Pandemonio from Drumond Park – Review

Pandemonio from Drumond Park is a game for 2-8 players aged 8+ RRP £19.99. Pandemonio is a fast family party game with easy to learn rules. Contents include a board, 8 playing pieces with rings, 64 cards and Colin the cup timer.

Pandemonio is one of the newest games from Drumond park and came out towards the end of 2017. It is a fast card swapping game that is very easy to learn but mastery and being a winner make take some practice.

Game play starts with each player choosing a coloured playing piece and placing this on a picture on the starting line of the board. Cards are chosen for the number of players and shuffled. Each player then starts with a hand of eight cards. Colin is wound up and set off on his track down the board.

Pandemonio as the name would suggest is a frantic game as players attempt to swap their cards to get as many of the cards their playing piece currently sits on before Colin reaches the end of the board. We found game play frantic and loud even with just the three of us, as you barter market style to get the cards you need.

At the end of the Pandemonio round you count up the number of matching cards you have and move this number up the board. Collecting a ring at the top and returning down the board the winner is the first to cross the starting line.

Pandemonio also comes with a super version with slight alterations to scoring where you get to move extra moves or maybe choose to move your opponent back a few spaces! This can mean a few tactical moves can come into play for those with a competitive nature like the Dragon Family.

Pandemonio is available now from toy store, online, or click my Amazon affiliate link below

Disclaimer, I was sent Pandemonio in return for a review and have not been paid.

Pandemic – Review for Bloggers Board Game Club

Pandemic is a cooperative game from Asmodee for 2 -4 players aged 8+ RRP £29.99.

Can you save Humanity?

This is the question Pandemic asks. Pandemic is a cooperative play game so there will never be just one winner, but as we found out this doesn’t make it less challenging. In order to save the world from the deadly diseases you will need to work with your individual skills to cure the 4 diseases before they breakout takes over.

I have come to expect well made and packaged games from Asmodee, and Pandemic doesn’t disappoint. The playing pieces have a lovely weight and feel and each part comes with its own zip lock bag so there is very little additional plastic packaging. The box and board a are a very good long-lasting card. The player cards also have a good long-lasting feel.

Game set up is fairly straight forward and is set out well in the instructions. Cards are dealt in relation to the number of players, and roles are also chosen at random. We have enjoyed playing this game as after our first try an average game lasts about 3/4 of an hour. The rules were also pretty easy to pick up and we only missed one which helped greatly on subsequent games.

Play follows three parts with the first being 4 actions, moving your and other players pieces around the Pandemic board. This can be setting up research stations of helping fellow players to cure the diseases before they spread too far. Players draw more cards and then infect cities. Play continues until you either cure-all four diseases, or you run out of players cards.

We discovered that we could save the world on our first attempt of playing the game, and then have failed on our last two pandemic games. It turn out I think it was beginners luck. Pandemic has been a refreshing change to the games we usually play which can be very competitive. It is great for encouraging conversation and co-operation. It is also not as disturbing as the name mas suggest.

Pandemic has won many awards and will also be featuring in the Asmodee Classic games promotion for 2018. This classic version of the game is a great start, and if you enjoy it then there are other variants of the game. Pandemic Legacy looks like a great with slightly different game play as well as various expansion packs.

Pandemic is available now from your local games store, online and via my Amazon affiliate link below.

Disclaimer: we have been sent this game as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club with Esdevium Games and have not been paid for this review. #BoardGameClub

Awesome Alphabet A – Review

Awesome Alphabet A by Colin Thompson is a 1,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle available now from retailers. Suitable for ages 10+ RRP £11.99.

I have enjoyed completing Colin Thompsons puzzles since I did my first one a couple of years ago. The Awesome Alphabet didn’t disappoint. It has a great mix of old and new illustrations and once you have completed one of Colin’s puzzles there will always be something familiar in his other puzzles.

The awesome alphabet as the name suggests has a theme and this puzzle is the letter A. There is a great picture sheet included with Colin’s explanation of the origins of the puzzle. This includes a list of some of the possible A related items you will see in the puzzle picture. There is plenty to debate with the picture in the puzzle as there are lots of items with tenuous links to the letter A.

