Getting Your Game On

Well Irene has turned out to be one of the nastiest visitors I’ve had in quite a while. Not only did she flood our town and rip down our trees but she’s left us powerless and in our case without water as well!! Not a visitor I plan on inviting back. And she left us with a situation hardly conducive to blogging!

Last night, we delved into the game closet. The girls and I had a mean Parcheesi tournament – I got annihilated! I waited patiently, with my last man one space from home for perhaps 20 moves, rolling everything except what I needed, while my elder daughter brought two men all the way around the board to take second place. My youngest had already won as usual! Any of you board game aficionados will know that this is THE classic version to get.

Unable to do my usual research, I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce you to some board games you can add to your collection for just such occasions! We have always been a game family. I assume most of you know the standbys of Parcheesi, Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, Sorry, Clue, Connect Four, Aggravation, Battleship, Risk, Stratego, Pictionary – the list goes on forever and we have a BIG game closet.

But there are also many wonderful games off the mainstream radar that you might enjoy as well. You may be familiar with the German company Ravensburger. They are most famous for their terrific puzzles. But they make some terrific games as well, their most well known probably Labyrinth, currently celebrating it’s 25th anniversary.One of our family favorites, Labyrinth is a strategic maze game for those 8 and older. Challenging without being overwhelming, it’s a great game for the whole family.

Slightly more challenging is Scotland Yard. A favorite of my eldest, it is a chase through Central London to catch the elusive Mister X, who travels by underground, taxi and bus. If Mister X can make 24 moves without being caught by one of the detectives, he has won.

There are several games we like that are more visually oriented. Blokus has become a popular sensation, but I remember when it first came out. I think most of you readers will find it rather addictive and I challenge you to play just one game.

A slightly more obscure game in this category is Da Vinci’s Challenge by the clever people at Briarpatch who made one my girls’ childhood favorites, Lyle Lyle Crocodile. This classic game is a combination of strategy and pattern making. The more sophisticated and complicated the design, the more points – a perfect challenge for the design mavens in us all!!

Lastly, as any of you who follow me on twitter might know, our favorite family game when we are all together is Cranium. A combination of Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, charades, as well as humming and sculpting abilities, this game has something for everyone. I can’t tell you how many hilarious evenings of heated yet hysterical competition we’ve had. A family vacation is not complete without at least one round of Cranium Challenge!

For those of you with teenagers, Cranium Pop 5 will probably be a runaway hit like it’s been at my house. This updated version of the classic, is perfect for young and old alike. “From Madonna and moonwalks to mullets and Monday Night Football, Cranium Pop 5 gets you challenging your friends in a celebration of celebrities and songs, fads and fashion, TV, movies, and more.” I couldn’t have said it better – so I let the good people at Cranium do it for me! This would be a great family or adult party game, especially with those of mixed ages as it really spans old and new pop culture. A big thumbs up from our household to yours.

I’m sure every family has their game favorites – there is certainly an infinite selection. But in our house, when there is no (or limited) access to electronic entertainment, these are a few we fall back on. So if you ever have a visitor like Irene come by your way, a few of these stashed in your closet will help you enjoy your candlelit evenings together!


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28 Responses to Getting Your Game On

  1. Glad you are all safe and sound. Board games are so fun. I haven’t played some of these. You’re forced to get creative when there’s no power and the phone loses it’s charge. Our neighborhood changed so drastically when we had no power for two weeks after a hurricane. Everyone was outside, kids were all over the place, etc. One afternoon I remember, I’d walked my dogs down to the park and on the way back I noticed how quiet the neighborhood was and how no one was out. Then I heard the whirring of the a/c units. Everything was back to “normal”.

  2. Jane says:

    One of the fondest memories anyone can have is a spirited night at the game table. Glad to see that the “game is on” somewhere. Playing a game is very singular these days and electronic… and that is a shame.

  3. I love that you still play board games! We are more of a card family–very loose rules for our version of Gin Rummy–now that we are adults it is usually played late into the night over glasses of wine. :)

    Glad that you and yours are safe and sound, Stacey.

  4. I remember learning to play Parcheesi 50 years ago. A great starter game. Shaking the dice and that wonderful hollow clackety, clackety! I can hear it now. Great post with all the board games. Thanks.

  5. You have to try Settlers of Caton. My family is addicted to it. Glad you are safe and sound; so sorry to hear about all the damage to trees. We’re just getting power, Internet, cell service not yet, thanks AT&T, never great under the best of circumstances…..Good luck!

  6. Irene packed a punch here in Boston too and we were supposed to head to the Woodstock Inn for Labor Day and the property is now closed due to flooding! Good luck with the recovery! xx

  7. When we left Kansas (w/o tornado incidents) and moved to Texas, we thought we would definitely incur hurricane stories. That was a wild path Irene took and I’m sorry that you guys are dealing with her aftermath. Bad houseguest indeed!

    Last year for Xmas, we played many card games at the beach house. I’ve heard of most of your recommendations but not all. I’ll bookmark it and pick some of them up this Xmas!

