A lot of “bad” things have come about due to the COVID pandemic – sickness, death, unemployment, and being unable to visit family and friends. BUT… there have been a lot of positives that have come out of this pandemic, including not having to commute to work, and families spending more time together. I have actually been told by some of the kids I work with that they DON’T go online to play video games as much anymore, because after doing remote online learning for several hours a day, the last thing they want to do is spend more time online. I’m actually surprised by that one, but I think that is a good thing. I think the less time kids spend online means they are spending their time in better ways including being outside and getting active, or doing things with their families such as crafts, games and watching movies together.
My family and I used to have a family game night once a week. Then it turned into twice a month, then once a month. As my kids got older, the less family game nights we had. They are now busy with work, college and friends. If anyone plays games anymore, it’s me and my husband. I also play games at work with my “work kids.”
If you and your family are spending more time together, why not consider a family game night, even if it’s only a few nights per month?
If you are interested in some games you can play together, I have a few suggestions.
EXIT: The Game is a series of party games for up to four players that offers a unique, unforgettable gaming experience. These games allow you to bring the excitement, intensity, and team spirit of an escape room to your living room. In each EXIT game, your team starts out locked in an imaginary room, or trapped somewhere. You must solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to unlock doors and reveal new riddles. Each correct solution brings you to another riddle and eventually to freedom. EXIT is constantly expanding with new stories including, EXIT: The Catacombs of Horror (AGES 16+ MSRP: $24.95), Exit: The House of Riddles (AGES 10+ MSRP: $14.95) and Exit: The Haunted Roller Coaster (AGES 10+ MSRP: $14.95) which are all new 2019 EXIT releases.
Brainwaves is a series of games developed by game designers and neuroscientists with which players can challenge their episodic memory — their recent memory of autobiographical events. These compact, card based games are designed and scientifically proven to exercise the brain to improve memory functions. These innovative memory games place demands on three types of brain functions: fluid intelligence, working memory, and long-term memory. Including, Brainwaves: The Astute Goose (AGES 8+ MSRP: $14.95), Brainwaves: The Brilliant Boar (AGES 8+ MSRP: $14.95), and Brainwaves: The Wise Whale (AGES 8+ MSRP: $14.95).
I was sent a copy of Brainwaves to try out for myself.
This is a classic memory game, but with a twist.
The cards feature an assortment of sea creatures (really cool looking too), on different colored backgrounds.
You can play this game different ways. You can either try and match the sea creature or match the background color. To make the game even harder, the game comes with a dice that will tell you if you have to match by creature or color, so with each play, you don’t know what you’ll be looking for.
I have to tell you, rolling the dice does make this game more challenging, but in a good way. The idea of the game is to help “exercise” your brain, and it sure does that.
If you are playing with younger children, you can have them skip rolling the dice, and just let the older kids and adults roll it. Or you can not use the dice at all. It’s up to you how you want to play the game depending on whose playing.
I really love the challenge of the game with the dice. I like not knowing what you are suppose to match.
Explore places, combine objects, and experience stories with the Adventure Series. These cooperative games offer simple rules, excitement till the end, storytelling games. Including, Adventure Games: Monochrome Inc, a thrilling adventure set in the headquarters of Monochrome Inc., a biotech company with some nasty secrets. You manage to get inside, and then it’s up to you to figure out what to do. Similar to a PC adventure game, players have to explore spaces, combine items, find clues, and talk to people. Step by step, you’ll start to grasp the plot and devise a plan (AGES 16+ MSRP: $19.95) and Adventure Games: The Dungeon, where you wake up in a dank dungeon. It seems impossible to find your way out, especially since none of you can remember what brought you there (AGES 12+ MSRP: $19.95).
Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive, and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game. Players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get. The classic Ubongo game (AGES 8+ MSRP $39.95) continues to expand with two fun-sized editions Ubongo: The Fun-Size Edition (AGES 7+ MSRP: $14.95) and Ubongo Extreme (AGES 7+ MSRP $14.95).
