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Our first stop at Toy Fair was to the Gamewright booth. We got to see a bunch of games that have just released or will be out later in 2019. One thing Gamewright is doing this year is taking two of their popular games and created new games with different gameplay elements.

Sushi Roll

For any fans of Sushi Go, Gamewright has re-imagined it into a brand new game Sushi Roll! In Sushi Roll each player rolls a set of dice and chooses which to add to their plate. The remaining sushi pass to the next player on a conveyor belt. Then each player rolls their new dice before choosing which to add to their plate. The player board lists the point values for each kind of sushi. The game includes scoring tokens as well, so players who enjoy Sushi Go, have the option to use them there as well. Sushi Roll releases later in 2019.

Rat-a-Tat Roll

Rat-a-Tat Roll is the second popular game to be re-imagined. The same aesthetic and core game element remains the same, but there is a big change, namely the board and rolling dice. The original Rat-a-Tat Cat is strictly a card game. In contrast the new Rat-a-Tat Roll game included as board that players move around, and try and gather cards with the lowest score. Rat-a-Tat Roll releases later in 2019.

This Game Goes to Eleven

Gamewright has taken this simple counting game for two to five players, which given it a light heavy metal theme. This Game Goes to Eleven is a Target Exclusive, and is for players ages eight and up. Players discard cards in their hand and add the numbers as they go. If the pile of cards is exactly eleven after you play your card, you give the whole pile to another player. On your turn, if your card bring the total over eleven you get the pile too. The player with the least cards at the end wins. This Game Goes to Eleven is available now.


Roll and write games a very popular right now, and Bloom is a great one in that genre. In Bloom you are trying to gather flowers of the same color and quantity as on your sheet. On your turn you roll the dice and choose which color and number best matches the flowers in your garden. To end the game, a player must have three colors of flowers where they circled all the flowers of those colors, or completed four garden beds. Bloom releases later in 2019.


Whozit? is a cooperative party game where there is a clue giver and the other players are trying to select a person or character from a pool of six. Players give clues by placing statements on a continuum from “definitely” to “definitely not”. Each correct answer moves a pawn along a small board, and players can see how well they have done at the end of the five rounds of the game. Whozits? releases later in 2019.


Everyone needs a silly party game in their collection, and Port-A-Party fits that bill. Players add or take away different attribute cards. The attributes are sorted by color and players try and name a person who meets all the criteria of the description, all while being timed. Port-A-Party releases later in 2019.


Tiny and in a portable tin Punto is a great game to take on the go. Players are trying to build a consecutive row in any direction of six of their color cards. Players may not build beyond a six by six grid, and can place their card on top of another players if they have a higher valued card. Punto will be released later in 2019.

Guju Guju

If you are looking for a silly game to play with young children check out Guju Guju. Fruit cards are placed face up in the center, and each player has a hand of additional fruit cards. Players do not know what is in their hands. Before flipping a card players must guess the fruit, if they are right a fruit frenzy occurs where they try and place as many fruits cards down as possible on the banans before all the bananas are covered.
Guju Guju is available now.

Quixx Deluxe

Quixx Deluxe takes this favorite roll and write and super sized it. There are now dry erase boards to mark your score instead of the typical consumable pad. The original game only plays up to five players, and Quixx Deluxe can support up to eight. An additional way to play is included in this edition, which is available now.

Twin It!

Speed is the name of the game. Twin It! has players quickly flipping cards trying to make matches. Keep a close eye out, there are 119 different patterns and some are very similar. The game also has three modes of play: cooperative, cooperative, or team. Twin It! is available now.

Dragon Realms

Gamewright is putting out Dragon Realm, which is the next chapter in the world of Dragonwood. Minimal details are available about the game. We know the name and there was a box for the game, but no specifics about gameplay or components. Gamewright is anticipating a launch of the game at Gencon in August.

Keep your eyes on EngagedFamilyGaming.com for more updates and reviews!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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GameWright Games was at New York Toy Fair  this year, just like normal, and it was my pleasure to take a look at their 2018 games. Their full 2018 slate was there, with the sole exception of the cooperative game Forbidden Sky.

I was treated to brief demos of most of their games this year. All of them are cute and many of them will do very well, but my attention was drawn to two specific games that I think you need to hear about.

Trash Pandas

Trash Pandas - Gamewright Games

Trash Pandas is a push your luck card game where players take on the role of raccoons digging through a neighborhood’s trash.

The first part of the game involves rolling dice in order to collect tokens that determine what actions are available. There are six tokens representing possible actions that you can take on an turn. You roll a die and claim the token that matches the symbol that comes up. At that point you can either move to the next phase and spend your tokens to take those actions or roll again to try to earn more tokens. If you roll a symbol that has already come up, then you bust and your turn is over. Taking actions will allow you to draw cards, bank them for points, or mess with your opponents. The game ends when the deck runs out of cards.

This is a game that is firmly nestled in Internet meme culture. Trash pandas is a term for raccoons that showed up on Reddit. It has just been almost universally adopted by users across the Internet. Its funny, its vaguely descriptive, but most importantly, it gives you an idea of the sense of humor that this game is built around. It is juvenile, but not crass. This lighthearted fun is involved in every part of the game from the artwork all the way to the terminology used on them. It even influences the box art. Trash Pandas will be releasing sometime in early 2018 and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.



Squirmish - Gamewright Games

Squirmish is a a card combat game that we reviewed before it was launched on Kickstarter several years ago. The highlights of the game at that point was its square cards, the quirky art design, and interesting combat. This is a new track for GameWright to take because normally they don’t focus on games that involve combat. Instead, they favor games that focus on either cooperation or gentle competition.With that said, this game fits perfectly with GameWright’s other offerings by being lighthearted, silly, and fun.

