5 Fun Cooperative Games to Play at your Next Game Night


5 Fun Cooperative Games to Play at your Next Game Night

While it is certainly fun to leap from your chair, point at your friends and laugh in their face as you celebrate your victory, sometimes your friends don’t like that. Sometimes you want everyone to celebrate a victory, and you win or lose together. Here we have 5 fun cooperative games that are all about working together and being a team.

5 Minute Dungeon (Spinmaster Games)

This game is a cooperative, real-time dungeon delver. In order to defeat a monster, players must match symbols from their hand with ones on the monster’s card. At the end of each dungeon is a boss, and you can keep playing to defeat hard and harder bosses. There are ten heroes and the game plays up to five people, so there’s a lot of replayability built right in. Plus, it moves so quickly, you can get multiple playthroughs at once, or just use it as a palette-cleanser between bigger games. It’s easy to learn, plays quickly, and you’ll be working with your friends instead of against them like other real-time games. Its expansion: 5 Minute Dungeon: Curses, Foiled Again! releases this month. Definitely worth checking out.


Legends of Andor (Kosmos)

Legends of Andor is an adventure game in which a band of heroes (you, the players) work together to defend a fantasy realm from invading hordes. You can play good guys or anti-heroes, humans or mythical creatures. Even the character cards are reversible so you can play as a male or female-identifying character. This is a cooperative game, but it doesn’t require tons of commitment, because it’s not a campaign the way a legacy game or an escape room game might be. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate how the game is so user friendly and helps teach you how to play the game as you play. (If you’re interested in different ways to learn to play a game, check out our article about that here) There are a LOT of expansions, and a lot of customizable options, so it’s a great choice for people to find a good game and stick to it.


Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games)

If you haven’t heard of Gloomhaven you’ve been living under a rock, or you don’t play a lot of board games (in which case, welcome! Glad you’re here). It has been on the Board Game Geek Top 10 list every month for what feels like forever, and it has won tons of awards including the 2018 Origins Game of the Year award. This is NOT a light and easy game. This game has some heft, both in size and in gameplay. It has a lot of mechanics and a lot of minis. It’s awesome. You’ll be playing various campaigns as wandering adventurers forced to work together to survive, and your actions have consequences on the future of the game. It’s hard to summarize this monster of a game in less than a paragraph, but I will say if you don’t know anything about it, and you like Euro-style, complex games, but want something more, you’ll like Gloomhaven. Finally, if that’s not enough for you, its expansion, Forgotten Circles, was released this summer with 20 new scenarios and 7 new monster types. 


The Mind (Pandasaurus Games): 

You know how close friends can kind of read each other’s minds? Want to put that to the test? In The Mind you and up to 3 other players will be trying to lay down cards in ascending number order without talking or otherwise communicating. It’s like that game you used to play in school where you had to line up by birthdays, but you couldn’t talk to each other. Well now you can’t gesture or grab and yank either! It’s all about just knowing what the other people are going to do. This game is highly-awarded, including a 2018 Spiel des Jahres nomination, a 2019 Origins Awards Best Card Game nomination, and the 2018 Golden Geek Best Cooperative Game winner. Find it at your FLGS!

Escape Games: Escape Tales (Board and Dice), EXIT the Game, Adventure Games (Kosmos) 

We’ve talked a bit about these types of games, and I’m about to do it again. These games are awesome. You get to hang out with your friends, problem-solve, make choices, and maybe roleplay, if your group are those types of players. Or even if you’re not. Tom from Kosmos said even he felt like he was getting into character when he played through Adventure Games. Some of these games can be played in one sitting, and others are so long and in-depth that you’ll want to break it up into multiple sessions. This is great for a single game night, or recurring; family gatherings or date night. And with certain games like Escape Tales and Adventure Games, they’re replayable! Some have different endings, some just allow you to take a different path to victory. So play it with different groups of people, and enjoy a different experience each time.


Which of these games do you want to try at your next game night? Have you played any of them before? Let us know in the comments!


Critical Hits- Dune Trailer


Critical Hits- Dune Trailer

It's finally here! Gale Force Nine brings you the updated board game from 40 years ago, recreating the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune as you fight to control the world's most valuable resource. The spice must flow.


APN Plays 5211!


APN Plays 5211!

Anne and Risa give you an inside peek into a player's mind during a game of 5211 by Next Move Games. Take advantage of their strategy (planned or improvised) when you play your next game. You can get 5211 at your Friendly Local Game Store now!


