ig awards

The 2018 Imagination Gaming Awards - A Dream Year!

“Winning is only half of it, having fun is the other half” once said the famous sports coach Andrew Phillips, and here at Imagination Gaming we couldn’t agree more.  The 2018 Imagination Gaming award winners have been announced and we have had so much fun finding out which games would get a bronze, silver or gold award and our coveted seal of approval.

Family, fun and education are what we are all about and our awards were set up to find and celebrate the best games in their field from all over the world. Many of the categories represent our work in schools and we are looking for those games that can teach literacy, maths, cross curricular subjects and problem solving skills in a fun, creative and imaginative way as well as those that are just wonderful family fun.  This year we have been spoilt with nearly 100 games entered into the awards across our 10 awards categories from some of the most exciting games designers and publishers out there.

This spring was like a mini Christmas every week as we opened box after box of exciting new games.  We thought we had seen a lot of family games but our minds have been blown by all the interesting new themes and game mechanics we have seen this year.  Long story short… We all have very long Christmas lists now!

We can’t possibly mention all the great games we have seen but we would like to share some of our team’s personal favourites and some stories from the awards.

Literacy is dear to our hearts so we were very excited to see the games in this category.  Werewords from Bezier Games (Literacy – Gold, Family - Gold) grabbed our attention from the beginning; lovely graphics, clever game play, with a perfect app to accompany the card game.  Guess the secret word to save the village from the werewolves but secret roles may help or hinder the villager’s efforts.  Word Bits from The Green Board Game Company (Literacy – Silver, Family – Bronze) is a fast, frantic word game where a category and the letters from a number of dice set the scene for players to call out words that fit.  Playing this in school with a group of 10 year olds had us reeling… a word containing the letters F and R that is a game?  The children couldn’t yell “Fortnite” quick enough or loud enough!

Maths made easy was what we were hoping for and that is what we got times 2!  Alana’s Animals from Think Noodle (Maths -Silver, Family – Silver) and Chicken Out from Gibson’s Games (Maths – Gold, Family – Gold) were wonderful little card games that get kids doing maths without them even noticing and proves that great things do come in tiny packages!  Alana’s Animals wants you to count cute farm animals and apply basic maths concepts such as bigger than, this but not that and most/least whilst having a ball on the farm.  Multiple games to play with the card set that grows with ability mean that families will go back to this game again and again.  Chicken Out is a fab, kid twist on blackjack.  Add chicken cards to the row without going over 21 or chicken out for less but definite points; what children won’t go crazy for a little light gambling with chickens?!  Basic arithmetic skills are improved by this clever game.

Cross Curriculum saw us getting into a hot debate over a game of Vote Me! From Redwell Games (Cross Curric – Bronze, Family – Bronze).  We loved watching the families debate the merits of doughnut policing… We were laughing so hard we could barely vote!  Can You Hear Me? from Vision Works (Cross Curric – Silver, Family – Bronze) was another interesting game which our web developer guru was insanely good at!  A great PSHE tool, it turns out that watching Japanese anime makes you a super expert at decoding the wonderfully drawn cartoon characters emotions.  We were all in awe of his empathic prowess!

Choosing a game from the problem solving category was a conundrum (get it?) but Match Madness from Asmodee (Problem – Gold, Family – Gold) and 13 Ghosts from Artipia Games (Problem – Gold, Family – Gold) were stand out contenders for the IG team.  Match Madness looked good, had simple ‘arrange the blocks to match the picture’ game play but was devilishly addictive… They tried to make us go to rehab but we say No, No, No!  13 Ghosts must be the cleverest and spookiest deduction game on the market – the IG team were terrified at how good this game was.  Beautiful artwork supports the simple task of deducing which numbered ghost from 1 to 13 the other player is holding in their secret vault while they try to deduce yours.  So simple, so clever, so playable, again and again.

Family games are close to our hearts and we watched one of the team’s eight year old daughter swoon over one choice while her mum lost her heart to the other.  The little girls love was Quirk Legends from Emmerse Studios (Family – Silver).  A modern and wonderful take on Happy Families or Go Fish, this lovely little game gets you making the noises of creatures of legend to ask for the cards you need.  What noise does a unicorn make?  One little girl we played with thought long and hard before putting her hands to her head to make a horn and exclaiming sweetly… “Magic Horse!”.  Just perfect!  The grownups choice was That’s a Question by Czech Games Edition.  How well do you know your opponents? What questions can you predict their answers to?  Which questions will you choose? and What have squirrels got to do with it??  A family friendly, ethics questions game got the award administrator asking her IT obsessed other half “which would you miss more? touch screens or romantic evenings?” Needless to say we had much more fun watching him squirm that he had trying to answer that one!  We should also mention that the rule book is the funniest thing we have read in forever! Well done Czech games for making the rules almost as good as the game!

