Dixit – Review

Dixit is a delightfully different and clever card based board game that we’ve been having lots of fun playing recently.

Dixit is unlike any game we’ve played before, it’s emotional, thought provoking, and had us in fits of laughter.

The game is really simple to play, although might sound a bit different when I try to explain how to play.

Each player has 6 cards. The storyteller of the round describes one of their cards, and the other players have to choose one of their cards that best fits what has been described.

You can choose to describe your cards in words, song even mime.

The chosen cards are then laid out and everyone guesses which card was the one being described originally. You get points if you were correct and move around the board.

That is a very simplified version of the rules, and it may not make much sense but it really does when you start to play. You’ll soon get it.

We started off simply describing the cards to ease our way into the game, but were soon miming, singing songs, dancing, poetry, it all started to come out.

The cards are so beautifully illustrated and imaginative that you can really get creative with your stories.  The remind me a bit of the illustrations you get on Tarot cards.

The best part of the game for me was the fact that everyone had fun. No arguing, no tantrums, just a good time as a family. Thomas who’s officially the most competitive game player, and worst loser in the world actually commented whilst laughing half way through the game that he was losing and he didn’t care as he was having so much fun. I was truly shocked by this as he can have such a bad attitude when losing some times.

It just goes to show what a good game can do.

Disclosure: We were sent a bundle of board games including Dixit by Esdevium Games to give an honest review

 

Rummikub UK Championships and Review

Have you played Rummikub before? Well I hadn’t and I don’t know why as it’s a great game. Highly addictive, easy to pick up and play, a great game for all the family.

To help promote the UK Rummikub Championship Heats which are taking place online at the moment,we were sent a big box full of lots of different Rummikub Versions, and we set about learning how to Rummikub!

Rummikub is a game which has been around for over 50 years. It’s a tile based game.

The aim of the game to use all of your tiles by placing down sets and runs of numbers. You can do this either by using your own tiles, or by manipulating the tiles already placed.

I’m going to be honest and say that initially I was apprehensive about wether we could all learn to play as it looked quite daunting. I couldn’t quite grasp what to do from the instructions, and as such was having trouble explaining the rules to the boys. So we ended up watching a few videos on Youtube and that really helped us. It’s so easy when you start playing, you just have to get it first.

We decided to try out classic Rummikub first. To play your tiles you need to have a run of 3 or 4 tiles, a run being either consecutive numbers in the same colour e.g. 1,2,3,4 or the same number in different colours e.g. 4,4,4,4  in black, blue, red and orange.

It’s a brilliant game for getting you and your youngsters brains whirring. It’s a brilliant brain teaser, and great for honing maths skills as you have to make sure your first move adds up to over 30, and from then onwards you add up your score every turn.

After that we had a game of travel Rummikub, which is exactly the same game just a handy miniature version perfect for holidays and train journeys.

In the picture the tiles don’t actually look that much smaller than the classic version, but they are. They’re Dinky.

Next up was  Junior Rummikub. We probably should have done this one first to ease our way into Rummikub, but we didn’t notice it until afterwards.

As you’d expect it’s a simplified version of the main game. However it’s not simplified enough as to be boring or too easy. It’s a great introduction to the game for younger players and again a great tool for learning maths skills and mental arithmetic.

The main differences are that you get little stars when you place tiles down, and that the tiles go from 1-10 instead of 1-13.

After we’d got to grips with the classic Rummikub the junior version was a bit of a step down and we weren’t as keen on it.

However I think we’d have enjoyed it much more if we’d played it first, and it’s a better version for younger players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next version we picked up was Rummikub Express, which is a quick to play dice version of the game.

As you can see our cat Harry was very interested in all the dice shaking and had to be part of the action.

Rummikub Express really is fast and furious. The game only lasts 6 dice throws for both of you, and possibly less if you can’t find any number matches or manage to place all your dice down.  At the end of your 6 throws whoever scored the most wins.

It’s very clever, and a really fun variation of the classic game. I would probably take both Rummikub Travel and Express if I was going on holiday or a day trip as they are both small and portable and highly enjoyable.

