3 Backstabbing Games You Need to Play

Today is a glorious day my friends!

It’s International Tabletop Day! Brian and I shall celebrate by gathering with some of our board gaming buddies and playing copious amounts of games while snacking and boozing. Life is good today. In honor of this beautiful nerdy-as-fuck holiday started by one of our favorites, Wil Wheaton, and crew (Geek & Sundry, y’all), I thought I would share with you some games that you may not know exist. But should. Because holy hell are they fucking awesome. Also, these games are not for the weak at heart. These games are specifically chosen because they involve a lot of yelling. Screaming. Fuck-your-mother-ing. But I’ve played all these games with my mother. So there’s that.

Basically?

You’re welcome.

We're having a super sale in this shop!

Trailer Park Wars

When introducing non-gamers into the world of serious gaming, I used to use The Settlers of Catan as a gateway game. I like to think of it as Monopoly meets serious gamer. But then I discovered Trailer Park Wars. And oh shit you guys. This game is fucking hilarious. And ridiculous. And SUPER easy. The concept is simple, build a trailer park with trailer cards, amenities, and residents. Each amenity and resident offers benefits and (most importantly victory points). While you’re building your own park, your opponents are doing the same…but you’re also trying to destroy one another’s parks. With cards that send tornadoes through your neighboring park’s trailers, infestations and romances, you can kill, steal or move trailers, people and amenities. Flamingos flank your playing area as the victory points. Hillbilly accents and names are highly recommended. (One day, I’ll introduce you to my alter-ego Gina May). My PARENTS think it’s hysterical. My friends love playing. If you’re into horror flicks, you can also add the expansion, Trailer Park Wars: Terror in the Trailer which gives you more cards and more ways to screw your neighbor.

Trailer Park Wars

This was after I spilled that poor bottle of wine…

 

 One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Did you ever play MAFIA or WEREWOLF at Denny’s on school nights? No? Just me? Okay,  well, this is the ultimate lying and deduction game. There’s a werewolf (or a few werewolves) in the town, and the villagers are ready to hunt this shit down. Except that no one knows who’s a villager and who’s a werewolf. Each person receives a card revealing their identity, but no one knows what anyone else’s card says. The first phase of the game allows some people (werewolves and villagers) to do things in secret while everyone’s eyes are closed (there’s an app that tells you when you can do your thing!). Some people can look at other cards. Some people can look at each other. Some people can even move cards around. Then you open your eyes and the clock starts. You have to decide who the werewolf is and kill them. If you’re a werewolf, you want people to kill a villager by mistake. There’s a lot of yelling. And lying. And “YOU’RE THE WEREWOLF!!!!!” It’s pretty much amazing. This one’s a favorite in our gaming group, but I also got my parents and aunt & uncle to play on Saint Patrick’s Day. My mom was laughing so hard it hurt (probably because she’s a TERRIBLE liar). She’s still on the fence on this one. Oh yeah, this one ALSO has an expansion, which they Kickstarted last year: Daybreak. The expansion adds MORE characters. Additional features. Overall more stuff. Perfect for completionists like me (at least that’s what Brian says, anyways).

Ca$h N Guns

This one is equally as fantastic. You’re a band of thieves. You work together to rob a bank, but now what? Oh, right. You take out the competition. Each person has 3 bullets (Bang! cards) and 5 blanks (Click cards). You choose your weapon card, and on three, everyone points their foam gun (did I mention there are foam guns?) at someone else. At this point, depending on how many guns are pointed at you, you can choose to go forward for the loot (BONZAI!) or chicken out (put your gun down, homie). Those who chickened out and those who are shot, are out of the running for the loot. Everyone else divides the pot between themselves. At the end of 8 turns, the most money wins the game. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend playing with people you don’t mind stabbing in the back. I felt REALLY bad for my friend Beth’s boyfriend (and Brian), because of five of us, they were the two that I felt comfortable destroying. I made the mistake of going for Cletus once, and he wrecked me right back. So the other two guys it was.

What are some of your favorite board games? How will you celebrate International Tabletop Day? What’s the best lying, cheating, backstabbing, screw your neighbor game you’ve ever played?

