In our very first game ever, each of the players eagerly handed back their answer sheets to the Worge Master who gathered them, mixed them up, and started to review. About five seconds in, he full-on snorted in laughter causing contagious fits of giggling until he composed himself enough to declare the winning word. While the game is mostly family-friendly, this particular word mash-up was a clever combination of two words to make a very naughty-sounding word. =-)
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Sideshow Swap is a fun, easy-to-learn game of light deduction equally enjoyable for kids and adults alike. While gamers will enjoy it, the ability to teach the entire game in about three sentences makes it perfect for light-hearted party play with non-gamers.
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I love games that are quick to learn, relatively short in length, and can play with a lot of players. Dread Curse is every one of those. At 30-45 minutes and up to 8 players, this can be pulled out at the end of a party or family dinner night for a lot of laughs, some frustrated fist-pounding, and a ton of fun. Rotate through a selection of ranked pirate characters, each with its own special cheat abilities, to accumulate as much wealth as you can in your treasure stash. Draw from the pile, steal from your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, your kids…all is fair game as long as you amass the largest fortune! However, get caught with one of the two cursed Black Spots in your stash, and you’re done for.
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Cover Your Assets is a quick-to-learn, quick-to-play card game that does not, I repeat, does NOT have anything to do with sets or runs. While there are some fun ones out there, I usually get tired of them quickly and replay value is low for me. Cover Your Assets is awesome. The story line is simple: protect your assets in the form of baseball cards, jewelry, a classic car, and more…or the coveted gold and silver (worth a lot!). The player whose net worth reaches $1,000,000 first wins (takes several rounds). Now, we all know that in real life, assets get stolen and fought over (either legally or physically!). While I sincerely hope no fist fights break out while playing Cover Your Assets, there will be plenty of thefts and power battles.
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Someone walking into a room while a game of Wink is in progress would find a group of intense, mostly silent players, all with smiles or smirks on their faces, scanning the other players’ eyes, back and forth, back and forth until someone erupts in laughter or yells in accusation! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard playing a party game as I have when playing Wink.
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If you love the social, murder mystery, “who-dun-it” type party games, Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow is as good as it gets. You get the best of both worlds: the fun and intrigue of a “Mafia-esque” game with the haunting theme of a village under attack by a crafty band of werewolves.
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We have played over 20 rounds of Codenames in the last few weeks, no joke. Enough said. =-) We’ve played with family, with friends, with kids, with elderly folk, with single people, with married couples, with liberals, with conservatives, and a bunch of combinations of each. This game is such a blast and engages everyone. Party games often instill varying levels of engagement based on interest, age, type of game, education level, etc. Not so with Codenames. This type of variety actually enhances Codenames and increases the level of fun.
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Preface: this review comes after playing several evenings with a group of highly competitive adults. Skull King can be played on a much lighter scale with younger players on a “play to have fun” instead of “play to kill” basis. =-)
Skull King is so simple in construct: bid on how many tricks you plan to take each round; the closer you are, the more points you receive. Yet the nuances are many. In a nutshell, players have a number of cards in their hand that correspond to the round number (5 cards in round 5, 8 in round 8, etc.). Over 10 rounds, players bid on how many tricks they will take on each round. The starting card is the lead color and must be played by following players. If a player doesn’t have a lead color, she may “sluff off” with a different color or trump it with a black flag card. At any point, a player may play an escape card to get the heck out of there, a pirate card to trump all trumps, or the Skull King card to trump everything. There’s even a pirate who can play as a pirate or as an escape (a very valuable card to have!).
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