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Stephanie's Suggestions #7

Hey Anne, 

It's been awhile. I hope you and your family have been well. Recently, our local library hosted a teen game day with me. We had about 22 people; honestly, I was expecting maybe 5 to show up. There was some board game action and also video game action as well. So, we are adding video games to the next one. Personally, it would have been great to have kept the program as it was originally designed; however, I understand that to attract more people then we should try new things. Don't get me wrong; I like video games. I just prefer board games. If you asked my son what his favorite game was, he would talk your ear off about video games (anything Kirby, Pokemon, or Mario related specifically). The balance between the two types of gaming (at home and at game day events) will come and as long as everyone has fun that is all that matters .     

So, we have been expanding our game selection. Here are some suggestions. (I apologize if I have mentioned any of these before.)

  • Kitten- similar to Cat Stak, you have cards that you try to build the picture with cats. This is great for all ages. I have found that it works better for younger kids to get their own card; while older kids can play this competitively. Here the game play/review from the dice tower. It has worked out well at my game day events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD07BjwPP2U

  • Boop- We have played this once. It was fun and easy to pick up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f859a4xDj1I&t=255s

  • Top Trumps- this is a "war" type card game with different themes. Cats were the deck that got us into them. There are categories on the cards and you see who has the winning value (depending on the topic, it is either the highest value or the lowest value.). They have educational themes like "STEM" to popular culture like Disney movies and Star Wars. My husband thinks it is a bit boring and it can be boring after 25 minutes like some "war" games can take. However, I find it best to set a time limit; after 10 minutes see who has the most cards. The person with the most cards is the winner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RNtB--oGiw

  •  Clue Jr- It is a simplified version of Clue. The mystery differs depending on the verison you get. I found mine at goodwill and the mystery was "who ate the slice of cake?" This game is great because it introduces the elements and mechanisms of clue that young children can handle. It is not a cooperative game; so either be prepared to play as a team or make sure the child is okay if they lose. The other positive is the replayability. The person, drink, and place always changes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJsIpDqPgBY

  • Make a Pie- this is essentially a yummy fractions game. I bought mine on Amazon. My son likes to match them. So we didn't use the game as intended but it was still fun and useful. Although, it might make you hungry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuT9gdV_gzY

  • Delicious- This is a flip and write that I have been enjoying. It is from the same company as "Sunset over Water"; I believe their game is Pencil First Games. The goal is to plant the best veggie garden and fruit orchard (and score the most points). This one is beautiful. It is not too big or too small. I would take this on a plane over "Welcome to"; Mainly because it can throw other challenges that "welcome to" can't do. However, they are very similar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSnwhlt-5A0&t=386s

  • Potion Explosion- I splurged and bought the 2nd edition of this one; it is so much fun. It might take longer than 20 minutes but it is great fun. I have a feeling my son likes to play this mainly to see the marbles move. The review will explain the rules and game play better than I can.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiz-JkDl8fI

  • We Detectives- This one is nice due to it's cooperative nature. It has mixed results at my house depending on which kid I play this with. This review is pretty good and explains the rules/gameplay well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttlYMQaLmHw

  • Trek12- This roll and write is mountain climbing themed and comes with various challenges that extend the gameplay possibilities. I typically play this solo. This game is more travel friendly than another roll and write I own called " On Tour". Here is a review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkYNDP2NpaE&t=1018s

  •  On Tour- This roll and write is geography-ish based and similar in goal to Trek12. My husband is good at this one. This review will say it better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2axePUrqg8E 

  • Bites- This ant themed game is another favorite at my house. It is easily teachable to pretty much anyone. My son likes to add pokemon figures that "watch" the ant more around. Honestly, it feels like I should take pictures of the board/decorations he has done. The gameplay on this might get past 20 minutes but this is easy to fix by limiting the number of pieces for the "board". Here is a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilDnQpP5b0k. They recently did a redesign on the box, I think. 

  • Popcorn dice- This one I liked for teaching probability but once the game starts we forget about math and just have fun with it. I don't travel with it often however it could travel well. This review says it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz8AJjawfks

  • Just Wild- I haven't played this one yet. I bought it for my teen game days. It looks interesting. Here is the video from the developers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MJ9L8JPyRc

  • Viticulture- This is a longer game for sure. It is not a "filler" game (at least to me it isn't.) I would classify it as a "medium" weight game; especially since it is one of the first engine building games I've owned in a long time. I was never into engine building games as a kid but I love wine so I gave this a shot. My husband will play this will me; however when we play it we add a house rule. We draw one more card to help mitigate the "luck" aspect of card drawing. Here is a video of the rules. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_CSug__g9M

  • Skulls of Sedlec Dig and Write- This a flip and write for skulls of sedlec. Need I say more? I laminated my copy and it has been fun playing it in the car on trips. I attached the pdf to the email. It is free on pnp arcade. 

  • At the Helm- from Button Shy, this is a newer release I highly recommend you look into.

  • 3 Little Piggies- This was fun for logic; there is a similar game from the same designer with cats and boxes instead of pigs and houses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUCCd3oGtGY

I pull a lot of Dice Tower review videos; Their videos are usually first in the search results and tend to explain the games well. I don't always agree with the review and that's okay.  I know some people will like games and other people won't. Hopefully, the videos I include are helpful. If not, let me know. 

Have you purged any of your game collection? I have been feeling the itch to organize and purge the games that we don't play or have outgrown. Not necessarily to make room for more games, mainly for that ignored game to find a home that will appreciate it. Apparently, I think of games as if they were abandoned animals at a shelter.  I would love to hear what you think of these suggestions. 

Sincerely, 

Stephanie

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