Fearsome Floors board game

I mentioned I got several games for Christmas, and I’m slowly getting the right pictures for sharing how to play them and the end results of our thoughts on the game.  Fearsome Floors board game has been a big hit with our family and we’ve played it several times since I got it back at Christmas.

Fearsome Floors

Game play once it’s explained is very simple, and there’s some strategy, but not so much that you can’t play with your kids.

 

Fearsome Floors Board Game concept

You are a bunch of people who decided it would be fun to go explore the local mad scientist’s house, and you’re trying to get out before the monster eats you.

 

Fearsome Floors board game mechanics

Fearsome floors game pieces

You have between 3-4 pieces for each player (when there are more than 3 players you have 3 pieces to make game play move faster).  Your players can either move the amount on the white side or the black side (the two movements add up to 7).  At the end of your turn you flip your players over to the other side so you know how many movement they have.

After each player has moved their tokens the monster moves.  You draw a card and the monster will move anywhere from 3-10 spaces OR until he has killed 1-2 players.

Fearsome Floors monster movement

For the first half of the game if the monster catches you, then you just restart at the beginning, but in the second half of the game, once you’re caught you are dead.

The full monster movement is explained very well in the game, but there’s some fun complicating factors to protect or hurt you more.

Fearsome Floor components

  1. Blood patches (it’s a mad scientist’s house, go with it)- when you hit a blood patch you slide to the other end of it and the patch only counts as 1 movement.  This can be used very strategically by you to get further away or move columns to your advantage.
  2. Columns- these block the monster’s ability to see you, very important.  You can push the pillars in a straight line, but once they hit a wall you can’t move them any further, and they become rather useless.  You can not push a pillar with a player on the other side of it.
  3. Players, you can not push players.  They will block the monster’s sight of you, but they’re also near enough he might get you next.

Fearsome Floors house rules

Our Fearsome Floors Board Game House Rules

  1. On the first turn you are allowed to move 2 people into the house.  We house-ruled you cannot move your low movement people because it creates a block for movement and makes for a rather hard game.
  2. We decided it’s okay to have the monster kill someone on the first turn, it made for a more chaotic game, and for people to be more spread out, so we allowed the 1-2 kill moves to be used on first turn.
  3. We have not played the advanced rules yet.  We have introduced this to many different families, and so we didn’t want to throw too many changes in on them, so I can’t comment on the teleport or other aspects, yet.

Buying Fearsome Floors Board Game

Fearsome Floors {affiliate link}

Most local game stores will have it or be able to order it (Jeff got ours at Rogues Gallery here in Round Rock)

For more game ideas check out my pinterest board

Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board games on Pinterest.

Crossways game review and tips

Crossways a game to teach your kids strategy

As you all know I’m a fan of games.  A big fan of games.  There are many benefits to games, and one of them is teaching your kids how to think without it feeling like a lesson.

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CrossWays Board Game {affiliate link} fulfills that requirement, as you play you are learning about strategy and thinking ahead beyond your current turn.  In a friendly fun way, and there’s multiple ways to win.

 

How to play Crossways game

(I feel kinds silly saying Crossways game, but otherwise I’m worried someone’s going to think I’m referring to something else that is niggling at the edge of my mind, is that phrase used otherwise?)

Crossways game goal

Your goal is to get your pieces all the way across the board in a contiguous line, it can zig or zag, but it must be a continuous line with no diagonals. Crossways game play

To do that you play 1-2 playing cards (rather like Sequence Game {affiliate link}) to place your pieces on the corresponding square.  The white squares require two of the same card to play, and you place two pieces on top of each other.

 

Simple right?

Not so much.

hands on math games

You see, you can play on top of another color, and it doesn’t matter which color is on top, as long as it goes all the way across.  But, you can also block a person by placing two of the same color in a row on that square.  Thus adding extra turns to their play.

Crossways play

You have to pay close attention to where your cards can potentially be played AND what color they are.  Suit doesn’t matter for this, it’s just color and number.

