Campfire Stories

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Top 20 family games and how to play them

in no particular order and according to us.

I am a game fanatic, love, love, love to play family games.  I will pull in anyone who stands around long enough at a gathering, to play whatever game I am obsessed with at the time. We have 6 shelves of games,  more in another room, which I played with the children when they were young, just waiting, I will play them again. My husband and daughter mostly groan, roll their eyes and move into another room when they see me heading to the boxes of entertainment, but my son enjoys the cut and thrust of a good strategy game as much as I do.  We often play, just the two of us, but now he groans and rolls his eyes because he can beat me at almost everything and it is boring to win at everything.

I could have written about my top 100 family games, to compile a list of only 20 has been enormously difficult for me.  In the end, the games I have chosen are the ones that we play again and again.  I have tried to include a bit of everything. Looking at them on the table in front of me, most of them share the same traits. (spoiler alert I couldn’t do it, there are 21 here).

  1. They are easy to learn
  2. Quick to play
  3. Luck is just as important as strategy
  4. They make us laugh
  5. I do not win at any of them!!

  1. LOOT is my husbands favourite.  It is a straight card game from Gamewright.
  • Ages 10 and up
  • 2 to 8 players
  • Playing time: 20 minutes
  • Contents: 25 cards showing merchant ships with gold coin values. 48 pirate ships of different colours and attacking strengths, 4 captain cards, and 1 admiral card.

OBJECT OF THE GAME  To be the player with the most gold at the end of the game.

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Basically, you get dealt 6 cards each the rest sit in a draw pile.  When it is your turn, you get to:

  • Draw a card from the pile
  • Play a merchant ship by putting it on the table in front of you – the hope is no one will attack it and you get to keep your gold.
  • Play a pirate ship to attack, the hope is you win the gold
  • Play a captain to strengthen your attack or defence
  • Play an admiral to defend your own ship.

It is fast paced with several attacks going on all over the table. Have you got enough pirate ships in the right colour to attack and win? Can you set sail with your most valuable merchant ship without being captured? Will you play the waiting game or will you come out fighting? Be careful though do not hoard your gold, because the game ends when the discard pile is finished and one player has played their last card.  Any gold you hold will be deducted from your total.

The game ends when one player plays the last card. This is a clever game, of chance, bluff and strategy that we enjoy over and over.  We love it because the outcome is different every time, the same game play that won last time, will not win the next round.22768137_1454136447975007_1902332450_o

2. SNATCH is a fast thinking, tile stealing word game.

  • Ages 3 and up
  • 2 to 8 players
  • Playing time: 30 minutes
  • Contents: 100 lettered tiles with numerical values

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get the highest score by making words.p1130911.jpg

It takes 30 seconds to learn and you’ll play it for the rest of your life! That’s what it says on the tube and they are right. To play, place the tiles face down then take turns to turn one tile over to reveal the letter.  The tiles stay like this until any player can see a word. When you do, shout it out and that word is yours. Pick up the tiles and place the word proudly in front of you face up, but WATCH OUT it can be snatched away. Those tiles keep getting turned and now you can make new words from the centre AND snatch made words from your opponents by adding 1 or more letters,  you must change the meaning.  Your hard-fought T-R-E-E can be cruelly snatched if an ‘H’ is turned and someone shouts T-H-R-E-E, get it back though if you see an ‘I’ shout E-I-T-H-E-R.

The game ends when you have turned all the tiles and you all agree there are no more words to be found.  We put an egg timer in the middle of the table and once the last tile has been turned you have until the sand runs out to try and snatch more words from each other.  There is much shielding of words and shouting at this point. Add up your points to find the winner.  We love it because it is satisfying and funny stealing words from other people.   You have to concentrate on not losing your own words, finding new ones and stealing others.22768304_1454136444641674_879663785_o

3. SLAMWICH is like snap on steroids, we have played this consistently for years.

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 2 to 6 players
  • Playing time: about 20 minutes
  • Contents 44 food cards, 3 thief cards, 8 muncher cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME Simple, collect all the cards.slamwich

