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Holiday Board Game Gift Guide 2014

Party Games

Party games are great icebreakers, family bonding experiences, and ways to pass the time with friends and loved ones.  These games may involve some loud noises, laughter, and memory making opportunities.

1.  One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Werewolf has been a favorite game in my classroom for many years.  Students enjoy the secret identity game, special power game where they try to discover who the big bad werewolves are.  Or they want to stay hidden as they take out their opponents.

However, the game can take a lot of time to play, eliminated players cannot participate, and I always have to moderate.  One Night Ultimate Werewolf solves all of these problems.  The game is only one night, and lasts only 10 minutes.  Only one person is eliminated but at the end of the game.  There is no moderator, but you can download a free app to act as moderator.  I highly recommend the app; it really makes the game that much better.

The game makes great changes, but the best parts remain.  The classic deduction and trying to figure out what other players know or do not know.  If you like deduction, games like mafia or werewolf you will love One Night.

2.  Pitch Car

Whenever I set it up, PitchCar is a game that draws a crowd.  Pitch Car is a dexterity game with a modular racetrack board.  Players pitch their cars, by flicking them around the track.  The first player to cross the finish line wins!

PitchCar is not the cheapest game to buy, or the easiest to find, the fun and lasting quality of the game are worth it.  I love setting up different racetrack configurations.  Adding expansions gives your even more options in creating your racetrack.

Young and old alike can get into the action with PitchCar.  Just start setting it up and before you finish you’ll have your crowd of players.

3.  Dancing Eggs

Another dexterity game that gets both kids and adults moving is Dancing Eggs.  The game comes with nine rubbery plastic eggs, one wooden egg, and two wooden dice.  The components are great and they all come in an egg carton.  Even after many plays, the components look brand new, even if the carton will not hold up very long.

Players roll the red die.  The result of the die tells the player what to do.  They can attempt to take an egg from the box, or from another player if there are none in the box.  They may bounce the egg on the table and compete to catch it.  Or they may run around the table and try to get back to their seat before everyone else.

When a player wins and egg, they then roll the white die to see where t the egg will go.  They may put it under their chin, between their knees, in the crook of their arm, or even under their cheek.  You have to hold your eggs, try not to drop them, because the game ends when someone drops, and egg.  Players get points for their eggs; one point for the rubber eggs and two points for the wooden egg.

The game is harder than it looks, but every time it played, there is always laughter.  Dancing Eggs is a great party game that anyone in the family can enjoy.

4.  Tapple

Tapple is fun, all be it stressful party game I actually picked up at Target.  A player is given ten seconds and a topic.  Within those ten seconds, they come up with a word that matches the topic and press down on the letter key that matches the first letter of the word.  For example, you may press down on the “S” key if you say sausage as a pizza topping.  The next player restarts the timer, says a different word, for example “Cheese” and presses down their letter.  If a player runs out of time before pressing a letter, they are out of the round.  When only one player is left in the round the get the topic cad and start a new round.  Whoever collects the most topic cards wins!

I was not sure about Tapple but it is a lot of fun.  My mother-in-law really enjoyed it and made a good point that not only are players enjoying themselves but also they are exercising their brains (she is a retired teacher).  Players are trying to come up with answers and be ready when their turn comes so they are always engaged in the game.  Tapple is great party game for the whole family.  As a bonus, it is completely self-contained as the device on a storage compartment for the cards.

5.  Snake Oil

Do you have any salesperson in the family or anyone who is good at convincing others?  Well, then Snake Oil is for them.  In this party game players take on the role of snake oil salespersons from the old west and try to convince their customers to buy their wacky products.  

One player, each round, becomes a customer.  They choose a card and become that type of customer for example – a teacher, soldier, coach potato, or a dictator.   The other players become inventors and use two of their six cards to create a product and then within thirty seconds pitch it to the customer.  For example, they may sell a cannon map to the soldier or the glitter paint to the teacher.  Whomever the customer decides to buy from gets the card.     

Snake oil is all about fun and using your imagination.  People who enjoy “Apples to Apples” will enjoy the added layer of “convincing” the customer to buy your invention.  Players can really get into the game as they try to outdo each other and win the customers vote. 


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