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Finding the Perfect Family Game 201

Posted by michael
from the hungry-hungry-hippos dept.
kowalski1971 writes "Some poor soul with far too much time on his hands has decided - in an attempt to increase sales at his toyshop - to calculate the formula for the perfect family game. Apparently it is, 0.22a + 0.17f + 0.153n + (0.12c - 0.1g) + 0.1s + 0.09e + 0.06d + 0.054l + 0.05m + 0.011c = pfg ...and which game came out top? Cards. So much for the increased sales then."
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Finding the Perfect Family Game

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  • Aces! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eaglebtc (303754) * on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#7583441)
    This is interesting to me because there are a bazillion board games out there, and most of them are overpriced and have limited playability. Card games and their variants are countless.

    Go cards!
    • Re:Aces! (Score:5, Funny)

      by chimpo13 (471212) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:26PM (#7583461) Homepage Journal
      I'm pretty sure it's Vice City and Carmegeddon. It's nice watching my 5 year old kill cops with his grandfather.
    • Re:Aces! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, and it puzzles me as to why cards is just considered one game, while monopoly appears to be broken down, with Simpsons monopoly taking #2. I wonder why they didn't want to break down cards into individual games?
    • Re:Aces! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SkArcher (676201) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:31PM (#7583497) Journal
      If you want a game where the variations are endless, try Nomic [google.com], where the aim of the game is to alter the rules. From one of the FAQ's:
      Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed. (Peter Suber, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, Appendix 3, p. 362)
      The game was developed from political science theory as an example - but it turned out to be a lot of fun!
    • C'mon, you're at BYU - aren't you tired of Uno by now? :) You obviously shop in the wrong stores. Let me recommend Settlers of Catan (and the many variants), Tikal, Lost Cities (a card game), ummm...Age of Mythology board game has received excellent reviews.

      All the games I mentioned (except maybe AoM) are wife-friendly, and kid friendly for older kids.

      Read more about the great games you've probably never heard of at BoardGameGeek [boardgamegeek.com] and get great prices and service at the spartan Boulder Games [bouldergames.com].
    • by t0ny (590331)
      best... card game... ever...
      • Re:UNO! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by vericgar (627150)
        I disagree.

        Stott-family Ballistic Uno is the best game ever.

        There are 11 siblings in the Stott family, the 2 parents, and most of the 11 siblings have children old enough to play as well. So we usually end up with around 20-25 people playing at once in a very tight circle. Because there are so many players we use 2, sometimes even 3 decks.

        And as I suspect any regular player of Uno does, we have custom rules. Like for instance if a 0 is played, you pass your hand to the left. You can "match" at any time..
  • Some poor soul with far too much time on his hands has posted this article?
  • Simpler formula (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C17GMaster (727940) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:26PM (#7583466)
    I notice that most of those factors are vaguely defined at best... "Fun factor?" Get real! As long as we're pulling qualitative numbers out of the air, why not design a simpler system? Perfect Family Game = 1.0g, where "g" is the "goodness level." Practical, huh?
    • Re:Simpler formula (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What would probably surprise you even more is that there are in fact, statistical formulas out there that can determine the "fun factor" of a game- which are used by many large marketing and research companies out there.
  • cards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gotem (678274) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:27PM (#7583470) Homepage Journal
    "Cards" is not a game
    a game is poker, bridge, blackjack etc.
    which card game are they talking about?
  • BCS (Score:5, Funny)

    by JeffSh (71237) <jeffslashdotNO@SPAMm0m0.org> on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:27PM (#7583471)
    Thankfully, his calculations are much LESS complicated than the formulae used to compute the bowl championship series rankings.

