World Tetris Day 2019

Did you know it was World Tetris Day last week? We love Tetris in our house- my Dad used to play it when he was a kid and I got Tetris Dual one year for Christmas which Lottie and I play loads. It’s the 35th birthday of Tetris!

We were really excited to hear that a new game called Tetris Speed has been launched. This is a card game and involves putting one card face down in the middle of the table and dividing the rest of the cards up between the players. The first card is turned over and you’re away. Each card has a picture on it of a Tetrimino piece and then a smaller picture depicting the next piece to be laid, the race is on for the players to search through their hand and find the next piece the quickest, the player who puts all their cards down first is the winner.

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Tetris Speed  is huge fun and had us in fits of laughter trying to beat each other, it’s much harder than you think for what looks like such a simple game- you can’t take your eye off the pile for a second or the other player will be ahead of you. There’s no turn taking either, it’s each player for him or herself! Lottie was running along really well and getting  rid of card after card when suddenly she couldn’t go and I could so I got the momentum- literally anyone can win if they are fast enough. Even though I won twice in a row and dinner was ready Lottie was still asking to play again! I am going to have to beat her again this evening!

We think this is a fab game for all the family, it doesn’t take too long to play but is loads of fun and because it’s in a box we can take it out and about with us too. It’s kind of like Tetris meets snap but for big kids- you really do have to use your memory! You can also make it bigger if more people want to play by adding a second set of cards in which is a brilliant idea.

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We do still love Tetris Dual though and play it quite a lot, we reviewed this with some friends last year and you can find the full review here but were lucky enough to be sent another copy which we were excited to pass on to Lottie’s best friend Emily and her little sister, Isla, for them to try.

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Emily and Isla loved it as much as us, they had a great time playing after school the other day. Isla is nearly 6 and Emily is nearly 8 and they found it perfect to play together.

They told us it was like a jigsaw that you had to really think about but also at the same time had to stop the other person getting their jigsaw finished!

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We love the fact that Tetris are always coming up with new ways that you can play for a game that has been around such a long time and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

The people at Ideal and Norton PR have kindly given us a copy of both Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed to give away to one lucky family, so don’t miss our competition below!

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Disclaimer: We were gifted Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed but all thoughts and opinions are our own

UK Games Expo 2019

We had a great day out at the UK Games Expo at the NEC today. This was our first time visiting a games convention and it was awesome.

I couldn’t believe how many games there were and so many great ideas for games that you would have never think of.

We knew there would be chances to play games but literally we could have spent a week there and not managed to try everything we wanted.

The people working on the stands were brilliant, they all knew the games well and were able to show you what to do so you didn’t have to spend ages working out rules and they joined in playing with us which was good fun.

I wanted to have a look at strategy games, I really liked the look of them and would like to get into playing them. I think they might be a bit complicated just yet but I hope as I get older to give them a try. I love the idea of how they expand and evolve as you play them and there were some amazing accessories you could get at the show.

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We were surprised at how many games there were that were suitable for us all to play as a family even with Sam being only just 4. We had a lot of fun playing some silly games and also some slightly more complicated games and he loved being involved.

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We all had our own favourites that we managed to try or chat to people about today- Sam loved playing Deep Sea Adventure on the Zatu games stand, we all had fun with that and think that would be a great one for us to play as a family. He also desperately wanted to play the Silly Sausage game on Ideal Games’ stand but we had run out of time.

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I really enjoyed Lost Galaxy by Rudy Games which was played using an app which guides you through and teaches you what to do. I would like to get that one soon.

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Lottie absolutely loved the look of the new Ravensburger Disney Villainous game- it makes a change from the normal princess games! Unfortunately they had sold out and all the tables were busy with people testing it so we didn’t get to play but she is definitely putting it on her birthday wish-list! They also had a couple of Harry Potter themed games she liked the look of so these will be worth looking out for.

Mum and Dad regretted not going back and buying a copy of Reveal which was a game with no questions and only answers. We had fun trying out some of the questions and they think it will be a good game to play at Christmas so I think we might be ordering a copy. We all really liked seeing the original version of the game that the creator had made for his family to play. It’s amazing to see how a game starts off.

There was also a few other things to see like places selling clothes and jewellery. There was a stall called Geekycool selling handmade jewellery that Lottie loved- lots of Star Wars and Harry Potter things turned into jewellery, Sam didn’t want to leave because he really wanted the figures! They were good, we hadn’t seen anything like it before and the man said he is able to make the items with any character if they are able to be got hold of so my Mum thinks this would make a good presents for Lottie’s friends.

There was loads of other games that we had a great time trying quickly and lots that we only got to have a quick look at but I think we all have a huge list of new ones we would like to play!