Basically, the cards are dealt equally between the players, you hold them facing down.  Like snap, you take turns flipping your cards over onto a central pile. Two of the same cards are a double-decker. Something between two of the same is a slamwich.  All you have to do is see it, scream it, slap it and you win the pile of cards.  Throw in a nasty thief who takes the lot and a  pesky muncher and the game turns in to a slap fest of false slaps and adjudications.  My husband actually broke the table during a game.  This is a fun fast paced simple game.  Thanks, Gamewright again.22768467_1454136437975008_1420896838_o (1)

4. BLOKUS is good looking and simple on the outside, deceptively strategic on the in.

  • Ages 7 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Playing time: 20 – 30 minutes
  • Contents: a playing board with 400 squares, 84 pieces in 4 different colours and Tetris shapes

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get as many of your pieces on the board as possible.Blokus2

The jewel-like colours of the playing pieces appeal to my inner magpie so play begins for me by arguing over what colour I want to be, then you go on to lay your pieces down onto the board.  You have to make sure that when you lay your piece it touches another one of your pieces at the corner only.  Once play begins there is a mad dash for space on the board, this is a good time to try to get rid of your biggest pieces.  This game is dynamic because you have to think about how your own pieces will fit, keep an eye on the other player’s pieces, block your opponent but keep a path open for yourself.

The game ends when no more pieces can be played.  You do get used to it and employ some strategies with experience, but laying one piece can completely change the whole game and that is why we love it. Blokus is a quiet, thinking game, you need to be two steps ahead.22790163_1454136467975005_2142563854_o

5. BANANAGRAMS A racing crossword scrabble hybrid which is dangerously addictive and  my favourite

  • Ages 7 and up
  • 1 to 8 players
  • Playing time: 20 minutes more or less
  • Contents: 144 lettered tiles

OBJECT OF THE GAME Complete your own crossword grid using all the letters you pick up.P1130901 (2).JPG

All the tiles are placed in the centre, face down and you pick the allocated amount and pull them in front of you. Someone shouts split and the game starts.  Turn your tiles over and start making words, fast.  The object is to use all the letters in your pile to make a connected crossword-style grid.   Frantic arranging and rearranging and advise on spelling then starts.  You have to be quick because as soon as someone has used all their letters they shout ‘PEEL’ and you all have to pick up an extra tile and add it to your grid.  Just can not use that Z then shout ‘DUMP’, put it back and pick up 3 instead.

The game ends when there are more players than tiles left in the centre.  Make sure your grid is correct because you could be a rotten banana and be disqualified. We love this because you do not have to be a great speller, or know really long words to win.  HAT and HOUSE will be just fine. It is a game of nerves and pace.

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6. HEADS UP is electric charades and my daughter’s favourite

  • Ages If you can talk you can play
  • 2 – as many can see the phone
  • Playing time: 20 minutes more or less
  • Contents: you need the app on a suitable phone

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get the highest score, but no one really cares.22429360_1447622405293078_1806482119_o

It’s the game The New York Times called a “Sensation,” and Cosmopolitan said, “will be the best dollar you’ve spent.” Heads Up! is the fun and hilarious game from Ellen DeGeneres that she plays on her show, and you can play with your friends! says the blurb.
You choose a theme, Celebrities- Movies- Animals- Accents- Characters- and lots more, hold the phone to your head and start guessing what the others can see, by watching their ridiculous charades.  It is quite surprising, that most of us make the same actions to describe things, animals in particular. We played this while waiting for our lunch to arrive in a beer garden once and it caused quite a stir. We love Heads Up because it is a fun impromptu game with the extra bonus watching the clips back of yourselves miming.  Who says I can’t move with the times.

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 7. BALDERDASH is a game of bluff, that is more about laughing than actually trying to win.

  • Ages 12 and up
  • 2 – 6 players
  • Playing time: as long as you want but you can easily lose an hour or two.
  • Contents: 1 game board, 280 questions and answer cards, 6 player pieces and a die

OBJECT OF THE GAME Earn points by guessing the right answer to a question or by getting players to believe your false answers.balderdash-game-1 One person – the Dasher- reads out a question from 5 categories. Weird words – Peculiar people – Incredible initials – Marvelous movies – Laughable laws

example. In Massachusetts, the law states that mourners at a funeral may not…………..

