“Junior” Game Versions

Greetings All,

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about “junior” versions of games or more kid friendly versions of games. I grew up with a lot of Hasbro games and their Junior versions. I have a 20 month old and obviously a good amount of time before he is old enough to really get into gaming, but I started thinking about Euro games and their “junior” versions. Please keep in mind that my list(s) are not complete and when I locate more example games I will be adding them.

Before I go into “junior” games, I just want to mention a company called Haba. Obviously there are tons of companies out there making games for you kids and toddlers, but Haba has a collection called “My Very First Games“. They are so cute and I am looking forward to picking a few out for my son. My biggest thing about them is that their games are rather expensive for little kid games. Regardless, please go take a peek because they are adorable… or maybe I’m just a sucker for the whole “My first” thing. 🙂

We’ll start with your basic Hasbro Junior Games listed by youngest age first!

Boggle Junior, ages 3+, 1+ players.

Yahtzee Jr, ages 4+, 2-4 players.

Monopoly Junior, ages 5+, 2-4 players.

Junior Scrabble, ages 5+, 2-4 players.

Clue Junior, ages 5+, 2-6 players.

The Game of Life Junior, ages 5+, 2-4 players.

Cranium Junior, ages 7+, 2 players.

Trivial Pursuit: Junior, ages 8+, 2-4 players.

Taboo Junior, ages 8+, 4 players.

Non-Hasbro Games.

Sequence for kids, Jax Games, ages 3-6, 2-4 players.

My First Carcassonne, Z-Man Games, ages 4+, 2-4 players, 20 min playtime.

My First Stone Age – The card game, Z-Man Games, ages 4+, 2-4 players, 10 min playtime.

My First Stone Age, Z-Man Games, ages 5+, 2-4 players, 15 min playtime.

Junior Labyrinth, Ravensburger, ages 5+, 1-4 players, 15 min playtime.

Catan Junior, Mayfair Games, ages 6+, 2-4 players, 30-40 min playtime.

Ticket to Ride First Journey, Days of Wonder, ages 6+, 2-4 players, 15-30 min playtime.

Ticket to Ride First Journey Europe, Days of Wonder, ages 6+, 2-4 players, 15-30 min playtime.

Krosmaster Junior, Ghenos Games, ages 7+, 2-4 players, 5-15 min playtime.

I hope you’ve found some new additions to your game library on this list and hopefully you can find that perfect gateway junior game version of your favorite games! Know of anymore? Let me know! Until next time… Live by the board.


Meet the author… again!

Greetings All,

As requested here’s a bit more about me. Don’t forget to check out the Meet The Husband and Meet The Bartender posts!

For starters, as far as board games goes I really only played Monopoly, Scrabble, and Boggle. I played the occasional party or trivia game, but it was very rare. And with card and dice games I played Yahtzee and Poker. I was particularly gifted at Poker, which I think paved the way for some of strategy in games these days. So yeah… that’s really it. Games were not a large part of my childhood.

My husband and I met in 2011 and we got married the following year. I married into three lovely children and we were all very big on family time. It wasn’t long before we started branching off into games thanks to my husband. Among the first games purchased were Dixit, Catan, and Castle Panic. Two of these have become personal favorites. My husband loved the idea behind Castle Panic, it was something the five of us could do together… a game we could play fighting against a common enemy. Boy did that start one heck of loyal patronage to Fireside Games. Dixit was something that I got for me, it was one of my first selfish purchases. It’s art is so amazing and beautiful and I am quite a bit artsy myself.

I remember going to our now shutdown FLGS (friendly local game shop) and being super nervous. I was that way with everything really, my first visit to the comic shop was the same. I went through quite a large overhaul of personality when I met my husband. It was less a change and more of a discovery. I was very timid and sheltered. I didn’t have a whole lot of experience in anything but a not so family friendly lifestyle. The journey of discovering that there was more to the world, more to me… was exhausting and fun all at the same time. It was fantastic realizing that I am a geek. 🙂

From there, I just kind of rolled with it. I keep in great contact with board game companies and comic writers/artists. I started this blog, started volunteering for Extra Life, and started hosting International Tabletop Day. I maybe have gone a bit overboard with geek culture, but it shouldn’t be so fun to dive into. Haha.

