card games

An Interview with... Matt Knott and Anna Whitehead - Ingenium Games

WordStacker

Last year, we came across WordStacker; a fantastic word game which cleverly involves stacking, extending and mixing up words to your advantage! After creating their first successful word game, Matt and Anna from Ingenium Games talk about bringing a few new releases to our gaming collections and how they became inspired.

1. Give us a bit of an insight to your company. How long have you been producing/designing games?

There are 2 of us, Matt Knott and Anna Whitehead, We're pretty much a start-up, we've been going just over 12 months. Matt started out at Hasbro in 2006 producing and designing games and then moved up north in 2008 forming his own Interactive Media company. Since then, Matt's been yearning to get back into gaming. Anna worked in the licensing industry for Wesco before pursuing her goal of seeing her games published. We met about 18 months ago after an introduction by a mutual friend. We decided to work together on a few ideas and within a few months had our first finished game, WordStacker.

2. What or who inspired you to start your gaming journey and why?

Matt: I love playing. As a designer, I play with everything. I've always been a maker too, whether it's sculpture, architectural drawings or a meal, I've always enjoyed the process of making. Making games is just about the most extraordinary thing I make. I get a lot of joy from seeing something completely new emerge from the development work we do. If I was to try and pinpoint who inspired me to games, that's easy - it's my Dad. He's not a big gamer at all, but when I was a kid he would play whatever I wanted - he's also my biggest fan...even at the tender age of 39. I also work in design and interactive design and production so I'm a bit obsessed as to how people play with stuff, whether it's a piece of card, a tablet or touchscreen - I want people to feel wowed by anything I design.

Anna: I'm a board game hobbyist and go to any number of gaming groups around Manchester where I live. I was inspired to take my game ideas forward by member of my neighbourhood games group who'd playtested my handmade prototypes many times. It's a great group of friends and I loved to see them laughing and talking together, and I want to create that reaction myself. WordStacker also passed the 'Mum Test', which is no small beans, given that she's been playing word games since before I was born!

3. What games do you have available for us to play today?

WordStacker is our first game. It's a great 'family round the table' game and isn't just for the clever-clogs like the other word games out there. We've had loads of positive feedback by everyone who's played - Parents see it as a really good way of engaging their kids with language and it's also been 'Recommended' by the Good Toy Guide. We're working on 3 new games; a new member for the WordStacker family and 2 brand new games.

4. How did you get the ideas for your games?

Our ideas come from all sorts of sources. Matt enjoys building games from interesting stories. We're working on a really interesting game idea based in India at the moment. Anna focuses on mechanisms and techniques of play. We seem to dovetail well as a result. WordStacker was inspired by word games on a newspaper puzzle page. We created a game which is competitive for younger and older players and which promotes interaction, something we feel is lacking in many word games.

5. What games do you play and which game is your all time favourite?

Anna: That's a tricky one! Being a game fan I don't know if I could name an all-time favourite. There's always time for Dobble, and stacking and balancing games like Jenga are great fun. If I'm in for a longer game then it's Power Grid or Alhambra. There are a lot of games for teams around at the moment, Codenames is great fun too.

Matt: My favourite games always come from the experience. Games bring people together and even the more mainstream games can be fun - the mood is often set with the people. Two games spring to mind - 'No Thanks' - I played this in a bar in Boston and it was great fun - and 'Jamaica', lots of pirate trash talk!

6. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

We've got a number of games in development and we're working on some different formats too - can't say too much about that though. As well as the 3 games we're working on, we've got some new ideas for games for Jan 2018, we're working toward getting our own range of games up to 20 as soon as we can.

7. And finally...any words of wisdom/advice to new and old gamers?

I think the best advice is to just get stuck in. There are games to suit every interest and ability. Try going to a shop with a wide range of games and talking to the staff for recommendations. There are also board gaming groups all over the country, have a look online and go along. Board gamers are a friendly bunch, and it won't be long before you've found a game you love (and people to play it with!)