Players write down their answers in secret and hand it back to the Dasher.

  1. Wear sunglasses
  2. Eat more than three sandwiches each
  3. Wear the colour yellow
  4. Play heavy metal music in the service
  5. Blow your nose loudly

The Dashers then read out the question again and the answers the players have provided plus the real answer which is supplied on the back of the question card. Moving clockwise each player has to say which answer they believe to be correct. Tally the scores and move your man on the board.

  • 1 point to players for every vote their answer gets
  • 1 point to players who guessed the right answer
  • 3 points to the Dasher is no ones guesses the correct answer
  • 3 points to players to write down the correct answer

You will be blown away by your opponent’s answers and knowledge and be surprised at how difficult it will be to find the truth.  Swayed by other players choices and caught up in bluff and double bluffs Balderdash is hilarious. We love it because quite often the most ridiculous answer is correct. The game ends when one person moves his man to the finish point on the board, 14 points.  The answer here is No. 2, surprised?22790276_1454136474641671_1243346194_o.jpg

8. SCUM is a raucous card game, where fortunes can be reversed quickly.

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 4 to 12 players
  • Playing time: you decide how many rounds to play
  • Contents: you just need enough chairs and one or two packs of cards.

OBJECT OF THE GAME To be the President when play ends22561393_1447622325293086_754014055_o

Firstly I must say there are many variations of this game, so take a look online.  This is how we play.  First, establish positions by playing one round.  The first man out is president, second is vice president last is scum and second to last is vice scum.  All players that fall in between are middlemen and their place around the table is sequential, depending on when they got out.  President sits in his chair, to his left the vice president middlemen then the vice scum and scum sits to his right (we make this a low or high stool) thus completing the table.  These places remain set but as you win and lose you must stand up at the end of the round and take up your new physical position in the appropriate chair.

Plat begins. The person who is scum shuffles collects and deals the cards. All the cards are dealt as evenly as possible in a clockwise rotation. After the cards are dealt, scum must hand over his best two cards to the President, while the vice-scum must hand over his best card to the Vice-President. Then the President and Vice President always hand back an equal number of their “junk” cards. They are not obliged to pass back their lowest cards but often do.

The person with the 3 of Clubs starts the game by throwing the card out into the centre, then play continues clockwise. You have to discard a card sequentially higher than a three, any colour, any suit.  Sounds easy but there are tons of strategy built in that varies depending on the rules you choose.  We play Joker is highest and can beat all and use skip, consecutive and the pass rules below. You must play the same number of cards as the player before you. For example, if one player lays down a 6, the next player must lay down a 6 or higher. If the player lays down three 4’s, the next player must lay down three 5’s or higher. The only exception is that a single Joker will beat any other play so when a Joker is played, the game is over.  The winner is the last person to lay a card and they become president second person out, vice and so on.  Get up and take your rightful place.

SKIP RULE –  lay down the same, so a 5 on a 5 means the next player has skipped a turn but not out of play.

CONSECUTIVE – if by chance three cards are played in the correct numerical order so 1,2,3, or 6,7,8 the person laying that 3rd card can call consecutive and the play must continue that way.

PASS – if you can not play or do not want to play a card call PASS and you are out of the round and take the position you are in at that point.

We love playing Scum as part of the fun is abusing the scum player, especially if you hold the presidency.  Scum has to get the drinks and nibbles, shuffle and deal the cards and generally be the butt of all jokes. Be careful though, you could be scum next round.  If you do not mind good-hearted ribbing among friends and family, this is the best card game ever, with twists and turns at every hand.  It ends when you say so and the president holds his position – and bragging rights -for the next game.22790117_1454136637974988_364417492_o.jpg

9. RAT-A-TAT-CAT is a memory card game, hilariously funny for the others when luck is against you.

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 2 to 6 players
  • Playing time: 5 minutes per round so choose the play time but about 20 mins for us
  • Contents: 54 rat and cat cards with numerical face values

OBJECT OF THE GAME To have the lowest score at the end of the gamegamewright-204.jpg

Deal four cards to each player which are placed face down in a row in front of you.  The rest of the pack is placed face down in the centre.  The top card is the drawcard and can be turned over to start the discard pile.  On ready stead go all players can look at their two outside cards only so now you know what you have on the outside but not the two in the middle.  Replace the two cards and play begins.  The trick is to remember what you have and try and work out what your opponents have.

