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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

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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

 

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Tactic Games- iKnow Family game review

One of the things I like most about winter is that we get back into having our family game night at the weekends. Quite often we have to choose games that everyone can play which means that when you have a little brother and sister means you don’t always get your first choice!

I was excited to be able to try the iKnow Family Quiz game from Tactic Games which is aimed at children age 12 plus because I was keen to play a game that was a bit more challenging and I was excited to get some time to play a game with my parents without my little brother and sister.

The iknow Family Quiz game is a really good concept because not only do you have to know facts and things yourself but you have to be prepared to bet on what the people you are playing with will know- this is a lot harder than it sounds and sometimes they really surprise you.

Everyone gets their tokens to bet against the other players with and their and pieces to start with and there are loads and loads of questions over four different topics. The board and set up is quite simple to get started but then you have to use strategy as well as your knowledge to win the game.  You can win points by knowing the answer to your question or by betting correctly whether the other people will know the answers to theirs. You have to have a bit of a strategy as to what type of question you are going to pick  and how you are going to bet on the other players

I played this firstly with my Mum and her friend and it was really funny to see questions they found difficult and to see who thought who would know what. Some of the questions are really really difficult but others are much easier and the fact that you are also guessing what the other players know means you don’t have to know the most to win the game and it was actually really close in the end.

The only thing we found that we were a bit unsure about was that if you were reading the questions you were easily tempted to turn the card and check the answer before you had placed your bet on the other players- maybe we are just cheats though!

I have played it with my Dad too and I think it takes a little while to get your head around but once you do it is really easy to play. I think the age rating of 12 is about right as I found some of the questions tricky (although so did the grown ups) but I think anyone from 10 can play if they think about their strategy! iKnow Family Quiz is a great game for general knowledge but you don’t have to have loads to be able to play and you can still have a good chance of winning.

I would recommend this as a really good family game and think it will be perfect for most families. I think I will be asking to play this a lot over the winter!

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the iKnow Family Quiz for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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World Tetris Day!- Tetris Dual Review

Did you know it’s World Tetris Day today?!

We have been celebrating with a game of Tetris Dual this evening which my best friend and his brother have recently been reviewing for us. I really liked the look of Tetris Dual– it’s a strategy game for two people and it’s based on the original Tetris computer game. You can play in two different ways- either as a speed game or a countdown game.  You get a light up game grid connected to an electronic display which shows you which shape piece you have to play next and all the pieces in two different colours, you drop the pieces into the grid to try and block your competitor. You also need to score the most points possible by matching your colours, or even better making a row before pressing the button and passing the turn back to the other person.

Lottie and I have really enjoyed playing the game, it’s been great fun and is quite challenging. Our friends loved testing it too, we all liked the fact that it’s a game you have to think about, my friend said he and his brother liked trying to beat the clock to complete their turn. We all thought it was very straightforward to set up and although the instructions seemed a bit complicated it was actually very easy to understand how to play once we got going.

My friend’s little brother is the same age as my sister Lottie and they both found it a bit tricky to start with to work out the best way to use shapes to make a row and not leave any gaps but they soon worked it out (and now Lottie likes making shapes and rows even when we are not actually playing!) Tetris Dual is really good for getting your brain working and thinking a bit ahead.

Set up and working out the rules

 

Their Mum said there was a lot of giggling and that it was good family fun! We have found it the same and my Mum likes that Lottie and I can just go off and play together without arguing over this game which isn’t always the case!

My friend said he would like the grid to be a bit bigger but his brother wouldn’t change anything about it at all. The only small issue we have had is that you can’t take it apart again so you can’t store it easily in it’s box but this isn’t a big problem.

We all rated this game really highly- it’s looks like Ideal have created another good game in Tetris Dual, we think it is suitable for age 6 plus with someone to help guide them to start with or for age 8 upwards, it is a game grown ups would enjoy too.

Lottie has been having a sneaky play with the shapes before our game!

