Posts Tagged “boardgames”

Make Family Game Night a Holiday Tradition

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Family Game Night Favorites

 

Disclosure: We were provided sample product in exchange for honest reviews. As always, the opinions and content shared within is strictly our own. This article contains affiliate links. #Sponsored

Family Game Night

You know that space between “I can’t eat another cookies” and “my fingers are numb from wrapping”? Indulge in a break from it all and try a Holiday Game Night. Maybe expand it to include some friends, neighbors, coworkers… or maybe just keep simple with your immediate clan. Either way, this season brings some fantastic (and fantastically easy) games for such an occasion. Let’s take a look:

 

Crozzit, for example, is a piece of cake to set up, explain and dive in. No stress. This is a 2 player game that plays pretty fast (15 mins) and perfect for “in-between” moments. Object: Each player races to build a path to the opposite side of the board, which crisscross each other. Simple. Fun. Done.

Family Game Night Favorites

Turnspell is another quick game (20-25 mins) geared for ages 10+ with elements of Scrabble and elements of Boggle. A turnstile board center piece is placed in the middle with four alphabet tiles facing each player (2 to 4 players). Each participant selects a tile from the four directly in front of him/her to place on their individual tile grid platforms. The turnstile spins, participants select another tile in an attempt to spell four four-letter words on their grid.

Family Game Night Favorites

Mousetrap, an oldie but goodie because it is so hands-on. If I’m being honest… I’ve passed on this game because of my PERCEIVED setup requirements, however… you build the trap as part of the game. I dislike games with complicated setups and assumed the mousetrap needed to be assembled in advance of game play. WRONG. So… this game is suddenly more appealing and perhaps other parents had the same misconception that I had. Mousetrap is a Mensa Award winning game… and now I better understand why, as children are assembling the contraption that is supposed to capture opponents mice. Colorful, active, and hands-on… Mousetrap is highly recommended.

Family Game Night Favorites

Exit Game is a “one & done” game, meaning that you play it once, use the pieces, puzzles, materials and then discard. The Exit Game is an escape-the-room type of game with clues and a variety puzzles, a decipher wheel and solution cards. It includes riddle cards for puzzles & activities, help cards, 2nd help cards and solutions for each puzzle or activity in case you get stuck. This is a group game, best with four or more players. It is a cooperative game, whereby everyone is working together to solve the puzzle. There are three distinct variations including The Secret Lab, The Abandoned Cabin, and Pharaoh’s Tomb.

Family Game Night Favorites

Not Parent Approved is a fast pace, kid-friendly card game sure to get the giggles going. This card game was inspired by Cards Against Humanity, which is strictly adult oriented. Not Parent Approved has kid-appropriate content without stripping all the hilarity away. The game consists of blue question cards and red answer cards. Taking turns, a question card is drawn and read allowed. Each participant holds 3 answer cards and must choose one to best answer the question posed each turn. The person reading the question is the judge of the best answer offered and that person gets points. It play fast, it plays fun… and it packs up easy for on-the-go fun.

family game night favorite

Let’s talk about Blurble. First off, it’s a fun title for a game, silly in and of itself. Blurble is another party game, whereby each participant has a small stack of cards and go against each other player individually by flipping the top card and quickly shouting out another word that starts with the same letter. Sounds simple enough… but offers enough tongue twisting challenge to be entertaining. There are additional educational games and activities suggestions provided as well.

family game night

Lastly, we want to bring to you Who’s The Dude. This is a family charades game… with one additional family member: The Dude. We’ve adopted our blow up friend and named him Stan. Stan hangs out more than just playing Who’s The Dude (he’s watched movies with us, crafted with us… we just have fun with him where we can). However, the game is surely entertaining enough because it comes with plenty of objects and activities that players act out with the dude for the other team to guess. Victoria got a huge kick out of using Stan as a fly swatter during one of her rounds. Silliness and laughs… isn’t that what it’s all about in the end. A great family game and perfect for any kid-friendly New Year’s party too.

family game reviews

Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide for more gift suggestions… and subscribe to our mailing list and/or YouTube channel to get updates when new game reviews are posted. Happy Holidays.