    Oddly enough, they are also more accurate, and I would be willing to bet that his formula could easily be converted over verbatim, applied to college football, and STILL come out with a better ranking system for college teams than the BCS.
  • Cards? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:29PM (#7583484)
    Given that his factors include:

    N = number of people
    S = stimulation
    E = engagement
    D = duration
    L = longevity

    I think we may at last have found the source of all those dastardly penis enlargement spams and viagra...
  • Best selling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tet (2721) * <slashdot AT astradyne DOT co DOT uk> on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:30PM (#7583491) Homepage Journal
    So much for the increased sales then

    Best selling game != best game. Admittedly, the point of this exercise was probably to increase sales, so on that front, it's failed... Also note that his formula reuses symbols ("C" is both competitive factor, and complexity), and he parenthesizes items for no apparently good reason when the operators are commutative. Is he just trying to come up with an impressive looking formula to get a newsworthy story and bring his store some publicity? On that front, he's succeeded...

    • Re:Best selling (Score:3, Informative)

      by RDPIII (586736)
      Is he just trying to come up with an impressive looking formula...?

      It's a linear combination of weighted attributes. How unimpressive is that? At least they should show us a list of games together with their attributes and sales rank. Given that information, we could do a least-squares fit (linear or nonlinear) ourselves, and, more importantly, evaluate the goodness of fit.
    • Also note that his formula reuses symbols ("C" is both competitive factor, and complexity), and he parenthesizes items for no apparently good reason when the operators are commutative.

      I think you'll find that is associative not commutative. And lets' be honest, you have drop and awful lot of structure before you can drop associativity. Sure, non-sommutative groups and rings are common (though not for marketing types I guess), but I believe even semi-groups (about as algebraically structurless as you can
    • Re:Best selling (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kruntiform (664538)
      the point of this exercise was probably to increase sales, so on that front, it's failed...

      A cynical person (like me) would say that he rigged it so that cards would would come out on top in order to lend his silly formula an air of objectivity. He knows full well that no one will buy cards and that they will buy the next one on the list, "Monopoly Simpsons", instead.
  • Marge: Why don't you kids play one of your old board games? When was the last time you played "Citizenship"?
    Bart: [looking through games] "Energy Shortage"?
    Lisa: "Hippo in the House"?
    Marge: Ooh, "The Game of Lent"!
    Bart: Ohh, can't we just go to bed?
    Marge: It's only five-thirty.
    Lisa: Fine, we'll play "Hippo in the House".
    Marge: Oh, the hippo's missing.

    Ep: Wild Barts Can't Be Broken [snpp.com]
  • An old truth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gxv (577982) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:32PM (#7583502)
    Good for everybody and therefore probably good for nobody. And if anybody hopes complicated equations will help him pick the best Christmas gift for his nephew he's mistaken. It will be easier to ask.
  • Puff (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    0.22a + 0.17f + 0.153n + (0.12c - 0.1g) + 0.1s + 0.09e + 0.06d + 0.054l + 0.05m + 0.011c = Daikatana

    Yes, I am stressed and I can't let it go.
  • by tloh (451585) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:33PM (#7583507)
    While I was growing up, my parents thought playing cards were poisonous. We were forbidden to play (or even learn) any card games because they thought it was the first step towards becoming a gambling addict. This was extremely embarassing for me later on in school because in math class, concepts in probability and combinatorics were very often taught using ordinary playing cards. Of course, I had no idea what was going on at first, which bewildered my classmates who had gotten the idea that I was pretty sharp in math. Not a big deal, but it is a minor iritation I hold my parents responsible for.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, at least don't do the same thing to your kids.
    • by Otter (3800) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:03PM (#7583953) Journal
      FWIW, my wife teaches college math and uses playing card explanations for a number of concepts. I was surprised and she was astonished (her family is obsessed with games) at how many students were unfamiliar with playing cards. It's a heavily international group of students, but still...
    • Same here, so instead we had "Rook" cards (again, 4 suits or colors, rook cards instead of jokers, and no J/Q/K/A cards but instead I think the cards were simply numbered 1 to 13).

      Grandparents had pinocchle(?) sets which were considered to be okay because you can't play poker with them.

      Personally, I've only ever played poker once, and instead of cash we dug out a box of baseball cards and handed them around to use for chips. That was nice because no money changed hands.
  • by JonKatzIsAnIdiot (303978) <<a4261_2000> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:33PM (#7583511)
    Human factors cannot be reduced to mathematical equations.