 

Enter our competition for your chance to win a game of Tetris Dual to challenge your own family too!

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Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the game but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Please note the post contains an affiliate link, should you choose to purchase through this Lottie and I will receive a small amount of commission at no additional cost to you.

 

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Lexicon-Go Review

We have been enjoying playing Lexicon-Go the past few weeks. If you haven’t seen it then it’s a word game where you start with ten letter tiles each and then have a pile to swap one from. Everyone creates a word either using their tiles or swapping one of the tiles from the swap pile, (you have to shout SWAP as you do it) or by attacking another players word by either adding to it or swapping a letter. You can’t actually change the order of the letters but you can add it new ones or add an ending, so adding ‘er’ or ‘ing’ can work well for this, but if you swap letters out you need to take the letter out from the ones you have swapped back into your pile so it counts as part of your score.

 

If you manage to get rid of all your letters first then you shout LEX-GO and win that round if all your words are correct. The first player to win 5 rounds in total is the winner. There is a longer version of the game you can also play where  at the end of each round the other players add their score on the leftover tiles together, if it is over 100 then they are out straight away and the others carry on until only one person who is left and then the last person left in is the winner but we have been playing the quick Lexicon-Go version as that works really well for us.

We like that Lexicon-Go is a fast and noisy game, we liked shouting out and racing each other. We have enjoyed that it doesn’t take ages and ages to play and that it makes you think. Sometimes it is the luck of which letters you get to start with but mostly it’s about how quickly you can see what you have and think about how or where you can use it. This game also makes you think about how words work and the best way to change them and make them into something else.

I liked the tiles as they seem like they will last well, we did think the instructions seemed quite complicated to start with but we soon got into it once we started playing and it made much more sense as we were going along. Because it is a word game you need to be quite good at spelling and coming up with ideas so I would say it is probably best for children age 8 plus but it does help you learn so children age 6 plus would also enjoy it against children of the same age.

It’s a good game because it is very portable- it’s quite a small case and all zips away nicely and we have taken it with us to play on our trip to the Isle of Wight and our stay in France. It’s good because you don’t need to take lots of extra things with you to be able to play- although if you are like us you might need a dictionary to avoid arguments about whether the random letters someone tried to put down are real words!

We're going on an adventure
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Lottie Loves… Rubik’s Junior Animals

By Lottie age 6 with help from Mum!

My big brother, Luke, has a Rubik’s cube, it’s really hard to do and I get very cross with it when I can’t make the colours match up- although I do like to mess it up when he has been trying to do it!

I have been having lots of fun playing with the new John Adams Rubik’s Junior toys. They are all shaped like animals and are really cute! They are the same bright colours as the cubes but they are just right for younger children to play with.  You just twist them up to make it as difficult as possible and then you solve the puzzle and get the animal back to it’s normal shape.

We were sent one of each of the toys from the John Adams Rubik’s Junior range– a bunny, a puppy, a kitten and a bear. They were all really sweet and my little brother Sam decided he would really like the blue puppy (well it was all blue until we twisted it!). I picked the bunny and we decided to give the bear and the kitten to my best friend and her little sister.

It’s National Pet Month so while we have just been enjoying playing with our Rubik’s pets, my friend and her sister have been showing theirs off to their lovely dog, Poppy. They have been enjoying cuddling up with Poppy while they solve the puzzle, it’s a great toy to sit and play with when everyone else is busy and you want something fun to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have all loved playing with our Rubik’s Junior toys– they are really hard to put down and I have shown mine to lots of other friends who all had fun solving the puzzle. It is much less frustrating for children my age than trying to do a cube but it is still interesting enough to keep you busy. My little brother is very nearly three and he loves playing with his puppy version, it’s a bit tricky for him if we twist it too much but he has lots of fun twisting and turning it and just playing with it in his games, I think he will be able to do it really well soon. I think the Rubik’s Junior toys are perfect for children between about 4 and 9, although Luke keeps taking it to play with too and he is 10!

