What You Missed…

18 01 2013

PandemicWe’ve got some great things coming up for the site—including some Best Of 2012 awards.

In the meantime, here are some posts from this week that you might have missed.

First we told you about a new, cheaper version of Reiner Knizia’s Ingenious from Fantasy Flight Games. And Jeremiah has already spotted one of these in his local Books-A-Million store.

Z-Man Games announced a new version of Pandemic. This will have a new art style, and two new roles. Check out the news, and designer Matt Leacock’s announcement video here.

We reviewed Asmodee’s fun, creative, family game Dixit.

We shared some news about 12 Realms being printed in Germany to save shipping for those across the pond.

Our Kickstarter Weekly was the new 4x space game Hegemonic.

And finally, Wizkids gave us some more details about The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game.

Next week we’ll have a Double-Take Review of Mayfair’s Catan Jr. Thanks for reading!

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Pictures Worth 1,000 Words: A Dixit Review

15 01 2013

dixitBy Firestone

Dixit is a little game that came out in 2008. Since its release we’ve seen half-a-dozen sequels, expansions, offshoots, and weird siblings—and with good reason: It’s a clever, fun game for a crowd.

There are numerous versions floating around out there, but for now, each of them plays basically the same. The box is full of cards with whimsical and interesting pictures on them. It’s not really possible to describe what’s on the cards, but that’s kind of the point. Each person has a hand of these cards. Each person in turn order is the Start Player; they choose a card from in hand, say a phrase or word that describes what’s on the card, and place the card face down. The phrase/word can be as literal, obvious, or abstruse as you want. Then every other player chooses a card from their hand that they feel that word/phrase could describe—because they’re trying to steal votes and points from the active player.

rushmoreEveryone secretly votes on which card they think is the Active Player’s card, then you reveal which one is the right card, and score. If everyone guesses the Active Player’s card, they all get two points and the active player gets none. If no one picks the Active Player’s card, everyone else gets two points (plus another point for each vote on the card they put down) and again, the Active Player gets none. If at least one person picks the Active Player’s card, the Active Player gets three points, every person who chose the correct card get three points, and each person gets a point for any votes on the card they put down. So as you can see, you want to choose a word or phrase that’s not too obvious, but not too esoteric, either. It’s an interesting challenge.

<——– Let’s take this picture on the left. You wouldn’t want to say, “Rushmore” as a clue. Everyone would pick correctly and they’d all gain two points on you. You probably wouldn’t want to say Chevy either, thinking “Chevy used to have commercials where they sang ‘Like a rock,’ and Rushmore’s made out of rock, so…” But maybe something like, “The eyes have it…” It might just be middle-of-the-road enough to get some-but-not-all of the votes. Plus if someone else has a card with eyes on it, that helps you even more. The first player to 30 points wins.

You can find Dixit: Journey at your local Target. Consider picking this up for a fun, creative family, youth group, or party game.





2012 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide—Party Games

26 11 2012

Today’s category for the Gift Guide is Party Games! These are the ones you bring out when everyone’s crashed your pad for Christmas. Or when your adult small group gets together for New Year’s and someone wants to play Catch Phrase for the millionth time… Or when you have a group of restless teenagers wanting to burn off some energy.

The Resistance—This is hands down one of our favorite games of the year. It’s also a great game for larger groups and supports play with up to 10 people! Take all of the elements you like about Mafia, or Werewolf, and leave out the bad, and you have The Resistance. Players are members of the Resistance trying to topple the evil oppressive government, but there are spies among them trying to sabotage them at every turn! The Resistance is a quick playing highly interactive game, that will have players wanting to play again as soon as the first game ends! We seriously can’t get enough of this game! You can read our review here. There’s also a new version called The Resistance: Avalon that has some special powers, and is a good next-step after the original.)

Cost: $20

Available From: Amazon, your local game store, and soon big box department stores.

Ages: Probably 14 and up for this one.

