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Top Board Games that Taught Us Something in 2020 – 120

Top Board Games that Taught Us Something in 2020

by Dustin Staats and Rodger Moore

Every year we do a list of podcasts, games, or other forms of media and resources we discovered throughout the previous year. These lists are new-to-us lists, so you may have heard of these resources long before we have. 

Below is our list, in no particular order, of games that taught us something in 2020. What about you? What did games teach you last year? Comment below and let us know!

Check out our other lists:

Note: games included in this list are linked to our store or are provided as an affiliate link through Amazon. These links help support Board Gaming with Education’s mission of games for learning.

Episode Overview

This podcast episode mixes the medium of our blog posts and podcast episodes. In the episode, and the following blog post, Dustin and Rodger chat about games that taught them something in 2020! Join in on the conversation by commenting below!

Episode Topics

  • Introduction to the Topic – 0:00
  • Brief Chat about Social Media Content Creation and New Game Plays – 1:12
  • Game #1 – 5:43
  • Game #2 – 8:27
  • Game #3 – 13:01
  • Game #4 – 19:13
  • Game #5 – 22:43
  • Final Thoughts about Gaming in 2020 – 27:14

Connect with Dustin: podcast@boardgamingwitheducation.com

Connect with Rodger: rodger@boardgamingwitheducation.com


Dustin: Game 1 – Food Chain Magnate

Food Chain Magnate helped me reexamine some economic principles that I am familiar with. However, I am by no means an economics professor or expert, so my knowledge is limited to my personal experiences and some economic principles I learned in passing. In the game you are able to establish a premium price on your products in hopes that you are offering the product to the particular customer that wants it to corner the market. It was really amazing to see this economic principle, as well as others, play themselves out in a tangible way within the game. And there are definitely other learning moments in the game too!

What type of game is Food Chain Magnate?

Food Chain Magnate is a very strategic game about building and running a successful fast-food chain of restaurants. Your company is able to grow through a card system that represents your company’s structure and resource management system. You battle it out as the best and most profitable fast-food chain through hiring the appropriate staff, marketing, and sales. It is a game geared toward serious gamers and lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

Rodger: Game 1 – Ecosystem

Ecosystem is a clever little card drafting game about creating ecosystems.  It taught me to carefully plan my placement of animals and the environments they needed to be successful.  I also enjoyed how all the cards made sense mechanically and from a theme standpoint. 

What type of game is Ecosystem?

Build your own ecological network in this biologically-derived card drafting game. Choose, pass, and arrange 11 different card types consisting of organisms ranging from bees to bears and environments like streams and meadows. Earn points by aligning animals with habitats where they most flourish. Biodiversity is rewarded while monocultures are penalized. Each time you play, you build a one-of-a-kind ecosystem, striving to balance the delicate connections between all living things.


Dustin: Game 2 – March of Ants and Wingspan

I added two games here because I played Wingspan a few times back in 2019 and I played March of Ants for the first time in 2020. They both do very similar things where they are able to show real-life biological factors within the theme and mechanics of the game. Wingspan was the first game I noticed that does this really well. One example of this in the game is with the hawk. When you have a hawk in your bird collection, you are able to flip a card over from the deck. If it is smaller than x cm, you are able to eat it. March of Ants does something very similar with the ant heads, abdomens, and thorax in the game. For example, it takes a real-life example of exploding ant heads and employs it as a mechanic in the game.

What type of game is March of Ants?

March of Ants is a “4x game–” where you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate as an ant colony. You play against other players as you vie for ant colony supremacy in your local meadow. This game is a streamlined rendition of the 4x game and plays in about an hour.

What type of game is Wingspan?

In Wingspan you are bird enthusiasts trying to discover and bring the best birds to your wildlife preserves. Birds are represented in the game as cards that can develop combos to score points. It is a medium-weight engine-building game that takes about 40 to 70 minutes to play.

Rodger: Game 2 – Last Light

This is an upcoming game from Grey Fox Games designed by Roy Cannaday of the Dice Tower and should be coming to kickstarter next year.  This is a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) space game with simultaneous game play.  It plays fast but feels very epic and will appeal to gamers that do not generally like this sort of game.  This game taught me how much I enjoy player interaction and is one of my favorite aspects of gaming.  This game is easily one of my most anticipated games in the past 5 years.

What type of game is Last Light?

This is a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) space game with simultaneous game play. It plays fast but feels very epic and will appeal to gamers that do not generally like this sort of game. It is great for heavy gamers who love strategic games with high interaction.


