Saturday Morning Gaming: Rivers, Roads, and Rails

Lionel Trains 'Christmas Tradition' Commercial (1979)

There’s a minor board game issue where there are not enough games out there that are good for everybody at the table.

Board games that are good for the kiddos are likely boring for the grownups. Board games that are good for the grownups who haven’t played a board game since high school are likely to not be a good fit for the grownups who play the weird and obscure board games. The weird and obscure board games are likely to not be good introductions to complex games for either kids or grownups who don’t play all the time.

So when I find a board game that is good for 8 year olds *AND* someone like me who has a dedicated hardcore board game group, I’m excited.

Rivers, Roads And Rails is a game by Ravensburger (they did the maze game I talked about a few months back). It’s another game that uses tiles to play. Every tile has a river, a road, or train tracks on it (some have two or three). Sometimes the tile has a starting/stopping point for the river or road or train tracks. The idea is that you place a tile on the starting tile that connects the roads and/or rivers and/or train tracks.

That’s it. Create a chain.

There are games where you’re playing cutthroat and trying to prevent your opponent from making moves. There are games where you’re playing collaboratively and trying to place every tile from the box into the emerging map.

Make sure that you’re playing on the big dining room table! In the game that I played, the map ended up being around 4 feet by 3 feet and we had to shift it twice because the tendrils of the map kept going out further and further from the original center.

This one is a whole lot of fun for the kids, for the grownups, and it doesn’t matter if they’re n00bs or hardcore.

So… what are you playing?

(Featured image is the box art from Rivers, Roads, and Rails.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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