If we are being very honest, Young Einsteins is always a hard category for us to choose from.  Our little ones are not so little anymore but when they were, we remember long afternoons playing ‘baby’ games that made us want to sit in a corner throwing breadcrumbs at ourselves so we were delighted to see the new generation of littlies games that adults can actually enjoy playing too.  Both choices are from HABA Games and we think they are great.  Tiny Park (Young Einsteins – Bronze, Family – Bronze) has a lovely, yatzee-style game mechanic, where picture dice rolls help you to build a tiny theme park.  Teaching children spatial, shape manipulation skills and enhancing their ability to predict and judge risk, Tiny Park is a lot of fun for grownups too.  Silly Shenanigans (Young Einsteins – Gold, Family – Silver) is a lovely little game about pixies who love toys.  Involving actually hiding glorious little wooden toys in a secret toy cave, this game asks children to use their memory to remember the toys hidden in the cave and use their deductive reasoning to decide if they need a given toy based on its colour and shape.  The children we played this with were so engaged with this game and we have to admit we love setting the scene for them, explaining about the naughty pixies who take the toys and hide them in the little cave and how they have to be clever and win them back! Sweet, fun and a bit smart too!

Last but not least we have to mention The BIGGY… When I Dream from Asmodee (Literacy – Gold, Family – Gold).  What can we say?  We could not have dreamt of a better game.  Beautiful artwork, a lovely three dimensional board, a blindfold and the dreamer’s imagination.  Players give clues to objects to the blind folded dreamer who guesses the object and then has to remember it to later include it in his dream.  Points are awarded for accuracy of guesses and accurate recollections but the dreams themselves are as fantastical and inventive as real life!  A wonderful night of family fun that we cannot recommend highly enough.

The full list of winners can be found on our Imagination Gaming Website Award Winners page and we would like to finish with a huge thank you to all the judges, the families visiting our Family Zone at the UK Games Expo, the IG team and of course the wonderful games designers and publishers whose support and participation have again made our awards such a great success.  Thank you all and see you again in the Autumn for the 2019 Awards!

Referenced Games: 

Tags: 

Our Top 5 Must-Have New Literacy Games

Over the last few months, we've searched high and low to bring you the best Family and Educational games from across the globe in a variety of subjects and categories. Today, we're giving you an insight to the world of Literacy and words! 

So...why is Literacy one of the most important parts of life and growing up?

Literacy is often seen by others as simply reading and writing, but in fact, this is only a fraction of what it involves. Literacy is also language and communicating. It's sitting down with a friend and having a conversation about the weather or yesterday's lunch, it's completing your homework and it's most definitely using your imagination! Literacy is essential to get through life both as a child and an adult.

As always, there's never a cut off point to stop learning, which is why we've compiled this list of our top 5 Must -Have New Literacy Games from this year's Imagination Gaming Awards for you to try out!

1. StoryLine: Scary Tales (Literacy Gold Award Winner) 

StoryLine is a collaborative storytelling game that uses two card decks to shape the story. The narrator deck determines the broad strokes, while cards from the story deck fill in the details. Each turn, the narrator reads a card from the narrator deck, and every other player chooses a story card from their hand that matches the element asked for. The player whose suggestion is chosen earns a reward, while the narrator shifts to the next person. Scary Tales offers an engaging and wholesome experience for the whole family. Beyond simply providing entertainment, StoryLine encourages engaged reading, inspires creativity, and makes memories.

2. Imagidice (Literacy Gold Award Winner)

Imagidice features 12 dice with pictures from popular categories. You can use Imagidice as a conversation starter, a language learning tool, or for telling stories. You might even have some clever ideas we haven't thought of for Imagidice! Imagidice are a great way to fuel your creativity and get people talking.

3. Anomia (Literacy Gold Award Winner)

Normally, it's easy to give an example of a dog breed or a frozen food - but you’ll find that your brain works differently under pressure. Flip cards until symbols on two players’ cards match. Matching players must race to give an example of the category on their opponent’s card. Whoever blurts out a correct answer first wins their opponent’s card, and drawing continues. Sounds easy, right? Think again!

4. Pass the Bomb/Pass the Bomb Junior (Literacy Silver Award Winner)

There are two different versions of Pass the Bomb, one of which being a junior version! 

In Pass the Bomb, players nerves are tested to the limit by the threat of the ticking bomb. In turn players must shout out a word that contains the letters on the card and pass the bomb before it ‘explodes’. The game starts when one of the cards is turned over and reveals between two and four letters. The die is rolled to determine whether the letters that are on the card has to be at the beginning or end of the word, or no restriction (meaning they can appear anywhere in the word).

Pass The Bomb Junior is a truly brilliant game where each player in turn has to think of an object that might be found in the picture on the card. What makes this game unique is the ticking bomb which each player passes on after their turn – they have to be quick because nobody knows when the bomb is going to explode! The suspense is what makes this game extremely fun and the ticking sound from the bomb really adds to the pressure of it all. If you’re holding the bomb when it goes off, you have to keep the card. The player with the least number of cards at the end of the game is the winner.

5. Travel Jask (Literacy Silver Award Winner)

Travel Jask is the quick-fire quiz. Which is both fun and thought provoking played at a fast pace – everyone plays and no-one is left out. Get your answer in first and win the letter and accumulate enough letters to correctly spell an answer to the chosen category and win the game.

Tags: 

Our Top 5 Must-Have New Maths Games

Top-5-Must-Have-Maths-Games

Over the last few months, we've searched high and low to bring you the best Family and Educational games from across the globe in a variety of subjects and categories. Today, we're giving you an insight to the world of Mathematics! 

So...why is Maths an important part of life?

Maths is used by all of us every day (whether you realise it or not!) Baked a cake? Redecorated? Done a bit of gardening? Basic Maths skill in essential a loads of every day activities and getting it right first time is invaluable to growing up. Of course, there's nothing wrong with brushing up your skills throughout your life!

