In Eight Games different board gamers share the eight games they’d select in eight different situations. The links are given to Board Game Geek listings for you to find out more. 


This month Trent Howell, chooses his eight games. Trent leads The Board Game Family – a family of 6 who have been doing video and written reviews of family board games for over 10 years. Having shared reviews of more than 500 games, they know a few things about great games for different situations.

See for tons of fun family game suggestions and full game reviews.

Trent Howell

1: A game to take to granny’s house:
A family friendly afternoon.

Tsuro is a fantastic game to take to granny’s house because people of all ages can play, and you can carry on conversations while you play! It has simple rules and up to 8 players can join in the fun.

Players create paths for their pawns to follow by laying a tile in front of their pawn each turn and then moving their pawn along to the end of the new path section. If your pawn follows a path off the edge of the board, you’re eliminated. The last pawn on the board is the winner. Because games of Tsuro don’t last long, you’ll also be drawn to play it over and over. 

Watch our video review of Tsuro.

2: A game to take to a restaurant:
Play around the drinks and cutlery.

Mamma Mia!
BGG Listing

What better way to spend time waiting for your food at a restaurant than building your own pizzas?

Mamma Mia! is a simple card game that’s easy to take with you to a restaurant and it doesn’t take up much table space.

Players have a hand of pizza order cards and ingredients. On their turns, players add ingredient cards to the central “oven” pile. When they think there are enough of the right ingredients in the oven, they can add in an Order card. When the oven cards are checked at the end of each round, only those orders that have the right ingredients will score. It’s a game of memory, luck, and strategy that’s quick to play while you wait – whether you’re at a pizza restaurant or not.

Watch our video review of Mamma Mia!

3: A game to take to a reunion:
Some people you want to chat to, others… not so much.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis
BGG Listing

The name of this game alone will have many people nodding their heads in agreement that the main goal they have for a family reunion is to Survive.

Survive is a game about trying to escape a sinking island with waters full of peril.

In Survive you’re trying to save as many of your pawns as you can by getting them safely to the surrounding islands, by boat or by swimming, before the volcano destroys everything. And along the way, you try to stop your opponents from doing the same by attacking their boats with whales, gobbling up their swimmers with sharks, or attacking both boat and people with sea serpents.

Doesn’t that sound like the perfect activity for your next reunion?

Watch our video review of Survive.

4: A game to take to a primary school:
Arm yourself with multiple copies and take over a whole classroom.

Slide Blast
BGG Listing

There’s little arguing that kids love summer break. Sure, they may be in school now, but that shouldn’t stop them from playing a game about water slides!

Slide Blast is a tile-laying game where players add water slide tiles to extend their slide on every turn. The longer the slide, the more points you’ll earn. You can also earn bonus points by helping other players extend their slide as well. The rules are simple enough for players of all ages to understand. And the game theme is sure to appeal to everyone.

Kids will have a great time building their own water slides over and over. Like with most tile-laying games, whether you win or lose, in the end it’s so cool to see what you’ve built over the course of the game.

Read our full review of Slide Blast.

5: A game to take to a youth club:
Hook in the next generation of board gamers.

Castle Panic
BGG Listing

The most important thing in the world to youth is themselves! That’s why playing a game that requires them to work together is the perfect fit for a youth club.

And the best motivation to work together is when you’re all under attack. That’s where Castle Panic delivers!

In Castle Panic you’re trying to defend your Castle from the onslaught of goblins, orcs, and trolls. And at the rate they come at you, you’ll find yourself in Panic mode pretty much right from the start. It’s a healthy, fun kind of panic of course. Everyone must work together to make sure at least one of the castle walls in the center of the board remains standing after dispatching with all the marauding monsters.

Watch our video review of Castle Panic.

6: A game to take to a job interview:
Demonstrate your best qualities and answer questions while you play? (This really should be a thing)

Match Madness
BGG Listing

Nailing a job interview comes down to how well the applicant and the hiring team match. If there’s a good match, great things will happen.

Or you could throw in a bit of competition and see how quickly applicant and hiring manager can find and build visual patterns with Match Madness!

In Match Madness players race to solve patterns using their set of colourful, chunky blocks. There are two different ways to play Match Madness. Either way you play, all players get their own set of the same blocks to use. Each block contains 4 sets of paired symbols that are different on every block. The challenge of the game is to match up your blocks with the pattern displayed on the cards before your opponents can do the same.

We’ll give you bonus points if you’re applying for a job that requires quick recognition and fast thinking. Because that’s exactly what this game rewards.

Read our full review of Match Madness.


7: A game to take to a hospital:
No brain-power needed.

Dr. Eureka
BGG Listing

Hospitals can be pretty boring places. But while you’re there, you might as well play doctor yourself!

In Dr. Eureka, players are scientist working for the famed doctor. Players race to help him complete his experiments by placing the right elements together in their test tubes in the correct order. But the winner isn’t always the person moving the fastest – because solving the patterns requires some thinking too. It’s a good thing the balls and test tubes are nice and durable because Dr. Eureka is a fast-paced game people love to play over and over.

8: A game to take to a cabin in the woods:
You have lots of time and lots of space.

Dead Men Tell No Tales
BGG Listing

Just thinking about a cabin in the woods conjures thoughts of scary events about to unfold. Because in almost every movie about a cabin in the woods, someone is going to die.

Which makes it the perfect setting for playing a thematic game with imminent doom. And one of our favorite thematic games with the pressure on the line is Dead Men Tell No Tales.

It may be a pirate-themed game, but it’s still so very perfect for the woods too.

Players take on roles of pirates storming a ship for treasures – after they’ve set the ship on fire! They must work together to grab all the loot from the remaining skeleton crew before it’s too late. Because if you’re unable to search the whole ship, if there are too many explosions, if deckhands overrun the ship, or you if run out of pirate crew before you grab all the loot, you’re done for. But, if you can somehow manage to escape all those terrors and get off the ship alive, you’ll all win together!

Watch our video review of Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Connect with Trent in these ways:

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Note: Ellie Dix’s book, The Board Game Family, is nothing to do with Trent and his family. We just both picked a good name.

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