Different Ways to Learn a New Board Game


Different Ways to Learn a New Board Game

Picture it: You’ve returned from your FLGS with a brand-new game that you’ve heard great things about (perhaps from Active Player Network?), you gather your friends for a game night, you present the game box magnificently upon the table… and no one has played the game before. Now, rather than a fun-filled 3-hour venture into a new game, it’s a confusing 3-hour slog through the rulebook with a lot of “no, wait” and “are you sure?” and “let me check”. Granted, even seasoned players have those moments, but too many at once can definitely affect table morale. 



So how do you avoid this? Ideally, someone at the table already knows how to play the game. But how do you learn a new game? Do you read the rulebook? Do you watch a video? Do you learn by playing? And do you have friends that learn differently than you do? That could be because of Multiple Intelligences, which is a learning theory created by Dr. Howard Gardner in 1983 and is used a lot in schools to advocate for different teaching styles.


Long story short, different people learn differently, and knowing how you learn best can help you both in the classroom and in life. the 8 intelligences are: Linguistic (word), Spatial (visual), Interpersonal (people and interactions), Intrapersonal (self-awareness), Logical-mathematical (numbers/reasoning), Bodily-Kinesthetic (body awareness), Musical (music), and Naturalist (nature).


I could do a whole other article about different games that highlight these different intelligences (and perhaps I shall!) but for now we’re going to focus on how knowing how you learn in general can affect how you learn to play a new game. Some of these don’t really apply (I mean, I guess you could just go play the game outside for those Nature-inclined learners), but I’ll be covering as many as I can.


Verbal learners: Read the rule book

This one is the most traditional way of learning a game. You open the box, pick up that rulebook, read it cover to cover and emerge victorious and ready to play. Seeing everything laid out in front of you step-by-step with the designer’s words and intentions can be super helpful, and it serves as a great reference if there is ever a question while playing. Publishers have gotten so good at condensing their rules to something as concise as possible, so even the heavy euro games aren’t a slog to read anymore.

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Visual/Spatial learners: Watch a How to Play video

Visual learners around the world rejoiced when YouTube How to Play videos began emerging. From what board set up looks like, to seeing how a turn plays out, or just being able to follow along with the video. How to Play videos are like having someone teach you only they’re not in the room. And you can’t ask questions. For that you have to turn to…


Interpersonal learners: Have Someone Teach You

This is the go-to method for game nights. Someone comes in with a game they love, and then they have to wrangle everyone’s rapidly shortening attention spans long enough to teach it. People who teach others to play board games are saints, so if you’re someone who learns well by being taught, be sure to thank your teacher.



Kinethsetic learners: Learn While Playing

You have to touch the pieces to remember what they do. You have to perform the actions to understand how they work. Kinesthetic learners are a bit rarer, but they’re definitely out there, and they can find themselves the most frustrated when being talked at or trying to read a new game.  These learners do best with a trial game first, just a few rounds to get the feel of everything and test actions without consequence. Then you can go back and start the game for real.



If you have trouble learning a new game, maybe you aren’t leaning into your learning style. Try changing it up and see if a different way to learn eases that frustration.


If you already know what your best way to learn a new game is, let us know in the comments!


Get the Game- Pathfinder: 2nd Edition


Get the Game- Pathfinder: 2nd Edition

After a year of playtesting, it's finally here! Anne sits down with Erik from Paizo Inc. to talk about the highly anticipated 2nd edition of Pathfinder! With streamlined combat and a new heritage system, it's perfect for fans of the original, or other RPG players looking to try a new game system. Head to your FLGS to check it out!


5 Pocket-Sized Games Great for Travel


5 Pocket-Sized Games Great for Travel

Believe it or not, Labor Day is around the corner (at least for folks in the US). The “official” end of summer brings with it one last opportunity for a long weekend of travel, and family or friend bonding. And what better way to bond than with games?


Here are 5 pocket-sized games great to throw in a purse or backpack and bring out when you’re stopping to grab a bite to eat, hanging out around a campfire, or just plain bored.