Taking turns a player must pick up the card from the face-down draw pile or the face-up discard pile, that card must be used to replace a card you already have.  That’s great if you know you have a high scoring rat on the outside and you have a low card in your hand, replace it and do a happy dance in your head.  If you pick up a high scoring  8 rat and you have two outside low cards then it is a reasonable gamble to replace one of your blind cards.  The wailing is great when your blind 0 cat is replaced with an 8 rat, compounded as the next player will pick up that 0.  SWAP, DRAW and PEEK cards cause havoc.

When you think you have the lowest score call rat a tat cat and every other player has to play one more round. Depending on luck this can be disastrous or brilliantly fortuitous. The play ends after a set amount of rounds or points.  We have played this in airport lounges all over the world, it never gets boring you can go from winner to looser in a turn of a card.  We love it because it is hysterically funny when a player forgets where his good card is and throws it out by mistake, to the benefit of another who will call rat a tat cat and leave you at the mercy of the card Gods.22751449_1454136471308338_1718440409_o

10. QUORIDOR the amazing maze game, that I just can not win!

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Playing time: about 10 -20 minutes
  • Contents: a 3D board, 20 wooden fences and four pawns

OBJECT OF THE GAME To reach the other side first.quoridormini3.jpg

Divide the fence pieces between the players, you then store them in the grooves in front of you and pop your man just in front.  Now simply take turns moving your man one square forwards, backwards or to either side, you are trying to reach the opposite side.  Or you can put up a fence piece to help protect your path or block your opponents progress.  The rules are simple, put the fences in the right slots but make sure your opponent can still reach the other side – even if they have to double back to do so Grrr. Easy, why oh why can I never win.  Because while this board game is delightfully quick to play and learn you really have to be two plays ahead and I like shiny bright things so do not always concentrate. The games ends when one player finds the shortest way across and gets to the other side first.  This is a great game because it is surprisingly deep for its simple rules, with a chess vibe but is quick and easy to learn.22768112_1454136507975001_513449982_o

 11 RUMMIKUB is one of the most played family games in the world, it’s like a card game with tiles.

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Contents: 104 numbered tiles, 2 Joker tiles and for racks to hold the tiles.

OBJECT OF THE GAME To be the first person to use all your tiles.rummikub

Grab yourself a rack and put all the tiles, face down, in the centre of the play area.  Each player picks up 14 tiles each and play begins.  You can lay your tiles on the table when you have a set of tiles, either a group or a run.  A GROUP is 3 or 4 tiles of the same number but different colours, a RUN is 3 or more tiles which run consecutively and are the same colour.

After the initial meld when you must lay  sets valued at at least 30 points, you take it in turns to either:

  • Pick up a tile
  • Play a set
  • Manipulate a set already in play on the table

You do not have to puts tiles down when you have a set, you can continue to pick up. In doing this you are increasing your risk of being caught with a rack full of tiles but you are also reducing the options for the other players because manipulation is a big part of the play, it is also why we all love this game. Manipulation allows you to add one or more tiles from your rack to make a new set or remove the fourth tile from a group (leaving the required 3) to use it to complete a new set.  You can add or remove a tile, split runs in multiple ways, which can sometimes be epic to watch.  Beware, you only have a minute to execute your master plan.

The game ends when one player empties his rack and calls Rummikub.  You can call it a day here or go on to keep score and play further rounds. The games can often start slow but as the table builds up with sets more manipulations are possible which is why Rummikub has been a popular game for over 50 years and has won six ‘game of the year awards and we still play it again and again.22768358_1454136527974999_592589882_o

 

12. GOBBLET takes naughts and crosses to the next level

  • Ages 7 and up
  • 2 players
  • Playing time: about 10 -20 minuets
  • Contents: a 16 square player board (I have a box set to it is the lid) 24 playing pieces called gobblets, 12 white and 12 black. The gobblets stack like Russian dolls.