Click here to see our game overview for WordStacker.

You can purchase WordStacker from our website here.

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An Interview With... Michael Salmon - IT Games

An Interview With... Michael Salmon - IT Games

Discovered at last year's UK Games Expo, the KIX football card game blew us away in its similarities to an actual game of football! It's a simple game to pick up, yet the more advanced gamers will be more than happy with the amount of strategy and thought that's involved. We were delighted when KIX creator Michael Salmon from IT Games spoke to us about the game and told us a little bit more about himself and his influences!

1. Give us a bit of an insight to your company. How long have you been producing/designing games?

IT Games is only a year old and KIX is the first title it's launched. KIX has been in development for nearly 10 years; tested and tested again and re-designed so many times to what we have today.

2. What or who inspired you to start your gaming journey and why?

I've always loved playing games and have always been annoyed if rules didn't work brilliantly in classic games. I would often tweak the rules and try different things to try to improve the game! Most of all, I love games of skill with less luck involved so that it becomes a fairer contest that you can be genuinely competitive with. Basically, I love competing and winning where I can do so fairly.

3. What games do you have available for us to play today?

KIX is the only game available to play. A fast paced end-to-end football card game.

4. How did you get the ideas for your games?

For KIX I had a friend who loved football and we were bored and decided to invent a football card game. I then decided to take it on and develop it more, making it flow and feel like a game of football which is inherently competitive. To do this, I wanted to make sure it didn't rely on luck, but skill and trickery, yet it is still really simple to play. I think I've created a game mechanic that does this well.

5. What games do you play and which game is your all time favourite?

Chess is the game I'd most like to have invented. It's so simple yet so complex with endless ways it can turn out. A real competitive battle of minds that is very reminiscent of a sport in the contest that it creates. I also love some of the new collaborative and tactical boardgames like Settlers or Ticket To Ride.

6. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I have an almost ready prototype for a cricket game that I'm really enjoying playing and testing right now, and hope to launch soon. It's a little geeky, yes, but simple, tactical and fun with all the tension of tight run chases and lots of bluffing dynamic in the gameplay. Other sporting games are on the cards (excuse the pun) and maybe an off the wall board game too.

7. And finally...any words of wisdom/advice to new and old gamers?

For old timers, if a game is getting a bit dull, then change the rules to freshen it up. Think about bringing in a limitation somewhere or develop an undeveloped possibility that fits the context. For those new to games, start with the simpler games that are a few years old and are universally enjoyed; if you like them you can up the complexity as much as you like.

Click here to read our game overview for KIX.

You can purchase KIX from our website here.

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - The Story So Far!

12 Days of Gaming

We've had an amazing few weeks for our 12 Days of Gaming promotion and have so far seen a great selection of new and exclusive games! We'd hate you to miss out on these games, so here's a quick look back. Here you'll find links to our overviews and how you can purchase.

It doesn't stop there... we have LOADS more new and exciting games to share with you over the next few weeks so keep a look out!


Creature College - Happy Otter Games

In Creature College, you take the place of a super brainy kid acquiring and battling with incredible creatures to win the prodigious Creature College Cup. 

Bid for your creatures, develop your research lab, fight epic battles and complete your secret mission to thwart your enemies and be victorious!

Read our Creature College overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


KIX: The Football Card Game - IT Games

KIX is a fun, simple to learn and quick to play tactical two player football card game. 

Master the easy and quick 5-a-side game first then move on to the full 11-a-side game by adding a few more rules to make the game play and feel more like football. Half time, corners, tactical substitutions and penalties all feature in this end to end football card game!

Read our KIX overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


Baby Blues - Jumping Turtle Games

Every player runs a day care centre with five little babies. Your only task is to keep all babies happy, but this isn't easy.

The other players will do everything in their power to make your babies cry. Dirty diapers, stolen pacifiers and destroyed baby mobiles are just some of the challenges you will face.

A game we don't advise you to play if you have the... Baby Blues!

