Spring Gaming Break- Great Family Games To Play With Kids

Richard Dracass | March 27, 2018

The Family that Games Together…

Board games are a great hobby that we can all get together and play at our favorite local game store. It allows us to find new friends, leave a lot of worries and work behind as we form a new community. A lot of us forget that we can play games with our families right at home, even with young children! Some themes or rules don’t always work out with kids or families, so below you can find three of our favorite family games!


Box Art for Hotshots from Fireside Games

First up is a new game from Fireside Games called Hotshots. This push-your-luck dice rolling game came out last year and was designed by Fireside’s own Justin De Witt. In Hotshots 1 – 4 players take on the role of firefighters tackling a wildfire on hexagonal location tiles. This relatively simple game has lots of replayability with four different characters with special effects, and location tiles that are randomized and can even be put into different patterns to increase the difficulty.

The box recommends an age of 10+, but the rules are simple enough that my eight year old played it with no hiccups. The rules are relatively simple; you start by setting up the tiles and placing fire tokens on specific tiles. During the game, you must move to the burning tiles and roll dice to match the symbols on the tiles. Matching so many symbols gives you certain success effects (such as removing the fire tokens, blocking fire from traveling, or gaining bonus tokens with effects to use later). Each tile has a threshold value, and when that tile has that many fire tokens, that tile gets removed.



Box art for King of Tokyo from Iello

Another great family game for everyone is King of Tokyo, designed by Richard Garfield and published by Iello. Last year, King of Tokyo was part of the inaugural Unrivaled Tournament Series, and everyone had a blast! There’s a lot of depth to the game, but the game itself is simple enough to understand without being innately complex. King of Tokyo can play 2 – 6 players and plays in 30 minutes, though with six players you might end up with something a bit longer. This makes it a great game to play at a family gathering or large party as a way to keep kids occupied!


In King of Tokyo, players take on the persona of large monsters battling for control of the city of Tokyo. Only one player can control the city at a time, and while occupying it, they get victory points. But all the other players have their eyes on the person in Tokyo and are attacking them. This gives King of Tokyo a push your luck element asking how long they want to stay in the hot spot, but if you don’t get into Tokyo you won’t grab the 20 points you need to win!


Box art for Smash Up from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)

Paul Peterson and Alderac Entertainment Group published a fun shufflebuilding game in 2012 called Smash Up where players each pick two pre-made mini-decks and shuffle them together to make your team. These mini-decks are fantasy or science fiction factions like Aliens or Wizards – and when you combine the two, you’ll get a different deck with a unique playstyle. Smash Up can sit 2 – 4 players, and since you play the whole game through cards it can be played by anyone who has good reading comprehension!


Once you have your Alien Wizard deck, or whatever other factions you’ve mashed together, you’ll draw some cards. The only other cards you’ll need are Bases, which get put in the center of the table with a number of victory points and a Threshold value listed on them. Players are going to play their minions onto the bases, and each minion has a power and possibly a special effect. Once the total power of minions exceeds the Threshold number, that base scores – giving out points to the player with the most, second most, and maybe even third most power on minions. The first person to 15 points, wins!


Spring is a great time to bust out some family games! Kids are out of school and families are getting together for the weekend to celebrate! Let us know what family games you’re bringing to your next family gathering!