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Family Games as Christmas Gifts....let's review them here 😊

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I think it would be great to have a thread devoted to reviews of the games you have purchased.  Since so many of us had family games as gifts for this year.  Just update here as you play? Sound like a plan?  😁

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We haven't played them all yet but I will start with what we have played. 

Sheriff of Nottingham - huge hit here.  Especially for my kid who isn't as in love with games as the rest of us.  We have used the Merrymen expansion only to add a 6th player and we haven't added the actual expansions for play yet but they look fun.  The good thing about playing with 6 is that you have two deputies instead of one sheriff and those deputies totally change each turn so no alliances. I like that it nixed these crazy alliances my kids were making (don't check my bag, I won't check yours). We are going to try it with an expansion today.  I think there are several added play elements with this expansion.  I will just update here on this post after we try.

Carcassonne - we messed up.  I let DD read the instructions and tell us how to play.  She accidentally added in all of the tiles for all of the expansions (we have the big box set with multiple expansions included) without the extra play elements.  It was long and grueling and didn't make sense.  I am hoping to talk my family into playing again with the base game and then adding the expansions slowly the right way 🤨

King Domino/Queen Domino - We have played this a few times. Big Hit!  So fun.  I think all 6 of us love this game.  I can't even figure out what I love about it?  It takes thought, yet it isn't very complicated.  For those who get anxiety about playing a game where you can work really hard on your aspect only to have someone completely ruin it, this is a great game because you are in control of your territory for the most part.  

Saboteur - Love, Love, Love.  We love the group game Mafia and there are similar elements in that the bad people are unknown.  I love that you can play with so many. My Brother and SIL played with us last night and they loved it too.  We have the Saboteur 2 expansion and will try it this weekend. 

King of Tokyo - It is fun but not our favorite. Youngest DS and oldest DD love it.  While the rest of us don't hate it, it isn't our favorite. 

Forbidden Desert -  I haven't actually played this. My kids have played it several times and love it.  They say that it is better than Forbidden Island.  And it is definitely more difficult.  The first 2 times they played they lost, even on novice.  This just made them love it more.  They finally beat it the third time.  

We will try the others later and let ya'll know what we think. ❤️ 

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We got New York 1901 for dd. We've played it a couple of times and I think it is going to be a really good game. It appears simple at first but there are many strategy things to think about and I think it is going to be a very different game each time you play.

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I got a game called Near and Far.  Dh and I played last night and him and ds10 are playing now. We've only played the basic game and all have really enjoyed it.  It has 2 different types of modes.  How I understand it is that you can play as a stand alone game or you can play it like a campaign where each time you play you keep track of your stuff and do the next game board map the next time you play.  

 

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I have a DD who is having huge attention span issues, so we got mainly "brainless" games. 

Quelf: Middle schoolers LOVE it. I have played a few times. DH refuses to play at all. I need to set up a homeschool game day to get all of their Quelf love out with other middle schoolers!

Dos: super easy to learn card game. Tween really likes it. I like that it is quick. Can be a little repetitive though. 

SkipBo Jackpot: This one is fun for everyone who has played so far. I like the option to buy the cards with the tokens. So far, I am the winner of all of the games, so maybe a little harder for kids to play against adults. 

Phase 10 Dice: Kids liked it a lot. I don't like the fact that it is mostly luck based - I prefer strategy. But good math practice with all of the adding though.

We also got Imhotep, but as I said one DD isn't up to too much strategy so we haven't played it yet. 

 

Edited: MIL also brought some games from DH's childhood days that she was decluttering. Trouble (kinda boring for me, but the kids like hitting the popper) and a game called Masterpiece, which is an art collection game. That one may be good - it took a while to figure out and we had to go to the rules for a lot of spaces you land on. Good for learning artists and their work though. 

Edited by beckyjo
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We got 2 new games this Christmas and are loving both of them:

Sagrada -- one of the prettiest games I've seen. Fairly quick to learn, enough variety for re-play-ability, some strategy involved as you try to accomplish certain goals to score points, and a fairly high element of chance due to rolling of dice. Takes about 30 minutes. The point of the game is to complete a 4x5 grid of colored dice to match the "stained glass" pattern of colors or numbers on the pattern card you picked at the start of the game. There are 3 bonus actions you can choose to purchase during the game, but you have limited buying tokens so you have to be careful about when you choose when to buy. There are also goal cards you can shoot for that increase your points -- there are 3 public goals that everyone goes for, and each person has 1 private goal card. While the box says it's for ages 14+, I would have guessed it was good for ages 9+.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig -- *oodles* of pieces and it takes time to set up -- and you'll want to play on a table that won't need to be cleared off for dinner if you don't finish the game before needing the table for other things, as it would be too difficult to move an in-progress game. The game is about purchasing "rooms" and "corridors" (printed cardboard tiles) to play and connect up. Tiles can only be connected by adjoining "doorways", and the different sizes/shapes of "rooms" have different numbers of doorways. Additional points are scored by meeting the public or private goals. It reminds me most of Agricola. Perhaps for ages 10-12+?


