New Favorite?

I might just have a new favorite game to play! Don’t get me wrong-I enjoy playing almost all games (war games aren’t something I can get into), but this new game…there’s something about it that just hooks you.

One thing about going to a game convention, you get to learn about other publishers of games, ones that you don’t see at Target or Walmart, ones you need to go online to purchase or go to your local game store. One that I learned about was Smirk & Laughter. They have several beautiful games, and one that they just released, Shobu, is quite possibly my new favorite.

The main object of the game is to knock 4 of your opponent’s stones off of one of the playing boards. Sounds simple. How you go about that, however, is a little tricky, and I really think that’s why I enjoy the game so much. On each turn, you do two things. You first make a passive move on either of your colored boards on your side of the rope and then you aggressively make the exact same move on either of the opposite color boards (yours or theirs.) I learned to think in reverse, look at how I could knock T’s stones off of the board, and then look to see if that move was available on my side. T took to the game easily, as usual. I thought maybe it would stump him some, but he understood what was going on. He often forgot to look to see what moves he needed to make and would just make moves to make them. That often hurt him.

The game reminds me of checkers and chess. It’s not like them, aside from removing opponent’s pieces and having a strategy. The boards and stones are absolutely stunning. They are simple but asthetically pleasing. If we had a coffee table and didn’t have a child that likes to throw things, we would totally leave the game out all the time.

As mentioned before, had I not gone to Origins, I would not have known about this game, or any of the others from them or their darker side, Smirk & Dagger. I have one other game from them to try out, called Before There Were Stars. It’s a story telling game, something that I really enjoy and like to use to get T’s creative juices flowing. (Not that they aren’t, but this redirects them from Minecraft or random battles.) I will be sure to let you know how it is when we get it to the table!

Balancing act

In the past 5 years, I’ve learned how to balance many things on my proverbial plate. Doctors, specialists, therapies, play time, nap time, life. It really is amazing how you learn to do so many things when you have a child that is considered medically fragile. You look at him and wouldn’t realize it, but he definitely keeps us on our toes.

I’ve tried to keep a balance with T too. It’s hard to be the older sibling and not get the attention or time the younger one gets. That’s one of my motivations for homeschooling. We get to spend time together learning new things in a way that works for him. I started this site to help share what we like and don’t like in our homeschool/gameschool life. It helps me feel “connected” to others that are spending time playing and learning with their kids. (It also helps me keep my writing skills working. There are some things from my working past that I miss!)

This past week or so, we’ve been playing several games of Animal Upon Animal-Crest Climbers and Animal Upon Animal: Small and yet Great from HABA. It looks like an easy game-you stack the animals on each other, you don’t want to knock them down, and you want to be first out. Looks can be deceiving! You can only use one hand, and

the animals cannot be perpendicular. T is pro at this game. (He did play solo games, maybe that helped him.) He can get the animals to seemingly balance on the smallest portion of the stack. I, on the other hand, knock them down. I don’t have the steady hand that he does, and I’m just not coordinated.

It doesn’t stop me from playing though! It’s good fine motor practice, something I’ve learned a lot about when taking the boys to therapies.

Yesterday we took the Small and yet Great version with us to an outing. I knew there would be some down time, and I wanted to not have to listen about Minecraft the entire time. I love that the box is small and fits easily into N’s wheelchair bag. (I could probably take up less space by putting it in a drawstring bag, but I’m afraid it would get lost in the abyss that is the bag.) T played a few games with his cousin that was in town. It was fun watching him explain the game to her and then trying to balance the super tiny animals upon each other. I won’t lie. My favorite animal is the frog. I need to get more of those frog pieces into my life.

I was looking at the HABA website and noticed they have another version of the game Animal Upon Animal-Here We Turn! It looks to be the same concept, building animals up, but upon a rotating disk. I think that looks really cool, and yet, scary! I wonder if that would be a challenge for T…

I’m hoping the next few weeks will be full of game posts for everyone to read. I picked up several fun games at Origins and we’ve been slowly playing our way through the pile. I also have some future Kickstarters lined up to play and share. This is the time of year when the game companies are releasing their new games. It coincides with Gen Con, a huge convention held in Indianapolis. I am on the wait list for media tickets for that one. I have a feeling I will be watching everything from Ohio, but we’ll see. Just looking at the floorplan of the vendors/exhibitors can be overwhelming! Luckily, if I do go, I have a plan for the boys so they won’t have to be overwhelmed themselves. (Yay for family near Indy!)

Have you been playing any games lately? Old games, new games, new to you? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to-so be sure to let me know. Here, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…whatever works best for you!

It’s been one week…

It’s been a week of rain, reading instructions, rain, letting the dust settle, more rain and learning a new AR game.

Learning to play at Origins.

So far T has played Haba‘s Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers a few times alone. It’s a great solo game, offering spacial skills as well as fine motor skills for balancing.  He didn’t necessarily follow the rules, but I’m ok with him trying to build the biggest mountain he can. (Until our insurance and hospital are able to come to an agreement, this is as close to OT as he is going to get!) We also have the Animal Upon Animal: Small and yet Great version waiting. I got that one for when we were out and about. We haven’t gone anywhere other than the hospital for therapies! Such a total change from our usual routine. Now that it’s the weekend, I’m hoping that maybe we will get to play at least one of the games that I’ve read the instructions for. We have another Haba game on board, The Hearmees, to be played this weekend too. Maybe the listening skills required for that game will translate over to life. Ha! I will be posting a review on that game soon.

Also this week, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was released by Niantic. We’ve been waiting for this game for awhile. We (mostly Halo42, but we join in on occasions) are still playing Pokemon Go, but we have added this to our mix. It definitely has a learning curve! The good thing is that from our house we can usually find a few “Confoundables” fairly regularly. The problem is having the energy to be able to cast the spell to get the back! Definitely a little different than the other game, but it is still fun. It was a lot of fun deterining what my wizard name was going to be (Iris Grace). I found a fun name generator online and was able to combine two names that I liked. With all of this HP excitement, it gets me into the mood to listen to the books and to play some of the games from The Op as well. They have released and will be releasing severeral HP themed games. I think T’s reading is finally up to being able to play the first book of Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle-a Cooperative Deck Building Game. I think he’s ready for Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defence Against the Dark Arts too, we just need to find it out in the “wild”!

 

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!

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.

Welcome to Ninja Truck Reviews!

Welcome to our new site! We’re happy to have you here with us!

Let me introduce how “we” are. We are a homeschooling and gameschooling family of 4 in Northeastern Ohio. Truck is 6 and Ninja will be 4 in less than a few weeks. I am known as NinjaTruck’s Mom. I used to have the identity of ScrappyChiq (I still do,) but I spend my days these days as Mom. NinjaTruck’s Dad is here too. 

We have a unique family, not unlike any other family out there. Ninja is currently fighting Acute Lympoblasic Leukemia and will complete treatment in 2019. He’s also awesome because he rocks a 3rd 21st chromosome. As he slowly grows, we are adding him into our homeschooling mix where and when we can. Truck loves to play games, build things with Legos and watch YouTube. He aspires to be a YouTuber one day.

We plan to use this site to share our reviews of games we are playing-both current and upcoming, and how they fit in to our homeschool/gameschooling life. We will also let you know about other things that we use around here that are helpful to our daily homeschooling life.

Thank you for joining us-we hope you enjoy your stay!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