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A Fall Family Favorite Game: Hit The Habitat Trail

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Animal and environmental trivia game for the whole family. Test your knowledge of the eight habitats and ecosystems.

Affiliate links are used in this article. The opinions expressed herein are strictly our own.

Habitat Trail Profile Pic

Hit The Habitat Trail is a family board game that brings you a bit closer to nature. Designed for 2 to 6 players, the game is played similar to many trivia board games by answering questions and moving around the board.  Players compete by correctly answering game trivia cards in an attempted to collect 2 cards from each of the eight habitats. The habitats are Ocean, Jungle, Forest, Wetlands, Mountains, Dessert, Grassland and Arctic.

Habitat Trail 3

Players who incorrectly answer the game questions, must roll the die and move backwards that number of spaces. Trivia questions range from animal behavior to habitat info to ecosystems and more. They offers a variety of information and trivial facts.

If a player is lucky, he or she will draw a “Wisdom” card, which can be traded for a habitat card for the habitat that player is current in or used to trade among players. These wisdom cards can be held for later use, as a strategic advantage. While the wisdom cards aren’t necessarily designed to offer advice, some of the cards have wording that might be helpful, insightful or inspiring. One example is “You use leftover water from any water bottle to water a plant”.

Habitat Trail 2

We like this game because of the different trivia questions and the fact that they are things learned in Science class or the Discovery Channel. There aren’t many points to the game, which make it easy to set up and get into. One thing we’d like to see improved would be the use of the habitats… perhaps questions specific to a habitat and its ecosystem of plants and animals… maybe offering a slightly more challenging concept. Otherwise, it is what you would expect from a trivia game and for that we appreciate Hit The Habitat Trail from Jax.

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Walls & Warriors Connect Strategic Thinking with Literacy

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Connecting Critical Thinking skills and Literacy

We love when a game ties critical thinking skills to a love of reading or a topic a child is passionate about.

Thank you SmartGamesUS for providing us a review copy of Walls & Warriors. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Connecting Critical Thinking with Literacy

Back to school is in full force and in the spirit of things – we’ve found the perfect pair for connecting strategic thinking skills with literacy. Another SmartGamesUS puzzle game, Walls & Warriors, (coming soon) with knights and a castle is perfect for our adventure stories of knights and midevil times. Victoria was fascinated to learn that castles truly exist and aren’t just “part of the story”. We love the book  I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats by Philip Steele that showcases the inside of a castle… including the ever-famous bathroom. What really went on behind those stone walls? It is a great resource for bringing fantasy and history together. And as long as we’re talking castles and all… be sure to check out SmartGamesUS’ Castle Logix game as well.

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Couple the Walls & Warriors puzzle game with fictional stories about knights, such as The Barefoot Book of Knights by John Matthews. Children won’t realize that they are exercising their critical thinking skills while playing the game, especially if listening to the narrated version of the stories or chatting about them should you have had your reading time prior to game play. Either way… take the theme to a whole new level and completely amp up the educational value of these resources when paired together.

knights

Below you can see that the puzzle is appropriate for varying ages with 60 challenge cards, multiple knights (blue and red) and a single castle to defend. There are four wall pieces used to enclose any number of the blue knights (based on the challenge card layout) and the castle. The first few are pretty simple, even for Victoria (age 6) but they do get more challenging. I think everyone in the family has picked up this game on their own to play… something about the pieces and design that is enticing. LOL SmartGamesUS nailed it on this one.

walls-warriors

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Rollers: Dice Game Similar to Yahtzee With Challenge

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We greatly look forward to family game night, especially when partnered with brands such as Thames & Kosmos. We were offered a sample copy of this game for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly mine as an honest review of the game. #Sponsored  This post may contain affiliate links.

Rollers Feature Pic

Being a big Yahtzee fan, you can imagine my excitement to try this new dice game, Rollers. It has elements of Yahtzee whereby you are rolling (up to three times) to collect the most of any number on the die. There are no points for a large straight or full house.  Instead, one of the six die has a side that cancels your entire throw… clever little twist. The other 5 dice have a wild card side… helpful.

