Going Analog

Where video game industry veterans introduce great board games to video gamers

Podcast #28: Fave co-ops, legacy games, cute vs. horror (guest: Nikki Valens)

Game designer Nikki Valens (Mansions of Madness, Eldritch Horror, and the upcoming Quirky Circuits) offers their thoughts on so many things board games.

When we think "Nikki Valens the game designer" we think nightmarish horrors, minds descending into madness, and lots and lots of tentacles. Exhibit A:

But...this is their next game:

Is Nikki an incredibly versatile game designer? Or did their mind descend into...well, you know. We asked them to come on our podcast, so we can figure out how they create such memorable and diverse game experiences. Going Analog contributor Jess Yi joins as well. The topics that everyone brought for the group to discuss:

  1. Shoe: Designing horror-themed games vs. cute, family-friendly fare
  2. Jess: Our favorite cooperative games
  3. Nikki: How "legacy"-style games use their legacy elements
  4. Christina: Escape-room games

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Here's a full list of the games mentioned on the show:


  • Quirky Circuits
  • Eldritch Horror
  • Mansions of Madness
  • Arkham Horror
  • Legacy of Dragonholt
  • Cloudspire

Shoe's topic: Designing horror-themed vs. family-friendly games

  • Dread

Jess's topic: Favorite co-op games

  • The Mind
  • Magic Maze
  • Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
  • Detective
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
  • Hanabi
  • Team3
  • Mental Blocks
  • Letter Jam
  • Scrabble
  • Pandemic Legacy: Season One

Nikki's topic: Legacy games

  • Charterstone
  • Betrayal Legacy
  • Risk Legacy
  • Rise of Queensdale
  • Machi Koro Legacy
  • Aeon's End: Legacy

Christina's topic: Escape room design and games

  • Exit: The Game -- Dead Man on the Orient Express
  • Unlock! Escape Adventures
  • The Tale of Ord
  • Mystery House: Adventures in a Box

Final thoughts:

  • Vindication
  • Vinhos
  • Viticulture
  • Brass; Birmingham
  • Brass: Lancashire
  • Trogdor!!