Combat in Squirmish involves playing square-shaped cards onto the table creating a spiraling battlefield that is referred to as a Squirmish (shocker. I know.).We had our issues with the game initially before the game went to Kickstarter, but most of them were about game balance. GameWright has come through and smoothed out the design. They redesigned the game to make it faster and more aggressive.

Squirmish will be released sometime in 2018 and we cannot wait to get our hands on this new and improved game. Keep your eye on EFG for more information.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Gamewright announced their 2018 lineup of games today. This year their releases range from a preschool game about collecting ice  and a colorful cooperative card game that rewards smart communication. The games will be on display at this year’s New York Toy Fair which will take place from Feb. 17-20th. Take a look at their lineup below and let us know in the comments if you see anything that catches your eye.


Chill Out!

A “refreshing” new pre-school game, with dice that look like ice.

Chill Out - Gamewright Games

“Fun on the rocks! A bevy of freshly-squeezed drinks waits to be served – all they need is ice!  Roll the color die, choose a matching tray, and scoop up the ice cubes. Then drop them one at a time around the board, hoping to land some in your cup. Snag a blueberry for extra points, but watch out for slippery hands trying to snag your cubes! Fill up the frostiest float and you’re the coolest!”

  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 5+
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $16.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018

Trash Pandas

A raucous raccoon-themed card game, the latest in our signature card game line.

Trash Pandas - Gamewright Games

“Trash is treasure! In this raucous card game, paw through the deck to find sets of day-old pizza, half-eaten candy, and other luscious leftovers. Roll the die to tip over the garbage or raid a rival’s rubbish, if there’s no Doggos standing guard. The more you roll, the more actions you can take – but get too greedy and your turn is scrapped! Stash the most trash and you’re pick of the litter!”

  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $12.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018

Long Cow

A hilarious new card game, packaged in a milk carton that actually “mooos!”

Long Cow - Gamewright Games


“It’s the moo-mentous card game of competitive cattle construction! Build cows by collecting heads, tails, and middles from the deck. The longer the cow, the more points you score. Bolster your barn with holy cows, robot cows, and even a cross-bred Franken-cow. But make hay before your herd is hit by a tornado, or worse- an alien abduction! Round up the biggest bovines and party like the cows came home!”

  • Players: 2-5
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $16.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018


An “all or nothing” dice game, packaged in our popular “Qwixx” box.

Zoinx - Gamewright Games

“It’s high-rolling hijinx with this game of dicey decisions! First, all players secretly predict how many dots they think you will roll. Then shake the dice and keep rolling as long as you meet your target. But push your luck too far and Zoinx! – you lose everything and the points go to the players who bet against you!”

  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $11.00
  • Availability: Now Shipping


A humorous “card battling” game, featuring a cartoonish cast of odd-ball brawlers.

Squirmish - Gamewright Games

“Enter The Squirmish, a ridiculous rumble where creatures clash and only the strangest survive! Draft an odd-squad of warriors with names like Kittyclops, Pompaduck, and Killgore the Conqueror. Then position them into the melee and roll to attack. Each of seventy scrappers has its own preposterous powers, so you’ll need strategy – and a bit of luck – to survive! Knock out the competition and become the beastie boss!”

We actually previewed Squirmish while it was on Kickstarter before Gamewright picked it up!

  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $16.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018


A colorful new cooperative game where communication is key.

Cahoots - Gamewright Games

“In this colorful card game, cooperation is key! Play cards to one of four piles by matching color or number. Work together as a team  to complete a series of goals – without communicating what’s in your hand. Can you make all piles purple or green? Every card lower than four? All cards add up to 10? There’s only one way to win before time runs out: play in cahoots!”

  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $15.00
  • Availability: Spring 2018

Say It!

Our latest Port-a-Party game, where crazy combos lead to hilarious answers.

Say It - Gamewright Games


“It’s the frantic party game where crazy combinations lead to laugh-out-loud answers. Draw a pair of prompt cards, and then compete to shout out the most entertaining response. What’s “something sticky”… “that you find in the couch cushions?” Or “something shocking”… “you know too much about?”  Don’t delay it,  just Say It!”

  • Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • S.R.P.: $10.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018

Sneaky Cards 2

A second wave of missions for this best-selling “play it forward” game.

Sneaky Cards 2 - Gamewright Games

“54 brand new missions! Become a secret agent of joy, spreading creativity and kindness to an unsuspecting public. Give a stranger flowers, challenge someone to a dance-off, throw an impromptu surprise party. Complete each objective and then pass along the card to an unwitting accomplice, who now becomes part of the game. The fun is ever-expanding, but it all starts with you – Play it forward!”

  • Players: 1+
  • Ages: 12+
  • S.R.P.: $10.00
  • Availability: Summer 2018

Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think! Which of these games are you looking to pick up?

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It is always great to visit Gamewright at New York Toy Fair. Last year they showed us games like Dragonwood, Flashlights and Fireflies, and Outfoxed which ended up being a lot of fun. This year they showed us a whole pile of games that looked like they had some great potential. Take a look below for some details.

Bring Your Own Book

bring your own book

Imagine a party game where each player takes a turn (or multiple turns) as a judge while other people offer up humorous answers to a randomly selected question. Ok. Got one? Got more than one? Got twenty? Don’t laugh. This style of games is turning out to be ubiquitous in the board game industry over the last handful of years. Cards against Humanity really blew the doors off and everyone else is rushing to catch up.

I’ll admit I was surprised to see Gamewright jump into the pool here, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the way that they did it.

The mechanics match Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity almost to the letter. The difference is that instead of a deck of random cards each player is expected to bring their own book. This could be everything from a children’s book to a romance novel. The judge chooses a subject like “Unpublished Stephen King Novels” and the rest of the players have to flip through their book and find a passage that best represents that topic. The judge picks the winner and the game continues.

