Last week’s Game Club was full of interesting games, old, new and in between. At the request of the kids, we repeated some games from previous meetings. Also, some of the families brought games to share. All in all, it was a busy meeting time, and lots of fun for all!
Here is the list of what we brought:
Castle Keep – The premise is simple: build your castle walls, towers and a keep from tiles that feature straight, curvy or zigzag walls and matching towers, all in red, yellow or blue. Match walls to towers by either color or shape by drawing cards from the deck. But be aware! Your opponents are going to work to destroy your tower while also building their own. Though this game is for ages 8 and up, younger kids enjoy it, though they may not use as much strategy. A great and quick game for adults and strategy-minded older kids, especially if you switch to playing the “empire” variation (directions in the box).
Sushi Go! – Imagine a sushi restaurant where the plates travel past you and you select what you want. Now convert those plates into cards featuring adorable sushi. That’s Sushi Go! Each player is dealt a number of cards (7-10, depending on number of players), selects the best one from their hand and places it face up on the table, then passes the hand facedown to the next player. Play continues in this way until the hands are empty. The cards are then tallied. What makes the game fun? The cartoons on the cards, the search for pudding cards, and the strategy that begins to develop the more you play – do you add to your set of nigiri cards? or do you take the sashimi card to prevent a fellow player from completing their set? For ages 8 and up, though younger kids like the fun artwork and passing the cards.
Star Fluxx – The rules of this game? They change on every single turn! Instead of set rules for all turns, the cards on each turn direct the play. On their turn, players draw a card and play a card. But the cards they draw can, and do, change the rules each time. Some cards have you add more to your hand. Some cards have you take cards from others. Other cards create new rules for specific keeper cards. Add to this the awesome sci fi references and in-jokes (Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor Who, and so on), and you have a game that appeals to a variety of gamers. Definitely for ages 8 and up, as younger kids tend to get upset that the rules change, plus they need to be able to read well.
Spot It! – This pictures only game is great for kids and adults alike. Kids love to spot the matching items, and this is a subtle way to work on pattern recognition while having fun. Adults with, ahem, a competitive streak, can also have a good time with this game. There are now several versions of this game, including a junior version with animals, but the original version is still lots of fun.
Uno – What to say about Uno? It’s a great family game, kids as young as four can easily figure out how to play it (with perhaps some help reading a card or two), and both kids and adults can have fun playing. Plus, it’s an easy way to introduce strategy games to younger players, while not boring adults and older kids. This is a game that we always take on vacation, and all kinds of people love to play.
Pop-o-matic Trouble – An old favorite, but lots of fun because kids love to roll the dice by popping the bubble on the board. If you know the game Sorry!, then you know this game too. Great for kids ages 5 and up, and fun for adults too.
Monopoly – It’s classic Monopoly – property, houses, and hotels. Great for kids, great for adults, awesome for budding real estate tycoons!
Requested games from October 2014 Game Club:
Blink – A card game that appears simple, but actually works your brain. The premise – two players compete to get rid of their stack of cards by placing cards into two piles based on color, number or shape. For adults and older kids, it is a fast, fun, game. For younger kids, it is an entertaining way to work on counting, categorizing and recognizing shapes and colors. We have also played it at home in a “solitaire” version – one player, two stacks, with unusable cards shuffled to the bottom of the stack – which has become a favorite game in its own right.
Qwirkle – As one of the parents who played it said in October, it’s like dominoes and Scrabble for shapes and colors, and that is pretty accurate. The bright colors and distinct shapes on the tiles make this game attractive to kids, but the points calculations and strategy make it appealing to adults and older kids. Your aim is to get a line of six different shapes or six colors in a continuous line, with no repeats allowed. However, every other player wants to do the same, and because you are limited to no more than six colors or shapes in a line, the tiles branch out across the table, similarly to Scrabble (the points are simliar to Scrabble too). This game is one where varying ages can play together and all have a good time.
Skippity – What is the best part of checkers? Jumping another checker! Skippity is a board game based on jumping five different colors of checkers over each other. Kids who understand that part of checkers *love* this aspect of the game. To win, players need to collect checkers in all the colors. The player with the most sets of checkers (all five colors make a set) wins the game. This game is lots of fun for kids who enjoy checkers, and simple enough that even younger players can enjoy playing.
Requested games from the December 2014 Game Club:
Sorry! Revenge – This card game joins the Sorry! board game with the speed of War to make a fun game that kids and adults alike can enjoy. Two people can play, though it is more fun to have three or four players. This game is a game of chance rather than strategy, which levels the playing field between age groups. You can use this game to practice math (counting to 21), while the action cards add fun, and the Sorry! and Don’t be Sorry! cards are the twists that make the game interesting. For ages 6 and up, and fun for all ages.
Forbidden Island – This board game was new to most of the kids at the December meeting, and the format of the game was also new. Forbidden Island is a collaborative game, where the kids need to work together to win against the game itself. If you have seen this on “Tabletop“, then you can see how much fun working together can be! This game combines the storytelling and teamwork of a RPG with the chance of a card game and the strategy of a standard board game. Though this game is listed for kids 10 and up, younger kids who understand strategy and collaborative play can join in too.
Left, Center, Right – This pocket game is quick, fun and highly addictive. The rules are simple – each player starts with three tokens, rolls three dice, and does what the dice say – pass their tokens to other players, put their tokens in the center, or keep their tokens. The winner is the player who ends up with all the tokens. This game is so much fun and so easy! We take this game for restaurant waits, enjoy it as a quick and fun game for after dinner, little kids love it, adults aren’t bored by it, and since there is no strategy, it also makes a great game to play while chatting. It’s also inexpensive, which makes it a great game to buy and try.
Snap! A Dragon Game – It’s a game, it’s a puzzle, and it’s a conundrum. This game sounds easy enough – two to four players snap tiles together to form a mass of dragons, matching dragon colors together, making certain that the dragons have heads and tails, and that the scales go the right direction. Simple, yet not at all, since the dragons curve and swerve all over the tiles. This game is great for kids and adults who love patterns, love dragons, and love the happy frustration of finding just the right piece to fit into puzzles. This game is geared towards 6 and up, and we have found that adults enjoy it as much as the kids do!
Thanks to all the families who made the March meeting a success. Happy gaming!