Here are our Top 5 New Maths based games for you to try!

1. Skiwampus (Maths Gold Award Winner)

Outmaneuver your opponents in this full-tilt action brain-builder! Arrange your tiles in Skiwampus so that the corners connect to form an array of patterns, whether most colors, all numbers, three of a kind, or more. But work quickly because everyone plays at the same time! It's a geometric jam that requires sharp eyes, quick thinking, and nimble hands. Let the wild Skiwampus start! 

2. Gagne Ton Papa/Katamino Family (Maths Gold Award Winner)

Like Katamino? You'll love this! Players compete on the same board and race to fit the different shaped pieces into the correct places. Not only is this a progressive brain-teaser, it plays in duel between children and parents as well: who will be the quickest to fill their board space with the selected pieces? Also, try to complete the included solo challenges and explore thousands of possible combinations! The sheer amount of playing modes and difficulty levels allow multiple games to be played in a row, bringing the whole family together for memorable moments.

3. Ubongo (Maths Gold Award Winner)

Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive, and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game. Players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get. The player with the most valuable gem treasure after nine rounds of solving puzzles wins! Another one for fans of Katamino.

4. Sum Fun (Maths Silver Award Winner)

The idea of the game is straightforward – go ahead and have “SUM FUN”! Use the tiles you have picked up to make SUMs. Once all of the tiles are out, the winner is the first person to use all of their tiles to make valid SUMs. The SUMs must be connecting and intersecting – similar to that of a crossword format. Click here to get your copy!

5. Red7 (Maths Silver Award Winner, Game of the Month - April 2017)

The rules of Red are simple: Highest card wins! But Red is only one of seven games you'll be playing. Red7 is a quick and easy to learn card game that you can teach and play in five minutes. You must be in the lead at the end of your turn, or you're out. Play from your hand to improve your palette, or discard to the rules canvas to change the game. Click here to get your copy!

Tags: 

The Imagination Gaming Game Awards 2017 Have Arrived!

This week, Imagination Gaming announce our 5th annual, global, hobby-game awards competition… and the introduction of a new, overall award... THE BIGGY!

 

The ‘IG Game Awards’ seek out the finest in family and educational games. Created by Nigel Scarfe and Chris Standley at Imagination Gaming, the awards are taking place for the fifth consecutive year with the final date for entries being Friday 28th of April 2017.

This year's awards are now accepting entries from companies world-wide, large and small, and focus on finding and promoting the very best educational and family orientated board, card and dice based table-top games available. The nominated entrants are used as a cornerstone of Imagination Gaming’s daily events and programmes for education nationwide, and are of special interest to those working in education and the relevant distribution channels.

Solely funded by Imagination Gaming and independently assessed by panels of experienced educational professionals and family game enthusiasts, the awards cover specific categories to recognise the benefits all ages can get from combining fun and skill development.

Categories include:

Best Maths Game
Best Literacy Game
Best Cross-Curriculum Game
Best Family Game, Excelled In Schools Award
Family Classic Award
UKGE Family Zone Players' Choice Award

***and new for 2017, the Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year award - The 'BIGGY'***

The games considered however are not necessarily designed for education, and the previous year’s submissions have covered (and rewarded), a wide spectrum of games from table-top ‘geeky-gamer’ type games to skills focussed games for children and adults alike. These are exactly the games that Imagination Gaming uses to engage, enthuse, educate and to promote interaction with crucial social and curriculum based life skills. There is no substitute for great content, mechanics and design, and the awards recognise this.

This year’s awards are supported by a dedicated section of the website here, and social media conversation driving involvement throughout the process. The build-up and awards culminate in all the games featuring in Imagination Gaming’s 'hands on' Family Zone hall at this year’s UK Games Expo 2nd -4th of June.

As the nomination process unfolds entries will appear live on their website and be highlighted across social media, with the winners announced early June. All details including how to submit games too can be found via our awards section, with updates via Facebook and Twitter pages using #iggameawards.

Tags: 

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.

Tags: 

12 Days of Gaming - Glimpse

12 Days of Gaming - Glimpse

We're seeing red! But don't panic, we're only playing Glimpse; a family game of friendship and fun! Two different teams go head to head to make some rather interesting new friends. There is a catch; you have to act, mime, sing, dance and more to get them on your side. So really, all we're trying to say is be as silly as possible! In this game, you can basically have as many players as you wish, (2+) aged 6 and up, and split into 2 teams. It takes 20 minutes to play but only a minute to learn! This is a brand new game brought to us by Legend Express, who also created the fantastic Burger Boss. The company are experts in creating award winning games as it recieved a Bronze award in this years Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards. We are sure Glimpse will live up to expectations!

There are a LOT of rather cool contents and concepts to this game and you'll definitely get the hang of it straight away. Under the masses of quirky artwork, you'll find many exciting things. There are 52 Friend Cards which hold the faces of your new companions, 2 pairs of the unique Glimpse Glasses, one for each team (which we'll look at later), 70 Question Cards and 16 Coloured Tokens.

To set up the game, you first need to decide on your team. Game tip: perhaps you should opt for the utmost silliest people to be your teammates! You'll need 16 Friend Cards set up so everyone can see them clearly and a random coloured token is placed on each. The question cards are shuffled and placed into a pile in arms reach. The Green Team and the Blue Team will also need a pair of Glimpse glasses and they should nominate one player to be the 'Glimpser'. This person needs to put on the glasses and leave them on until the end of the game. The Glimpser cannot tell the colour of the token due the the filter in the glasses; all they'll see is red, making their job a little trickier!