Dustin: Game 3 – Evolution

Note: this is Evolution: the Beginning-– a simplified version of Evolution.

Evolution really shines in its ability to demonstrate natural selection within a game. This past year I was able to dive a bit deeper into this game and come up with a strong lesson plan for science classrooms using the game Evolution. You can get access to these lesson plans through North Star Games’ Google Drive.

The game demonstrates the idea of an ever-evolving ecosystem and the intricacies involved in the dynamic shifts.

We also carry Evolution: the Beginning in our store at Board Gaming with Education. With your purchase, you’ll have access to our additional learning materials, including a lesson plan, how-to-play handouts, and additional resources.

They’ve also released a digital education version of the game. This is worth checking out too!

Rodger: Game 3 – After the Empire

This is another title from Grey Fox games that should be hitting retail and Kickstarter backers early in 2021.  This is a worker placement/tower defense game themed in medieval Europe where one manages a castle being attacked by invaders.  This game rewards taking risks to get ahead but that comes with having to deal with more enemies attacking your castle.  This is showing me I have to learn to take some risks to get ahead and not be always concerned with what I am doing.

What type of game is After the Empire?

This is a worker placement/tower defense game themed in medieval Europe where one manages a castle being attacked by invaders.  This game rewards taking risks to get ahead but that comes with having to deal with more enemies attacking your castle.


Dustin: Game 4 – Holi: Festival of Colors

This made my list because it was a very nice introduction to this festival. Previously, I had heard of the festival of Holi and knew that colors were important in the festival. However, what this game taught me is the tradition and idea behind the festival. For example, I learned that the festival is to celebrate the end of winter and share joy and new beginnings.

And one think I didn’t mention in the podcast episode–and I pronounced it wrong on the show– is that we learned how to pronounce the name of the festival. It sounds like “holy” with a slight emphasis on the “o.”

What type of game is Holi: Festival of Colors?

Holi: Festival of Colors is a 3-D area control game that is played on a three-tiered board. It plays with with two to four players and finishes in about 20 to 40 minutes.

Rodger: Game 4 – Scythia

I was really looking forward to this title when it was announced earlier this year.  It uses the same mechanic from Raiders of the North Sea.  This was incorporated mechanics from the Raiders expansion along with added a few new ones (horses and eagles).  This also uses a different theme and takes place in Persia and Greece.  This game continues to show my fondness of the worker placement mechanic.

What type of game is Scythia?

This is a worker placement game using the same mechanic from Raiders of the North Sea.  This was incorporated mechanics from the Raiders expansion along with added a few new ones (horses and eagles).


Dustin: Game 5 – Board Gaming with Education’s Science-Based Line of Games

I learned a lot through the process of establishing learning resources for our science-based games from several publishers including Genius Games, North Star Games, Engaged Games, and Looney Labs. I also learned some or reconsidered some minor lessons and scientific ideas when going over the resources created by Rodger.

Check out some of the games we carry that come with lifetime access to additional learning resources:

Rodger: Game 5 – Via Magica

This title caught me by surprise. It is based on the game Augustus but added some changes and it has a magic-based theme.  I have come to learn that I enjoy a game with a simple set of rules with nice replay value along with interesting choices.  This game also has simultaneous play by drawing a resource out of a bag (Air, Fire, Life, Earth, and Shadow) and using them to complete magic portals.  It is a race to complete seven portals.  It is simple but has very interesting choices in the cards you need to complete.

What type of game is Via Magica?

Via Magica is a card drafting, bingo-style, push your luck card game. It is a game that plays with two to six players and finishes around 30 minutes.

Transcript of “Top Board Games that Taught Us Something in 2020 – 120”

Dustin Staats 0:00
For today’s episode, this is our last episode of season 10. Super excited to chat with Roger today about five games that taught us something from 2020. So do keep in mind, these are very much games that taught us something. So it’s not necessarily content related or skills related, though we do cover some games that have to do with content and skill based learning. They’re just kind of games that we played this year that we really learned from and we really appreciated playing this year. With that, before we get into the episode, make sure you are a part of our email community, you can find that at Board Gaming with education.com. It’s about the second thing on the page there. So be sure to sign up and you’ll have access to different resources as well as news articles and other things happening in game based learning gamification, and board games for learning. And in our email newsletter, you’ll pretty much know everything going on with Board Gaming with Education. Alright, let’s get to the show.