I was also sent this game to review.
This game reminds me of the old video game, Tetris, where shapes have to fit together to form a row. In this game, it’s not rows you are trying to complete, but rather specific puzzles.
The puzzle cards come double sided. Side “A” is easy, side “B” is harder (I’m still trying to master the easy sides!).
Each player gets eight puzzle pieces. They are the shapes you are going to use to complete the puzzle cards.
When you are ready to play, each player picks a card (top cards on the deck). That is the puzzle they need to complete using their puzzle pieces. The first person to finish it shouts “Ubongo!” The winner will get a point and a gem.
That player will countdown to twenty, giving everyone else another twenty seconds to finish their puzzle. If another player can complete their puzzle during that time, they also get a point, but not a gem.
Keep playing the game until all cards are used. The winner with the most points win. In the event of a tie, the winner with the most gems wins.
This game can be crazy when you know you are working against other people to complete a puzzle before they do. It might sound easy, but it’s not. It can get very confusing. Like I mentioned before, I’m still having difficulty with the easier sides of the cards. BUT… I am getting better at it.
This is not a game for young children. It would be too confusing for them. This game is best for older children, teens and adults.
Two explorers embark on research journeys to remote corners of the world: the Himalayan mountains, the Central American rainforest, the Egyptian desert, a mysterious volcano, and the bottom of the sea. As the cards are played, the expedition routes take shape and the explorers earn points. The most daring adventurers make bets on the success of their expeditions. The explorer with the highest score after three rounds of expeditions wins. The rules of the game are simple, but beware: The lost cities hold many unseen mysteries! This new edition features a sixth set of expedition cards and a two-sided game board: On one side is the classic five-expedition game. On the other side, a new variant with six expeditions is offered. AGES 8+ MSRP $19.95.
Dimension is a fast-paced, innovative puzzle game that takes place in three dimensions with 60 colorful spheres. All of the players play at the same time. Everybody tries to position the spheres on their trays to earn as many points as possible. The task cards indicate how the spheres must be placed to earn points: for example, exactly two orange spheres must be on the tray, black and blue must touch each other, and blue must not touch white. Complete these tasks while racing against the timer. You get a point for each sphere you use and a bonus token for using all five colors, but you lose two points for each task card you don’t follow correctly. Prove to your opponents that you are the master of multi-dimensional thinking! AGES 8+ MSRP: $39.95.
This colorful, inventive family game is easy to learn but deceptively mind-boggling! One at a time, each player drops a shape into the vertical game board’s drop zone. Players earn points for the highest level that their shape reaches when it lands and extra points for touching bonus circles. But be careful: Don’t break a landing rule! The shape you dropped is not allowed to touch matching shapes or colors after it lands. If you break a landing rule, you will go away empty-handed. The winner is the player or team with the most points at the end. AGES 8+ MSRP $29.95.
This game was confusing at first to figure out, but once get got it, it wasn’t that bad at all.
The idea of the game is to drop your colored, shaped pieces into the display to earn points. BUT… there are rules. For example, your shape cannot touch the same shape from another player. That means your squared (for example) cannot touch another square. If it does, you do not score any points. In addition to that, you cannot touch the same color pieces. So your pieces cannot touch other pieces of yours.
There are also spots on the playing board (display?) where you lose points, as well as areas where you can score even more points.
What I love about this game is that it’s never the same. You have no control over how the pieces will land once you drop them into the playing board. You might think you have an idea how they will land, but they might surprise you. They can roll on a different side, or change direction as they drop.
The game it’s self could be played with younger children, but an older child or adult would have to play to help them with their scores. Scoring might be hard for younger children.
This is a fun party game too.
It’s such a simple idea, but the rules are what makes it more fun. I can tell you from playing this game it’s not as easy to score as you might think.
You can check out these games and others at ThamesandKosmos.com. The brand can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Those links are found on the bottom of their website.
Does your family have a family game night?
What is your favorite game to play?
Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.