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get four of your gobblets in a row.P1130944 (2).JPG

Choose a colour and put your gobblets into three stacks in front of you.  Now play as for naughts and crosses taking turns to either:

  • Put a new gobblet on the board
  • Move your own gobblet which is already on the board to an empty space.
  • Place one of your larger goblets over your opponents smaller one already on the board

Now, what makes it interesting is, that you have to remember the pieces that have been covered.  So what you see on the top can be completely different underneath.  You might think you have the winning move lift up your piece to find the colour of your opponent underneath, removing your cup will make him the winner, not you. You really have to remember where the pieces all are because once you have touched a gobblet you must move it, meaning if you make a mistake you can lose the game.  The game ends with four in a row or three of the same moves between the colours causes stalemate and a draw is declared.

We love it because it is cat and mouse tactics and is easy to learn, fast to play and playing ‘BEST OF’ gives you a chance to fight back.  Memory and guile are needed, getting the corners doesn’t work here!22790976_1454136521308333_505060166_o

13. CATAN  A kind of rural monopoly, where rolling the dice, the roads and settlements you build will determine your fate.

  • Ages 10 and up
  • 3 – 4 players
  • Playing time: about 45 – 90 minutes
  • Contents: A board of 25 pieces which can be built randomly, 18 number tokens, 95 resource cards, 25 development cards, and 2 special cards, building pieces 60 roads, 16 cities, 20 settlements, dice and a robber

OBJECT OF THE GAME to earn 10 victory pointssettlers-of-catan-5th-edition-board-game

First, you set the board up, there is a very simple system for this.  You will have two settlements on two numbered hexes. Play starts and on your turn you:

  • roll two dice
  • collect any resources
  • trade with other players or the bank
  • Buy resources and build

Each terrain hex is marked with a  number. Each player who owns a settlement adjacent to a terrain hex marked with the number rolled receives a resource produced by this hex. Hills produce brick, forests produce lumber, mountains produce rock, fields produce hay, and pastures produce wool.

You use the resources to buy roads and new settlements or upgrade existing settlements to cities. For example, a road costs 1 brick and 1 lumber. If you do not have the resources, you can try and get them by trading with your opponents or the bank.  You can also trade for resource cards. Each settlement is worth 1 victory point and each city is worth 2 victory points. If you expand cleverly, you may be the first player to reach 10 victory points and win the game.

This is a game that changes with every play, rolling a 7 can strip you of cards and income via the robber and you may have built in the wrong place, meaning low resources to trade with. You can also gain victory points with the largest army or longest road.  We love it because the actual board changes with each setup, you can buy expansion sets and the bartering among the players is comical. What would you give for some hay, will you trade even if you know this will give your opponent an advantage, or will you wait for the roll of the dice.22812581_1454136621308323_1292808691_o

 14. MATCH OF THE PENGUINS is a card game where sharp reflexes and quick scanning abilities win.

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 2 – 6 players
  • Playing time: about 15 minutes
  • Contents: 64 cards, 3 wood penguin pawns

OBJECT OF THE GAME to spot the differences and collect all the cardsmatch of the penguins

Shuffle the deck and start.  Take turns to flip over the cards and slowing lay them face up in a line. Think all penguins look alike? Better look again, you are looking for a pair of penguins with common elements either umbrella, sunglasses, lei, blanket and fish. Be the first to shout out a match or grab a penguin and collect all the cards. The game ends when the final card is placed face up and everyone has one last chance to find a match.

If two cards have one element call it out to win all the cards. Two cards with several elements that match grab a black penguin, two cards that are identical grab the white penguin.  Watch out for two fish, and knock the table. With match rankings, shouting grabbing mistakes and laughter this is a fast-playing game of colourful confusion, that we love and is played again and again in our house.22768045_1454136624641656_1453303893_o

15. SET a funky visual perception game, it takes a moment to find your eye but once you do this is a fast fun game.

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 1 to as many who want to play
  • Playing time: 20 mins
  • Contents: 81 cards, each one is unique in its features, colour, shape, number, and shading.

OBJECT OF THE GAME To collect the most sets.P1130925 (2).JPG

A SET consists of three cards on which each individual feature is either ALL THE SAME or ALL DIFFERENT on ALL three cards.

