Stuff By Bez

In A Bind Jnr

In A Bind Jnr - IG Awards 2017

Best Family Game Award: 

Bronze

UK Games Expo Players Choice Award: 

Bronze

Number of players: 

3-8

Game duration: 

10-20mins

Country of origin: 

United Kingdom

Created by: 

Published by: 

Draw a card! Read it aloud! Now do what it says... Those are all the rules of the game! As the games go on you will balance cards on your body and contort yourself. You're In A Bind, but you still need to draw your next card!

In a Bind Jr takes around 15 minutes. It's best for 3-6 people but you can play with even bigger groups by combining decks and splitting into teams. Each card has an instruction. All are supremely simple alone, but the combinations are not! The goal is survival! If you can't (or forget to) follow an instruction, you get a warning. 3 strikes and you're out!


Here's what Bez had to say about In A Bind Jnr!

1. What does the game involve?

In a Bind Junior is a game about holding positions, balancing cards, and remembering to perform particular noises or actions on your turn.
On your turn, you draw a card, read it aloud and then do what is says for the rest of the game. Many of them involve balancing cards or keeping parts of your body touching. As you get more, these become increasingly difficult and will probably make you eventually lose as you struggle to pick up a card.
Some cards are about speaking slowly or making noises on your turn and these add an element of memory and are just funny!
The cards that are about performing actions on your turn are a cross between the 2 - you may struggle to clap your hands if you already have one hand on a knee and cards balanced on your arm! Seeing everyone contorted and making silly noises is always a hoot!

2. What skills can you build/gain from the game?

The game has really helped some children learn to read, as there's a fair vocabulary required. Whilst the pictures really help, the few duplicated cards and simple lettershapes help children become familiar with reading words. Reading the card out loud is one of the 3 things you must do on your turn so it's actually a strong incentive for children to learn in a fun environment.
There's also co-operative and team-based modes. When distributing cards amongst people, you will need to understand who would find a given task the easiest. Understanding how cards might combine really helps with problem solving and empathic intelligence.

3. What's your favourite tactic or are there any tricks you can teach us?

If you're feeling sore, then you can always stop playing. Please don't feel bad. It's a silly game, so children seem to feel less annoyed about losing and you get to watch others being silly, which is always good.
If you're determined to win, then spectacles help. Use your mouth to pick up cards. Another trick is to slide one to the edge of the table and then 'flip' it over.

4. Do you have any funny/heartwarming stories about a game of In A Bind Jnr?

This is a Jr adaptation of the original game & expansions, redone to be enjoyed by folk who are a bit too young to know what a pinky or 'middle finger' is. My 2 nieces were the main playtesters and one of them just wasn't interested in books or reading. She knew how to write her name - the problem was that reading just wasn't interesting to her. In this game, she was so excited to get a chance to slowly read things to her (slightly) older sister and me! Because of the turn-based nature, she never got fatigued and it was always a joy for her to tell us what she had to do.

Wibbell++

Best IG Game of the Year (BIGGY): 

Nominated

Best Family Game Award: 

Bronze

Best Literacy Game Award: 

Bronze

UK Games Expo Players Choice Award: 

Nominated

Number of players: 

1-15

Game duration: 

2-45mins

Country of origin: 

United Kingdom

Created by: 

Published by: 

Distributed by: 

Wibbell++ is a deck of cards featuring pairs of letters. In the first-edition deck, there were rules for 5 games, but more are continually being added and developed.

Wibbell is a word game with a catchup mechanism that means everyone is always competing. Race to shout words containing at least one letter from each of the 2 cards in the centre, and at least one letter from each face-up card in front of yourself! The game gets progressively harder as you do well, so adults and a 5-year old can play together and both compete.

 Grabbell involves quickly grabbing cards that match either the border design or a letter. When there are few cards left on the table, everyone slams their cards down to secure the bonus 10 points! This can be a great way to increase familiarity with lettershapes.

Faybell is a co-operative storytelling activity. Letters are a guiding restriction in the key story elements, how you start each sentence and keywords used within each sentence. 

Phrasell is a partygame, ideally played at large gatherings. Everyone uses 4 letters as the initials for a phrase that they invent. Some of the most amusing phrases have been created by the tiniest members of families (8).

Alphabetickell is an abstract game that involves putting things in alphabetical order and deciding how many letters you're willing to skip - given that you will never again be able to use those letters. There's a fair amount of probability and analysis involved to play well, but as it's a turn-based game, younger children can be offered a bit of help and it's a simple enough framework for them to start thinking about numeracy and probabilities.

What I'm most proud of is that the various games test a wide variety of skills. Wibbell is a super-accessible game that requires you to construct words, and have an idea of what letters those words use. Grabbell is just about matching letters or shapes. Faybell and Phrasell test your creativity. Alphabetickell might get kids to start thinking about numbers and probability. 

Wibbell can help improve your spelling and vocabulary, and can be played even before your spelling is perfect. Like Grabbell, it also encourages fast thinking.

Grabbell helps increase familiarity with lettershapes. It promotes speed of thinking, dexterity and multi-tasking (as you need to focus not only on making matches, but also how many cards are left on the table)!

Faybell will improve not only creativity and language competence but also empathy - as you invent 'keywords' for the next player to use. You can either help guide them or offer a funny restriction. There is also an element of memory involved, as you remember the main story elements and keep the story in your head.

Phrasell is fairly demanding and will test vocabulary, and your ability to play with grammar and words in creative ways. Thinking of words that start with a particular letter, mixing them together in a way to make some sense, can be equally tricky and satisfying!

Alphabetickell will improve familiarity with the alphabet and critical thinking. If played strategically, it will improve numeracy and introduce older children to probability.