Best Family Board Games – What to BUY, what to AVOID -

Best Family Board Games – What to BUY, what to AVOID

Board Game Dad
Views: 9820
Like: 204
The search for the best family board games continues! Today, I’ll compare several popular and new board games, explaining why you may want to buy some and ignore the hype and pass on others.

In this video, I’ll compare each game against five attributes: theme, mechanics, luck, strategy, and complexity. If you’d like to learn more about this rating system or even try searching for board games against this criteria, check out


Many of the games in this video I discovered on It’s a great place to try new games (often for free, though I have a premium account) before you buy them.


I am not paid for these reviews, neither do I receive free copies of games. But, when you use my affiliate links, I do receive a small commission from Amazon. That puts wind in my sails and keeps this channel going. Thank you!

7 Wonders Architects:


The Isle of Cats:

My City:


0:00 – Introduction
0:41 – About the games in this list
1:21 – 7 Wonders Architects Review:

3:30 – Ratings for 7 Wonders Architects
4:13 – Draftosaurus Review
6:39 – Ratings for Draftosaurus
7:11 – The Isle of Cats Review:
8:55 – My City Board Game Review Review
11:35 – Comparing the Rating of Isle of Cats and My City
13:09 – Wingspan Review
14:37 – Ratings for Wingspan
14:50 – Gizmos Board Game Review
16:26 – Ratings for Gizmos
17:02 – Summary


  1. The isle of cats is one of the best games ever

  2. Family games to avoid : My Little Syche. the game is such a bore. According to my kids (5 &7) the best kid game they have ever played is Downfall of Pompeii. Fun for adults as well. Check it out.

  3. Wow I don't think I could disagree more on the 7 wonders.I could never teach 7 wonders base game to my family. Duel maybe but I find duel to be even more luck based than Architects. At least in Architects you always have three options to pick, potentially 4 with your civ power. In duel you literally can have 2 sometimes, no way to mitigate it, and sometimes are stuck taking something you have zero desire for because what's under it might hand the game over to the other player. Even in the bigger sections you will at best be tied in options with about 4 cards to choose from, but in reality you are picking either what benefits you the most or what benefits your opponent the least, which makes the choices far less than they seem.

  4. I attempted to learn 7 wonders by myself and was overwhelmed. I knew my husband who doesn't love board games would never want to play that so we picked up 7WA instead and have both really enjoyed it! I think you have to look at it for what it is-a simplified and stripped down version of the original. I'm excited to teach my kids 7WA as well and then later maybe we can tackle the original as a family.

  5. Ur channel has great video topics and i enjoy ur way of discussing

  6. game becomes among the best selling games in the last 3 years because of its themeyoutubers: "Yeah the game's theme is a 2"Yall fucking stupid.

  7. Just picked up gizmos the other day! Can’t wait to play it with the kids!

  8. Interesting point of view on Wingspan. I can play it with my kids. But my wife and SIL like it. Wingspan is often compared with Everdale. How does that sit in this context?

  9. It makes me want to host a board game night at home ! In addition, I could trap my frends to play my local multiplayer game… ehehe

  10. Build with TI’TAINS - Next-Level Card Stacking says:

    Picked up ‘Gizmos’, a few days ago, on your recommendation, Ben…Looking forward to playing it with my kiddos for the first time today! My boys (9 and 5 y/o) have been loving ‘Ticket to Ride – First Journey’; we have played (2) x 30 min + games of it, already, this morning!

  11. One of my biggest issue with isle of cats is the artwork. Those cats look like they are suffering from radioactive poisoning

  12. I enjoyed this. Isle if Cats at first I felt was really good and I he’d onto it in case I played w family or kids, but after playing other games I have no desire to play again. It’s cluttered and there is a lot of drag. I recommend the game for gamers, but not families. It left my collection.

  13. I only agree with 7WA here 😊 Absolutely a let down for me coming from loving 7WD and being ok on 7W. Draftosaurus is incredible to me.
    I’d rather play IoC than My City (I like the drafting of cards but agree that it somewhat slows the game) and would much rather play Wingspan than Gizmos – although I still really enjoy the latter. But I’m biased on the fact that Wingspan is my 3rd favorite game of all time 😬

  14. Yeah, online sites like BGA, yucata, boiteajeux and yourturnmyturn allow you to test out different games before buying them.

  15. Interesting video, good job with fair criticisms and I really like how you offered your favored alternatives.

    Underrated: Dice Hospital
    Underrated #2: Kingdomino Duel (my family really enjoys this one. We write in using colored pencils & it has elevated the game even more)

  16. Again hats off to your clear and systematic analysis. Really straight to the point and efficient. Thank you for the nice work. Keep it up. Would love to see more from you.

  17. Wingspan made me realize I don't like engine building as a mechanic. I also think that game is really lucky. But it's worst sin is that it's isolating. No interaction whatsoever. Everyone is just staring down at their own board waiting until their turn comes around. It's beautiful but dull and lonely.