5211- Next Move Games

If you like games that require you to outsmart the other players, you’ll like 5211. This game sold out at Gen Con, and we’ll be having a Get the Game episode for it released soon. In this game you get a hand of five cards, play 2, then play 1, then play another 1 (great title, right?) Your cards all have numbers 2-6 on them, or a kododo (like a lizard) that is worth 1. The color that is played the most will be the only cards that score points, so you’ll want to see what other players are doing. However! Don’t get too greedy because if you go over a certain number of cards in the same color, they cancel out and the next highest color will score. You also want to look at those kododos, because if an exact number of them are played, they become the score for the round, regardless of their color. It’s a quick-moving brain exercise in trying to guess what the other players will do, and also trying to lead them into doing what you want them to do. All you need is the deck of cards and a little bit of table space.


What’s Up- Strawberry Studio

This fun little game puts a cute spin on the classic game of Memory. You have a set of cards displayed as a grid, and on the card is going to be one, two, or three cute little birds on a wire, of either red, green, yellow, or purple color. You need to collect sets of birds in ascending order, so you can’t get 2 yellow birds before you get 1 yellow bird. The cards are double sided, so you select a card, flip it over, and if you can use what’s on the other side you keep it. If you can’t, you have to put it back on the table, which means someone else can remember what’s on the other side and select it on their turn. The trick is that the opposite side of the card will always have the same color bird but a different number, or it will have the same number of birds in a different color. So you can make educated guesses about what will be on the other side of the card, or you can strategize and flip a card over just so another player can’t have what’s on that side. This is a good game for families with younger kids, or for adults that just don’t want to think super hard and want something light and fun.


Strawberry Studio specializes in small games, so if What’s Upisn’t right for you, check out what else they have to offer. 



Welcome to the Dungeon (and Welcome Back to the Dungeon)-Iello

Welcome to the Dungeon is a press-your-luck bluffing game where all the players select a character (warrior, mage, rogue, or barbarian) to go into the titular dungeon equipped with all their armor and accessories. Players then take turns passing the deck of monster cards and have to decide whether to add a monster to the dungeon, or take an item away from the character. If you don’t want to do either of those things, you pass. Last person standing takes the character into the dungeon. If they survive against all the monsters, you win. If they don’t, you die. First to defeat the dungeon twice wins the game! You can also win the game by simply being the last player standing, since if your character dies twice in the dungeon, you’re eliminated. This provides a host of opportunities for strategies; do you make the dungeon easy so you can beat it? Do you beef it up and hope someone else has to go in?


Welcome Back to the Dungeon includes 4 new characters and can be combined with the original as an expansion, or plays as a standalone game.



Sushi Go- Gamewright

This is a card-passing game with ADORABLE art work. Each card has a different power, from directly scoring victory points, to gaining you more points depending on how many you collect, to allowing you to trade cards. Everyone plays a card from their hand, and then passes their hand to the next player. So not only are you thinking about what cards will score you points, but also what cards you don’t want to literally hand to your opponents. So even though you may not need that tempura, you may also not want to give it to someone who already has one, and needs another to score 5 points. This game plays very quickly, and has a lot of replayability because there’s so many different ways to victory. 



Dungeon Mayhem- Wizards of the Coast

I know what you’re thinking: Two games with “dungeon” in the title, on a list that’s not “Great Games with the Word ‘Dungeon’ in the Title”? The good news is: Dungeon Mayhem has a very different playstyle than Welcome to the Dungeon, with this one being more of a PvP battle royale. Every player picks their own character (Barbarian, Wizard, Paladin, or Rogue) and play cards to attack each other, defend themselves, or use their special powers, such as stealing defense for themselves or doing an area-of-effect attack that damages all players (yes, including you). This is a very fast-paced game, done in about 10 minutes, which is great for when you just need to kill a little time.




What games do you like to play when out on the road? Is there a go-to game you always have tucked in your back pocket? Figuratively or literally?


Get the Game- Era: The Medieval Age


Get the Game- Era: The Medieval Age

Anne sits down with Mike Young to talk about Era: the Medieval Age, the very first roll-and-write game from renowned designer Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Island). This multiplayer (or solo mode, if you're up for it) game pits you against your friends as you try to build the most cultured city, while fending off sabotage from the other players.



Player Character Spotlight: The Collector

Do you ever get the feeling that your hobby is getting a little out of control? That’s what happened to Matt when he realized he collected over 250 board games in the span of a year. He doesn’t apologize for it though! In our interview, Matt talks about how gaming saved his life, and how looking at his collection informs how games have changed through the years.

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RP: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into the gaming hobby.

