Re-makes are not really my thing. The Ben-Hur movie of 2016? Woof. Crystal Pepsi? Trying too hard. Every Disney animated movie ever now coming back as live action? NO. So when I heard that there was now an entire tabletop game company, Restoration Games, devoted to remaking* classic games, I was … skeptical. Then I heard about Downforce. And my inner 10-year-old demanded a play though.
It’s time to bear down and start building! This week we take a look at one of the hottest games to come out of Origin this year, the tile-laying game Bärenpark from Lookout Spiele and Mayfair. We’ll tell you whether it’s a universally koality* experience, or if we think it’s a bit more polar-izing.
Sometimes you just need to buy a game in person, whether it’s because you don’t want to buy online or because you need to pick up a last-minute present. We share with you our top games that we found at our local Target store.
Every person who takes care of children knows the importance of play. But sometimes young kids need to be encouraged to stretch their imaginations. Sometimes their grownups need permission to be silly and simply have fun. Have you howled like a wolf today? Maybe you should! » Read more
This week, we take a look at a pair of short, simple games from Strawberry Studio, What’s Up and Strawberry Ninja. Strawberry Studio’s mission is to “enrich the world of gaming with a line of smart, fun and easy to play microgames for families and friends”. Do they succeed with these two titles? Let’s dive in and find out.
Whizz! Clack! At first glance, Potion Explosion looks like just a gimmick – a board game adaptation of digital match-3 games like Bejeweled. Pull out marbles, make matches. But there is so much more to this delightful game!
A baobab tree has a thick trunk and flat, spreading branches. Why? Because the players have to build it that way! Can you build a spectacular canopy, or will your tree tumble? » Read more
The clue-scouring gumshoe has always been a role masked in mystery and intrigue. Hardly a role for kids usually, mysterious detective tales filled with riddles and enigmas are designed to confound even the brightest observer. Enter Outfoxed, a lighthearted cooperative whodunit game from GameWright aimed squarely at a younger generation. Somebody stole Mrs Plumpert’s pot pie and it’s up to the team of young detectives to find out who it was before they get away! Is Outfoxed outstanding, or is it insipid? Let’s find out.
Summer is here, and with it comes car trips, family gatherings, and other situations where a typical board game isn’t a great choice. What about a simple trivia game, or two?
Box of Rocks and Parent Quiz are both simple trivia games published by Haywire Group. Both can be played in just a few minutes, and encourage discussion among the players. Which one is right for your family?
Crashing lightning, booming thunder, and thousands upon thousands of gallons of water pour from the sky. The drumming of torrential downpour on the roof of the Ark is calming in its regularity, as the unending rows of matched pair animals bray and paw nervously. There is a loud creaking as the rising water level begins to lift the massive boat off its perch, a dry dock in the middle of the desert. You’re in Noah’s Ark. But how did you get here? Are you Shem, Ham, Japheth, or are you the patriarchal head, Noah himself?
On this episode, we discuss what makes a board game good for playing outside, like at a picnic!
What could be more classic than a naval battle between two warring pirate ships? With straightforward mechanics and great art by accomplished artist Kevin Rechin, The Haywire Group brings us Pirate Ships, a simple game of naval destruction! Do we think Pirate Ships is seaworthy? Or is it cannon fodder?
Donovan Eberling and Jeff James are the founders of Iron Hippo Games and co-creators (or maybe “architects”) of Tournament of Towers, a dexterity game now on Kickstarter. » Read more
The king and queen of Geometria have declared a tournament to build a great monument. Will you favor the careful construction of Queen Structura, or the bold creativity of King Curvanimus?
One of my recently adopted criteria for a good family game is total length – from setup, through play time, to teardown. In this, Clear for Takeoff excels. Designed by Hagen Temeryazev, an airline pilot, illustrated by Etienne Hebinger, and published by Blue Orange Games, Clear for Takeoff is a card game that has you racing to get all three of your planes down the runway and into the air before anyone else. Hampered by an over-dependence on luck, and at times descending into maddening waits for just the right card draw, the game is still a fine amusement for a wide age range when you’ve got only a few minutes for play and even fewer for reading a rulebook.
Test tubes clank as their contents are poured back and forth. “Eureka!” a voice shouts. “I’ve got it!” Dr. Eureka promises fast-paced, family-friendly gameplay. But does this dexterity-puzzle game master the formula for fun?
I love playing games with my kids that have either a simple setup, a simple cleanup, or simple rules. Battle Sheep, designed by Francesco Rotta and published by Blue Orange Games, has all three. With just a handful of quality components and a very limited set of choices to make each turn, games are breezy fun with your little lambs, but there’s surprising strategic depth when playing with older ones.
Let’s take a look at the game, and I promise to not use too many baa-d puns.
Digit’y Do is a simple pen-and-paper game that combines Bingo, counting, probability, and guesswork. It keeps kids and adults engaged and entertained. It takes less than five minutes to explain, so you’ll be playing in no time. Best of all, proceeds from this game go to a good cause: the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF), which provides medical grants for children across the U.S. So you can have fun and help kids at the same time!
Before the partnership with UHCCF, Digit’y Do was also known as Streams or 20 Express. It won a Parent’s Choice award in 2013, and we think it deserves more attention!