Codenames and Splendor – Review for Bloggers Board Game

Codenames Pictures is based from the award-winning original game of the same name and one we enjoyed reviewing and playing earlier in the year. Distributed by Asmodee and suitable for 2-8 players aged 10+ RRP £16.99.

Codenames is a quick game to set up simply choose your team if playing with four or more players. Decide who will be the spymaster for each team. Then the other players become agents for their chosen colour. A key card is chosen at random and the picture cards are shuffled and laid out in a grid format.

The gameplay starts with the team colour indicated on the chosen key card and the spymaster for the team has to give clues that will lead to his teammates to guessing the correct picture card. If they can give clues that lead to more than one card being covered with their correct agent card then it is time to party!

Gameplay continues between the teams with each correct guess, and ends with incorrect guesses, or uncovering a bystander. When the assassin is uncovered that team loose. Spymasters need to be cleaver to lead the team to success by completing all their coloured agents cards and not uncovering the assassin.

There are alternative play games for 2 or 3 players and we have enjoyed the 3 player variation of Codenames. We discovered that the Picture version is a little easier in some ways than the word version. But don’t be fooled as it still takes some thought and quite a bit of discussion! Perfect entertainment for a family get-together.

Splendor is an Asmodee classic game based on trading precious stones to create jewellery that will impress to win. For 2-4 players aged 10+ RRP £25.99.

Splendor game set-up is easy, simply lay out one row of each of the three level development cards. Sort the required number of tokens for the number of players and lay out in a grid. The Nobel cards are added to the top of the rows and play can start.

There are four different moves each player can choose to make. They can take 3 different coloured jem tokens. They can take two of the same colour (provided there are 4 or more left on the pile) You can choose a development card to keep in your hand. Or finally you can choose to purchase a development card.

The aim of Splendor is to add up points from purchasing development cards and maybe even earn a visit from one of the nobles. Each development card has a different value and the harder cards from the grid earn more points. These are the basic rules, and we found them easy to pick up. The winner is the first player to have development cards totalling 15.

Once we started to play we soon discovered that you need to have a plan. The boy and I also worked out that we were trying to gain a visit from the same noble. Splendor is a nice easy fun game that requires some strategy and thought. A cross between a card game and a matching game, it turns out the boy is pretty good at it!

We enjoyed Splendor and as it doesn’t take long to play one game it is great as a quick after school game. I love the quality of the counters and cards they feel like they will last for a long time and many Splendorous years to come.

Disclaimer we were sent these games as part of the Bloggers Board Game club and have not been paid for this post. The opinions remain our own.

Splendor and Codename pictures are available to buy from your favourite high street shops, online or via my affiliate links below.

Cheatwell Games – Review

Cheatwell Games have a great range of family friendly games, here are some of our favourites.

What’s in the Box is a game for 3 or more players aged 8+ RRP £12.99.

What’s in the box looks simple enough but as discovered even the simplest game can be made harder! The boy chose to play this one while we were in our hotel last weekend. It was easy to play at the table while we waited for our food. Winning or guessing proved harder.

The rules are simple enough think 20 questions. First you choose a box keeper and they choose an item to place in the box. You can play with one of the picture cards included. We found that you can fit large and small items in the box. Having a shake as one of your goes added to the fun. You have two guess cards, which once used you can earn more. The idea is to ask a question, or have a shake then make a guess. It turns out the boy is good at being box keeper and me and Dad Dragon are not that good at guessing.

The first item was a watch and despite working out that it had number, a light, glass was mineral and was useful we were still stumped. We had great fun with this game and it would be perfect entertainment for a big family group or simply like us passing the time while you wait for your food.

Quirky is a game for 3 or more players aged 10+ RRP £10.99

This is a fast question and answer game against the clock (sand timer). Where the answers may not be quite what you think! First select a questioner and an answerer. The answerer rolls the quirky dice. This will give the number of the question to be asked. The timer is turned and you have to answer as many of the questions in the time as possible. Get stuck and you can choose to throw the dice.

The idea of Quirky is to win as many cards as you can, while the other players can challenge your answers. At the end of the round any challenged questions are discussed win and the challenger gets to keep the card. Some questions are observational and others are simple instructions like “touch something brown!”