Crossways game board

Eventually your board is covered in colors, and it’s a lot of fun.  You can play with either up to 4 players, OR teams, which has a whole other dynamic of fun to it.

 

Our tips for Crossways game

 

  1. First time around play turns slowly and talk it through so everyone understands why moves are a good idea.
  2. Play the first couple of games in solo play.  The team component is a fun addition, but you want to know what you’re doing first.
  3. The team play, much like any card team game, is only as fun as your partner.  So, having two super good players against the inexperienced players can be miserable.
  4. Younger kids can happily stack the pieces and help hand them out.  Though be careful because those pieces roll very far.
  5. This is a fun beer and pretzels game (not a lot of thinking, and you can talk around it easily).

Crossways game review

Okay, so what do I think of it?  We saw this at Barnes and Noble and got it for my in-laws for Christmas.  We figured it’d be a game they could enjoy playing with their grandkids or with friends that come over.  All in all we were right, it’s a lot of fun to play.  And a great game for people who enjoy games and want something that’s not the usual Monopoly/Clue/Sorry game night, but don’t want a serious long game like Puerto Rico{affiliate link, for the serious game addicts}

 

To find more game suggestiosn check out my Games pinterest board.

Totally Tut

Totally Tut math review game

Awhile back I saw the a really cool math game mentioned on Angellic Scalliwags (or so I think, I may be remembering wrong on that front).

 

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I remembered it mainly because it had King Tut on it and was vaguely Egyptian themed, so when I was at Mardel the other day and saw Totally Tut Math Operations Game on clearance for less than $10, I snapped it up super fast.

totally tut game play

Why I like Totally Tut

Just like Math Gym, it’s a great review of math facts and lets kids work on order of operation and bigger sums.  Unlike Math Gym, it’s a short game, I’d say the entire round was about 20 minutes, whereas Math Gym was 30-45 minutes (relatively short in strategy games, but if you’re trying to play multiple that adds up).

I like that Totally Tut only has 3 equations you create.  You can potentially (if you have the tiles) make several equations at once.  It never happened while we played, but it’s theoretical.

 

How to play Totally Tut

Totally Tut game set up

To start you randomly draw number tiles, and one solution tile.  That solution tile is what all of your equations must add up to.

You can choose the beginner option (only addition and subtraction) which has lower numbers or the advanced option that includes multiplication and division.

Since my kids are barely beginning to understand multiplication we stuck with addition/subtraction.

how to play King Tut math game

On your turn you spin the spinner in the middle of the board and do what it says (steal a tile, draw a tile, etc).  Then with whatever tiles you have you try to make an equation.

The challenge comes because people can steal tiles you’ve already played.  So I had an equation that didn’t work once the 5 was stolen.  When it’s your turn you can try and get another 5, or take the tiles off the board and make another equation.  Either way works.

 

Final Thoughts for Totally Tut math

This game really isn’t for someone who’s just starting to learn their math facts.  This game is really for the kid who is working on instant recall and figuring out how numbers work together.

For us it worked especially well because we are learning about Egypt in our history lessons.  The kids got a kick out of playing a game named after someone they’d just read about in history.  If that’s not what is going on for you I think that would take away somewhat from the game.

Real Life Homeschooling: Allowance Game and making money

 

Real life homeschooling

As I was thinking about what to write for Real Life Homeschooling this month I realized my kids have been obsessed with money recently.  Obsessed may be a little extreme for a word, but they have certainly had it on their minds.

Allowance money management game

They’ve realized they can get more toys if they get more money.  So, they’ve been doing jobs of various sorts.  And slowly but surely they’re becoming quite proficient at making change and counting money.

 

As I was shopping the back to school sales I found a new game to pick up.  The Allowance Game {affiliate link} for half price (SCORE!).  It’s a fun and quick to play game (about 30 minutes with 4 players), and the kids got to work on their money skills while trying to save their way up to $20.

allowance board game

What I liked about the Allowance Game

  • It uses money that looks like real money, not silly money
  • If you lose all your money you get to start over with the starting amount (I did that several times in the game due to bad rolls)
  • You make change constantly.  Both to trade out for bills or different coin amounts, and subtracting as you have to spend money. (Can I say secretly learning how to make change?)
  • It’s not as tedious or as long as Monopoly, and has the added benefit of teaching coins.

