maths

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!

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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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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!

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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.

 

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Every Penny Counts! Financial Literacy skills with Breeze Leeds

Having recently announced we were to run a series of games based sessions with the Breeze team in Leeds, here's where you'll find out exactly what we've been up to each week and some of the reactions from the children and the staff alike...

 

#BreezeGames and Financial Literacy

The idea is to use and create some games and activities that introduced some basic financial literacy skills, particularly aimed at engaging and educating a group of 8 to 13 yr olds with varying abilities in this area.

The activities are part of a drop-in evening session at one of the many local community centres where Breeze Leeds run regular events for the age group in order to engage them in fun activities outside of school, and introduce them to new ideas and inspirations whilst developing key knowledge and life skills too.

I love seeing kids being able to make their own choices and take their own risks playing these games. Having fun whilst learning - isn't that a youth workers dream?!

Suzi - Breeze Support Worker

 

Key Skills

Financial literacy isn't just about about adding and subtracting amounts of money. Of course that's the important basic, and for many, the key area to work on. Confidence in knowing what you have, appreciating what something costs and most definitely knowing you've got the right change back from the shop-keeper!

Beyond that though, are other skills such as worth and negotiation. Understanding the value of something rather than just the cost is a crucial skill. Not just 'is it worth buying', but, 'is it worth buying now'! Clever negotiation and appreciation of value are the higher level skills we want to be able to explore too. Often in games, just as in life, good money management and communication is about getting a bargain... and that's where all the fun is!

 

What to do then? (and what not to do!)

As always the first thing is it has to be attractive, interesting... fun! You can have the best resources in the world when it comes to teaching, but if it doesn't look good and be quickly put to use, you're going to struggle! Then it has to be appropriate.

 

I thought it was amazing because it was a bit like trading cards - they look cool!

ZacB - 9 yrs old

Of course there are plenty of board and card games out there that blatantly involve the use of money, some very well known. Before you ask, we're talking more Monopoly-esque, rather than Poker or Roulette! It's easy to work out why the gambling games may not be the most appropriate thing here... but hold on, Monopoly isn't really what we're after either, and here's why...

Here you not only have to consider obvious factors such as age and ability, but the number of players, the time you have and the accesibilty of the game, do the players need to understand something new just to be able to start (and if so, can you make that part of the game?!). Now multiply all that by the fact your group is not only varied in these skills but have short attention spans, other things happening in the same room and can come and go as they please... very hard to plan for, so you have to have plan A, B, C ... and be ready to be flexible!

So, we concentrated on using some simple games to start with, not necessarily involving money at all to start with, making sure we grabbed the attention and laid the foundation for more to follow. Some games had money / treasure as part of the game, other times we added a financial element to a game that didn't have one. Sometimes it wass just about value and risk. 

Have a look at what we've been playing below...

 

Games?

The fun bit!...

Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice is a simple and accesible little dice game that's quick to play, easy to understand and all about risk management. This is a great game to get started with and has become a firm favourite at every session, perfect to warm up or cool down with!

My favourite game is Zombie Dice. It makes me a bit sad when I am risking it and get it wrong, but it makes me think more carefully about how to get brains!

Jack - 9 yrs old

The theme is perfect for gaining the interest of this age group, so engagement is really easy. Each player simply has to roll dice and collect brains (it's a zombie game what did you expect?!) After each 3 dice rolled each player must decide whether to stick and keep the brains (points) they have or risk losing them if further dice don't go their way.

Simple, but amazing how it can help to develop a keener sense of risk and probability in younger minds, andbegin to quuestion the value of their short term desires against what is best in the long run!

 

Monster Maths and Mathical Creatures

Monster Maths (above) and Mathical Creatures below are both simple card games from Mathstraks Games, designed by a pprimary school teacher to help with maths. Neither have money or risk as a mechanic, so we brought some play coins and a few rule changes...