My husband and I had been trying for a baby for a while despite being in a rough custody battle (It was awful, the other party sucks. Don’t ask.) during which we got 50/50 custody of our older three. We got news from the doctor that my chances of having a baby were low. My husband bought me my first cat Saint to cheer me up. Four months later a friend of ours knew of some kittens and my husband got my our second cat T’Challa thinking that it’d help cheer me up even more. I had finally accepted not having a baby when I started feeling rough. I went to the ER early one morning after taking my husband to work. I was told that I had a stomach bug and (at the same time Harry Potter was playing in the back, when Harry is told “You’re a wizard, Harry.”) that I was pregnant. Also note that this was right before my birthday, haha. I had to sit on that news all freaking day. I picked my husband up from work and let him complain about his day all the way home. I finally let the beans spill when we got home and here we are now. My baby is almost 16 months old. We procured a pug named Ganthet to grow up with the baby knowing that for half the week he’d be an only sibling. There are now six of us and three pets and it is tiring, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We’ve started introducing the youngest to giant polyhedral sets and water proof cards. We’ll make a sixth gamer yet.

I now fill up my free time with several volunteer positions, a personal assistant job, Etsy shop, and this blog. You must be wondering where I get this free time. I don’t, things get done when they get done. My husband has made a lovely life for me and our children and I am grateful to him for it. We have a good lot of friends that game as well and it makes life that much more worth it. This year will be my first year attending Gen Con, why did I pick the 50th anniversary?? 🙂

Thank you for reading, I hope it wasn’t too long and boring. Please take a chance to like us on Facebook and follow of on WordPress and Twitter. Take a peek a the Etsy page while you’re at it. And until next time… Live by the board.


How board games saved my sanity.

Greetings All,

This is a post that I have been extremely unsure in writing, but maybe it will help someone as much as it helped us.

My husband and I had some very unfortunate events happen to us this time last year. We were going through a rough custody case and ended up going several months without seeing our children. During that time, we had no clue what to do with ourselves… we went through a large amount of depression and the thing that helped the most was board games.

We played Ticket to Ride and Castle Panic like they were going out of style. I think it’s quite obvious that it didn’t fix the entire situation, but it was one heck of a coping mechanism and a healthy one at that. Board games exercised our minds and made us interact. I know that there were many days when my husband and I only wanted to curl up in balls and pretend like the world outside did not exist.

I know it most sound silly for me to say “if we can beat this game against all odds, surely we can put the pieces of our lives back together.” Something like that probably seems childish, but you know what it really was to us? Hope. It was a moment in our day where we could conquer this or that and have hope in our life. You’d be surprised at how far a small glimmer of hope can take you. No matter why you have that hope and how you got it, it becomes a powerful thing that can lead you out of your sadness and help you maintain sanity until the storm passes.
I can see how someone would doubt that board games could make that much of a difference, but it did for us.

If you are having a difficult time in life, board games are incredibly helpful. If you are frustrated by the way that things are going competitive games are great, like Ticket to Ride or King of Tokyo. The competitive nature of the games help let out the anger in a more productive manner, you can take a minute to strive hard to beat your competition and even if you do not win… it has taken some of the stress off of you.

If you are feeling alone or sad, cooperative games are perfect, like Castle Panic or Sentinels of the Multiverse. When you work together to reach a common goal, you automatically get a sense of closeness and it’s beautiful.
Our situation definitely called more for co-op games, although we did have our times when we wanted to compete.

We had many late nights with board games, tv shows in the background, and snacks by our side. The more we played our games, the more the two of us bonded. We started to consider board games part of our family and you know what? Well after we got our children back and that storm passed… board games are still part of our family. They’ve helped us bond with our children. We played board games with them before and after the custody battle and that is something that made the transition much easier on all of us. When we got them back, our board game nights made it feel like they were never gone.

Even now, when we have a stressful day or week we play board games to help overcome the stress. It works like a charm every time.
Having gone through sadness with and without board games, I can tell you that they really did make a difference. If you don’t try to relax you end up going through life so serious all of the time.

You know The Game of Life? While I can say that real life doesn’t quite happen the way that it does in that game, the creators weren’t entirely wrong in making a game called Life. I for one consider many pieces of real life to be like a game. I even make up “game plans” for stressful situations and more often than not I do manage to defeat the goblins or dragons and get prizes… like my car getting repaired.

Alright, now I’m just babbling and probably not making a whole lot of sense. My point is that board games are perfect for escaping life for a bit. You can be someone else, lead a different life… for however long it takes you to complete that game and it’s wonderful. I realize that these are things that you can also do in books and video games, but holding a controller is vastly different from moving your game pieces around the board or rolling actual dice as opposed to flicking the controller or tapping a screen.

In all honesty I can’t sit here and tell you for sure that board games will make as big of a difference in your life as they have mine, but what I can tell you is it never hurts to try. The games you play do not have to be the ones I’ve mentioned in this blog. Go out and try Jenga, Monopoly, or even Uno. Don’t let the stresses of life beat you down, take your dice and roll as best as you can. Until next time… Live by the Board.


Christmas Games!

