Four Corners

Release: 8/28/23   | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 130 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Four Corners is a puzzle hunt in a phone booth.

The game poses three puzzles to each of its players. Can you create patterns of matching symbols to meet your goals? You and your opponents will fill an increasingly crowded common board with an ever-changing array of tiles, rotating and shifting them – creating opportunities for some and challenges for others.

Listen in to explore Four Corners and learn why we think its sneaky sideways tactics are most certainly Major Fun.

Four Corners

Designer: Ray Wehrs

Artist: Lazarus Chernik, Peggi Wolfe

Publisher: Calliope Games | BGG Entry

1-6 players  30 min  ages 8+   MSRP $40

Time to teach/learn:  3-4 minutes

Full show notes on all the segments are available at The Spiel.

Music credits include:

Down on the Corner. | performed by Raul Malo | the song

Corner Pocket | performed by Tito Puente | the song

Around the Corner | by Barry Harris Trio | the song


Release: 6/23/23   | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 25 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Humans have the Tour de France. Animals have the Tour de Zoo! A menagerie of animal cyclists from around the world have come to test their mettle with their pedals! Five mountain summits stand between you and the coveted Leader of the Pack jersey.

Velonimo is a modern twist on two classic card game elements: climbing and card shedding. The goal is to get rid of all your cards. You’ll do this by playing a card or combinations of cards that are higher than the ones previously played. Velonimo is five races up five mountains, each higher than the next. The first player to shed their hand in a round, finishes in first place and gets the leader’s jersey.

Velonimo allows players to combine cards across color or number. It also introduces powerful single cards  – some with special abilities (the tortoise) and some with very high values (the hare).  This means you have many different ways to stay in the race.

Strap on your helmet and tune in. Before you know it, you’ll be at the summit, riding along side Major Fun.


Designer: Bruno Cathala

Artist: Dominique Mertens

Publisher:  25th Century Games | Studio StraosphèresBGG Entry ry 

2-5 players  30 min  ages 7+   MSRP $20

Time to teach/learn:  3-5 minutes



Full show notes on all the segments are available at The Spiel.

Music credits include:

Bicycle Race| by Queenthe song

Broken Bicycles  |  by Tom Waits | the song

Hand-to-Hand Wombat

Hand-to-Hand Wombat

Designers: Cory O’Brien
Artist: Matthew Inman
Publisher: Exploding Kittens
3-7 players 15 min ages 7+ MSRP $26
Time to Teach/Learn: 3 minutes

Written by: Stephen Conway

No one knows why wombats enjoy architecture. A desire to build towers is buried deep in their bones. But there are exceptions, wicked wombats, born to make trouble. Hand to Hand Wombat pits a team of builders against fuzzy little secret sowers of chaos. The builders must stack pieces to create three towers, while the bad wombat works to sabotage them without getting caught. This might seem easy or impossible depending on what team you’re on, until you discover the twist. Everyone plays with their eyes closed!

The entire game takes place within the confines of the box lid.

In it, you’ll place all the pieces needed to complete three towers. Each tower has a spindle and six nubbly square pieces. The pieces have holes in the center, allowing them to slide onto the spindles. The piece with 6 nubs along its edges is the base of the tower. The five nub piece stacks nicely above it and so on.

To play, deal out wombat cards to see who is on the builder team and who is the wicked wombat. Do not share your identity with anyone else! Place all the tower pieces and the spindles in the box lid and you’re ready to go.

The goal in Hand to Hand Wombat is to complete towers if you are a builder, or to keep towers from being built if you are wicked.

Each game round is 90 seconds, plus a vote. When the timer starts, everyone closes their eyes (no peeking!). Builder Wombats try to assemble the three towers, using one hand only, placing the widest piece of each tower at the base (the six nub piece), then the five and so on. You can communicate with everyone at the table. You can pass pieces to each other. You can even place your hand over a spindle to prevent others from messing with it. You can never take pieces out of the box to sort or save them.

While the Builders are building, the Wicked Wombat is trying to screw things up. You must be subtle, though! If you’re too obvious, you’ll get caught. You might give someone the wrong piece, or place a piece on a spindle out of order. You might even rotate the box lid! Even TALKING REALLY LOUDLY could be enough to throw things off.

At the end of the round, all players vote on who they think the wicked wombat is. If one player has more than half the votes, that player is out! That player does not reveal their identity and the game continues. Reset the timer and the goal is the same. Build towers or cause trouble.