Board Gaming with Education 0:54
Board Gaming with Education, a podcast for anyone curious about how games and education mix, we explore various topics like game based learning, gamification, and board games and the impacts they have on learning. here’s your host, Dustin Staats.

Dustin Staats 1:12
So welcome to another episode of Board Gaming with Education. Today, we are talking about our top games that taught us something in 2020. I’m joined with Roger Roger, welcome back to the show.

Rodger Moore 1:23
Yep, thanks for having me. Again, Dustin.

Dustin Staats 1:25
So we’re gonna chat about some games. And we’re going to talk about the games that taught us something this year. I think we were chatting before we started recording that this year has been a bit different for both of us. I was looking at mine, I actually I don’t know, maybe this year for me, it’s been pretty average, because I’m not. I’m fairly new into like, the board game hobby and keeping track of my games. See, in 2018, I got the board game app towards the end of the year. So I had nine new games 2019 I had 80 new games. And this year, I had 53 new games that I’ve played. So I guess a little bit down. But you mentioned you had 93 new games.

Rodger Moore 2:08
That’s way down from I’m normally I mean, I’d say the past I’ve been tracking mine for since 2015. And is probably averaging you know, 140 to 150 new ones every year. So, but it’s understandable. Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of hard. You could have played some new and, you know, as the year progressed, I went a lot of digital stuff. And I got a lot of new plays in that way. So whether we want to count that, but it counts to me.

Dustin Staats 2:36
Yeah, yeah. And that’s, that’s something I was thinking about, too, is I’ve done some digital games that I haven’t logged, like, I mean, we’ve been doing a mothership RPG kings dilemma, I played that that’s not in my board game app. I’ve played a board game arena that I don’t log some Steam games to. But yeah, so we’re gonna talk about some games that taught us something. Before we get into that list. We’re going to go over five each. I just want to share a couple updates with Board Gaming with Education. That’s the first thing is Next week, we’ll have our kind of end of the year episode slash 2021 New Year episodes, we’re going to chat about 2020. And then look forward to this year and some plans for Board Gaming with Education. So that’ll be next week. And then also every Friday. If you have Instagram, join me live on Fridays at 830. pacific standard time I chat live there on Instagram. I’m just learning how to use Instagram. So I’m still kind of figuring out the app. I know it’s it’s actually been growing a lot in the board game space. I’ve noticed a lot of content creators, leveraging Instagram specifically. Usually it’s traditionally like YouTube, or I guess podcasts. But yeah, it’s been cool to see some Instagram. Have you seen any Instagram? Or game media personalities in Facebook groups recently? or elsewhere?

Rodger Moore 4:02
Oh, me personally? Um, I don’t know if it tied? I I loosely follow stuff on there. I mean, I do have an account on it. I have a couple people, but that’s generally not the way I follow people. I get a lot of my stuff through Twitter into Facebook and stuff. And if it is, it’s kind of through there. So right, not not as much maybe paying attention if they’re on there or not. I mean, a lot of them do and I generally don’t go and look there unless I’m like super interested in a picture, you know, something that they might have done there. But

Dustin Staats 4:36
right. Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to see the evolution of content creation through the social media channels because Tick Tock was really popular and people still kind of use Tick tock, but then Instagram created these. The imitated tic Tock with their Instagram reels and now people are really using those to create their content on Instagram. And that’s why I think there’s a lot more content creators content creators on Instagram because of that, new edition reels maybe?

Rodger Moore 5:04
Well, I think it’s probably too that a lot of them were already on their site, maybe it was an easy, you know, shift or whatever. Instead of you know, doing this stuff with Tick tock, you know, is the only thing I can think of say, I think some people, you know, have you already got a platform already working from you. It’s just easy, like, Oh, they added this new way to create content, I’ll just use the same thing makes it easier. Right, right.

Dustin Staats 5:31
Cool. Well, let’s talk about our list. We’re gonna do five each, I actually have multiple for a couple numbers.

Rodger Moore 5:39
Yeah, I could easily do that with one line, too.

Dustin Staats 5:43
Oh, why don’t we start with you? What was your first so this is in no particular order, because these are the games that taught us something in 2020. So you can’t really I guess you you could maybe order what taught you something more. But I guess, means something is, no matter how small is valuable here. So what is the first one that you want to talk about?