Fluxx—This signature game from Looney Labs has become a staple game for larger groups. It’s easy to learn, but hard to win—in fact when the game begins there is literally no way to win! Players take turns drawing and playing cards. As cards are played new rules, goals, and items are added to the game; once a goal is met, then the game is over. The game is always changing, and planning a turn in advance is nearly impossible; it’s high on luck, and low on strategy, which makes the game both fun and frustrating at times. Fluxx comes in many different flavors, including Pirate, Wizard of Oz, Zombie, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Check out our review of Fluxx right here!

Cost: $15

Ages: 8 & up

Available From: Amazon, most department stores and your local game shop.

Time’s Up: Deluxe—I’ve (Firestone) played this charades variant a RIDICULOUS number of times, and I love it. We play in teams, and everyone is given the same 40 names of famous people. You play in three rounds: In the first one you can use words and actions and sounds and pretty much whatever to get your team to guess the name. In the second round you’re all playing with the same exact words, but this time you can only use one word (but still actions and sounds). And finally, in the third round, again using the same batch of words, you can only use actions and sounds. So much fun.

Cost: ~20

Available From: Amazon, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: Adults (I don’t think this would be a good game for teenagers—too many names they’ve never heard of.)

Wits & Wagers—The great thing about this “trivia” game is that you don’t have to know a lot of trivia to do well. The game asks a question—such as “How tall is the Statue of Liberty?” Everyone answers, and then you bet on whose answer you think is actually closest. You do get points for having the answer closest to the actual answer, but you can still do well by betting well.

Cost: ~$20

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up (There’s also Wits & Wagers Family, which removes the “gambling” element and has questions that are appropriate for kids and the whole family.)

Dixit—Bring your creativity for this game. There are lots and lots of wild and interesting pictures. Everyone is dealt a hand of the cards. On your turn, you pick a card from your hand, place it facedown, and say a word or phrase that describes that picture in some way. Then everyone picks a card from their hand that could also describe the word or phrase you said and adds it to the facedown pile. You shuffle the cards, place them faceup, and guess which card you think was the original card. You don’t want to be too obvious in your descriptive word(s), because if everyone guesses correctly, you get no points. And anyone who played a card that was guessed (incorrectly) gets points, too. I really like how this stretches me creatively.

Cost: ~$25

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 & up

Spot It!—This might be a little short for a party game, but if your group likes short games, this is perfect for large groups. Everyone is trying to be the first to spot the symbol on the middle card that matches one in front of them. It’s harder than it sounds. This game is cheap, portable, and easily explained—perfect for a party! Check out our full review here!

Cost: ~$14

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 5 and up. This would work great with any group.

Jungle Speed—Everyone has a pile of cards. Each person in turn flips the top card of their pile. If the pattern matches someone else’s, there’s a duel where you both try to grab the stick in the middle. Bandage everyone up, and continue! We reviewed the whole game a few weeks ago.

Cost: ~$15

Available From: Amazon, department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 7 and up

Say Anything—You’re asked a question, such as “What is the most overrated band of all time?” People write down what they think your answer would be. You secretly pick one of the given answers as the “correct” answer. Then everyone bets on which of those answers they think you picked. (BTW, the correct answer is The Dave Matthews Band.)

Cost: ~$20

Available From: Amazon, Target, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 & up (Like Wits & Wagers, this one has a Family version with more family friendly questions.)

Bang!—The Spaghetti Western card game, another fun “role” based game in which players are dealt a role card that determines how they play and win the game. Lots of finger pointing, dueling, and just plain taking pot shots at your friends! Check out our full review here.

Cost: $20

Available From: Amazon and your local game store

Ages: 8 & up

We Didn’t Playtest This at All—A game that not only rivals the quirkiness of Fluxx, it surpasses it! WDPTAA is a very fast-playing game for larger groups. The goal is simple: win. There are a few ways to win, but the best way is to not lose. And there are a TON of ways to lose. Players can lose one at a time, or in large fell swoops, depending on the card played. It’s totally random, but totally fun! Every time we play it there are a ton of laughs! And you can read the full review on the game right here!

Cost: $15 (On Amazon, although my copy was $8 at my local game store)

Available from: Amazon, and local game stores

Ages: 8 & up

So what did we miss? Leave a comment and let us know. And thanks for reading!








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