Thursday, September 8, 2011

Great Games!

At the start of every academic year, I give the girls little gifts to celebrate. Normally I buy new supplies, a few new accessories, etc. This year I purchased four new games (to be shared). You never know how much fun a game will be until you play, so I felt like I was taking a bit of a gamble.  But it turns out, these games are all absolutely wonderful! Each one is very different from the others, and fun in a very different way. I really scored (pardon the pun) with these gifts!  It probably helps that it's been raining and dreary outside, plus swim team was canceled for the week ... so we've had a lot of indoor free time this week - perfect for games! I thought I would share them with my fellow homeschoolers as the fall and winter months approach us...

Gobblet Classic Edition - Deluxe Limited EditionThe first game is called Gobblet and is a game of strategy. You try to get four of your pieces in row, and you can "gobble" or "be gobbled" by larger pieces. The pieces are all made of wood, as is the case. One of the best things about this came is that it is highly portable - we're taking it along to music lessons this afternoon. This 2-player game is recommended for ages 7+, and like chess or checkers, the better matched the opponents, the better the game.

The second game I gave the girls is called Anti-Virus. This is a one-player game, and the point is to get the "virus" (red piece) out of the "system" (game board). This game goes from super simple to insanely difficult. The player follows the starting set-up in the booklet and then using only diagonal moves tries to get the virus piece out. We've all had a lot of fun with this, and again it is a highly portable game. I've found that my 7-year-old, especially, likes this game. She plays by the rules about half the time - and the other half just has fun setting up the board and moving the pieces around. Again, ages 7+.

EDUPRESS DRAWING CONCLUSION SHIPWRECKED BLUEI also gave the girls Drawing Conclusions: SHIPWRECKED!. The premise of this game is that each player is stranded on the same island. You move your piece around the board, the goal being to collect four cards, one from each category - Math, Geography, Health and Biology. The player who collects all four first wins. Each card has a brief paragraph with a question that follows (basically, the card tests the player's reading comprehension). The game comes in three levels - I purchased the middle level (grades 3-5). I will say that the questions seem very easy, but the reading itself is not. I think I may also purchase the cards for the next level up to see how different they are. My gut feeling is that my younger girls would have a hard time - meaning the game will no longer be fun - if the reading level is significantly more difficult. Right now, they can read the cards, they are challenged by the words on the cards, but not so much so that they get frustrated, but the questions are very, very easy to answer. My oldest daughter finds everything very easy, which is why I'm considering buying the new cards. However, she still really enjoys the game. We've added our own rules to the game to make it longer (e.g., landing on a message in a bottle means you have to give one card back). Overall, I'm very satisfied with this game.

Snap TrapAnd lastly, my personal favorite of the bunch: Snap Trap! I love this game! We all love this game! One person can play or fifteen. The game pieces are worth different points depending on color. You simply take turns taking pieces out of the board while trying not to let the spring snap. If it moves more than a certain distance (good practice reading a ruler), you owe 3 points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins (great addition practice for little ones). The game is recommended for ages 6+. It is also somewhat portable, though I'd worry about losing pieces. We played a family round last night and everyone had fun. The game seems simple enough, but choosing the right piece (to either stop the spring, or to ensure it snaps on the next player) is trickier than it appears at first glance. This game is super affordable, too, so you get a lot of "bang for your buck." This would make a great birthday or holiday present.

Please share any of your favorite games with me - I'm always on the lookout for something new!

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