So many games!!

I knew there would be lots of games to see and play at Origins, but once we were there and saw everything, it was mind blowing! We went down on Friday and again on Sunday so that I could meet with some of publishers. We were able to try out a few games on Friday: Songbirds by Daily Magic Games and Everybody Loves a Parade by Calliope games. We also brought home a bunch of games to try out and review. Those will be coming in the future.

The artwork on the box was beautiful!

Songbirds was a lot of fun. The job is to end up with the card of the color of bird that is making the most noise. Clear as mud, right? Once we started playing the game, it totally made sense. The game is played in a 5 x 5 grid, with the “loudest” bird in each row or column winning points. (Adding points on cards of the same color in same row/column determine the “loudest” bird.) At the end of the game, each player is left with one card in their hand. If that card matches the loudest bird, they win.

The loudest/winning bird was the one with the highest amount of points.

The game was pretty fast and does require some strategy, but T had no problems with it at all. He caught on almost right away. We ended up having the losing bird colors, it it was still a lot of fun. I liked that there was strategic thinking and math involved. He wasn’t thinking that he had to add too numbers together and get a total. He was just trying to get the points. I love games that can get math involved without him knowing. He learns the concepts of math easier and I don’t listen to him complain.

I have many other games to talk about, my mind is just spinning! I am still trying to wrap my head around all of the amazing things we saw over the weekend. I’m pretty sure anyone could find a game topic there that they’d enjoy. I will be posting more in the days to come, stay tuned!

Surprise!

I will be at Origins! I won’t officially be there as a press person, but I will be there, as a press person. I’m hoping to meet up with publishers of games that I enjoy and preview what new games will be out that will be amazing for gameschooling. T is most excited about the painting that he can do. N has no idea. It will be interesting to see how the boys react to such a large and busy venue.

I managed to create business cards to have on hand. I made them for both myself and T. It makes us seem more “official”. Or something. Eventually I’ll have better cards, but for now they work. I wanted something that tied the site to us. In the process I learned new iPad apps, so I’ll take that as a win.

Columbus bound…in a day or so!

It’s convention time!

The beginning of June brings my birthday and Origins Game Fair in Columbus. I had really hoped to make it down there this year, using either a media badge or a teacher badge. Instead, I will be attending virtually from home. I suppose our bank account will thank me…Anyway. I’ll manage and hopefully be able to still bring you news of new and upcoming games.

One of the new releases being previewed is Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky by Renegade Game Studios. I’ve been a fan of the original Lanterns game, I have the physical edition as well as the app on my iPad and phone. I’ve taught T how to play the app, he hasn’t played the physical game yet. I think it’s a little easier to see how to score points and obtain favor in the app. The new version being released is a dice version. I am really looking forward to seeing how they switch the game up from tiles to dice. I’ll admit, I’m a pushover for dice and tile games. It happens.

As the week goes by I will try to add more previews as games are released. I’m really interested in seeing everything that comes from this show, and I can’t wait to share it with you and the boys!

It’s Spring!

It’s been awhile. I apologize. Time has a habit of marching on, even if we aren’t ready for it to! For Christmas, we finally gave in and bought Minecraft for Truck. He now has it on the Nintendo Switch, iPad, and Kindle. It is also on my laptop, but I haven’t let him play on there yet. Our world has become a daily conversation of what is being built, creepers, zombies, weapons, etc.. We both have accounts so we are able to play together when we can. I don’t play nearly as much as he does (practically all day, every day if I’d let him.)

We have played some traditional games as well, but Minecraft seems to be where it’s at. He’s learned to play rummy and he could play war. A deck of cards is always a plus, especially when we’re hanging out at the hospital for Ninja’s appointments. I’m hoping we can teach him Hand and Foot soon.

A 2-player version of No Thanks!

Over the weekend we played No Thanks! by Amigo. The age says 8+, but T managed to grasp the concept quickly. It’s also for 3+ players, but sometimes we just have to make do and play with 2. I enjoyed the game and can’t wait to play again soon. T, on the other hand, realized that I was having him practice double digit addition and hasn’t been as keen on the idea.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to start playing more games outside now that the weather is decent. Until then, I’m off to research how to make Minecraft teach him things without him realizing it.

Crazier Eights: Shahrzad

Remember when I told you about playing Crazier Eights: 1001 Nights? Well, it got better and crazier!

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A new addition has been added-Crazier Eights: Shahrzad. It can be played as a smaller, stand alone, 3-player game or as an extension to Crazier Eights: 1001 Nights. The card backs are the same, so if you combine them, you won’t know which deck your cards are from. (You also won’t really be able to tell from the majority of the fronts of the cards either, so once they’re combined, they’re combined.)

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Just like its predecessor, the game is played like Crazy 8’s, with the addition of Assets and Events that help make the game more interesting. The biggest difference is the addition of split cards, allowing you to pick one or the other on the card.(These are in place of the 8s) The change allows you to use the card as a wild for either of the suits that is shown. The activity is different from each other. For example, the Peace/Quiet card is for sun/ankh suites. If you play the event for sun (Peace), it will allow you to discard an additional card on the turn. If you chose the event for ankh (Quiet), your opponents cannot play any event cards until your next turn.

img_1045Truck still isn’t fluent in reading, so we often play this game just as regular Crazy 8’s. He’s had a lot of fun looking at all of the artwork and deciding what it is about if it isn’t obvious to him. It’s been a great way to discuss the different tales from Arabian nights, and sometimes we act them out as well.