  8. Caroline says:

    Oh, my thoughts are with you and your town- I hope you all are able to clean up quickly after Irene! But you all made such a fun family time out of an unfortunate event– that was so nice to read! Take care, Caroline

  9. Oh Stacey…these hurricanes are just so unpredictable! I saw some of those awful images of Vermont & New York yesterday, just things you would never believe can happen. No one is ever fully prepared to deal with the randomness of their paths. Sounds like you guys made the best of it in spite of Irene. Sending love….

  10. designchic says:

    Irene was not a welcome visitor for my daughter either…still no power!! Monopoly was a favorite of our family growing up and I’m excited about the prospect of bringing back game night!!

  11. Looks like I need to dust off my games…More days of no power still to come. I have to get Cranium. So many good ideas here – Thank you!

  12. It’s great to know you are okay, from what I have seen on tv and online it looks like an enormous mess in some areas, just awful. Love the board games, we are freaks for what some friends call “Extreme Scrabble”!

  13. I love Cranium too! I haven’t played Parcheesi in twenty years!
    Thanks for jolting me into getting my board games out.
    Teresa
    xoxo

  14. We are a big gaming family. My husband and I play Racko every morning at breakfast and have a round or two after dinner. I’m currently winning our August tournament :) We also go to our friend’s house every Friday night for game night. Usually a game of “marbles” which is like a homemade version of aggravation I think. We always finish with cards around 1:00 a.m. I’ve never played Parcheesi! Must investigate that one. My daughter gave me Blokus for Christmas last year and we played every night for weeks. Very addictive. We really like Scattergories too.

  15. Ann says:

    I hope you’re doing well and surviving the aftermath. Do you have electricity? My parents as you know are in Chester and are still without – they don’t expect to have it until the end of the week. I know your area got hit pretty bad and hope your home, yard, and family are all ok.

    I love board games – Yahtzee was always my favorite along with clue. You mentioned Parcheesi, I haven’t played it in years but know I loved it when i did …will need to pick it up and see if I can still play. I will look into Cranium – always looking for something fun. What a fun post.

  16. Looks like you delved into our game closet and picked out some of our favorites! We’re huge board game fans and since we lose power with the least bit of breeze, we have game night at least once a month. Now that we’ve been powerless for four days though, things are getting a little stale. One of our go-to games is Settlers of Catan… do you know it?

    Hope you’re well and dry!
    xxoo

  17. Jessica says:

    I’m so glad you all are okay…I wouldn’t want Irene back…EVER, either!!! I’m so sorry for the damage that happened to your town…I hope it has a swift recovery and that there weren’t to many losses home wise as well as landmark-wise, I’ve seen some very sad pics of 150 year old covered bridges lost etc…unbelievable!
    Take care and at least Irene helped to force some game time…her only barely redeeming quality!
    xo J~

  18. I do hope you are recovering from the nasty Hurricane/tropical storm..
    what a nightmare..but looks like you’re making the best of it too..fun to play board games with your kids..even if they beat you every time.. :)
    best,
    maureen

  19. I applaud your efforts to make “Irene” fun! I hope you have power and water restored.
    I grabbed some kids and escaped to Montauk, where surprisingly all was perfect. My husband is dealing with felled trees, no power, and the worst part, toxic chemical waste from a leaking transformer. It is Tuesday night as I write this and no change or progress on our block. I feel so lucky to be in Montauk.
    Lynn

  20. Lisa says:

    Yikes! So sorry and wishing you a quick reset and back on track!

  21. The Zhush says:

    Just got our power back tonight! phew! Have never played parchesi, but…before the storm hit, I downloaded Akeelah and the bee on my I-pad and watched it with my two daughters last night…SO GOOD, and boy did I cry!:)

  22. I am so sorry, Stacey! What a disaster (literally)! I loved this post, though – Parcheesi was one of my favorites as a child, and I haven’t thought about it in ages!!

  23. Mary Jo says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you were affected by Irene! Hopefully things are on the mend. Your board games inspire me, my family played a lot growing up and I think I may have to try Scotland Yard and convince the family to go along–haha! We’ll see how it goes!

    xo Mary Jo

  24. Kelly Market says:

    Great post! My game closet consists of more of the standbys: Monopoly, Parcheesi, Scrabble, Pictionary, Clue, and loads of puzzles, but these look like excellent additions! Hope you get everything back soon : ) x Kelly

  25. Stacey, hope everything has normalized for you. For us we got it all back last night…never was I so happy! I really missed being in blogland and I immediately put up a post last night because so many people were so kind to have asked about me and I listed the things I did while this all went on (way too many cookies and chips…is just a hint, lol) Nothing like a board game to pass the time, I played my share of scrabble and monopoly! Hope all is OK with you….

  26. So sorry to hear about lack of power & no water! Love board games, and Scotland Yard sounds really great. (It’s on my list now!) Here we love to play Scrabble, Yahtzee, Milles Bornes, and backgammon. (Our backgammon games become epic tournaments! “Best out of 3! No, best out of 7! No, best out of 11! C’mon!!”)

    Hope it is better now.
    Charlotte

  27. pretty pink tulips says:

    Stacy, I love your list and need to add some of these into rotation! But so sorry about the destruction and power loss that caused your game marathon. We are just getting back to normal.

    Here’s hoping all is calm for the upcoming weekend!!!

  28. Great post idea and there are a couple of games here I must try. We went through a screaming-laughing phase in our family with the game Catch Phrase!! Happy all is back to normal there! ; )

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