This game is very speedy and best played where noise doesn’t matter. We found there was lots of family discussion on some of the strange answers given. We love this bright little box and think its a great game for friends and family to play. You can set the length of a game to whatever you like so play can continue all afternoon if you want it too!

 

Baffled is a game for 2-4 players aged 8+

Baffled is a memory board game where you compete to be the player to remember the positions of 12 hidden symbols. These more around the board so be prepared to be baffled. The object of the game is to stay in play longer than the other players.

Start by deciding how many lives you will each have up to the maximum of 7. Then choose your coloured elephant counter. Each symbol tile is placed in the middle and covered. These are then shuffled and placed on a labelled letter on the board. The covers are removed for 60 seconds so you can memorize then replaced.

Players roll the dice moving their elephant counter around the board. Follow each of the instructions on the place you land on. Uncovering the correct tiles and remembering where they are will keep you in the game. Fail to find the correct tile and you will lose a life. This is a great memory game that may seem simple to play but will definitely test all your skills. The winner is the last player on the board. Working out connections between pictures and their locations is key to winning.

Would you like the chance to win and play What’s in the box? Then here is your chance simply enter with my Gleam app below.

What’s in the Box?

 

Disclaimer we were sent a selection of Cheatwell family games to try and have not been paid for this review.

 

#baffled #whatsinthebox #quirky

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 Asmodee Games and have not been paid for this review. #BoardGameClub

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.

Colt Express – Review

Colt Express is a Bandit Train game for 2-6 players aged 10+ RRP £27.99. This game is an award-winning board/card game with a bit of a difference.

We first reviewed Colt Express from Esdevium in November 2015. It is still a family favourite and one we have enjoyed revisiting now that we have a Monday night free to play games as a family. Play is fast and exciting and the boy is enjoying punching and shooting us off the train as much as he did before. Have a look and see what you think of this game which would make a great Christmas gift.

The box contains, 6 playing pieces and 6 sets of action cards. Marshal, Locomotive, 6 cartridges, 13 bullet cards, 17 story cards, 18 purses, 6 jewels, 2 strong boxes. Also assembly instructions game rules and 6 player profiles.

colt express

Colt Express sounded just the sort of game that my family would enjoy so I was interested to see what they would think to this different style of board game. The box looks fairly traditional but once you open it you will find that unlike other games it has no board. Instead you have to build the Colt Express train which will act as the playing platform for your pieces. There are 6 carriages, the Locomotive, as well as money, jems and even a few scene setting cacti. When you first set up this game it is worth noting that it will take some time and care freeing the pieces, to build the train cars. We found that if you tried to rush this process there was some damage to the playing pieces. The card is of very good quality, but it was almost impossible to avoid a few tears in the pieces. Assembly instructions are included and this took about half and hour to complete.

colt express board game - Copy

Once you have built the Colt Express Train it is worth having a good read through of the game rules. We decided to have a play through to get a feel for how the game worked and did find that the rules are quite complex. Once you have played a few times the rules become clearer and we found after two games we had worked out where we were going wrong. The basic idea of the game is to move your bandit playing piece around the carriages of the train using action cards, collecting as much money as you can. There is extra bounty to be earn’t for being sharpest shooter, and robbing the Marshal.

colt express game

You start the game buy choosing your bandit, each has a special power that comes into play when you get into the second part the “stealin’ phase” of the game. You set out the locomotive with the marshal and one of the strong boxes. You then need to add a carriage for each player. Each player has a set of 10 action cards, six bullet cards and a purse of $250 to start. Shuffle the 7 round cards and choose 4 to start your story as well as one end story card. Set up the train with the number of loot tokens indicated on each of the carriage floors. Choose a starting player and this person puts their bandit in the last carriage. Even numbered players go in the next carriage along, and odd numbers in the back. Now you are all set to start the first phase, the Schemin’.

colt express bandit game - Copy

Colt Express game play has two phases, Schemin’ and Stealin’ In phase one  you take it turn to lay action cards following the descriptions on the round cards. This is quite tricky to work out the first few times you play. There are additional rules, and this is the part where you have to concentrate on where you opponents end up!  Once all the cards are placed it is time for player one to read through the story in the “Stealin” phase. This is the fun part, as if you have “Schemed” correctly then you will be collecting the loot. Get it wrong and there is plenty of shooting into thin air! There are added events on some of the story cards meaning you need to think about where your bandit ends up at the end of a story too. At the end of the 5 parts to the story the Bandit with the most Loot, including shooting bonuses is declared the winner. In our case this was most often the boy, but I have managed to win back one game.