    (Sit down Hari Seldon)

    Attempting to do so only results in making you look stupid (like this guy)

    • I would disagree. Human factors are counted in equations when looking at many multiple linear regression situations using dummy variables.

      From here [lancs.ac.uk]

      Dummy Variable (in regression)

      In regression analysis we sometimes need to modify the form of non-numeric variables, for example sex, or marital status, to allow their effects to be included in the regression model. This can be done through the creation of dummy variables whose role it is to identify each level of the original variables separately.

      So yo
    • Human factors cannot be reduced to mathematical equations.
      (Sit down Hari Seldon)

      Heh. I tried to read the Foundation series, but unfortunately I'd already read enough about Lorenz and Mandelbrot to know that little errors don't just go away if you pick a bigger sample, and subsequently couldn't ignore the major flaw that is "psychohistory" and enjoy the books*. But then again, people do love to think of life as predictable, because whether you sell toys or insurance, nothing is scarier than not knowing w

      • And if you read the series, you discover that the Second Foundation is there exactly for this reason - to costantly nudge the chaos back in the right place.
        OK, that's enough of a spoiler...
        • And if you read the series, you discover that the Second Foundation is there exactly for this reason - to costantly nudge the chaos back in the right place.

          Ugh. I did read the whole series. Despite the handwave at the 2nd Foundation, the ludicrous premise of the sham-science "psychohistory" kept coming back to irritate me. If it was all a clever ruse, why did we never get a wink-wink, nudge-nudge from Asimov that Seldon was pulling a fast one and just engineering the final outcome from the start? No, the

      • I'd already read enough about Lorenz and Mandelbrot to know that little errors don't just go away if you pick a bigger sample, and subsequently couldn't ignore the major flaw that is "psychohistory" and enjoy the books.

        Hmmm, guess all those multi-billion dollar Insurance and Advertising companies went broke years ago and nobody noticed. Chaos theory of course destroys ALL attempts at statistical analysis.

        I recommend you read the latest re-printing of Michael Flynn's In The Country of the Blind [amazon.com]. Make su

        • by Archfeld (6757) *
          governmental bailout Lloyd's of London, the LARGEST insurer on the planet would have indeed gone BANKRUPT following the NY tradecenter disaster. They insured indirectly all but 1 of the planes, and the one tower that was insured.
          • Ah yes the Lloyd's bailout, good catch. Other major insurance companies usually get bailout moneys from the government when natural disasters occur. Its a big part of most "emergency relief" funds. Most people don't realize that its happening, since news organizations are usually more interested in covering the disasters themselves.

            That said, insurance companies still make very good money using what appear to be basic cliological-style tools: mass behavior studies, death statistics, etc.

            Government bailo
        • Hmmm, guess all those multi-billion dollar Insurance and Advertising companies went broke years ago and nobody noticed. Chaos theory of course destroys ALL attempts at statistical analysis.

          (shrug) It doesn't destroy all prediction, it just progrssively degrades the accuracy of the predictions the farther out you go. Predicting that most people with life insurance will probably live long enough to pay for those who don't is no amazing feat of prediction, and any unpredicted event that skews that enough to

      • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday November 28, 2003 @07:57PM (#7584726)


        > Heh. I tried to read the Foundation series, but unfortunately I'd already read enough about Lorenz and Mandelbrot to know that little errors don't just go away if you pick a bigger sample, and subsequently couldn't ignore the major flaw that is "psychohistory" and enjoy the books*.

        Heh, my calculations showed you were going to post that.

        • little errors don't just go away if you pick a bigger sample, and subsequently couldn't ignore the major flaw that is "psychohistory" and enjoy the books*.

          Heh, my calculations showed you were going to post that.

          Sad to say, I really am that predictable much of the time...