Each round, one team scores. The builders must get at least two towers built to score one point. If they build all three, they score two points. If only one tower is built, the wicked wombat scores one point. If no towers are complete, the sneaky side gets two points. First team to score three points wins the game.

A subtle but important note: the wicked wombat can win even if they have been voted out, since the builders won’t know they have discovered the traitor! The Builders have to complete 2 towers each round or the wicked wombat still scores points. The Wicked Wombat will cackle with glee if they win because the builders didn’t trust each other.

It is hard to think of another game that combines such disparate elements: cooperative stacking paired with a traitor. By all rights this game could be a hot mess. And yet, this marriage works! Playing blind with just the right amount of time pressure balances everything. Even without a player trying to wreck things, getting a group of people to work together without sight to build three simple towers takes an incredible amount of teamwork and communication. The traitor certainly needs to play a role in creating chaos, but the clock and the cloak of darkness allow each side to figure out a way to play that works best for them.

Hand to Hand Wombat is a hilarious invitation to play. Teamwork based on touch and talking and trust is a challenge you’ll almost certainly stumble through the first few rounds. And therein lies one kind of fun. You can’t take yourself too seriously in order to find a way to accomplish this ridiculous task. If you’re wicked, trying to listen and literally feel your way through the game to find ways to subtlety wreck everyone else’s plans is a deliciously fiendish kind of fun. But wait, there’s more. Hand to Hand Wombat yearns for an audience. It is play as a form of performance. It’s hard to argue that any onlookers might have even more fun watching than the goofballs playing the game!

June 2023

Written by: Stephen Conway

Broken & Beautiful

Broken & Beautiful: A Game About Kintsugi

Designers: Patrick Rauland
Artist: Shirley Gong
Publisher: Left Justified Studio | BGG Entry
2-4 players 15 min ages 12+ MSRP $16
Time to Teach/Learn: 5 minutes

Written by: Doug Richardson

Broken and Beautiful honors the art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired with golden lacquer. In Kintsugi, breakage and repair are beautiful facets of an object’s unique history. In the game, you’ll draft pottery cards, manage their breakage, and repair them to increase their value.

Broken and Beautiful is played with a deck of 46 game cards. These represent pottery, gold, serving trays, and storage boxes, commonly found in many Japanese homes. Both sides of the pottery cards are important in the game. One side shows the unbroken object; the other side shows the repaired side, with golden veins connecting the broken pieces.

The cards also have an icon which tells you what class of goods it depicts: cup, saucer, plate, bowl, tea jar, vase, teapot, serving tray, or storage box.

Each card shows a number of gold ingots in the lower left corner. This is the cost to repair the item, should it break.

In addition, there are 4 player reference cards, 14 gold ingots made of wood, and a First Player marker.

To set up a game of Broken and Beautiful, you’ll orient the cards unbroken side up, and give them a shuffle.

Pick a start player for the first round. The player who most recently washed the dishes would be a fitting choice.

Now deal a group of pottery cards to the table equal to two times the player count, plus one. In a 3 player game, this would be 7 cards.

(Hint: It is helpful to lay out the pottery cards each round with like items grouped together. This way, everyone can clearly see how many of each are available.)

Now you’re ready to play Broken and Beautiful.

In Broken and Beautiful, you choose pottery cards to keep as part of your collection or to sell. Then certain pottery cards will break and players will have an opportunity to repair them, provided they can pay enough gold. Each type of pottery scores in a different way and this score can be enhanced if pottery is repaired. The goal to amass the most beautiful collection of  pottery and score the most points

Broken and Beautiful follows a simple four-step round structure:

1)Prepare for the Draft
2)Draft Cards
3)Pottery Breaks
4)Repairing Pottery

During the draft, each player will select two cards. The start player selects one card, followed by the player to the left

When you select a card, you have two options. Either you put the card in your collection, or you sell the card for gold. If you put the card in your collection, place the card, unbroken side up, in front of you on the table.  If you sell the card, take the number of ingots shown on the lower left corner of the card.

Once the last player takes a card, the order of play reverses. The last player selects their second card, followed by the player to the right, and ending with the start player. In game terms, this is known as a snake draft.

After each player has taken two cards, one card will remain unchosen. This card and the card on top of the draw deck will determine which pieces will break.

Remember both sides of the cards are significant in Broken & Beautiful. The top of the draw deck will display a piece of pottery, just like the card that was not chosen.

If a cup and a bowl are the remaining two cards, then all cups and all bowls in every player’s collection will break. Turn these cards sideways to show they are now broken.

But don’t despair! The game is all about celebrating the repair of everyday objects and making them more beautiful.