Read our Baby Blues overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


Baby Clues - Jumping Turtle Games

When the lights switched back on, the prized milk collection was gone. The suspects are a bunch of incognito babies that try to sneak them out of the mansion.

Can you expose your opponent's secret identity and hide yours?

Retrieve 5 milk bottles and win the game!

Read our Baby Clues overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


Race to the North Pole - Playmore Games

It's the dawn of the 20th century and North Pole, one of the final frontiers, is yet to be conquered by man. Your adventure begins as your expedition arrives on the frozen shores of the Arctic. You will have to adjust to the constant storms and survive competitors' tricks to be remembered as the conqueror of the North Pole.

So gear up, you have an unforgettable journey ahead of you!

Read our Race to the North Pole overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


WordStacker - Ingenium Games

A word-wrangling game of high stacks and sabotage! Play anywhere, set up quicky and start stacking!

Create new words every time you play, win points and stack your way to victory. But beware, you may get sabotaged by your opponents because anyone can win this game of strategy and wordplay. Exciting, absorbing and infinitely replayable!

Read our WordStacker overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


Glimpse - Legend Express

The fun, family game of friendship!

Two teams compete to make friends through acting, miming, singing, dancing, describing and generally being silly!

Read our Glimpse overview or you can purchase the game from our online store.


Also, don't forget...

There are loads of opportunities to enter our huge prize draw! After each game overview we post, we'll follow it up with a question or challenge about that particular game. Be sure to comment, like, share and tag to get more entries, and you could be the winner of a bunch of great games, both old and new!

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Djeco

12 Days of Gaming - Djeco

Today's three (yes, three!) fantastic additions to the 12 Days of Gaming all come from the amazing Djeco; a company whose games are known and played across the globe. Read on for some great family fun games!

Mosquito

Those pesky mosquitos! In this game of speed and observation, your aim is to win as many lady bird tokens as possible. You'll succeed if you're fast enough.... This great little game is suitable from age 5 and up for 2 to 4 players and will take around 15 minutes for a game. It looks great and is really simple to pick up and play. So, what's in the box and how does it play?

We love the colourful game box and contents which are really rather cute! Inside the box, you'll get 48 game cards which feature images of the figures used in the game in their natural habitat! (Well, mostly...) You'll also recieve one flower, mosquito and apple figure, and 4 bee figures. As well as these, there are also 25 ladybird tokens which you need to collect in order to win the game.

The playing cards and game pieces are very beautiful. The game concept is easy and fun for everyone to play!

- Amazon Customer review

The set-up is very simple; the flower, mosquito and apple figures are placed in the middle and all cards are distributed to the players which are then placed face down in front of each player. Each player also receives a bee figure (which will be useful for the game...) and a ladybird token. 

Players now turn over the first card in their pile simultaneously. Depending on the card that is revealed, players must do one of the following:

  • Tap the Mosquito
  • Put their Bee on the Flower
  • Catch the Apple

If there is no card in common, nothing happens. The fastest player for each of these actions receives a Ladybird token. If a player doesn't make the action quick enough, they have to give up a Ladybird token! The first player to 5 tokens wins the game.

You need to be very fast at this game and we love how it can improve your physical reflexes and coordination! A great family game that will test your memory and also make you realise that insects can be rather fun...

Click here to be taken to our online store where you can purchase Mosquito; stock is limited!


Bla Bla Bla

Here comes a game of word association and stories! Our second choice from Djeco brings a considerable amount humour and discussion than your usual card game and it's one we would definitely recommend! With three different types of gameplay and an infinite number of possibilities, this game is definitely one to look at. 

To play the game, you'll need to have a spare 20 minutes and be at least 7 years of age. It's also suitable for 3 to 5 players, which is definitely enough for a few laughs at the same time. Inside the box, there are a whopping 240 cards with some ace artwork, including animals, places, things, you name it! The is also a quirky little die in there too which determines which of the three gameplay types you'll play in that round.

Djeco games introduce new concepts in a simple and fun way... it's learning that's fun!