We are very excited to be able to give away one of these fantastic Rubik’s Junior pets to two lucky winners worth £9.99 each thanks to John Adams and Playtime PR

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Please note prizes will be sent out directly within 28 days of the winners providing us their delivery address.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Rubik’s Juniors range in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

Please be aware this post contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through this this would enable Luke and Lottie to earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to yourself.

 

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What’s in the Box? – Cheatwell Games Review

We love this game. We have reviewed some great games recently including the brilliant new memory game, Baffled, from Cheatwell but their game What’s in the Box? is our current favourite. We like it because you don’t need to spend ages setting it up and you can play it with just two people or the whole family – it’s a brilliant idea for a quick game on a school night when you don’t have a lot of time.

What’s in the Box? doesn’t take up much room in the games cupboard- it’s a nice wooden box with a slide off lid and then inside it is a marble and counter and some cards.

One way to play is to send one player off to get something interesting to put in the box and then the other players count down 21 questions using the marble and counter to try and guess what’s in the box. You are allowed to have a shake if the box keeper says you can but you have to be careful with your questions though- the person hiding the item can only answer yes, no or maybe! We ask lots of questions like ‘do you find it in the bathroom’ to narrow it down before starting to guess. You can only have a couple of guesses and get it wrong before you are out though so guess carefully! You have two ‘take a guess cards’ to hand in and when these are up you can’t guess any more- unless you win back a take a guess card by asking three questions in a row that are answered with a yes. If the counter gets down to 0 then the box keeper who hid the item is automatically the winner of that round.

I bet if Lottie knew there was a chocolate bar in here she would guess quicker!

 

The other way to play is to use one of the picture cards to put in the box- these are brilliant because it means you can put things in the box that would never fit otherwise like a bench or skies and it makes the questions much more interesting.

We like the fact that you can either play a quick round or a full game. What’s in the Box? is good for getting your mind working and you thinking in a different way. It works well with children from around age 5 upwards and both Lottie and I have been really enjoying it.

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We were sent What’s in the Box for review purposes  thanks to Cheatwell Games and Playtime PR but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links

 

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Baffled Game Review

If you have been reading our blog for a while you will know that we all enjoy our family game nights so we were pretty excited when Cheatwell Games sent us a couple of new games to try.

Baffled is a new memory game but it’s great for all the family because it is designed so adults and children both have an equal chance of winning. It is for children age 8 plus and can be played with two to four players

Baffled is quite tricky but also really good fun. You get 60 seconds to remember the order of  the 12 tiles which have pictures on but they can be moved around and change position which makes it more of a challenge.

You get 28 life cards, 12 picture tiles, 12 covering pieces and four counters  and a dice to play with. Before you start playing Baffled you have to decide how many lives each person gets, you can have up to seven, you can decide if you want to give the younger players extra lives but it’s up to the people playing the game to decide.

To start playing you put the tiles onto the letter sections, let everyone looks at them for 60 seconds before covering them up with the covering pieces. You then take turns to roll the dice and move your counter around the board. You are still trying to remember the tile positions but this becomes more difficult as the tiles move around. When you land on a square you might have find a specific symbol, name what is on a certain letter space or find three things from a group. You have to say what you are revealing before you do it and if you get it wrong you loose a life.

Sometimes you land on a square that tells you to move the tile from one place to another and you have to swap things about which makes it even harder to remember where things are. The winner is the person at the end of the game who still has the most lives left when the others have run out. There is a chance to win back lives you have lost so you can keep playing right up until you have completely run out.

We took a few minutes to get going with Baffled as we weren’t quite sure that we knew what we were doing until we had had a few turns but actually once it got going it was very straightforward to play even though it was tricky at times. It’s a fun game for everyone and quite a challenge, I think it will help make your brain and memory work while having fun! The second time we played we gave everyone the same number of lives as even though she was younger it looks like Lottie had the best memory out of all of us!

