Holiday Gaming – What’s good to play?

Holiday Gaming – What’s good to play?

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Holiday season for us meant a much looked forward to, years in the planning trip to Gran Canaria with our four older teenagers.  On the plus side – guaranteed sunshine but not much space for games – one backpack was just games and sucking sweets!

Narrowing down our 200+ games was a bit of a challenge, but the space constraints definitely helped to narrow our focus, along with family friendly.

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs was our first choice.  As the name suggests, the game is very compact and features itsy bitsy tiny dinosaur meeples – which ticked the boxes for our girls.  After a short dino meeple war, we delved into the game, farming, breeding and feeding different dinosaurs to earn as many victory points as possible in the rounds.  Suitable for 1-4 players and if you like resource management, worker placement and cute meeples this is the game for you.  Playtime was approx. 45 minutes. (Kevin: My Favorite!)

Source: BoardGameGeek

Along the same lines, Zuuli is a recent addition to our games library and is suitable for 1-5 players (although we understand that the new expansion in the works will expand this to 6 players).  This is also a quick game lasting no more than 20 minutes, so it was ideal for post dinner entertainment.  Building your own wildlife park, by picking and passing cards to gain different types of enclosures, friendly and fierce animals.  This was a firm favourite, quick to learn and easy to score, quite similar to Sushi-Go if you’re a fan.

Source: Unfringed

Cartographers is a new game for us we liked how the number of players can range from 1-100 or as many sheets of map paper you have. Players take the role of cartographers, charting the land of Nalos.  Four conditions are randomly drawn and these are your goals at different times during the four seasons.  As cards are drawn, draw the shapes on the cards and choose the type of area, to gain the most points and be the best cartographer.  Less between player interaction, (but that’s not a bad thing with 4 kids) and easy to understand, but requires a bit of tactical thinking and planning!

Source: Wikipedia

So Clover! required us to work together as a team to guess the words from the clues.  Each team mate chooses 4 random cards and sets them in their board, before choosing and writing a word associated with 2 words, giving 4 clues.  Their team mates then have to guess which of the cards fits with the clues.  An interesting word-association game which gives an insight into your team mates’ thought processes!

Source: BoardGameGeek

The Crew is a firm favourite, based on the idea of trick taking but in a co-operative way and without talking!  Honestly we haven’t managed a round without talking but we love the challenge of trying to beat the ever more difficult win conditions; taking tricks in sequence or not winning as the case maybe!  Suitable for 2-5 players and with 50 missions; playtime can be 5 minutes or as long as you want.

Source: The Tabletop Family

Finally we brought a pack of Spanish cards and mastered 2 new games; Escoba and Tute. Escoba you play a card from your hand trying to make up to 15 from together with the cards on the table, trying to remember that 10, 11 and 12 are worth 8, 9 and 10 is probably the hardest part of the game! Gain points at the end of the round based on, most coins (one of the suits) most 7’s, 7 of coins, most cards and how many Escobas (sweeps) you won (make up to 15 with all cards on table and saying Escoba!).

Source: Fournier

Tute, is basically a trick taking game although you only score points based on certain cards. Ace (11 Points), Three (10), King (4), Knight (3) and Jack (2). A few additional ways of winning points, or even winning games, by revealing a King and Knight of same suit after winning a trick or a Tute, revealing 4 Kings or 4 Knights.

Source: BoardGameGeek

Overall a good selection to get your gaming fix when tight on space, although maybe next time we’ll take even less clothes and try to see if we can squeeze in Terraforming Mars or something similar!

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