Starting with the first player, each player may repair an item. The cost to repair your first  item is shown in ingots on the card. A broken cup may be repaired by paying one gold, for example. Simply return that ingot to the general supply, and flip the card to its repaired side.

When you do, you’ll notice the repaired cup is now worth more points than before. On its normal side, a cup was worth one point. Broken, it is worth nothing. But when you repair it, it now is worth 3 points. It has become both broken and beautiful–and more valuable!!

After all players have had a chance to repair their first broken item, everyone has a chance to repair a second item, but the cost goes up! Repairing your second item costs one gold more than the price listed on the card. Your third repair costs 2 gold more and so on.

When all repairs are done, pass the start player marker to the next player in turn order, and set up for another round. The game ends when you can no longer deal out enough cards to hold another draft.

Now everyone will total up the points for their collection. Each item scores in its own unique way.

Cups score one point.

Saucers score nothing on their own, but when paired with a cup, double the cup’s worth.

Plates are worth 6 points,but only if you have a pair of them. A single plate scores no points.

Bowls are worth the number of them in your collection. That is, if you have 3 bowls, they are each worth 3 points apiece.

Tea jars will score you 6 points, but only if you have the most tea jars.

Vases are worth 1 point if you have just one, 5 points for two. Collect all three, and you get 15 points.

Teapots are worth as many points as you have other pottery with a matching pattern.

Finally, there are the wooden storage trays and storage boxes. Trays just score 2 points. Storage boxes are worth as many points as you have left over gold.

But that’s only half the story. The scoring for every item is enhanced when they are repaired. For example, pair a regular cup and saucer, and you’ll score 3 points. But if both have been repaired, the cup is now worth 3, and the saucer triples that to 9 points.

The key concept is that every object has value, but repaired objects enable new or enhanced scoring opportunities. In the end you’ll add up your points, remembering that broken pieces score nothing. The player with the most points is the winner!

Broken and Beautiful presents us with a paradox: a simple set of choices with hidden depth and complexities. The game is easy to learn, but in the playing, thoughtful challenges reveal themselves.

Every choice you make is both a choice of taking and leaving. You take a card to add to your scoring possibilities, but what are you leaving for others?

Do you concentrate your collection on one or two items, or spread it out among a wide range, hoping to maximize your scoring chances by fixing your items that break?

And what card will ultimately be left to break at the end of the round? Can you plan for this, knowing that some of your goods may break? With each choice, you play a little side game of “What will everyone else do?” Can you foresee the consequences of their choices?

How will you manage your gold, knowing that you’ll need to make repairs, and enhance the value of your collection? All these questions spin out from one choice: take a card.

The simple act of selecting a single card is actually two choices in one. Do I take this card for my collection or for the gold?

By themselves, gold cards can’t score you points. But you need gold to repair your broken goods. Or maybe you should leave the gold, as a gold card left at the end of drafting allows everyone one free repair.

And you should always be mindful that the game will be over more quickly than you think.. As soon as four short rounds. As few as eight not-so-simple choices packed into a 15 minute game

Broken and Beautiful is a game which will surely provoke someone to say, “Let’s play that again.”

Broken and Beautiful celebrates everyday objects. As they are, they serve as humble vessels for food and drink, making our daily existence easier.

But these everyday objects can break and become useless. Rather than toss them out, the philosophy behind Kintsugi says to honor them for their utility by repairing them.

Something artful and important happens when you take the time to mend a broken thing. The act of repairing a  common object reveals an inner beauty, a hidden beauty we might never witness. Kintsugi says a broken thing is more beautiful and more valuable for its uniqueness.

The same is true of people. Some of the wisest, most interesting people are those who have been damaged and sought repair. An addict now turned counselor. A life, once riddled by hatred, now dedicated to peace. A cancer victim inspiring hope in others.

As players, we all come to the table with flaws and imperfections. Playing a game like Broken and Beautiful can help us appreciate our own brokenness, and the beauty which lies beneath, waiting to be discovered.

Broken and Beautiful is like that thoughtful, practical gift you received long ago. That favorite mug, which became chipped. Those sewing scissors, now worn. The favorite hammer you’ve had to tape together that still fits your hand so well.

Every time you put it to use, you’re reminded of the hidden beauty in everyday items. A beauty which emerges over time, even as the objects wear down from use.

A game like Broken and Beautiful contains hidden pleasures you’ll only discover when you play. It seems humble and simple on the surface but there are subtle and beautiful strategies waiting to emerge and available to all.
It is an honor to place Broken & Beautiful in our collection, an elegant reminder of the hidden beauty you can find in Major Fun.