Legend Express specialise in light Euro style games that are fun for all the family. Glimpse is a hilarious party-style game of deduction.

- UK Games Expo

To start the game, the 'Glimpser' from the first team picks up a Question card and reads it the the helpers in their team. The helpers then have to try to answer the question as well as they can in order to guide the Glimpser to the correct Friend Card. If the Glimpser thinks they know the correct card, they remove the coloured token from their chosen card. It's a lot trickier than it looks, as the helpers can't say whether the card they've chosen is correct or incorrect!

At the end of the game, it's the Glimpser's job to add up their score! Teams gain 1 point for a token of their colour, 2 points if they choose a Black token and -1 point for selecting a token of the oponnent's colour. Choose carefully, Glimpsers! 

There are variations of the game for 2 and 3 players, which involve pairing up and becoming one team! Take it in turns to be the Glimpser and the helper(s). Can you beat your friend's high score, or even get a perfect score?!

Glimpse is a fun way of playing a game and we think the game is also great for building confidence. In the words of Legend Express: 'Don't be embarrassed, don't be shy, don't be quiet. Glimpse is all about having fun!' Be as creative and as silly as you wish! It also encourages cooperative play, as there is constant discussion work going on between teams.


Competition time!

Another brilliantly made game from Legend Express and one that is definitely worthy of a place in the 12 Days of Gaming! Keep a look out for our 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 worth hundreds of 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.

Like what you see? Click here to purchase Glimpse from our online store now; stock is limited! 

 

Tags: 

Which Games Should You Play This Halloween?

It’s Halloween! While some of you may be wandering out into the darkness to frighten the living daylights out of your friends and build your sweet collection, there are others that may want a quiet night in with some spookily fun games! What better way to celebrate than having a look at some weird creature, monster-filled, ghostly games that you can play tonight? We hunted high and low and found some great games from a wide age range and ability level. Read on if you dare…

Spooky Stairs

Spooky Stairs (or it’s German name, Geistertreppe) is a fun and simple game to test your memory. A family of ghosts live at the top of the stairs, yet a group of brave children think they can make it there and tell the tale. However, it is very likely that they will eventually be consumed by a ghost... and you being the player must remember where your piece is!

There is a cool magnetic piece on the top of these courageous so-and-so’s, and another inside the ghost. Your playing piece will disappear and you’ll need to remember where it is for the rest of the game! Who will be the winner? 

City of Zombies/Times Square

This game and it’s expansion, Times Square, are brilliant maths games with a frightening Zombie theme. A horde of Zombies have attacked and only the quickest mathematicians will survive. Take out each Zombie at a time by using different maths strategies and special items, but beware… the longer you wait, the more Zombies will appear!

Times Square works in a similar way, but really helps you to brush up on your times tables. It won a Bronze Award for Best Maths Game in this year's Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards! Very popular games in a number of settings, but let’s hope we never meet one of the things…

Monster Maths

Another Maths themed game which allows you to build a monster! Aimed at the younger ones, Monster Maths encourages ways of making 10, 20, 50 and 100 and by adding different amounts. The first player to build their monster from top to toe is the winner! Although, if you do win, should we be worried about your monster creating ability?!

A great little card game from Mathstraks, who seem to love a game involving magical, ‘mathical’ creatures! Do you have a favourite?

StoryCubes: Scooby Doo

Yes you heard correctly! The new addition to the StoryCubes collection is indeed Scooby Doo; just in time for Halloween. Roll the set of dice and create your own mystery. What crime will you solve? What monstrous creature is involved? You decide.

We can’t promise you a fancy Mystery Machine to go with it, but we can promise that your imagination will run wild creating your own spooky tale! How will yours end?

Keep your eyes peeled for more information...

Do you have a favourite game to play at Halloween that we've not mentioned? Or perhaps you've had a great experience with one of our games mentioned? Let us know!

Tags: 

Tell-A-Tale Pirate - Game Overview

Tell A Tale Pirate

Ahoy there, it’s story time! Introducing Tell-A-Tale Pirate, the fantastic pirate-themed, storytelling game! A Gold Award winner for Best Literacy Game in this years Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards 2016, Tell-A-Tale Pirate has lots to offer and is simple to play at the same time. Brought to us by Cheatwell Games, this game is is perfect for ages 3 and up and can be enjoyed alone or with up to four players at a time. Those swashbuckling pirates, brave heroes and the odd animal companion need your help to tell their story! Will they embark on a perilous journey to find the buried treasure or will they meet some villains on an old abandoned ship wreck? How your story unfolds is up to you! In the Tell-A-Tale series, there are three different themes to choose from, including Farmyard and Fairytale! Arrr, we’ll be looking at the pirate version (if you couldn’t tell!)