 

Thanks to Cheatwell Games and Playtime PR for sending us Baffled for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links

 

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Family Game Night- Quick thinking with Think Words

We have been enjoying our family games nights again the last few weekends and last week tried out Think Words by John Adams.

This game is aimed at age 8 plus but we all had lots of fun playing it together and whilst Lottie needed a few more seconds she didn’t find it too difficult most of the time.

In the Think Words box is 80 cards and a spinner with all the instructions you need. You get  a choice of 7 different versions to play so this can keep you busy for ages! Each card has a large letter on one side and four different coloured categories on the other. We started off with the straightforward game of putting 8 letter cards around the spinner and taking turns to spin it, the first person got the colour and everyone had to try and think of a word for that letter from the colour category that it matched- if you were the first one to shout it out then you got to win that letter, at the end of the game the person who had the most letters was the winner.

We liked the fact there were so many different ways to play and that you could also make your own rules as well. Lottie did find a few of the categories a bit hard but I think the age rating of 8 is about right.

Think Words is a good game to take away with you too as it packs up small, we took it to our friends at Christmas which was fun- we liked that you could play it just as well with 2 players as you could 8- although it turns out it is perhaps best not to make up your own rules with 8 people as it can lead to arguments! Even with a bit of bickering this the game was really funny especially when you were trying desperately to think of an answer really quickly.

The only little slightly bad thing we found with this game is that it doesn’t store very well in the box (it’s got a cut out bit to display the cards) and we had to find a different little box to store it in nothing too bad but worth being aware of so you don’t loose your cards!

I am looking forward to playing with some other friends after school next week- although I will steer clear of making up my own rules so we are all still friends at the end of it!

Family Fever

Disclaimer: We were sent the Think Words Game to review but all thoughts are our own, you can keep up with the latest from John Adams Ideal Games by following their Facebook page here

 

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Family Game Night- Fun with Telestrations

Now that Christmas is over we have started up our family games night again on a Saturday evening, We make sure we have plenty of snacks and drinks ready and get set up for a fun night. The other week we played Telestrations by John Adams for the first time. I had seen the adverts for it and thought it looked fun so was excited to give it a go. Initially the instructions seemed a little bit complicated but we soon got to grips with it and were drawing our pictures and passing our books on over and over again and it was actually really easy.

Telestrations is for age 8 plus so we added a bit of extra time for Lottie to do her drawings because she is younger and we let her pick the colour topic for the drawings as some were a bit complicated for her to understand but otherwise just got on with it.

 

You pick a colour on the card and everyone writes that word on the first page of their book (they have already put their name in it) and then you set the timer and begin drawing the word. When the timer rings you pass your book to the next player whether you have finished drawing or not. They then get a certain time to try and guess what they think you have drawn. They write their best guess on the next page before passing it on to the next player. The book then gets passed to the next player who reads the guess and draws what they see that guess as before their time runs out. Finally you pass it back to the original player who gets to see what the last drawing is and what people have guessed their original artwork to be. This is where it gets really funny- some of the guesses are no where near the original drawing- it’s a bit like playing a drawing version of the game where you whisper and see what the person at the end of the circle hears and it is even funnier.

You then rub out the drawings and start all over again with a new card. I like the way it is all reusable and you can play over and over again without wasting loads of paper.

I don’t think you have to be good at drawing to play this game. In fact it’s funnier if you are not. I think this will be a brilliant game to play after a family dinner and is good to play with lots of people. It’s a great game because people of all ages can play it together and everyone is able to join in equally so it’s a real family game.

We are excited to be able to give away a game of Telestrations to one lucky family- we are sure you will enjoy it as much as us so to get you started we are asking you to us the link below to tweet us using the hashtag #telestrationsontwitter your guess as to what my drawing below is!

You can keep up to date with all the latest information from IDEAL Games by following their Facebook page.

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