Games

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Tumball

Published November 29, 2017 by Bizzimummy

No Christmas could be complete without throwing in a few family games. Like this one from Megableu.

This is Tumball – The nerve wracking bead stacking game.

It’s a very minimalistic easy set up and easy play game. No batteries needed, no board, no counters or even cards. Just a frame and a whole lot of balls and beads.

The coloured calls are suspended in a cradle and the object of the game is to each place a smaller white bead onto the cradle of balls.

It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, as the white beads have to be carefully placed using a thin stick/straw and not with hands or fingers.

If the bead stays on, then the next player goes. However the cradle of balls gradual gets weighed down with the beads on top and begins to come apart meaning the white beads will fall down. If the white beads fall on a go, then the player must pick all the beads up and add them to their own pile. The winner being the one to get rid of all their white beads first.

It takes a steady hand to place the beads correctly and it gets more difficult as the more beads get placed. I think it works best with more players too, as this again adds more beads, building up more of a suspense on each turn. Up to four can play and it’s recommended for ages 5 and over, It’s all about trying to work out the best position to balance the ball cradle out.

I can just imagine this being played on Christmas Day with children and one or two slightly tipsy adults attempting to place the beads with a straw.

Tumball retails around £17.99.

Slither.io toys 

Published November 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Slither.io remains huge gaming phenomenon and YouTuber hit, 60% wotg British children 0-14 year olds. The game can be download and 124 million games are played a month in the UK.

 New to the UK, the Slither.io toys are an instant hit! A collection of bendy, squashy and furry snake like toys. 


I’m thinking these may be the new playground collectibles. They come in lots of colours and patterns and like many collectible figures, even blind bags too.


Bend them, wiggle them, hug them, squeeze them. They don’t really do all that much to be honest but my 5 year old seems to love them. I think her favourite is the squishy slither. 


This one reminds me a bit of a stress ball, very squashy and squishy and then it returns to its normal shape.

The Slither.io game app is free and the toys and very inexpensive ranging from £3.99 to £10.99 from most good toy stores. These make cheap stocking fillers and gifts and seem to be very appealing to youngsters. 

Brainbox games Roald Dahl

Published November 10, 2017 by Bizzimummy

There are so many brain box games to collect just like this one. They come with many different themes and it’s all about memory and observation. 


The Roald Dahl theme is a particularly clever idea as most children are already familiar with the books and movies such as Charlie and the chocolate factory. 

 The game cubed box comes filled with picture cards. Each card from one of 3 books – Charlie, Matilda and The BFF. A few lines of text from the books also appear on the card. 
Taking turns to play; each player is given a short amount of time to study the card. Young non readers can play along too but will need the words reading to them.

The back of the cards contain 8 question. The question is determined by a roll of the 8 sided dice and relates to something on the card, either in the image or the text. It’s then down to the player to give the correct answer and keep the card. 


 The player with the most cards wins. The game can be set to be played for a specific amount of time.

It’s a quick learning experience type game, and it would seem the younger players do much better than us adults.

Brainbox games cost around £11.99. http://www.brainbox.co.uk.

Blogger board game club: Codenames 

Published November 10, 2017 by Bizzimummy

As part of the Blogger board game club, I am sent regular family games to test and try out. I really enjoy being a part of it as not only does it give us the opportunity to try out the games but also that bit of family time without the technology or phones to distract us.

Last month we played The Colt Express. I found this quite a difficult game to get my head around. Far too many rules and things to do. This months game is soooo much simpler.


This is Codenames. It’s a small compact box. No board, no batteries, no dice and no playing pieces. But lots of cards.



These are the Codename cards. There are hundreds but only 25 are played at once. Each card is double sided and each word is meant to be the name of an agent.

These are the agent cards! The bottom card is the assassin and the one card that we don’t want to see whilst playing, the two above him are innocent bystander cards. Yes you guessed it. The game is themed around spies and secret agents.


These are the keycards! Ever played battleships or mastermind? Well there are a few similarities with this game.

The codename cards need aligning as above in 5 rows of 5. It’s best as a team hand but we have our our own unique way of playing with 3 of us.

If playing in teams of two, one becomes the spymaster and the other a field operative. The spymaster takes a keycard (as above) each square on the keycard is a position of the code cards, each colour relates to either a red or blue agent, a bystander or the assassin. This sounds complicated so this picture may show it better.

See the top row on the keycard now matches the top code card row. It’s all about finding the agents on your colour team. This is done by the spymaster giving one word clues on the code card names. For example if the spymaster said – animal 4. This indicates 4 words relating to animals which would be – dinosaur, cat, turkey and bear. Now these answers won’t all be for the correct team. Field players tap the answers one by one. A correct guess means a spy card replaces the word. Am incorrect guess means a card for the other team or a bystander which then stops anymore guesses for that round. The assassin card ends the game.

The winning team has to place all their spy cards over their words.

It is actually a very easy game to master. I would say the most difficult part can be thinking up the one word clues to guess some of the codenames.

As there are usually only 3 of us playing here, we do change the rules slightly. One of us will be a be a neutral spymaster. The other two players will be red and blue (solo). The neutral spymaster will the only one giving the clues to both players. This works really well as we then take turns to be spymasters and field operatives.