Rodger Moore 6:04
I’m going to use ecosystem. This actually came out in 2019. But it’s just a little card drafting game where you’re creating ecosystems. And I just kind of I really liked, I guess what it taught me is, I’m interested in this stuff already. But I just liked the idea of how they. And it made me think to how they put the cards together. Because you’re creating like a little ecosystem environment. You’re putting animals with certain environments, and I think they made everything. And even for me made me think about it in a simple way. How Oh, that makes sense that this animals in that environment, it would do this sort of thing mechanically. In the game, so yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s one of my that’s a. It’s not my number one, but it’s no particular. But that’s one of my top games of this year.

Dustin Staats 6:59
Awesome. So that’s ecosystem. And by genius games, that’s Yep. Actually, on our website, you can check that out. And you’ve made some learning resources for that game to really cool.

Rodger Moore 7:08
Yep.

Dustin Staats 7:09
And that, that’s kind of my fifth one that I’ll talk about, I want to, I want to talk about my number five. But my first one is food chain magnate. So I’m not an economics professor. And I’m not an expert on the economy or anything like that. But I’ve noticed some economic principles. I don’t even know the names for him. But I’ve noticed that, I guess the theories, for example, in the game, you can price your items lower. And if your items are priced lower, the customers will go to you. But you get in this pricing war with someone else who will then in turn price their items lower. And then it just creates this very terrible market where it’s no good for the business businesses where everything’s super cheap, you’re, you’re maybe losing money. But that’s one idea that I learned in the game, or he kind of saw that the game put into practice. Another one was the idea that you can corner the market and charge a lot for items. So it’s really cool to see these actual economic principles and practice in the game. And it’s a very, very much simulated as if this were how it were in the real world. So that was, that’s my number two food chain magnet. And that’s by splatter games. So how about how about your number two?

Rodger Moore 8:27
Okay, my number two, um, this one’s technically not out yet. So I can see this going on my list a couple of times, but it just had such a big impact. For me this year, I mean, it’s easily got to be one of most anticipated games I’ve played. Even though I’m, if I’m thinking about Board Gaming with Education, I’ll try and throw some little Titans in anyway. But the the game is called last light. It’s going to be published by Gray Fox games. It’s designed by Roy Kennedy of the dice tower. It’s a it’s a four x style space game, explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, if you don’t know what that means. But what is very interesting about it is that I think this is going to appeal to people that maybe generally don’t like this type of game. I mean, I’ve played with I’ve done some playtesting with it. And there’s people that come in and or plan and go, I don’t like these kind of games, but this, this resonates with me. I just really liked it. It’s got this simultaneous gameplay, where there’s just really no dead time everybody’s doing and it feels really epic. But it plays in a pretty short amount of time. It’s just got this interesting dynamic. I think what is ton of taught me is I think something I’ve this has kind of been my theme this year is I’m starting to really get a sense and I think most of us probably anyway that I’m really starting to see what kind of games are really resonate for me and that potentially from an education standpoint might be good is that games that have have really high player interaction. And you know, there’s a lot of stuff going on. There’s not dead time. And I think that’s kind of good if you’re thinking about education stuff that games that kind of have that are probably going to be good for students too. So that there’s not any dead time. So yeah, I don’t know. It’s it’s, it’s fantastic. And I can’t wait till till it hits Kickstarter, we get our get our hands on it because it’s really good.

Dustin Staats 10:24
Awesome. And that’s last light, who’s the publisher?

Rodger Moore 10:26
It’s Gray Fox games are going to be they’re going to be doing a Kickstarter. I don’t I don’t know exactly. But from what I understand, it’s supposed to be sometime this year. So it might not be available until next year, you just depends how quick they can, you know, produce it and all that sort of stuff. But it’s really good. I

Dustin Staats 10:42
sort of starting with the hype train early.

Rodger Moore 10:45
Yeah, exactly. I, yeah, I’m getting on that one. But it’s really good.