  • 2 Cs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Huge Pi Removal (188591) * <oliver+slashdot@watershed.co.uk> on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:34PM (#7583515) Homepage
    Silly bugger's gone and used 'C' twice - first for competitiveness, the second for complexity. And what's with the superfluous brackets anyway? Load of cobblers.
    • Re:2 Cs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hurtstotouchfire (664278) <hurtstotouchfire@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:34PM (#7583806) Journal
      You are correct. He also doesn't seem to have provided any kind of list as to how many different games they tested. Is the the top ten or did they test ten?

      Also, this formula should really include variables for different people. I know monopoly with my grandfather is a blast, because he's old and cheap and sits on all his money and kicks butt at the end, but monopoly with my youngest cousins can be hellish, because they cry when anyone plays rough.

      This should really be more of a function, where you supply 5 or 10 bits of information, and the top 10 list is customized to you.

  • by inode_buddha (576844) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:34PM (#7583517) Journal
    a good game of "Twister" will enable you to start your *own* family!
  • by jdifool (678774) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:36PM (#7583524) Homepage Journal
    Hi,

    with all my respect to the grandpa picture on the right column of the article, what kind of crap is this ?

    Two questions :

    • No explanation of the mathematical formula : I assume that the 0.22 coefficient for the age accessibility comes from the fact that the average life expectancy multiplied by 0.22 results in a relevant Human Development Indicator, explained somewhere else on the net.
    • I'd like the scientific staff out there to explain me how they link the Monopoly Simpson Edition to their *elusive* mathematical formula. Really I'd like to know, in other words than the political scheme "family like to have some fun", what ties Homer with decimal multiplicators.
    Is this really 'News for nerds' ? I'm not a nerd, but this doesn't sound even like news....

    Regards,
    Jdif

    • I'm not a nerd, but this doesn't sound even like news....

      It's the middle of the day, and you're posting your detailed analysis of what appears to be a tongue in cheek marketing ploy to a wesbite for nerds. Might be time for some deep introspection.

    • by Angry Toad (314562) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:15PM (#7583718)

      Actually it looks like the result of a pretty standard multiple linear regression (link [statsoftinc.com]). Somebody sat down and gave each game a 1-10 rating for "Fun", "Engagement", and similar nonsense and then fed the resulting "data" through a linear regression algorithm.

      Algorithms always give an answer. That doesn't mean the answer makes any sense.

  • by Rune Berge (663292) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:37PM (#7583530)
    ... is because they forgot the ever popular "Cardboard and plastic pieces" game.
  • Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:38PM (#7583535)
    My family always played a lot of games while we were growing up, and they were almost exclusively card games. The rules tend to be simple, which is a big plus if you're trying to hold the interest of people covering a big age range (60 year old granny along with 8 year old younger bro'). We burned a lot of hours with Uno, Spades, Pit!, and others.

    Board games had a narrower appeal. If it was just "us kids" we'd play those, since it seemed the adults weren't interested in the same ones we were. Once we'd grown into teenagers we did find a few everyone enjoyed - Pictionary immediately comes to mind.

    Ah, memories...
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:45PM (#7583572) Homepage
    Actually, the correct formula for the perfect game is:

    1 Swedish Bikini Team, sans bikinis + Me = The Perfect Game.
  • Everquest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ekephart (256467)
    EQ is the obvious winner. With:
    A = age range
    F = fun factor
    N = number of people
    C = competitive factor
    G - argumentative factor
    S = stimulation
    E = engagement
    D = duration
    L = longevity
    M = mobility
    C = complexity

    While age range is fairly narrow and stimulation, engagement, and mobility are, well, zero, I think N and D make up for it.

    N = several thousand
    D = in hours? - sigh - several thousand
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:47PM (#7583585) Homepage Journal
    Math is wonderful. You can basically create formulas that may or may not have any basis in reality. This is why in addition to mathematician we have experimental physicists who whack the mathematician on the snout, take their formulations, and subject the equations to a rigorous dose of reality. Clearly someone needs to whack this guy on the snout.