Lastly we played a few games of Rummikub Word. Which is the same idea as classic Rummikub, however using word tiles rather than numbers.

This was the hardest to play of the different variants for us, as my boys are very good with numbers but can sometimes struggle with spelling. For me it was a bit frustrating as I was trying to play properly but Thomas ended up just putting an S or Ing on the end of all my words. Not to say that’s not allowed, manipulation of the tiles is part of the game, however it did get a bit annoying.

I will carry on playing with him though as I know it will do his spelling good to play around with the tiles and give different words a go, however I think I would enjoy this one a lot more playing with someone older.

If you fancy the sound of Rummikub or are already a fan then why not have a go at the online UK Rummikub heats – but hurry as you only have until the 29th of August.

Signing up is easy – simply join the Rummikub Online Championships and register by visiting www.Rummikub.com, going on the Facebook page, Google Play or downloading the app.

 The highest scoring eight UK finalists from the Online Championships will be invited to take part in the Rummikub UK Final taking place in September in central London. The highest scoring player will then go on to represent the UK at the World Championships in Berlin, alongside their fellow Rummikub Champions from around the world.

As part of their prize, the UK Champ will win a round trip to Berlin including a luxury three nights stay at The Ritz hotel!  

Disclosure: We were sent the bundle of Rummikub games to review as part of our participation in the John Adams games group. All opinions however are our own.

Jungle Speed Safari – Review

We’ve gone and found a brand new family favourite for board game night, and it’s called Jungle Speed Safari.

We were contacted by Esdevium Games, and offered some board games to review. Which we jumped at being a huge gaming family, and found this little gem in the process.
A game for all ages, it’s guaranteed to have you all rolling around in laughter as you play.

The game is all about animals in the jungle. Theres hungry animals, angry animals, noisy animals and even hunters.

The game is played with cards all printed with the different types of animals.

Every time you pick a card it will trigger a different action, but they will all be fast paced and the quickest players will win.

For example if you draw a hungry animal then you have to grab the wooden token with the food they would most likely eat as soon as possible. The twist of the game is that all the other players also have to try and do the same thing.

Theres no waiting around for your next turn in this game, everyone plays at every turn. The player who reaches the food the fastest gains the card for their pile.

The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.

It’s hard to explain any better than that, as every game is different. Depending on who’s playing, what cards you all draw, and how into it you are. If your all in the right mood, it ends up being a real riot of frenzy and noise. Which is how most of our games end up.

Thanks to Esdevium Games for sending us Jungle Speed Safari to review, and we’ve got some more great Esdevium Games up for review next week as well, so keep reading.

 

 

 

 

Games Quest Board Game Review and Competition

Last week the opportunity came up for us to review the online board game store – Games Quest, and I literally jumped at the chance with both hands grabbing as I love, Love, Love board games and card games.

We were given £40 to spend at Games Quest’s online store on whatever we wanted.

Thomas and I sat down and perused all the options, which took a long time as there is so much choice.

Plus Thomas got carried away having to look into all the others things that Games Quest sell like the toys, books, and puzzles before we were done.

We finally after much deliberation sent Games Quest our picks, and were thrilled to receive our order back in a few days.

We wanted to go for a few different things so choose a card game in the form of Fluxx – The Regular Show edition, Traffic – which is a puzzle game, and Cat-opoly – a board game.

The games actually came at a really great time, as Thomas was off school all last week with a terrible cough and cold. So we had plenty of time to get well acquainted with our new games.

Traffic was the first game we played, and it’s a right brain puzzler. The game is all about getting rid of your cards, and you do this by moving your car around the game board. You can only move around the game board when one of your cards matches the pattern the cars make on the board. It’s a bit hard to explain without playing, but we enjoyed it a lot.

Cat-opoly is a like Monopoly obviously but with everything cat related. All the tokens are catafied like a tin of sardines and a ball of wool, the jail is now Water, Free Parking is Free Catnip, and all the properties are now different breeds of cats. For a cat lover it is possibly the best present ever. My son Thomas is a huge Monopoly fan, and Huge Cat Lover so he was totally in his element, and is constantly begging people to play Cat-poly again with him. Amazing game which we totally recommend if you’re a cat or animal lover.