We will definitely be going back to the UK Games Expo next year and will probably try and go for the whole weekend to make sure we can see it all, it was well worth a visit for a family day out.

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Disclaimer- We were gifted Press Passes for the event but our review of the day and our comments about individual games are all our own thoughts

 

Rainy Day Activities for Children

We have been quite lucky so far this holiday, despite there being heavy rain every single day we have only had one day where we really felt a bit stuck in and have so far managed to avoid getting soaked.

I do have lots of things ready to do if it does rain though and these are a few of my ideas.

Build a Den

We love building a den- it’s something you can do indoors or outdoors and it can be as big as you have space for or tiny and cosy. You don’t need loads of equipment, blankets and a clothes horse are fine or you can use other furniture and bedding or picnic rugs. If it’s outside then logs, sticks, string and tarpaulin are perfect. Once you have built it you can decorate it and make it comfortable and then decide what you want to do in there- read a book, have a picnic, do some writing. I am not sure den building is something you ever completely grow out of!

LEGO Challenge

Tip out a big box of LEGO, set a timer and challenge everyone to make something on a theme (vehicles, space, food, animals etc) when the time is up you have to stop and can pick a winner. This is great because you can have quick builds or longer builds with more difficult themes. For younger children you could do this with Duplo or even using Playdoh and you don’t even need to pick a winner, it could just be for fun.

Cinema Day

Agree on a film, and then plan to spend an afternoon watching it. Younger children might enjoy making tickets but everyone can get involved with making cinema snacks. You can pop some popcorn and make some crispie cakes to eat while you enjoy your film.

Baking Day

Spend the day doing lots of baking and hopefully you can enjoy it all for a picnic the next day when it’s nicer!

Games and Puzzle Challenge

Invite some friends over and set up lots of boards games, card games and puzzles and have a tournament. If you are allowed then you could do the same type of thing on a computer or games console.

Play Rain Games

Get your raincoat and wellies on and go and splash in the puddles and dance in the rain. You can then come back in and dry off while having raindrop races on the window!

Messing about in puddles!

 

I would love to know what sort of things other children like to do when the weather is bad?

 

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Fletter- A brand new word game!

I was really excited when I was asked if I would like to review a brand new word game. If you have been reading the blog for a while you will know we often have family game nights and this Fletter sounded exactly like the type of game we would enjoy.

It arrived the other day and I was excited to test it with my friend this afternoon when he came round for a play. I asked if he wanted to try Fletter out and he shrugged and said we could give it a go. Within 5 minutes my Mum said she had never heard us both laughing so hard when playing a game and by the time it was time for him to go home he was telling his Mum that Fletter was brilliant and really, really funny and that they had to get it to play with his big sisters.

You get two boxes of cards with letters, each worth a certain number of points and these get divided out between the number of people playing (at least two). Each player puts down a card in turn and then it is a race against players to find words whilst adding more cards to the game. The first person to make a word from the letters gets to claim those letters and the points they are worth but if two people shout the same word at the same time then neither can claim and the cards get taken out of the game. If you shout out a word that doesn’t exist then the other players can give you a special card that makes you ‘Flettered’ and this means you have points to deduct from your total. Once you have put down all the cards and made up as many words as possible you can tot up your total from your letters, deduct any ‘Flettered’ cards and the person with the highest number of points wins the round. The game winner is decided after four rounds.

 

You can even make the game more difficult by playing in specific rounds- so on round one you make three letter words, on round two you do four letter, on round three it’s five letters and on round four it’s six letters which would really make your brain work! If you get the wrong length of word you would also be Flettered!

I like the fact that it’s an exciting game, you are immediately in the middle of playing without waiting round. It’s quite noisy with words being shouted out and very funny with silly words and trying to shout the loudest the fastest. I don’t think you have to be an amazing speller but you do need to be a quick thinker and be able to make yourself heard. It’s also great because you could take it and play it anywhere. I also think lots of people could play it together so it would be great for a holiday, sleepover or school trip.

I really enjoyed playing Fletter and I know my friend did too, it is my turn to choose the game for our game night on Saturday so I will definitely be getting my parents to play this with me. I think grown ups will enjoy this game just as much as children. I think the age rating of 8 plus is probably right but my little sister will join in and make a team with my Mum – she will enjoy being in charge of the dictionary and giving out the Flettered cards for any made up words! Lottie and I just had a practise run of playing a round together and she really liked it.

Taking over Mum’s office with a quick practise round of Fletter!

We will definitely be introducing all our friends to Fletter and would recommend you keep an eye out for it’s arrival in the UK as this is the perfect game for a family celebration.

 

 

 

 

Things I have loved whilst blogging

Last week I posted about things I had learnt from blogging over the two years I had been doing it and today I am going to share some of the amazing products and places I have discovered thanks to blogging.

