Release: 09/14/2020    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 28 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Here are three circles and a square… Can you make a toaster? Or a banana? 

Working from a common set of shape dice, can you create a simple drawing, hoping others can select your magic word from a grid of cards?

Artbox is a game about perception. How to say a lot with a little. And much like negative space in a painting, what you leave out helps define what everyone gets to see.

Listen in to explore this wonderful game of drawing and deduction!

Artbox           Lavka Games  |  BGG  |  Buy

Designer: Artem Lis

Publisher: Lavka GamesJet Games Studio

3-8 players  30 min.  ages 8+   MSRP $35

Time to teach/learn: 5 minutes


Little Boxes  by  Pete Seeger  |  the song

Litlir kassar með texta  by Þokkabót  |  the song



Similo Title Graphic - Major Fun Award

Release: 08/24/2020    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 109 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Similo is a cooperative game of characters, communication, and deduction. Can you guide your team to the secret character in a grid of cards using only other character cards as clues? A vertical clue means the card is similar to the secret character. A horizontal clue means the card is different. Each round the pressure mounts, because the team has to remove more cards from the grid!

Similo comes in three flavors. You can play with people from history, myth, and storybook legend. If you’re up for a real challenge, you can even combine decks!

Similo is a springboard into the minds of everyone at the table. It provides a puzzle and laughs in equal measure. That’s a sure sign of Major Fun.

Listen in for our in-depth review!


Horrible Games  |  BGG

Designer: Hjalmar Hach, Pierluca Zizzi, Martino Chiacchiera

Publisher: Horrible Guild

Artist: Xavier (“Naiade”) Durin

2-8 players  10-15 min.  ages 8+   MSRP $10

Time to teach/learn: 3-4 minutes

For info on the other segments featured on the show, check out the show notes at The Spiel!


Music credits include:

History Repeating  by Kai Hoffman  |  the song



Release: 03/02/2020    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 33 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

How psychic are you? Medium will put you to the test.

Your goal is to create a telepathic bond, a Vulcan mind meld with your partners in the game.

From two words selected, can we come up with a word that connects them on the count of 3-2-1.

The instruments of the game are simple. Just cards and a box. But the game can take you to undiscovered places with each new set of players.

Medium cultivates mystery and magic and feels like a game that would be at home in any Victorian parlour.

Listen in to learn how it conjures Major Fun every time you play!


Official Site  |  BGG 

Designer: Danielle Deley, Lindsey Sherwood, Nathan Thornton

Publisher: Greater Than Games, Stormchaser Games

Artist: Sarah Kelley

2-8 players  15-30 min.   ages 10+   MSRP $20

Time to teach/learn: 3 minutes

For info on the other segments featured on the show, check out the show notes at The Spiel!


Music credits include:

Blondi  | Vilperin Perikunta  | the song

If You Could Read My Mind | Lullaby Players |  the song





Release: 9/16/2019    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 68 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Dekalko is a drawing game that is not a drawing game.

Everyone must get others to guess a picture without seeing the picture itself. How you get there requires a quick hand, a pen, and almost no artistic skill.

That’s because Dekalko is a tracing game! The lines are right there for you to draw. Which ones are important? Which ones can you leave out?

And that’s where the magic of the game begins. You don’t have to draw like a professional artist to learn how to see like one.

Listen in to explore the game and learn how Dekalko takes a possible point of stress and turns it into an opportunity for Major Fun.


Happy Baobab  |  BGG 

Designer: Sébastian Decád, Roberto Fraga   

Publisher: Happy Baobab

Artist: Ian Parovel

3-6 players  30 min.   ages 8+   MSRP 25 EUR

Time to teach/learn: 5 minutes

For info on the other segments featured on the show, check out the show notes at The Spiel!


Music credits include:

Trace of You  |  by Jimmy Rogers   |  the song

Lipstick Traces  |  by Benny Spellman  |  the song


Order of Invention

Order of Invention

Breaking Games|  BGG

Designer: Tim W.K. Brown
Publisher: Breaking Games
2 or more players 15 minutes ages 8+
MSRP $20

text-the concept

Bubble Wrap… Instant Coffee… Processed Cheese… The Zamboni

Do you know which came first? Can you put these inventions in the right order? The name of the game says it all.

text-the components

There are 80 large and wonderfully illustrated invention cards.