- The Toy Factory

The aim of the game is to collect the most cards. Players must decide at the beginning of the game whether the game is stopped after a certain length of time or when the maximum number of cards is reached. Each player receives 5 cards and the rest remains in a pile. The game can now begin!

The first player rolls the die to find out which game they'll be playing that round. This could be either:

  • Card Association - players must associate one of their cards with a card that is overturned by the judge.
  • Storyline - players select 2 cards from their hand to create a story with the card turned over by the judge. Or;
  • Chinese Portrait - players choose the card from their hand that best represents themselves!

This great game encourages discussion, creativity and quick thinking from all players. We love the variety of gameplay in the fact that there are three very different yet very fun alternatives which are selected by using the die.

Click here to be taken to our online store where you can purchase Bla Bla Bla; stock is limited!


Folanimos

The final game we chose from Djeco is hilarious for the youngsters and very silly indeed! A game of observation and speed, this delightful addition is sure to put a smile on anyone's face, and it's a little trickier than it first seems! It definitely looks appealing however and would be a great one to add to any gaming collection. What sound would these peculiar animals make?!

This simple yet brilliant game is a quick 10 minute one for 2 to 4 players and your aim is to win the most cards. There are 24 cards and 24 tiles which are split into heads and bodies; the game will create random 'half and half' animals for you to giggle at!

They create fun, interesting and magical games and toys which stimulate your child's imagination.

- Bird Kids.co.uk

To play the game, head cards are placed randomly above a set of body cards. After you've had a few laughs at how they look, it's time to get serious...(ish) Let's play!

Players take it in turn to draw a body card and place it down for the others to see. The race is then on! Players have to be the quickest to identify the animal on the table with the matching body to what has been drawn. If that's not enough pressure, players then have to be the first to imitate the noise of the animals head! Phew! The fastest player to make the correct animal cry gains the card as a 'point'. The player with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!

What a brilliantly fun little game, which encourages quick thinking and presents it in such an enjoyable way for all.

Click here to be taken to our online store where you can purchase Folanimos; stock is limited!


Competition time!

I'm sure you'll agree that today's three picks from Djeco are definitely worth a look. Make sure you keep a look out for a Djeco themed competition question on our social media; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entries into our prize draw. This year, you could win a HUGE games pack worth hundreds of pounds. This is not to be missed!

Please note, we're NOT including the games from our 12 Days of Gaming promotion in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

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WordStacker - Game Overview

WordStacker

Love words? So do we! This year's UK Games Expo introduced us to Ingenium Games; a company committed to designing and creating fun family games. WordStacker is a clever and easy to learn card game which involves stacking, extending and mixing up words in order to score points and win. The game is suitable for ages 10+ and for 2 to 6 players, but if you're a little younger, you don't need to miss out! We've tested the game out in schools with a variety of ages (we'll discuss this in a little while!) A game will last approximately 15-30 minutes; get ready to score, sabotage and win!

In the WordStacker game box, you'll find a selection of cards split into yellow Letter cards and blue Action cards. The Action cards can either score you points or sabotage your opponents! There are instructions on each card, so it's very simple to play an action and to follow the game. Be sure to think strategically in order to use them to your advantage!

It was great to see the children experimenting with new words and challenging themselves to be creative with letters.

- Good Toy Guide review

To set up the game, lay the correct number of Letter cards for the number of players in a grid. The words shown in the grid must be four letters long and these are the base words for the game, which you'll be able to stack on, extend and mix up. Six Letter cards and three Action cards are then dealt to each player and then the fun really begins! So...how do you play?

On your first turn, you can look at the cards you've been dealt and either keep them if you're happy with them, or change up to three Letter cards from the pack. Throughout the game, players take it in turns to do the following:

  • Play an Action card - players can use one or more Action cards on their turn and follow the instructions to gain points or make it difficult for the next player! A Score card is the only way to gain points and a Sabotage card makes it more difficult/stops your opponent from scoring!
  • Play a Letter card - even though doing this alone won't score you points, it can be done to change your hand or make it more difficult for your opponents, but bear in mind... it must be a real word!
  • You can always forfeit your turn; sometimes a completely new set of cards is the best and only option!