What I wish the Allowance Game had

  • More of the money.  With 4 players, you just barely have enough of the coins and paper money to play the game.  If I lost any of pieces, we’d be up a creek.  Towards the end of the game, the bank was running dangerously low on coins.
  • I wish there was pennies in the game.  Making change with pennies can often be the hardest step because of the math involved, but it is important.
  • I loved that Bank It! (link to review) included giving to charity, I wish The Allowance Game {affiliate link} did as well.

Allowance game learning money

Overall everyone enjoyed playing the game, including Princess, who I think ended up winning it the first time around.  Of course, it just fueled their quest to earn more money, which is good news for me, because that means more chores done by kids.

The Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop co-hosts are:

Tabitha from Meet Penny  Aurie from Our Good Life Amy from Are We There Yet? Sonya from Becoming a Strong Woman of God Heather from Homeschooling on Faith and Coffee Leann from Hands on Homeschooler Sherri from Our Front Porch Looking In Erin from Royal Baloo Renee from Next Gen Homeschool Megan from Homeschooling etc. Stephanie from Bowmania Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom Karyn from Teach Beside Me Jamie from Walking in High Cotton Selena from Look! We’re Learning! Rebecca from Homeschooling Autism and More Andrea from No Doubt Learning Stacey from Layered Soul Lisa from Farm Fresh Adventures Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road Rachel from Rooms of Knowledge Marla from Marla’s Motherhood Musings Dusty from To the Moon and Back Kelli from Adventurez in Child ‘Rearing

LEGO Creationary game review and tips

lego creationary review, tips, and tricks

{This post contains affiliate links.  See my full Disclosure statement for more information}

I have been staring at LEGO Creationary Game {affiliate link} for years now.  I have nearly bought it for my boys several times, but kept holding back because I’ve heard mixed reviews on the game.

 

THEN…… Dun dun dunnnnnn, I received it for my birthday from one of my high school best friends!  Score!  As soon as I got home I was pestered for us to play it, and to let them open it and see al the pieces.  I had to remind the kids it was MY GAME, not theirs, and no they couldn’t just open up the bags.  MY PRECIOUS!

 

But, I couldn’t forestall them too long, so we played some games a day or so earlier than usual, because they couldn’t wait until Friday.

Lego creationary review

Lego Creationary  (my thoughts)

  • it’s a lot of fun, once you know the category, it can be a challenge to guess what they’re building.
  • I like that there are three levels of difficulty in the cards, we all played the easy cards and had a lot of fun.
  • You NEED more bricks, if you’ve read any reviews you’ve seen this comment before.  To build some of the items it’s very difficult to create them with the bricks included.  I had to build a spider, and struggled to create it with the bricks included.
  • There is no suggested time limit given in the game, we did two minutes, but I’d probably do three.
  • Princess enjoyed it, which is always a big plus for games in our house because she often is a grudging participant.

Lego creationary tips and tricks

Lego Creationary tips and tricks

  • Either go by a Lego store and use their Brick Wall to get more bricks or sprinkle in some more bricks from your other supplies somehow, because it could use about double the bricks included.
  • As I mentioned earlier there is no time given, I’d say you want between 3-5 minutes per builder.  Some of the concepts can be hard to think of how to build.
  • Start off with easy, no matter how experience you think you are.  The picture above is from the easy category.  It is not easy to build a canon with the included bricks, so it takes some serious thinking and planning.  Once you’re used to it, then move on.
  • Allow the builder to answer limited questions or give a hint or two if needed.  We got stuck on Princess’ build because it was out of what we were thinking.  She rolled building, and was trying to get us to guess tent.  That is hard to build for a six year old.  But since she could answer questions we guessed it off of that and her one hint.

If you’re interested, I’m collecting game posts on my Games pinterest board.  Feel free to look for more game ideas there.  Or browse my games category.