Greetings All,

Today I wanted to post some Christmas themed games for you holiday playing pleasure. 🙂


Many people are familiar with the popular card game Cards Against Humanity, they actually have Holidays Pack available for 2012 and 2013, they are $10 each. Please be warned that this is not a kid friendly game. Scroll to the bottom of their page for more information!


Do you want to be part of the Lollipop Guild? Munchkin is also a very popular game and has TONS of different versions. Munchkin has a version called Reindeer Games and another called Holiday Surprise. Steve Jackson’s website also has a list of other Munchkin Christmas Products. Go check them out, it’s all pretty cool. 🙂


Here’s a more family familiar game, Christmas-Opoly is exactly what it sounds like, a Christmas version of Monopoly. You can find it for sale on the Toys-R-Us website. Do Not Pass Go without checking this one out!


Is Christmas shopping making you want to say Good Grief? Well, now you can… with the Charlie Brown Christmas Board Game! 🙂 Check it out on Amazon!


12 Days is a neat little card game that you can purchase at DriveThruCards for $12 or print it for free from there as well. There is a fantastic play through you can view from Tabletop! 🙂


This is a different 12 Days of Christmas game, not to be confused with the one above. This one is a free print and play. Check it out!


Carcassonne is a great strategy game that just happens to have a beautiful Winter Edition… seriously thinking about adding this one to my Christmas list! 😉


The Christmas Game is a very different, very cute twist on Christmas Traditions! I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard great things.


Fluxx is a game that has constantly changing rules! It is very fun! They have a Holiday Edition that I am just dying to try, I hope you are too!

-Now switching pace to Holiday RPGs-


I’m not sure if anyone is familiar with Fiasco, but it’s a really cool RPG and I found where someone made a holiday version called Holly Jolly. We have Fiasco and definitely will be saving the link! 🙂


This is ADORABLE, someone made a holiday RPG dungeon! Ahh! 🙂 Check it out! It’s called The House on Christmas Hill!


Lastly Castle Panic has an adorable Snowflake that is shaped like the Castle Towers! As seen above!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time… Live by the Board!


Personalized Games

Greetings All,

Tomorrow is my two-year anniversary. I always try to make or purchase something geeky for my husband, for any occasion really. I purchased a personalized Chrono Trigger clock with our anniversary date and such on it. I also purchased a set of personalized playing cards. It’s a full deck that consists of pictures of our little family (including our smelly little ferret). Sadly I was too excited to wait until tomorrow, not to mention our schedule for tomorrow really wouldn’t allow us to do much celebrating. Anyhow, I gave him his anniversary gifts yesterday and he absolutely loved them! Seeing his reaction made me want to get personalized cards/games for my kids and subsequently made me want to share this with all of you.

I’ve always thought personalized gifts were adorable, especially when they can be more than just decor, i.e. the Playing Cards. I’ve put together a little list of different places that offer personalized games without costing you a fortune. There are many places out there that offer the same thing, but I chose the less expensive options.

Shutterfly – I got my anniversary card deck from Shutterfly. Now admittedly they are not the cheapest option I found, BUT at the time I had a free coupon code… so my cards were free. Shutterfly offers personalized cards and puzzles. Please see the link below.

Shutterfly Cards, $19.99 – http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts/playing-cards

Shutterfly Puzzles, $24.99 – http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts/puzzles

Oriental Trading – This website has a lot of cute bulk items for a great price. The offer playing cards: $14 per dozen, poker chips: $20.99 for 100pcs, and a custom connect four set: $10 per dozen.

Oriental Trading – http://www.orientaltrading.com/toys-games-and-novelties/games-and-activities/personalizable/games-a1-550234+18-TnJwcD02NA==.fltr

Cafe Press – Cafe Express offers personalized playing cards: $28 per set, personalized Monopoly games, including game pieces: $39.99 per game, and personalized Scrabble games, including game pieces: $39.99 per game.

Cafe Press – http://www.cafepress.com/make/custom-toys

Printer Studio – They offer tons of personalized puzzles: $1.48 – $16.51+, Personalized Memory Match games: $9.99+, and personalized Dominoes for $12.29+.

Printer Studio – http://www.printerstudio.com/unique-ideas/personalized-puzzle-games.html

Walgreens – Walgreens offer 8×10 personalized puzzles: $14.99, personalized puzzles w/ gift tins: $24.99, and personalized playing cards: $22.99.

Walgreens – http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/storepage/storePageId=Toys

121 Personal Gifts – This site offers many cool games. They have personalized poker sets: $49.95-$69.95, Cribbage Games: $42.95-$48.95, Domino Sets: $39.95-$49.95, Double Deck card cases: $44.95, and Mancala sets: $23.95.