The fact that it involves books will make this game appeal to book nerds right off the bat. But, the fact that players provide their own books means that this game will change based on the audience and the books they bring. This limits the two main problems that some people have with games like this: repetition and, in the case of Cards Against Humanity, inherent offensiveness.

Sushi Go Party!

sushi go party

Sushi Go is one of our favorite games. It’s hard to beat a game that is interesting, cheap, and all but infinitely replayable. Gamewright looks like they pulled it off.

It comes in a bigger tin that shows off more cute sushi rolls, but the main gameplay difference is that players spend the first bit of gameplay choosing which cards to include in the deck that everyone drafts. There is no established rule in the book for determining which cards are selected either. They expect that players will come up with their own interesting methods.

Go Away Monster!

go away monster


This is a rerelease of a game for the younger set with new art and prettier components. The main thrust of the game is that you have to fill up your card with different puzzle pieces to make up a child’s bedroom. You do that by reaching into a blind back and feeling around for the piece that you need.

The trick is that there are monsters in the bag and if you pick one out of the bag then you lose your turn.

Babba Yagga

baba yaga

This is a rare game where the game designer and the artist are the same person! Baba Yaga is a gorgeously drawn card game where players attempt to rid their hand of the highest value cards and pick up Baba Yaga cards that are worth 0. The goal is to have the LOWEST score possible.It’s a fast paced game that will really get your kids thinking.


The below games aren’t on the Gamewright website yet, but we were able to put some pictures up on Instagram.


Cardventures – Stowaway 52 and Jump Ship


The Cardventures series of games is a group of card based, single player, choose your own adventure games. The first two games in the series are Stowaway 52 (a space adventure) and Jump Ship (a pirate themed adventure).

They are marketed as a single player experience, but I really think there is an option for a collaborative experience. Groups of players could read through the cards and discuss the decisions that the characters make and negotiate what to do. There is a lot of learning to be had in that experience.



I’ll be blunt here. Skywampus is a tough game to describe. Players are given piles of diamond shaped tiles and race to fit them all together to complete circles using the numbered and colored sections at their corners. The goal is to complete challenges that are listed on poker chip type markers to earn points.

It is super fast to play and requires quick thinking and flexibility, but if you and your family have ever thought about competitive puzzling (is that even a word?) then this is going to be a good game.

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This year at the NY Toy Fair there will be a lot to see. Manufacturers showing off the newest innovations in toys and games… We’re excited to see what they have to show us, and one of our favorite publishers, Gamewright, has given a sneak peek!

Check out the new cover art!
Turns out in addition to the publication of Farm Fresh Games’ Super Tooth which we announced earlier, there are some other amazing things coming our way.

First off, Sleeping Queens will be getting a brand new 10th Anniversary Edition! This new edition will come in a tin (like Sushi Go!) and will be complete with never-before-seen queens and kings and exclusive stickers! So, if you are like me and your child has managed to bend every card as the Rose Queen and the Star Queen talk over an imaginary picnic lunch, this is a great way to upgrade.

Rory’s Story Cubes is getting another release of it’s popular Mix expansions which were released around Christmas. So, as you roll your story, you can search your house for clues, or take a stegosaurus on a boat, or have Batman meet his fairy godmother! I’m pretty excited to check out Enchantment, Clues and Prehistoria for myself!

To give you a background, Gamewright is known for its commitment to surprisingly fun family games. We don’t have to suffer through Candy Land and Cootie for the 10,000 time. They take concepts that are fun for children and they mix them with strategy and gameplay that even boring, old adults can be entertained by. So, needless to say, while we’re excited about the games we’ve played before getting some new life, we’re REALLY excited about the new games they have coming out!

Sneaky Cards - Play it Forward
Have you ever thought about doing something silly, like taking a picture with someone you’ve never met, or dancing where EVERYONE can see? Well, Sneaky Cards – Play it forward, is a game that lets you do just that. It’s a scavenger hunt where you pass an activity on to the next person… playing it forward. It’s a very interesting concept game where every move is a social experiment!

Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Game
So, one thing we know Gamewright excels at is cooperative games, with titles like Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island it’s almost a given that we’d be interested in Outfoxed! Outfoxed! is a cooperative game for players ages 5+ where the players are… chickens. Chickens chasing clues to catch a fox that has absconded with a prized pot pie (let’s hope it’s vegan), what family can resist working together to solve such a heinous crime? I know mine can’t!

Go Nuts! The Completely Cracked-Up Dice Game
The only thing that can follow a game full of poultry intrigue, is one about squirrels. Go Nuts! is a dice game where you want to collect as many nuts as you can, while dodging cars, and before your opponents can send the dogs after you! It almost sounds like Zombie Dice for fans of the fluffier game protagonists.

Flashlights & Fireflies - A Game of Shine and Seek
We don’t know too much about Flashlights and Fireflies. According to Gamewright: “Get ready for a backyard dash-through-the-dark in this game of firefly-powered flashlight freeze tag! First, catch fireflies to power up your flashlight. Then shine it on other players before they sneak back to home base. All along, watch out for bats, raccoons, and other nighttime critters that are out to trip up your tracks. Be the first to reach home and you’ve outshined the competition!” I would guess that it is a board game, but I’m not sure – I guess we’ll need to find out once we see it!

Dragonwood - A Game of Dice and Daring
Now here is where I get really excited. Dragonwood is a game that promises to be reminiscent of all of my fantasy-based tabletop roleplaying games. Building a hand of adventurers while fighting goblins and orcs and dragons (Oh my!) with a constantly changing strategy? This game could be amazing! And knowing Gamewright‘s dedication to making games that encourage the whole family to play, I have to say I’m excited to play a roleplaying-like game and to NOT have to be the Dungeon Master!