I started with the border of the awesome alphabet. This was straight forward. The rest of the puzzle is one to piece together slowly as there is no dominant colour. As I progressed through the puzzle more of the brighter colours stood out including the outline wood of the letter A.

I have loved completing the Awesome alphabet puzzle and spent some time trying to find all the A letter illustrations. The boy joined in for a bit as the bright colours are very attractive. This puzzle is great for anyone wo like me is a fan of Colin Thompson puzzles or simply those that like a bit of a different puzzle experience.

Awesome Alphabet is available now in stores and online from Amazon with my affiliate link below.

Disclaimer, I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review. I have not been paid for this post.

 

Which one’s Santa? – Review

Which One’s Santa? is the newest 1,0000 piece Christmas puzzle from Ravensburger. This is the 21st Limited edition Christmas puzzle and is suited for ages 10+ RRP £12.99 and available online and toys store for a limited time.

It has been some time since I completed a puzzle and I was feeling a little out of practice. Which One’s Santa? is a great puzzle for all the family and the boy joined in. He does tend to protest but I think secretly he rather enjoys them. This is a lovely puzzle and the illustrative picture was lovely to complete.

I like this style of puzzle and always start with the edges. I like that my Puzzle handy fold away board has the outline for a standard 1,000 piece puzzle. There are not many large blocks of colour in the Which One’s Santa puzzle. I started with the red and found that the faces of the characters were also easy to pick out. This lead to the completion of the bottom half of the puzzle.

I found that the next part to complete was the windows of the houses and the roofs and finally the sky. Which One’s Santa? is a lovely puzzle full of bright colours and the illustration by Devon based artist Roy Trower brings the scene to life. There is plenty to look at and keep you interested. I especially love all the little hidden animals in the puzzles illustration.

Which One’s Santa is a great gift for a puzzle fan or simply something to enjoy completing as a family. I think this is my favourite Christmas scene puzzle and will be sharing it with family and friends.

Disclaimer: I was sent Which One’s Santa? in return for an honest review.

Space Saving Tips for Your Home this Christmas

With the influx of guests, gifts and decorations, the arrival of Christmas can cause cramped and busy conditions in your home. However, while the array of friendly faces and festive atmosphere might seem great to start with, it won’t be long before you start to get fed up of searching around trying to find the things you want and stumbling over stray toys, abandoned shoes and people’s feet!
Of course, space is always going to be tighter at Christmas than at any other time of year, but that’s just a part of the season’s unique charm. However, that doesn’t mean that you should sit back idly and accept your home being turned into a hotel-slash-storage-facility year after year. Instead, take matters into your own hands and commit to doing what you can to maximise space in your home and avoid that cramped feeling this Christmas.
To help you get started, here are some top tips and space-saving hacks to employ in your home this party season!

Food
Christmas is a time for indulgence and, often, overeating, as we snack on our favourite treats and gorge ourselves on a sumptuous feast come Christmas lunch. Couple this indulgence with the extra supplies needed for any guests, and it’s no surprise that our cupboards, fridges and freezers are full to bursting during December. Save space by storing only what needs to be kept cold in the fridge – everything else can be relegated to cupboards until it is needed. If you need to save money, too, you could also ask your guests to contribute towards Christmas dinner or Boxing Day tea. That way, everyone will be involved and you won’t have to find space in your already-full fridge!


Drink
Similarly, if you have a conservatory or garage, it can be a good idea to store drinks in these areas to free up some space in the kitchen. These areas are usually the coldest parts of the home in winter anyway, so chances are your drinks will stay cool and ready for drinking! However, if you’re after a longer term drinks storage solution, have you considered investing in a wine rack? Bespoke wine racks can be made to fit any space, allowing you to easily store your festive wine collection in style all year round.

Guests
Have you invited guests over? Will you have family staying with you during the festive season? If you are planning to host guests, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re well prepared for the influx of people in your home. Once you have confirmed numbers, the next step is to sort out sleeping arrangements. For older guests or those who would prefer not to slum it on the sofa, it may be worth investing in a sofa bed for a more comfortable option. Alternatively, airbeds are a great way to provide a quick and easy bed that can then be folded away and easily stored for the rest of the year.

space saving
Furniture
Do you have enough chairs for all of your guests? Is there enough free space to enable everyone to move around freely? Similarly, if your home is a little on the cramped side, it might be worth having a shuffle around and moving any unnecessary furniture to the attic or garage for the duration of the season.

