading up to tabletop day. Check out their board game Deal of the Day!

You can also search for an International Tabletop Day event in your area on the official website.

Have a blast!


Awesome Washington D.C. Game Store – Labyrinth

Washington D.C. Vietnam War Memorial

There are so many things to see and ponder in Washington D.C.

Last week, I was away on a business trip on my birthday.

Since I love spending time with family and friends on special occasions, being on the road for my birthday didn’t sound too enticing.

But I wouldn’t let that slow me down. Instead, I’d just find a different way to celebrate and have fun on my birthday.

The good news is that I’d be in Washington, D.C. – where there’s plenty to see and do. And I sure packed it in.

After setting up for our trade show and getting on a few conference calls, I set out on foot to visit plenty of sites. I first visited Ford’s Theater and the Petersen House where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Then I visited the National Museum of Natural History and watched the IMAX 3D movie on The National Parks. After that I walked all over visiting the Washington Monument, the WWII, Vietnam War, Korean War, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, FDR and Jefferson memorials.

I really enjoyed paying visits to each of those historical sites. However, all of those were very solitary activities. Sure there were plenty of people around, but I was venturing on my own.

I figured the proper way to spend a birthday is with others.

Labyrinth game shop

Ready to find some fun inside.

So I made my way to the Labyrinth game shop!

Before my trip, I hadn’t know anything about the Labyrinth Game Shop. But the night before my birthday I did a search for game stores in the area and found a lot posted about Labyrinth. So I tweeted out to them that I was planning to stop by the next night.

They were quick to respond and were more than happy to have me come by for some games. The owner, Kathleen, also let me know that The Washington Post was going to swing by with a crew to film them playing Trump: The Game starting at 6pm.

It was a tempting offer, but with all my other stops along the way I didn’t make it to the Labyrinth Game Shop until closer to 7pm.

On my last business trip I stopped by a couple game stores, but only for a short period of time to check it out. This trip was different. This time I wanted to play!

If I couldn’t be with my family and friends on my birthday, I’d just have to make some new friends. And the Labyrinth Game Shop was the perfect place to do so!

Read more »


How awesome is Awesome Kingdom?

Awesome Kingdom card game

I’ll be the most Awesome Hero around!

“If I’m going to rule a kingdom, you bet it’s going to be Awesome!”

Of course that’s what we all thought when we dove into Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull.

After all, the game title is pretty compelling for a bunch of boys.

Just seeing the game title, the boys were intrigued. But they were also a bit skeptical. (Because they’re sure they know what it takes be to super awesome.) And they were ready to see if the game fit the bill.

So I dove into reading the rulebook and we all got a kick out of it.

I don’t usually read rulebooks out loud, but this was a special situation. As soon as I looked at the first few paragraphs of Awesome Kingdom, I could tell the creativity and personality in the writing was begging to be read out loud.

And the intended reaction was immediate – the boys were sold on it and ready to play!

Read more »


The Last Spike board game review

The Last Spike board game

Let’s lay some track!

Living in Utah we’re very familiar with the history behind connecting the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

In May of that year, the “Last Spike” was driven home in Promontory Summit, Utah. Doing so created a 1,907-mile (3,069 km) contiguous railroad line connecting the Pacific coast with the existing eastern U.S. rail network.

So when we heard about a new board game called The Last Spike, we immediately knew what it would be about.

What we didn’t know however was if the game would be fun.

And there’s no better way to find out than to play it.

Read more »


The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars game review

The Little Prince board game

The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars is fun for young kids.

Are you kids familiar with the story of The Little Prince?

If so, here’s a great game for you to check out — The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars.

The modular game board allows players to reconfigure the route among the clouds differently each game. And kids will enjoy moving their plane from cloud to cloud on their way to The Little Prince’s planet.

The game also has a unique way to determine play order which will change throughout the game.

Overall, it’s an intriguing game that’s great to get kids thinking in new ways.

Read more »


Family Game Night Rules Enforcement

When you last settled into a family game night, did it go a little something like this?…

We sure hope not!

It’s a good thing those numbers on the side of the box are only suggestions.

Because we’ve recommended a lot of board games be played by those younger than listed on the box.

We love Studio C comedy and when we saw this recent video about family game night, we just had to share it.