MM: Hi, my name is Matt, I’m a professional escape room designer, and I am the general manager of Dare 2 Escape in Kissimmee, Florida. 

I had an amazing introduction into board games even when I was little, my mom and I collected different Monopolyand Trivial Pursuits. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Pandemicthat I realized that board game design is an art form and each game offers unique mechanics that require attention to detail and incredible imagination to come up with. I was fascinated that literally each game offered something new. For the more serious board gaming, I’ve only been collecting this past year. I’ve played games in the past with various groups, but I didn’t consider it a collecting hobby until a year ago. 


RP: How many games do you have in your collection now? Do you have any favorites? 

MM: I currently own to date over 250 games that I’ve collected over the past 12 months. Some of my favorites include Wingspan, Dinosaur IslandPotion ExplosionMansions of Madness, and Chronicles of Crime. Interestingly enough since I’ve only been collecting over the past year my collection is a new representation of what games have become, I do own the likes of Twilight Struggle, Twilight Imperium, Claustrophobia, etc. but mainly my collection consists of games from the last 5 years. 


RP: How do you think games have changed when you look at your recent games versus games that have been released in the past 5 years?

MM: Personally, from what I’ve seen, its quality and inclusiveness. Game mechanics and gameplay are timeless, I mean Catan has stood the test of time. But games I’ve collected that released 5 years ago typically include strictly white cardboard players, or heterosexual couples. Now you’re starting to see a more diverse character list and games. Like Fog of Love created alternate boxes featuring same sex couples on the cover. For me in the queer community, visibility and representation is so important and it’s really cool to see the inclusion in a community I’ve wanted to be a part of.

As for quality, games are starting to think about what happens even after the game, and the care and upkeep it takes to maintain the quality of these games. Chronicles of Crime had an insert that was preemptively made to include the expansions. I loved that in Wingspan on the side of the box it tells you how to organize the pieces to make it work.


RP: Are there any specific types of games you look to play or collect?

MM: My collection covers a wide range of types of games, but I must say some of my favorite have been worker placements, dice drafting, and deduction. I have to say between my favorites and my partner’s favorites, our collection includes nearly every type of game mechanic out there. I am a completionist so even if I haven’t played some of my games, I’m always looking towards purchasing the expansions. An amateur mistake I know. *laughs* 


RP: As someone who manages an Escape Room, what do you think of the Escape Room style game? Do you own any? 

MM: I’m obsessed with Escape Room stand-alone card games. Sometimes in Escape Rooms the grandiose nature of the rooms are overwhelming, but the isolated nature of the table tops give that immersive puzzle-solving feel without feeling that immense pressure of the countdown. I like the Escape Room games because they are contained to the table.

My absolute favorite is Escape Tales; the brilliant weave of storytelling and gameplay is exactly what I’d expect from an ER-style game. Sometimes with escape rooms we forget to tell a story, so the game doesn’t resonate with the players and is often times forgotten. I was pleasantly surprised with the Escape Talesseries and how captivated I was with the narrative. I enjoy the EXIT and Unlock series, but Escape Tales took it one step further for me.


RP: Do you consider gamer an integral part of your identity?

MM: For me, calling myself a “gamer” is integral to my identity. Being openly gay in a community that is accepting, but the visibility isn’t as clear can be difficult at times. Are you accepted at that D&D table? Is this board game store LGBTQ friendly? These questions almost always have a positive answer, but in 2019 you just never know. 


RP: How do you balance gaming with your real life?

MM: This is something as a new gamer, I wish I had the answer to. It always seems like I’ve purchased more games than I’ve played. I keep it constant to once a week; we play something new but if life happens, first and foremost we handle that and game night takes a back seat. I also find that if we don’t HAVE to play each week, there is less pressure to get through our collection of games, thus making each experience more organic and enjoyable. 


RP: What is the relationship between gaming and your mental health?

MM: Gaming for me has saved my life. I was constantly bullied as a kid and I remember not having many friends. I would sit in my room and create new D&D characters, but never have anyone to play with. When I found the board gamer community (mostly online) I learned that there was an entire community of people who, even if we just talk about our favorite worker placements or dice drafting games, makes this world seem a little less alone. It’s actually why a lot of times my gaming group only plays cooperative games. 


RP: What are some games you bust out for someone who is new to gaming? 