Dustin Staats 10:49
Awesome. So my second one is actually two games. And you mentioned a forex and one of them is a forex game called march of ants. And the other one is wingspan. So these are both, I guess, I don’t know, I mean, biology based games, but not really, I mean, they’re not designed as biology games, but they definitely incorporate different I guess, wingspan, birds and their interactions. And then March vans. Ansan. Other interactions that are centipedes in the game, as well as spiders, I think to kind of reminds me of sim ant. I don’t know if you’ve used earlier with that game. I never played it. But yeah, I’m familiar with it. Yeah, I used to love love Sim. And so I chose these two games, because wingspan was the first one that I recognize that did this really well. And I didn’t want to leave that out. And it uses an example of real life mechanics in biology in the game. So in Wingspan there’s several but the one that was really stood out to me that’s pretty prominent in the game is very noticeable. If you have a hawk in your card Tableau or like as part of your I don’t, I’m not sure what they call it exactly. But bird sanctuary or something in the game. If you have a hawk, you flip over a card off the top of the deck. And if it’s if the width of the wingspan is small enough, the hawk eats it and you need to earn a point. So that’s something that actually happens in the real world. And then March events does something similar. Again, there’s very, there’s several examples. And each, I guess, the thorax, the abdomen and the heads, they use that vocabulary as well as real life examples of different ads. There’s, there’s one that I was talking to Tim Eisner, the designer and owner of the publishing company where it’s city games, and he talked about how there are ants that their heads explode. And he thought that was something really cool. And he had to include it in this game. So learning about those see things, and I had no idea that that there are these types of ants where their heads explode. So that’s something that I really actually learned this year and probably will never forget. So that’s wingspan by stone Meyer games and Archer Vance by weird city games. Cool. How about your number three, my number three

Rodger Moore 13:06
is another one that should be getting in our hands, hopefully this month. It’s after the Empires another Gray Fox title. This is a it’s a worker placement, tower defense. And it’s got a historical component to its kind of takes place in medieval Europe. And so basically, you’re managing, like a little castle with you have like fields and stuff for grow food on the outside. So you’re managing it. And what’s happening is these, you know, hordes of invaders are coming in and attacking your castle. And so you have to build up your resources to defend your castle. I really, I really like one of the things that really taught me I thought was really neat. It was really nice to see somebody take kind of the theme. And at least in historical sense, whether they realize it or not, I’ve I’ve gotten a chance to play with one of the designers. And they they said they hadn’t thought about this, but they they kind of incorporated those elements in and it totally made sense. So when you lose resources in this game, a lot of games, you get rid of them. And I like that this one, lets you keep them. So like if you get a wall knocked down, you get to keep the resources from that wall so that you can like rebuild it, which means that yeah, it got knocked down, but the stuff was still there. And the people went and just gathered it up. And you know, we’re able to, you know, reuse that or whatever. I think once again, it’s still playing into that. That thing for me with player interaction, or just this very interactive gameplay where there’s lots of choices and you never get stuck. And this is one of those games where I found for a worker placement sometimes you know, you go Oh, I have nothing to do on my turn. never the case with this one. As a matter of fact, this one’s got the balance where Don’t never have enough. You know, it’s always difficult. You’ve got to make tough choices, you know, every time. So, but that should be I know, it’s starting to get hopefully started getting distributed to backers. I mean, it was late from last year, understandably but really good historical themed worker placement tower defense game from Gray Fox games. After the Empire, and

Dustin Staats 15:26
after the Empire, I was gonna say Age of Empires, but that’s the video game after. Awesome. And so my next one is going to be evolution. So this game came out. I want to say a while ago, I’m not sure the year Exactly. But the digital bass game came out this past year, I think, or towards the end of 2019. And what did for sure 100% came out this year, the education version of the digital bass game. And so I put this on my list because I was able to really kind of dive into this game and learn about the lesson planning for middle school age students. And look at how ecosystems and the idea of how the ecosystem is always changing and looking at the game and how there are different moments in the game where food is very, very abundant. And so what happens is a lot of species develop within the game. And that’s what happens in a real ecosystem. When there’s more food, there’s more species, there’s more, I guess, animals that that are around to eat the food. And then eventually, what people do in the game is they created carnivores, so then they end up eating all the species, or what happens is they eat all the food, and then the species die off. So I had a lot of fun looking at that, and then kind of creating a lesson plan for it. And you can grab that lesson plan at evolution, digital game.com, backslash education, there’s a link to their Google Drive. And also, we have evolution, the beginning in our store, and you were able to design some lessons for that will eventually bring over some content for the base game too. But the lessons that you’ve designed for the beginning, which is kind of a more streamlined approach to the base game. Right?