    Cards and monopoly are great. The have no noise making annoyances, involve lots of manipulative that occupy the child, and rounds proceed quickly while occupying all players attention. More importantly, these games do minimum damage when the playing pieces enter the inevitable tantrum driven projectile phase.

    But Bop It? It is noisy, and hurts like hell when used as a club. Jenga? The point is to frustrate your opponents. This game is great at developing necessary skills, but when the pieces fall, the loser has a great desire to test the aerodynamics of the blocks.

    • by Coryoth (254751) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:57PM (#7583918) Homepage Journal
      This is why in addition to mathematician we have experimental physicists who whack the mathematician on the snout, take their formulations, and subject the equations to a rigorous dose of reality.

      Interestingly it goes the other way too sometimes. The physicists posit a nice theory, then some mathematician comes along and says "sorry, the math just doesn't work that way - it ought to really go like this...". The physicists say "but that's just bloody stupid, reality wouldn't work that way", then go away and test it and find that, oddly enough, it does.

      Jedidiah
    • by schon (31600) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:47PM (#7584141)
      Math is wonderful. You can basically create formulas that may or may not have any basis in reality. This is why in addition to in addition to mathematician we have experimental physicists who whack the mathematician on the snout

      Reminds me...

      A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were all taken to a farm and asked to build the best fence - the fence had to encompass the largest amount of area, with the smallest perimeter.

      The engineer said - "That's easy - you make a circle!"

      The physicist said - "No, you have the fence section encompass the diameter of the earth, that way you get more area because of the third dimension."

      The mathematician ran over to a pile of fence sections, picked up three small ones and arranged them around himself to create a tiny enclosure - then said "I am on the outside!"
  • Clue (Score:5, Funny)

    by nizo (81281) on Friday November 28, 2003 @03:49PM (#7583595) Homepage Journal
    Clue has to be the best game, since it teaches you the best household objects you can use to kill people, as well as helping young children to realize that you should never ask the police for help when solving a murder.
    • Re:Clue (Score:3, Funny)

      by GigsVT (208848)
      This just underscores what thousands of responsible parents have been demanding for years. We need a rating system for board games, so parents can make informed decisions about the games they let their children play. With new games like this "Clue" coming out every year, it's impossible for parents to keep up. Just the other day, I caught little Billy sneaking up behind me with a plumber's wrench.

      Won't anyone please think of the children!
      • Re:Clue (Score:3, Funny)

        by Zone5 (179243)
        Just the other day, I caught little Billy sneaking up behind me with a plumber's wrench.

        See? It was a learning experience! Next time he'll know to use the candlestick, since it clanks less as you're trying to sneak up on someone. Who says games can't be educational?
    • Kill Doctor Lucky (Score:4, Informative)

      by LauraW (662560) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:00PM (#7583935)
      it teaches you the best household objects you can use to kill people

      My favorite along these lines is Kill Doctor Lucky from CheapAss Games [cheapass.com]. The goal is to, um, kill Doctor Lucky (and all the other players) on a clue-like board where there are various implements lying about.

    • by ckd (72611)

      Clue has to be the best game, since it teaches you the best household objects you can use to kill people, as well as helping young children to realize that you should never ask the police for help when solving a murder.

      Yeah, it's amazing that you can win by accusing yourself of doing it, but only if you're sure you were the murderer....

      I second the mention of Kill Doctor Lucky, though I will point out that you aren't trying to kill the other players, just make sure they don't see you kill the eponymou

  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:05PM (#7583666) Journal
    This is just a puff of smoke intended to stimulate Christmas toy sales. The formula is ridiculously over-complex and loaded with unexplained constants. How on earth did this make Slashdot when perfectly good stories (like the one about SCO violations being found on the Moon) get refused?
  • by crazyhorse44 (242315) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:05PM (#7583670)
    Sure beats the old-time family classic... "come sit on grandpa's lap"!
  • Why linear? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skeptikos (220748) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:08PM (#7583683)
    It is funny how people always try to use a linear formula to objectively quantify the quality of things. In a way it is understandable: linear systems are very simple to understand and manipulate mathematically. Unfortunately, sometimes no amount of added terms or tweaking of the coefficients will make it work. Many things are essentially nonlinear and typically, quality is one of them. I remember that in the first engineering lecture I listened to, the professor said:

    "Quality means user satisfaction, and in a multicomponent system it is not the average of the quality of the individual components. The overall quality is pretty much associated with the quality of the worst component."

    Linear formulas tend not to capture that. A geometric mean could, and it is also simple.

  • by GeckoFood (585211) <geckofood@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:14PM (#7583713) Journal
    The writer gives a nifty little formula and all, with the constants included. But, what values did he plug in to said formula to get .98 for cards? What are the acceptable ranges of the coefficients? How do you decide which coeffients have more weight than others?
  • Even after ruling out collectible games (such as Magic), the number of card games out there using specialized or modified card decks is virtually endless. Reference: Board Game Geek [boardgamegeek.com].

    Although I love Whist and Hearts, one of my favoriate card games is Mu [boardgamegeek.com], a trick-taking game (like Whist or Bridge) which uses a modified deck:

    • 5 suites
    • Numbered 0 - 9
    • Cards are worth 0 - 2 points
    • Two trumps per round, decided by bidding
    • Variable (each round) teams
    • Plays best with five

    It looks like a kitchen sink game,

  • That certainly doesn't look like the Drake Equation to me...
  • I have to say that my favorite game is monopoly, and this is why (the following story is not for the faint of heart):

    At summer camp when I was 12 we were playing monopoly in our cabin. This one kid, Jeff, was being a totally bad sport (accusing everybody of cheating, etc.) and just generally making the game less fun. About half-way through the game he says "I have to go to the bathroom" and gets up, grumbling about how people will probably steal his money or otherwise conspire against him. When he gets up
  • How about a game graph?

    Place excitement on the horizontal axis and skill on the vertical.

    S
    k
    i
    l
    l

    -------------------
    Excitement

    Forget it, I got nothing.
  • by sbaker (47485) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:11PM (#7583981) Homepage
    Man - where do you start with such a bogus thing as this?

    Take a large number of vaguely defined terms - with no units or ranges associated with them - and which are "measured" by the scientific method of asking some guy to rate them.

    Then multiply each by a suspiciously exact number - accurate to one part in a hundred - and just add them up! What are the odds that none of these terms need to be squared or something?

    Even if you ignore the actual equation - and take this as some kind of list of the things you should think about when buying a game - it doesn't make sense.

    Just look at the first term:

    "Age range"

    The importance of the age range of the game depends crucially on the range of ages of the people playing. If everyone is aged 12 years - then a game that's rated "Ages 12 to 14" is likely to be more fun than something rated "Ages 2 to adult" because it's targetted at the precise ages of the people playing it. Then, if the people playing include a 2 year old and an adult - then a wide age range is indeed important. But if this equation is to be believed, then a game with a 12 to 14 year age range is doomed compared to a game that's simple enough for a 2 year old to play. That's ridiculous.

    But in any case, this is a circular argument - age ranges are set such that the people within that range will have fun playing the game - so using that number to calculate how much fun the game is to play is just silly.

    Argh!

    This is the kind of thing that dramatically reduces the public's perception of the value of the scientific method.
  • Board Stiff (Score:4, Informative)

    by Obiwan Kenobi (32807) * <evan&misterorange,com> on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:15PM (#7583999) Homepage
    Personally, I think this "formula" is just silly. But interesting, I suppose.

    As for me, I love board games. I love the different aspects of the games, the way they keep things interesting yet simple, how much damn fun they are. Board games get a lot more favor around the holidays in my family get-together's than cards do.


    I found the Top 100 Board Games [kumquat.com] of the year. Awesome stuff here.


    I'm The Boss! [kumquat.com] looks the most promising. Freeloader [kumquat.com] is cool, and Light Speed [kumquat.com] looks like something me and a friend might wittle away time with. However, I keep drifitn back to Mystery of the Abbey [kumquat.com], a "thinking man's Clue."