  18. I respect your opinion but I think totally the opposite

  19. Great method of reviewing games! I love love wingspan but I'm definitely putting Gizmos on my wishlist because it looks great too! I haven't played any of the others but it's really nice having someone say "this over that" I stead of just rating them with a number. Thank you!

  20. You're literally wearing a shirt with HUGE Wingspan and Isle of Cats "endorsements" by your neck 🙂

  21. I personally think Gizmos is a better game even without considering the family game angle. Gizmos distills the fun combo-y experience but not at the expense of “good” complexity. Wingspan is more complex than Gizmos only because it is more fiddly, and it has a less intuitive more spread out scoring system.

    They both have a “choose 1 out of 4 actions” on your turn structure. Gizmos gameplay and scoring is just more clear cut, the only points are on the cards. Yet I don’t think your choices are any less important or structurally significant to your engine building than in Wingspan.

  22. 7 wonders architects was such a let down but I could actually tell it was going to be before I bought it. I still bought it anyways and felt really dumb after. There is just no decisions to make.

    Draftosaurus was a fail for us as well, just too simple. Gave it to a niece.

    Boomerang is a drafting game to check out.

    Isle of cats was even more of a let down. I am obsessed with polyomino games so I will buy almost every one to try. I just didn't find the puzzle aspect compelling and the drafting/card system added complexity but not much else.

    My City is amazing, hands down!

    Scarabya is a lesser known polyomino game I have played over 100 times.

    Wingspan is beautiful and I get the love but it just makes me want to play terraforming Mars.

    Gizmos is good, I still have it, but I haven't been drawn back as much as some games.

    It's a wonderful world and even Aquatica are alternatives I would suggest.

  23. First time seeing a video from your channel. I very much enjoyed the space your focus fills in the board game hobby. My kids are just starting to reach the age where family-weight games (rather than just kids games) are becoming an option for us. I appreciate the info I'm getting here that I haven't seen in the other content I enjoy. Cheers!

  24. Completely agree with the Gizmos/Wingspan analysis! Gizmos is such a great design. Wingspan is beautiful but over rated/hyped

  25. Wingspan is very pretty but above my kids level. Thanks for these reviews! Keep them coming!

  26. I think wingspan is beautiful but you have to be in the mood to play a long time, I do enjoy learning about the birds though. I’ve only played gizmos once and wasn’t particularly impressed, it was fine but not one I would buy or even suggest playing but it’s not a terrible game if others want to play.

  27. Kinda agree on Seven Wonders Architects. My main issue with this game is that most of the time you take from the question mark deck, because you don't want to uncover card of your opponent's deck and this makes sometimes those decks completelly useless. We had lots of gamepleys when question mark deck ran out of cards because no one wanted to use other decks. This happened while playing with my kids and on BGA, so this game is all about having luck, and much less about strategy.
    BUT… my 5-year old son loves this game. This one and Kingdomino are his favourites. So maybe there is something appealing to kids in such age (building perhaps?), but for me it's rather painful experience.
    We played Draftosaurus and while I enjoyed it, my kid wasn't impressed. Sadly.

  28. I found Barenpark is a tile placement game my kids and I enjoy. Haven't played Isle of cats or My City but looks like very similar mechanics but your building a park with bears.

  29. The rough thing about Draftosaurus is that it has a hard cap at 5 players 😞 I don’t mind taking away the pick-and-pass mechanism from 7 Wonders, it’s often too much information for new gamers. Really the reason I dislike games like Terraforming Mars, they give you a butt load of cards and expect you to figure out which to keep or discard

  30. I saw Isle of Cats and I just didn't understand how it was rated so high. It just seemed so complex for what it was trying to do, but I also thought I was the only one seeing this. Really concise and to-the-point presentation. Sub'd

  31. Completely disagree about cats, cards make huge difference by adding strategy, you might win a game with minimum cats on the board but with right cards in hands.

  32. Really love your channel. Lots of info but delivered perfectly! New Subscriber here!

  33. LOVE Draftosaurus. We play it often in our game group and one that is always with me. We always end up saying, “ one more game”.

  34. I would have liked an alternative bird themed game, since that’s part of the attraction of Wingspan. I absolutely love birds, but have not bought Wingspan because I haven’t been convinced the gameplay is as good as the bird theme. We do like Sibley Bird Bingo. No complexity there, just fun.

  35. Wingspan is really pretty and fun the first time around and then it’s… so boring because you’re playing by yourself surrounded by people 🤷🏽‍♀️

  36. I agree with all of this HOWEVER, wingspan with ALL the expansions changes it soooo much that it feels fresh on every play. Give it another chance if you have the opportunity to try the them.

  37. I personally enjoy wingspan and will purchase gizmos since it also looks promising and fun, thanks board game dad!

  38. I like your comparisons even i disagree with all of them 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.