Game of the Week: Matching Madness

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

 

"You Must Be Quick to Make the Pick!"

Previously known as figurix, Matching Madness is the next step up for kids who have already mastered simpler matching games.  Roll three dice.  One turns up one of 6 images; the other two represent a colored circle and a colored ring (each red, yellow, or blue).  The game board depicts the possible combinations of the three dice.  The first player to spot the matching combination on the board gets to place their chip.  First to run out of 7 chips wins.

2-6 players

Sharpens visual acuity and recognition skills.

Recommended for ages 5 to 10

…but also a favorite at staff game nights :)

Game of the Week: Smart Mouth

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Not quite a spelling game, and almost a vocabulary game, Smart Mouth will pick your brain and just might leave you at a loss for words. 

Slide the "Letter Getter" device to reveal two tiles.  Players must come up with words that begin and end with the two letters shown, and the winner takes those two tiles.  By standard rules, the first person to shout out a word 5 letters or longer wins and keeps the tiles.  C-N could be "crayon", "carbon", "collaboration", get it?  For an extra challenge, trump each others answers with longer and longer words until your vocabulary is exhausted – longest word gets the win.  Still too easy?  Try imposing category rules (foods only, famous people, etc). 

Younger players who are just learning to read may be able to make three-letter words, but ThinkFun makes another game, "What’s GNU?", just for that age set.

Fun for anyone 8 and up.

For as many players as you can fit in the room.

Game of the Week: Make ‘n’ Break

Friday, August 8th, 2008

We carry a wide selection of Ravensburger games because they’re all pretty amazing.  Favorites like aMAZEing Labyrinth and Rivers Roads & Rails have been around for decades.  This week’s game pick has been around for about five years and never loses its appeal. 

Players race against the clock to match the colors and structures depicted on the cards.  Each time you complete a structure you flip another card and continue building until your time is up.  Then you count up the points on your cards, and the next player starts to build.  The excitement of the race leads to lots of tumbles and stumbles – it’s challenging but not nerve-wracking.  Roll the die to get a time allowance (one, two, or three minutes), or level the playing field by giving kids 3 minutes and adults only 1 minute.  Instructions also include a version for expert builders.

Fast-paced excitement

Construction-oriented

Ages 8 and up

Like many of our games, Make ‘n’ Break is exciting for both kids and adults – a great family activity.

Playmobil Circus

Friday, August 8th, 2008

 

Come one, come all!

Step right up to see The Amazing! The Tiny!  The 2008 re-release of Playmobil’s much-loved and missed CIRCUS!  This year’s presentation has so many acts that you won’t believe your eyes!  Here’s the lineup:

  - An extra large arena with bleachers to accommodate visitors from far and wide

 - Tight-rope walkers and trapeze artists that balance

 - Acrobats that do handstands

 - One pride of lions, a cage trailer, a tamer and his props

 - A live band that plays two songs, drumroll, and applause

 - The circus dog show: talented pups and old dogs that really can learn new tricks

 - A clown with a squirting flower

 - And what circus would be complete without a concession vendor?

Come by soon, as this is one show you don’t want to miss!

Game of the Week: SET

Friday, August 1st, 2008

 If you’ve never played SET, you’re really missing out.  This game is a favorite of staff and customers, and it’s great for almost everyone.  The box claims it’s for ages 6 to adult, but we’ve played it with a few precocious 4- and  5-year-olds.  It turns out that little kids can make pretty stiff competition, because when adults begin searching for the more difficult sets, they tend to overlook the easy sets, and the kids snatch them up!

How to play:

Deal 12 cards onto the table.  The first person to call out "SET!" gets to take the 3-card set from the table once all players agree that it is indeed a set.  3 more cards are laid out and the game continues.  The game becomes fast and competitive as everyone is on the edge of their sets to call "SET!" (a bit like bingo, eh?).

What makes the game most interesting is the way that sets are formed.  Each card has four features, and each feature has three options:

 - Color: red, green, or purple

 - Number: 1, 2, or 3

 - Shading: Solid, Stripe, or Outline

 - Shape: Diamond, Oval, or Squiggle

To determine a SET, one must consider each feature separately, and the cards must be all the SAME or all DIFFERENT for each feature.  Sounds confusing?  It gets easier after just a game or two, we promise :)

Check out SetGame.com for more detailed rules and hints.  There are variations you can try out.  You can even play the game online!