Fluxx is probably our favourite of the lot and the game we played most often, mostly due to our deep love and appreciation of the Cartoon Network series Regular Show. Initially you start playing Fluxx thinking ‘what on earth is going on?’ as every card you draw changes the rules somehow. However after a few games you really get into it, and it’s so fun playing that card which you know is going to wreck your opponents game in an instant.

We want to say a big thank you to Games Quest for letting us try out the store, and introducing us to these awesome board games.

Competition

 

The awesome people at Games Quest are also giving you the chance to win a £40 voucher to spend at their store.

All you need to do to enter is fill in your details on the Rafflecopter below. Competition ends on the 16th December 2014. For full details check out the Rafflecopter entry page below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/%C2%A340-spend-games-quest-0#sthash.kGVc9ymU.dpuf

Our latest Ideal Games Group Bloggers Bundle

We’ve been having lots of piggy fun recently courtesy of our Ideal Games bundle of Pig related games.

We were sent Pig Out!, Pig goes pop! and the not piggy but just as fun Doh-Nutters.

All the games are perfect simple easy to set up action games for a family fun night in.

We let the games begin with Pig goes pop! It’s a game that the boys have seen advertised on television for ages, and have always wanted to play. So we were all really excited to get going and see what it took to make pig go pop!

The premise is simple. Load the greedy piggy chef up with food, and watch his belly getting bigger and bigger until the inevitable happens.

You roll the dice to determine which colour burger to feed the pig, taking note of what number is on the bottom. This number is how many times you need to press down on the pigs hat as he’s eating. Each press of the hat see’s his belly balloon a little more.

It’s an incredibly tense game considering all you’re doing is feeding the pig burgers, and it always ends up in erupting laughter when the pigs belly pops out and his shirt flies open.

A big thumbs up from Toybuzz for this burger chomping pig.

The next day we got ready to play Pig Out!

To play pig out you need to wear snout masks, you get four in total. You use these to snout around in the game board which is really a trough, well a trough that oinks actually.

To win the game you need collect one piece of each of the different pieces of fruit and veg with your snout. Theres Lemons, Oranges, Potatoes and Apples.

However it’s not as simple as just trying to get the food into your snout, which is tricky enough in itself. You have to deal with the other dastardly piggy players who’ll be out to steal your food for themselves.

When you roll the dice you can either be told to snout out some food, or steal or swap a piece of your choice from another player. So just when you think you have one more piece left to win, someone can roll a steal and take your precious food away again.

It took a while for the game to get going as you have to wait for someone to roll Pig Out to start, but then it was non stop until Jacob was triumphant.

Last but not least it’s that old favourite Doh Nutters, which seems to have been around for donkeys years but somehow I’ve never had the chance to play it. I’m so glad to finally get a copy of our own as I’ve always wanted to have a go.

Doh Nutters is the simplest of the games to explain, you wear an elephant trunk mask and try to get your three coloured doughnuts on your trunk to win. That’s it, but by Jove it’s fun.

I was surprised by how hard Doh Nutters was to play though. I knew it would be tricky, but we found it near enough impossible. Lots of laughing and shouting as the doughnuts get put on and then fall off the trunks, but smaller younger children who get frustrated easily could find it too much after a while (i.e. my boys)

 

We had some great games nights with all these games, but our top pick of the bunch would be Pig goes Pop!

Thanks to Ideal and John Adams for sending us such a great piggy games pack to review

 

Silly Moo – Review

Were back again with another wonderful games review, thanks to us being part of the John Adams Games group.

Silly Moo is a really simple but utterly hilarious fun game to play with the kids. With anything remotely to do with Poo the funniest thing ever to a 6-year-old, this game was onto a sure thing from the start.

The aim of the game is to end up with more milk bottles than cow pats. Simple rules that everyone can understand.

To play firstly you need to load up your Silly Moo with her Milk Bottles and cow pats. You do this by pulling the tail and loading up each item into its box in the back. This is really easy to do and takes about a minute at the most.