Made for Trade, family game night

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Made for Trade history game

I mentioned Made for Trade {affiliate link} in my History games post, but hadn’t had a chance to do a thorough post on it yet at the time.  Now, I’m finally sitting down and writing about it.

 

I first heard about Made for Trade when Phyllis from All Things Beautiful mentioned it in one of her weekly wrap ups.  I noted it, and thought to keep an eye out for Made for Trade.  Then we saw it in Williamsburg, and I snatched it up.

043

Made for Trade has three different levels of play, so far we’ve only done the easiest level, but I’m thinking next time we’ll head up to the next level.

 

Made for Trade premise:

You’re one of 5 (notice enough for my whole family to play) people from a colonial town going about life, buying, selling, working, and more.  Each level of play becomes more complex, the easiest version you are trying to buy 5 items and have 5 pounds (I could be off on amounts).  The harder levels have you buying specific items and trying to achieve goals, these require ability to read.

045

 

What I like about Made for Trade:

  1. It’s a great depiction of colonial life.  Which makes it a fun way to learn about history.
  2. The cards for the game are big and easy to handle.
  3. There are different levels of play, so my kids can play the easiest level that doesn’t require reading, but someone with strong readers can try harder levels.
  4. Games last about 30 minutes at the easy level, I’m assuming harder levels take longer.
  5. There is some amount of strategy, but not much.  It’s like a more fun version of Monopoly.
  6. I love the illustrations on the board and for the figures.

049

 

What I don’t like about Made for Trade:

  1. About those figures.  The figures are cardboard and plastic.  Very flimsy. I’m not a big fan of this type of figure.
  2. Okay, that’s my only real complaint.
  3. Jeff’s complaint: high chance, it depends on your die roll, and what you draw at the stores.

044

 

Final thoughts on Made for Trade:

We pulled this out a lot while studying American history, the kiddos really enjoyed being the different people and going shopping.  They enjoyed deciding if they wanted to get the expensive 5 shilling item, or wait and see if they could get a cheaper item.

 

To see all of the games I’ve collected check out my pinterest board:

Games

Also check out my games category.

Fistful of Penguins

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2012-07-26

For my birthday my family all spoiled me.  My kids (through Jeff) knew just what to get me.  I got the new Lego Batman 2, comics, new Dice Set, AND a new game to play with the kiddos, A Fistful of Penguins.

studying the new game

Huh…….  I started this post almost a year ago, and never finished it.  Just goes to show the problems with ADD.  Well, since these pictures were taken, I’ve read the comic a couple of times, played LOTS of Batman Lego 2, and decided the dice were cursed because they always roll the opposite of how I want.

Fistful of penguins dice game for family game night

But the game, A Fistful of Penguins , that’s entered our frequent game rotation.

 

Fistful of penguins review

Game play is simple, as are the materials.  The clear plexi-glass on the left are penguins that are a form of currency.  The colorful chips in the middle are you points, and the dice are what you roll to win.

 

The game is designed to be played in about 20-30 minutes, so it’s a quick play.

 

Fistful of Penguins

On your turn you roll 4 dice (on the first round, number goes up each round).  You look at the results and decide if you want to pay a penguin to roll more, or if you want re-roll dice.

 

Fistful of Penguins dice

Why would you re-roll you ask?  Well, that’s because of the interplay of the dice.  For instance, a moose is worth nothing without a squirrel.  The kangaroos are not worth much by themselves, but they are cumulative, and exponential.  Lions can cause your other animals to be worth nothing, but lions can be worth a lot of points.

 

Sound confusing?

fistful of penguins cheat sheet

That’s why there’s a cheat sheet.  It helps you figure out if your roll is worth keeping or not.

 

Why do we like Fistful of Penguins?

  • Fast game play
  • portable (we’ve brought it on a couple of vacations)
  • the strategy and chances are simple, but mastery is harder
  • it allows for a lot of discussion of chances and probability

At the end of the game all of your points are totaled, any penguins left are scored (but you want to spend them if you can), and the person with the most points wins.  That last round though can change the standing hugely!

