Posts tagged with: board games

Games, games, games

It’s been something of a tradition in our house that our kids give my husband a game for Christmas.  

Now my kids are 6 & 9, so I’m using the word tradition lightly, but every year for the past few years–as long as they’ve been old enough to be conscious of Christmas & their role as gift givers–they’ve wanted to give my husband a game.  This is because Mr. Sey is a game guy.  If there are cards, dice, or playing pieces involved, he’s there.  He’s equal opportunity, too.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated.  He’s as happy with Connect Four as with a fierce game of chess. 

And he’s wonderful about playing games with the kids.  Which is probably why they give him games & me pajamas.  They have our personalities pegged.  

We have this game store nearby –Flight of Fantasy–that’s always full of geeky white guys about my husband’s age.  They’re inevitably engrossed in all kinds of games I’ve never heard of but they’re so stoked about gaming in general that they never seem to mind taking a break to talk to the clueless women folk invading their domain.  “What,” we ask them, “is the hot new game this year for dads & their girls?”

They drop their dice like hot potatoes & fall all over themselves to steer us in the right direction.  

A few years ago they pointed us toward this game called Blokus.  Have you seen it?  Here’s a photo.  It’s essentially a spatial reasoning strategy sort of game.  But it’s utterly beautiful.  Sometimes the girls take the board out & just put the pieces in at random because they’re so pretty.  We risk game pieces attrition this way but I allow it because it’s just so darn fascinating to look at. 

This year we were directed to this game called Ticket to Ride, in which the participants all compete to form railroad destinations all over the United States.  Evidently there’s an Asian version as well as a European one.  We played last night & tonight, & everybody from the 9 year old to the 70 year old played hard & was in the mix to win.  (Grandma took home the victory tonight but it was a squeaker.)

Once again, the game guys came through for us.  

What about you? Was there a game under the tree this year that rocked your world?  Share!  I’m always on the lookout for our next gift… 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  Mouse over for artist attribution.

The (Almost) Lost Joy of Board Games

On a recent episode of The Vampire Diaries, I was somewhat surprised to see several of the characters playing Pictionary because you don’t hear much about people playing board or similar type games anymore. When people get together now, they’re more likely to play Guitar Hero than Monopoly or Scattergories. But I love board games and it’s a bit sad I don’t get to play them very often. So here’s an ode to some of my favorites.

1. Monopoly — This is the first board game I can remember playing, probably because of how much my family and I played it during the horrible winter of 1977-78. It snowed and snowed and snowed that winter. We were out of school almost the entire month of January. So we tried our best to stay warm and played a ton of Monopoly. My younger sister, who was only 3 at the time, would just play with the fake money. For a long time after that winter, I was sick to death of the game. But years later, I started playing again and even have my own National Parks Monopoly game.

2. Trivial Pursuit — I’ll admit it. I was a geeky kid in school. I loved learning, still do. And I’ve always loved trivia games. I was on my school’s academic (quiz bowl) team, so this game is a classic for me. There have been many different versions, but I still have the original, complete with falling-apart box.

3. Clue — Col Mustard in the library with the candlestick. I’ve always liked mysteries, so this game was fun. I loved trying to figure out the answers before everyone else.

4. Scattergories — You have to think fast in this one, trying to match categories with words that start with the same letter.

5. Scrabble — I’m not the best at this game, often losing to my husband when we play the occasional game, but I still like how it stretches my brain. I love word games.

6. Dominoes — I never played Dominoes until I met my husband. His family played, and so I learned from them. Another funny memory I have regarding Dominoes is when my husband and I lived in married housing on our university campus while he was in grad school. Our upstairs neighbors were some guys from Barbados, where the game is evidently very popular. They would host some very loud, crazy games of Dominoes up there.

7. Pictionary — An artist, I am not. But this drawing game has provided a lot of laughs through the years. One year, my RWA chapter even created a version with romance book titles and played it at our chapter retreat. Hilarity ensued.

8. Uno — Haven’t played this card game in years, but I remember liking it when I was young.

9. Yahtzee — I haven’t played this dice game in years either, but it was popular when I was a kid.

10. One of the more recent faves is Perquaky, a word game where you roll dice and try to make up as many words as you can with different amounts of letters in a short amount of time. My friend and fellow author Annie Solomon introduced me to this one, at another chapter retreat. I liked it so much I bought my own game and force my hubby to play it every once in awhile. :)

As the days get shorter and colder, it’s a great time to drag out those old board games and rediscover the fun of playing them.

What about you — are you a fan of board/classic games? If so, what are your favorites? Any special memories attached to certain games or playing board games in general?

The Games We Play

Posted by Donna MacMeans

Christmas is over, the presents unwrapped. This year we had some requests for some games under the tree, and now – when ice coats the road and snow piles up outside – we can enjoy those games around the kitchen table.

I had to laugh, though. As some of those familiar games that I remember from long ago have a different look. Like these:

Harry Potter Clue. I found versions of this game based on the TV series The Office and 24. I hope they kept Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard!

Monopoly – There’s nothing like the classic, but different versions keep hitting the market. I know you’ve seen the versions based on different cities and colleges. I found one based on dogs (to the right there), one based on Star Trek and another based on the Wizard of Oz.

I remember playing Life out on the back porch. Filling my plastic car with sticks (babies) and choosing whether to go the long way for a college education or go straight for a career. Not sure those are options in Redneck Life. I think I’d just like to read that game board.


Here’s a new version of the classic Scrabble game called Bananagram.

I’ve played this game. It’s a lot faster than scrabble and there’s no triple word scores or adding up of scores. Though the instructions say it can be played with two people, it’s one of those games that would be a lot more fun with a lot more people.

Anyway, as I was looking for fun games as gifts, I found quite a few that might be good to stock in the bandit lair. I picked out some games that I thought might appear to certain banditas. I challenge you to match the games to the bandita. By the way, the above games are included in the match as well.

Sherlock Holmes anyone? This is 221B Baker Street

Then there’s Colosseum…

Or How about A HOT AFFAIR. (I found that one in games for adults.)

Here’s a classic – Chutes & Ladders – Superhero Style

We do like our wine in the lair, and who doesn’t love a good murder mystery?

Wordplay had good reviews on Amazon. It’s a game about finding words with specified letters to fit certain categories. Don’t think they’re asking for Haikus, but it looked like it could be fun.

Anglophiles, anyone?

Okay, it’s not a board game but it’s all about the wild, wild west…


I don’t think you have to be a senior to have a senior moment, but it helps.

Here’s a timely game, Stick it to the IRS. It’s a game of tax shelters, and no – purchase of the game is not tax deductible.

How about a passport to culture?

I had to add this last game because who could resist Storming the Castle with Wesley and Buttercup and the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Do you like board games? How would you match up my picks to the bandits? Any other games you’d like to add to the collection? It’s Saturday, time to kick back and play.