Cheating here, but the 2 games we got last Christmas were also a big hit: Five Tribes and World's Fair 1893. Both are lovely to look at, and are a sort-of combo of resource management and meeting goals. We were also given Code Names and Kings Cribbage, both of which were quite fun. Code Names is a great group game, and works better the more people you have on the 2 teams. Kings Cribbage requires a lot of brain power AND already understanding the combinations that score points in regular Cribbage.

Edited by Lori D.
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Around here, only ds is really into strategy games. Dh enjoys them, but not like ds. I don't care for them at all, and middle dd is *very* resistant to board games in general because she always "feels stupid." I like games like Scrabble, but I'm the only one who does. Dh, ds and I all find fast-paced games like Dutch Blitz, but again dd doesn't, and youngest dd can't keep up at all. 

With all that, it's next to impossible to find a game we all like. And yet I persist!

I got Bob Ross Happy Little Accidents  specifically for middle dd, the artist. And it was a surprisingly good game that really was nearly a hit all the way around. Each player draws squiggles on 3 pieces of paper. All the pieces of paper are put into the center face down, and then each player randomly picks one. The host takes a game card, calls for a number between one and six, and reads the corresponding word. It might be an adjective, noun or verb -- you name it. The host turns over the timer and everyone has 30 seconds to try to turn the squiggle in front of them into something representative of the word.

Because of the squiggle starts and the very short time, the pressure is completely off of everyone, especially the non-artistic types, to really produce "art" - although artistic dd did manage! The results are hilarious. After times up, everyone goes around and explains/argues how their drawings interpret the theme. So funny! Laugh out loud, tears rolling funny. 

You're supposed to play three rounds, then each player picks their personal favorite and everyone votes on it. With squirrels. That part got a little fuzzy to me. Rule-oriented ds liked it but the rest of us are considering some sort of family modification to end the game. Nonetheless, the whole drawing on the squiggles thing made it worthwhile.

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3 hours ago, beckyjo said:

Phase 10 Dice: Kids liked it a lot. I don't like the fact that it is mostly luck based - I prefer strategy. But good math practice with all of the adding though.


You can add a pinch of strategy to Phase 10 by each person gets to *choose* which phase to complete for each round. Just keep track of completed rounds for each person on a score sheet. We play it that way, and just before starting each new round, each person "announces" at the same time which phase they are going for and we jot that down on the score sheet, so no switching in mid-round.

Another good adding game is Fill Or Bust (or Farkle which is very similar).

Edited by Lori D.
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My oldest sons got my girls the game Code Names, and we really enjoyed it.  It is a thinking game, but not a strategy game where you have to think 5 moves ahead, you know?  I dislike games like Risk, and this was really fun.  Our 9 year old played too, but she has never been the "Codemaster", the person for her team tasked with giving the clues to help her team figure out which words are theirs.

We also really loved Telestrations, which is sort of a mix of "Telephone" and Pictionary.  Up to 12 people can play at a time (we got the big party pack), and it goes really quickly but is absolutely hilarious.

 

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2 hours ago, WendyAndMilo said:

The Cat Game was a big hit

My DD10 asked for and received this. She loves it! There's no real winning or losing, just funny drawing and cute cats. 

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We also got Kingdominoes, and both kids are really into it!  In fact, DS7 cried tonight because we didn't play it and it was time for bed.  We'll play it tomorrow.  

Someone on the frugalistas thread posted a discount on PrimeClimb, and it's pretty cool!  I feel like there's more to the strategy than meets the eye.  I want to play it tomorrow, too.

And now I want Happy Little Accidents.  That sounds awesome.  🙂  

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We played Qwixx, kind of like yahtzee, but more fun in my opinion. 

The Bob Ross game Happy Little Accidents has some fun parts, but I didn’t like how you have to vote on each other’s drawings. Made for some awkwardness. We ended up skipping that part. 

Dd9 got Apples to Apples Disney and ❤️s it. 

Suspend is fun and helpful for children that may need some practice with fine motor skills. 

BIL got a zombie game that was awful, but we’re not in to zombies here. I don’t remember what it was called. The whole thing was weird. 

Scrambled States is fun. We got it for school, not Christmas, but it’s new and we all like it. 

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3 hours ago, beckyjo said:

Masterpiece, which is an art collection game. That one may be good - it took a while to figure out and we had to go to the rules for a lot of spaces you land on. Good for learning artists and their work though. 


Masterpiece! LOVED that one as a kid, and we have added postcards from visits to art museums of art pieces we like. That's a great one to go along with your Fine Arts studies! (:D And if you decide in a few years that no one wants it, Masterpiece sells for a high price on Ebay and Amazon used.

