CUDO Plays is run by the CUDO Plays Committee; an all-volunteer group of passionate, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable individuals who likely have magic powers as well. If you’ve ever been to any of our events, you’ve certainly met some of us, but if you’d like to get to know all of us a little better then read on!

For last season’s “Meet the Committee” post, we answered questions about underrated games and cartoons! Here’s this year’s prompt:

What games did you play in your childhood that helped make you a gamer today?

We’re gonna go right-to-left down the line of this picture here starting with…


I’m still a sucker for card games, because I maintain that euchre and Mille Bornes were the first games I played competently and had fun with. But another card game that really impacted me even younger was one that was in my parents’ collection ⁠— Parker Bros. “Water Works” ⁠— because I was obsessed with the tiny gold wrenches. In this game, everyone is completing the same solo goal, but an important component is sabotaging your opponents, and everyone also competes for diminishing resources to recover from the sabotage.
I loved the puzzle element of this game: fitting together different shapes of pipe without accidentally self-sabotaging. The game taught me a lot about weighing opportunity cost and not being so singularly goal-oriented. And eventually I figured out that engaging in the sabotage was an important part of the game, something that other kids’ games like Cootie or Chutes & Ladders didn’t address.
To this day, I still like puzzle-games, goal-meeting games, and balanced games where going on the offensive is necessary to win, but isn’t the only element. Plus, between the bathtub deck holder in Water Works, and the car-shaped deck holder in Mille Bornes, I am a total sucker for superfluous on-theme plastic game parts.



Part of me wants to say Axis & Allies.  It was my first complicated game, and my love for overwrought-yet-still-random games continue to this day.  I really enjoy dice that can wreck a good player or save a poor one, as long as the game itself is a big and fun journey for both sides.
But I also need to give a shout-out to Star Wars Monopoly. It was a re-skin of Monopoly with no rules changes. None at all. And I found that strange. There was nothing “Star Wars” about the game beyond visuals. I was in late elementary school, and this was maybe the first time I sat down in front of a board game and critically thought about “why” the rules were there, and why these rules weren’t living up to my expectations. I have enjoyed games with well-integrated and thematic rules ever since, and part of my board game enjoyment is the post-play discussion.



Battle Masters is a miniatures game played on the floor with a large hex grid. Playing it with my dad showed me how games could be big and exciting, but still accessible. 



Like many ’90s kids, I was (and am) caught up in the zeitgeist that was (and is) Pokemon. One of the few surviving board games from my childhood collection is Pokemon Master Trainer. This game did not perfectly recreate the original JRPG of yore — its randomness was extreme and there was minimal strategy, so really it’s a better fit as an adaption of Pokemon Go. But of course this shaped my appetite for games forever…or at least on and off at points, certainly right now, maybe in a few weeks, tomorrow, and some years in the future. Board game adaptions of video games hold a special place in my heart, good or bad. Anyone want to make a Rogue Legacy card game adaption together?



I did play many board games as a child, but it was usually just me and my little sister. The fun was limited when there were only two of us; doubly so when only one or neither of us really knew the rules to the game we were playing. As far a truly formative games go; I remember playing Chess against my little sister best of all. When I say I was playing my sister I mean I was actually playing my dad who was instructing her every move. I was 8 and should have been able to handily beat a 5 year old at chess. I knew how all the pieces move and everything! She and I started playing and it wasn’t long before dad was hovering nearby and said he would help both of us play. But “both of us” meant he wanted my sister to win. I learned that one-sided blow-outs are rarely fun if you’re on the losing side. I also learned that not being able to confront your real opponent via the game rules also sucks.



I played a lot of Sorry! and I was never sorry.



I grew up playing classic card games with my parents and sister (spades, pinochle, gin rummy, hearts, etc) but weirdly the game I remember the most from childhood is the Silver Dollar City Card Game. It was basically Old Maid if I remember correctly, just branded with imagery from a local amusement park. The thing that was clever about it was how easy they made the turn structure. It literally rhymed: “draw, play, throw away.” It was so simple to remember even my very young sister could play it. It was sort of my first game design lesson, I suppose.



As a child my most vivid memories are from games that had very tactile components. I remember playing Pretty Pretty Princess when I was VERY YOUNG and to this day I wish more games had wearable components! That game (along with sorting my Monopoly money by color) paved the way for my love of set collection, aesthetically pleasing games, and of course any game with a cool table presence or awesome components.I also vividly recall playing the game SPLAT! In which players use play-dough molded bugs as their pieces. The object of the game is to get 2 of your bugs down the path to safety (the finish line) before the other players have the opportunity to squish your bug!  I definitely learned a lot about bluffing and betrayal in those early play-dough games. Take-that style games are still not on my list of favorites.Then of course at summer day-camp I played a lot of Mafia with the other kids. That hidden role and social deduction game is what we now refer to as Werewolf. I would always layer in more character and story elements and to this day, I love a game whose mechanics match a theme and allow a story to unfold as I play.



My family played lots of games together growing up (notably Password, Mille Bornes, and the card game Casino). My dad was real into war games and tabletop RPGs as well, so from a young age I was playing (somewhat watered-down versions of) Dungeons & Dragons, Panzer Leader, and Blue Max. My dad also designed some games to play with my sister and I. The one I remember best was called Steel Dragons, which was sort of a homemade Battletech where you built and fought robot animals/dinosaurs on a big hex map. So I’ve known for a long time that part of the magic of board games is being able to make your own rules!