I have decided to try and write a monthly catch all blog post on all the games we played in that particular month. This will include games that I have played with my children but also all other games that I have played such as those with other members of my family or with friends. So without further ado here is what my January Gaming looked like!
Games I played with my children!
Dinosaur Tea Party
This is probably my most played game of January so far. The children adore it and it is so much fun to play. The easiest way I can describe it, is that it is a much better version of Guess Who, if you have played that game. In the game you play dinosaurs who are attending a tea party at Dinoton Abbey the only trouble is that you have forgotten the names of your fellow dinosaurs!
In Dinosaur Tea Party you are trying to establish which dinosaur the other players are. On your turn you can ask another player about the traits their dinosaur has, or what they are currently doing or even the colour of the room that they are in. For example you could ask if they are currently eating or if they are wearing a hat. That player must answer truthfully (although there are some exceptions) and place a token in front of them to match their answer. There are however three dinosaurs (chosen randomly at the start of the game) who answer differently; there is one that always lies, there is one who always says no and lastly one who switches answers each time.
Once you think you may know another persons dinosaur you can on your turn use that name to see if you are correct. If you are correct then you receive a sugar lump, the first player with four of these will win the game. If your dinosaur is guessed by another player you simply draw another one and continue playing.
I really love playing this game with my children. The artwork is just delightful and really conveys the fun theme. We always put on our best silly accents as the game is set in Dinoton Abbey after all. The game itself has straightforward rules but it really tests your deduction skills. I love the twist of some of the dinosaurs having different ways of answering it really changes your thinking. Overall this is a really fun family game that I would definitely recommend.
My First Stone Age
In My First Stone Age you are competing to be the first player to build three huts in your village. You are moving around the board collecting the resources you need in order to purchase different huts, so for example one hut might need one fish, one berry and one horn to build. Surrounding the board are tokens which are placed facedown these have die faces on them or pictures of locations on the board. On your turn you will flip one of these to move directly to that location or count spaces to reach a location. This brings an element of memory to the game as you need to try and remember where the different tokens are located.
I have talked about My First Stone Age before so I won’t say too much more about it. Other than to add that we have had a lot of fun over the years playing this game. I think my two are now getting a little too old for it, that said we still had a lot of fun playing it. Sometimes it is good to pull out something that is familiar and just enjoy it!
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
In this game you play as either Hermione, Neville, Ron or Harry and work together to defeat Voldemort. The game contains 7 boxes one for each of the books in the series. You start with a deck of cards which can be used to gain influence and Lightning Bolts. Lightning bolts are used to do damage to the villains and influence is used to purchase more cards for your deck. The villains will also be attacking you directly and through effects caused by dark art cards which must be drawn at the beginning of your round. If you manage to defeat all the villains you will win the game however if they corrupt all your current locations you lose.
I can’t speak highly enough of this game, even if you aren’t a particular fan of the books the game plays really well. Game 1 is relatively straightforward and is clearly designed to teach you how to play this deck-building style of game. Each new box you open adds something to the game, always new locations, villains and cards for your deck but also many other new things which I won’t spoil for you. We have just completed Game 6 after two attempts and we’re really excited to be trying Game 7 next. This game has got better and better each time we have played it. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a fun family game to play especially if you have any Harry Potter fans in your house!
I won’t talk too much about this game as I have written a review of it which you can find here. That aside this is another game which I think my two are getting a bit old for now.
We had a great time playing this one possibly because we hadn’t played it in a long time. I think because it is a cooperative game you aren’t as concerned about the roll and move aspect of the game. We spent a lot of time laughing about our terrible dice rolls, although in this game slower is usually better which is just as well! Overall I would still recommend this if you are looking for an easy to play cooperative game. It definitely helps that the artwork is really charming and theme is a fun one.
This is a difficult one for me as I am not a big fan of this game however this game has been fantastic at helping my children learn about money. I think this one will be leaving our collection now as this time we played it they breezed through it all.