MM: For gateway games I choose things like Charterstone, or even Wingspan for an engine builder. Pandemic is a fantastic gateway game too! But sometimes, because I’m still so new we try games together! My philosophy is if a game can’t be enjoyed by a newcomer then is it really worth playing? What’s the purpose of the market if not to attract a new audience? 




How many games are in your gaming collection? How long did it take to get that big? Let us know in the comments!


Get the Game- Adventure Games


Get the Game- Adventure Games

Kosmos already brought us great Escape Rooms in a box, and this fall we'll be getting the Point-and-Click Adventure Game in a box! Each game is 1-4 player, re-playable adventure with huge theme and story. Watch our latest Get the Game episode to learn more, and pick up your copy at your FLGS when they release in September!


What Type of Player are You?


What Type of Player are You?

When you play games, what’s the most important thing to you? Winning the game? Being with friends? Destroying your enemies? Understanding every intricacy of the game? What if I told you that there is a theory out there that categorizes all gamers into four categories, easily connected to the four suits of playing cards? Achievers (Diamonds), Explorers (Spades), Socializers (Heart), and Killers (Club)?



Richard A. Bartle, a professional game design consultant specializing in online games, came up with this theory of players that you can read here (it’s long, but incredibly well thought-out). Long story short: different people value different things when playing games. He explains it as two dimensions of playing styles: action versus interaction, and world-oriented versus player-oriented.  Which one are you?


Diamond (Achievers)

You compete in tournaments at your FLGS. You don’t waste time with side missions. No matter what, you beat the game. In the dimension of playing styles, Diamonds favor action and world, so they want to be constantly completing tasks and working towards the game’s end. You play to win, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you play to beat your opponents. You just love a good challenge. 

Suggested Games: Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North, Sierra West, Pandemic, PvP Card Games (Magic the Gathering, Godzilla, Dragon Ball Super)

Spade (Explorers)

You’re the one who figures out how to beat a game. Like, truly. You don’t beat a game to win, and you don’t beat a game to beat others, you beat a game because you have to know how it works. Spades want to dig to the bottom of it all. You love playing all kinds of games with different mechanics, because each game provides a new learning opportunity. Spades favor interaction rather than action, so it’s all about how each cog moves in a machine. You should be playing games with a lot of components and a lot of different ways to victory. And you’re going to find them all.

Suggested Games: Era: The Medieval Age, Cerebria, Time Chase, the Century trilogy, Food Chain Magnate


Heart (Socializers)

You love hanging out with friends. You’re probably the one hosting the game nights. You favor player interaction, new experiences, and just being around people. You’re the type of person who truly believes that as long as everyone has fun, you’re all winners. You should be playing games with a lot of interaction, like RPGs, bluffing games (as long as you’re not playing with Clubs), or games that provoke a lot of talking and laughs. 

Suggested Games:  Escape rooms in a box (Escape Tales, EXIT: The Game etc.), RPGs (D&D, Pathfinder, Overlight), Werewolf/Mafia, Codenames


Club (Killers)

You like bluffing games, deception games, and any other game that allows you to beat the people you’re playing with. You’ve been told on more than one occasion that you’re too competitive. Diamonds win because they want to beat the game, Clubs win because they enjoy defeating their opponents. You’re a perfect ally when its team vs team, but when it’s a battle royale, people tend to form an alliance against you before you wreck them all (which is why you’re the perfect traitor in a traitor mechanic game). You should be playing games with player elimination, but more than anything you should be playing with people who don’t mind this playstyle. It’s not worth ruining a friendship just for the victory.

Suggested Games: Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: Defense Against the Dark Arts, Decrypto, Munchkin, Imhotep: The Duel



So which suit are you? Are you a combo of two suits? Is this like knowing your Hogwarts house? Let us know in the comments!


Player Character Spotlight: The Newcomer


Player Character Spotlight: The Newcomer

Active players, so far in this Player Character Spotlight series we’ve talked to people who have been gamers for a while. People who have made gaming a huge part of their lives and consider it part of who they are. But everyone has to start somewhere! Today we focus on someone who is fairly new to gaming. Morgan talks to us about her brief time in the gaming world, and how finding new ways to play both spikes her anxiety and helps her overcome it. It’s a wonderful reminder to reach out to people and invite them into this magnificent world of games.

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 RP: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into the gaming hobby?