121 Personal Gifts – http://www.121personalgifts.com/browse-by-gift-type/poker-set

Now some cute Freebies:

Instructables – This site has plenty of great ideas, but I found a personalized Guess Who thread that would be a great gift/project for kids.

Instructables – http://www.instructables.com/id/Personalized-Guess-Who/

I don’t know about your kids, but mine LOVE Pokemon! I found a free Pokemon card maker and a free Trainer card maker. These are both printable and very much so worth it to see the smile on your kids faces!

Pokemon Card Maker – http://pokemoncardapp.com/

Pokemon Trainer Card Maker – http://pokecharms.com/trainer-card-maker/

If there are any specific games you would like me to look for, please feel free to let me know! I hope that you all enjoyed this and I hope that some of you indulge in personalized games! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and until next time… Live by the Board.


Thanksgiving Games!

Greetings all,

Today I wanted to give you a list of Thanksgiving games. I realize that the games may not reach you in time for Thanksgiving, but I tried to make sure I located as many Amazon Prime (free 2-day shipping) games as possible. While I was researching I found a great list from Board Game Geek and it has very extensive information, so I figured I’d link the list and then give you the most affordable links for the game I could find. Please keep in mind I tried to locate only new games, although some of them I wasn’t able to find. Please take a look at the Board Game Geek thread and come back to this post for prices for the games you are interested in.

Here is Board Game Geeks Thanksgiving games post: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/26038/ultimate-thanksgiving-themed-game

And now the price list:

1) New England: http://www.amazon.com/New-England-Game-Board/dp/B0006HCWNA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1416767557&sr=8-3&keywords=new+england+board+game

2) The Voyage of the Mayflower: http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Mayflower-board-game/dp/B0056PC692/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416767755&sr=8-1&keywords=voyage+of+the+mayflower+board+game

3) Merchants of Amsterdam – http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Grande-Games-166RGG-Merchants/dp/B00005UN1T/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416767854&sr=8-1&keywords=Merchants+of+Amsterdam

4) Jamestown: The Jamestowne Survivor Game: Sadly I had no luck locating this. 😦

5) Electric Football: There are tons of versions of this, you can pick and choose: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Electric+Football&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AElectric+Football

6) The Great Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Game: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Macys-Thanksgiving-Parade-Game/dp/B002TTIIPO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416768076&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Great+Macy%27s+Thanksgiving+Day+Parade+Game

7) Turkeys Wild!: http://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/638009

8) A Fistful of Turkeys: http://www.ebay.com/itm/A-FISTFUL-OF-TURKEYS-1-A-role-playing-game-1981-brochure-/131330311256?_trksid=p2054897.l4275

9) Cold Turkey: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/281484076279?lpid=82

10) Don’t Wake Daddy: http://www.amazon.com/Parker-Brothers-0455-Dont-Daddy/dp/B00000IWD3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416768659&sr=8-1&keywords=Don%27t+Wake+Daddy

11) Monopoly: Dallas Cowboys: http://www.amazon.com/USAopoly-MN016008-Dallas-Cowboys-Monopoly/dp/B000GQ0R0G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416768745&sr=8-2&keywords=Monopoly%3A+Dallas+Cowboys

12) New World: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111520033790

13) New World: A Carcassonne Game: https://www.gamesurplus.com/product_info.php?products_id=991

14) Cornucopia: https://www.gamesurplus.com/product_info.php?products_id=1319

15) The Thanksgiving Game: http://www.amazon.com/The-Thanksgiving-GameTM-CLS777-Game/dp/B0014WFYPE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416769110&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Thanksgiving+Game

16) New Haven: https://www.gamesurplus.com/product_info.php?products_id=2859

17) Rails of New England: http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Grande-Games-RGG-433/dp/B0054EXG6C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416769272&sr=8-1&keywords=Rails+of+New+England

18) Happy Turkey Day!: http://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/641539

19) Pizza Box Football, Included this link not because it was the cheapest, but because it included expansions.: https://www.gamesurplus.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Pizza+Box+Football&x=0&y=0

20) Wild Turkey Opoly: http://www.amazon.com/Huntertainment-WTUR-Wild-Turkey-Opoly/dp/B00104F6OK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416769551&sr=8-1&keywords=Wild+Turkey+Opoly

21) Turkish Checkers, this is a print and play. I was unable to locate it, however, Kongregate offers a free online version: http://www.kongregate.com/games/vfedorov/turkish-checkers

22) Turkey Day: This was also a print and play, I was unable to locate it. 😦

23) Devil Bunny Needs a Ham: http://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/624377

24) Battleball: http://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/615767

25) Pow Wow: http://www.amazon.com/Ravensburger-26412-Pow-Wow-Game/dp/B000EWNEGG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416770263&sr=8-1&keywords=pow+wow+game

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Until next time… Live by the Board.