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Archive for the ‘Game Reviews’ Category

Dancing Eggs

Contents: 9 rubber eggs, 1 wooden egg, 2 dice, and 1 packet of instructions.

Dancing Eggs is a really fun game, in my opinion. There are nine rubber eggs, and one wooden egg. Each rubber egg is worth one point, but the wooden egg is worth TWO points, as it is slippery.
The way this game works is that you are holding eggs in many different places. As I said before, the wooden egg is more likely to slip and fall, so that’s why it’s worth TWO points.
The action in this game is, well, the action die! It has six sides, each with a different symbol. One of the pictures, the bouncing egg, means that you have to bounce the egg from up high and the first one to catch the rubber egg wins it. Obviously, you can’t do this with a wooden egg because wood doesn’t bounce. That’s why the rest of these eggs are rubber, so they can act like bouncy balls, jumping around. And that’s only one of the six activities!
The catch for this game is that another die controls where you put your egg once you win it! There’s: in between your knees, in your armpit, underneath your chin, in your elbow, on your shoulder, and the jack which is any one of those options.
Well, I hope you play this game soon at one of our Game Days!

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Frank’s Zoo Review

Frank’s Zoo is a really fun animal card game!  You have cards with animals on them. Every animal can be eaten by another animal except for the killer whale because it is special.  The animal[s] that can eat your animal are on the top of your card.

You have a place where you pile up your animal cards.  If you don’t have any of the animal[s] that eat the animal on top of the card deck, then you have to pass or put two of the same animal that’s on top of the deck.  Every time no one can play, the deck goes to the discard pile.  Then the person who last played gets to start the next round.

In this game there is a JOKER.  The JOKER can only be played with another card.  tthere is also mosquitos.  If you put a mosquito with an elephant, the mosquito turns into an elephant.

This game is for 4-7 players.  Aged 10 and up.                                                       Contents: 60 cards: 4 mosquitoes, 1 JOKER, and 5 each of 11 other animals.

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Ingenious:             I like Ingenious because it is a really fun game.  You have tiles with two colors on each tile.  For each identical symbol that you line up, you move one square on your score board.  When you cannot place a tile on the game board, the game immediately ends.  You count up your points by seeing where your color that is closest to zero. Then you go up with your finger to see what your score is.  The player with the highest score wins the game!  The  really cool thing about Ingenious is that you can play by yourself and the more players, the wider the board gets.  The best thing about Ingenious for me is that my dad can never beat me!

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My friendly UPS man came by today and dropped off a package filled with 6 new board games!  Hooray!  I had to make the kids promise to finish their lunch and clean up a little and we tried out four of them in about an hour.  Here are some initial impressions:

Right Turn, Left Turn – Quick little card game, but not an easy one for my 5 year old.  You have to be able to differentiate between left and right based on the direction a traffic cop is standing on a card.  I modified it quickly to give each of them a couple of turns, but this one is going to need some work I think.

Number Chase – Another light card game, you lay out 50 numbered cards and one person selects one, writes it down.  The other players guess what card it was.  If you guess wrong, you flip over the card that you guessed and the writer has to answer the question truthfully to help lead the guessers to the card.  This was fun and teaches some basic algebra terms like range as well as other basic math rules.

M is for Mouse – This was a little more complicated that I had thought.  You have cards in your hand and cards on the table.  Each card has two pictures on it and two letters.  You have to match them up.  If you have a fish on your card and a card on the table has an F on it, then you matched!  Both kids needed some directional help to figure out how to make matches and there are three variations in the rules to help mix things up and change the game around.

Gopher It – This was our favorite one of the four we played.  You are a gopher trying to collect food for the winter.  There is a garden on the table (mixed up batch of cards) and you have to make groups of six of one of the food types.  You draw a card from the garden and either keep it or keep going, up to four times.  If you draw two of the same type of food in a row, you are done and have to discard all of the cards you just flipped over.  If you get more than 6 of one type of food, they spoil and you have to throw them all out!  Once you get 6, you get a gopher trophy for doing good work.  Collect three trophies and you are ready for the winter and win!

These are all designed by Reinhard Staupe and published by Bright Idea Games and Playroom Entertainment.

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As you may or may not know (or care), many of the great games that we own and that we are talking about on this site are designed by Germans.  Germans seem to love their board games more than any other group, I think.  Every year, there is a gigantic convention in Essen, Germany at which designers, publishers and the general public mingle and play new games together.

Once per year, the Kinderspiel des Jahres award is given out to a new children’s game.  Many of our favorite games have won this award in the past and this is a good starting point when you are searching for that next game you would like for your children.  Each game is also linked to Boardgamegeek.com, which needs some discussion as well, but that is for another time.

It is nice to see what won the current year, but your chances of getting it are slim.  If you can find someone who has imported it, great!  Just be ready to pay a few bucks.  Instead, if you are new to gaming or to buying games for children, explore the past winners.  You will have a better chance at getting the game, it will probably even have rules in English and you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get it.

Here is the current list of Kinderspiel des Jahres winners and links to the ‘Geek:

Year Winning Game Designer
2008 Wer war’s? Reiner Knizia
2007 Beppo der Bock Klaus Zoch & Peter Schackert
2006 Der schwarze Pirat Guido Hoffmann
2005 Das Kleine Gespenst Kai Haferkamp
2004 Geistertreppe Michelle Schanen
2003 Viva Topo! Manfred Ludwig
2002 Maskenball der Käfer Peter-Paul Joopen
2001 Klondike Stefanie Rohner and Christian Wolf
2000 Arbos Martin Arnold and Armin Müller
1999 Kayanak Peter-Paul Joopen
1998 Chicken Cha Cha Cha Klaus Zoch
1997 Leinen Los! Alex Randolph
1996 Vier zu mir! Heike Baum
1995 Karambolage Heinz Meister
1994 Loopin’ Louie Carol Wiseley
1993 Ringel Rangel Geni Wyss
1992 Galloping Pigs Heinz Meister
1991 Corsaro – Irrfahrt im Piratenmeer Wolfgang Kramer
1990 My Haunted Castle Virginia Charves
1989 Gute Freunde Alex Randolph

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I like Gulo Gulo because the pictures are nice, and easy to set-up. I really like when I win. There are wolverines in the game that need to find the baby wolverine who is trapped in the swamp vulture’s egg nest.  The grown-up wolverines have to get the baby out without tipping over the alarm.  The alarm tells the swamp vultures that someone is stealing their eggs.  I like to play it because it is fun to try to get the eggs out of the nest without knocking over the alarm.  It is also fun to jump ahead of other people when you pick the mystery tile.

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