Small Games, Big Ideas

Casual Games Interview with Chris and Melanie James 0 Comments

When I first connected with Chris and Melanie James on Kickstarter, they were looking to launch a new Casual Game Insider print magazine back in the summer of 2012. Board and card games have played a huge role in their lives, both when they were first dating and now as married designers, publishers, bloggers, and game enthusiasts, so I thought I'd sit down with them for a great conversation about married life, casual games, and what they're currently up to in Tucson, Arizona.

ROB BARTEL: Hi Chris, hi Melanie. Thanks for the interview! You’ve been having fun with my two-player card games for a little while now and you recently recommended them as great stocking stuffers on your Casual Game Revolution site. Tell me a bit about yourselves and the story behind your site.

MELANIE JAMES: Hi Rob! We started up Stratus Games back in 2009 to design and publish casual games and have published 5 games so far with much success. However, we soon saw a need to branch out and promote casual gaming across the whole industry, as we discovered that great casual games from many publishers were often glossed over by the board game industry at large. We decided to fill this gap by... More >>


Valentine's Day Two-Player Game Reviews 0 Comments

What better time of year than Valentine's to celebrate the best in two-player card games and the relationships they foster. I was reminded of this recently when a young couple reached out to me, wanting to place a bulk order of my card games as party favours and table decor for their upcoming wedding. "Your games are fun and small," they said. "We love that you can make a compelling game out of so few cards and would like to be able to share them with our wedding guests." When I explained that I could even customize the games to provide them with a unique keepsake and memento of their special day, they were thrilled. It's going to be a fun project to work with them on and it's a great reminder of the magic and romance that games can ... More >>

Super Bowl XLVIII predictions - Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos play Famous First Downs 0 Comments

This weekend's NFL Super Bowl XLVIII is looking to be a huge showdown between Peyton Manning's veteran Broncos and Russell Wilson's upstart Seahawks. The big talk is all about the cold weather, something we're all too familiar with up here with the Canadian Football League. Well I scraped the ice off my windshield this morning and drove over to my friend Paul's to predict the outcome with an epic game of Famous First Downs: The World's Smallest Football Game. We had a great time and decided we needed to play prediction games like these more often.

Given the importance of the prediction, we chose to play a double-length game, with each team getting a total of six possessions rather than the usual three. Paul chose to play as the Denver Broncos, while I claimed the Seattle Seahawks. He won the opening coin toss so the Broncos claimed the three offensive cards and received the kickoff to start the game.

Broncos vs Seahawks: First Quarter

Mimicking Peyton Manning's preference for a timing-based offense, Paul settled into a Full House formation, quickly gaining a couple of first downs and some valuable momentum with a handful of short passes. I was able to rally and block a couple of passes with... More >>

Video Reel: Retro Card Games in a Video Game Town 0 Comments

My good friend Stan and I sat down with a GlobalTV camera crew this past month at our local haunt, Edmonton's own TableTop Cafe. We played a quick game of Famous First Downs for the cameras (which Stan won with a last-minute field goal) and discuss the role games play in the social fabric of our city.

Stan and I both hail from the local video game industry where we both spent over a decade with BioWare, a highly successful Edmonton game studio which is now a part of popular sports game publisher, Electronic Arts. Casual board and card games were a common lunch time pursuit at the office and some of us would… More >>

Great Gift Ideas for the Special Sports Fans in Your Life 0 Comments

Still shopping for the perfect last-minute gift or stocking stuffer for that special sports fan in your life? I know that a lot of you are already putting our fun little sports card games under the tree or hanging them in stockings with care so thank you for that!

But once you've already purchased a full set of our World's Smallest Sports Games, what do you get for the sports fan who has everything? Don't worry, Famous Games has your back. We've scoured the web and put together a little... More >>

Stocking Stuffer Game Reviews 0 Comments

It seems our Famous Games are gaining a reputation as great Stocking Stuffer ideas for all the game lovers and sports fans on your list. Casual Game Revolution just launched their annual Holiday Gift Guide last month and put us right at the top of their Stocking Stuffer list. And on Black Friday, Landon "Lou" Squire of the How Lou Sees It blog, launched his annual series of Stocking Stuffers video reviews - first up? You guessed it, our line of perfectly sized card games.

A big thanks to both sites for featuring us. To celebrate Cyber Monday, we thought we'd... More >>

Viva l'Italia - an interview with Pietro Turri, Italian translator of our Famous card games 0 Comments

Hey Famous Fans! I've got a great interview to share with you. It's with Pietro Turri, one of our fans from Italy who reached out and asked if he could translate our QuickStart cards into his native tongue. He's heavily involved in the Italian gaming community and wanted to make our Famous Games even easier to demo and teach at gaming events he attends all across the country. Pietro's a fascinating fellow and had some wonderful insights to share about Italy's passion for great two-player games. I'm sure you'll enjoy the interview as much as I did...

ROB: Hi Pietro, thanks for the interview. You’ve just done a wonderful job of translating our Famous Games line of two player sports card games into Italian and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know you a little better and share your story with our Famous Fans here in North America. Perhaps you can start things off by telling us a little bit about yourself.

PIETRO: Hi Rob, my name is Pietro Turri and I live in a sleepy little hill town called Dovadola in the Italian countryside. Bologna and Florence are a couple of the larger cities nearby that your readers may recognize. I work as a graphic designer with...More >>

How to Host the Perfect Game Day or Game Night 0 Comments

Spending an afternoon or evening playing games and watching sports with friends can be a lot of fun. The economic downturn taught all of us the value of a dollar so tickets to the big game aren't always feasible for everyone in our social circle. And speaking of being social, a night at the movies can take us to some wonderful places but there's not a lot of opportunity to really talk to and get to know each other along the way. Gathering on the coach to celebrate the game on TV can get a little more rowdy but it can be hard to drum up a proper rivalry when everyone's cheering for the same team. And when it comes to bragging rights, wouldn't it be nice if the sweet taste of victory was actually tied to your own actions rather than just your favorite athlete? So it comes as no surprise that game days and game nights are becoming an increasingly popular pastime.

If you've never been to a game day or game night celebration, you're really missing out. I'll walk you through everything you need to know to host an event of your very own but, if you prefer to dip your toe in first rather than jumping in with both feet, you may want to consider going to a public game night in your... More >>