Going Analog

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

Podcast #45: Streamable games, big-name licenses, Clubhouse Games (guest: The Op's Pat Marino)

We talk (non-roll-and-write) games for streaming and delve into how a game company like The Op works with so many licenses. Plus, what is that X factor that makes a game really great? And Mike gives impressions on Nintendo's Clubhouse Games.

We have sooo many questions for Pat Marino, game design manager for The Op (formerly USAopoly). His company puts out hardcore games (Court of the Dead: Mourner's Call). It puts out casual games (Telestrations). It even puts out -- and yes, we talk about this on the show -- jigsaw puzzles based on licenses like The Golden Girls (seriously -- our host Christina bought this...AND this).

What's it like working on such a wide range of gaming experiences? And is it a huge headache (and maybe even a little spoiler-y) when a big license is involved? (Think: Disney, Marvel, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, Rick and Morty...The Op has made games for them all.) Pat shares his experiences with us and doesn't hold back.

We also bring up more games that we like streaming to our friends during this sheltering-in-place period; that X (or "it") factor that makes us want to play a game over and over; and the good and bad in Clubhouse Games for the Nintendo Switch.

This week's topics:

  1. Christina (host): What are some great games to stream online (that aren't roll-and-writes)? (2:45)
  2. Shoe (producer): What does the game design process look like when working with big licenses? (19:14)
  3. Pat Marino (guest): What contributes to the intangible X-factor that makes a game fun and enjoyable? (36:58)
  4. Mike Zipkin (editor): Discussing the new Clubhouse Games pack for Nintendo Switch (54:57)

Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or RSS Feed.

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


  • Star Wars: Dark Side Rising
  • Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising
  • Die Hard: The Nakatomi Tower Heist
  • Monopoly
  • Yahtzee
  • Scrabble
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Telestrations
  • Clubhouse Games
  • Russian Railroads
  • Grand Austria Hotel

Christina's topic: Streamable non-roll-and-write games

  • Blank Slate
  • Just One
  • Hues and Cues
  • Codenames
  • MonsDRAWsity
  • Telestrations: Upside Drawn
  • Telestrations

Shoe's topic: Game design when working with different licenses

  • Courth of the Dead: Mourner's Call
  • Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion
  • The Shining: Escape from Overlook Hotel
  • Monopoly Hallmark Channel Board Game
  • Unlock!
  • Munchkin
  • Codenames
  • Match-o-Rama
  • Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition

Pat's topic: That X-factor in gaming

  • Russian Railroads
  • Just One
  • Codenames
  • Hansa Teutonica
  • The Gallerist
  • Kanban
  • Terraforming Mars
  • The Quacks of Quedlinberg
  • Hues and Cues
  • Court of the Dead: Mourner's Call
  • Tiny Towns
  • Medium

Mike's topic: Nintendo's Clubhouse Games

  • Clubhouse Games
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Yacht Dice
  • Mancala
  • Shogi
  • Go
  • Connect 4
  • Uno
  • Hanafuda
  • Texas Hold 'Em
  • Ludo
  • War
  • Takoyaki
  • Air Hockey
  • Darts
  • Bowling

Final thoughts

  • Blank Slate
  • Court of the Dead: Mourner's Call
  • The Batman Who Laughs Rising
  • Plankton Rising
  • Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition
  • Forgotten Waters
  • Era: Medieval Age
  • The Shipwreck Arcana
  • Smartphone Inc.