Category Archives: Gaming
I’ve been told more than once that I need to provide a list of the games I own. Here it is. I will update as the collection grows.
*Indicates most recent update – Last updated 1-16-18
Above and Below
Age of Discovery
Alhambra – Big Box w/all expansions+
American Trivia Game
Apples to Apples
Axis and Allies
Blockbuster Movie Game
Bohnanza – Gangters & Ladies
Candidate: Presidential Election Game
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers
Castles of Burgundy Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Caverna the Cave Farmers*
Cranium Turbo Edition
Dice City w/Expansion
Dominoes (Duel – 7 Wonders)*
Empire Builder (original)
Eye To Eye
Game of Thrones
Giza: The Great Pyramid
Hit The Deck
Kill Doctor Lucky
Killer Bunnies and the Journey to Jupiter
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot + Expansions
Killer Bunnies and the Conquest of the Magic Carrot
Kingdom Builder w/Crossroads Expansion
King’s Forge w/Queen’s Jubilee Expansion & Apprentices Expansion
Leonardo Da Vinci
Monopoly Deluxe Edition
Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition
The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin
Old and New Testament Trivia
Oregon Trail The Card Game
Orleans w/Trade and Intrigue Expansion*
Pass the Popcorn
Phase 10 Pictionary
Presidential Election Game
Price Is Right (The)
Princes of Florence
Race for the Galaxy (with Gathering Storm expansion)
Save Dr. Lucky
Scene It Simpsons
Settlers of Canaan
Settlers of Catan
Catan Adventures – Candamir: The First Settlers
Catan Adventures – Elasund: The First City
Catan Geographies – Germany
Catan Histories – Settlers of America: Trails to Rails
Catan Histories – Settlers of the Stone Age
Catan Histories – Struggle for Rome
Rivals for Catan (card game)
Settlers of Catan w/5-6 Player Expansion
Settlers of Catan Cities and Knights Expansion w/5-6 player expansion
Settlers of Catan Merchants of Europe
Settlers of Catan Pirates and Explorers Expansion
Settlers of Catan Seafarers Expansion w/5-6 player expansion
Settlers of Catan Star Trek Edition w/Federation Space Expansion
Settlers of Catan Traders & Barbarians Expansion w/5-6 player expansion
Starfarers of Catan
Struggle for Catan (card game)
Seven Wonders Leaders Expansion
Seven Wonders Cities Expansion
Seven Wonders Wonder Pack
Seven Wonders Tower of Babel Expansion
Seven Wonders Duel*
Sheriff of Nottingham*
Small World: Days of Wonder
Small World Be Not Afraid Expansion
Small World Cursed Expansion
Small World Grand Dames Expansion
Sort It Out
Star Wars Trivia Game
Such & Such
The Big Taboo
Ten Days In Europe
Terraforming Mars w/Elysium Expansion (new board)*
Things (The Game of)
Three Cheers for Master
Ticket to Ride – Europe
Tis the Season Christmas Trivia
20th Anniversary Edition
1980’s Master Game
Bet You Know It
Pop Culture DVD
Pop Culture DVD 2
Trivial Pursuit (original)
Truth Be Told
Walk The Dogs
Why Did The Chicken
Would You Rather…?
You’ve Been Sentenced
(approx. 213 games)*
Wish List (Awesome Games I’d Like To Own)
Catan Ancient Egypt
Lewis & Clark
New York Slice*
Settlers of Catan Pirates and Explorers 5-6 player expansion
Prospect List (Games I’ve Never Played But Would Like To Try)
City of Thieves
Gnomes of Zavandor
Ora & Labora
*Indicates most recent update – Last updated 1-16-18
As I’ve said before, games are a great way to get to know those mysterious creatures around you. As you’re gathering around the table this season, here’s some top picks I recommend. (If you’re looking for last minute gifts, they’d be good too, but you’re probably too late for ordering online.)
The Premise: Players take turns as the guesser. The player reads a question aloud from the stack provided. All other players write down their personal answer to this query. All answers are then gathered up and read to the guesser by the person on their right. The guesser must then try to surmise who wrote which answer. For each correct guess, s/he moves forward on the game board.
This simple premise creates an abundance of laughter and fun. Questions vary from serious to silly, thought-provoking to fluff. It is amazing how much players can learn about each other, or find out how much they already know.
# of Players: 3-6 – The game includes six tokens. Less than five and it’s not very enjoyable because there aren’t a lot of answers in the mix. However, up to eight is still manageable and fun. Get creative and use pieces from another game, or coins, as game pieces, to include a couple more people. They want to have fun, too.
Time: 90 minutes. However, this will depend on whether or not you included those extra people. This can be a one hour game, depending on the number of players. If you have a chatty group that likes to discuss each and every answer (which can be a lot of fun) then allow two or more hours.
Variations: I strongly recommended deviating from the provided instructions for movement. For each correct answer, the guesser it told to move one space on the board. Make this reward two spaces per correct guess. With slower movement, the game takes much longer, often too long for most players.
A second recommended change is the “end game.” The given rule is, after landing on the finish space, the guesser must get all answers to the next question correct in order to win. This is usually too difficult, especially when playing with a larger group. A better rule is to make the player get half or a majority correct.