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26 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Masterpiece! LOVED that one as a kid, and we have added postcards from visits to art museums of art pieces we like. That's a great one to go along with your Fine Arts studies! (:D And if you decide in a few years that no one wants it, Masterpiece sells for a high price on Ebay and Amazon used.

 

Yes! We loved it as kids and then my kids also loved it. I didn't have our old one and refused to pay Ebay prices, but lucked into one for $2 at the thrift store with every. single. piece! 

I think Compounded will be fun and we like the pieces and setup, but we seriously underestimated the time needed to study instructions. And I do mean study, you can't just look up everything as you go! We didn't get through the first game but are ready to try again after a more thorough reading. 

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Our family gift this year was a "12 Games of Christmas" box, opening one game a day starting on Christmas morning.  We've done five so far:

Holiday Fluxx - Simple and fun for a hectic holiday morning!  DH and I have played Fluxx before, but we don't own a copy, and the kids hadn't played until now.  Even the five year old could hold his own, with a little bit of card reading help.  Easy to bring guests in on, as it's quick to learn.

Connect 4 Shots - Connect 4 meets beer pong.  We chose a couple "active" games early on (the wrapped boxes are numbered to avoid bickering over which box to open) in expectation of sugar-fueled post-Christmas energy (and two days of rain and cold).  Noisy, but the kids liked it.  It was easiest to set it up in the hallway with all the doors shut so the balls wouldn't escape.

Magnetic Darts - What it says on the box.  Less dangerous than regular darts.  Note I didn't say "safe"... but again, an active game that can stay out around the clock for post-holiday wiggles.

Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon - I am the only non-RPG player in our household, not that I have anything against it, but it just doesn't make the cut on "things I have time for".   We wanted a way for me to jump in on the D&D action without having to go through the time-consuming character building process or needing to get my brain in fantasy role-playing mode, and this worked!  We played a pretty mild, short adventure (I think we finished in just over an hour), and after a couple turns I had the hang of it.  We did think five players, especially when one of them is a 5yo, made the gap between turns a bit too long, but it's possible that will improve over time.  DH says there's a solo adventure he wants to try, and I think he's going to play with just DS10 at some point today.  Pretty versatile game that I imagine will be left set up on the table downstairs for several weeks.  *sigh*  The kids were even playing it on their own this morning while DH and I drank our coffee.

Dragonwood - I chose this one for DS5, and he ended up winning!  Acquire sets or runs of cards (Phase 10-style) to "attack" the rather silly-looking monsters, earn victory points to win by slaying said monsters.  DS5, who didn't want to wait for higher value monsters, ended up winning because of that impatience, which surprised us all!  Fun, and only took about 25-30 minutes with figuring out instructions.

-----------

Outside of the 12 Games of Christmas box, we also received:

Pie Face Cannon - I don't think we actually played this as instructed, just shot each other in the face with whipped cream.  We have the original Pie Face, which my kids love to play with their cousins (six of them all together), but it takes too long and gets too predictable with that many kids.  Splitting them into two groups with two games will make it a lot more fun.  It's messy.  SO messy.  Let's just say that I'm glad I have an easy-to-clean leather couch, even though it's clear across the room from where the game was being played.

Monopoly: Fortnite Edition - Honestly, I'm surprised with how much fun this was!  If you think about it, Monopoly is just capitalism battle royale, so it's quite natural to mesh the two.  The spaces are labeled with locations from the game, and instead of losing money, you lose hit points.  You start at 15, and when you run out, you're done.  Any loot you had gets dropped on your space for the next player to cross over and pick up.  Over time, the spaces on the board are covered with "the storm", which in the game is everywhere but the shrinking circle.  Like the video game, the storm will zap your points.  Last one standing gets to stand up and do a silly dance wins the game.  All the fun of Monopoly without having to sort out the cash that was inevitably jumbled up and tossed around the box.

Dominoes/Snakes and Ladders - Classic games that don't require much thought, but good to have on hand when a kid wants to play something and I don't feel up to thinking.  We have Chutes and Ladders, but it's old and the box and board are damaged.  The newer one is more sturdy, and in a smaller box.

Gaming Trivia - One of those cheap little stocking stuffer things from the men's department at Kohl's.  I think my mom put it in DH's stocking.  Usually those things are boring, but the questions actually ranged from things the kids knew easily to things DH and I had to dig pretty far back into video game history for and still didn't know.  Not bad for a stocking stuffer.  I suspect that if we tuck it away for a year, we'll forget enough of the answers to get another play out of it.

 

More games tomorrow!

Edited by BarbecueMom
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5 hours ago, beckyjo said:

Edited: MIL also brought some games from DH's childhood days that she was decluttering. Trouble (kinda boring for me, but the kids like hitting the popper) and a game called Masterpiece, which is an art collection game. That one may be good - it took a while to figure out and we had to go to the rules for a lot of spaces you land on. Good for learning artists and their work though. 

Masterpiece is my dh's favorite game from childhood! He spent years trying to think how to make it himself and then finally found one for sale on ebay.