The delightful game box, complete with age appropriate artwork, is definitely appealing. The contents inside the box include a wooden base and a 2-sided backdrop, so you can change the scene in your story. There are also 21 pirate play pieces and 4 dice. Each dice has different images of the pieces on each side apart from one, which has six different words.The game is very easy to pick up and is one with a world of possibilities! The players in the game firstly set up the stage; the 2 pieces of wooden base fit together like a jigsaw and the 2-sided backdrop slots into one of the spaces on it. Will you be looking out to sea or will your story be set on a ship? When this is set up, you can then begin! The first player rolls all four dice to see the characters, items and word they will be using for this part of the story. Pirate pieces can be slotted into the base and moved around which really makes your tale come to life. Now you can begin to tell your story! Players continue in this way throughout the game and can work together to create the most wonderful adventure! You are sure to have hours of fun with this one!

This game was a big hit at last years awards, and everyone was super impressed (myself definitely included!) It was also extremely popular at this year’s UK Games Expo in the Family Zone; children and families created some absolutely out of this world adventures for their characters, which was so refreshing to see. I remember sitting with a family with 2 young children at the event, and after explaining how the game worked, they were off! Parents couldn’t get a word in edgeways, but they were blown away with the vocabulary their children were using, and how quickly they picked up the game.

Tell-A-Tale Pirate is an outstanding game for Literacy skills and to improve verbalisation and vocabulary. It helps to develop creative thinking in children by them using their imagination to create stories from start to finish; including characters, using dice and different settings. It would be a perfect game to add to your collection, and a game which can be used in a Nursery setting and beyond! Players can be left to their own devices in order to think alone and build on their problem solving skills or team up with friends to share ideas and create the ultimate quest! Where will your story take you? A great game and a well deserved award winner!

Tags: 

Imagination Gaming Awards 2016: Best Maths Game

2016 was a great one for the Imagination Gaming awards, resulting in a fantastic outcome in different categories across the board! Over the next few weeks, we will be investigating the ins and outs of each of our categories, including bronze, silver and gold winners. We gathered a fantastic team of educators, gamers and parents who tested out the games for themselves and scored them on everything from looks to gameplay. We had a great mix of reviews and because of this, we are now able to give you our most up to date list of the best games in a number of categories. This week, we will be sharing with you our winners of the Best Maths Games.

The Imagination Gaming Family and Education Game Awards 2016

Category:

Best Maths Game

Winners:

Gold Award: Logic Cards

Silver Award: Code Master

Bronze Award: City of Zombies: Times Square

Numeracy is an essential skill, and incorporating this early on in development can introduce a world of possibilities. There are many games available today that are great for building these skills and we have tried and tested so many for the game awards. We have now awarded three different games the bronze, silver and gold award for the Best Numeracy Games available, so what are we waiting for? Let’s take a look!

Gold Award: Logic Cards

By being a Gold Award winner, we really were certain about this one; a collection of the most mind boggling problems that will really get those cogs turning! There are 4 different sets of logic cards for different abilities which are designed to really get you thinking. Each card has a difficulty rating, so why not start at a comfortable level and work your way through, making it harder and harder each time? Challenge yourself and increase your brainpower!

Logic Cards are fantastic to use in schools. The various difficulty rating makes is really easy to find a suitable challenge for any year group and would be beneficial to use in a Numeracy activity. We also love how family friendly the cards are; really compact and great for testing your family members or children. The cards provide hours of fun, enabling you to improve your mathematical and logical knowledge in an uplifting way!

Our minds were really put to the test when we looked at this game from Brain Games, and we loved how many challenges we faced. Questions about time, shape and number got us thinking. We loved how simple the cards were to use and we thought they really worked well for different age groups. We found quite a few cards that even made us stop and think, and we were all adults! 

Another great feature of the Logic Cards is that each card can be used through an App; Logic Cards augmented reality! Simply download the App using the AppStore or through GooglePlay and see animated solutions to the cards you have tried! Did you solve the puzzle correctly? We think this is a very clever way to see the different solutions. Gold Award is definitely deserved for this one!

Click here to check out our store for all Logic Card packs available.

Silver Award: Code Master

Being a Silver Award winner, Code Master really doesn't disappoint for it's unique gameplay! Ever wanted to have a taste of programming? Well, this is a definite fun way to do just that. Being a single player game, Code Master is that little bit different to others. It requires you to navigate your Avatar around the map, but only a certain sequence will bring you success and lead you to the end portal. Don't forget to collect all the crystals along the way!

Code Master is a great example of a game that introduces concepts of programming and logic puzzling for KS2 and upwards (including adults, of course!) It's a fantastic solo game/puzzle that can cater for a range of abilities, from those that may struggle with these concepts to those that really excel. Another brilliant release from ThinkFun!

Our panel of judges tested this game and thought it really was something else. We loved the challenge of problem solving and sequential reasoning; some of the judges had never been quiet for so long! It really enabled us to think, and all these reasons combined was why we gave Code Master the Silver award.

Click here to check out Code Master in our online store.

Bronze Award: City of Zombies: Times Square  

Bronze Award was given to this fantastic number game from ThinkNoodle, bringing Zombies into the world of Maths! This great release can be enjoyed on its own or as an expansion to the already hugely successful City of Zombies; the ultimate mathematical challenge! Use the dice given to add, subract, multiply or divide in order to take out Zombies. Multiplication skills are sure to improve, with the game covering times tables to 12 and beyond!

Times Square encourages players to use different operations to win the game. Children can team up together and co-operatively play to practice and learn their times tables. It's great for children who find multiplication difficult and also for those who simply love maths and numbers! Children in KS2 and up will benefit greatly from this new addition.