Presents
Too many presents might seem like the ultimate first world problem, but if you have a large family, people staying over or just a small home, the question of storing all the gifts is an important one. Tuck smaller items away in stockings to save a little space, and once everything has been opened on Christmas morning, why not invest in a set of tubs or boxes for each member of the family to store all their gifts in? That way, everything can easily be moved around and it will all be kept together in one place.
Are you ready for the onset of the party season? The most wonderful time of year is fast approaching – make sure that it’s as wonderful as can be with these top storage ideas and space-saving hacks!

This is a sponsored post

Who’s The Dude – Review and giveaway

Who’s the Dude is just one of the new games this year from Drumond Park. Best suited to ages 16+ 3-8 players £24.99. Who’s the Dude brings the game of Charades into the 21st century!

Who’s the dude is based of the old game of charades. But now you have the ‘Dude’ to help you act out your words. The box contains a full size inflatable figure and 110 scenario cards as well as a scoring pad. Players can play alone or as teams and rules are simple. Download the Dude app for a handy timer and fun extras.

The first thing is to inflate the Who’s the dude figure. Be careful not to over inflate him so that you can still move his arms and legs easily. Shuffle the cards and starting with the youngest player choose a card. Act out as many of the options on the card in 45 seconds. Players score a point for each correct guess and the actor scores one point for each successful charade.

There are 4 rounds with round four being a double up round. The winner is the person with the highest score. Team play is similar with the winners having the highest score at the end of four rounds.

Who’s the dude is going to be our Christmas party game, and is best played with adults as some of the charades may appear a little risqué. I love that this game is such a simple concept, so know it will be perfect for the festive party. Acting out being a fitness instructor, or dancing on the ceiling. Or even what famous couple are we? Torville & Dean. Even the thought of these makes me smile.

Who’s the dude is available online and in high street stores now or use my amazon affiliate link below.

Would you like the chance to act out a charade with your own Who’s the Dude? enter my giveaway below:
Who’s the Dude

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Tuesday 5th December 2017. 
The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky

 

Catan – Review for Bloggers Board Game Club

Catan is a game for 3-4 players aged 10+ RRP £44.99, find Catan from Esdevium at your local toy store by searching here.

This month the Bloggers Board Game club sent us Catan to have a look at. I knew as soon as I saw the front of the box that the boy would enjoy this one. Catan is a trade, build, settle game and that is exactly what you have to do. The box contains terrain hexes with a frame border. Tokens, resource cards, dice and playing pieces including the robber.

The Catan rule book looks daunting, but this games comes with an alternative way to learn how to play. There is a handy game assistant which you can download onto you phone or tablet. This runs you through all the basic play and I found was a great way to get the game started. The Tutorial helps you to set up a basic three or four player game. It covers how to lay out the hexes, settlements and roads. It then takes you through basic turn taking, trading and building.

We very quickly found we were playing the game without the apps help. The rules at first look complex but we found easy to learn. Catan progresses as each player trades to enable them to build up their settlements upgrading and gaining victory points. The games winner is the first to 10 victory points. These can be gained for different achievements such as longest road or most battles won.

Play progresses with a throw of the dice, and then collecting your resources. Trading these with other players and then using them to build up your roads and settlements. Trading can be fun and a little frantic if there is a particular card you need. We found there was a little ganging up on the player in the lead to try and stop their progress. This just added to the fun of the game.

Catan is a game I can see we will be playing lots over the winter as it is very well suited to three players. Catan also offers the possibility of changing up the board and moving from the beginners set up to the more tricky variable set up. We haven’t quite braved this as we are getting used to where the beginners board takes us. There are also a range of Catan extension packs available so the play-ability of this game is endless.

Disclaimer: we have been sent Catan as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club with Esdevium Games and have not been paid for this review. #BoardGameClub

 

 

Chilean Easy Peelers – Review

Chilean easy peelers are a great fun snack and one my whole family love. They remind me of dark winter evenings. I used to spend my weekends at my Nan’s curled up on the sofa with a little orange which she used to peel for me and watching the A team.