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I bought one of those Board Game Bento boxes to give as a holiday present - they were on deep sale. So two games from there that we've tried...

Noxford - A city building, steampunk-themed card game. Great art. We really liked this. Says 2-4, but better for 2. Quick, but strategy driven. Took a little while to figure out, but once we got it, it plays really well. The strategy is really well balanced. Lasts about 20 minutes.

Gadgeteers - A cards, tiles, and pieces game where you try to build mad science type gizmos with cute cartoon theming. We played this with four and it was a major bust. We actually gave up. We think it probably will work for 2. With 4, the competition for parts was too intense and everything ended up in a stalemate and even the things you're supposed to do didn't solve it. There are different rounds and the play is relatively quick once you get the hang of it.

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Carcassonne: We're in love. I love its pace and lack of yelling. 🙂

Catan Seafarers: Also loving this one - this is our first Catan Expansion, and we're all enjoying it. I love the gold hexes!

7 Wonders: Kids & DH love it; I'm still in in my first few rounds so haven't sorted out all the finer details.

Pandemic: I haven't played yet, but lots of people have, and it's quite well received. 

 

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I received Onirim which my husband and I played a few times over the holidays. It's a game for one or two players; we played cooperatively. We liked it.

We also played Exploding Kittens which was a first for my husband and our guests. The guests decided that they're going to buy their own copy which indicates how much fun we were having.

Not new but we also enjoyed playing WordSpot which is a two player word game and Quiddler, another word game.

Regards,

Kareni

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We have enjoyed all of our games this year (not always true, so it was a good game year!)

DD16 got Love Letter, which we have only played twice, and not all the way through (we played several rounds and then she had to go see friends). I think this one will be easy enough for DS14 (our resident game Grinch) to enjoy, though I haven't tried it with him yet.

DS14 got an expansion pack for our Dixit game, because he likes Dixit. I think I like the cards better than the original deck, so it's a win. I'd like to get some more decks. Maybe for his birthday this spring.

DS13 got Forbidden Island and loves it. Before now, I have avoided it, because it plays four players, and we have six, but it was a nice addition to our game cabinet. I might get Forbidden Desert for him for his birthday later this month.

DD13, who loves cats, got Exploding Kittens, and it has been a lot of fun!

I got the Telestrations Party Pack, which we played with family on Christmas Day. Hilarity ensued!

Also I got New York 1901, mentioned by a previous poster. I agree that the concept seems simple at first but the variations alter the strategy, so it will be different every time, which is a plus.

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One more gift game review... A BIG thumbs up:

Century: Golem Edition
Oh.my.goodness! The crystals! They are such a fantastic and pretty aspect to the game play! These sparkly translucent colored crystals are your "money". (The other editions of the game Century just use solid colored cubes for "money" -- totally NOT as cool as crystals.) And the charming artwork of the cards! If you liked the art style of the animated films The Iron Giant or Castle in the Sky, you'll love these.

A fast game to learn and a pretty quick game to play, even with 4 or 5 players (obviously faster with just 2 or 3). The winner is whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game. Victory points come from:
- purchasing point cards (purchase price is specific #s of specific-colored crystals)
- bonus coins (earned when you purchase certain point cards)
- and from crystals still in your stockpile at the end of the game.

There are also marketplace cards that are used for trading crystals of different colors (denominations) with the bank. Game play revolves around "resource management" of acquiring and using your marketplace cards to get a flow of crystals ("income") of the right colors/numbers in order to purchase point cards. Highly recommend this one. And it completely stands on its own -- NO need for the original game Century at all. It says for ages 8+ -- that seems about right.

Edited by Lori D.
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Not a review, but I'm posting here, anyway.

While perusing Amazon for birthday gifts for DS13, I noticed that Azul is $28.89 right now. Normally $39.99. I am feeling tempted to add a gift for myself, as I purchase some other things for DS 🤩.

Edited by Storygirl
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We bought 7 Wonders with some gift money after playing with friends. We're loving it, and we introduced my parents to it.

We renewed our love for Catan but do not have it (played with family). It's been a hit with everyone in the family that's learned it. I am hoping someone gets an expansion pack sometime.

We also played a lot of Ticket to Ride (also with family, not one we own). I like the original, PA edition, and Africa, and I hate the UK version with a fiery passion (not enough visual cues). After the UK one, I am not brave enough to try Europe. My DH does not like any of them, but the rest of us do, including my grandma. 

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20 hours ago, kbutton said:

We also played a lot of Ticket to Ride (also with family, not one we own). I like the original, PA edition, and Africa, and I hate the UK version with a fiery passion (not enough visual cues). After the UK one, I am not brave enough to try Europe. My DH does not like any of them, but the rest of us do, including my grandma. 

I love Ticket to Ride! We have the US version plus Europe, Nordic, Asia, India/Switzerland. We also have the 1910 and 1912 expansion packs, plus Alvin and Dexter (figures that affect the game play that can be used on any version).

