Episode 428 - Lacrimosa

Release Date: October 27, 2023

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Running Time:   180 min

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Mozart’s untimely death leaves his family in crisis. How can they survive financially without the maestro? His wife Constanze has a plan: publish a memoir and find composers to finish his last great work... the Requiem.

In Lacrimosa, you play as one of Mozart’s dear friends. Over the course of five rounds you'll compete to gather accolades and respect, and in doing so,  insure the future of Mozart's family.

You'll recount your memories and travels with Mozart and the many musical works you commissioned. All these details will end up in Constanze's memoir, insuring your legacy.

You’ll also find and pay composers to complete the Requiem. Without your help, Mozart’s last work would still sit unfinished.

May the best patron win!


Brandon Jones, Professor of Music and Music Dept. Chair at Wittenberg University, provides us with a historical prologue to enhance our understanding of Mozart's life - a radio play including his entire family (wife, Stephanie and daughters Ravyn and Alaina). He also joins us for a rousing discussion of the game.

Paco Garcia from GMS Magazine and So Play We All gives us a report from the International Game Fair in Essen Germany.

Bruce Voge finds gold in the latest installment of Flickin' Around, exploring the "Guitar Hero of gold panning games," Klondike!

Art Credit: Photo by master1305  licensed through Adobe Stock (no generative AI used)

Episode 427 - Thunder Road: Vendetta

Release Date: August 29, 2023

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Running Time:   130 min

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This road is freedom. This road is escape. But only for one. For the rest it is ruin!

There are no rest stops. Hard charging waves of mayhem and destruction push you ever-forward, never sure what lies beyond the horizon.  You must keep rolling.

This road calls to you - its voice, the sound of furious thunder.

Thunder Road: Vendetta is a reboot of a beloved roll and move car crashing game from the 1980s. Each player starts with 3 vehicles and a chopper. Who will survive this perilous race down Route Sixty Styx?


Brett Myers, co-designer of Thunder Road: Vendetta joins us for a delicious installment of The Meal. We offer up three tasty recipes and games to pair with each one.

Alex Hart from Might I Suggest a Game? joins Doug for our semi-regular game show - Game Night Grab Bag. Each contestant must draft 3 wine-themed titles from a shared library of games.

Episode 426 - Four Corners

Release Date: August 28, 2023

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Running Time:   130 min

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Four Corners is a puzzle hunt in a phone booth.

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

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


Our cooking segment The Meal returns with three courses and three game selections, courtesy of Doug, Marc Specter from Grand Gamer's Guild and Paco Garcia from GMS Magazine and So Play We All.

We also take a trip on the TARDIS to learn about another game that is bigger on the inside.

Episode 425 - Mid-Season Round Up

Release Date: June 30, 2023

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Running Time:  228 min

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We finish the first half of Season 18 with a flourish - a variety show jam-packed with quality conversations and plenty of fun and games!

First, we give you a peek behind the scenes with a rousing discussion of our game evaluation process and the criteria we use with our award programs.

Then, we feature five different segments!

A Game Night Grab Bag with the amazing Chris Goodlet (The Charity Boardgamer). Our challenge? 3 games everyone will want to play multiple times in an evening.

In TARDIS Games, Doug introduces us to another big game in a small box.

Francie Broadie joins us for The Meal  with a delectable recipe and game recommendation.

Flickin' Around is Bruce Voge's love letter to dexterity games. This time we learn all about Klask.

Last but certainly not least, Mike McMann gives us a report from Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio - filled with lots of games (new and old) and maybe a few martinis...

Thanks to all the wonderful Spielers who made this episode happen. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did putting it together.

Episode 424 - Rise

Release Date: June 24, 2023

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Running Time:   42 min

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In Rise, you are responsible for the economic and social development of a city. Here, you can dive into Politics, Industry, and Banking. Or, you might encourage development in Culture and Schools. Be sure of this: each choice you make will ripple across the whole city. Can you look far enough ahead to avoid unintended results?

Rise forces us to live in a world where our actions have consequences, both good and bad. Advancing in banking will make you money–and may drive the people into the streets. Pushing up the Industry track will earn points, and degrade the Environment.

The remedy for these is to push ahead with advances in Education and Culture. Your goal isn’t to make more money (although money will help). It isn’t to make more stuff. Your goal is to make stuff better for everyone.


Episode 423 - Velonimo

Release Date: June 23, 2022

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Running Time:  25 min

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

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

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

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


Episode 422 - Hand-to-Hand Wombat

Release Date:  June 22, 2023

Download: PDF

Designer: Cory O'Brien  Art: Matthew Inman

Publisher: Exploding Kittens

3-7 players  | 15 min  |  ages 7+  | 3 min to learn | MSRP $26


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

Read on to explore the ridiculousness of Hand to Hand Wombat, a game that proudly waves the banner for the silliest kind of Major Fun.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 421 - Tiletum

Release Date: June 21, 2023

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Running Time:   51 min

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Starting from  a small town in Belgium (Tiletum), you are a merchant seeking prosperity across the continent.

You will travel from city to city to establish trade houses and fulfill contracts for wool and iron. Along the way you will gather gold, food, and stone, and invest in the construction of cathedrals. You will also seek to gain the favor of noble families, and amass a staff of skilled workers, hoping their talents and influence will advance your interests.

The highlight of every merchant’s calendar is the Fair, held in a different city at the end of each year.  Plan well and you'll arrive just in time to profit from each one. But beware the King is always watching and he very difficult to please.

It's an intense and complicated balancing act to build a successful trade empire. Listen in to take a deep dive into Tiletum and discover why it earns our highest honor: The Spiel of Approval.


Episode 420 - Broken & Beautiful

Release Date:  June 20, 2023

Download: PDF

Designer: Patrick Rauland  Art: Shirley Gong

Publisher: Left Justified

2-4 players  | 15 min  |  ages 12+  | 5 min to learn | MSRP $16


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

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

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

Read on to to explore the hidden beauty we find in this humble deck of cards.


Written review continues after the break.

Episode 419 - Starship Captains

Release Date: June 19, 2023

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Running Time:  43 min

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The years of training and sacrifice have all lead to this moment - the big chair - your first command of a starship! Stepping onto the bridge of this small cruiser, your crew - a team of dedicated beings from planets across the Cooperative - await your orders.

Each mission will require your leadership and many tough decisions as you explore the vast unknown sectors of space. Which crew to assign to away missions? Who to promote? What technology to install and upgrade your ship? When to confront pirates to clear the shipping lanes? How best to negotiate with strange new worlds and civilizations, hoping to welcome them into the galactic community?

Starship Captains crams a galaxy's worth of adventure into one box! Your success in the game will come from how well you're able to direct your crew. The challenge is not just deciding which crew to perform a task or mission, but what order you want to deploy them. It will take all your talent to find the right balance. No doubt, the Captain who ranks highest will soon lead the flagship of the Fleet!