The features are 1. SYMBOLS -oval-diamond-squiggle. 2. COLOURS – red-green-purple 3. NUMBERS 1-2 or three things 4. SHADING solid-outlined-stripped.

The dealer shuffles the cards then lays 12 in a rectangle, face up.  Start looking for a SET, once you see one, shout set and point to the three.  Pick them up and another three cards fill the spaces. This is such a weird brain thing because you can all be looking at the cards for a while and then suddenly someone sees a set, which has been there all the time, cue the groaning because then you can see it too. Sometimes you think you have seen a set but errr no.  I have made two sets in the picture.  Look at the top one it IS a set.

  • The symbols are all different
  • The colours are all different
  • The numbers are all different
  • The shadings are all different

The bottom line is NOT a set, can you see why??  The game ends when there are no more cards left and all the sets have been found.  I love this game because I feel like my brain is being given a kick but I am too busy enjoying myself to notice.  I play solitaire quite often and the kids walk past and shout set and I have been staring at it for ages!22751459_1454136614641657_2106907025_o

16. OPERATION is a silly dexterity game which I played as a kid and still deserves a place here.

  • Ages 4 and up
  • 1 to as many who want to play
  • Playing time: varies about 30 mins
  • Contents:  Electric patient board and tweezers with 12 cavities and removable parts 24 specialist and doctors cards and money. There are newer versions

OBJECT OF THE GAME Perform the operations successfully to get the most cash.operation

Shuffle the specialist cards and deal them out set up the boards by putting all the patient’s parts into the cavities. Place the doctors cards face down. Play begins, on your turn draw a doctors card which tells you what operation you must perform and how much you will be paid. To operate you use a set of tweezers that are attached by wire to the game board. If you are sloppy and touch the metal sides of the hole where the item is located, the patient’s pain is indicated by a sudden buzzer and his nose lights up. Successful extractions net cash, fail and the player with the appropriate specialist card gets a go. We love this because trying to put the other players off is just as important as trying to get your piece out.  Trying to beat the egg timer also heaps the pressure on. The player with the most cash at the end of the game is the winner. Try with your non-dominant hand. download (5)

17. BOOGLE FLASH determination and quick-thinking are rewarded by these five little red boxes.

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 1 to as many who want to play
  • Playing time: varies depending on players and game chosen
  • Contents: 5 electric letter tiles

OBJECT OF THE GAME To find words against the clock or others.P1130915 (2).JPG

I bought this game about 7 years ago and was mesmerized by the technology alone, it knows when you make a word, keeps your score and changes letters with every turn. Boggle Flash is an interactive, electronic slide and shuffle game  An amazing play experience that you won’t want to put down once you get your hands on it. Line up the tile cubes, press go and race to find as many words as possible from the letters shown in 90 seconds.

For one player find as many 3-4 and 5 letter words as you can OR find the 5 letter word in the jumble of letters presented.

For more than one player you take turns at finding the 5 letter word against the clock. Get it right and then pass it on.  If you are unsuccessful the cubes flash OUT then NEXT and you are out of that round.  You can end the game after a set amount of points or rounds are reached. We love this game because the time pressure makes a scrambled easy word become invisible and I still love the technology, all these years later.22766451_1454136514641667_799839549_o

18. PANDEMIC Winning awards internationally this game asks you to save humanity by working as a team

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 2 – 4 players
  • Playing time: 45 minutes
  • Contents: 7 Role cards, 7 Pawns, 59 Players cards, 4 Reference cards, 48 Infection cards, 96 Disease cubes, 4 Cure markers an Infection and Outbreak markers, 6 research stations and a board

OBJECT OF THE GAME To discover cures for all 4 diseases.download (2).jpg

This is the newest addition to our game stock and when we started to play I wondered if I had made a mistake.  It felt overly complicated and our first game brought a quick and heavy loss and the misunderstanding of the games subtly.  We regrouped and played again.  The light shone and we realised it was us against the germs.  Game on.