So funny that we have so many, but I have not played PA, Africa, or UK, the ones you mention!!

I am tempted to keep adding more versions to my wishlist, but I'm thinking we have enough. There are so many other type of games that I shouldn't limit my acquisition to one format.  Of course, now that I looked at the UK/PA version, I'd like to have it.

Edited by Storygirl
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20 hours ago, Storygirl said:

Not a review, but I'm posting here, anyway.

While perusing Amazon for birthday gifts for DS13, I noticed that Azul is $28.89 right now. Normally $39.99. I am feeling tempted to add a gift for myself, as I purchase some other things for DS 🤩.

I just got Azul for my own 13yo DS, and it’s a hit! We’ve only actually had a chance to play once, but we enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next game now that I have some better ideas of strategy. 

We also got 7 Wonders Duel for Christmas, and ds and I have played it a lot. It’s a great one for two players, and I like how their are lots of ways to win. It doesn’t feel like it’s just the same every time. 

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2 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I love Ticket to Ride! We have the US version plus Europe, Nordic, Asia, India/Switzerland. We also have the 1910 and 1912 expansion packs, plus Alvin and Dexter (figure that affect the game play that can be used on any version).

So funny that we have so many, but I have not played PA, Africa, or UK, the ones you mention!!

I am tempted to keep adding more versions to my wishlist, but I'm thinking we have enough. There are so many other type of games that I shouldn't limit my acquisition to one format.  Of course, now that I looked at the UK/PA version, I'd like to have it.

The PA one gives you stock in railroads. For some reason, I just love that one. 

I am not one to speak on variety--I think twenty different versions of the same thing is variety sometimes, lol! (Sedum in my flowerbed, for instance.)

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On 12/29/2018 at 8:45 AM, hjffkj said:

I got a game called Near and Far.  Dh and I played last night and him and ds10 are playing now. We've only played the basic game and all have really enjoyed it.  It has 2 different types of modes.  How I understand it is that you can play as a stand alone game or you can play it like a campaign where each time you play you keep track of your stuff and do the next game board map the next time you play.  

 

I have been so curious about this one. I played Above and Below by the same designer and liked it but I heard Near and Far was better. Is it a choose your own adventure type?

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kbutton, I don't know if you will have the chance to play Ticket to Ride very often, since it is family that owns it, not you. But if your sons like it, they might like the Alvin and Dexter components. Alvin is an alien, and Dexter is a dinosaur, and when they control a city, you can't connect to it. Players have opportunities to move them around to block other players or affect the flow of routes.

That can be annoying, so you might not like them, but it's a whimsical element that might appeal to teen boys.

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47 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

kbutton, I don't know if you will have the chance to play Ticket to Ride very often, since it is family that owns it, not you. But if your sons like it, they might like the Alvin and Dexter components. Alvin is an alien, and Dexter is a dinosaur, and when they control a city, you can't connect to it. Players have opportunities to move them around to block other players or affect the flow of routes.

That can be annoying, so you might not like them, but it's a whimsical element that might appeal to teen boys.

Thanks! I have not heard of this. 

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Oops, I just checked amazon, and it's not available any more other than a ridiculously priced resell, so it looks like Alvin and Dexter may be defunct.

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This list is a great idea. I will have to reference this before game shopping next year.

Agricola- Our whole family loves this game. It keeps my DD (8) involved in a special way because the small wooden animals are cute. These sheep, wild boar, and cattle breed and have babies, and she likes growing her herd. My DS (11) enjoys it too. He likes looking through the occupation cards and planning his strategy. It takes about an hour and a half for a family of four to play, which is a great Sunday afternoon game for our family. We have no regrets about this game. It is beautiful, challenging, and fun. 

Azul- the kids don't like this game, but the parents like it. It is like Yahtzee without the dice. The kids just can't bite into it like some other board games like Seven Wonders.

Sushi Go- this is a great 10 minute card game. You pass a deck like you do in Seven Wonders but there is no board game aspect. We ended up making a dummy hand (kinda like a cribbage hand) to add a little more interest if there are only 2 players.

Dragonwood- my son plays this with his friend, so we got it for him. Only DH and DS have played it. DS seems glad to have got it.  

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On 1/26/2019 at 12:00 PM, Lori D. said:

One more gift game review... A BIG thumbs up:

Century: Golem Edition
Oh.my.goodness! The crystals! They are such a fantastic and pretty aspect to the game play! These sparkly translucent colored crystals are your "money". (The other editions of the game Century just use solid colored cubes for "money" -- totally NOT as cool as crystals.) And the charming artwork of the cards! If you liked the art style of the animated films The Iron Giant or Castle in the Sky, you'll love these.

A fast game to learn and a pretty quick game to play, even with 4 or 5 players (obviously faster with just 2 or 3). The winner is whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game. Victory points come from:
- purchasing point cards (purchase price is specific #s of specific-colored crystals)
- bonus coins (earned when you purchase certain point cards)
- and from crystals still in your stockpile at the end of the game.