June 2023

Written by: Doug Richardson


Release: 5/22/23   | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 112 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

In the heart of the Aegean, rival Greek cities seek wealth and glory. As an elite architect, you stand ready to help your city expand. New houses, temples, markets, gardens, and barracks will rise toward the sky. Harmonious planning will raise your city’s prestige, but only if you conform to specific building rules and keep your quarries filled with stone.

In Akropolis, you will select and places tiles over the course of 12 turns to build a miniature city in ancient Greece, scoring points for plazas and districts in five different ways.

Akropolis feels like five puzzles in one. Can you play with the shapes and layer the pieces to make each part of your city prosper?


Francie Broadie joins us for a Mediterranean inspired Meal segment and the second installment of our new segment TARDIS Games, features a game straight from Mount Olympus.


Designer: Jules Messaud

Artist: Pauline Detraz

Publisher:  Hachette  | GigamicBGG Entry 

2-4 players  30 min  ages 8+   MSRP $40

Time to teach/learn:  5 minutes

Full show notes on all the segments are available at The Spiel.

Music credits include:

New Town Klezmer | The Underscore Orkestra | the song

I’m a Gnu | by Flanders and Swann | the song

Balkana | 4bstr4ck3r | the song

Scribbly Gum

Release: 3/13/23   | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 116 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

It’s Autumn in Australia and you’re a Scribbly Gum moth, looking for the best places to lay your eggs. Behold the mighty eucalyptus! Lots of shelter for for your larvae as they burrow between the layers of bark, old and new. They’ll dig back and forth growing and moulting until the time comes  to munch their way to daylight. When the old bark falls away, their scribbles tell a story on every tree.

Scribbly Gum is a flip and write game. Each turn a movement tile is flipped and players direct their larvae by drawing paths through the layers of tree bark, hoping to gather food to complete meals. After three rounds of twisting and turning paths, the most well fed moths will emerge the winner!

Listen in to explore the game and take a fun side trip with our resident entymologist, Lucio Rodriguez, to learn more about the Scribbly Gum moth.

Scribbly Gum

Designer: Phil Walker-Harding

Artist: Meredith Walker-Harding

Publisher:  Joey Games  |  BGG Entry

1 or more players  10 minutes  ages 6+   MSRP $35 AUD ($32USD)

Time to teach/learn:  2-3 minutes

Full show notes on all the segments are available at The Spiel.

Music credits include:

Scribbly Gum Smokehouse  by Desmond Cheese  |  the song

Scribbly Gum Suites  by Nigel Helyer

A Moth and A Flame  by Georgia Gibbs  |  the song

Root Beer Float Challenge

Root Beer Float Challenge

Designer: Brady Peterson, Tim Swindle
Publisher: Gray Matters Games | BGG Entry
2-8 players 30 min ages 8+ MSRP $25
Time to Teach/Learn: 2 minutes
Written by: Stephen Conway

You have come together to crown a new champion by assembling that most tasty treat – the root beer float! The ice cream, the soda, the straws and cherries are laid out and ready. Using these charming props, you will compete to complete a series of hilarious challenges – sometimes on your own, sometimes with a team, and sometimes head-to-head. Be the first to collect the right combination of ingredients and you’ll claim the crown!

Instead of a box, the game itself comes in a giant root beer can! The can is more than just a gimmick. It is actually an integral part of the game.

Inside the can are four sturdy straws, two cherries, and a large scoop of ice cream (a white plastic ball). These are the ingredients you’ll use to complete challenges.

There are three decks of challenge cards (solo, co-op, and head-to-head) and a 6-sided die. The backs of the cards are color coded and have one to three ingredients displayed. The die has sides that match the colors of the decks.

Last but not least is a deck of individual ingredient cards. These are the trophies you’ll collect for completing challenges.

The goal of the game is to collect the right set of ingredient cards to make a root beer float. You’ll need a can of root beer, some ice cream, a cherry, and a straw.

On your turn, you roll the die and draw a challenge card from the deck that matches the color you rolled.

If it’s a solo challenge, you’re on your own. If it’s head-to-head, pick a player to compete with. If it’s co-op, pick a partner to help.

The challenge cards are wacky and ridiculous. Each one will lay out what props you need to use and the goal you need to accomplish. Here’s a few examples:

Solo Challenge – Bounce the ice cream ball into the can from one straw length away.