 

Our tips and tricks for Fistful of Penguins

014

Spend your penguins.  It’s worth it to spend a penguin to add an extra die or two.  Save at least one penguin for re-rolls.

 

Don’t make any decisions on re-rolls until you’ve rolled all of the dice you might add.  It’s annoying to spend a re-roll and get the right configuration, then add a dice, and it’s all messed up.

 

Talk it through with your kids, why are things good or bad decisions?  Is your decision always the same?  If you have 3 lions already do you want to just re-roll them because they’ll scare away the camel you have?

 

Really, there’s not a lot of tips to suggest.  This is one of the few games we play exactly as the rules state.  Though I will admit to not doing the full 3 rounds from time to time if we have a lot of games to play, and to save on time…..

Once Upon a Time Storytelling Game

When Jeff and I were on our honeymoon in London we haunted all of the book stores I could find.  I looked them up, and there was 100 something book stores, and several game stores.  More than enough to fill the time between going to museums and the Globe.

{This post contains affiliate links.  See my full Disclosure statement for more information}

Once Upon a time storytelling game

At one of those stores I found Once Upon A Time game.  I love the idea of this game, the pictures are gorgeous, and if you’re a fan of fairy tales, you’ll fall in love with them too.

 

I however have not figured out the trick to playing it in real life with adults, I don’t know if it’s I’m not good at thinking up stories on the fly with other people, or what it is, but it can be hard to play.

Once Upon a Time game

The general premise of Once Upon a Time game: you get 5 story-telling cards, and a “Happy Ending” card, you are trying to tell the story so that you use all of your cards and get to the happy ending you have.

 

Sounds easy right?

 

Once upon a time game

It’s not, because other players will try to steal the story with their cards, so if you mention something they have, they can steal the story.

 

That’s where it gets tricky if you’re playing with lots of adults who know the key phrases used in fairy tales they can work their way around using those phrases, but they can’t do it too often because you will catch them at it.

 

Once Upon a time storytelling game

But, you know what my favorite way to use this is?

 

Not as a game.  As a way to stretch the kids imagination and storytelling skills.  Left to their own devices their story will sound like this “Once there was a boy and he was strong.  Then he went out and fought bad guys, and then… and then… and then…..  Finally he fought them all and won.  The End.”  Both of those words are capitalized when they say it, you can hear the capital E.

 

But, that’s a boring story.  Very boring story.  Like, I want to go to sleep as they tell it to me.

 

Once Upon a Time storytelling game

However, you add these cards in and they start to come up with a better story.  They add in interesting details because they’re required to.  They think up more descriptions because their character is called “Mysterious old crone,” rather than “woman I saw.”  It adds richness to the story.

 

So, I don’t tend to recommend this for game play as much, but it’s not the type of game Jeff and I enjoy.  Okay, I enjoy it even if I’m not good at it, Jeff claws his eyes out because it’s subjective.

 

But get Once Upon A Time game  for the learning opportunities.

 

As a side note, NotebookingPages.com sale is ending today, if you don’t have a membership yet, why don’t you?  I’m loving it.  If I get it done before we drop the kids off, a monumental achievement, you’ll get to see our awesome crawdads………

 

If you’re interested, I’m collecting game posts on my Games pinterest board.  Feel free to look for more game ideas there.

Games

Lego Heroica Game review

Lego Heroica
{this post contains affiliate links}

Back in October I found in the clearance aisle of a couple of the Lego Heroica games on clearance (LEGO HEROICA Draida Bay 3857 and LEGO HEROICA Caverns Of Nathuz 3859).  I’d been eyeing them as possible birthday or Christmas presents for the boys, and thought “Score!”  And I grabbed those ones right up.

Lego Heroica game

Fast forward to Christmas and I had two boys who had to play it every chance they got.

 

Then, for their birthday they received the final game they didn’t have in that series yet (LEGO HEROICA Castle Fortaan ).  Though in looking up the actual names, there’s two others I don’t think we have.