Our team gave Times Square a Bronze award overall; we loved how we could play the game on it's own or with the original City of Zombies game, giving an even greater experience. The game is fantastic for Numeracy in schools and can be enjoyed as a family game to boost those well needed skills!

Click here to view City of Zombies: Times Square in our online store.

 

Tags: 

IG Game Awards 2016 Have Arrived!

The Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards 2016...

...are here!

That's right, it's back, as big and as bright as ever. (We know because it says so here... IG Awards!)

The awards are now in their 4th year and we just can't wait to see this year's games and give everyone else a chance to not only see them as well, but actually play them!

Like last year we will be accepting entries from companies (and individuals) large and small, from all over the world, over the coming months in a bid to find what's new and great out there for you to have a go at. As always we expect to see a wide range of games for all ages and we're sure to find plenty that we'll be adding to the Imagination Gaming box of tricks, ready for our schools and events nationwide.

A handy reminder of some of the categories... and what gold, silver and bronze looks like.

 

Games new to us since last year's awards have a chance to be recognised in 5 categories with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards going to the cream of the crop. There are also 2 more categories in which we will bestow recognition on 3 games that have been stand-out hits in our work in schools and education, and 3 games that have had families visiting our workshops constantly coming back for more!

Our 'Hall of  Fame' badges, or should that be 'Hall of Game'? Here there's no first, second, third, just a great set of games.

 

You'll be able to see all the games as they enter the process in our dedicated section of the website, IG Awards here, and of course we'll mentioning them on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages... so make sure you're following along and having your say too!

We will be accepting entries until the 29th April this year, but the earlier they arrive the more chance we have to get familiar with them, with the judging process in full swing through May. Again we will be assembling a panel to make the final decision on most of the awards, representing a cross-section of the Imagination Gaming audience of gamers and educators in equal measure to find the games that have something for everyone.

Of course there will also be UK Games Expo 2016... a chance for the public to play and vote on the submissions we receive in our Family Zone. This runs from the 4th to the 6th of June and this year we will be in the NEC itself... wooooo!!!! This means more space, more games, more everything really, a fantastic opportunity for everyone to play these great games and showcase the games on a big stage.

Of course, once we have recovered from the mayhem and madness of UK Games Expo, we will set about announcing the winners to the world! So just one question remains... are you game?!

 

All the information you need about the awards, categories, games, judging and past winners can be found in our awards section here.

If you would like to submit a game for judging, please see our submissions page here and contact us directly at interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk

Tags: 

Sneak Preview! - UK Games Expo 2016

The Family Zone is Back...

...of course!!!!

UK Games Expo hits 10 years this June, and for the umpteenth year in a row we've got even more space. We must be doing something right. In fact preliminary plans look like we'll have pretty much the biggest demo area run by a single company. We're going to need it

Bits have been blurred to protect the innocent and we promise to use the space a bit more adventurously than this plan suggests, but it's all a bit hush-hush!

It may be 6 months away, but now Christmas is done and dusted we are cracking on with this years plans and we've already got something new up our sleeves. You'd expect no less I'd hope.

All the favourites from previous years will be there - hundreds of games, all 2016's Imagination Gaming Game Award submissions, the Creative Zone and Super-Size Gaming... and of course plenty more besides.

We'll let you in on this years new ideas in due course, but just to let you know the Family Zone will be back bigger and better this June, we hope you will be too. See you there?!

Remember the Family Zone is completely free to UK Games Expo ticket holders. You can find out more of what it's all about on the UKGE2016 website here and get your tickets booked quick!

Tags: 

The Imagination Gaming Family & Education Awards 2015 Are Here!

The IG Awards are back… and we’ve stepped it up… a lot!

Yep, this years Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards are back and the process of finding this years great games begins.

For 2015 we have a brand new part of the Imagination Gaming website dedicated to the awards here, but which you can also find at the end of this article, so hang on a minute! There’s lots to add, especially the games which we will release throughout the process, but we’re really proud of it and hope you’ll love it too.

As always we started talking about this year’s awards months ago, very quietly, but for very good reason. Each year in October we go to Essen Spiel - the worlds largest hobby gaming convention, and even though the awards process is 6 months away, it’s the perfect opportunity to get started. Probably because it’s the ‘eye of the storm’ so to speak - the calm bit before we start the new awards season and also when we’ve just recovered from the previous one!

In fact we started getting new games handed to us at the culmination of last years awards, in May, at UK Games Expo. These were substantially added to not only at Essen, but throughout the year as we are sent new games to not only test but to use in our workshops and events nationwide.

Some of the games are yet to be published and from small companies or individuals, some are heading to market, and some already have the weight of major games industry players behind them.

Where the games come from doesn’t matter to us, all that we are concerned with is finding great games to share with those who love what we do and the wider gaming community. This in turn helps to give these games the exposure they need either to get off the ground, or find their way into even more homes and schools than before…

If you’ve never come across the Imagination Gaming Family & education Game Awards before, below is a brief catch up to get you up to speed… and then you’ll be ready for this year!

 

Back in 2013…

...we decided to launch a new set of awards to recognise great games that families and educators consider invaluable in developing a range of social and curriculum skills… as well as just good, solid fun!

Of course, we did this as part of Imagination Gaming's ongoing ambition to raise awareness in the UK of the joy and value that great table-top games bring to everyday life, as well as the influence and effect they can have as resources to improve thinking and communication skills for everyone.