I actually found it useful to load it up again once we’d finished, as it’s so quick to do, means your ready to play straight away next time, plus it means that all the little pieces won’t go missing between plays. Very useful bit of storage.

Jacob even found simply loading the game up really fun, so when we actually got down to the playing of it he was already happy.

To play you roll a dice, and that will decide how many tugs on the udders you get. You pull at one of the udders the specified amount, and if you are lucky something will pop out the back of Silly Moo for you. It could be a milk bottle which will earn you a point, or even a golden milk bottle which earns you 2 points, or you could get the pat which docks you a point.

The winner is the player who at the end has the most points. You know when Silly Moo has dropped all of her little presents when her eyes suddenly pop out. So don’t forget to press those back in when you’ve loaded her up.

We all loved Silly Moo, a brilliant family game that the little ones will go mad for. Too much laughing!!

Disclosure: We received Silly Moo as part of our participation in the John Adams Games Blogger Group.

 

Don’t Take Buster’s bones – Review

This Monday was our first Games night as members of the John Adams Blogger panel, so we dived into the box we were sent and found ‘Don’t Take Buster’s Bones’ 

“Aw wow, Yeah” said Jacob “I’ve seen this on TV and it looks so cool” Ok so Buster it was.

The game is easy to set up, all you need to do is pop Buster onto his Dogbowl and then pour out the coloured bones into his bowl.

The game is simple to play as well. Each player takes it in turns to turn over a card. The card will tell you how many bones to collect and what colour.

You use the cat paw shaped tweezers to gingerly pinch the bones out of the snoozing Buster’s bowl. Be careful as if you wake him up you will definitely be in for a shock.

It’s the first ever game that has genuinely made me jump out of my skin, but in a fun way. Honestly – It’s hilarious. The ferocity of Busters bite totally threw Thomas and his usual hard man act, this alone is worth getting the game out and playing again and again.

Depending on how skilled with the tweezers you are, most games wont last that long. So in 20 minutes you can have a good number of goes, and everyones gets a few chances even if they mess up quickly first time around.

We did have a problem first off that even though Buster was biting, he wasn’t woofing at the same time. All that he needed was a reset, which is explained in the instructions and he was then fine and back to his noisy self.

‘Don’t take Buster’s bones’ is such a delight, and every time you can find someone to play with who hasn’t seen it before it’s even better. Priceless!

Don’t worry about Jacob’s reaction in the video, he’s just hamming it up for the cameras. He loves it really :)


Logo Billionaire – Review

Logo – What Am I? Was one of the big board game successes of last year. Well this year Drumond Park and the Logo brand are back with Logo Billionaire, But this time it’s a game for the big boys! Mini Alan Sugars/Donald Trumps to the ready.

Logo Billionaire is a game for ages 8 and up, and 2-6 players. I think that this is a fair assessment of the age range, as the game is a bit more involved than some games. It’s around the same range of difficulty as Monopoly in my opinion, just to give you an idea of what’s involved.

Having said that My 6 year old Jacob played along with the rest of the family, granted with a little extra help. We couldn’t leave him out though, as he loves all recognising all the brands on the cards, and wanted to play so badly.

Initially on opening the box and seeing all those cards I have to admit to feeling a little daunted. Thankfully the rules are really well explained on the instruction sheets, and after thorough read through I felt that it wasn’t as hard to understand as I was expecting from the amount of cards and spaces on the board.

The way Drumond Park have helped to ease us into the more elaborate aspects of the game is to have two different ways to play. Apprentice and Executive.

You start of learning the ropes with the Apprentice rules, and once you’ve played the game a few times and your ready you can move onto the Executive game.

The Apprentice game has all the main elements of the Logo Billionaire game, you just forgo the Newsflash and Takeover cards until your more familiar with the way the game goes.

The aim of the game whichever way you play is to become the first player to earn 1 Billion pounds.

You do this buy launching companies with the brand cards that you pick up as you work your way around the board.

Once you have three brand cards of the same category you can launch a company, or you can wait until you have more brands. It’s totally up to you. The more brands the more your company could be valued at.