The lovely and thoughtful guys over at Ingenium Games have also created a series of How to Play videos which are extremely helpful and simple to follow; click here to watch!

The strategy element helped children who were not confident spellers use their tactics to outplay more linguistically able opponents.

- Good Toy Guide review

WordStacker is a brilliant tool for those who want to develop their skills in spelling and vocabulary. We've trailed the game in schools with children from a variety of ages; to include the younger ones in the game and to get them thinking about words, we took all Action cards out of the game and gave them the opportunity to make new words by adding a new letter at a time. The game encourages friendly competition (even cooperation!) and develops logic skills and strategy. A great one for families to enjoy together. Click here to see a great review of the game from the Good Toy Guide.


WordStacker is available in store and online. Click here to buy now!

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12 Days of Gaming - Jumping Turtle Games

12 Days of Gaming - Baby Blues & Baby Clues

Today, we have TWO new additions to our 12 Days of Gaming from Jumping Turtle Games; Baby Blues and Baby Clues! Why are the babies crying? Who stole all the milk?! Day care staff and detectives are needed, pronto! These are two really fun, baby-themed card games that are easy to learn and may even teach you a thing or two…

Baby Blues

In order to succeed in Baby Blues, you need to be able to handle the pressure! Imagine being in a day-care centre with the responsibility for five VERY needy babies; things won’t always be a walk in the park! Baby Blues is a 30 minute game for 2-4 players and is suitable for ages 8 and up. Happy babies mean more points, and more points mean success. Can you keep your youngsters smiling?

With simple rules and fun strategies and gameplay, this great little game will provide a great challenge for any family looking for a quick, fun game to add to their collection.

- Nigel Scarfe, Imagination Gaming 

Inside the game box there 110 cards including happy babies, unhappy babies and a variety of cards that may seriously alter their mood. Each player receives a set of happy babies, an unhappy deck of babies is separated and a drawing deck is placed nearby. Players are then dealt 5 cards from the drawing deck which could range from dirty nappies to bottles of milk. However, you need to be careful; these cards could make your baby happy or unhappy! After the simple set-up is complete, we’re ready to go!

Players have a number of options to choose from when it’s their turn to play:

  • Trade cards with another player

  • Play a negative card onto another player’s set of babies

  • Play as many positive cards as you wish onto your own set of babies

When a turn is complete, any negative cards that have been played on your happy babies will transform them into unhappy babies! And any unhappy babies that haven’t been cheered up will turn into crying babies; who said looking after babies was easy?! The game ends when a player has five very moody, crying babies.

We love the variety of this game and how you can completely sabotage another player’s daycare setting (if you’re mean enough!) The ability to swap cards can be quite tactical and in all honesty, some of the cards can be hilarious to use; those poor babies!

Click here to be taken to our online store where Baby Blues can be purchased. Get yours now before they disappear!

Baby Clues

Magnifying glass at the ready! Who stole the prized milk bottle collection? There are more unhappy, sneaky babies in Baby Clues and everyone's a suspect... can you retrieve the bottles and reveal your opponent’s secret identity?

Ok, which baby are you? The garlic hating vampire baby maybe? Some keen deduction skills and bluffing are needed in this great little award winning game.

- Nigel Scarfe, Imagination Gaming 

Baby Clues is a game of deduction (and the odd bit of bluffing!) Inside the box, you’ll find a number of Clue Cards, Escape Cards, Secret Identity Cards and milk bottle tokens, which are rather cute! The aim of the game is to try and reveal your opponent's true identity or hide yours for as long as possible. Every time you manage to escape or when you unmask your opponent, you’ll gain a milk bottle; the first player to obtain five milk bottles is the winner! Like Baby Blues, the game is suitable for ages 8 and up for 2 to 4 players and each game lasts approximately 20 minutes. Eagle eyes at the ready…

To start, each player receives a Reference Card and a Secret Identity Card which is kept secret throughout the game. Five Clue Cards are placed in the centre and 6 Escape Cards are placed at the side. During each player’s turn, they can either:

  • Pick a clue

  • Choose an escape card

  • Change a diaper! Or,

  • Unmask another player

But play carefully; make sure you’re absolutely certain no one is bluffing!

