The Spiel is a show about games and the people who love them. Each episode, we review and discuss a new board game or card game. Each game reviewed receives a Major Fun or Spiel of Approval award, our badge of quality. Older episodes (220 and earlier) feature a variety show format with game reviews and interviews. We here at The Spiel know fun. We are passionate about play as an essential and often forgotten part of life as we grow. Our goal is open a door to the wider world of games to as many people as we can. Have a listen. I hope you'll be inspired to find a friend and play!
June 26, 2017
A review of Beasts of Balance written by Stephen Conway. Beasts of Balance is a playful hybrid of analog and digital games. It combines the simple act of stacking with technological elements that enhance and expand gameplay in fun and unexpected ways.
June 13, 2017
Tricky Trunks embraces two simple ideas: find the pattern, collect plastic balls BUT... no hands allowed! Use this kooky elephant head instead. The game is a joy to play and most emphatically Major Fun!
June 1, 2017
Every adventurer has a story. In Roll Player, you craft a hero for the ages, one die roll at a time. Part puzzle, part press your luck, Roll Player offers fun decisions even if you can't tell an orc from an elf or a scimitar from a Bohemian earspoon!
May 26, 2017
A review of Ninja Camp written by Stephen Conway. Whether you’re a hamster, a sloth or a platypus, Sensei Saru can teach you to master the arts of the shadow warrior. Enter the card arena for a grand melee and score the most to win the Sensei's favor.
May 15, 2017
Picassimo is a party game where players create, disassemble and reassemble works of art. You’ll draw on a 6 part canvas and then mix up the parts. Hopefully someone can still see the essence of the drawing and guess the subject of your art!
May 1, 2017
Lorenzo de Medici was Florence's favorite son and father of the Renaissance. But he didn't do it alone. Guide your family to power by sending your family to sponsor new developments. But beware the Pope. Show your faith or risk the wrath of the Church!
April 24, 2017
A review of The Great Dinosaur Rush written by Stephen Conway. Each player is a famous fossil hunter searching the prairie for bones. You will use these bones to physically build your own dinosaur each turn, hoping to score big in the museum exhibit.
April 17, 2017
Being King isn't easy. Some subjects like the forest, some like the swamp. It's your job to make sure they all have a place in your realm. Kingdomino mixes the classic tile laying game with several simple, clever modern twists.
April 3, 2017
In Black Orchestra, you are a member of a conspiracy that plots to kill Hitler before and during WW 2. You do this by gaining enough motivation and courage to go through with the deed without drawing too much suspicion to yourself and your compatriots.
March 27, 2017
A review of Double Play written by Stephen Conway. Double Play is a set of word games with a twist. Every card in the deck is actually two letters depending on the direction you play the card.
March 13, 2017
Tak comes to us from writer Patrick Rothfuss and designer James Ernest. Tak is universal, simple, elegant and accessible. A game that you can play anywhere, with anyone. A game that is beautiful because HOW you play matters as much as winning or losing.
March 1, 2017
1885. A bomb explodes in Parliament. Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes have 7 days to build a case to prove the innocence or guilt of a young man. Collect sets of evidence by selecting actions on character cards from Doyle's novels. May the best detective win!
Feb. 24, 2017
A review of Imagine written by Stephen Conway. Imagine is a party game where players use the language of symbols to communicate. Here's the twist. You can layer the transparent cards to create complex images or animate the cards to create a small story.
Feb. 13, 2017
Game of Trains is a fast fun card game. Your futuristic train can't leave the station until all the cars are arranged from low to high. The artwork includes tons of nerdy references but the game itself is easy enough for your grandma to play and enjoy.
Feb. 6, 2017
Hanamikoji is a brilliant 2 player card game. You are restaurateur, trying to hire talented geishas. The beauty of the game is its simplicity. Four simple actions combine in various ways to create surprising, challenging and fun decisions on every turn.
Dec. 24, 2016
Crotch chocolate, Mornington Crescent, bad jokes and The Ghost of Board Games Past. Join our party of misift nerds for a festive, freewheeling conversation spanning the wide world geekdom. Most of all, be ready to laugh!
Dec. 19, 2016
Honshu is a map building card game set in feudal Japan and powered by a clever trick-taking mechanic. Each card you win must overlap with cards already in your domain. This means each card becomes a challenging mini-puzzle to solve.
Dec. 12, 2016
A review of Junk Art written by Stephen Conway. Junk Art is a stacking game with fresh twist. It's really a dozen different games in one box. Your goal is to take random objects and build them into beautiful structures to meet different challenges.
Dec. 5, 2016
A review of Anaxi written by Stephen Conway. Anaxi is a party game. Anaxi is a word game. In fact, it’s both. Anaxi celebrates the venerable Venn diagram by making the diagrams into engines for fun. Read on to find out why Anaxi is Major Fun!
Nov. 29, 2016
A review of Animals on Board written by Stephen Conway. A big flood is coming and so, you have decided to build an ark. Only problem is some guy named Noah got started way before you and he is claiming pairs of animals to take with him.