Thanks to some holiday get-togethers, I had plenty of gaming time with the family last month. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that one, as board games make any holiday party that much better.
As you know, in Parental Guidance, I introduce new games to my parents outside of the usual gateway games. The goal is to help you find new and interesting games to play with your family and non-gamer friends. While we all love the old standbys, variety is the spice of life.
As usual, I’ll start by giving you a quick summary of the game I chose, followed by my thoughts on why I thought it would be a good fit for a pair of non-gamers. Then my mother will close things out by letting you know how good she thought my selection was.
Fox in the Forest
A unique spin on the trick-taking genre, Fox in the Forest is a two player only card game that’s both easy to learn and pretty creative. The goal is to win some tricks, but not all of them. And to keep things interesting, every odd-numbered cards has a special power!
Trick taking games have been around for forever and a day, so I figured this would be a good game to bring along for when it was just the two of us. I know my mom has played trick-taking games in the past (Hearts, Euchre, Etc…), so I figured it’d be easy enough for her to pick up.
I’ve played other trick games before, but this was unique. This one has some twists to it so you have to think about what you’re doing more. If you get too many tricks, you start to lose points. I’m not sure if I like that scoring method as it goes against what I’m used to! I wasn’t paying attention to that until it was too late, so I lost. Honestly, I wasn’t sold on this one, maybe this is one that you would have to play a few times to get the feel of what you need to do.
The goal in Hamsterrolle is to place all of your wooden blocks on the giant hamster wheel. Yes, it’s as easy as it sounds (at least to learn). A deft hand and an eye for balance are a must in this game. It can be played full competitive, or with 4 players, in teams.
I’m always in the market for a new dexterity game as it’s one of my favorite genres. Hamsterrolle was an impulse purchase for me and it ended up working out very well. The game is unique, super easy to play, and has been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone I’ve introduced it to. I figured this would be an easy choice to bring out with my parents.
This is an awesome game! I enjoy dexterity games and I especially enjoy games where the rules are short and sweet! I knew what I needed to do to win, but it turns out, it wasn’t that easy to accomplish. Like any balancing game, your lead can come to an end quickly if you’re not careful. It’s a nice colorful, well-made game. I like that it’s a good game for all ages. This is another one that I would leave out on the table when company comes over to just pick up and play.
Codenames: Disney (review)
Codenames is the hint clue giving a game that’s played in teams of two. This Disney version also doubles as a family version of the game, making the rules a little easier. Instead of having a 5×5 grid, cards are laid out into a shortened 4×4 grid (although the game can be played with the traditional rules). The cards are also double-sided, with pictures on one side, text on the other, which is helpful if you haven’t seen a ton of Disney films.
While not my favorite game, I know Codenames has legions of fans. So this always makes a solid gateway or party game. Plus, I know my parents have seen some Disney movies, so I was curious if the theme would make this one any more attractive to them vs just vanilla Codenames.
Disney fans and kids will love the graphics on the cards. I’m not a big Disney fan, and I haven’t seen many of the recent films, but I thought the idea of the game was fun (the Disney part I could take or leave). I did better with this one guessing than giving out the clues. Maybe it would have helped if I had seen more of the Disney films. It helps, in my opinion, to partner up with someone you know pretty well. This way when you give clues, you’ll have a better idea of how they might answer. The game is more for older kids and adults. Most of the younger ones will have trouble following the grid when giving clues.