MM: My name is Morgan, I work as a casting coordinator at a commercial casting company in New York City. I initially got into gaming because some friends of mine LOVED board games, but they had never really been my thing. To be fair, the only games I had really been exposed to were the standards: Clue, MonopolyLife, etc. I don’t exactly remember the first game my friends and I all played together, but I remember the first one that piqued my interest: Pandemic. Fighting the zombie virus (I know it’s not really the zombie virus but that’s what they told me to get me into it) as my character traveled the globe! All of a sudden, I had risks, a story, goals! Board games were cool, and I was hooked.


RP: Do you wish you had gotten into gaming earlier or was that the right time?

MM: I started playing games when I was about 24. In some ways I think it was both too late, and the perfect time for me. Too late in the sense that if I had started gaming earlier in life, I may have had an easier time finding “my people,” but to be honest I wouldn’t have had the patience or brainpower to grasp some games. But at 24 I had more sense of self and was able to hold my own. 


RP: What's your best memory around the gaming table? 

MM: I’m cheating because there are two. One of the first games I recall being introduced to was Once Upon a Time. My friend was desperately trying to take over the storytelling. But he kept asking me repeatedly about the new Shakira video, “ya know the one where she is dancing in the cage, what IS that song called?” I then proclaimed, “oh she-wolf” and all of a sudden, he threw his card down on the table, “and just then a WOLF blocked the path.” I was simultaneously impressed and furious. 

The other best memory is whenever my friends and I give voices to our Betrayal at House on the Hill characters. Hearing a thick Russian accent as Madame Zostra, Professor Longfellow having a Scottish brogue, even one player determining that Ox can only “turn left,” in a big oafish voice. All some of my best memories. 


RP: It sounds like who you play with is just as important as what you play. Do you agree? 

MM: I wholeheartedly agree. It’s important that whatever you’re playing, you have a group that is supportive of you. That sounds silly, but some games have some complex rules in place, and it can take a while to get them. If you’re not around a group you feel at ease with, AND you’re dealing with complicated gameplay? I feel like that could ruin someone’s fun. 


RP: The doesn’t sound silly at all! That makes a lot of sense. It’s hard to learn a new game if you’re made to feel stupid. Are there any specific types of games you look to play or collect?

MM: The games I tend to play definitely fall into the horror category. My collection is small but dominated by zombies, ghosts, psychics, and a certain Vampire Slayer. My favorite game, always and forever, will be Betrayal House on the Hill. I LOVE it! I also bought the expansion pack, Widow’s Walk as soon as I could find it. This game feels like it was 100% MADE for me. I finally get to act out my fantasies of exploring an old, decrepit haunted house...yes really that is a fantasy of mine. 

RP: How do you find people to play with?

MM: I have a group I know that whenever I see I can play with, but they are unfortunately scattered all along the east coast. As I’ve made more friends in the city, I strive to possibly do a “board game” day but I have this fear that I won’t understand game instructions and rules, so I tend to avoid new things. It’s a bad habit that I want to try to shatter. I think ultimately, I just need to take a plunge. 


RP: I mean it’s easy to say that, but it’s definitely intimidating to actually do! But I feel like if you took that plunge you wouldn’t regret it. Do you have any plans to expand your gaming?

MM:  At this point in my life, no. If we’re being honest, I suffered a big bout of depression in the last half of 2018 and have been using 2019 to get my mental health back under control. As my mental health grows steadier, I have been trying to return to things that bring me joy. Eventually, this will be games and finding a group who I feel comfortable with to play. 


RP: Have you considered online play at all? 

MM: It is something that I need to look into. There are always questions about online play that stop me. “Will it cost money? Will I find people to play with? If it does cost money, is it worth it?” etc. I keep letting those questions stop me and I ultimately need to just take the plunge. Stop being so afraid. I already conquered gaming in life, that is way harder than the internet! 


RP: Yeah! Have you attended any game conventions/do you plan on attending any?

MM: I haven’t had the opportunity! The living costs of NYC are so high that I haven’t allowed myself to dream of going to conventions. Additionally, I have the worry that as a new gamer I wouldn’t be accepted at a con. People may find me tiresome or irksome with my questions and lack of knowledge. It is a feat I would not want to undergo alone.


RP: Do you think it’s easier for new, inexperienced, or anxious gamers to be invited in, rather than trying to join in?

MM: Absolutely. Given the time and place, I would definitely be more receptive to an invitation rather than trying to start something myself. I’m still battling that “No one wants me around,” anxiety. So my brain can’t fight back too much if I’m given the invite.