So, that’s Gamewright‘s line-up for 2015! I’m looking forward to most of these titles from what I’ve learned so far, I can’t wait to get a chance to actually play!

Wondering about other Gamewright games? Check our our reviews here!

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Super Tooth

In September, backers of the Super Tooth Kickstarter received their games and began playing in the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs.   As backers we were SUPER excited to get to play! Who wouldn’t love to play a game matching cartoon dinosaurs?

Of course, if you weren’t among the 239 backers for this project, you’d have to know someone who was to play.  Sadly, if you didn’t know a backer you’d never know the joy of protecting your pair of Apatosaurs by feeding a Parasaurolophus to an errant Spinosaurus.  Upset?  I know I would be.

BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it isn’t an asteroid), Farm Fresh Games has announced that Gamewright  has picked up Super Tooth  for publication and distribution in 2015!  The new printing  will be premiered at the New York Toy Fair and will be available in stores that sell Gamewright games shortly after that!

Wondering what all the hype is about?  Check out our review of Super Tooth here!


Wondering about other Gamewright games? Check our our reviews here!


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Many children begin Kindergarten at age 5. At this age, they are able to follow a simple set of rules and take turns. That skill may need more reinforcement especially with younger 5-year-olds. Attention spans tend to still be short, with 5-10 minutes of focus being typical. As they grow and get closer to age 6 that begins to get even longer. Attention is also easier to sustain when there is high interest. Children in this age benefit from games that help with memory and attention by practicing the skills. Games should have little to no reading for this age, as they often are just at a early reader or prereader stage. Lots of words could be overwhelming.

Stomp the Plank

  • Ravensburger
  • Players: 2-4

Elephant pirates are on an adventure, and want the treasure. The elephants are trying to get treasure from Captain Giraffe. Players can draw as many treasure cards as they wish, but for each repeated card they draw their elephant moves forward on the plank. Who will be the last one remaining on the pirate ship?

Buy Stomp the Plank here on Amazon

Exit Kids Jungle of Riddles

  • Kosmos
  • Players: 1-4

In the jungle you have found nine treasure chests, can you solve the puzzles to open all of them? The popular Exit Games now have a version for kids. Unlike the standard Exit games these games are re-playable and none of the components are destroyed. The puzzles are designed without any reading, and the game contains escape room style puzzles and brainteasers.

Buy Exit Kids: Jungle of Riddles here on Amazon

Dog Man The Hot Dog Card Game

  • University Games
  • 2-4 Players

The Dog Man books are very popular with kids, and Dog Man the Hot Dog Card Game taps into the popular aspects of the books. The rules are very simple, players put all the cards faced down (mixed up of course). Players flip over one card on their turn. If they flip a hot dog card it stays face up. However if Petey (the cat) is revealed all the cards are flipped back face down. If Dog Man is revealed, players us only one hand to gather as many hot dog cards as possible. The game comes in a tin making it very portable and convenient to take to places.

Buy Dog Man the Hot Dog Card Game here on Amazon.


  • Blue Orange
  • 2-4 Players

The game Kingdomino took the boardgame world by storm winning the Spiel De Jahres in 2017. Now there is a My First version that is for players ages five and up, with a dragon theme. Dragonmino takes the same tile drafting and placement mechanism, and simplified it further for younger players. With each match with the tiles players earn a dragon egg and are trying to collect eggs with baby dragons inside. 

Buy Dragomino here on Amazon.


  • Gamewright
  • 2-4 Players

Outfoxed! is a cooperative game deduction game where the players are…chickens. Chickens chasing clues to catch a fox that has absconded with a prized pot pie.  What family can resist working together to solve such a heinous crime? The game includes a special evidence scanner to rule out the different fox suspects by showing if the thief is wearing a particular object. On each players turn they declare if they will Search for Clues or Reveal Suspects. They then have three chances to roll the dice to get all three dice icons to match their choice. If they success they complete the stated action, but if not the culprit moves closer to escaping with the pie. 

Buy Outfoxed here on Amazon.


  • Monkey Bear Games
  • 2-5 Players

Hoagie is a fast paced game where each player is trying to build the perfect sandwich without any part getting spoiled by three oogies (pictured on the spoiled food and special action cards). Hoagie’s gameplay is very easy and takes just minutes to learn.  Each player is dealt a hand if 6 cards to start the game.  On each players turn they play a card from their hand on their sandwich or an opponent’s. Several actions with the cards can occur, but only one can occur per turn. In order to win, a player must begin their turn with a perfect sandwich, which consists of bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, and bread.

 Buy Hoagie here on Amazon.

Rush-hour Jr.

  • Thinkfun
  • Single Player

Rush-hour Jr. is one player, portable, colorful, and mentally wonderful for ages 5 and up. The board is small and packed with vehicles which have set directions that they can move. The goal is to move the vehicles in a particular order to get the little red car out of the traffic jam. A negative is that every piece is important. Don’t lose them! This game is great for waiting rooms or car trips as it comes with its own board and it small enough to hold in a child’s hand or lap. The junior version has 40 challenges and 15 blocking pieces. 

Buy Rush Hour Jr. here on Amazon.

Rhino Hero

  • Haba
  • 2-5 Players

Rhino Hero is a competitive  3-D stacking game where players are building a tower of cards and moving Rhino Hero up the tower.  This dexterity game directs players were the wall cards need to go on each turn.  Players have wall and ceiling tiles.  On their turn, the player first builds the wall in the place indicated on the ceiling tile and then place their ceiling tile.  Actions indicated on some of the ceiling tiles and those benefit the player, such as skipping the next player.  The game ends when the tower fall, a player places their last roof card, or all the walls are built.  