The cards in Monster Maths were perfect to associated with coins - with the numbers you have to make being 10, 20, 50 and 100. Normally players use random number cards to create a sum to equal one of these target numbers and get a part oof the monster towards creating a whole monster. We simply rewarded them with the equivalent amount of money for their pot as well, whilst giving them the option of spending money on more number cards to help make the task easier, perhaps! They had to decide  whether it was worth spending money on cards, or even duplicate bbody parts, to make more before someone finished a monster and we found out who had the most money.

We messed with Mathical Creatures a bit more! Rather than making sums to match and collect different value creatures, we gave them each an amount of money to spend. Each time they 'bought' a monster they would have to perform the money transaction and get their change, but more tactically, try and buy a team of creatures to help them win in a final battle against other teams of creatures, where the higher your monster in each battle the more money you could earn / win.

This one became very tactical and after the first game, players were much more thoughtful about how they spent their money!

I thought the game was very interesting, I definitely enjoyed playing it! I love games that make you think and are based largely on logic and tactics. I also think they're great to help kid's maths skills.

Sky - volunteer support worker

 

It's Alive

It's Alive is a game that's been out of print for a few years now, but we use it because it's another one that the kids simply love the look of... and it's a brilliant game about buying, selling and auctioning!

Players have to act as the Mad Scientist while they use their gold and silver coins wisely to try and purchase enough parts to build their 'Frankenstein' monster. You have very little cash and body parts can be cheap and expensive, so thhis one really is about knowing when to buy and sell, but also the worth of selling something at auction, setting the price to make sure you get the most money you can.

A brilliant game that we wish we could get more of!

I loved playing that game (Wildlife Rescue) because it has animals in it... I thought this (It's Alive) was an interesting game because it was gross!!!

Lilly - 9 yrs old

 

Skull

This one  is usually for the older players, but taught in the right way we've found that younger players can absolutely love it too.

Again the artwork is immediately engaging, as is the name! It is a bidding game where players simply play cards in secret before daring each other as to how many of the cards on the table they can turn without finding a skull. A couple of very simple but clever rules make this a very strategic and entertaining game of bluff, with lots of tension and laughter. Until of course you find a dreaded skull. Simply another great game for highlighting caution and judgement as valuable skills, and that diving in isn't alwayys the best way forward!

I quite enjoyed the game Skull because it was quite complicated (at first), but once I got used to it, it kept beng fun!

Joe - 12 yrs old

 

Zeus On The Loose

 

I like this game because I got to steal Zeus and make money!!!

Oliver - 9 yrs old

To come?!

There are still several sessions to go on this project and we will be introducing other games such as Incan Gold, an Indiana Jones style treasure finhing game, a BrainBox quiz and a money based leaderboard for an old favourite with a twist - Take It Easy.
 
So far it's clear the games have left an impression, as you can see from this fantastic quote from one of the team...

It's great to see how confidence increases and the young people get more daring as the games go on! Imagination Gaming brings fun, smiles, independance and spirit to the young people. It's a fab way to learn maths, strategy, tactics and decision making.

Carol - Breeze Support Worker

Clearly we can't wait for the next games session!

 

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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?!

 

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Too Ghoul For School - 5 Halloween Games That Work For Good!

Halloween is a fantastic time for gamers the world over, with a coffin full of games with a theme to suit and gameplay to get you in the mood for a spooky evenings festivities.

I can think of lots of games that will be dragged screaming out of dark places and played across a dimly lit alter, (ok - games tables with poor overhead lighting), in games stores and dining rooms across the country this evening.

Granted some will be darker than others, some will try and walk a difficult line between good and evil, but there are plenty out there that are good wholesome fun for the entire family, keeping the adults as entertained as the kids.

The games we have chosen to highlight here are not only even better when played by the light of an evil looking pumpkin or two, but are also all games that we use on a regular basis in our family events and learning programs nationwide. So, in no particular order...

 

1. It’s Alive!

Described as ‘the monster building game by Yehuda Berliner’, this fantastic game is sadly, currently out of print, but was one of our core games in the Imagination gaming arsenal when the company started.

