About Kael Barend

Kael is a graduate of University of California Berkeley and longtime gamer. He was the founder and president of three successful campus board gaming club and has held various positions including game guru, Magic: the Gathering Dealer, and Video game reviewer. He considers himself a gaming evangelist, always eager to spread the gaming hobby far and wide. Check him out on his gaming site Favorite games right now: Castles of Burgundy, Rising Sun, Sagrada, Codenames, Onitama, Fresco, Alhambra, Kingdomino, Star Wars Rebellion, X-Wing and Armada, and Magic: the Gathering.

Pandemic board game boxed set.

Board Games for your Family Get-Together!

The holiday season is just "that time of year" for which we need to prepare for some positive family engagement. Thanksgiving and the December celebrations come fast upon us and often mean dedicated time is set aside for some family engagement like no other time of the year. Many of those family time traditions have become part of the holiday rituals your family embraces over years of practicing them. And so, maybe it is time for...

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Game Conventions on a Budget

Game Conventions on a Budget Attending a game convention is a fantastic opportunity to play the newest games, get cool exclusives and meet others with the same gaming passions. Many have successfully used networking opportunities to break into the industry. With all these swanky-cool elements why don’t more people attend game conventions? The sad reality is that attending game conventions are expensive and time-consuming. A single day’s badge might be $50 or more--not to mention the transportation...

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Every Board Game Genre You Should Know

This is a follow up to my previous article about board game mechanics. While similar in many ways to game mechanics, a genre is less rigidly defined. Much like movies, games come in many genres. If you like one genre it is highly likely you will enjoy others of the same type. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the most common game genres as well as a few games from each Abstract...

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Game Mechanics you Should Know

Game Mechanics you Should Know Imagine for a moment, the various parts of a car. We have obvious pieces, things like the tires and engine. Thinking deeper we might find items like the steering wheel or headlights. Without these pieces combined together, we don’t have a car. Board games are similar. Tabletop games are a collection of standardized rules that we call “mechanics.” By combining mechanics, designers attempt to create an engine that runs smoothly every time....

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7 Steps to Starting a College Board Game Club

If you’re a student, particularly in higher education, it can be very difficult to find the communities for you. If this is the case, consider creating your own tabletop gaming club! Board games are a fantastic way to meet people and build lasting friendships. While it might seem intimidating to begin such a process, I can attest ​​ that it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. I’ve founded three successful gaming clubs and am excited to share...

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8 Gateway Games to Play Instead of the Classics (part 1)

  Part 1 Joining the modern board game hobby is intimidating. Every year several thousand new games are released and finding an entry point is increasingly difficult. In the face of this mass of cardboard, classics like Monopoly or Scrabble seem more and more appealing. “Gateway games” are the key to the brave new world of modern board games. These titles are intuitive and approachable and perfect for newer players. Whether...

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8 Gateway Games to Play Instead of the Classics (part 2)

Part 2 Welcome to part 2 of our list of awesome gateway games to play with non-gamers. Each item in the list includes a short blurb with the basic idea of the game, as well as the titles it can knock off your shelf. Without further ado, let’s get back to the games. Munchkin For fans of Sorry.   Fans of ruby slippers might remember...

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