The whole process enables UK game enthusiasts to see games they would never normally have access to, games makers from all over the world and of any size to get their games noticed, and for us to find games that we can continue to show to the thousands children, teachers and parents in our daily schools, libraries, events and community groups nationwide. Hopefully everyone's a winner!

During the awards process we consider a wide range of board and card games currently available as well as the new ones looking to get our and your attentiona and find a market in the UK, with a view to finding the ones that really do what it says on the box! The awards recognise the games that our panel of judges and ourselves have not only played and enjoyed, but also, (and most crucially,) the games we have found to have a significant impact in engaging, exciting and educating whoever we have been playing them with.

We were over the moon with the response first time round from the industry and fans alike and from early on it was clear that this would become an annual event...

 

Year 2, 2014!

The 2nd year of the game awards saw us introduce another category - the Family Classic award - and this along with the Excelled in Schools awards became more of a 'hall of fame' ('hall of game' if you prefer!), with all winners being recognised equally. We look forward to adding to this illustrious list each year and recognising the games that have made a consistent difference with schools and families year after year.

 

And now?!...

So here we are for the 2015 IG Game Awards... with a brand new website and lots more to see!

We will be compiling nomination lists for each award from new games submitted by companies world-wide for review and consideration, and where applicable, games from our collection used in Imagination Gaming workshops based on our experience and the feedback they have received.

All nominated games will be available to play in the Imagination Gaming Family Zone at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham at the end of May, with all visitors having the chance to vote on an extra special award as part of their gaming experience. All awards will be announced the following week.

We are welcoming and encouraging submissions for each category right now, so...

 

What's In It for the Nominees and the Winners?

Everlasting fame and glory?! Quite possibly, but also…
Each winner will be given a badge of honour to use to promote their award winning games to the world! We will supply companies with electronic versions of logos to use at will throughout promotion and packaging as they see fit. These will demonstrate the game has been recognised as having outstanding merit by the very type of people that are looking for games to add to their collection, or a great starting place for those new to games like this.

Games will regularly be used as appropriate throughout our Games Days and Events nationwide as examples of great games that families and educators will love to play and teach with for years to come. This means that school children, teachers and families will be able to sit down and experience the games for themselves and get a chance to learn all about the game from one of our demonstrators and see just how good it is.

Games that we receive that are shortlisted for any award and are not currently available in the UK will be immediately brought to the attention of the distributors we work with. We don't just want our customers and schools to be able to play the game with us… if they like it; we want to make sure we can get one for them to keep too!

You can be sure that any game that we like for any reason throughout this process will, wherever possible be made available via the Imagination Gaming online store, and promoted as such!

As always we would love to hear your thoughts on this years awards and the games as they appear. Find all the latest games and information on our dedicated IG Game Awards page, and all the links you need to tell us what you think via Facebook, Twitter and more.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will spread the word too…

...Are You Game?!

 

Tags: 

North and South Games

We first came across North and South Game’s at UK Games Expo a few years ago now when he was exhibiting the first version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Bang!
Having introduced himself to Nigel he invited me and my then 10 yr old son to give it a go and subsequently gave us a copy to try at Imagination Gaming events. It proved popular as a tactical variation on a familiar theme that everyone knew, which therefore made it particularly useful with the many people we encounter who have never given these types of game a go.

Dave Cousins, the man behind it all, describes himself as a father of two, house­husband and game designer/publisher, who publishes his own designs and also licences them to other publishers, trying to make this his sole profession.He has a deep passion about games, both digital and analogue but prefers to sit down and play a boardgame with friends and family over zapping things on a computer or console.
 
North & South Games mission is to get more people (but especially families) playing (better) games together. That means progressing from simple roll and move games onto more interesting and challenging board and card games of all kinds.
 
As such they are entering Terrain (soon to have an expansion) and Safebreaker into this years Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards. I personally have been playing terrain on and off for a while and love the idea, and considering the traditional style and very tactical mechanic it was great to recently get a group of eight year olds playing it constantly on repeat! 
Safebreaker is on it’s way and I look forward to playing it soon and seeing what the judges think. 
 
You can try them both, all this years awards games and many more at UK Games Expo with us in the Family Zone next month too!
North and South Games have three games out currently, two more this year to be published in the summer and a third to be released in the Autumn.

Referenced Games: 

Tags: 

Wild Card Games

We first met Sean Byrne at the UK Games Expo several years ago. He came along to help out and brought his Mapominoes range of games. Along with his new maths game, Arithmanix, these proved really popular and he did a great job in talking people through the games. Then last year he introduced his geography game, Who Knows Where, which has a great game play mechanic that older children are loving. Similar to many classic quiz games this has however a number of twists that make it both a great game as well as an ideal activity in which to learn more about places and the world.

This year his new game is FRENZI. This is a big departure from many of their previous games and is a fast, card flipping game that utilises both observation and speed.

As well as this, Wild Card Games have also submitted Mapominoes and Ah-harr! for consideration in our classic awards, Excelled in Schools and Family Classic respectively. We have seen the benefits of using both these games in the last few years and are happy to see them in this years awards.

We are eager to get people playing this and see what they think and you too have your chance at this years UK Games Expo in our massive Family Zone at the end of May, so come along and let us know what you think!

 

Referenced Games: 

Tags: 

The Imagination Gaming Family & Education Awards 2015 Are Here!

 

The IG Awards are back… and we’ve stepped it up… a lot!