The front of each card is red and shows the invention. The back of each card is blue and contains the year of the invention and some fun facts about it. The range of years spans from the 1890’s to the 1970’s.

Each player or team gets a set of player chips numbered first, second, third, and fourth.

A bank of scoring tokens will be used after each round.

text-the mechanics

Each round, four inventions will be on display, red side face up.

Your task is to place your first chip on the invention that was invented the earliest, following on in numerical order until you place your fourth chip on the invention you think was invented most recently.

Once all chips are placed, flip the cards to reveal the years for each invention and wait for the chorus of cheers and moans.

Now we score.

I like to put the cards in chronological order before revealing the chips to see who scores. It builds a bit more tension and prompts some discussion as you see the small timeline you’ve created this round.

Any player or team that has a numbered chip on an invention in the correct order earns a scoring token worth 1 point. If you’re wrong, sorry! Better luck on the next one.

If you’re feeling frisky, on the next rounds you can bet your scoring tokens in addition to your player chips. But don’t get too cocky. If you’re wrong, you lose those points!

The player or team with the most points after five rounds wins.


There are no lack of games, especially in the party game arena, that ask players to think about time and chronology.

Familiarity and context set Order of Invention apart from the crowd.

The inventions in the game are small and often eclectic things we know. They are not monumental items, but each in their own way has had some impact on the world. This is history on a small scale – a relatable scale, because the inventions are familiar.

The game asks us to place four items in context with each other.

Processed cheese must be before bubble wrap, right? And the Zamboni must come later since its a gas powered vehicle but later than bubble wrap? And what about instant coffee? Didnt the astronauts drink that?

The heart of fun comes from the conversations these items spur on between us.

And that dialogue is inspired by the fact that the items are part of our lives. We can place the inventions in our own frame of reference, in our own context, first. And that allows us to enjoy the game in a way that’s markedly different than games that focus on big historical events or famous people or inventions.


Order of Invention is most certainly Major Fun for groups of almost any size and players of all ages. But it can also be a blast with just two. Not many games can span that range and hold up well in both situations.

The subtle but important choice to focus on the eclectic flotsam and jetsam of our modern world makes the game shine. And, win or lose, it will bring players back to the table wondering what crazy mix of items you’ll get each time you play.

Written by: Stephen Conway

Special Note:

This review appears in the Summer 2019 issue of Casual Game Insider Magazine.

CGI publishes a wonderful selection of articles and reviews on a quarterly basis.  In 2019, a Major Fun review will be featured in the next several issues.

The Spiel, Major Fun and CGI share a common goal: opening doors to the wider world of play. We hope this cross promotion will invite more people into the game community.



A-Games|  BGG

Designer: Andrea Szilágyi, Judit Maróthy
Publisher: A-Games
3-10 players 30 minutes ages 10+
MSRP $30

text-the concept

Somewhere in the universe, wombats gather in parties to find a champion. All creatures are welcome, facing challenges ridiculous and sublime. In fact every time they play, the challenges will change since the players themselves shape them.  A word, a memory, a drawing, a gesture, even a song could be the key to unlock the heart of the judge.

Wombattle is a whacktastic party game driven by an unexpected dexterity element and whimsically weird art

text-the components

There are two key elements to Wombattle: the throwing board and wombat cards

The throwing board is actually the game box with an insert covered with colored holes. The lid of the box is nested vertically behind and serves as a backboard/backstop.

The 16 double sided wombat cards will inspire each challenge during the game.

Each card depicts a wombat and other friendly animals engaged in various activities. The wombat might be doing mundane tasks like grocery shopping and hanging pictures. Then again, the wombat might be cliff diving or landing on the moon. Packed with little details, each card has a Richard Scarry-esque quality to it, inviting the viewer to look again to discover new parts of the scene. It’s impossible to overstate the how the whimsy and charm of the artwork helps create the world of the game.

text-the mechanics

Each round in Wombattle, players will face a challenge set by the judge (a fellow player). The shape of the challenge is set by a feat of dexterity, a wombat card, and the imagination of the judge

The feat of dexterity determines the category for the round. The judge bounces a marble off the backstop and into the grid on the throwing board. The hole where the marble comes to rest has a color and the color of the hole determines the category: Arts, Movement, Bravery, and Me-me-me.

Once you have the category, the judge selects a wombat card. The wombat card and the category will now combine in the mind of the judge to create a challenge.

The judge presents the card to the group and, based on the category and some aspect of the scene shown on the card, crafts a challenge that connects the two.

Each player will do his or her best to face the challenge and the judge will select a winner. That player will place an obstacle cone in the throwing board.

Then the players vote for the solution they enjoyed the most. These votes will be tallied at the end.

The game continues with a new  player serving as judge each round until one player has placed all his or her obstacle tokens into the board.


The general insanity and collective sense of fun Wombattle creates makes the game a wonderful experience.

The categories themselves are a mix of standard party game fare (drawing or gestures) and elements that are fresh. Bravery? Come up with something memorable or daring. Me-me-me? A challenge that relates to the judge in some way.

Players themselves set the boundaries of the game from round to round; it’s a negotiation, a dance that creates a safe space for everyone to have fun. It’s an unexpected and wonderful risk – to leave so much room in the game for players to explore and define the limits of the game.

And in some ways, this makes Wombattle more activity than game. 

But that’s ok.

Wombattle is focused on fun, first and forever. It’s an arena for laughter and silliness.


Wombattle embodies an essential element that inspires the Major Fun Award: the simple joy of play. This joy is open to everyone. Any time, anywhere. Wombattle gives us permission to be playful. And it deflects attention away from winning. If you’re playing to win Wombattle, you should be playing a different game. Wombattle is a vehicle for laughter and fun and a reminder to not take yourself or the game too seriously.

To this end, each player writes down a reward they will give (a high five?, a compliment?, a cookie?, a hug?) and places it in the box. The winner will draw one and the player with the most votes will, too. It might not be a paragon of sophisticated game design but Wombattle is a work of demented genius. It soars because it is a source for the creative semi-structured joy we discover through play.

Written by: Stephen Conway

Special Note:

This review appears in the Spring 2019 issue of Casual Game Insider Magazine.

CGI publishes a wonderful selection of articles and reviews on a quarterly basis.  In 2019, a Major Fun review will be featured in the next several issues.

The Spiel, Major Fun and CGI share a common goal: opening doors to the wider world of play. We hope this cross promotion will invite more people into the game community.

The Mind

The Mind   NSV |  BGG  |  Buy

Designer: Wolfgang Warsch
Publisher: NSV, Pandasaurus
2-4 players 15 minutes ages 8+
MSRP $15

text-the concept

Have you ever been in The Zone? Maybe you found it playing music. Everyone in the orchestra playing in perfect time. That pure sweet sound is impossible to forget. Or you found it on the basketball court – each teammate anticipating the moves of the next – it’s like poetry – no one can stop you and no one can miss. It’s special, being in The Zone – a moment of perfect harmony – being totally in synch with everyone around you. Special because The Zone is so hard to find and special because it’s so hard to stay in The Zone once you do! If you get there even for a few fleeting seconds, it’s like magic. The Zone leaves its mark on you and you’ll strive to find it again and again.

The Mind is a cooperative card game that wants its players to find The Zone…and stay there as long as they can! Over the course of several rounds, your team must find a common wavelength to play numbered cards in order to a single stack hoping to reach your goal.

text-the components

The Mind has a deck of 100 cards numbered 1-100.

There are also 5 life cards and 3 throwing star cards.

text-the mechanics

The Mind is played over 8, 10, or 12 rounds, depending on the number of players. The goal for your team is to reach the end of the final round with at least one life remaining. If your team runs out of lives, you lose.

In round one, each player gets one card. Round two, two cards and so on. A round ends when all cards have been played.

One at a time, players will add a single card to a central stack, trying to play all cards in ascending numerical order a la Solitaire.

We’re in Round 2. My hand is 8, 22. Your hand is 15, 73. We want to the stack to go 8-15-22-73. If a card is played out of order, any cards skipped over are shown, discarded, and the team loses a life.

Beyond simple, right? And, yes, even now I can sense some eyes rolling.

But there’s one key element I have yet to mention and this is….


While playing The Mind, you cannot communicate verbally with your teammates! You cannot indicate the numbers on your cards with gestures or sounds! You must communicate mentally with your teammates and find a way to play every card dealt out for the round in order to the stack.

It will seem crazy at first – perhaps to the point that you might question whether this is actually a game.

But then it will happen. Your team will find The Zone. Somehow, some way, your team will navigate through a minefield of consecutive cards. I play the 68, followed by 69 and 70 from the next two players and you’ll feel the magic. When, not if, this happens, there will be smiles and cheers all around.

How does this happen? What transforms The Mind from a game of Silent Solitaire to a game of telepathic synchronicity?

The Mind asks you to play based on reading your fellow players and not the cards.

While direct communication isn’t allowed, we all transmit a wealth of subtle social clues and cues. The closer we all pay attention to what is happening at the table, the more we are able to observe and interpret. It’s like a new language your team creates and learns as you play.

A subtle glance from the player to your left. A nuanced placement of cards from the player on your right. These things take on meaning and help your team connect and occasionally find The Zone. And when you do, win or lose, there are few feelings better to experience at the game table.


The Mind is fueled by a powerful kind of playfulness – the joy of playing together in harmony, in synch. Each new game and each new team will present a new set of challenges, a new language to learn, a new opportunity to create those moments where everything lines up. And even when it all goes horribly wrong. No, especially because things often go horribly wrong, it makes those moments in The Zone ones you’ll remember long after you leave the table. Simple, ingenious, and consistently compelling, The Mind drills deep into the essence of Major Fun.

Special Note:

This review appears in the Fall 2018 issue of Casual Game Insider Magazine.

CGI publishes a wonderful selection of articles and reviews on a quarterly basis.  In 2019, a Major Fun review will be featured in the next several issues.

The Spiel, Major Fun and CGI share a common goal: opening doors to the wider world of play. We hope this cross promotion will invite more people into the game community.




Release: 5/28/2018    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 80 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Your team of spies intercepts a secret transmission… 3 words… a code tied to a sequence of numbers. There it is again! Another transmission, but this time with 3 new words.

Can you decipher these words into the proper sequence when the pressure is on? Remember, the other team is listening and trying to unravel your words and your seuqence at the same time!

Decrypto is a wonderful call-and-response party game where the challenge is to come up with clues that are just enough left of center to keep the other team from connecting the dots AND not so crazy that you fool your own team in the process.

The more clues you give, the harder this becomes and the more laughs you’ll have. And that’s a sequence that spells Major Fun!

Listen in for a full review and discussion.


Iello  |  BGG  |  Buy

Designer: Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance   

Artist: Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez

Publisher: Iello

3-8 players  15-45 min   ages 12+   MSRP $20

For info on the Game Sommelier segment featured on the show, check out the show notes at The Spiel!


Music credits include:

I Spy Theme  by  Earle Hagen  |  the song  | the album 

Theme from The Man from UNCLE  by Hugo Montenegrothe song



Linkee      Official Site  |  BGG  |  Buy

Publisher: Dean Tempest, Tristan Hyatt-Williams, Ben Drummond
P: Big Potato, Bananagrams
2-200 players  30 min. ages 12+  MSRP $22.50

text-the concept

Let’s start with a couple questions.

1. Corn, flat and pita are types of… ?

2. The full name of this African country is the Democratic _____ of Congo?

Bread… republic….

What’s the link? Not sure? Ok, let’s keep going.

3. Complete the lyric “Row, row, row your ____, gently down the stream.”

4. In bowling, if only the 7 and 10 pins are left, this is called a….

Bread, republic, boat and split. Do you see the link now?

It’s bananas, of course!

Welcome to Linkee, a party game that asks each team to find an off-kilter link between four questions/clues. Each round, teams will hear four questions and the first to find the link between the four answers will win a letter card. The first team to spell Linkee wins the game!

text-the components

As with so many party games, the main component in Linkee is a big box of question cards.

Each card has four questions leading to a link at the bottom. There are over 1400 questions in total!

The back of each card has a single letter, these letters spell out the work LINKEE.

There are also small notepads and pencils included for each team to take notes.

To play, split up all players into two or more teams. Pick a person to start as the Question Master and you’re ready to go!

text-the mechanics

You already know the basics, let’s dig deeper to learn the full game.

The Question Master will select a card and start by reading Question 1.

Teams will confer with each other to come up with an answer to this question. Even when your team thinks it knows the answer, don’t say it out loud! Write it on the notepad provided.