We found it best played with three or four players but you can play with two. Also, it says ages 8 and up but Victoria (6 years old) was able to play solo just fine after the first round or so. Game play is less than 30 mins, which makes it a great game before bedtime. Check out our video reviews for details on how the game is played and the object. You can play up to 5 players which is nice when so many games are max 4 players. Rollers is definitely at the top of Family Game Night list… and quite honestly our holiday gift giving list too. Have a peek…

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Light Up Family Game Night with Circuit Maze

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We greatly look forward to family game night, especially when partnered with brands such as Think Fun. We were offered a sample copy of this game for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly mine as an honest review of the game. #Sponsored  This post may contain affiliate links.

Circuit Maze 2

Circuit Maze is a puzzle game that focuses on electrical currents. Circuit Maze is a single player game that has several different challenges to be completed… 60 actually.  Each challenges and difficulty levels is presented on a card. Each card has a grid that says where the start and end pieces are to be placed, which pieces that need to be used, and what the objective is. When the player completes the challenge puzzle a real electrical circuit is formed and the beacon lights up. Aside from being a terrific puzzle game for critical thinking skills, Circuit Maze offers a wonderful introduction or enhancement to any electrical themed curriculum (homeschool or otherwise). Children interested in electricity will be delighted to play this game whereby creating actual electrical currents and visually being able to see their success light before them.

In our house we enjoy building puzzles and testing our mental prowess with many activities. Circuit Maze made a great addition to our collection of games because of it diversity. This is a terrific gift idea for families that perhaps have and enjoy many games, as this as elements of Rush Hour but of course with the twist of electrical current. With 60 challenges it offers entertainment to a wide age range.

Caution: Please be sure to fully read the instructions. It is possible to cause a short circuit, damaging the unit and becoming a fire hazard. We wouldn’t be doing the right thing but not mentioning this and therefore advise that all children are supervised when playing this game. This shouldn’t be a deterrent but a caution for any and all tools used for teaching or engaging in electrical display.

Check out our other game reviews here and consider Circuit Maze for your holiday gift giving or birthdays.

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Five Fun Family Games from Sweet Suite

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A big thank you to Blogger Bash and #SweetSuite as well as the brands for providing us with samples of these games. The descriptions and opinions below are strictly my own. This post may contain affiliate links. #Sponsored

Rollers 2

Family game nights are a highlight for our family. We like games in dice form, cards, board games and yes, of course the video game variety. With a recent visit to Blogger Bash, I’ve been introduced to a couple new games that I had to show my family. Here are five of our favorites… with more surely to come. Like I said, we love games!!

1. Rollers – With properties of Yatzi, Rollers is a dice game that incorporates strategy with the luck of the roll. It can easily be played with 2 players or up to 5. Perfect game for families with different age children/players. Plays in approx 30 mins or less.

2.  Circuit Maze – Highly interesting and challenging puzzle game, whereby players are building an electric circuit with light up pieces. Multiple challenge levels from beginner to expert. A great collaboration game. Ages 8 to adult

Circuit Maze

3. Perplexus Mini – Just like the original size, only perfect for small hands or travel. Perplexus is a maze toy, requiring the player to navigate the twists and turns of the maze. Drop this “multi-dimensional tilt-maze fun” into your purse for on-the-go entertainment for your children.

perplexus mini

4. Tally Ho – Feels a bit like memory but definitely has a strategic element to it. Tally Ho is great for a family with children 7 and older and plays in less than 30 mins. It is nice that there are no small pieces, just the board and the tiles. Recommended for family game night.

Tally Ho 3

5. Twizmo Words – This cube catches the eye of anyone passing it. Looks like the Rubix Cube but plays quite differently in that Twizmo Words is played with 2 or more players. Players take turns starting with a scrambled cube and the idea is to create a word with a minimum of 4 letters. Any other player can call out a 7 letter word and immediately will the points. Points are awarded for each letter of the word. In our case, we used 3 letter words since Victoria is an early reader/speller. Game play is quick, so if you only have 10 mins, this is perfect to have handy. And, like the Perplexus mini… it fits in a purse or school bag for easy travel.

Twizmo Words

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