There are also marketplace cards that are used for trading crystals of different colors (denominations) with the bank. Game play revolves around "resource management" of acquiring and using your marketplace cards to get a flow of crystals ("income") of the right colors/numbers in order to purchase point cards. Highly recommend this one. And it completely stands on its own -- NO need for the original game Century at all. It says for ages 8+ -- that seems about right.

Oh yeah, this is hands down my favorite game of Christmas! We have played it a bunch of times and it is both fun and visually appealing. Love it! I also love that my 7 year olds can play with no problem and one in particular has gotten very good at it! 

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Forgot about one we played and never thought of again at Christmas. So being a huge Labyrinth (movie) fan I bought the game for the kids (and me...mostly me let's be honest) and having read a spattering of good reviews I was pumped about this one. It was pretty awful. I appreciated the detail to movie faithfulness with the character cards and attacks but it still ultimately came down to not much strategy, limited player interaction even though it is co-op, and alot of luck based rolling. The bad guy cards get repetitive and even when you do team up with your peeps it is meh. Now the next part I both give a nod to for staying movie true and really disliking. Once you battle your way to the castle (by continuously going in a circle and getting periodically tossed into the obliet), you eventually have done what is necessary to magically transport to the castle gates. Here you battle a few goblin standees in the same lackluster dice rolling luck way and then everyone else sits around while whoever is playing Sarah battles Jereth by...rolling more dice and reciting "through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered..." etc... There is a 13 hour clock that you tick down as you go. 

I wanted to like it soooo much. I knew better than to get a movie based game, I truly did but this sounded like an RPGish game. Meh...😒

Edited by nixpix5
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1 hour ago, nixpix5 said:

Forgot about one we played and never thought of again at Christmas. So being a huge Labyrinth (movie) fan I bought the game for the kids (and me...mostly me let's be honest) and having read a spattering of good reviews I was pumped about this one. It was pretty awful. I appreciated the detail to movie faithfulness with the character cards and attacks but it still ultimately came down to not much strategy, limited player interaction even though it is co-op, and alot of luck based rolling. The bad guy cards get repetitive and even when you do team up with your peeps it is meh. Now the next part I both give a nod to for staying movie true and really disliking. Once you battle your way to the castle (by continuously going in a circle and getting periodically tossed into the obliet), you eventually have done what is necessary to magically transport to the castle gates. Here you battle a few goblin standees in the same lackluster dice rolling luck way and then everyone else sits around while whoever is playing Sarah battles Jereth by...rolling more dice and reciting "through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered..." etc... There is a 13 hour clock that you tick down as you go. 

I wanted to like it soooo much. I knew better than to get a movie based game, I truly did but this sounded like an RPGish game. Meh...😒


Ug. Disappointing. Looks like you'll want to avoid the Jim Henson's Dark Crystal Board Game as well... (:D

On the other hand The Amazing Labyrinth (completely unrelated to the very fun movie Labyrinth) is a fantastic game, and our youngest who is very right-brain/visual-spatial regularly whipped us at it, as he could visualize multiple moves ahead, even when he was only 7-8yo!

Edited by Lori D.
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6 hours ago, Lori D. said:


Ug. Disappointing. Looks like you'll want to avoid the Jim Henson's Dark Crystal Board Game as well... (:D

On the other hand The Amazing Labyrinth (completely unrelated to the very fun movie Labyrinth) is a fantastic game, and our youngest who is very right-brain/visual-spatial regularly whipped us at it, as he could visualize multiple moves ahead, even when he was only 7-8yo!

Oooh... will need to check that one out!

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On 12/29/2018 at 9:36 AM, Attolia said:

 

Saboteur - Love, Love, Love.  We love the group game Mafia and there are similar elements in that the bad people are unknown.  I love that you can play with so many. My Brother and SIL played with us last night and they loved it too.  We have the Saboteur 2 expansion and will try it this weekend. 

 

If you like Mafia and Saboteur (both games that I really like) then you should look into The Resistance: Avalon. It's similar to both in that people are unknown but you have to choose people to go on quests with and so that makes it more fun, IMO. 

We only got one game this Christmas, which is unusual for us as we LOVE games. I got DH Love Letter for his stocking. It's a super easy game to pick up and we can play it quickly. All of us (including kids, 9 and 13) really like it. 

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Just bumping the thread to say that I LOVE Century Golem. I would never have heard of it if not for this thread, but I asked for it for my birthday.

As Lori D mentioned above, you collect colored crystals in four different colors and then use them in various combinations to collect Golem cards with points on them. The Golems are friendly and protective giants, who are depicted doing helpful tasks on each card, such as apple picking or painting a barn with a giant paint roller. The pictures are whimsical and fun, and the crystals are bright, translucent colors, so that game has a cheerful and pretty look. Not too pretty for my husband to enjoy, it, though.

The game play does not require a lot of interaction with the other players. In addition to the Golem point cards, there are merchant cards that allow you to trade two yellow crystals for a green, or one pink crystal for two blue and two green, etc. On each turn, you either collect a merchant card or play it to trade crystals, until you have the color combinations that you need to buy a Golem point card. Once someone has five (or six, depending on the number of people playing) point cards, it triggers the end of the game, and players add up their points. There is an added component of silver or copper coins that can be collected along with certain Golem point cards.

There are a few additional rules related to how the cards are collected and played, but it easy to learn. The directions are just one page, front and back, unlike some games that come with an entire book of rules. I think children 10 and up would do fine with this game, and younger children who have played games like Catan or Ticket to Ride will have no problem with it. It was fun with two and three players and can be played by up to five people. Additional players should not affect the complexity of the game, but just the length. On each turn, the player takes one action, so the game moves from player to player quickly, without a lot of down time before one's turn comes around again.

I'm looking forward to teaching the rest of my children how to play it. I think all will like it, other than DS15, who is not a fan of board games and has trouble following complex games with multiple steps. Because this game only requires the player to take one action per turn, I am sure he can learn it if he is willing to try.

Edited by Storygirl
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6 hours ago, Storygirl said:

Just bumping the thread to say that I LOVE Century Golem. I would never have heard of it if not for this thread, but I asked for it for my birthday.

As Lori D mentioned above, you collect colored crystals in four different colors and then use them in various combinations to collect Golem cards with points on them. The Golems are friendly and protective giants, who are depicted doing helpful tasks on each card, such as apple picking or painting a barn with a giant paint roller. The pictures are whimsical and fun, and the crystals are bright, translucent colors, so that game has a cheerful and pretty look...


And may I just say... crystals!!! I know it's ridiculous, but I can't explain how MUCH those crystals add to the pleasure of game play. I'm very visual and tactile (love to fiddle/fidget with game pieces for the complex builder and resource management style of games), and those crystals just hit a super sweet spot. And the Golems are exactly as Storygirl describes, which makes for extra enjoyment of just looking at the cards. (:D


Along with Century Golem, we keep re-playing Sagrada and Castles of Mad King Ludwig (from my post above). Really enjoying all 3 of these new-to-us games. The rooms that you "buy" for Castles of Mad King Ludwig are very fun; almost all of the "downstairs" rooms are very entertaining: Crypt; Secret Lair; Bottomless Pit; Fungus Room... Who *wouldn't* want to purchase one of those to add to your castle. (:D


ETA -- PS
Just wanted to add another suggestion of the game type that is "resource management" / score points by matching up with goals: Kingdom Builder. We got this one a few years ago, and enjoyed it so much, we end up getting TWO expansion sets! On each turn, you get to put down several of your "meeples" on the hexagons of the game board, which earns points depending on which "goal cards" got dealt out for that game. The game board is actually a choice of 4 of the 8 interlocking pieces, so your "terrain" or game board will be different every time you play, as will your goals for earning points (3 cards from the small deck of goal cards are dealt out at the start of the game).

It's sort of a mix between Carcassone (but not so frustrating as Carcassone's farmers (:0 ) and Takenoko, for those who have played those games.

Edited by Lori D.
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Oo! One last thought: if you'd like to see some games "in action", check out Wil Wheaton's Tabletop. In each episode, he explains how the game is played, and then plays it with 3 celebrity guests. That show has really helped us see if we would "click" with a game, or not.

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Thanks, Lori! More games to add to my wish list 😀.

For my birthday, I also requested CodeNames, Pandemic, and 7 Wonders, and DH got all of them for me 💘. We've played CodeNames once so far, but I still have the two others in waiting.

I specifically wanted games that I could tempt the teens to play with me.

Edited by Storygirl
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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

For my birthday, I also requested CodeNames, Pandemic, and 7 Wonders, and DH got all of them for me 💘....


Ooo! Very fun you'll have a great time with that variety!

While I have always been a card and board game player, I had never played a "deck building" game before, and the first half dozen times we played 7 Wonders I was SOOO completely lost, because I totally did not understand the cards (many symbols on each, and the location of the symbols means something different), and did not understand that specific cards from round 1 help you collect specific cards in rounds 2 and 3. Also was *totally* lost at first in how the game is scored -- points for different kinds of cards collected, and then in the final round, some of the purple "Guild" cards act as a "multiplier" for scoring points based either on your own cards, or based on what cards the people on either side of you have... The first thing I suggest is learning what everything on the card *means*, so at least you have a clue about whether or not the card is value for *you* and the deck you are building this time around.

I really enjoy 7 Wonders now, but I don't think I have ever played a game before where, when we reached the end, I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing the entire game, and at the end, had no idea what had happened or why, lol.