I started popping little oranges in my sons lunch box when he started Junior school. They soon became a sign of Autumn and a way to make him smile when he was having a hard week. I like to draw silly faces on a Chilean easy peeler. Something silly and easily done with a marker pen. It was guaranteed to make some funny comment at the end of the day. I think his favourites were always pumpkins or a Santa face!

Now I use these little Chilean easy peelers for after school. They are such a quick snack especially for a midweek car journey. In our house they always come with a square of kitchen roll for wrapping up the skin. I love that Chilean easy peelers are high in fibre, vitamin C and 87% water. The perfect way to stay hydrated, or as a great on the go pudding. The boy says I am swearing when I mention the F word (Fruit) but as a mum I know these little oranges are a much better alternative to chocolate and biscuits.

“This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee.

 

 

Mysterium – review and giveaway

Mysterium is a game from Esdevium for 2 -7 players ages 10+ RRP £34.99

We have had Mysterium for some time now and I had been a little put off by the lengthy rules. The boy decided that we should give it a go as we have been playing lots of board games this week. Our favourite of the moment being Colt Express. I would suggest that you have a good read through the rules of Mysterium. Familiarise yourself with the set up and this will make the game much easier to play the first time.

Mysterium is not a traditional board based game and comes with a mixture of cards and standing elements. There is a great page to explain the set up but we found that setting a pretend game up was the best way to work out what each part is used for. Whilst our first time of setting up took some time, subsequent times it has been less than five minutes.

Mysterium is a co-operative game, so rather than battling against each other it is about the ghost and psychics working to help each other to discover the identity of the ghosts killer. There are two phases to the game the first you need to work out the different killers. The second you work out the poor departed persons murderer. Each part is good fun, and at first seemed complicated but as we discovered how each person thought the play became easier.

There are two roles in Mysterium, the Ghost the one player who can see who the potential killers are, where the event happened and the weapon. And the rest of the players are the Psychics trying to work out what happened. I can see some comparisons with Cludo, but I love Mysterium and have always disliked Cludo! I have no plans to write out every rule for Mysterium as the rule book covers that. I loved the additional rules for larger groups of seeing who is the better guesser. It is great that there are different levels of play too. We started on easy as the game suggests, and moved onto medium when we were confident we had all the rules correct.

For a more atmospheric game you can download a spooky soundtrack from the makers website, or simply just play at Halloween when its dark outside. I loved playing the ghost and not having to speak at all, teasing the psychics if their guesses were correct of not. It turns out that the boy thinks more along the lines which I do, with my clues to my killer and out of the half-dozen games we played over the weekend was usually the first to guess the correct answers to each part of the Mysterium puzzle.

As for winners, depending on the number of players you can all win. Finding the killer means the ghost is freed. I have to say we all took turns as ghosts and we all failed at some point! I would recommend Mysterium for family’s that love to play together. You can make it as spooky as you like and would be the perfect fun party game for Halloween.

Mysterium is available now from toy stores, use the handy store finder here.

For your chance to win this great family fun game enter via my gleam app below:

Mysterium

Disclaimer: we were sent this game in exchange for an honest review and have not been paid.

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Sunday 29th October 2017
The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky

Accentuate – Rainbow awards review

Accentuate is a game for 4+ players ages 16+ RRP £17.99. We were sent this game as part of the Rainbow Awards testing panel and have received no payment.

Accentuate is a team party game and I can remember when it was on Dragons Den! The box contains two sets of cards one has an accent and points and the other a film quote. there is a timer and also special pictorial dice.

Firstly you need to set up your teams and choose who will be the speaker. Team one then rolls the dice which gives you a special instruction such as swap, pass, play and all. Then a black film quotation card followed by a white Accent card. you then have till the end of the 30 second timer to say the quote as many times as you like in your version of the accent. Your team then have one chance to make a guess of the accent, film and year of release.

You score points from the card for the accent, 1 point for the film and 2 for the year. The winning team is the first one to 15 points or you can play to the amount that suits you. Accentuate is such a simple game to play and learn it would be perfect for a party. It was a bit tricky playing with just the three of us so I don’t feel we were able to have the full Accentuate experience. We will have to save that for the festive season.

Accentuate is available now from toy stores, online and via my affiliate link below

Disclaimer we were sent this game as part of the Rainbow Toy Awards testers panel for 2017, and have not been paid for this post.