Rodger Moore 17:16
I think it’s a good introduction to that one. If you haven’t, I’m just saying I had personal experience with using that in my classroom. And I tried the regular evolution games. And so my students struggled with that a little bit more. But then when I showed in the beginning, then it made sense. So then I was able to go back and then play evolution, and then they then the students were like, oh, okay, so sometimes that that tends to work really well, plus, it plays a little faster. And, and that, but the basic concepts are still there. You know, it’s just,

Dustin Staats 17:47
it seems like there’s two main things that are taken out of the base game one was choosing which card right put in the middle. And I can’t remember the second part, but it kind of eliminates that extra layer of strategy. But still, there’s still some strategic decisions there. It’s just more streamlined and less is a very much easier to introduce to people who are not familiar with the modern board game hobby and say,

Rodger Moore 18:15
Sure, sure. I think it’s a better I mean, even though that I don’t think that games too difficult to begin with. But yeah, if you haven’t, if you’re not really a gamer, you’re not used to that sort of thing. I think the beginning ones a better starting off point for that if you wanted to show somebody that game, and then play that one a little bit. And I think it’d be really easy to transition into the regular base game that way.

Dustin Staats 18:38
It’s also cheaper to so if you’re looking at introducing the idea of ecosystems, and oh my gosh, I can’t think of the word when animals die off.

Rodger Moore 18:51
Oh, yeah. extinction, and then that’s,

Dustin Staats 18:55
oh, man, then that’s part of it. But then maybe it’s a different one. I can’t think of it but anyways, it’s cheaper. So it’s a cheaper game, the base games like 30 or $40. This games like 20 or 25. So it’s cheaper to kind of pick up to you. Alright, and how about your fourth one?

Rodger Moore 19:13
Okay, my fourth one is from Garfield games slash Renegade. It’s a Raiders of scythia. Um, this is a store kind of historical themed game, based off of the Raiders of the North Sea, which is a Viking themed. It incorporates a lot of mechanics from Raiders. So if you played Raiders in the receive, this one’s gonna be really easy to pick up. And it just basically works off this once again, another worker placement game for me, I tend to kind of like post another thing. I’m starting to learn that that’s one of my favorite mechanics. It’s basically you put a worker down, take an action and then pick up a different worker in a different spot. And then take that action. This one’s kind of based in middle a Middle East and Asia. So you have like Persia and Greece and a Syria, it has some different factions and stuff like that. And they’ve incorporated some new mechanics, or basically, the Raiders of the North Sea had two expansions that they released with it. And they basically took and streamlined and incorporated it all into one game. And I really liked the way that it played. And it added a, you know, a few new things and stuff like that. So even being a science teacher, I tend to like history themed games, or civilization based games. So yeah,

Dustin Staats 20:38
I like those type of games, too. I mean, I played a lot of Civ on the computer game, the last few years, too. Alright, so forth. What was the publisher,

Rodger Moore 20:49
it’s Garp Hill Renegade, Garbo games, but I think you can really get it through Renegade games now.

Dustin Staats 20:56
Okay, cool. And my fourth is Holi festival colors. So I still I still have a lot to learn about this festival. But it was a nice introduction to what this festival is about. I knew of the festival already, but I had no idea kind of what it celebrated and what it meant. And the idea behind the festival, and playing the game. I mean, I feel like in the rulebook, like that’s one of the first things you read is what the festival is about, as a way to celebrate the end of winter. And they spread color as a way of celebrating New beginnings. So to be able to play the game and just kind of learn the idea of this festival and be familiar with this culture was something that was nice to do. There’s not a lot of outside of that there’s not a lot of other learning opportunities in the game, you kind of just have this introduction to what all the festival color is, and what the idea of the festival is. But in the game, it’s very much a area control game. puzzle game. It’s not a learning game, per se. So it does, I do really enjoy this and I love the games do kind of help you introduce you to new cultures and new ideas and other other games similar to this. So that’s Holly festival colors, and I think that’s, that’s gonna be floodgate games. Okay,

Rodger Moore 22:20
I’m not even familiar with that one.

Dustin Staats 22:23
Yeah, it came out on Kickstarter last for early this year, or too early 2020 or 2021. Now, and I got it, maybe about two months ago. Wow. So towards the end of the 2020. Alright, how about your last one?

Rodger Moore 22:40
my last one kind of creeped in. At the end. I don’t know why always. Sometimes I sometimes like a lighter game will kind of grab my attention. But this one is via Magica. It is actually based on the game Augustus. And the designer is Paolo Mori, who has done several games, I really liked it. He did a game last year called blitzkrieg to player 20 minute, World War Two game is really good. He’s got another game called gods of war that I really like. This one’s a little different, though. It’s kind of a magic based game. And once again, the stuff that I’m learning as I really like this simultaneous kind of gameplay where, you know, there’s not a lot of dead time. And you kind of have to think on your feet a little bit, which I which I tend to enjoy as well. You’re basically trying to complete these portal cards. And why you’re doing that is by collecting these resources that you’re going to use to complete them. But the resources are drawn out of a bag and everybody gets to use whatever comes out. So it’s like air, water, fire, Shadow, and earth. And so when that comes out, you get to put it on one of the cards and I like you don’t get stuck because even if you’ve got all your spots taken, you can move them around, you could like shift something to get like another one comes out. Oh, and then it’s just a race to complete seven of these, these portals. But I don’t know why. I mean, it’s kind of simple, but it just for me, it was fun. And I played it probably over a dozen times already. And I just started playing it like about a week or two ago. So it kind of kind of creeped out on my list and s