Yep, this years Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards are back and the process of finding this years great games begins.

For 2015 we have a brand new part of the Imagination Gaming website dedicated to the awards here, but which you can also find at the end of this article, so hang on a minute! There’s lots to add, especially the games which we will release throughout the process, but we’re really proud of it and hope you’ll love it too.

As always we started talking about this year’s awards months ago, very quietly, but for very good reason. Each year in October we go to Essen Spiel - the worlds largest hobby gaming convention, and even though the awards process is 6 months away, it’s the perfect opportunity to get started. Probably because it’s the ‘eye of the storm’ so to speak - the calm bit before we start the new awards season and also when we’ve just recovered from the previous one!

In fact we started getting new games handed to us at the culmination of last years awards, in May, at UK Games Expo. These were substantially added to not only at Essen, but throughout the year as we are sent new games to not only test but to use in our workshops and events nationwide.

Some of the games are yet to be published and from small companies or individuals, some are heading to market, and some already have the weight of major games industry players behind them.

Where the games come from doesn’t matter to us, all that we are concerned with is finding great games to share with those who love what we do and the wider gaming community. This in turn helps to give these games the exposure they need either to get off the ground, or find their way into even more homes and schools than before…

If you’ve never come across the Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards before, below is a brief catch up to get you up to speed… and then you’ll be ready for this year!

 

Back in 2013…

...we decided to launch a new set of awards to recognise great games that families and educators consider invaluable in developing a range of social and curriculum skills… as well as just good, solid fun!

Of course, we did this as part of Imagination Gaming's ongoing ambition to raise awareness in the UK of the joy and value that great table-top games bring to everyday life, as well as the influence and effect they can have as resources to improve thinking and communication skills for everyone.

The whole process enables UK game enthusiasts to see games they would never normally have access to, games makers from all over the world and of any size to get their games noticed, and for us to find games that we can continue to show to the thousands children, teachers and parents in our daily schools, libraries, events and community groups nationwide. Hopefully everyone's a winner!

During the awards process we consider a wide range of board and card games currently available as well as the new ones looking to get our and your attentiona and find a market in the UK, with a view to finding the ones that really do what it says on the box! The awards recognise the games that our panel of judges and ourselves have not only played and enjoyed, but also, (and most crucially,) the games we have found to have a significant impact in engaging, exciting and educating whoever we have been playing them with.

We were over the moon with the response first time round from the industry and fans alike and from early on it was clear that this would become an annual event...

 

Year 2, 2014!

The 2nd year of the game awards saw us introduce another category - the Family Classic award - and this along with the Excelled in Schools awards became more of a 'hall of fame' ('hall of game' if you prefer!), with all winners being recognised equally. We look forward to adding to this illustrious list each year and recognising the games that have made a consistent difference with schools and families year after year.

 

And now?!...

So here we are for the 2015 IG Game Awards... with a brand new website and lots more to see!

We will be compiling nomination lists for each award from new games submitted by companies world-wide for review and consideration, and where applicable, games from our collection used in Imagination Gaming workshops based on our experience and the feedback they have received.

All nominated games will be available to play in the Imagination Gaming Family Zone at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham at the end of May, with all visitors having the chance to vote on an extra special award as part of their gaming experience. All awards will be announced the following week.

We are welcoming and encouraging submissions for each category right now, so...

 

What's In It for the Nominees and the Winners?

Everlasting fame and glory?! Quite possibly, but also…

Each winner will be given a badge of honour to use to promote their award winning games to the world! We will supply companies with electronic versions of logos to use at will throughout promotion and packaging as they see fit. These will demonstrate the game has been recognised as having outstanding merit by the very type of people that are looking for games to add to their collection, or a great starting place for those new to games like this.

Games will regularly be used as appropriate throughout our Games Days and Events nationwide as examples of great games that families and educators will love to play and teach with for years to come. This means that school children, teachers and families will be able to sit down and experience the games for themselves and get a chance to learn all about the game from one of our demonstrators and see just how good it is.

Games that we receive that are shortlisted for any award and are not currently available in the UK will be immediately brought to the attention of the distributors we work with. We don't just want our customers and schools to be able to play the game with us… if they like it; we want to make sure we can get one for them to keep too!

You can be sure that any game that we like for any reason throughout this process will, wherever possible be made available via the Imagination Gaming online store, and promoted as such!

If you would like to submit one of your games for this years awards we'd love to hear from you. Visit the Awards main page here to find more details on individual awards, eligibility and how you can enter. The closing date for submissions this year is Friday April 24th 2015

 

As always we would love to hear your thoughts on this years awards and the games as they appear. Find all the latest games and information on our dedicated IG Game Awards page, and all the links you need to tell us what you think via Facebook, Twitter and more.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will spread the word too…

...Are You Game?!

 

Tags: 

Essen Spiel 2014 - Launching our 2015 Game Awards

This weekend Imagination Gaming is in Germany for Essen Spiel 2014. This is one of, if not 'the', largest  annual gaming convention in the world. Every year we spend four very hectic days looking for the newest and most excting games to add to our collection for use in our game events, and where possible, to make some very hard to get games available to you through our store!

It is also an opportunity for us to start talking about next years Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards! It is here where we usually begin to collect interest and submissions even though the 2015 awards are still 8 months away, and this year we expect to find some real gems.

 

Tags: