To appeal to a poker obsessed nation, Trivial Pursuit will have a gambling/betting component for 2010. You can bet on whether someone will know the answer. Seems like an unnecessary complication–but may really make this classic more appealing to some.
We just tried out the new Cir*kis from Hasbro. Much like the strategy game Blokus (originally with Educational Insights but now distributed by Mattel), Cir*kis has a grid platform and you play with plastic pieces. Blokus is much more straightforward and fun to play. See our full review. Cir*kis is more complicated–you’re not blocking your opponent but making your own circles and stars and keeping track with pegs. It’s just not as elegant a game.
Last night at eleven o’clock democracy was in action. The House took a historic vote on health care reform–broadcast on all the cable shows. For a brief moment, the procedure of law making had spilled over from CSPAN to a larger audience. No matter how you come out on health care reform, the picture of all of our law makers battling it out all day and finally taking the vote has to make you pause. Warts and all, it’s a pretty amazing country to live in.
I’m not just feeling patriotic today–there is a toy connection here, I promise.
Consensus Junior Edition by Mindlogic is a fun, engaging game that is all about consensus building (with a little language thrown in). How’s that for a concept in a nation that usually trumpets individuality? Read our complete review of this newly award winning (Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award) game.
Here are six great games to think about for the holidays. The complete reviews of these award winners are on our site, www.toyportfolio.com
Active Fun Games
Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABC Game (I Can Do That Games)
Pure silly fun
Feeding Frenzy (International Playthings)
Ring-0 Flamingo (Gamewright)
Concepts and Strategy Games
eeBoo Color Dominoes (eeBoo)
Double Shutter (Blue Orange)
We got an email from a family that bought the Great States! Game from International Playthings…in large part because our award seal was on the package (always nice to hear). We were really concerned that the family had a whole host of issues with this board game. There was a mechanical problem with the timer (which was replaced by the company). But the family also brought to my attention some concerns about the accuracy of some of the questions.
So we asked the company to send us another set–we first reviewed the game in 2004 and thought it was possible that it had been changed. We found that out of the 400 question cards there were six that were not completely correct.
The question: Name the three states that board the Pacific Coast? Answer: California, Oregon and Washington. Obviously Alaska and Hawaii have been omitted.
Where’s Alcatraz? Answer: On a small island off the coast of California. Not really, really in the Bay.
The question: Close your eyes and name 7 states that Border Canada. Answer: Correctly includes 13 states but excludes Alaska.
Question: Which is the most Northwestern state? Answer: Washington. Again…we’d go with Alaska.
Most of the questions have to do with a starting point that players are only supposed to include the 48 contiguous states. We agree with the family that complained that these questions should be adjusted.
We still think, after some debate here, that this is an engaging game that helps teach and reinforce American Geography and trivia.
We hope the company will address the questions we’ve identified (the family also took issue with the color of some of the state birds).
Perhaps because I grew up with many maps on my wall and a Dad that loved chronicling all of our journeys in the family Atlas…I have always liked games that work on these skills in a way that’s fun, not mean.