Dustin Staats 24:27
aw something snuck in. Yep. Again, for instance, just before the end. Awesome. So as via Magica and the publisher on that one.

Rodger Moore 24:35
Yeah, I think it’s all a fun Tay and reflex shop is three publishers that are involved in that one.

Dustin Staats 24:43
And my fifth one, all of the science based games in our store, so for me, that was a big learning process was developing and helping put those resources on our site and being able to see The resources that you’ve kind of created in going through that as a, I guess, quote unquote student and kind of looking at it as a teacher and seeing what you had come up with and kind of looking at it as a editor. And that whole process of bringing it onto the site really taught me a lot, and even learning some little things within the games, too, that you had asked some questions on some of the sheets. Like we played nerd Ward science at the beginning of the year, I remember learning some different science vocabulary. But yeah, so I would say all kind of all the science based games that we have on our stores been a big learning opportunity for me personally, both as a guest owner and Board Gaming with Education, kind of bringing that together. And then also, just learning little things about the science games, too.

Rodger Moore 25:49
Right, right. Yeah, those are those are all really good. I think you’re so you’re kind of really mentioned in most of the genius stuff that we have.

Dustin Staats 25:56
Yeah,

Rodger Moore 25:57
we have some other stuff in there, too. But a lot of the games we have are from them.

Dustin Staats 26:01
Yeah, our sinespace games, or it looks like the publishers, we have our genius games, Looney labs in North Star writing. And element poker, too. That’s engaged games. Yeah. And then, I guess, I mean, this is something we’ll talk about next year, we’ll be moving into other content areas of this year is ELA and ESL will be our next content area for designing resources. And we’re always updating our resources. Like we had designed some resources for the science based games. And then you actually went back and looked at some other ideas we could add to the game. So we added, for example, the Looney labs. So the flux games, we added, create your own flux game based off of, for example, chemistry flux, and then looking at what kind of cards you can create, to make your own game and have your students create their own game for chemistry flux. Awesome. So those are our five games that we’ve learned something from this year. Do you have any, like, one kind of insight or one last thing you’d want to share about 2020? And the games you played? Like? Is there anything that kind of really stood out about any of the games you’ve played? Or, in general, the board game hobby?

Rodger Moore 27:17
Well, I think it’s just, it’s kind of been the challenge, I think, this year of trying to get some of those played. Right. And that, I, I think there’s been a once again, I think there’s there’s been a lot of stuff that’s come out, that’s really good. But, you know, it’s just been that, that difficulty of kind of getting into the table, unless, you know, I think a lot of those games have somehow found a way to port some way digitally, whether it went to a board game arena. And there’s some other board game sites too, that I’m actually on, but they don’t tabletop simulator table topia or something like that, you know, so that you could, you could kind of play it in or at least get a sense of it. But I think that’s probably why some of the games probably might have more popularity, but it’s just people that just haven’t had a chance to play them. I know, there’s a couple right now that are, that are really popular, that are really hard to get even at the board game store, I work out and that’s that Dune, Imperium and lost legends of our neck might have missed the name of that one up, but you know, similar to, they’re both worker placement deck builders, but once again, just tough for people to, to play him and try to get your hands on him. And I think that’s the other thing destined to, you know, just working at a board game store, at least seen it from that standpoint, at least from a publishing standpoint, that it’s been kind of difficult because things got slowed down and distribution and right. You know, sometimes we would get a hold of something, and finally get it in and then it just sells out. And then we having problems getting, you know, more copies, I think it’ll happen but I think that’s all obviously, you know, the pandemic really threw through a wrench and a lot of that kind of thing and it being really a socially interactive hobby. You know, I think that’s made it very challenging. And I think some people have had to, you know, resort some interesting ways to do it. I mean, it gets some people I can’t play digital games, I get it, but I do it because at least it gives me a little bit that fix at least I’m having some interaction with people, but it doesn’t replace the in person interactions you have with it by any means. But for now, I can I can. I can do it. You know, it’s it’s better than not plan at all. Oh,