No one paid me to talk about these games, but links in this post will direct you to Amazon. If you make a purchase, I may receive a teeny tiny commission. Which is awesome. So thank you.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Product Review: Don’t Rock the Boat Game

As you may remember, I’ve got a laundry list of game reviews to write, but I promised myself that I would never let reviews take over my blog. The holidays may have gotten me slightly off track, but with the aforementioned promise, it seems totally acceptable.

Today is the day to revisit the world of product reviews. Today is the day to review an amazing kids game. Today is the day to talk about pirates. And penguins. And Little A. And Trouble.

Little A is my gamer-in-training godson. Trouble is his little sister. We had a lovely afternoon of gaming a few weeks ago, and played this amazing game. “What game?” you ask? Don’t Rock the Boat from Patch Products. You may know Patch from Farkle or Buzzwords.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Does this not look AWESOME!? Penguins and Pirates Meets Topple and Jenga. Sounds like a winning combination to me!

The mission is simple: Stack all of the penguins onto the boat without tipping it over.

The task itself? REALLY HARD!

Three adults and a pretty clever 7 year old had to work really hard (and maybe not quite follow the rules) in order to achieve perfection. But did we have fun doing it? Hell yes.

Let me start from the beginning.

I busted the game out for Little A and I to play. My cousin Rachel, Trouble, and Brian all decided they wanted to play. So we set the game up. Little A was STOKED because the box alone was some pretty sweet business.

The game is super easy to set up. It comes with the base, the ship, and the pirate penguins.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Start with one penguin pirate…then work your way around the table.

Just like Jenga, the object is to gently complete the task, without toppling the whole game over. Except that Jenga starts out easy. This, my friends, is some tough stuff. That ship is teetery and tottery and crazy. It’s like the ocean has declared war on the pirate penguins.

The minute Trouble saw one penguin topple the whole game, she giggled and giggled and decided that was exactly how you play the game. That and stealing the penguins. We had to hide them from her.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Little A trying REALLY hard to stack all of the penguins on the boat. You’ll note that he’s totally cheating by holding the ship.

So we may have cheated a little bit. Our mission was to get all the penguins on the ship. Little A decided that he cold hold the ship while he placed it. Rachel, Brian, and I chose not to argue with the kid’s logic.

And we did it!

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Success! (Even though we cheated)

So, really, this is a game that anyone can play. Even a two year old like Trouble. Even when she is trying to sabotage the game and steal all of the penguin pirates. It’s more fun that way, right?

We really loved playing, and Little A wanted to play with the pirate penguins the rest of the day. And take the ship off of the wave base. Because then the penguins wouldn’t fall over. This game rocks.

What are some games that you love to play with the whole family?

***I was given a free copy of Don’t Rock the Boat at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair in order to play and review it. I was not paid money to say nice things about the game, nor was I compensated in any other way.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Product Review: PAIRSinPEARS

Yes, it is Monday, and for today’s Memory to Make You Laugh, you can head over to my WordPress blog to read about back pain. But here at Quirky Chrissy, I’ve got an exciting post lined up.

As many of you may remember, I was invited to attend a really spectacular event in Chicago, last month: The Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

At this event, I was invited to meet with game inventors, visit booths, and learn about new and popular games. I was also given a variety of free products to try out, and write about for you, my loyal readers!

One of the games that  I was very excited to play was Pairs in Pears, by the creators of Bananagrams.

If you haven’t heard of Bananagrams, shame on you! It’s the perfect game for word ninjas or word ninjas in training. I first played it when I was student teaching. We used it in the resource room on Fridays. The students loved the break from homework or silent reading, and I loved playing with words. It worked out really well. But this review is about Pairs in Pears, so I will leave Bananagrams for another day.

PAIRSinPEARS® (Suggested Retail Price: $14.95- Ages 3+)

PAIRSinPEARS or PAIRS in PEARS

What an excellent game. Much like its counterpart, Bananagrams, PAIRSinPEARS is a word ninja game. With several play options, this game is absolutely perfect for a variety of ages. The letter tiles are larger than those found in Bananagrams, which makes it easier for younger (and older) eyes.

As some of you may know, I spent the last two summers teaching reading comprehension, a position that I am incredible proud of and humbled by. I worked for a truly amazing company that not only worked with students who were sometimes considered “unteachable,” but we were able to teach them to read, spell, and write. My 5-year-old niece, The Princess, and my 7-year-old godson, Little A (or A, for short), both have some difficulty with the process of reading/writing. Now, they’re relatively young, but with my knowledge of literacy, I know that it’s important to boost their reading skills younger rather than waiting. PAIRSinPEARS is the perfect game to help Auntie Chrissy.

Kids don’t want to feel like learning is a chore. Especially when they’re hanging out with their favorite aunt. A loves games. Loves them. Like me, he developed the love early on, and it was evident that most of the grown ups in his life were not down with playing games. As I once spent many a Life games playing with my dog, I feel that it’s my duty to play with A and teach him about the joys of gaming. So a few weeks ago, I brought PAIRSinPEARS out to play with him.

The beauty of Pairs in Pears is the versatility. There are 8 different formal activities documented in the game rules, and 2 different competitive games (with varying degrees of difficulty for varying ages/reading levels).

A and I played the basic competitive version with my cousin, Rachel (A’s mom). I would be lying if I said we played fair…We definitely let A win, because with him it’s a learning game, and we want him to know he’s doing well (and we want him to have fun…and winning is definitely fun). The basic play for this game involves dividing up the letters equally among players, and racing to see who can build cross words faster. Here were A’s favorite words to use. Cute right?

PAIRSinPEARS Toy Joy

A required a little help, and it took him a while to get the basic idea of the game, but once he was in a groove, he was all over the place. he loved rhyming words because it was easier for him to find the same letters, so we let him play that way for a while…Then we upped the ante, by telling him that all of the letters had to be different. In addition to building his spelling skills, we were working on his vocabulary, too! By the end of the day, A was begging to come back and play more games with us.

PAIRS in PEARS Review

Definitely related to me…

A few days later, I had The Princess over. We were talking about school (she’s in Kindergarten) and she told me it was really hard for her. She said that she could read the letters, but had trouble spelling the words. Of course, I broke out Pairs in Pears to play-after I told her my secret: “Auntie Chrissy is really really good with words. She knows how to teach spelling and reading, so that you can be the smartest girl ever. Do you want me to help you?”

Her eyes got really big and wide before she said yes. (What can I say? I’ve got a magical way with the kiddos.) So we started playing some of the basic skill building activities that are discussed in the PAIRSinPEARS instruction booklet. We played Letter Hunt (in which I tell her what to look for, she finds it and uses it for whatever purpose. She found her name and spelled that. She found the vowels. She found a few other short words that she knew.) It was fun for her. And she was showing me what she knew.

Then we played Sound it Out, where I showed her letters and she sounded them out, telling me words that started with the same letter. She loved that game too. After a little while, she did get tired of letters…I could tell because she looked at me and said, “Auntie Chrissy…I think we should let my brother play with the letters.” He’s 2. You see where this is going. But it’s understandable. Her brain was working super hard! I used to have a student who would like at me with an adorable little lisp and say, “Yoooouuuuu make me so tiiiiiiiwed. Yoooouuuuu make my bwain huwt.”

All in all, PAIRSinPEARS is an AWESOME game. Both The Princess and Little A will be returning to our place to play the fun word game that they just learned. Their parents are thrilled, because it’s helping them learn, and they just think they’re playing games! I’m not sure that I would recommend this for a 3-year-old, but my 5 and 7 y/o niece and nephew think it’s a great game. As an educator, an auntie, and a gamer, I think so too.

You can buy a copy of PAIRSinPEARS for yourself at Barnes & Noble or Target (in stores and online!) With a low price of $14.95, this would make an awesome stocking stuffer for any kid or kid at heart!

**The opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. The fine people at Bananagrams DID give me a free copy of PAIRSinPEARS to sample and review. They DID NOT compensate me for my opinion in any way, shape, or form.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!