Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Parking

This is an oldie but goody. From the seventies, Monopoly did a spin off of the three best things about the board game and turned it in to a quick, fun game. Free parking, chance cards, and jail! You have a meter and you feed it with time cards and then use it with errands (get pajamas, looks like a get of jail free card, get it... pajamas). Watch out if it runs out someone else can play an Officer Jones card and you lose points. Its sorry, monopoly, and clothespins in one game!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scrabble--a different way

I was recently taught a different way to play Scrabble. Each person draws seven tiles. When the game begins you create your own Scrabble game using those tiles. When you (or someone) has used all the tiles they say "Draw." Everyone draws another tile and incorporates it into their Scrabble board they have created. You can clear your board and start again, with all the same tiles, at any time during the game. Game continues until all the tiles have been used. When game is over tally score by counting points for tiles of each word.

I really liked this fast moving game. No waiting for someone else to go so that you can decide if you can go, long words don't really matter, no one sees what you create, and you can start over at any time.

I have since realized that this Scrabble game is just like Bananagrams. You can read their instructions here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This game looks lame, but as the box says, 'Its good clean fun." Get it clothespins... clean... too funny. Well the game goes like this:

4 cards, 3 starting posts, you can place cards down in any type of pattern...

All shirts, all, pants, all same fabric...

As you go around you try to get as many as you can on each clothes line and then put the other end on it to finish the clothes line. Only playing up to four cards from your hand (or discarding them for better ones... can't do both)

The trick is that there are birds... my kids like to make sound effects, they say, "Tweet, Tweet!" and swoop down and take a piece of clothing from your line and put it on theirs. no clothes are protected unless you have both poles up. Its an exciting, risk taking game that my strategic mind can't figure how to win again a 5 year old.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monopoly DEAL

Here's a 20 minute game for 2-5 players. Play starts with 5 cards per person. On your turn draw two and place up to three cards in front of you. The object of the game is to get three sets of properties. There are action cards that allow you to "steal" another player's property or set and wild cards to help you. You can also demand rent from the other players, as well as pass go, which gives you the opportunity to draw two, or simply place money in your bank.
The directions state, "Start playing and it'll all become clear."
I would have to agree.
Click HERE for a Demo from Hasbro.com .

Thursday, February 5, 2009


(The box is updated now)

This game, as Dawn said, is a really good game. It has a couple of variations based on the age of the children. Each player gets a barn, draws an animal, and is divided out the deck of cards face down. From here the variations change:

Preschool: Put the animal in front of your barn. You all have a stack of cards and take turns flipping them over in front of you. When there is a match on the table, the first one that calls out the other players animal wins the cards (war style). The trick is that you both put down pigs but you have to say horse if that is their animal.

K-2ish: Put the animal in front of your barn. This time everyone makes a sound for their animal. Snake is "ssss" or as my girls says for rooster, "Cock-a-cock-a-doodle-do!" Then when matches are out you have to make the sound they pick not the name of the animal.

Grade 3ish up: You now put hte animal in the barn, everyone only got to see it once at the beginning, and so you spend more time trying to guess what they have. Its a riot!!

Fun for the whole family.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Clue Express

Setup: After finding Mr. Boddy's body in the study of Tudor Mansion, Inspector Brown is investigating the six usual suspects: Mr. Green, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, and Mrs. White.

Different from the original game there might have been two suspects. Solve the murder mystery by discovering who was the Brains and the Brawn (muscles). This is a game of simply rolling 4 dice on your turn. Three black dice have pictures of the suspects. Place one die on the Brains spot and one on the Brawn spot and see if the other players can prove your suggestion false. Next, you get a chance to gather more clues depending on what the blue die says to do: Inspect a card from any players hand, ask a player about the 3rd black die that you didn't use earlier, peek at the case file to see what color is showing in the secret keyhole, or make a free accusation. When you have gathered enough information make the final accusation. There is a possibility that the same person was the brains and the brawn.

There's also the Master Detective Game that plays the same. You solve the crime for 3 questions: Brains, Brawn, and Driver of the getaway car.

Clue Express was made to be played in 20 minutes. True to their promise, it can be played in 20 minutes. Great game for those times that you don't want to end up playing "Forever."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos seems to be every child's favorite game. The object of the game is to release the marbles and try to get your hippo to eat them all up. As a parent I would say, "DON'T buy the game." It's loud, obnoxious, and chaotic. The only positive is that the kids can play this together and don't need adult supervision, except for all the CHOKING HAZARDS. I would put this in a category with Operation. Another game I despise.

FYI: I didn't buy the game, someone gave it to us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Phase 10 Twist

While we are talking about Phase 10 I'll add the latest, Phase 10 Twist.

Similar to the classic Phase 10 game, you still complete specified sets or runs during each round of play. A few changes to the game include a gameboard that you advance your marker at the end of each round. This means you don't get "stuck" on a phase until you complete it. You ALWAYS move at least one place at the end of each round. If you complete the phase you move two, and if you "go out" you get to advance three spaces. To give the game the Twist, you have the opportunity to choose one of three phases to complete during the round if you land on the designated Twist. If you choose to take the Twist card, you can double your moves at the end of the round. If you don't complete the phase during the round you move back one. Having the Twist spaces, always moving your token to a new spot at the end of the round, and three discard piles makes this game move quicker and quite enjoyable.

No more Classic Phase 10 for me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Phase 10 versus Phase 10 for kids

UNLIKE Sequence for Kids, Phase 10 for Kids is not even close to the original. The game Phase 10 is a great Rumikub style card game that is not mentally demanding and can be casual and competitive at the same time. But Phase 10 for Kids is NOT cool at all. If I could rate this I would give it one star less then Candy Land (don't get me started on Candy Land). This Phase 10 game is too simply I have to explain it for effect purposes.

Each player gets 4 cards. You have to get those 4 cards to be the same as the 4 cards on each phase. Yes, each card has a number, color, character, and shape which each phase is a combination of all 4. But for those that didn't catch that, you get the 4 and you're out. SO the game is completely luck based! The game then becomes "I win!" You get your phase and say "I win!"


Having said that, the market group of 4 year-olds love it.
The original is a lot more strategic and the phases get more complex as you go and seeing what the other players discard will help you decide what to or not to discard. And more importantly, once a player lays down there is a good chance that they round still goes and you can play on their lay down once you lay down. This game was introduced to me as a cult classic from a Rocky Mountain area, but I think is pretty national known. I think its a must in every game/card drawer/closet.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sequence for Kids

Place a chip on the board to match the animal card you discard. First player to get 4 in a row wins the game. There's also the special cards that can help you win. The dragon allows you to remove a chip, the unicorn allows you to place a chip on any open space on the board, and there are free spaces in all four corners of the board.

I liked this game because it's not overwhelming to decide where to go next. You only have three cards in your hand at a time and there are only 2 of each animal on the board. We are able to play a couple of rounds in one sitting.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This one is an old and a rare one. The game is 5! You hold 5 tiles. You can only place lines up to 5 long. Your tiles have to add up to multiples of 5 only (every direction). And it is on a scrabble-like board. It is intended for the strategist and mathematicians, but can be fun for anyone if you don't want it to be competitive. Oh, but I get competitive at this game.

The game was made in 1964 and re-release only one more year in '67. I got my copy at DI in Rexburg, Id this summer while visiting. it was only $4.00, too bad, it would have been much cooler if it was $5.oo!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Trying to get rid of your "stockpile" of twenty cards is the object of the game while counting to 12 sounds super easy, but surprisingly this game seems to take forever. There are four piles that everyone builds in sequential order to twelve throughout the game. You may have up to four discard piles. During your turn you may use cards in your hand or discard pile. It's a little complex to explain, so click here to read the full directions and see a diagram. My school age children enjoy playing the game and I bought it with them in mind. Playing one round can take 30 minutes. Great game, but not my first pick.