Dustin Staats 29:52
yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s one thing. I guess a couple things. You mentioned that things that I can say that I learned from myself. Learn this year is one. I love board games I love playing and meeting and hanging out online to play board games. But I don’t think I’m the only one when I say this, that it’s kind of draining sometimes when you because it’s a very different experience that that remote virtual experience. And I don’t know, it’s it’s been easy for me to devote to default to just playing video games instead. Because it’s kind of designed for that experience. But it depends on the game, like I mentioned with kings dilemma that has worked really well and also mothership role playing game, I think those kind of more off the table games work really well in a virtual environment. But yeah, I think it’s been hard for that. And then another thing you mentioned is like getting games. One thing that that I’m still learning how to figure out is how to carry inventory, and how much inventory of different games we should carry. Because you mentioned the distribution being tougher. And I mean, we have one game NaVi that was really popular over the holidays. And we sold out and I still have, we still have a couple customers who are waiting for copies and trying to figure out how to find copies of the game. And this is new, new experience for me. So figuring out how to get games to customers that are looking for them. But yeah, that’s something hopefully I’ll figure out in the next couple of slides.

Rodger Moore 31:26
I like I said, I think I think a lot of board game stores are going through the same thing. You know, it’s not like really exclusive to you into the store I work for, you know, I’m sure that’s pretty, pretty common across the board. You know, ours that goes and I mean, kind of going back to you mentioning that the plane digitally can be draining, I totally agree with you. You know, it’s just whatever you like, but I I I just would hypothesize that. I think people probably if they’re playing digitally, at least, when I’ve done it with people or whatever, unless it’s something you really enjoy. And it’s got some good digital implementation that kind of does some of the heavy lifting for you a little bit that that’s a little more difficult to do in a digital platform that people are really gravitating to more quicker play games, or ones that where a lot of this stuff is kind of done for you. That’s kind of what’s nice about board gamer Rino. Or if you’re on, you know table topia or tabletop simulator, if somebody’s written a script, which basically they’ve done some of the like in between turn things like it takes care of you don’t have to sort through all the pieces and reset the board and repass out cards or whatever it might be. If it’s done like that, it’s totally fine. And I like I tended to like games that are a little bit shorter, as well, when you’re playing on the digital, it’s just a little more draining and might not have. So like I have to pick up and move so many different pieces. You know, I think that can be daunting. And I think that’s maybe it’ll turn some people away too. Because if you haven’t played table topia or tabletop simulator, that can be pretty daunting. And I know I worked. I did a couple of virtual conventions this year and helped run one that was the one that I have here. We did one online and, you know, teaching people that stuff and whatever. And I know it’s tough, you know, and it just, you just got to be patient. And I mean, if you are you can still have a fun experience, I think but like I said, it’s still not going to replace the in person play. Right, right.

Dustin Staats 33:32
All right. Well, I’m excited for next week, because we’re going to talk about 2020 and looking at 2021 for Board Gaming with Education. Roger, thank you again for sharing your top five games that taught you something.

Rodger Moore 33:45
Absolutely.

Dustin Staats 33:46
And if you’re free on Fridays, you’re listening to this, come join me on Instagram. I’m looking for more people to engage in our community there. So if you want to come say hi, I’m always curious what games you’re playing. So that’s a really easy way to come. Let me know what games you’re playing. If, if I’m missing a game that might be good for our store? Let Roger I know. And Roger, where might someone reach out to you if they want to connect?

Rodger Moore 34:12
Um, well, I think probably just through the I mean, the Facebook group, I think works pretty well. But then the email to Roger at Board Gaming with Education awesome.com works as well. So give me give me there on that email. When I try and remember to be sure.

Dustin Staats 34:31
Yeah, no, yeah, it’s your email. Yeah, in the Facebook group is is game based learning gamification and games in education is our Facebook group, or you can find it under our Facebook page Board Gaming with Education and it’ll be linked to our Facebook page too. All right. So as always, thank you for listening and we’ll be back next week.

Board Gaming with Education 34:55
Thank you for listening in this week. If you like what you heard, be sure to let us know you can find us on Social media as Board Gaming with Education or BGP games or email us at podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. If you want to support our podcast Be sure to check out our support page on our website. As always teach better learn more and most importantly, play more. Thank you for listening and until next time

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