Day 250: Movies and Games

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

Since two of my favorite things are watching movies and playing games, here’s a short list of movies that pair well with games.

  1. Trading Places (the classic Eddie Murphy rags-to-Wall-Street comedy) and Pit (the classic card game that recreates the chaos of Wall Street trading).
  2. The Station Agent (a wonderful and underrated film starring a pre-Tyrion Lannister Peter Dinklage as a quiet fan of railroads and trains) and Ticket to Ride (my choice for the perfect gateway game; easy to learn and fun to play).
  3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (a documentary about a sushi master) and Sushi Go! (a sushi-themed card game with cute art and fast play).
  4. Clash of the Titans (the original movie featuring the guy from L.A. Law as Perseus) and 7 Wonders (a civilization game using a card-drafting mechanic that you can play in under an hour).
  5. Shaun of the Dead (hilarious zombie movie featuring Simon Pegg in his breakout role) and Zombie Dice (a light press-your-luck dice game that you can play while watching Shaun of the Dead).

Day 214: Game Night Success

Water Works

Water Works

Game Night was a success last night, as my stepdaughter and her friends enjoyed themselves at the house. My wife did an awesome job of cooking while I got things rolling with quick games of Sushi Go! and Love Letter. The kids (they’re not kids anymore, but they’ll always be the kids in our eyes) moved on to Zombie Dice while we cleaned up.

Next up was the always crowd-pleasing Pandemic. It’s been months since I played and I forgot some of the rules, but picked them up again after a brief refresher with the rule book. My wife and I then relaxed with our own game of Zombie Dice while the kids played a rowdy game of Cards Against Humanity.

While we didn’t get to play 7 Wonders, I’m still excited to play it and hopefully we can do another game night soon. If anything, it’ll give us a chance to use our clever water sign shown above.

Day 81: Quality Time


I had a little work to do today, then had a relaxing dinner with my family. We went to our favorite Salvadoran restaurant for pupusas, horchata, and conversation, which inevitably turned to how much we loved yesterday‘s amazing hand rolls at Kazu Nori. Yes, we love to talk about food while we’re eating.

After our meal, it was a few games of Zombie Dice and Ticket to Ride for more laughs and relaxation. I finally managed to win a game of Ticket to Ride; my stepdaughter’s a natural and she’s been crushing me and my wife since we started playing.

Food, conversation, and games. It’s what makes up my favorite Sunday Funday.


Day 78: Surf and Turf


While my wife and I miss our girl when she’s at school, it makes us treasure the time we spend together during her breaks. Tonight we showed her how to play Ticket to Ride and Zombie Dice (she won both games, so college is already paying off), then went to the new Korean BBQ restaurant in our neighborhood. It’s an all-you-can-eat place and we happily indulged in several servings of meats, seafood, and banchan (side dishes like kimchi, daikon, radish, etc.) After we stuffed ourselves silly, the manager came by to chat and gave us some complimentary food.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll have family bonding time at the gym.

Day 63: Ticket To Ride


Ticket To Ride


This arrived tonight: Ticket to Ride! Back in January I wrote about my purchase of Pandemic, which was the first board game I’d bought in years (at least a decade). I’ve loved playing Pandemic; even though it’s a 2-5 player game, since it’s a cooperative game, it plays well for one person. Nearly every weeknight, I’ve managed to play a game or two before going to bed.

My wife and I played one game of Pandemic and she didn’t take to it like I did, so I decided to buy Ticket to  Ride. Once again, I did my research on games for new gamers and Ticket to Ride kept coming up. Watching the Tabletop episode on the game sealed the deal.

I hope she likes this one because it doesn’t seem like it will be a fun solo game. I could go down to the game store or connect with some local gamers, but I’m more of a homebody these days and prefer playing games with family and close friends. Thankfully, my wife likes playing Zombie Dice. I picked up a copy and we went 1-1 the other night, with the rubber match still to be played.

So, three new games in the last two months. I still have a ways to go to have a collection on par with Game Haus Cafe, but it’s been fun stocking the games shelf here at home.

Day 8: Zombies at the Cafe


Continuing from yesterday’s post on zombies, here are three other zombie-related things I like that I failed to mention:

  1. The Cranberries “Zombie.” I can make people laugh when I bust this out on karaoke night. Not sure if they’re laughing at me or with me.
  2. White Zombie. Okay, I don’t like all of their music, but I used to kick butt on their song on Guitar Hero.
  3. Zombie Dice, a game from Steve Jackson.

I came across Zombie Dice last year at the mind-blowing Game Haus Cafe in Glendale, California. The game was easy to learn and fun to play. A quick summary: you are a zombie. The 13 dice represent your would-be victims. Randomly pick three dice and roll them. A brain is good. A shotgun blast is bad. Footprints mean your victim got away. You can score the brains and end your turn or you can press your luck, get more dice and roll them for more brains. If you roll three shotgun blasts, your turn is over and you score none of the brains. First to collect 13 brains wins.

I wish I lived closer to the Game Haus Cafe. It’s a wonderful place, perfect for gaming, and we’ve brought my niece and nephew twice since it opened after a successful Kickstarter campaign in June 2013. Parking can be a pain, but the place is still worth five stars (read my Yelp review here) and they offer 1,000+ board games, along with some decent food and drink. It costs only $5 for unlimited play during your visit. The game selection is staggering: all of the classics are available, along with newer games, popular Euro-style fare, and obscure titles. Shelf after shelf of games, arranged by content, will make any gamer’s heart happy.

Two things I love about this place: first, there’s no wi-fi available, so you’ll have to talk (gasp!) to your buddies and/or opponents over games with actual pieces, dice, and tokens. Second, happy hour is Tue-Thu until 4pm: you’ll pay only $2 for unlimited play.

View of Game Haus Cafe’s shelves below (click the image to enlarge). There are two shelves around the corner that aren’t shown. It’s a large space, with lots of big tables, comfortable chairs, and, most importantly, friendly employees.