Edited by Lori D.
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Thanks, Lori! I looked at the extensive directions and the playing pieces yesterday for a bit, then returned 7 Wonders to the box, and we played Century Golem instead. DH and I will definitely learn and play it by ourselves first before introducing it to the kids. We'll have to set aside some time to learn it. I appreciate the tips!!

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13 hours ago, Lori D. said:


And may I just say... crystals!!! I know it's ridiculous, but I can't explain how MUCH those crystals add to the pleasure of game play. I'm very visual and tactile (love to fiddle/fidget with game pieces for the complex builder and resource management style of games), and those crystals just hit a super sweet spot. And the Golems are exactly as Storygirl describes, which makes for extra enjoyment of just looking at the cards. (:D


Along with Century Golem, we keep re-playing Sagrada and Castles of Mad King Ludwig (from my post above). Really enjoying all 3 of these new-to-us games. The rooms that you "buy" for Castles of Mad King Ludwig are very fun; almost all of the "downstairs" rooms are very entertaining: Crypt; Secret Lair; Bottomless Pit; Fungus Room... Who *wouldn't* want to purchase one of those to add to your castle. (:D


ETA -- PS
Just wanted to add another suggestion of the game type that is "resource management" / score points by matching up with goals: Kingdom Builder. We got this one a few years ago, and enjoyed it so much, we end up getting TWO expansion sets! On each turn, you get to put down several of your "meeples" on the hexagons of the game board, which earns points depending on which "goal cards" got dealt out for that game. The game board is actually a choice of 4 of the 8 interlocking pieces, so your "terrain" or game board will be different every time you play, as will your goals for earning points (3 cards from the small deck of goal cards are dealt out at the start of the game).

It's sort of a mix between Carcassone (but not so frustrating as Carcassone's farmers (:0 ) and Takenoko, for those who have played those games.

I love tactiley games too. I got the kids Dimensions for Christmas and I'm so happy with it. The balls are good quality and feel great!

Exploding kittens was a giant hit here. Dd takes it with her everywhere. She recently got a big game going during the fellowship time after church! 😄

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18 hours ago, Lori D. said:


Ooo! Very fun you'll have a great time with that variety!

While I have always been a card and board game player, I had never played a "deck building" game before, and the first half dozen times we played 7 Wonders I was SOOO completely lost, because I totally did not understand the cards (many symbols on each, and the location of the symbols means something different), and did not understand that specific cards from round 1 help you collect specific cards in rounds 2 and 3. Also was *totally* lost at first in how the game is scored -- points for different kinds of cards collected, and then in the final round, some of the purple "Guild" cards act as a "multiplier" for scoring points based either on your own cards, or based on what cards the people on either side of you have... The first thing I suggest is learning what everything on the card *means*, so at least you have a clue about whether or not the card is value for *you* and the deck you are building this time around.

I really enjoy 7 Wonders now, but I don't think I have ever played a game before where, when we reached the end, I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing the entire game, and at the end, had no idea what had happened or why, lol.

This was my experience with 7 Wonders also. It took a few games but now that I understand the cards, I love playing with my teen boys.

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I never saw this thread when it happened! Here are the games from this Christmas:

Duel - 2 player version of 7 Wonders; Everyone enjoyed this version of the game. In fact, dh likes it better. It's definitely a different strategy because there are three different ways to win, two of which can end the game immediately. 

Biblios - This is a card game that attracted me because of the themes mentioned in the description. None of us really enjoyed playing it that much. It doesn't feel like you are doing the things it said you would, but instead, just feels like a card game with a lot of wondering what card will be next. We tried it several times in the month after Christmas, but we haven't played it since. 

Castles of Burgundy Dice Game - I wanted this because Castles of Burgundy is my favorite game right now. With this version, I can actually play solo if I want. The game play is a bit different, but it is good. It's definitely a shorter version of the game, which is nice. 

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I am super excited because my copy of WINGSPAN is finally on its way!!!

I also recently ordered (but haven't yet played) Lisboa, Doppelt/Twice As Clever, Railroad Ink, Brass Birmingham, and Century Eastern Wonders (the sequel to Century Spice Road).

I'm waiting for our summer charter school money, so I can buy a bunch more games that I have in my wishlist.

We've been playing a lot of Splendor, Battle Sheep, Sagrada, Camel Up, and Memoir 44 lately (my older DS is taking a WW2 history class using Memoir 44). I'm trying to get my DH to play heavier games with me. 

Edited by SeaConquest
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On 4/13/2019 at 11:58 AM, Lori D. said:


And may I just say... crystals!!! I know it's ridiculous, but I can't explain how MUCH those crystals add to the pleasure of game play. I'm very visual and tactile (love to fiddle/fidget with game pieces for the complex builder and resource management style of games), and those crystals just hit a super sweet spot.

On Easter, we spontaneously invited a couple from church to join us for our dinner, because they had no plans. We played Century Golem with them, and when it was over, our friend said, "I really liked that game, especially because it is so tactile."

Had to smile and think of you, Lori D!

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