First set out the board and pieces and allocate the Role cards.  There are good instructions on how to do this.  Begin play and take turns to

  • Do 4 actions MOVE – BUILD A RESEARCH STATION- TREAT DISEASE – SHARE  KNOWLEDGE- DISCOVER A CURE
  • Draw 2 player cards
  • Infect Cities

Once you have moved, built, treated, shared or discovered you go on to draw the top two cards from the players pile to add to your hand. If a card is an Epidemic card, instead of taking the card in hand, you are all in trouble and everyone groans. Once you have infected your turn is over and the player on his left then begins his turn

Taking your allocated role within the team, each of you must plan a strategy that works with other’s strengths in order to conquer the diseases.  If one or more diseases spread beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, you all lose. If you cure the four diseases, then you all win! that is why I now love this game. Pandemic is a cooperative game. You are members of a disease control team, working together to research cures and prevent additional outbreaks, it’s like nothing else we play.

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19. SPIT The fastest card game in the world

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 2 players
  • Playing time: varies depending on players and game chosen
  • Contents: 52 numbered cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get rid of all your cards firstP1130933 (2).JPG

You can actually play this game with a normal deck of cards, I think it is called SPEED. So to play, you shuffle and deal the whole deck, so you both have an equal amount. Sit facing your opponent, holding your cards face down place four of your cards face up in a row in front of you.  Get ready, set, SPIT.  You both place a card from your deck face up between the rows, these are the discard piles and the game begins.  Try and get rid of your pile of cards by placing them on either of the two discard piles from the four cards in the row. Cards must be played in sequence either up or down, zeros are high or low.  Replace the cards used from the row with those in your hands. The concept is easy, speed wins, it’s simply a race to the end. The game ends when one person has played all their cards, sometimes you tie.  We love it because it is quick and easy to learn and the sheer pace makes it enormously entertaining.22768284_1454136641308321_1598330392_o.jpg

 20. JENGA is a game that requires steady hands and nerves of steel

  • Ages 6 and up
  • 2 -6 players
  • Playing time: varies depending how good you are
  • Contents: 55 wooden blocks

OBJECT OF THE GAME stack without making the tower collapse

This well-known game just has to be here. Use the included loading tray to create the initial tower. Stack all of the blocks in levels of three placed next to each other along their long sides and at a right angle to the previous level.

Once the tower is built, the person who stacked the tower plays first. On your turn, you must take one block from any level of the tower (except the one below an incomplete top level), and place it on the topmost level in order to complete it. Players may use only one hand at a time; either hand may be used, but only one hand may touch the tower at any time. Players may tap a block to find a loose one. Any blocks moved but not played should be replaced, unless doing so would make the tower fall. The turn ends when the next player touches the tower, or after ten seconds, whichever occurs first.

The game ends when the tower falls — completely or if any block falls from the tower (other than the block a player moves on a turn). The loser is the person who made the tower fall (i.e., whose turn it was when the tower fell).22766650_1454136634641655_1346512960_o.jpg

21. DOMINOES The old-fashioned game that still entertains and is played at a professional level.

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 3 -4 players
  • Playing time: varies depending on players and game chosen
  • Contents: 55 tiles

OBJECT OF THE GAME To get rid of all your tiles first

dminoes

Straight dominoes is what you are probably used to and what I played with the kids when they were very young.  Did you know a domino is a small tile that represents the roll of two dice?  To play straight dominoes, you need a double-six set, simply put all the tile or bones into the centre of the play area, shuffle and then pull out the appropriate number.  For 2 players take 7, 3-4 players take 5 each.  Set them up in front of you so that the other players see what you have left but not the values.  Once all the players have drawn their dominoes, the first player places the first tile on the table. Typically, this is the double-six. If no one holds the double-six, then the double-five is played, and so on.  Only the “open” ends of a layout are open for play. Each end of the tile contains a number, all you have to do is match the numbers or knock if you can not go and pick up another tile. You are trying to lay all your tiles and block your opponent at the same time.

A game ends either when a player plays all his tiles, or when a game is blocked. When a player plays his last time, tradition requires him to say “domino”.  There are so many fantastic variations of this game and that’s what keeps this bag of bones fresh.  Look up how to play chicken foot, blind Hughie or muggins and give dominoes another look.22766460_1454136491308336_1791465219_oI hope you have found a new game to enjoy.  I would love to know what your favourite is., I am always keen to find a new family game.

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