Buy Rhino Hero here on Amazon.

Rhino Hero- Super Battle

  • Haba
  • 2-4 Players

Rhino Hero- Super Battle is the sequel to Rhino Hero.  The game is for ages 5 and up and plays two to four players. This game adds three more superheros:  Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin.  The walls now come in two sizes; tall and short and there is a superhero medal.  Additionally there are spider monkeys which attack. 

The gameplay has additional steps they includes: 1. Build!, 2. Spider monkey attack (place a spider monkey hanging from the floor if there is a spider monkey symbol and see if it makes the tower fall), 3. Climb the skyscraper! by using a die to determine how many floors to climb, 4. Super battle if two superheros are on the same level, 5. Superhero medal goes to the players if their super hero is the furthest up at this phase in their turn, 6. Draw another floor card.  The game ends when all or part of the tower collapses or all the floors that are playable have been used.

Buy Rhino Hero Super Battle here on Amazon.


  • Haba
  • 2-6 Players

Monza is a racing game for ages 5 and up and plays two to six players. Movement of your race car in this game is based on rolling six color dice.  Players must utilize strategic thinking to use the colors you roll to plan the path for your car. Players can only move to a forward space and may not enter a space with an obstacle.

This game is more thoughtful than a straight roll and move because you need to plan your path based on the colors you roll. With a luck roll and good planning a player can move six spaces. Any die that do not correspond to a color ahead of the player on the board are discarded for that turn. The first player to the finish line is the winner. 

Buy Monza here on Amazon.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Board games are such a great way to bring people together, and make wonderful gifts. The board game industry just keeps putting out amazing games. We have gone through many of the new games, and curated a list of games that have caught our attention, plus fit a wide range of ages, styles, and experience. Not to mention some themes that will grab your attention. We created a list with something for every member of the family in mind, plus gaming accessories that can be gifts alone or paired with a game.

Games for the Whole Family

These games are easy to learn and can be enjoyed by a wide range of players. We chose games are great for multi age game play as well, family members with a range of gaming experience. Plus we have included themes in a range of interests. Most importantly we chose games that would be fun to bring the family around the table and play.


What can be cuter than herding little dragons? In Dragonkeepers you use the cards to create your “magic book”. This magic book tells you how many dragons as well as what kind you can take into your protection. On your turn you can manipulate the magic book, also known as playing a card. Throughout the game, you are trying to herd dragons, collect eggs, and amulet pieces.’

Dragonkeepers was the 2023 Toy Fair Game of the Show for the EFG team!

Qwirkle Color Blind Friendly

The well loved tile laying strategy game Qwirkle has come out with a new version that is color blind friendly. The game play has remained unchanged, but the tiles have some details added to mitigate for color blindness. First the colors of the tiles have been changed to provide better contrast. In addition to the contrast, there is a symbol in the center of each shape to indicate the different colors.

We have found that having features in games that mitigate the colors, such as unique shapes is helpful for anyone when playing where the lighting is less than optimal. My family often plays games at our camper and the light has a yellow tint, which can distort how colors look and make telling the different colors apart challenging. With the shape indicating color it removes some of that challenge.

Four Corners

In Four Corners, stunning artwork is paired with a strategic tile laying game with two different designs. You can choose the Galaxy with a space motif or Kaleidoscope with the colorful patters found inside its namesake. Calliope Games are the first publisher I have see used a tray to keep tiles in place during play. This was debuted by Calliope in Tsuro Phoenix Rising. This tray allows players to lift out the tiles and manipulate them without disturbing the tiles around them.

In Four Corners each player is manipulating the tiles to try to reach their own secret goal. This beautiful game has great table presence and with two styles can best match the interest of the giftee.

800 Pound Gorilla

Silly games are a perennial favorite for families. In 800 Pound Gorilla, players use a spinner to earn points either by being the first to grab a coconut or banana. The other way is to correctly guess the weight of the gorilla. In this fast paced ridiculous game, there are silly actions and utterances, along with the gorilla guessing. 

Small Box Games ( Perfect for a small container)

Around holiday time there are times where you need a small item. Whether it is a grab bag or a small container needing to be filled. Here are a few new games that will fit!

That’s Not a Hat

In the small box game, That’s Not a Hat, the deck is a series of picture card which are “gifts”. The gameplay is very simple. First players reveal a gift (card) and then flip it over. Then the cards shift based on the arrows. After the shift players need to remember what the cards are or bluff! How good is your memory or will you be able to bluff without being caught?

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza – 8-bit Edition!

The rules are in the name. For the game series Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza players are laying down cards as they say each word in the name. If the word spoken and the card match, there is a race to be the first to slap the pile. There are also special cards which require a specific silly action. In the 8 bit edition there are three new cards: fireball, beep boop, and barrel, each with their own silly action. The 8 bit game is great for fans of video games with the 8 bit style as well as those who hold nostalgia for the old 8 bit games.

For any soccer fans on your shopping list there is also Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza – 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Special Edition

Buy Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Fifa 23 here on Amazon.

Games For the Experienced Gamer

Some of us have that gamer in our lives, or are that gamer, that loves more complex games . These are new games that will be a good fit for those who like more complexity and components to their games.

Horrified: Greek Monsters

Take on the famous monsters from Greek mythology in Horrified Greek Monsters.  This takes the well known game Horrified, where players fight classic monsters, and challenges the players to work together to save the Isle of Elysium. The monsters include: Minotaur, Cerberus, Chimera, Medusa, Basilisk, and Siren. They all have unique abilities and challenges so different combinations will change the game each time you play, and allow you to scale the difficulty. An additional lair mechanic has been added to this game, and you discover the lair of the monster before defeating them.