RP: It’s a reminder to all of us to be inclusive and understanding of new players. Last question, as someone new to gaming, do you have any advice for people looking to get started?

MM: My biggest advice is one I follow: find a game you find interesting. I believe it will make you 10 times more willing to sit there, listen, and learn, if you are passionate about the gameplay. Once you find the game that is perfect for you, you’re hooked. Don’t give up games all together after a few duds. 

Also, play with people who are patient and understanding. I would not have gotten into games as much as I did if it hadn’t been for my friends who walked me through the rules and gameplay every step of the way. I now have a small collection of games, but each one I love and look forward to pulling out and playing when given the chance. 

Active players, how did you start your gaming journey? Does Morgan’s story feel familiar to you? How do you invite new people to the table?



Is Gen Con Really the Best 4 Days in Gaming?

Active Player Network was hard at work at Gen Con 2019. We learned why Gen Con is called The Best 4 Days in Gaming, and we're going to be bringing lots of new content to you! Check back on Wednesdays and Fridays for new Get the Game episodes.


Gen Con 2019 Wrap Up


Gen Con 2019 Wrap Up

Gen Con 2019 has come to a close, and with it comes an incredibly satisfying feeling of accomplishment for months of hard work by everyone on our Active Player team. We demoed games for thousands of people, we learned how to play new games, we played old favorites, we filmed 7 Get the Games, 4 Player Character Spotlights, and several features, we experimented with live streaming from the Con, and finally, we raised $2,277.25 for Child’s Play Charity! We also randomly selected our winner of the Mega Game Basket: Congratulations to Zac Crumpler! Active Players, you can still sign up for our mailing list if you haven’t already so that you can stay up-to-date on any future giveaways!


The Booth

Thank you to everyone who came by booth #2535 (I feel like that number will never leave my head now) to play some games and chat with us. We demoed Catch the Moon, Tuki, Century: A New World, Men at Work, and Tokaido. We had representatives from Funforge there to demo the next game in the Tokaido line, Namiji. We had representatives from Bandai there to demo Dragon Ball Super, the Naruto Boruto card game, and the upcoming Godzilla card game due to release this fall! Almost 200 of you got our Pin Bazaar pineapple pins (we are so happy to see how many of you love pineapples!) You donated to our Roll 4 Child’s Play drive (more on that later). Seriously, that booth was full, from the moment the hall opened until the moment the hall closed every single day, and we are so happy and grateful to have met so many enthusiastic gamers and active players!


Upcoming Videos

We are so excited to bring you all over 10 new episodes of various shows filmed right at our booth. We’ll have new Get the Game previews (including a sneak peek of Godzilla with game designer Ryan Miller, for those of you who couldn’t demo the game in person), we’ll have new Player Character Spotlight episodes (including some of the APN team!), as well as some other surprises and features as we go. Expect the first of the Get the Game episodes to start premiering this week, and as always let us know if there are any upcoming games you’re interested in seeing us cover! 


Roll 4 Child’s Play

If you follow us on social media (and if you don’t, you should), you’ll remember that a lot of our posts were focused on this incredible charity drive that we did. We raised $2,277.25 for Child’s Play Charity through online donations, donations at the convention, and donation matching from Mindclash Games and Metallic Dice Games. If you donated at the Con, you also got to collect our limited edition Active Player Network pineapple D6’s. Two lucky people who took advantage of our #roll4childsplay giveaway won a set of dice and a dice tray from Metallic Dice Games as well! If you got some of our pineapple dice show us some pictures! We’re also hoping to do a future giveaway with these dice for those who could not/cannot attend a convention so if that sounds like you, let us know! Do you want a chance to win these D6’s? Should we continue the line and offer a D20 next? We love ideas and suggestions.



Did you attend Gen Con 2019? Did you stop by the booth at all? Let us know all of your awesome Con stories! Next stop: PAX Unplugged!


Critical Hits- Era: The Medieval Age


Critical Hits- Era: The Medieval Age

Be the one with the most prosperous domain, in the very first roll-and-build game by legendary designer Matt Leacock! Era: The Medieval Age by Eggertspiele is a 1-4 player game about strategically building your own domain, while making sure that your opponents experience some "natural" disasters. Available now at your Friendly Local Game Store!