    • Re:Board Stiff (Score:4, Informative)

      by iapetus (24050) on Friday November 28, 2003 @09:35PM (#7585188) Homepage
      Freeloader is indeed exceptionally cool. I also recommend Huzzah! from the same company. Finally got round to playing Light Speed, and it's even more fun than it looks - very hectic. Helps if everyone playing the game has at least some idea what's going on, though - first time we played it one player ended up destroying half of his own fleet while failing to interact with the other players or the asteroid at all...

      Other highlights in the same general vein:

      Lord of the Fries Deluxe Edition - deceptively complex, and the different menus make for almost entirely different strategies. Put together meals at Frydays, the fast food restaurant of the damned.

      The Big Idea - requires a bit of creativity, but it's outstanding fun if you've got the right group of people. Pitch bizarre products based on the cards in your hand, and try to invest heavily in the big successes. Anyone fancy investing in Unholy Cat?

      Fluxx - about as simple as they come: you draw one card, you play one card, and there's no way to win the game - at first. But manipulating the rules can be great fun.

      Aquarius - From the makers of Fluxx, a mind-numbingly simple looking card game that can end up being really rather deep as you try to mislead the other players and build towards a quick victory. Can get a little arbitrary and infuriating at times as players trade hands or goals, but that's part of the fun.

      On a slightly larger/more expensive scale, Settlers of Catan is every bit as great as people have been saying, and the various expansion packs (Knights & Cities, Seafarers of Catan) add a lot of variety.

      Crimson Skies is another big favourite - it's a truly outstanding game of aerial combat, with an inspired damage system that allows you to damage the individual components of the plane - a truly skilled gunner can eat away the armour and then send an incendiary round straight into the fuel tank. Can you say 'BOOM'? No longer being published, unfortunately - but if you see it, snap it up.

      Warhammer Quest destroys lives. A dungeon-crawling boardgame which appeals to the munchkin in every gamer, this is as much about shopping and powering up to ridiculous levels as it is about exploring the dungeons. With the additional characters and dungeon expansion packs it becomes even more addictive.
  • Family Games (Score:4, Informative)

    by MikeyNg (88437) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `gnyekim'> on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:19PM (#7584015) Homepage


    If you folks want a list of some good board games out there, I'd suggest funagain.com. Some of the ones I'd figure would warrant a look-see would include Carcassone, Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, or Pitchcar. Go look them up!

  • The provided formula purports to compute the quality of family games, but fails to include variables related to the specific family. Al the vairables are properties of the game. The perfect family game for a young family is different from the perfect game for a family with old children. Some very enjoyable games might be totally unsuitable if they require 4 players and the family has a single child.

    PFG = f(Game, Family) so that different games would have different ranking for different families.
  • No attempts for age vs duration.
    Number of players? shouldn't it just be the number of people available?
  • this guy has NO clue. if you are REALLY looking for great family games... check out a great community game review site [slashdot.org] and purchase some really great family games like Settlers of Catan [germangames.com] or Carcassonne [germangames.com] which are both "German" games [cifnet.com].
  • by CGP314 (672613)
    Holy completely arbitrary Batman!
  • by Rothron the Wise (171030) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:20AM (#7586649)
    It might be the perfect game if you have to pick ONE game to give to a million families. It is not the perfect game for a specific familiy, just the perfect game when the familiy is not known.

    By the same logic, you can find out that the perfect food is a Big mac, since nobody really hates it (You can't hate something which tastes nothing).

    Whenever you create something with the ultimate all-encompassing demographic, you end up with something which is infinitely bland and infinitely inoffensive.

    In beauty contests, you typically have several rounds with different jurys, a mechanism which is sure to filter out someones ideals and move towards the average, which is why you'll find that Miss Universe can be less attractive than the girl next door.

    Of course, there are objective parameters you can measure, but if you get all or most of them right, you just end up with something that doesn't totally suck. To create something brilliant you have to narrow your appeal, to match the individual preferences of a spesific group.

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