Crazier Eights: Shahrzad is set to be released soon (like today!) and can be ordered here.

Special thanks to James Gray for providing the copy of the game for play and review.

Storytelling fun

img_3870So lately we’ve been in a creative, story creating mood. I was given the opportunity to try a new game that is currently being offered on Kickstarter called Carrot and Stick. This game has created quite a few new tales and adventures. There are set instructions for playing the game with three or more people, but I’ll be honest: we made up our own.

 

We started with two character cards, a location card, and then three word cards. Truck still isn’t reading well (he’s making progress, but not quite to this level yet,) so we played with our hands showing. Not that it mattered-we were just making up fun stories anyway. Our stories were quite silly, but the sillier they got, the better! I absolutely love that we can play a game and have fun and learn at the same time. (Creative writing and story creation, anyone?)

 

img_1040I absolutely adore the art on the cards. We were fortunate to receive some custom artwork of our family. It adds a bit more to the game when “Terminator T” is on the adventure! If you back the game on Kickstarter, one of the levels includes receiving custom cards. Truck really wanted me to change our pledge to that level to get more custom characters.
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One of the stretch goals is a 2 player set of rules-I’m really looking forward to receiving them and playing yet another way!  The Kickstarter campaign will be ending really soon, so be sure to check it out!

 


A special thank you to Matthew and Petya from Mindpipe games for the game and the opportunity to review!

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Sometimes crazier IS better!

A week or so ago, the boys and I were shopping at one of the local thrift stores, looking for games to use with our curriculum this year. In one of the bins I found a deck of Crazy Eights, straight outta my childhood! I remember inventing games with them as a kid. (That’s what happens when you’re an only child. You invent new versions.) I picked the deck up for a mere quarter and brought them home to play with Truck. He was hooked on the game after the first round! Yay-something other than Uno!

After playing that for awhile, we decided to kick it up a notch with a new game that is currently available as a Kickstarter, Crazier Eights: One Thousand and One Nights. The cards feature the characters from Shahrzad’s Arabian Nights. Through playing different assets and events during the game, you get to lead them on different adventures.

Obviously, the original game doesn’t have events or assets, but they add a great twist!Truck had a great time looking at the artwork and asking questions about the story. He picked up on using the cards to his advantage quickly. He still isn’t reading fluently, so he did have some help reading what the cards said. This is quickly becoming his go to game when we are out and about. I love that there is sneaky reading practice in this game!

If you’re looking for a fun game that can be a gateway into other fantasy games, or a segue for what will be studied, I highly recommend Crazier Eights: One Thousand Nights. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter page-the game has been funded, so you’ll be sure to receive it if you support it!

I received a copy of this game in exchange for my review.

Convention Envy

This week in Indianapolis, thousands of board game players, designers and publishers are gathering for the annual Gen Con. I won’t lie. I want to be there even though I cannot stand crowds. There are so many new games on the brink of coming out, or just came out, that I’d love to see them and try them. My budget and lack of storage space thank me for staying home.

I have been learning how to play new games on my iPad. So far this week I have played Ganz Schön Clever, Latice and Roll For It!. I have found all three games to be lots of fun and I look forward to having the physical copies so that I can teach Truck how to play.

I will be following Gen Con on Twitter and also following GenCan’t, a feed for those of us that can’t make it but still want some convention-like fun. More info, as well as a link to the two winning Print and Play card games from their contest sponsored by Button Shy, you can head here.

Coding for all ages

Can you remember what you were doing when you were 8 years old? I’m pretty sure my nose was stuck in a book most of the time. I probably went outside when I was told to, but mostly I was reading.

For 8 year old Samaira Mehta, she was busy inventing a game. She’s a girl with a vision-“To get everyone age 4-104 excited about coding in a really fun way!” That’s a pretty big goal-and I’m pretty sure she’s met it. (If she hasn’t, she has to be close!)

The game she invented is called Coder Bunnyz. The goal is to program your bunny to reach the destination in the center. Your bunny has to get his carrot first and he might encounter some obstacles that need to be passed, but ultimately, you want to be the first to reach the destination.

Don’t worry-you don’t need to have coding experience to play, nor do you need fancy equipment. Everything you need comes in the box. To program your bunny, there are direction cards-left, right, jump. To move your bunny, you roll the die to see how many cards, and then you select the directions accordingly.

Truck and I played this game a couple of times, trying the easiest way (without getting carrots first) and then the intended way (getting the carrot then going to the destination.) I was a little worried he wouldn’t get the concept, be he caught on instantly and had a fantastic time playing. There are other, more complex variations to play, but we are going to build up to those. You can even play the game solo if you want!

Coder Bunnyz is a lot of fun, and if I didn’t know it, I would have never guessed that a young girl designed it. It plays smoothly and definitely can be played by all ages, kids together, adults together, kids with parents/kids with grandparents, etc. I really enjoy games that allow playability across the ages, and this one is teaching a skill that will be needed as technology continues to move on. Grandma might not be coding computers when she’s done, but she’ll know the basic concepts! I love that this game can fit into our gameschooling day and it not seem like we’re working at all!

A copy of the game was provided for review.

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