Casting Shadows

Battle your opponents with some adorable characters. In an enchanted world your battle takes place and you collect shadow fragments. Once you collect enough shadow fragments your character transforms into their shadow form. In this form you have additional powers. 

Casting Shadows originally was on Kickstarter, and has been a huge hit in our house. The artwork is absolutely wonderful, and what we have come to expect from Teeturtle and Unstable Games. Plus we find the battling mechanic easy to use, as we try and take each other out.

There is also a player board that is a good additional gift item. You can buy it here on Amazon.


  • Age: 10+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Gameplay: Worker Placement, Hand Management, Set Collection
  • Publisher: Lucky Duck Games, Cardboard Alchemy
  • Buy Flamecraft here on Amazon

Take on the role of a Flamekeeper to place artisan dragons in the ideal shop location to optimize their skills and enchant the town. This beautiful game was originally a Kickstarter, and hit the gaming world by storm once it fulfilled. The artwork is adorable and the fantasy world these dragons live in is so engaging. By incorporating a few different gaming mechanics it makes it appealing for gamers who enjoy a bit more complexity, but remains easy to learn.

Our Favorite Themes

We all have favorite themes whether they are books, movies, shows, or other games. There is something about playing a game within your favorite world or with a beloved character. There have been a several games released in the past year that tap into a favorite topic.

Lord of the Rings Adventure Book

  • Age: 10+
  • Players 1-4
  • Playtime: 20 Minutes per Chapter
  • Gameplay: Cooperative, Strategy
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Buy here on Amazon

Any fan of The Lord Of The Rings will enjoy playing through the different significant moments of the trilogy. The game plays over eight chapters, each being a critical plot point of the story. Through these challenges players collect story cards to complete challenges and try to advance to the next chapter. There is also a Corruption Track, so you need to keep an eye on the influence of the One Ring you are transporting. 

With the chapter format you can fit a session easily in an evening or gaming session with each chapter taking approximately 20 minutes. The adventure book guides you through each section with a map and beautiful art and miniatures. 

Villainous: Introduction to Evil

  • Ages: 10+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes per player (40-80 minutes)
  • Gameplay: Variable Player Powers, Strategy
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Buy here at Target:

The Villainous Series from Ravensburger has been a huge hit. In this Target exclusive, Ravensburger took the original Villainous game and streamlined it in a few ways. They only have four villains in this version, versus six in the original game. The villains included in this game are; Maleficent, Captain Hook, Ursula, or Prince John. The game is  asymmetric with each villain having different goals. The gameplay as well as the instructions have been streamlined. Plus videos have been created to make learning the game and getting started even easier. 

While the game has been updated, players can still take villains from other games and play up to four players. 

Scum and Villainy

  • Ages: 10+
  • Players: 2-3
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes per player (40-80 minutes)
  • Gameplay: Variable Player Powers, Strategy
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Buy here on Amazon

In the first expansion to the Star Wars Villainous universe, Scum and Villainy adds a few more key villains for players to choose from. This can be a stand alone game, or the villains can be mixed with Star Wars Villainous. 

Buy Star War Villainous here on Amazon.

In Scum and Villainy, you can play as  Boba Fett, Seventh Sister, or Cad Bane. Just as in all the Villainous games, each villain has their own objective they are working toward to win. So players need to both work on their villain’s objective and try to disrupt the progress of the other villains.

Games for Younger Gamers

There are so many options for games for young children beyond the “classic” games everyone knows. What is great is the newer games tend to be more fun for the grown-ups playing with the kids. These are some of the newest games for kids age 7 and younger. The games below are organized from youngest to oldest.

Happy Marshmallow

Begin building skills with your toddler that will serve them in playing games and turn taking. Happy Marshmallow is an adorable two player game where the skills of turn taking and matching are reinforced as they pretend to cook marshmallows over a campfire. On their turn a player draws a card and places the matching marshmallow on their stick. The game is over and both players win when both sticks are filled.

Pete the Cat: Terrific Taco Game

  • Age: 3+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Gameplay: Set collection
  • Publisher: Briarpatch (University Games)
  • Buy here on Amazon

In this adorable game featuring Pete the Cat, players are helping Pete fill taco orders. Players are given three order cards. On their turn, players flip over ingredient cards (which stay face up) to try and find the ones they need to fulfill their orders. Watch out for the grumpy frog, if he is revealed all face up cards and flipped back face down. 

This game supports young games with their counting, matching, turn taking, and visual discrimination skills.

Exit Kids: Jungle of Riddles

  • Age: 5+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Playtime: 20 Minutes
  • Gameplay: Cooperative
  • Publisher  Kosmos
  • Buy here on Amazon

In the jungle you have found nine treasure chests, can you solve the puzzles to open all of them? The popular Exit Games now have a version for kids. Unlike the standard Exit games these games are replayable and none of the components are destroyed. The puzzles are designed without any reading, and the game contains escape room style puzzles and brainteasers.

Stomp the Plank

  • Age: 5+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Playtime: 15 Minutes
  • Gameplay: Push Your Luck, player elimination
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Buy here on Amazon

Elephant pirates are on an adventure, and want the treasure. The elephants are trying to get treasure from Captain Giraffe. Players can draw as many treasure cards as they wish, but for each repeated card they draw their elephant moves forward on the plank. Who will be the last one remaining on the pirate ship?

Beat the 8 Ball

  • Age: 6+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Gameplay: Party, Dexterity
  • Publisher: Blue Orange Games
  • Buy here on Amazon

Challenge your patience and test your timing with Beat the 8 Ball. Players need to time when they will release their ball after the 8 Ball is sent into the funnel. If you beat the 8 Ball you score points, but landing after the 8 Ball will cost you. The challenge is to be the one closest without getting behind the 8 ball.

