Board Games and Pencil & Paper Games
#1 job for parents: establish a culture of board gaming in the home
Runnerup Game of the Year
Jon Perry's Air Land & Sea impressed me immediately with its inspired rule that allows players to withdraw from a battle at any time. The game improves with play as the first games will be slowed down because each card has critical text... however there are only 18 cards in total. This game is a gem for those with a limited budget.
Game of the Year
Elizabeth Hargrave's Wingspan does not have the most innovative mechanisms, but it is infused with natural beauty like no other game I've played. Unlike all previous winners, the game did not "wow" me on the first play, but over many plays, I came to love the anticipation of each new bird entering play. It is a sumptuous game.
Canadian Game Store
Because of my connections in both the board game industry and education, I can offer school libraries and school classrooms in Canada large discounts on bulk orders of games. Instead of giving you a huge selection, I've chosen my favourites - excluding my own game designs like Santorini so I can remain unbiased. These beautiful games will jumpstart your school's dedication to problem-solving in a way that math worksheets only dream about 😉
For schools outside of Canada - I cannot compete with Amazon - so it is best for you to take the games here and order online or preferably seek out a local game store to support. For Canadian schools, I can significantly undercut Amazon.ca only by offering bulk sales.
Visit www.boardgamegeek.com for ratings of thousands of board games.
Santorini is as much a part of my legacy as MathPickle. It arrived in homes across the world in January 2017 and is currently ranked as one of the top family games and the top pure strategy games on board game geek. It fills me with joy that it is finally being published after over thirty years of trying. I was a game designer long before becoming a mathematician and these game design skills are most helpful in designing MathPickle puzzles. Long live board games 😉
Big thanks to Roxley Games for publishing Santorini!
Starting in January 2017, I’ll be the first contact of new game designers in Calgary with the Game Artisans of Canada. Creating a quality game from scratch is hard and should probably not be attempted in school. Much better is to get students to design cards for an existing quality game like Star Realms or Dominion.
The most important distinction for educators is to decide if a game is good for the classroom or is better left for the home. The video on the left highlights the properties of classroom games as it takes you through a journey through several great games.
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This is a starting point showing how memes in board game design replicated over time. I’d love to make this a giant map of games some time in the future when I have better graphing software. See a higher resolution pdf here.
This is an older version. See a higher resolution pdf here. You can see the mess of connections makes it very hard to beautifully render the connections. In the solution above arrows and overlap both mean that a meme is shared.
Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact me. I'll give you credit and kudos 😉 If you are using MathPickle with adults, please mention the website. If you are from a private school, please ask parents or administrators to donate.