As I mentioned blogging can be hard work sometimes but the experiences I have had from it have been well worth it.

There are lots of things that stand out as being great but these are some of my very favourite things from the last two years.

  1. So many great books. I have read too many awesome books to list them all individually but have loved having lots of brilliant books to review and it has been fantastic to discover new authors who I might not otherwise have come across. One of my favourites is Abi Elphinstone who I am a huge fan of since reviewing her Trilogy on my blog.
  2. Finding new games- I especially like games that the whole family can enjoy together and we have found some great ones through the blog. One of our family favourites is the Randomise Game If you haven’t come across Randomise before then you should read the review I wrote a while ago- it’s really great fun and so very funny to play. We have played it so many times since and I would recommend it to any family that enjoys playing games together.
  3. Things that other people enjoy. It’s awesome finding a new product that I love but I have really enjoyed finding things my sister and brother love too. My sister has especially liked Aquabeads and Pusheen, both of which is she has been lucky enough to review for the blog.
  4. Challenges- I would never have even known about the kids version of Tough Mudder without the blog. My friend and I were lucky enough to do the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder last year and it was an amazing experience. I would love to do it again and it got me into running a 5K run for charity too and helping as a steward at another.
  5. Amazing days out. We have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of great days out, I have enjoyed them all but some of the ones that I really liked were BRICKLIVE and the ‘Summer Saturdays’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse
  6. New experiences. It also falls under points 4 and 5 too but was so amazing it deserves a heading of it’s own! Our favourite experience as a whole family has been our visit to Camp Wilderness– the bushcraft day was so unlike anything that any of us had ever done before, we all learnt loads and came away having had a really fantastic day. It was such a different thing to do with my Mum and Dad- I would recommend the camps to anyone!

 

  

 

As  you can see I have been very lucky over the last two years, I have had lots of fantastic experiences, met some brilliant people and learnt a lot. I have loved having my own blog, even though at times in has been hard work and I have caught ‘writer’s block’.

I can’t believe I have managed to keep it up for two years and am holding a competition to celebrate this! One of our lucky readers will win their own copy of the brilliant Randomise Game, a copy of a fantastic children’s book -my current read- The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, a £10 Amazon voucher to treat themselves to one of the amazing products we have reviewed and a 3 day place for a child age 6 to 15 at one of the awesome Camp Wilderness camps during the Summer Holidays- the lucky winner can choose between Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cheshire or Kent subject to availability.

This prize bundle is worth over £260! Good Luck!

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Randomise Game- Draw, Act or Describe Your Way to Victory!

Randomise Game 

Draw, Act or Describe Your Way to Victory!

 

Every Saturday night once our baby brother Sam is in bed we have a ‘Game Night’. We get some nice treats in, Lottie and I get to stay up a bit late and we take turns to choose which board or card game we would like to play.
  
We have recently got a new favourite to add to our Saturday night choices- we were sent a new game called Randomise to try out and it is easily the funniest game we have ever played.

You work in teams of at least two and taking turns you announce if you are going to be using the ‘EASY’ or ‘HARD’ options and whether you will describe, act or draw before picking 3 cards, one from each set and then your opposite team have to choose option 1, 2 or 3 for each card- you then look at these options to discover what you are going to be. It sounds a bit complicated but you quickly get in to the swing of it and soon find yourself becoming a ‘scared hedgehog taking a photo’ or an ‘attractive Grandma doing a cartwheel’ or perhaps even a ‘sarcastic orangutan kissing a frog’

Lottie was a bit young for us to play the game properly with scoring and everything because she needed help reading the cards and working out what some of the words meant which made it difficult to be in teams but the game is recommended for age 8 upwards for this reason and we still had loads of fun acting out, describing and drawing for each other without actually crowning a winner at the end. 

I loved playing Randomise with my family- we laughed so much and I think I will always remember my Dad acting out being a ‘Spotty Chicken Smashing Plates’ but I am looking forward to Easter though when I will be able to play and score using the rules with my friends. I think we all liked the acting option best but we also tried describing and drawing too and these are great choices if you don’t want to get up in front of everyone and be a bit silly.

This is a great game for anyone age 8 and over (or age 4 and over with adult help) and is fun for everyone, my parents even suggested we should get it out when our family friends come for dinner over Easter so the grown-ups can join in.

I am going to ask Mum to buy this game for my friend when it is his birthday next month. If you are looking for a family gift for Easter this year and want to give something that lasts longer than chocolate we would definitely recommend Randomise- the person you give it to will still be laughing next Easter! 

If you would like to know more about the game you can visit the website here and if you are looking to buy Randomise it can be purchased here.
                                     

Disclaimer- we were sent a copy of Randomise to test and enjoy but all thoughts and opinions are my own