Board Game Accessories

Being a gamer lends itself to collecting. Sometimes it is challenging to find an amazing fit or you want to get something that is not a new game. Perhaps you need a small item for a small holiday container. There are great accessories that can enhance the gaming experience for a huge range of gamers.

Game Storage On the Shelf

Storage of board games can get challenging. Depending on your storage situation you may need to store them on their sides instead of laying flat. One item I have invested in are bands to hold the box closed and minimize the change of pieces falling out. This also helps with traveling with games where the lid is a smidge loose.

Click here for Silicone Rubber Bands on Amazon

Click here for Elastic Box Bands on Amazon

Traveling with Games

There are bags for carrying games, and then there are bags! You can get a more basic tote bag to bring your latest favorite to game night, or go all out on a special game hauling backpack or tote.

Click here for a USA Board Game Bag

Basic tote from Amazon

Game Box Storage

Ticket To Ride storage bins

Bins for game components

Jazz Up Your Game

100 Wooden Meeples

Keeping it Neat On the Table

Foldable bowls

Mini Silicone Pinch Bowls

Dice Trays

Simplifying for the Little Games

Gamewright Card holder

For More Gift Ideas

EFG Essentials: Great Board Games for Kids

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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As parents we are familiar with the world of edutainment. We have endless choices of games and programs that are games with a focus on learning. A free site that gets used in my classroom is www.abcya.com  That said, how do we know what is the best choice for our children? Do these games and programs even work?

Learning Styles

Before we go into the actual games, we need to discuss learning styles. Your child’s learning style will determine the type of game they will be most likely to enjoy and get the most out of. The three primary learning styles that impact children in games are Visual Learners, Auditory Learners, and Kinesthetic Learners. Visual learners are going to enjoy games with lots of graphics, bright colors, fun artwork, and maybe charts. Auditory learners will enjoy games where they get to listen to snippets of stories and hear others have discussions about different aspects of the game. Kinesthetic learners enjoy games where they get to be hands-on that have lots of pieces to move and manipulate. It’s good to think of the people you are going to be playing with to come up with the best game for your group.

Eduplay Games

While this article focuses on mainstream family-style games that are available, we would be lax if we didn’t mention that there is a huge world of board games designed specifically for classroom learning. These games are designed to drill down and reinforce specific learning concepts like letter recognition, language acquisition, phonics, reading comprehension, storytelling mechanics and so forth.

Lakeshore Learning and Edupress are staples in the educational field. We’ve played a few games in this style, and they do not have the spark that we like to have in our games. Unless you were using your gaming time as a type of additional homework, we don’t find the replay value to be very high or the desire to play to be very high. But, there is no denying that this type of game is a useful learning tool. They at least add a skin of fun over traditional learning.

What is all the buzz about The Science of Reading?

In and around the instruction of reading there has been a paradigm shift in the education field. Without going deep into the weeds of educational theory and practice, the shift has been building up and really came to the foreground of the education field in the past few years. Educational practice has moved from a Balanced Literacy Approach where there is explicit phonics instruction, but the greater focus was comprehension and utilizing cues in the books/texts instead of first looking at the letters in the words.

Now there is a greater focus as an educational community on the data about how students best learn. What has been learned is explicit high quality phonics and phonemic awareness instruction. (Just as a quick definition, phonics are working with letters on the page, and phonemic awareness is manipulating just the sounds in words without any text.

Florida Center for Reading Research has free student activities Pre-k to 5th grade. Check it out here!

With this new knowledge working with letters and word building for beginning readers is even more critical to develop the bank of skill needed to fluently read. There are quite a few games that involve building words, and with a little background about the phonics of the English language it can be a huge asset when you play a word game with a beginning reader.

Here at Engaged Family Gaming, we have come up with a collection of games that are a lot of fun to play that teach some of these Literacy concepts as well.

Games with Literacy Concepts

Scrabble 8+ (Vocabulary Development and Letter Arrangement)

Scrabble, by Hasbro games, is a classic for a reason. It has retained its popularity through the years (think Words With Friends) because it is fun to play and challenging. In case you’ve never played Scrabble, it is a word game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a gameboard which is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. The tile must be placed in a crossword pattern (words flow left to right in rows or downwards in columns). The words must be standard and acceptable words in an agreed upon dictionary. Players score points based on the numbers on their letter tiles and can add bonuses from cues on the gameboard.

Scrabble has many variations, including a Junior version designed to help younger kids with letter matching and recognition. This is a great game for kinesthetic learners because there are small pieces to manipulate which these learners LOVE to handle.

Bananagrams 7+ (Vocabulary Development, Letter Arrangement, Time Management)

Bananagrams, by Banagrams, is a similar game to Scrabble, but it doesn’t require a game board, pen, paper, etcetera. It is a letter tile game that comes in a fun banana shaped zip up pouch. It is easily portable and gives you more freedom than Scrabble because you play independently for speed while making your individual crossword board. There are no complications from trying to get the perfect spot on the board, or waiting for a slow player to make a decision, or from losing out on the triple letter space. This game moves quickly because you are working against a clock. There are some unique challenges and ways to manipulate game play which add some fun elements into the game and can allow you to put a crimp in your opponents’ play. In our playtests of this game, we found that this game can be more of a challenge for younger players because it lacks some of the structure built into Scrabble, but some of your outside the box players will enjoy this one much more.

Much like Scrabble, this game appeals to kinesthetic learners because of the tile manipulation. Also, since there is no game board, please make sure to play this one on a smooth surface. The tablecloth became way more of a hindrance during play than any of us anticipated.