This is only a brief explanation of the game rules as there are additional play rules for experts, 2 player games and games with more players. Once we had mastered the basic play Colt Express has been a great way to spend a wet cold evening. It is a game that the boy feels he has no disadvantage with his age, with both an element of luck and mastery needed. The added special abilities of the bandits mean you tend to find a favourite player and stick to them. We had fun banning dad from his favourite player Ghost, or playing with players we hadn’t tried before. Colt Express is best played in a group of 3 or more and I can imagine is great fun in a bigger group, the age recommendation is about right as you need to have a good understanding of the complex rules and cause and effect each action card has on a player. There have been plenty of laughs as well with Colt Express as sometimes you have no option but to shoot or punch nothing, or even better being shot by the marshal and not ending up on the part of the train you thought. We even managed to persuade Granny to give it a try, and despite not really understanding fully what was happening, she said she could see it was good fun and something a bit different.

We have reviewed this game as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club #BoardGameClub

Colt Express is already winning awards, and we agree it is a great fun family game. Esdevium distribute this game in the uk, and you can find out more by visiting their Facebook and twitter pages. Colt Express is available to buy now from Waterstones, or Amazon. Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below

 

Jamie Raven Card Magic – Review

Jamie Raven Card Magic is one of four magic sets available online from Paul Lamond RRP £10.95 suitable for ages 8+.

Ok, so it is confession time as we didn’t know who Jamie Raven was, but the boy has always loved magic sets. We were excited to see what the Jamie Rave Card Magic box contained . The box includes a two packs of cards, a mystery box with spare cards and a secret membership card which gives you access online to the tricks.

The boy was a little puzzled that the Jamie Raven card magic set doesn’t contain any instructions, but once you have accessed the internet and been emailed the link it all became clear. ( My email went to spam so check there if you don’t get an instant reply)

Jamie Raven is the self-proclaimed runner-up, or “First placed Human” from Britain’s got talent series 2015. His website is easy to navigate, and once the boy had learnt the first trick he was keen to learn some more. Each trick video is easy to follow as Jamie performs the trick for you to watch, followed by a step by stem explanation of how it works and finally some tips on performance.

The boy learnt 4 very simple but amazingly effective tricks which he was then able to perform confidently on Bingo granny. He certainly had us all thinking and I loved the mind reading trick as I had no idea how it was don’t until the boy showed me. We decided you could do variations of each trick and could see how you could make them your own with a few simple additions!

We all had great fun learning Jamie Raven Card Magic tricks. The boy liked the easy to learn from videos and Jamies presentation style means I think anyone could easily master these tricks.

Visit Jamie Ravens website for more information on the trick sets available, or purchase your set from my affiliate link below.


Disclaimer we were sent this set in exchange for review, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

The Game about Wikipedia

The Game about Wikipedia is a new game from Spin Master games and is a celebration of the well-known online encyclopaedia. Suitable for 2 – 4 Players aged 8+ RRP £16.99.

The game about Wikipedia box contains 300 wiki theme cards, 4 whiteboards with markers, 100 tokens and an egg timer. Game play is easy to learn and the winner is the one at the end with the most tokens.

wikipedia

Starting with the youngest player you draw a wiki theme card, each contains 3 games. The first is a trivia question. Turn over the timer read out the question and the other players make a note of the answers on their wipe clean board. Questions might be For which James Bond film did Roald Dahl write the screenplay? Other questions have multiple choice answers and there are 3 tokens available for the right answers.

The next part of the game about Wikipedia is all about page views. The timer is turned and the three subjects are read out players then rank these as to how many views they get on Wikipedia in an average month. One token is received for each correct answer.

the-game-about-wiki

Finally players are challenged to list 5 items in the disambiguation section. In this section all the players answer. Match your answer to that of the question master and you will win another token. This has to be the most fun as you have to think about how the person reading the question might answer and not the actual answers. Play continues until the tokens run out and the winner is the one with the most tokens.

The Game from Wikipedia is a great family and grown up game, and has caused lots of interesting discussions in our family about what we know and some things we had no idea about. The Game is fast paced as you have the timer to keep you going although for the boy we tended to be flexible on time as he gets stressed under pressure. Once you have mastered the format then it is more about the varied facts and interesting information you can learn in the Wikipedia game.

The Game about Wikipedia is available from your local toy store or online retailers like Argos, and Amazon.

 

Disclaimer we were asked to try out this game in return for an honest review, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Family Games at Christmas

Family games nights are set to increase this year according to recent research from Drumond Park and I couldn’t agree more with their findings.

A predicted 51% increase over last year in the purchase of  table-top games (which include traditional board games and action games) among parents of 4-9 year-olds may well be on the way.

Drumond Park surveyed over 1,000 families over the Summer and autumn and found more families are planning to buy games this year, an increase on last year. We love family games nights, and where I thought as the boy got older he would grow out of wanting to sit down and play with us I have found the opposite. OK, so there is still the pull of wanting to play computer games, but some nights he will ask to play a board or card game.

pickin-chickens-fox-appears-lr

Traditional board games are a way of bringing different generations together and help communication between generations. The parents of children aged 4 -9 were surveyed and the findings showed a change of thinking. Parents are wanting to spend more quality time with their kids and surprisingly kids are loving playing games too.

But the main reason parents want more table-top games than ever before is because their children just love them. In previous independent research, undertaken by Drumond Park in May of this year, 86% of 4-9-year-old boys and girls said playing table-top games is one of their favourite forms of play. For girls only, the figure is 87%, while almost 90% of 6-year-olds of both sexes rate table-top games over other forms of play.

For us as a family its time to chat about our day or week, to learn new games and strategy’s and generally just have fun. There is nothing better than ganging up on Dad Dragon with a game of Dig In, or just silly fun with games like Crazy Claw, or Pickin Chickens.

family games

For your chance to win the Family Game Pickin Chickens from Drumond Park enter with my Gleam app below.
Pickin Chickens

Picking Chickens is available in store and online now, 2-4 players for ages 4+ RRP £19.99

 

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 Friday 9th December 2016
  • 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.(Note a prompt reply will be needed to ensure delivery of the prize before Christmas)
  • 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
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Research method

Research was carried out on behalf of Drumond Park Games by Censuswide in May and October 2016. Two sets of 1,000 and 1,004 parents with children aged 4-9 years answered online questionnaires.

Dig in from Drumond Park – Review

Dig In is a great new game from Drumond park and one I have been excited to try out since I first saw it at Toy Fair in January. Available now for 2-4 players, aged 8+, RRP £19.99. (No batteries needed)

Dig In captured my attention as it is a simple fun family game that takes no time to learn. The box contains 128 play pieces, Dig In bowl, timer and 12 double-sided cards. After setting up the bowl with playing pieces in the centre of the table, players take a card. The first player has one turn of the timer (15 seconds) to find as many of the playing pieces pictured on the card. The first round the players each get a go on their own. Subsequent rounds it is a free for all and the only additional rule is they may only search one-handed.

dig-in-from-drumond-park

The winner of the round is the first to correctly find all the pieces on their card, and the winner of three cards is the Dig In winner! The cards have two sides coloured and grey. The grey meaning that you can collect that piece in any colour, we actually found this more tricky so experimented playing both ways in a game to mix it up.

Dig in, in its simplicity makes it a great game for Christmas, as everyone can join in quickly. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the lack of rules makes Dig In easier for the parents to win. There was plenty of hand slapping and some devious tactics from the one-handed Dragon Dad. The pieces themselves when on their own are easily identifiable, but when in the Dig In mix telling and ice cream from a rocket is a little more tricky. Dig in is a fast and furious game that we have loved playing as a family and cant wait to share with our visitors over the festive season.

dig-in-game-play

I am excited to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win Dig In for their family to play this Christmas, and am sure for many years to come! Simply enter with my gleam app below and don’t forget to comment on this post to complete your entry.
Dig In

If you cant wait to Dig In! Then check the Drumond Park website for a current list of retailers, or click on my amazon affiliate link to buy your game in time for Christmas.

Disclaimer we were sent this game in return for our honest review

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 Saturday 10th December 2016
  • 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. (please note prompt reply is needed to ensure delivery of this prize before Christmas)
  • 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
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky