GeekMom Cathe’s 14 Best of 2014

bio with titles

We four geeks of Washington are,

thinking hard to make list of par…

—Oh! I guess I need to put the holiday away and look back on the year. Each of my family members is interested in different geeky avenues. It is exciting to me when my kids, or husband, find something new that the rest of us missed. For instance, when I go to a convention with my daughter, if I don’t know what a costume is in the crowd, most of the time my daughter can fill me in.

Because each of my family members gets excited about different geeky things, I received quite a bit of input from my family members as to what were the best geeky things this year. Pictures indicate which family members voted for what favorites.

Skull and Shackles
Skull & Shackles. Image: Paizo

Skull and Shackles: This one is a biggy for me personally. I have had a BLAST playing through Pathfinder ACG with GeekDad Jonathan, and we recently started the next installment: Skull & Shackles. To memorialize the occasion, he gave each of the players a miniature of their character for Christmas. My husband in turn agreed to paint the miniatures. I’m so freakin’ excited to start up playing again in 2015 with a trick’d out mini—complete with peg leg and hook hand (I’m playing Ranzak the jerk-face goblin who avoids fights and loves loot)! Also starting in 2015, my husband and I are playing through the Skull and Shackles Pathfinder scenario with the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition mechanics (also playing Ranzak–can’t go wrong with a jerk-face that I can roleplay the crap out of). #MindBlown #GeekyRPGMashUp

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition: AKA, D&D 5e, keeps sneaking into our lives. We play-tested D&D Next which was recently released as 5e. I am a true believer that any game, especially RPGs, are only as good as the group you play with, so we have been very lucky to have excellent players and GMs in our groups. Besides the Skull and Shackles/5e mashup, we will be playing in a standard campaign with another set of friends. I’m excited for this campaign because my daughter will also play with us.

GeekGirlCon. Image: GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon: All of the fan-girl is right here. It was a girls’ weekend out, I met more of the GeekMom writers I have worked with for over four years, there was science, cos-playing, games, cool stuff…the list goes on and on. Next time, no cos-play, and I will probably drive rather than take the bus. The next GeekGirlCon will be October 10 & 11, 2015.

Guardians of the Galaxy. Image: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy: Yet another mother/daughter connection this year. After my husband and I saw this movie in the theater, my daughter saw the dancing Groot bit on the internet. She does a good job of handling violence/language so I warned her of all of these points, and off we went to the movie. Soon after, plans were made for us to cosplay as Rocket and Dancing Baby Groot for GeekGirlCon and Halloween. It was such a neat and geeky way for my daughter and I to bond.

Rocket Raccoon Comic
Rocket Raccoon Comic. Image: Marvel

Rocket Raccoon Comic: When a comic book has this much fun with sound effects and story lines (including an entire book dedicated to Groot telling a story), it was a no-brainer to add to our subscription list.

Lego Research Institute. Image: Lego

Lego Research Institute: After the limited edition set sold out, fans were surprised when the popular female-scientist-themed Lego brick set came back for a second run before Christmas. I’m being a little selfish: This Lego, along with Groot and Rocket, are being kept on my desk so they are not lost to the depths of the Lego collection of miscellaneous bricks in the toy bins…

Angry Birds Comic
Angry Birds Comic. Image: IDW

Angry Bird Comic: I think this one is all for my son. It is inspiring him to learn to read, and he loves the characters.

Super Smash Bros Wii U. Image: Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Wii U: New characters, amiibo miniatures, and the promise of more new things to unlock have made the newest Smash Bros. chapter an instant favorite among all of my family members. All four of us can play together, there are things easy enough for my five-year-old son to do, and events complicated enough to keep my husband’s and my interest.

the flash rate
The Flash. Image: CW

The Flash (show): It’s silly. It isn’t going to win any awards. Yet, The Flash has quickly become our go-to show for evening family entertainment. My kids love that the main character is a science geek. I really like that there isn’t quite as much sex/violence as other shows of the same genre (like Arrow).

Mostly Walking. Image: Day[9]TV
Day[9]TV Mostly Walking: My husband and I are mostly loving this YouTube series hosted Sean Bouchard, Bill Graner, and Day[9]TV’s Sean Plott. The trio plays through old school PC adventure games, drinks, and makes comments. It is interesting and entertaining. The series airs on Twitch on Monday evenings, and then is divided into two-or-three episodes and put out on Day[9]’s YouTube channel for after-the-fact viewing.

Don’t Starve. Image: Klei Entertainment

Don’t Starve: The game came to my attention after watching an episode of Games With Hank on YouTube. It soon after was on sale over at Good Old Games. Every game has something new that I’ve never seen before. The wiki is really helpful. Even though it is a challenging game, it is still possible to progress in the game and unlock new characters who have different abilities.

Borderlands. Image: Gearbox Software

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!: This well written, quirky, FPS video game ended up being a birthday present for me this year. The holidays quickly followed, so I haven’t had much time to have in-home-date-night-game-play with my husband, but it is sure to have some GeekMom Plays episodes sometime this year.

The Lego Movie. Image: Lego

The Lego Movie: Holy cow. My husband and I saw this movie the week it came out, because there was nothing else in the theater we wanted to see, and we had free tickets, and hey–Lego! Of course, we instantly fell in love with the movie. We took the kids to see it as soon as it hit the cheap theater. It came out on disc a couple of days later. This movie came out at the perfect time. My son graduated to the normal-size Lego bricks this year and builds between four and eight hours a day. This movie was such a huge inspiration for him, and so much fun for the rest of us. Where Guardians of the Galaxy was a bonding experience for my daughter and I, The Lego Movie was a bonding experience for my son and his parents.

Kickstarter Success Stories. Image: Cathe Post

Kickstarted Board Games: Most of the games that we backed on Kickstarter in the last 20 months showed up in the few weeks leading up to Christmas 2014. There some games that have already been played multiple times (like Machine of Death), and others that are certain to become favorites (like Yardmaster). So. Many. Board games. #TooMuchFunFor1GameRoom