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Stephanie's Suggestions #8

Hey Anne, 

It's been awhile I thought I'd touch base with you and see how you were doing. We have been busy this summer with it being the first summer I have enrolled my son in camps (other than VBS). It was fun but busy to say the least. I purchased different games for different reasons. Some for homeschool/educational purposes, some for solo play, some in hope my husband would like them and play with me (that sounds strange but he is more a video gamer than board gamer). Without further todo, here are the game suggestions. 

  • Buildzi- from the tenzi company, for some reason, building games excel at my game day events. This one has the added benefit of being 6 games in 1. I highly recommend it for adults and kids. Since there is no cute theme, adults are more likely to play this. Here is a link to a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLUNvm1MREY. If the cards get too easy, there is an expansion pack with more challenge cards called 99 more Buildzi towers. 

  • Katamino family- although this is similar to Buildzi in one aspect of the game (building a tower), this is amazing as a brain teaser for solo play and up to 2 players. The cards are great with different levels including a "kid side/adult side" card. My only complaint is that the paint on them may not be as durable as I wish it was. We have played this a couple of times and there are several chipped areas of paint. Here is a short video from the company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezhwJsxHit8. So far my son loves trying to make the animal shapes best but "normal" play entertained my 10 year nephew for 15 minutes. Usually I usually hold his attention for less than 10 minutes. 

  • What do you meme? Family edition- I cannot stress this enough. You must buy the Family edition. The adult edition is way too adult. Sometimes, I buy the adult games and pick out the "adult" cards but with this game there was no way that could happen. That said, it is super fun and has been a hit at my game events. I don't usually like "party" games because you need 3 or more people and I could never be sure there would be. However this summer I tried it and it worked beautifully! Plus if you wanted more cards, there is an expansion pack with updated memes and meme suggestions. This is apples to apples but with memes and meme suggestions. My son doesn't get all the references yet; so not the greatest for younger kids with limited understanding of the meme suggestions. Here is a review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0k38B0fd4Y

  • Pool Party- I bought this for its components. My husband had to look up how to play it. Essentially, it is jumping frogs (instead they use triangular pieces) into a "pool" whoever has the most in the  pool gets that amount of points. The person with the most points after 3 rounds wins the game. This works great for when you throw the pieces as well instead of popping them in. This has mixed results when played by the rules; I would say that most of the time; it dissolves into free play. Here is a review  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77joaVrE4o4.

  • T.A.P.E.S!- This game is perfect for that kid who loves to measure or guess stuff. Unfortunately that kid hasn't attended my game events. The concept is neat. I mention this game because it deserves a mention. From an education standpoint, I liked the idea of practicing measuring but not using standard measuring units instead you are measuring in apples and soda cans. Here is a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhWNhs_MPfs

  • Clack! Thwack by Amigo- So, my neighbor kid is colorblind which made playing clack difficult. So this one is nicer for him because it relies less on color; it relies more on the number of vehicles and animals. However, it is not as travel friendly as Clack! is my opinion. It has some interesting rules and is a lot of fun to play. https://www.amazon.com/AMIGO-Games-CLACK-Thwack-Multi/dp/B09CH7W9VM/ref=sr_1_2?crid=353UXHO3JBA2N&keywords=clack+thwack&qid=1693356084&sprefix=clack+th%2Caps%2C286&sr=8-2 

  • Magna-tiles Treasure Hunt- I found this at Goodwill. The game is very simple; however this game falls into the "used for components" category. One of my regulars will just build a box with the tiles.  What I can do is appreciate that it has several ways to play it that get progressively more complex. Here is the link for it on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ravensburger-Magna-Tiles%C2%AE-Treasure-Hunt-Children/dp/B09YBL58NK/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3R4N5EP17Z6GI&keywords=magna+tiles+treasure+hunt&qid=1693356304&sprefix=magna+tiles+treasure+hunt%2Caps%2C135&sr=8-2

  • Operation- a classic that I brought out of my personal collection because a kid asked for it at one game day event; however it has been played with a lot. I was surprised since it is an older version of the game. 

  • By the book by Foxmind- I love to read and I thought this was so cute. I had to buy it. You have to balance the books so the book shelf on top is level. I have solved all the puzzles; so the statement that these puzzles are too easy is true to an extent. It is fun to play with kids and it can be used for components as well. In fact, my son like to build a shelf and try to knock it over with various things (like hotwheel cars). Here is a  review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqaML4hDOis

  • Dweebies by gamewright- To help teach probability with a super cute card game, this is the game. Tom does a good job with this review. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA2bEKZzqGA&t=5s. My mother and I played this and she got obsessed with it. 

  • Burger Bear Bonanza by mudpuppy- This game became popular this summer. The rules page was confusing but the video is much clearer. Here is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uNVe5n5XR4. I saw several families adapt the rules in different ways. I liked how you could cut out the stealing if you wanted. Thus, eliminating the "take that" element. As a side note, I have come to realize I have way too many food themed games. 

  • faux.cabulary- This is one for older kids; it is a fun "make up a word" game. Here is a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KL29Am_urk. My nephew likes to play occasionally. However, you need at least 3 people which can be hard to find sometimes.   