Rory’s Story Cubes 8+ (Language Development, Vocabulary Development, Story Sequencing, Storytelling)

Rory’s Story Cubes, by Gamewright, is a pocket-sized creative story generator. The original game comes in a box with 9 cubes (dice) with different images on each side. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark their imagination and tell a story out loud based on the pictures on their cubes. There are several expansions to the base game with different themes (actions, voyages, clues, Batman, intergalactic, etc.). There are infinite ways to play with Rory’s Story Cubes. The rules suggest playing solitaire or with others. The 8+ age suggestion is misleading. This game can definitely be played with younger players.

We’ve used this game as a party game or ice-breaker and I’ve used it to work with my youngest on speaking & listening skills. My oldest finds a way to use these as story starters for creative inspiration in his writing activities. They can also help early learners with literacy development and problem-solving. Again, because this game involves dice rolling, it is great for kinesthetic learners. And, because the stories are told aloud, we’ve had great luck honing our children’s auditory learning skills with this game. Finally, because of the creative images on the cubes, this game works as a great inspiration for visual learners. All around, these are a terrific learning tool to add to your arsenal.

Buy the original Rory’s Story Cubes here on Amazon!

Last Letter 8+ (Vocabulary Development, Letter Recognition, Picture Cues, Time Management)

In Last Letter, by ThinkFun, each player gets five cards featuring intricate, fun, and brightly colored illustrations. Players must race to come up with and shout out a word from one of the picture cards in their hand. The word MUST begin with the last letter of the word previously called. The first player to get rid of all of their cards will win the round. This game is an awesome game for visual learners! The fast paced nature of this game might make it more challenging for younger players who are slower to process what they are seeing in front of them. If play around the table gets too excitable and loud, you may lose younger auditory learners as well. But, be prepared to be surprised by the creative words kids come up with from the images that adults would not normally think of.

Buy Last Letter here on Amazon!

Zingo 3+ (Letter Arrangement & Recognition, Vocabulary Development, Picture Cues, Time Management)

Zingo is a new classic with a few different variations of the game available. It’s like Bingo with a fun twist. The original Zingo is a matching game that encourages pre-readers and early readers to match pictures and words to their challenge cards. The Zingo! Zinger dispenses tiles as players race to be the first player with a full card and yell “ZINGO!” With two levels of play, this matching game builds language skills through fast-paced play. This game is designed to develop early literacy skills for very young players. Zingo Sight Words and Zingo Word Builder are also available and these games introduce more challenging literacy skills. Our children request these games regularly and LOVE to play them. While these are learning games at their core, they use fun and exciting game mechanics to keep young players engaged!

Buy Zingo here on Amazon

Dixit 8+ (Language Development, Story Sequencing, Storytelling, Picture Cues)

Using a deck of cards illustrated with dreamlike images, players select cards that match a title suggested by the “storyteller”, and attempt to guess which card the “storyteller” selected. Each player starts the game with six random cards. Players then take turns being the storyteller.

The player whose turn it is to be storyteller looks at the six images in his or her hand. From one of these, he or she makes up a sentence or phrase that might describe it and says it out loud (without showing the card to the other players). Each other player then selects from among their own six cards the one that best matches the sentence given by the storyteller. Then, each player gives their selected card to the storyteller, without showing it to the others. The storyteller shuffles his or her chosen card with the cards received from the other players, and all cards are then dealt face up. The players (except for the storyteller) then secretly guess which picture was the storyteller’s, using numbered voting chips. If nobody or everybody finds the correct picture, the storyteller scores 0, and each of the other players scores 2. Otherwise the storyteller and all players who found the correct answer score 3. Players other than the storyteller score 1 point for each vote their own pictures receive.

A large part of the skill of the game comes from being able to offer a title which is neither too obscure nor too obvious. The game ends when a player reaches the end of the board (30 points). Much like Rory’s Story Cubes, this game helps children to learn storytelling skills, story sequencing, and helps broaden appreciation for art and gives players the ability to articulate thoughts concisely and to comprehend metaphor.

About the Authors:

This article in its initial format was created by Jenna Duetzmann.

The update for the article has been done by Linda Wrobel, who as a first grade teacher is on the ground learning the shifts in educational practice, and seeing the impact of beginning readers.

For Additional Games to Support Learning

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

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  1. Introduction
  1. Welcome to The Engaged Family Gaming Podcast. This is a show all about the great video games and board games you should play with your family. Each episode we’ll cover the biggest news in the gaming space that parents should know about!
  1. Games of the Week
    1. Splatoon 3
    2. Silver and Gold
    3. Temtem and Ooblets get 1.0 releases
  2. The Big News!
    1. Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family Plan
      1. https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/store/xbox-game-pass-ultimate/CFQ7TTC0HXBN
      2. https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/1/23333605/microsoft-xbox-game-pass-friends-family-pricing-confirmed
  1. Relevant Releases
    1. Video Game release calendar
      1. Ooblets (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 1
      2. LEGO Brawls (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 2
      3. Biomutant (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – September 6
      4. Temtem (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC) – September 6
      5. Splatoon 3 (Switch) September 9
    2. Board Game Releases/Kickstarter
      1. The Great American Mail Race
        1. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/364679/usps-great-american-mail-race
      2. Teeter Tower – Gamewright
        1. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/358051/teeter-tower
      3. Akropolis
        1. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/357563/akropolis
      4. Star Wars Villainous
        1. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/358800/star-wars-villainous-power-dark-side
      5. My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria
        1. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/358558/my-little-pony-adventures-equestria-deck-building
  1. BREAK
  2. Do You Feel Old Yet?
    1. 09/13/1985 – Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. (This is technically an unconfirmed date. But still….)
    2. The following movies turn 25 in 2022
      1. Titanic, Disney’s Hercules, Men in Black
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