Co-Op Challenge – One player balances two straws on the back of their hand. They must transfer the two straws to the back of their teammate’s hand. The straws cannot fall.

Head-to-Head Challenge – Players balance a cherry on their heads then walk ten paces forward and ten paces backward. The player who returns first (or goes the farthest) wins.

Give the challenge your best shot! Not every one will go your way and that’s ok! The game goes fast; you’ll get ‘em next time. And if you land upon a challenge that is beyond your capabilities, no problem, just pick a new one.

If you complete the challenge, you collect an ingredient card of your choice from the ones shown on the back of the card. In a co-op challenge your teammate gets one, too. In a head-to-head challenge, your opponent will collect one if you lose!

The first to collect the right ingredients for the root beer float wins the game.

Root Beer Challenge celebrates the joy of active, silly fun. It brings the spirit of the playground indoors. Each challenge is an event in and of itself – a mini-game that includes opportunities for little triumphs and laugh-out-loud disasters. The scale and the stakes are balanced such that the fun comes from the playing, from testing yourself against each silly challenge, whether you succeed or fail. In fact, the failures are often more fun, more hilarious, and more memorable!

Many years ago, the beloved founder of the Major Fun Award, Bernie DeKoven, wrote a book called Junkyard Sports. In it, he lays the foundation for over 75 different games using low or no cost found objects. Think of the made up games played at recess; games you assembled with rules to accommodate the equipment, time, and players you had on hand.

Root Beer Float Challenge carries a torch that was lit by Junkyard Sports. The game reminds us that this flavor of active silly fun is always available and can be created on the fly. It is not something we need to abandon or deny ourselves as “mature” adults. The door to play is never closed. Sometimes all we need is a small push to peek through and rediscover Major Fun.

December 2022


Release: 11/14/2022    | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 34 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

You are a stamp collector and your obsession is for one particular set of stamps featuring wild animals.

Driven by this animal passion, you’ll do almost anything to collect the whole set, including messing with other collectors that get in your way.

But remember the Collector’s Code. Play fair, no stealing! Just trading. Swapping one for one.

Stampede is a game of card swapping and set collecting. Using each animal’s special action, can you build the best album? It will take stealth, planning, and a bit of luck to collect the most dangerous… postage!


Designer: Jeroen Geenen

Publisher:  Wiz Kids  |  BGG Entry

2-6 players  20 minutes  ages 10+   MSRP $20

Time to teach/learn:  5 minutes

Music credits include:

Star Collector  |  perf by  The Happening Fourthe song

Green Stamps  | perf by Allen Sherman  |  the song

Hey Yo

Release: 11/7/2022    | Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Run Time: 40 min   | Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

Yo! You and your crew are about to jump on stage for your first rap battle. The DJ will lay down the beat and it is up to you to follow along, connecting cards and phrases in rhythm. The beat won’t stop for anyone so it will take concentration, communication and quick thinking to keep your group from being booed off the stage. If you can get everyone in synch, you will wow the crowd and maybe even level up.

Hey Yo is a rhythm-based card game driven by a small electronic gizmo that lays down a beat for your team to follow. Connect cards and symbols in time with the beat and you’ll have a chance to score well before the song ends.

Listen in to explore the game and discover how Hey Yo finds its rhythm and earns the Major Fun Award.

Hey Yo

Designer: Takashi Saito

Artist: Jun Sasaki

Publisher:  Oink GamesBGG Entry

2-10 players  15 minutes  ages 8+   MSRP $45

Time to teach/learn:  3-4 minutes

Music credits include:

You Can’t Play With My Yo Yo  |  by Yo-Yo   |  the song

Hey Ya  | perf by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra  |  the song

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats

Designers: Stefan Risthaus
Artist: Anca Gavril, Daniel Profiri
Publisher: Boardgametables, Ostia Spiele
2-4 players 10 min ages 6+ MSRP $19
Time to Teach/Learn: 3 minutes

Written by: Doug Richardson

Boardgametables |  BGG 

What a beautiful day. The sun is shining on the mountains, and the goats are out to play! As they leap from rock to rock, the goats start to get hungry. Where are the most delicious flowers found? At the tops of the mountains, of course. Let’s go!

Mountain Goats is played with a deck of 18 cards, which will form the mountains. The # 5 and 6 mountains consist of 4 cards, the #7 and 8 mountains, 3 cards, and the #9 and 10 mountains are just 2 cards tall each.

Each mountain has a stack of point tokens – 12 for the Mountain 5 and one less token for each successive mountain.

