My name is Stuart Dunn. I am husband, a father, a blogger, a bookworm, and a game enthusiast. For about three years, I have been a semi-regular contributor to CatholicMom and bringing you reviews of Catholic products, mainly books. I have enjoyed these posts, and while I am not looking to give them up, I am looking for a way to spice things up and stand out. After all, I am just one of many Catholic book reviewers out there. Others include Sarah Reinhard, Brandon Vogt, and Pete Socks just to name a few! Therefore, with the support of Lisa Hendey and Barb Szyszkiewicz, I will be starting a new column featuring tabletop game reviews called Favorite Games for Family Game Nights. (Thanks for the featured image, Barb!)

CM Family Game Night Logo

This post is designed to introduce you to the world of tabletop gaming and whet your appetite for future reviews. I don't have a timeline for how often I will be posting. It could be once a month, or perhaps even twice a month if the games are plentiful. Right now, I have at least a dozen in the pipeline, so we'll see if anymore get added to that total. Without further ado, let's talk tabletop games!

Tabletop games have been around for centuries. We see them in games such as Chess, Checkers, Mahjong, etc. They can come in many categories, including but not limited to board games, card games, and dice games. Within these three broad categories are further subcategories like word games, party games, worker placement games, card collecting games, etc. There are also genres of games, which are so wide and varied they have something for everyone. You have fantasy, horror, war, vampires, zombies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. There's also various levels of strategy involved in games, which range from casual to the hardcore gamer. The casual games are simple to pick up, but the more complex games have rule books so thick that it might make you faint. I hope to slowly ease you into the world of tabletop gaming by introducing you to casual games first, but sometimes a game is just so awesome I might have to share it with you, even if you're not quite ready for it.

I am very excited about this future endeavor because I have been in a technology war with myself for almost a decade. I like and hate technology; I embrace and reject it all at the same time. This is a big reason I love physical books so much and generally avoid e-books. What does this have to do with games? Well, I used to play an equal mix of video games and tabletop games, but for a while it seemed like video games were winning the war and killing tabletop games. My household was thankfully the opposite, but there's only so many times you can play Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. And then, I discovered what I am referring to as the Tabletop Game Renaissance. It has been going on quietly for a few years, but 2015 exploded with so many amazing games. Many of these games came from smaller game companies, and they are giving Hasbro and Parker Brothers a run for their money. It's an exciting time, and I can't wait to share some of these games that I love with you! Tune in for my next post, which is a review of the game Chrononauts from Looney Labs!

Copyright 2016 Stuart Dunn