I say could as to find out what your company is worth depends on how risky you want to go. You take cards from the ‘Risky Business’ pile one at a time. Each card has either a value say 10M or 30M or a Bust.  You just keep on going until you think that maybe you’ve been lucky enough. Each brand is worth the total value of the Risky Business cards you drew.

Once you’ve launched the company, take the money out of the bank and start again with another company until you reach the magic number and become the Logo Billionaire.

At the moment we’ve only played the Apprentice version, but I’m hoping that maybe Christmas time when theres a few more adults around we can try out the Executive rules.

My only negative point would be the spinner that you have to place in the middle of the board. I’ve found it really hard to get it in there, and after only a few games the board is looking a little ragged around the centre circle.

We’ve had some great family game nights recently testing out Logo Billionaire, and we’ve found out that Thomas is most definitely the riskiest. He never learns and always Bust’s out.  It’s so funny to watch his face as all the money cards are turned over, but he can never seem to stop himself. He’s just too greedy!

A really fun family game for older children and adults. Logo Billionaire is available now with an RRP of £24.99

 

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Logo Billionaire from makers Drumond Park for an honest review

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Monopoly – Review

It’s TMNT time again, and today the turtles are turning into property magnets in Teenage Mutant Turtles Monopoly

Previously we had brilliant fun with the other Turtles games from Winning Moves we reviewed – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Connect 4 and Top Trumps, so we had high hopes for the TMNT Monopoly.

Game Pieces

First impressions are really good. We all were very impressed with the gorgeous games pieces modelled on the four turtles – Mikey, Donnie, Raph, and Leo, Plus Splinter and Shredder.

They have a lovely weight, so don’t fall over whilst your playing.

The only slight downside we noticed from playing is that the turtles can be hard to distinguish between, and sometimes one of us moved the wrong piece.

Board Spaces 

The best part of getting a new Monopoly version is seeing what the makers have done with the names on the board.  If your thinking that being a turtles board game every stop is going to a Pizza shop then your mistaken, One is actually Noodles. No honestly, there’s a great mix of destinations like Shredder’s Hideout, Krang’s Warehouse and Splinters Dojo just to name three.

Now I’ll admit were not the biggest Turtles fanboys and don’t confess to know everything about them, but we do watch the cartoons and knew the majority of places named on the board. I think the only couple on the board which we stumped us were Byerly Building, T.C.R.I Building and the Argosy Theatre.

Speaking of pizza though don’t fret, every game will have its fair share of pizza time for fans to enjoy. We found it funny that instead of the super tax a few spaces after go, it’s Pizza Tax!  Theres also a fair deal of pizza related occurrences in the Turtle Power and Mutagen Cards which replace the usual Community chest and chance. Things like ‘Pizza Bill pay 50′ or ‘Pizza delivery is late receive 100′.

The most coveted spaces on the board were where the train stations are usually found. These are now home to the turtles four modes of transport – The Patrol Buggy, The Shellraiser, The Stealth Cycle and a Skateboard. Everyone wanted to own these, but Jacob was the lucky one who managed to negotiate his way to getting the whole set.

 

We had a shell-tastic time playing this turtles themed Monopoly together, so much so that the kids want to play it again tonight! If you’re a TMNT fan or even just a lover of Monopoly varieties you’ll be onto a winner with this game.

 

Thanks to Winning Moves for sending us a copy of Teenage Mutant Monopoly for review

 

 

Proud to be part of the John Adams Games Group

We’re really proud to have been asked to be a part of the new John Adams Games Group.

Every week for the next couple of months were going to be holding a weekly John Adams games night, and blogging about all the new games we’ve been playing.

Monday night at Toybuzz is always traditionally games night, so it’ll be great to have a new selection of games to enjoy.

Apparently the first batch of games will be some more kid focused action games like their brilliant Doggy Doo, So that’s something nice for the boys to look forward too.

I’m hoping that there may be a bit of a clue from the badge, and we might get one of Ideal’s Rubik’s based games like the classic Rubik’s cube or Rubik’s race.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the first parcel brings us, but the excitement is getting to me already