In this game you are earning money by carrying out different chores such as hanging out the washing. The game comes with a dial to spin which indicates how you must collect your money for example it might say I have to collect my 25p by not using any 20p pieces. This encourages you to think about all the different coins. In addition there is a space for exchanging your money for a higher denomination which means you are forced to add up all your money. Overall I would only recommend this game if you want your children to practice with money.
Games played with friends or at the gaming club.
This game is based on a series of books written by Brandon Sanderson. The story is that 10 years ago there was a mysterious event which gave several people extraordinary powers these people became known as epics unfortunately it also turned out that they were all evil. A group of ordinary humans have banded together to try and bring down these epics and their leader Steelheart. In the game you play as those humans working together to defeat the epics and save the city.
In The Reckoners you are investigating the epics to discover their weaknesses and then taking them down! You do this by simultaneously rolling dice and assigning them to different purposes. Each player can roll their dice up to three times selecting the dice that they wish to keep every time to a minimum of one. In turn the players will then use those dice for many different actions. The epics will be hunting the players base and also attacking the population of the city itself. You win the game if you manage to defeat Steelheart but you lose if the cities population is reduced to nothing.
This is a fantastic game almost certainly one of my all time favourite games. I absolutely love the puzzle that this game presents me with. Trying to work out what you need to do this round and then trying to work out what to do with the dice you’ve actually rolled that round is such a satisfying challenge. It always feels challenging and we have definitely lost more than we have won but I still love it. The game has been beautifully crafted too with incredible components from the trays to the dice it all looks amazing. It is the gameplay though that draws me back though every time. I definitely recommend giving this game a try I love it!
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be playing a game with filing in it and enjoying it I would have laughed at you. Yet here I am writing about Gizmos! The theme of this one is pretty thin but apparently you are building a gadget for the science fair and the person who’s engine works the best will win the game.
The game is played by selecting (picking) marbles from the dispenser and using them to purchase cards on the table. The cards add different abilities to your engine for example one card might state that if I picked a yellow marble I can also take one at random from inside the dispenser. Another might allow me to convert a red marble to any other marble of my choosing. The game continues in this way with each player adding more and more cards to there engine until one player has either 16 cards in total or 3 of the level 3 cards built into their engine. When that happens the game ends and players add up their victory points and the player with the most wins.
I have a weakness for engine-building games like this one. There is something so fun about building up the combos especially towards the end when everything starts to really ramp up. I’m not that good at this one but I still love to play it.
Aeons End Legacy
In the original game Aeon’s End you took the role of Breach Mages who defended the city of Gravehold from the forces of The Nameless. In the legacy version you play apprentices learning how to be Breach Mages. You work your way through the legacy story and your character will change as you play. I can’t explain too much about this because I really don’t want to spoil the game experience for anyone. If you have played Aeon’s End before then the main gameplay mechanics will be very familiar to you. Ultimately this game is a deck building game you will use different gems in your hand to purchase more powerful gems, spells and relics to add to your deck. You will be attacking The Nameless with spells and attempting to protect your city from them.
We’ve played through 5 chapters so far and I am really enjoying this one. I am enjoying the twists of the main story and some of the mechanics around The Nameless lead to some agonising choices. It is hard to say too much for fear of spoilers but I can say that it hasn’t disappointed. This game has always given me that sensation of it being impossible to win right up until the end when sometimes it all comes together and you win! We have only lost two games in total but have felt like we were going to lose them all. If you have played Aeon’s End and are looking for more then I think you would enjoy this one but equally if you have never played it then this is a great starting point. Overall I am loving playing through this story and I am really keen to see what happens next!
Arkham Horror (Third edition)
In this game each player takes the role of an investigator and are trying to save the town of Arkham from the Ancient Ones. The theme of this game comes from the books of H.P. Lovecraft. Players will need to collect clues as to what the cultists of the Ancient Ones are up to, battle terrifying monsters, collect useful equipment and aid their allies in order to win. Each round players can choose from a number of actions such as battling monsters or cleaning away corruption. Then players must survive the monsters attacks, encounter different places and people in their search for clues.