Who should play? This works well for groups of people who already know each other well, or for those who want to get to know each other better. It is also a great way to help a newcomer or two jump in and get the scoop on everyone else, as well as reveal their own personalities. There is enough competition for gamers who enjoy that aspect, but simple and laid-back enough for less serious gamers. Really, a great game for any fun-loving group.
Compatibility The Premise: Each player receives an identical set of 54 cards illustrated with a variety of pictures and texts. On the board is placed a stack of topic cards. Players take turns being the matcher. A player begins his turn by drawing a topic. Then, he looks through his personal deck to see which cards he would associate with that topic.
For example, I draw the word “family.” I see there is a card with a bride and groom pictured. I also see one with a baby, and another has a crayon drawing of a house and people, and so on. I choose the top five I would personally associate with the word I’ve drawn. I probably pass up the one with skyscrapers and another showing a dolphin. Then again, who knows?
Meanwhile, the other players are searching through their decks, which are the same as mine. They are trying to decide what they think I will be choosing. What would I associate with that word? They will place five cards face down in front of them, and I will place mine. After everyone is finished selecting, cards are revealed and players are rewarded with board movement for any matches they have with me. (Some words are harder than others.)
This process really takes players into the inner workings of each other’s minds. It can be very revealing to see what associations people make! This can also be a good method of revealing how well players know each other.
# of Players: 6 – Fun with as few as four. Due to the cards required to play, extra players cannot be added. (Unless you’d like to create an entire extra set of cards for them – now that’s devotion!)
Time: 60 minutes. Keep in mind, though, this will depend on the players. If there are some indecisive minds in the bunch, the card-selection process will take longer for each round, lengthening the game. If things seem to be dragging along, a timer can be added, allowing 2 minutes for choosing cards.
Variations: The above rules are the variation, but it is the best way to play. The game rules actually show this to be played in teams with special rules for individual play. Participants are instructed to pair off, and instead of everyone attempting to match one player each round, teammates try to match each other and outscore the other team(s). This method is simply less fun. The focus is only on reading your teammate, is more frustrating, and less group-oriented, which does not work as well for this game.
Who should play? This one is also for groups who are already acquainted or those who aren’t. Again, some competitiveness is involved, but it’s also relaxed and fun-inspiring.
The Premise: Before beginning play, eight names are written on the board with a dry erase marker. These will include all players, and, if less than eight are playing, additional names of people all players are familiar with (mutual friends, famous people, etc). A role of the die determines which of these names is the subject each round. A question card is drawn. The card will pose an imaginiff question, such as:
Imaginiff (subject) were a home, which would (s)he be?
- Cabin in the woods
- Beach-front bungalow
- 2-story traditional
- Penthouse apartment
- Double-wide trailer
All players, including the subject, secretly vote which answer they deem most appropriate. All answers are then revealed simultaneously. The answer with the most votes wins, and everyone who voted for that choice is rewarded with board movement. What if the subject said something different than the winning answer? It doesn’t matter! The majority wins!
This is a fun and simple way to discover how players perceive themselves and each other. The resulting conversation can be quite humorous and insightful.
# of Players: 3-8 – Fairly lame with less than six due to the voting process of the game. Best with 8, so all names on the board are of those playing.
Time: 60 minutes. This could be quicker, but that would mean no debate over what the answer really should have been each time, which takes away some of the fun of the game.
Variations: If it bothers you that the majority wins rather than matching the subject’s answer, play to match the subject instead. Obviously, this method will not work if extra non-player names are used on the board, since the extras won’t be voting.
Who should play? Very little competitive edge to this game. Definitely more for a light time of laughs. A group of any age looking to get to know each other.
I have found that gaming is the secret passageway to one’s personality. If you really want to get to know someone, play a game with them. Yes, you can try the yawn-inducing mundane questions: ‘What do you do for a living?’ ‘Where do you live?’ Oh, and ‘Did you grow up in this area?’ (That’s a good one.) You will gather many tidbits of information and be capable of writing a very factual report on the person by the end of the night.
Or…you can swim into deeper waters and find out how they perform when asked to draw the word “hallucination,” or imitate Jim Carrey, or get a teammate to say the word “goodbye” without saying “hello.” Learn the inner workings of their brain as you discover what they associate with the color red, what job they feel they were made for, or what they see in an inkblot. Glean their heart state as you witness their ability to win, to lose, and to work as a team. Analyze their skills as you discover their aptitudes for learning, negotiation, and strategy. Note their idiosyncrasies or diagnose disorders as they arrange game pieces and playing cards. (Mine are always very orderly.)
It really is a unique view into the depths of another’s psyche. Someone should have told Freud he didn’t need a couch, just a deck of Bicycle cards or a board with a Free Parking space.
Games induce laughter, thought, and communication at a new level. They help reveal different sides of self that mere conversation over coffee cannot draw out.
So, the next time you are faced with new faces, or even old ones, do yourself a favor and take the shortcut. Deal ‘em, roll ‘em, set ‘em up. It’s always a win.