Gen Con Demo Table Schedule


Gen Con Demo Table Schedule

It’s Gen Con Week! It’s finally here! By now you know we’ll be at booth 2535, that we’ll be filming new episodes of our shows, and that we’ll be demoing a whole bunch of games. If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll even know that some of these games will be on rotation because we just don’t have enough tables or demo staff to have every game available every day. We’ve been saying we’ll have a schedule for you, and here it is!


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Table 1: 

Tokaido and Namiji by Funforge. We will have representatives from Funforge there to demo both of these games. Namiji will not be available until the fall, so this is a great opportunity to learn a new game!


Gen Con demo table 2.jpg

Table 2: 

Catch the Moon by Bombyx. We will have this game available for demo and purchase all weekend.


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Table 3: 

Thursday: Azul by Next Move Games

Friday: Tuki by Next Move Games

Saturday: Century: A New World by Plan B Games

Sunday: Men at Work by Pretzel Games


Table 4: 

Thursday: Naruto Boruto Card Game by Bandai

Friday: Dragon Ball Super Series 7 by Bandai

Saturday: Godzilla Card Game by Bandai

Sunday: Dragon Ball Super Series 7 by Bandai.

We will have representatives from Bandai here to demo these games.


We are, of course, hoping you’ll stop by and visit us every day of Gen Con, but does this demo schedule make you prioritize certain days? Let us know, and we’ll see you soon!


Active Player Network Gen Con Master Post


Active Player Network Gen Con Master Post

Alright everyone! Every day is another day closer to Gen Con, and there is a LOT going on. We’re sure you have tons of plans and are trying to keep yourselves organized. To help you out, consider this our master list of everything that APN is doing at Gen Con. Save it, bookmark it, whatever you need to do. Just make sure you stop by and see us at booth 2535!


Demo Tables at booth 2535: APN will be demoing many games at our booth, and some will also be available for purchase. Learn more about TokaidoTuki, Azul, Century: A New WorldCatch the Moon, Men at WorkDragon Ball Super, Naruto Boruto, and Godzilla

The schedule for what games will be demoed on which days can be found here!


Roll 4 Child’s Play: Our donation drive we are running to benefit Child’s Play Charity. You can donate in person or online. All the information, including more about Child’s Play, can be found here.


#Roll4ChildsPlay: If you donate to the charity in person, you can receive limited-edition APN d6’s, while supplies last. Take a photo or video of them on Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtag #Roll4ChildsPlay. The posts with the highest number of likes by the end of the convention will win a set of dice from Metallic Dice Games. Full post here.


Mega Game Basket Giveaway:Sign up for our mailing list to learn more about upcoming game releases, con attendance, and more. This can be done in person at booth 2535 or on our blog. More information (including what is in the basket) is here.


Adventures on the Show Floor: Anne and Risa will be making the rounds on the floor, playing games, chatting with people, and doing some Player Character Interviews. If you’d like to be considered for an interview please sign up here, and if you just want to hang out for a bit, make sure to keep an eye out and say hi!


Okay that should be it! What are you most excited about? 


Reminder: Mega Game Basket Giveaway!

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Reminder: Mega Game Basket Giveaway!

In exactly one week, our APN team will be en route to Gen Con, ready to bring you more entertainment, more content, and more games. 

Today we want to focus on our Mega Game Basket Giveaway (giveaway giveaway giveaway)! Starting on August 1st, we will have a link open to sign up for our APN mailing list. Adding your email will get you notifications for upcoming games we’re excited about, conventions we’ll be attending, sneak peeks, and more. AND! If you sign up between August 1-4, you’ll be entered to win our Mega Game Basket, with over a dozen prizes! 


Check out what you can win in alphabetical order: 

From Brotherwise Games: Call to Adventure 

From Child’s Play Charity: Child’s Play battery pack and water bottle

From Cryptozoic Games: DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth, Epic Spell Wars Deck-Building Game, and Spyfall Time Travel

From Gamelyn Games: Tiny Epic Defenders, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Tiny Epic Quest, Tiny Epic Western, and Tiny Epic Zombies 

From Leder Games: Root 

From Metallic Dice Games: Set of dice and dice tray 

From Mind Clash Games: Cerebria 

From Pandasaurus Games: Arraial, Dinosaur Island, and Machi Koro

From Portal Games: Empires of the North


This is a fantastic opportunity for people celebrating Gen Can’t as well! Even if you can’t make it to the con, you can still sign up for the mailing list and win all these prizes.


Are you planning on entering? What prize are you most excited about? 

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