I have always loved the Cthulhu Mythos so it comes as no surprise that I also love this game. This game feels like a very interesting combination of other games in this genre such as Mansions of Madness, the original Arkham Horror and Arkham Horror the Card Game. It also has one mechanism which feels a little like the outbreak mechanic in Pandemic if you have played that game. I recognise that to some that whole paragraph may have meant very little but i felt it was worth drawing those comparisons for those of you who have played those games before.
I love the tension in this game and it is definitely not easy to win. Well for us anyway! I have only played twice so far and we have lost both times!
This is a fun little puzzle like card game for one to two players. This was my first play of the game which I played solo whilst my husband was away. It is worth noting that Assembly is a cooperative game if you play at the full player count of two.
In this game you are trying to escape an orbital platform after a virus has broken out killing all but you and your fellow players. The computer has however undocked all the spaceships so the only way to return to earth is to complete the assembly of an unfinished spaceship. You are therefore trying to place the completed room modules in the correct bays so that the spaceship can be assembled.
You do this by using cards in your hand to move the modules to the correct bays by rotating them or swapping them directly with another module. Once in the correct bays you can use another card to lock them into place. You only have so many chances to get them into the correct position before time runs out, this is determined by how many times you are allowed to go through the whole card deck. The game setup will vary every time you play and there are malfunction cards which you can add to change up the game and in addition different role cards with special abilities to chose from.
We were first drawn to this game after spotting it at the UK Games Expo last year. I love games that have a puzzle like feel to them and this one definitely does. It also helps that it comes in a small box for easy transportation and is quick and fun to play. I haven’t as yet tried out all the different elements of the game however, having only tried it’s most basic form. Even then as I understand it I should have flipped the cards over once they were locked in place (Oops!). I’m looking forward to giving it another try with the malfunctions included to see how I fare!
Quacks of Quedlinburg
I attended for the first time a games club close to where I live and had the chance to play some interesting new to me games. The first one I played was the Quacks of Quedlinburg which is fabulous name for a game! In this game you are playing quack doctors who are making their own secret potions however some of the ingredients are very unstable so you must be very careful not to explode your potions.
This game can best be described as a bag-building press your-luck style game. What this means is that you are purchasing ingredients to place into your bag and drawing them out from the bag as you add them to your potion. The white starting ingredients (sorry I have completely forgotten their name!) are very volatile however and if you place too many into your potion it will explode! You place ingredients into your potion starting from your start location (the tear drop piece) or a rat token if you have one. The rat token is a catch up mechanic for all players who have fallen behind the leading player. Each potion ingredient that you place on the board has a number on it this is the number of spaces you count on from the previously placed ingredient. Each of the coloured ingredients have their own special power, some for example will move further if other ingredients are in front of them and another enables you to draw some from the bag and choose which one to play. There are I believe four different options to choose from for all of the different ingredients leading to many different ways to play. In addition the player boards are double-sided with the other side having yet another different way to play.
We ended up playing this game twice in a row, the second game being considerably faster than the first. I really enjoyed this game especially the tension when deciding whether or not to continue pulling tokens from the bag. I really liked that you could easily change up the different ingredient powers which meant that you could try different ideas as to the best combinations each time you played. If you are the type to be frustrated by randomness this is probably not the game for you. I had such a good time playing this game and it’s one I think I am going to try and pick up as I think my family will love it too!
Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition
Railroad Ink was another game I got to try at the game club it is a roll and write style game in which you are trying to build networks of Railways and Roads. On each players turn a set of four dice are rolled these show different shaped pieces of railways or roads. All players must then draw these routes onto their player board. The game is played over seven rounds and by the end you are aiming to have all your railways and roads closed off. In addition to the dice results you can also add three of the special routes shown along the top of the board during the game but only a maximum of one per round.
As you can see from the picture I didn’t do so well at my first go but i liked the puzzle of trying to decide where to place my pieces. I also made a few rules errors too so it’s probably best you don’t follow my terrible example! All that aside I did really enjoy this one and would happily play it again.
If you’ve read this far then thank you! I hope you enjoyed reading about the games I played this month. If you have any comments or feedback I’d love to hear from you!