A fantastic little game of deception and deduction, Baby Clues is a great and hilarious family game to play. We especially love the milk bottles that player’s have to collect and how the odd bit of bluffing may win you the game... play cautiously!

Click here to be taken to our online store, where Baby Clues can be purchased. Get yours now before they disappear!


Competition Time!

We think Baby Blues and Baby Clues go hand in hand; more perfect additions for our 12 Days of Gaming! Keep a look out for the next competition question on our social media; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entries into our prize draw. This year, you could win a huge games pack with old and new games worth several hundred pounds; this is not to be missed!

Please note, we’re not including the games from the 12 Days of Gaming promotion in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

Click here to purchase Baby Blues

Or here to purchase Baby Clues!

Get yours now; stock is limited!

 

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KIX - Game Overview

KIX Game Overview

We’ve searched high and low over the last few months to find new games with something a bit different to offer. We’re always on the lookout for games we know people will love and will be able to relate to. Here is a great new addition to our collection; KIX - the football card game!

KIX is a great little card game by IT Games, which is simple enough to play for all, yet can also be tactical enough for the more advanced players to really think about. We first discovered the game at this year’s UK Games Expo in Birmingham, and we decided we definitely needed a game based around football which will appeal to such a wide audience. KIX is available in both male, female or mixed sets of cards and has a real football vibe to it. You can play 5-a-side or 11-a-side depending on the difficulty you want to try or the amount of time you have for a game. We tested out a quick 5-a-side game and the more lengthy 11-a-side to really get the feel of it; it’s a whole new ball game…

Two teams, 60 cards, and play that replicates the real game, moving up and down the pitch. KIX is easy to play for anyone 5 and up.

- Nigel Scarfe, Imagination Gaming. 

A single pack of KIX cards has 60 football cards, a half time card and ‘how to play’ card, and the packaging very cleverly doubles up as a holder for them all! Each card has a player, the position they play and also gives them an ability score for each position in the game. KIX plays like an actual game of football, combining midfield play, attack and defense in order to strike past the goalkeeper to score. Players determine their actions by scoring the highest ability in the different positions as shown on the top of their cards. Players will battle to score a goal through these steps:

  • Midfield vs Midfield

  • Attack vs Defense

  • Strike vs Goalkeeper

You’ll progress through these rounds until ‘goals’ are scored against the keeper. How many goals can you score in a 5 minute game?

We love KIX because it captures the excitement of a real game of football, in such a simple way. I enjoy how the box can be used to hold the cards, such an innovative idea, and it means you can pick up and play anywhere. Can't wait to see KIX expand into other sports! - Trustpilot Review

The great thing about this game is the way a variety of people can play, and the way it can become very tactical. The more games you have, the more you’ll start to think about when the best time to use a player is and who is the best player to score goals at the most crucial points.

If this wasn’t enough, the game gets even hotter by the alternative 11-a-side game! To play this variation, 2 packs of KIX cards are needed for the ultimate experience. There are also different rules to include which really do spice the game up a little; the greatest experience for the football enthusiast!

Here's a quick video from the creator himself, explaining the game and the strategical side to it.

When we discovered KIX and found out about its secret weapon, we were very impressed; a box that transforms into a card holder! As we know, you footie fans never sit still, and we found the card box a brilliant addition to holding your cards when you’re out and about. Check out this video from the creator himself on how to use the box in your game (and we have to admit, it does look very cool!)


KIX is available in store and online store now. Click here to be taken to the page and to make a purchase; stock is limited!

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