On to Question 2 and 3 and 4. Same thing. Pause after each question and kibbitz with your team until you settle on an answer. You’ll end up with four answers to four questions.

These answers are clues. Clues to the real question…. How are the answers connected? What’s the link?

At any point that your team thinks it knows the connection between the answers (even early on after 1 or 2 questions) you can stop the game by shouting LINKEE and declare the link out loud.

Let’s try one!

What is the name for a double bottle of Champagne?
Who did Tom Cruise profess his love to jumping on Oprah’s couch? Katie ____?
Beginning with a C, what is the capital of Sri Lanka?
What is the past tense of the verb to draw?

Scroll down a bit for the answers…

Here we go….


Now that you have the clues, what’s the link? Scroll down for the answer….


They’re all detectives!

If you’re incorrect, your team is out for this round and the other teams keep going until all four questions have been asked.

If you are correct, your team wins the card. Each card you collect puts you one step closer to winning. Remember each card has a letter on it’s back. The goal of the game is to collect cards that spell LINKEE. One letter down, five to go!

If teams get stuck even after the four questions, there’s a bonus hint the QM can read to give one last nudge toward the link. As before, the first team to say the link out loud wins the card.

At this point, it’s lather, rinse, and repeat until one team wins.


What I love most about Linkee is how each turn your team builds toward an answer. Knowing one tidbit of information isn’t enough. You have to connect the dots by finding two or three clues at least. The more clues you have, the clearer the link will become.

The temptation is there all along to jump the gun and blurt out a connection before hearing all four questions, but the cards are tricksy and what might seem like the obvious link between two clues can take a sudden turn into left field with the final questions.

Each turn is paved with little victories and defeats along the way – it’s a journey. And this trip you take, building toward your team’s answer, makes each turn it’s own little story. It’s own little game inside the game.

There’s more satisfaction and fun each round because you build it – one clue at a time.

Your final answer to the big puzzle is only right because you’ve solved smaller puzzles along the way. This incremental payoff also means even the teams that don’t win the card in a round get to experience the fun from these little victories for each question.


Linkee takes a playful attitude toward the typical party game by wrapping a game within a game. This format also encourages people to come up with their own cards and questions (submit yours at In fact, over a third of the question cards in early editions of the game were crowdsourced in this manner! Start with a link and work backward to questions and clues OR come up with four crazy clues and find a devilish connection. I don’t ordinarily play trivia based party games and feel motivated to write my own cards. With Linkee, once you get your mind in synch with the format, it’s honestly hard not to go down that path.

You might think collecting the exact right set of letters would make this game drag on since you might get stuck in a cycle where your team can only win Ks or Ls for some odd reason. Not to worry, there’s a simple trading system that allows a team to swap three extra letters for one the team needs. There are also rules for teams forcing another team to discard a letter, but in my experience this rule just makes the game longer, not better. My advice is to ignore this rule unless you’re playing with a group that really likes messing with each other. Better to play a rematch than make the game outstay its welcome.

Linkee is simple, addictive, collaborative fun that builds and builds as you play. It’s a game that will bring lots of laughs to any party – a game where it’s easy to lose yourself in the fun of playing, no matter who wins or loses. And that’s the measuring stick of any great party game that calls itself Major Fun.



Word Slam

Release: 10/17/2017    Download:  Enhanced  | MP3
Run Time: 50 min    Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Word Slam is a team-based word guessing game.

One teammate provides clues in the form of word cards on a rack.

Can your team guess the target word first?

Now this might sound like many other party games BUT… Word Slam does something different. Something noteworthy. Something ridiculously simple and ridiculously fun.

Word Slam forces each team to use a fixed set of words as clues.

The challenge and the joy in the game comes from the very clever omissions from the decks of words you use as clues. The word you want is never there, so the game pushes you to be creative with the words provided. To find freedom inside the limitations imposed.

This simple twist – limiting the language you can use to communicate with your team makes Word Slam both frustrating and fun, because, in a very real way, the fun comes from the frustration.

Listen in to learn more about the game and why we think it is unequivocally Major Fun!

Word Slam

Thames & KOSMOS  |  BGG  |  Buy

Designer: Inka & Markus Brand

Publisher: Thames & KOSMOS

3-99 players  45 min   ages 12+   MSRP $39.95

Music credits include:

Boy Meets Goy   by Benny Goodman   |   the song


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