There are also 4 Bonus Point tokens, worth 15, 12, 9 and 6 points.

Each player has six goats and will assign one goat to each of the six mountains.

Finally, there are 4 dice, which players will use to move their goats up the mountains.

Set up the mountain cards with each number card below its peak. Stack the Point tokens above each mountain, and set the Bonus tokens off to the side.

Hand the 4 dice to the starting player, and you’re ready to play Mountain Goats!

Mountain Goats is a game of dice rolling and set collection. The goal is to earn the most points in tokens, including those Bonus Tokens.

Each turn you’ll roll the four dice and then combine them to move your goats up the mountains.

Once you roll the four dice, look for groups, or single dice which produce the numbers 5 through 10.

For each dice group, you’ll move your goat on the corresponding mountain up by one step.

So, for example, if you rolled a 2, 4, 5, and 6, you could set the 5 by itself, pair the 2 and 4, and use the 6 by itself. You’d then move your goat on the Mountain 5 one step, and your Mountain 6 goat up two steps.

Of course, you could also have chosen to pair the 4 and 6, and the 2 and 5, moving one goat up the Mountain 10, and one up Mountain 7.

Note that if you end up with groups of dice that don’t add to numbers between 5 and 10, those dice won’t move any goats.

Any number of player’s goats may share the same space, except at the top of the mountain.

When you move a goat to the top of any mountain, you take a token from that mountain’s stack. If another player’s goat was already at the top, return that goat to the bottom of the mountain to start its climb all over.

As long as your goat is at the top, when you create a new group of dice with that number, your goat won’t move, it’ll simply grab another scoring token. Just watch out for other goats climbing up from below!

If  you collect a set of one token from each of the six mountains, you earn the highest numbered Bonus token available.

In fact, each time you collect a complete set of tokens, take the highest Bonus token available.

The last round of the game is triggered when all the Bonus tokens have been claimed or when 3 mountains have no more Point tokens available. When either of these conditions is met, finish the round so all players have had an equal number of turns.

Players add up the points on all their scoring tokens. Highest score wins the game. In the case of a tie, the player with the most goats on mountaintops wins.

The winner is now the Queen (or King) of all the Mountain Goats!!

Mountain Goats is an excellent re-theming of an older game, Level X. That game made the short list of recommended games by the Spiel des Jahres committee in 2010.

While the base game play is identical, there’s something both fitting and wonderful about this new setting. Now your markers on each mountain are frisky goats, jumping and bumping each other as they bound for the peaks.

Before you were picking up point tokens, now you are motivating your goats higher and higher, all in pursuit of the sweetest flowers.

Why do these changes matter? Because play isn’t just about winning, or out-scoring your opponents, but about the connection the game creates in your mind between what you are doing, and what the theme suggests you are about.

Mechanically? You are using dice to move tokens and gain points. Thematically, your dice allow your goats to scamper up the mountains, gathering tasty flowers, and butting rivals from the loftiest heights.

With this theme, we create an emotional connection. Those are MY goats! How dare you butt them from the top of the mountain?? Yeah? We’ll see about that!

Now, you are invested. This is your team, your family. How dare anyone mess with YOUR family? The pieces and gameplay are virtually the same. What has changed is your commitment.

It’s not business, it’s personal.

Aside from the involvement created by the theme and lovely artwork, Mountain Goats has some strategic considerations. Do you make a blitz to the top of a mountain, hoping to clear it of points?

Or should you lay back, spreading your dice to move all your goats, hoping to nibble away on all the peaks, hoping to earn some of those big Bonus tokens?

And, of course, any other player’s goat at the top of a mountain is automatically a target. You can’t let that goat just stay there to gobble up points round after round!

The other feature added to Mountain Goats is a nice little expansion. Here, a 5th player can join in the fun, and there’s an additional strategy option.

Using the Big Mountain expansion allows players to group dice in totals from 11-24. As long as there’s not another goat already there, you may send one of your goats to these higher peaks.

At the end of the game, the goats on these higher mountains will score additional Bonus tokens, based on how high they climbed.

Mountain Goats presents us with a compact game that plays quickly, and offers just the right balance of strategy and chance for a family-friendly game.

Mountain Goats shows that sometimes, even a good game can be improved. Here, Level X, a classic modern game, has been given new life and brought to a new generation of gamers.

This game allows us all to frolic together on a tabletop without a long trip to the Alps. Bringing delight to gamers of all ages is certainly a mountain worth climbing. Mountain Goats straddles a peak we call Major Fun.

October 2022

Written by: Doug Richardson

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