I think that games are so much fun for everyone. What is better than spending time with family or friends and having fun while playing a game? Plus, they teach children how to follow rules and play well with others. Some of my best memories from my childhood are playing games at family gatherings or when hanging out with friends. I have already created fun memories playing games with my girls. I have reviewed several games for Eighty MPH Mom in the past, and I always take the opportunity to review more when they come up!
A couple years ago, I reviewed some of my favorite childhood games from Winning Moves Games, which makes many different board games, card games, and puzzles for children and adults. There are several new games offered by Winning Moves Games this year, and we had a chance to play four of them!
Game of the States is for up to four players, ages eight and up. I thought it would be some sort of state trivia game, but it’s a lot different than what I thought! It is a little hard to explain, but here goes. First, you each get $500 to buy and sell products. You each draw four state cards and place your “packages” (colored wooden blocks) in those states. Then you each draw another state card and place your truck in that state. To play the game, you take turns spinning the spinner for the number of spaces (states) to move. The goal is to move to a state with another player’s package and buy the package from that player. Once you land on the state, the other player decides which product from that state to sell you (based on the pictures on the game board). You then spin the spinner to land on an amount to pay the other player for that product. If the other player thinks that amount is too low, then you spin again and pay the other player the amount shown on the second spin. You then draw another state card for the state to which you must deliver the package. Once you move to that state, you sell the package to the bank in a similar manner (spin the spinner for the amount to be paid by the bank for your package, and if you think that amount is too low, you can spin again). Once your package is sold, you move on to another state to buy another package. The game continues until all packages have been bought and sold. The winner is the person with the most money. This game teaches children important lessons in economics (buying and selling for the right price), as well as interesting facts about each state. The game board shows common products sold in each state (like oil and fish in Alaska, cotton and peaches in Georgia, and dairy and automobiles in Michigan). Plus, all of the state cards have information about each state (including capital, date when the state entered the union, state nickname, state flower, and state bird), and a fun STEM fact about the state that a player must read aloud when drawing that card. There were things that I did not even know, and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the states. This game is definitely for older children (I found myself getting a little confused at times whether I was buying or selling an item and where I was supposed to go).
Nibbled is a really fun game for younger children (ages four and up). This game comes with sixteen plastic fish and a deck of cards that have one, two, or three fish on them. You first divide the fish among the players and clip them on your clothing. You take turns guessing a color (red, blue, yellow, green, or purple). After guessing, you flip the top card in the deck. If there are any of that color fish on the card, then you remove that number of fish from your clothing and clip them on any other player. If there are no fish of that color, then your turn ends and the next player goes. There are five Frenzy cards in the deck. The player who flipped the Frenzy card yells “Frenzy!” and each player can clip one of their fish onto another player (except for the one who flipped that card). If you are the first to remove all of your fish, then you are the winner! My girls had a great time playing this game, and I enjoyed hearing them giggle while playing. For some reason, they liked to clip their fish only on me! I usually ended up with the most fish at the end of the game, and I have yet to win (which is okay with me, I love seeing my girls win).
The goal of Sunk! is to add water to a cup without causing it to sink. First, you fill the Sunk Tank up halfway with water. You then place the plastic float cup inside the Sunk Tank and fill the plastic water pitcher. You take turns rolling the special die,which tells you how many drops of water to pour from the water pitcher into the float cup. If you roll the “C,” then you have to take a challenge card and perform the action on the card while pouring the required number of drops into the float cup (challenges include “Close one eye while pouring 3 drops” and “Keep one hand on the table while pouring 2 drops”). The person who causes the float cup to sink is eliminated, and the float cup is emptied out for the rest of the players to continue. Whoever manages to never sink the cup is the winner! It is a little tricky to pour, and it took me a while to get the hang of pouring out the exact number of drops – I would always pour too much! It is okay if you pour more than required number of drops, but the risk is that the float cup will sink. My oldest daughter loved this game and was pretty good about pouring out a few drops at a time, but my youngest kept sinking the float cup with one pour. I think that Sunk! would be a great party game when played with a lot of players (it is for ages ten and up).
Finally, This Game is Bonkers is based on the classic 1978 version of this game. It comes with four different color tokens and pegs, forty track cards, four Lose cards, dice, and a scoreboard. The goal is to be the first to score twelve points. You earn points by landing on one of the three “Score” spaces on the board. Each player gets four track cards at a time and a Lose card. You take turns rolling the dice and moving that number of spaces around the board. If you land on a space with no track card, you put one of yours down and follow the directions on that card (i.e., move ahead 6 spaces, move back 3 spaces, and roll again) to move to the Score spaces. However, there is a “Lose” space on the board that you have to avoid or else you will lose a point (and there are two permanent track cards on the board that send you directly to the Lose space). You can also play the Lose card at any time by giving it to another player to cause that person to lose a point. Since you are building the game board each time with the track cards, every game is different! This game took a little bit of strategy to plan on what track card to play to get you to the nearest Score space, so I had to help my daughter choose which cards to play (and she ended up winning).
You can buy Game of the States ($20.95), Nibbled ($15.95), Sunk! ($15.95), This Game is Bonkers ($15.95) and other games from Winning Moves Games. You are sure to find something that everyone in your family will enjoy and have fun making memories!