Codenames costs between £14.00 – £20.00 from most good toy stores.

Cartamundi card games

Published November 1, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Card games come in many different varieties. They make fun easy quick games to play and best of all, they come in small handy packages meaning they are easy to store and easy to take away on holidays too.

We have been sent some kids card games from Cartamundi and Shuffle card games.

 The Cartamundi fundels cards are aimed at young learners and pre-school/early years.
 


These play and learn games include numbers, letters and colours with shapes. 

Izebella has the colours and shapes cards.

The game comes with scenery cards and transparent cards and the idea is to match the transparent cards with the scenery to create a new scene whilst learning about various colours and shapes in our world.

By beginning with the blue background card, a simple everyday scene can be created with clouds and a tree.
 



There are lots of combinations and shapes and colours to see. I did think, with Izebella being five that it may be a bit too young for her, but she seems to enjoy coming up with new card combinations. The age guide on the box is 4+, and it does help her with learning when not at school. 

 For a slightly older girl is a My Little Pony gem matching card game.

This game is aimed at children five and over. 

Jordanna feels she is too old to play, but Izebella again loves it. She is actually going through a My little pony phase at the moment where she wants everything pony themed. 


This game is all about matching pony gems. Each player picks which pony they want to be. That pony has a gem assigned to it and the idea is to match up the gem pieces on the cards. Each card contains several half gems which need other half gems joining up. It sounds really confusing but it’s not.
 


See how the gems all match (except one that is?). At the end of the game, when all the cards are down, the full gems get counted and the winner is the one with the most full gems. Again it’s all about shape and colour matching, just like the fundels game but slightly more difficult.

 Finally and something a bit different is the Cartamagic set.
 

Ryan loves anything magic, so was quite thrilled with this. The size of it means no big boxes full of stuff to worry about losing. It all comes inside one handy tin. There are various card tricks to learn and even mentalism cards similar to what are used by some psychics. Also links to website and various videos showing step by step instructions to most of the tricks.


 These card games make excellent stocking filler gifts. Small and compact, minimum storage needed as they come in their own tough boxes or tins. They provide lots of family fun whilst also learning. Available online, in many toy stores and on Amazon.

Tomy: Greedy Granny

Published October 26, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Greedy Granny is so greedy. She takes all the biscuits away and keeps them on her tray, all to herself. But Granny gets tired and falls asleep, meaning children get a chance to steal Grannies biscuits. 


Players take a turn each to spin the spinner.  Then they either miss a go, or try to steal the biscuits. The number on the spinner indicates how many times the Granny button must be pressed. 


But beware, as one of those button pushes will eventually wake Granny up, who won’t be happy that everyone is trying to get the biscuits. She will jump up, raise her arms and her false teeth come flying out along with the tray and whatever biscuits are on it. 


Should Greedy Granny wake up on your turn then all your stolen biscuits go back to Grannies tray. 

To win, you need one of each of the four different biscuits. 

This reminds me a bit of buckaroo but uses a granny and biscuits as opposed to a horse. It’s one of those games that keeps us on edge because none of us know when granny will wake up and it can be quite a scare when she does. Spinning a 3 button push increases the risk of granny jumping up,  but she can literally pop up any time, it’s a matter of luck. 

Izebella is quite wary about pressing Grannies button. I don’t think she enjoys the whole suspense at all. 

Greedy Granny, from Tomy Toys is for ages 5 and over and for 2-4 players. It costs £15 or so from most good toy stores. 

Play “Your Worst Nightmare” this Halloween

Published October 24, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If your hosting any sort of Halloween party this year, and feeling a little brave, then go out and purchase this game, because it will go down like a right trick or treat! 

 


This is your worst nightmare from university games. Hundreds of cards with all types of horrific scenarios that you could find yourself in. This game is bound to give you nightmares. 

Up to four people can play with the recommended age being 12 and over.

One player is the ranker who turns  over four cards. All players then write down decide which scares them the most and least, rank them in order of 1-4. The players also picks any other player and write down how they think that player ranked their cards too. See my example – the cards read Crime, demons, dark rooms and cruise ships and that’s the order of my fears. I think Ryan would perhaps choose demons over crime so I write that on the other side.

 


Then play passes to all the other players to each guess another players order.

Points then get given for correct rankings and bonus if all correct. Each player has a turn f being the ranker until a player wins with 13 points.

I find it amusing discovering the deepest darkest fears of my friends and family. Jordanna is only ten but also joins in. It makes one terrifying party game. 


It can sometimes be difficult to put one fear before another. For example, which one is worse? Being mugged or being hit by a car? It’s equally as hard to guess what someone else has wrote even if you know them really well. After all, not many people openly discuss the things that make them scared. 

The boards are wipeable and the markers come with little wipers on the lids. Unfortunately these tend to pop out easily and they are black, so it’s often a case of locating them and pushing them back in place. A cloth is also fine to wipe the boards clean.

