Well it really snowed here Friday. After our two snow days last month with absolutely NO snow, we finally got a snow day with snow . But what to do with two kids home all day? No chance to read, so we had a neighborhood game day. Three of my friends came over and brought their kids. Kids stayed upstairs (for the most part) and we moms stayed in the kitchen watching the news and playing games. So I thought it would be nice to cover some of the games that we played and what we thought of them.
First we played Spoons. This is just really just musical chairs with plastic spoons and a deck of cards. You basically just pass a discard pile around until someone gets four of a kind and grabs a spoon from the center of the table . Then all the other players stop what they are doing and grab a spoon too. Ah, but there is one less spoon than players. You have to pay attention to the spoons as much as to the cards in your hand. When we played, the winner never said anything and just slyly grabbed a spoon. This was my first time playing and by the time I looked up from my silly cards, everyone else had their spoon and was just looking at me smiling. Okay, so I figured it out quick. For the rest of the rounds, I picked and discarded with mild interest and kept one eye on the spoons the whole time. It didn’t help much. I never won. But I had fun.
We moved on to Ruckus after that. We had a new player this time and it is always fun to watch the face of someone trying to figure this game out the first time. For us, this is the all time favorite. I have brought this game to the girl scout cookie lottery to help pass the time. It is so crazy to watch that most people are compelled to join in. Kids, grown-ups, even my non-game-playing husband will play this with me and my older daughter. This game goes fast. Everyone plays at the same time so there is no waiting your turn. You play until 100 points. Whoever gets it wins and game over. But we hardly ever add it all up. We just keep going. This is a “grabbing the piles of cards across the table” game. There is a tiny bit of strategy and a lot of laughing.
Along the same lines of Ruckus is Ratuki. Where Ruckus is about matching and stealing same of a kind cards, Ratuki is a numbers grabbing game. You must start piles with a one and end them with a five, but in between the one and five you can go up or down. So you can put a two on a one, and then a one on a two. Up and down we go until someone puts on a five and grabs the whole pile. Who ever has grabbed the most cards when someone goes out and yells Ratuki! wins. The numbers are written in a variety of ways including dice faces, Roman numerals, and fingers on a hand. Okay this was the most hysterical game of the day. Why? Our poor neighbor kept moving her head back and forth with the same card in her hand the whole first game. I was sitting next to her and couldn’t see her face but I am sure that at some point her mouth was hanging open. She was so funny. I laughed so hard my face hurt. Literally. That is the first time THAT has ever happened.
On to calmer games (no grabbing required). We played Skip-bo which is a stock pile card game. I really like this game and it is an oldie but goody in our house. It is slower paced and we all take turns. It was a nice change of pace and easy to have a conversation while we played. Then Racko. Racko is a real thinking game. You get ten cards and put them in a rack that holds them upright. They each have a number and your job is to resort your rack so that the 10 cards are in numerical order. They don’t have to be sequential. But this is really harder than it seems. There are also special cards such as “swtich any card with a card from another players rack” or “switch any two cards in your own rack”. These cards can really mess you up. This game is the most fun with two people. For me at least.
Word games came next. I am not a fan of word games, so these were the last ones we played. First we did Scrabble Slam. This card game is everything regular Scrabble is not. It is fast. You only make four letter words (no, not that kind). There is no scoring. The game starts with a four letter word made up of four letter cards. Then the rest of the cards are dealt to the players. Everyone plays at once. You must change that original word one card at a time to make another word. But be quick because someone else may make a word that messes up your word. The cards are double sided and have different letters on each side. The player that uses all their cards first wins. Quick! Simple! Fun if you like word games.
Quiddler is another word game. It takes a bit longer and is played in hands. First hand you use three cards, second four, and so on until last hand with with eight. You can make as many words as you can as long as they are two letters at least. So if you are playing with 8 cards you can make four 2 letter words. Letters are assigned points and the player with the most ponts at the end of the 8 hands wins. If you can’t make any word in a hand, those cards count against you. We played this late in the day and the kids were going crazy. Only played once. Not my favorite, but we will try it again. The cards are beautiful. For both of these word games we used the dictionary on the iPhone to confirm words were actually words. We’re moms remember, our brains don’t work like they used to.s
Last game of the day was Pig Pile. Oooh how cute. Forty little rubber piggies. Eighty funny cards epicting chubby piggies. This game would have been great. Should have been great. But the rules were written in pig latin. We are intelligent, educated moms. The game is recommended for 8years and up. We COULD NOT figure it out. I went to Amazon.com to read the reviews. One reviewer said her 4 1/2 year old loved the game and always kicked their butts. One six year old said she loved it and played with her friends all the time. Okay, now I am feeling challenged. We googled for some new rules and found boardgamegeek.com. This site has message board posts about the crazy Pig Pile rules. While I am looking for help, my friends are tryng to figure it out. I heard a lot of “wait…. what if…… how do I……. can we do this”, and one loud “I just want a darn piggie!!!!”. This game was described as a “light and quick” card game. We gave up for the day, but are determined to conquer the pile of pigs in the future. And don’t worry my friend got her piggie.
It’s all fun and games until someone slides their minivan down your driveway and takes out your cable box. I’m just saying!