  • Ramen Stack- This is another stacking game but you are stacking Ramen toppings. It is not available on amazon and no reviews to show you. Here is one of the sites you can purchase it. https://worldofmirth.com/products/ramen-stack-game. My son liked stacking them one on top of each other. I was like "It's not ramen tower. It's ramen stack." However, he told he is stacking them... into a tower. So I have learned to  keep my mouth shut as long as it seems like he is enjoying a game even it is just for it's components. :)

  • Noodle Knockout- I put this game in the same category as Acorn Soup; only this can be played 3 different ways, I think. This game can also be challenging to older kids by using their non-dominate hand. https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Noodle-Knockout-Skills/dp/B097F38G8Z/ref=sr_1_8?crid=1DW4P9LMMTB1P&keywords=Ramen%2Bstack%2Bgame&qid=1693358869&sprefix=ramen%2Bstackgame%2Caps%2C262&sr=8-8&th=1. I watched this game for awhile before I bought it. It was a big hit at my game events. I was told by several people they were looking into buying it for themselves.

  • Stupid Deaths by University Games- There are 2 versions of this game. I own the travel version but a family I know say they wished they brought the full version since they now they know all the cards in the travel version. Here is the link for the travel version https://www.amazon.com/University-Games-Stupid-Deaths-Coffin/dp/B08CXN2V9G/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2LDAW1QRSF7YP&keywords=stupid+deaths+game&qid=1693364305&sprefix=stupid+deaths+game%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-3. That said this game is for older kids. There are a few cards that we had to pull but for the most part, kids bought us the cards they didn't understand. 

  • Burger Academy- I bought this game on a whim because it was on discount and I thought it could use it for components. The game is neat. However with the ages of kids at my events, we use it for the components and they make the burgers on the cards. So we turned it into a matching game. Here is a good review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AZSmHoWYLI&t=31s.

  • Drop it- This was an one I have been watching for awhile. I knew it was good for it's educational qualities but I also liked it for variety of play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPw00W3ZtR4&t=490s. This is a good explanation of the rules and game play. Maybe it is the age of the kids I play, but this one could easily dissolve into free play. some of the kids were very serious about playing by the rules and really wanted to score the most points. 

  • Kellogg's pop tart game- Another food game! I saw this one on discount and picked it up. I really enjoyed this game more than I thought I would. Also, it made me want to eat pop tarts. Here is a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9-Ko99FQxU. It is small and I think it would make a good travel game. With no to little reading, this is a good game for younger players.  

  • Beacon patrol- While traveling to Wisconsin, we found a board game store close to the grocery store we were going to. So naturally we had to go in, I saw this game on their facebook page and knew I should pick it up. Tile laying games are some of my favorite type of games. They seems more solo friendly in my experience. So I purchased it and have no regrets. Here is a good review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BiPvoSFTw8.  

  • Amimouv- I was recommend another game by this publisher; however I felt like I had several games like it. Then I saw this game in their line up. I thought it was such a neat twist on a checker-ish game. That stated, my son and I usually play up to 5 to 10 cards as a winning condition not the full deck like the rules say to. Here is the review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5yhMwmVx8g&t=136s

  • Abducktion- This game my son insisted I buy because it has a duck and an alien spaceship. This can be a long game if you take a long time making decisions. This video explains the rules well and shows you a playthrough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J-qri4xpHs. My son was so excited when he won the first game we played of it. There is some luck to it. My niece wanted to reserve cards just for herself (of course those were the ones with the higher point value). When her sister had the matching configuration, we had some conflict since I didn't allow my niece to reserve it (this isn't splendor). Maybe this luck element could be taken out or mitigated somehow I haven't thought of yet. Anyway, it is a newer game and so nicely made. I definitely recommend it. 

  • Wordsmithery- I love games with vocabulary words I don't have to spell. Recently, we started using it for homeschool since there are some kids level cards. My son might start to say "repugnant" in his daily vocabulary. It could be a nice car travel game. Here is a video from the publishers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_76F-ii7qo

  • Word Smith- I discovered this one in the mist of my research for the previous game. I liked the kinesthetic aspect to spelling letters. It would have been so much fun as a kid to play this game. I know of a spelling tool that is similar but I like this colorful game version better. 

  • Illiterati - Another spelling game! I was into these for a while, what can I say, I have phases. Plus, it is easy to buy this under my "homeschool" budget. Tom does a good review here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDw0pjr5glk. I have only played this game solo and it is very fun. However pay attention to which version you are buying, the deluxe version has upgraded tiles I believe. I bought the base game and it has cardboard tiles which are still nice. 

  • Star Wars the deckbuilding game- This is a 2 player game I bought for fathers day. My husband loves star wars; I heard this is a game people like even if they didn't like Star Wars. So, I researched it and bought it. The rules are explained here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMERCBNvaIY. Of course, My husband obliterated me in our first play through. I have hope one day I beat him. This guy reviews it as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC1JXPIV-04

Sorry for the long email, I hope you had a great summer and look forward to hearing from you. 

Sincerely, 

Stephanie

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