 

Lego Heroica Game Review

Lego Heroica is a light role-playing game.  You pick a character type, barbarian, druid, thief, etc and you try to be the character who gets to the end of the dungeon first and defeats the main villain.

Lego Heroica game pieces

Along the way you can pick up torches, potions, weapons, and other things that help make your character better.

 

You also fight small villains along the way who may knock you back to start by taking away all of your health points.

 

What’s awesome about Lego Heroica?

Lego heroica game board

I love you can put it together in many different ways.  If you follow their suggestions, it’s a nice rich game, that has many different paths to victory.

You can combine all of the different variations together.  There’s a main game, and then there’s 3 different expansions.  We started off with some of the expansions, and then got the original for their birthday from a friend.  The picture up above is of two expansions played together.

I like how there are different obstacles to overcome and there are different ways to do so.

I also love the different types of rooms, the visual appeal is great.

 

What’s not so awesome about Lego Heroica?

Losing instructions, which thankfully you can get the building instructions online, but it’s kinda not cool if you lose the game rules.

Losing pieces, I’l get to my tips for solving that in a moment.  Many of the pieces are replaceable, but the men themselves are not.

 

 

My tips and tricks for Lego Heroica

Lego Heroica game set up

We combined all of the expansions into one box along with the instructions, it made the games easier to store.

Do not let your kids set up the board as one long line, it makes the game horrible, make sure there are several places to go different ways, or else the game is boring.

Don’t use every single part of the game, otherwise you will have a two hour game, and will be pulling your hair out (or maybe that was just me because I saw 3 other equally long games on the horizon).

Get small bags (like these Clear Zipper Shipping Bags, we store all game pieces in these bags), and put all of the little men in there.

Keep the different squares built, so you’re not rebuilding all the time, and so it’s harder to lose pieces.

Allow multiple starting points, this helps make sure you’re not all piled up together.

Consider getting the storage mat (I certainly am).

 

If you’re interested, I’m collecting game posts on my Games pinterest board.  Feel free to look for more game ideas there.

Games

 

Also, wanted to let you know there’s only a week left on Heritage History’s Tax Sale, we used their Early America CD for the first part of the year and LOVED it.

Heritage History sale

Catan Dice Game

Settlers of Catan Dice Game

I finally reach the last Catan game we have.  Catan Dice Game is my favorite for travel purposes, and I also like how short it is in comparison to some other versions of the game, that can be very appealing when we have 4 games to go through on a Friday afternoon.

 

settlers of catan dice game the dice

 

This being a dice game, it of course comes with its own dice.  In this set up you are creating the same basic items: roads, settlements, cities, soldiers.  However this time you create them by rolling the dice and scoring your dice (like Yahtzee).  I like the pictures and the color coding on the dice.  But, I’m a sucker for specialized dice, as is evident by my ginormous box of dice, currently housed in a rather boring pencil box.

 

Settlers of Catan dice game scoring

And like Yahtzee you can choose to reroll sub-sets of the dice or all of them for a limited number of times.

 

The big difference between this and Yahtzee? In this game if you don’t score on your turn, you lose 5 points.  That can be a big deal.

 

settlers of catan dice game strategies

Catan Dice Game strategies:

1.  Save the soldiers for when you’re desperate for points to fill out.

2.  Roads are good to build because they get you headed towards the high point areas.

3.  If you can build a settlement or city BUILD IT.  The higher point cities are at the end, but before you can build those you have to build the lower point ones.  You want to get to those big points.

4.  Taking chances to roll for the high points never hurts you, but keep in mind what options you have left.  There’s an equal chance of rolling everything, but the odds change as you lock dice in.

 

For a strategy game this has a high amount of chance involved because it relies on luck of the die, but it still is a low level strategy game because you are figuring out odds and chances of rolling the right combination.  Before getting involved in games so much, I never realized how much we deal in probability on a regular basis without thinking about it.

 

And thus ends my posts on Catan dice games.

If you’re interested, I’m collecting game posts on my Games pinterest board.  Feel free to look for more game ideas there.

Games

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