I would have liked to see a few more playing boards than just the four, so that more players could join in, thus making it slightly more difficult. It does seem to be intended as a party game and most party’s have more people. I guess players could play in teams or the boards could be placed in a copier and paper copies printed. The boards are quite basic with just a few lines and numbers so it would also be easy to just write the answers and scores on a piece of paper if more people wanted to play.

Drumond Park: Bang On review & giveaway

Published October 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Today we have a brand new game from the lovely people at Drumond Park.

This is Bang On. One of those very fast quick thinking type games which keeps everyone interested.

There’s a board, a machine that resembles one of those arcade weight banging machines, lots of cards and a hammer. 


The object of the game – get around the board to the finish space. 

 Playing the game – Bang On is intended as a team playing game. There are only two playing pieces, so two single players could play if they so wished but it’s better in small teams. The non playing team draws a card and dependant on what colour space of the board the other team are on, one of the three questions are asked.   
The Bang On unit gets banged with a hammer on the first answer from the playing team. The team members then shout out all their answers with a Bang of the hammer for each one, thus causing the banger to rise and give extra seconds. Once the banger drops to the bottom, or ten answers are given in time, the team then move the playing piece the number of answers given and then play passes to the other team. 

 Along the board are various spaces with words. Landing on one of these can either help or hinder play. These include “Extra Bang”, gag a player and bust spaces. The bust spaces will have numbers and this means the playing team must give at least that many answers to be-able to move along the board.


Challenge cards are available to be used by the non playing teams if they dispute any of the answers given.

It uses a lot of brain power and really got us thinking about some of the questions. 


When it’s just me a my children playing, Jordanna tends to team up with me and Ryan will help Izebella out; who by the way has no problems joining in with some of the questions even tho she is only 5 years old. The game being designed for 8 year old and upwards, so still a few years above her age ability level. 

 The banger unit needs batteries but that’s really the only setting up that is required. This game costs approximately £27.99 from Drumond park.





GIVEAWAY!
Drumond Park are giving away one copy of their Bang On game. To take part you must be a UK resident with a valid UK address. You also need an email address and both Facebook and Twitter accounts.

ENTER HERE!

The Game of Things

Published October 20, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We have been testing out and reviewing a lot of games recently. We actually have 2 big cupboards full to the brim of board games and family games which we never get tired of playing, we usually get at least one out most nights.

Our new game is a really unusual one. It’s obviously a really really amazing game too because it even has its very own website all to itself.


There aren’t that many games that come presented in a special wooden box either, the majority come in flimsy cardboard which end up caving in after a few weeks, but not this game. It’s a bit like a large version of a dominos box.

The contents inside don’t really look like much. Hundreds of cards. Score sheets, a few pencils and some answer tear off sheets.

The cards read like this


Hundreds of different questions with no correct answer. Players take turns to each read out one of these cards and then everyone puts an answer on th tear off strips.


The answer can be anything, even something totally random. These answers all get folded up small and into a cup, or something else to be muddled together. The “reader” who is the one who read the card will then undo all the answer sheets and read them aloud. It’s then down to the player next to the reader to guess  who wrote each answer. And that is more or less how it’s played throughout with each player taking turns to be the reader.

Points are given for correct guesses. A wrong guess means play passes into the next player for them to guess,if it’s a correct guess then the person who wrote the answer is then out of the round and play continues until only one player remains.

The winner has the most points and wins the game.


It works much better with more players. The box recommends a minimum of four. I was a little shocked that the age guide is 14 and over but I think this may be down to the fact that some questions could be considered  a little risqué and geared more towards adults than children.

The game of things is a fairly new addition  to the UK gaming market and therefore not that widely available just yet. It can be purcha directly from the Game of Things website for £32.99 and over on Amazon, although it seems to cost more.

I do think it is more an adults game than one for children so I’ll probably be saving this one for when I have friends and family round, and of course for when my children are a little older.

Staccups – cup stacking can be fun

Published October 19, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If I told you I had a game which was all about stacking cups then most of you would think it was boring. I did too when I first heard about it, I mean what’s fun about piling cups together right!

Well it just so happens that this game can actually be lots of fun and bring lots of laughs.

It’s possibly one of the most basic games I have come across. No board, no dice, no batteries etc. The box contains 32 small cups and a plastic device which changes colours. It doesn’t even come with an instruction sheet as the instructions fit on the back of the box.

Gameplay – It’s easy just stack your cups before other players. Well maybe not quite as easy as it sounds. See these cups cause confusion. The cup has two colours, one main colour and a top colour. When stacking, the top colour of the last placed cup determines the next. The 32 cups get divided between up to four players. Each player arranges their cups in stacks and tries to match the main colour of one of their cups with the last top colour.

Confused? Well watch this and you’ll hopefully get the idea.

And that’s just with two of us playing. More players equals more frustration along with laughs as other players block you by placing their cup first and thus changing the playing colour.

There are a few other ways to play. It can even be played solo using a timer. It’s different every time and the winning player is the one who stacks all their cups correctly first.

This game has really surprised me as I really did not think it would be any good when I first heard the description. I can imagine it being a great hit on Christmas Day for all the family, especially so when the spirits start to flow.

It costs around £19.99, cheaper in some stores and released by University Games.

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