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Games For Dad And The Kids


My Kid's Favourite Games to Play with Their Dad

I play a lot of games with my kids. Their ages range from my daughter, Neve, who is 21 down to Olly who is 12, with Alix in the middle who is 15. We play a wide range of games from party style, quick-play titles to heavy euros and war-like Ameritrash games. They will try anything but all have their favourites, they all come with stories to accompany them and why they like to play them with me.

I asked them all what games they enjoyed playing with their old Dad and this is what they had to say. Bless them! Welcome to what games I like to beat my dad at. Well, sometimes anyway. I have taught them well.

Neve - Ark Nova

“Firstly because animal-based games are my favourite, getting to build my own zoo is awesome. Alongside that, we never fully get through the deck so sometimes there are some furry animal-based surprises still to see. With it being a 2-player game it’s a way I can spend quality time with my Dad, especially with the game lasting a few hours.”

I have to agree with Neve here, we normally play Ark Nova with just the two of us and it's great to have some father-daughter time playing something she loves.


Marvel Dice Masters

“I love playing this with Dad as we are the only ones that seem to have the patience for it. We don’t play it often due to the setup and character selection taking up most of the game time but when we do it’s an amazing experience. I think that’s mostly because my Dad’s impressed that I still know what’s going on by the end. Overall I love playing this with Dad as now I’m older it’s a way for us to spend time together.”

Again, yet another game me and Neve play together, as she said the long setup time makes it hit the table less often but I do like assembling a team of my favourite Marvel characters and smashing her into oblivion. I love Marvel Dice Masters, both in the playing sense and collecting new heroes.

That’s Not A Hat And Biblios

“I put these in the same section as they are both games that are amusing to play when your Dad knows so much about board games yet he is absolutely awful at them both. I have his scorecards to prove this. These games are a great laugh for all the family, especially when he can’t even remember the card he put down or was given.”

That’s Not A Hat is a favourite in our house. I am absolutely terrible at it but it's one of the games I don't care if I win or lose at. It's hilariously funny to laugh at others until it's your turn and you have no clue of what item is in front of you. I try to lie my way out of it but just end up giggling. I am not getting any younger and remembering small inanimate objects is not getting any easier. Hahaha. Biblios, I still stand by the fact I have just been unlucky. Great fun though.


“This is one of my all-time favourite games that I enjoy playing with everyone, especially Dad. I love the artwork and the game's simple and beautiful design. So much that we went halves on the 3D figures, metal coins and wooden upgrades. It’s pimped out to the max. It’s also one of the few games I win ‘almost’ every time at. We all have fun with this one as a family and Dad does go crazy for games with proper weighty metal coins.”

Flamecraft is pure joy. Simple to teach newcomers, yet has just enough wrinkles to keep heavier gamers interested. Throw in beautiful artwork, a lovely theme and some juicy components and you're on to a dragon-based winner. I also don’t think Neve has won this as many times as she thinks. Haha.

Le Havre

“I love this game, purely due to the fact that Dad loves this game and most of the family don’t have the patience for it. I did kind of cheat the first time but we played because I forgot to feed my people but Dad being Dad, let me off a bit and helped me through. We had some great laughs and chortles though when all Dad does is collect fish and smoke it the whole game whilst my people are starving. Good times.”

I adore Le Havre, another example of simple to play yet contains hidden depths and strategies. I also remember Neve's face when she forgot to feed her people the first ever time we played. I am no militarian though when playing and let her off the first time. It did make me laugh though watching her struggle every round thereafter, trying to feed her people though. This is how we learn though and the whole experience was a good one. Dad lesson number 7 - don’t forget to feed your people. Brilliant.

Alix - The Binding of Isaac Four Souls

“One of the board games I like to play with my Dad is The Binding of Isaac Four Souls because even though it is a long game and no one else wants to usually play, we still play just us two of us and we love stealing or destroying each other's items. This also comes with all the combos and mad shenanigans that come with the Binding of Isaac, I love seeing how I can ‘break’ the game”

I love playing the Isaac board game nearly as much as the amazing video game. Creating power combos, defeating monsters and killing your family has never been so much fun. If you are a fan of the video game, you will love Four Souls.


Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

“Another game I like to play with my Dad is Eclipse because it is always fun playing the game we both love. Building your own ships, exploring the galaxy and destroying each other is so much fun. Trying to stop the other from getting to the middle and stabbing each other in the back is so rewarding, as is finding some weird space weapon to kill your fellow space explorers.”

Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy may be my favourite game. Yes it's a few hours, yes it's very large but it's an amazing 4x experience that's different every time you play. The inserts and trays make setup and managing your resources a breeze and designing your own ships with researched tech and weapons never gets old. Well, until you roll rubbish dice and get beat by an AI ship for the third time in a row. Fun times! More on this one later.

Olly - Pitchcar

“I like playing Pitchcar with my Dad because whenever we play I Win and I am better than him at it.”

Short and to the point Olly. I really enjoy Pitchcar and had to check my stats for this one, he does beat me more often than not. He loves designing his own tracks and flicking his little wooden disc around. Pitchcar is an old classic and all of the family enjoy crawling around on the floor flicking our cars around freshly created tracks. I am on the lookout for some expansions too. There are jumps and a loop-the-loop, I know right? So much fun to be had.



“The second game I enjoy playing with my Dad is Lifeboats because when we played Dad kept backstabbing everyone, chucking them off the boats so everyone ganged up on him and made him lose the game.”

We only acquired the classic Lifeboats recently but it has been an instant hit. It's nothing but negotiation, alliance-making and back-stabbing. Olly loved it and he especially enjoyed his Dad coming last and getting his just desserts.

Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

“Last but not least is Eclipse. I like Eclipse, even though it takes ages to play, it is completely worth it. I like fighting games and this one is full of laughter and enjoyment.

How lucky am I that both my boys love Eclipse, it's a heavy game and for both of them to enjoy it, especially Olly at 12, is a blessing for me. It's a great game and I adore destroying my kids at it.

I want to close this feature out by saying how lucky I feel that not only do all my kids like board games but the fact they enjoy a plethora of differing genres and mechanics fills my heart with warmth. I love our family time together, around the table, laughing and playing games.


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