Each player has their own castle and hidden from view inside they have a slab on which to construct their Frankenstein-esque monster. On their turn, each player draws a body part card which has a cost to it. This can then be bought to add to their monster, sold to the bank for half its value in gold, or auctioned off to the other mad scientists.

Does it always thunder and lightning when you play this?!

Some body parts are more valuable than others and the same parts can be cheaper or more expensive. With a meager pot of money to start with, knowing when to buy, sell or auction really could mean life or death!

Oh yes - watch out for the villagers too. If they find out you’ve been digging up their ancestors they’ll come knocking on your door and won’t be best pleased!

My favourite memory of this game is playing it at a primary school and as soon as we started, a real storm began to brew outside. Halfway through one young man took his go, and then looked at me and said… “Does it always thunder and lightning when you play this?!”. Never forget that one!

About a 20 - 30 minute game for 2 - 5 players it says on the side of the box it’s for 12+. We can understand why but it has been fantastic for primary and secondary school kids to play, demonstrate and apply money-handling skills and negotiation techniques, all in the name of being able to scream… “It’s Alive!”

 

2. Werewolves Of Millers Hollow

A worldwide hit, ‘Werewolves’ as it is commonly referred to is a game that caters for lots of players up to 15 with one set (though have used more and played with 30+!) and is ideal at parties and get-togethers.

In essence, its a good versus evil battle, with each player given a card with a secret identity at the start of each game to determine which side you are on and what powers, if any, you have. It also requires a ‘narrator’ to guide the game which is simple enough and also fun to do.

The story-teller announces when a day in Millers hollow has ended and the moon has risen. At this point all the villagers close their eyes while the werewolves open theirs and silently point at one villager they would like to feast on!

When morning breaks everybody, villagers and werewolves, opens their eyes and the narrator announces who was eaten. At this point that villager is removed from the game and chaos ensues as the villagers try to work out who might secretly be a werewolf and decide who to kick out of the village. Whoever is chosen reveals their identity and steps out of the game… before night time falls and the werewolves return….

The addition of different characters within the village creates some fantastic dynamics on top of this. For example - the little girl who can peek in the night, the fortune teller who can know the identity of one player each night, and the lovers - when one dies the other can’t continue!

The Werewolves need to eat all the villagers before the villagers kill all the werewolves, whichever faction is eradicated first loses, but there will be casualties on both sides that’s for sure!.

There is also a New Moon expansion for this game that introduces more characters and associated rules, and a limited edition set that incorporates both sets in a new design too.

This is one game we have used to inspire storytelling and roleplay, but is also a simple and fun way to get groups talking and interacting together, and is always a massive hit for with children and adults.

 

3. The Magic Labyrinth

This one is one of those games that you just look at and think… cool! Definitely made for younger kids, it keeps the older ones intrigued too and I see plenty of grown-ups’ playing this together all the time

The magic labyrinth has a multi-layered board but you can only see the top and this is where your ‘wizard’ moves to find things within the maze. The thing is the walls are invisible… but you can’t walk through them!

Each space on the board has something to find and the first one is chosen randomly from a bag of tokens. Players then roll a 4 sided die to see how many spaces they can move on the board - but the direction they take is completely up to them.

Your wizard is magnetic, and as you move him from square to square across the board, the metal ball attached to him on the underside of the board follows. Beneath the playing surface there is a maze of wooden walls that will knock the ball of each time the wizard tries to pass through an ‘invisible’ wall.

Honestly - you’d think it would be easy to begin to remember where the walls are, but as you move around the board you quickly lose track.

A fantastic game of memory and the best bit is that all the walls can be moved to different positions and the playing surface rotated so that every single game really is different.

A-Maz-ing game !

 

4. Zombies

This one we changed a bit. Definitely a more ‘adult’ rated game, this is one too cool to avoid, so while it goes down a storm with older groups, we adapted it to make it more suitable for Imagination Gaming - but the game and the miniatures involved are still very ‘ghoul’!

All players start on a single tile in the middle of the table. This is part of the city you are trapped in. on each turn the player adds a new tile to the board, expanding the cityscape, but in a different way every time.

Every new ‘block’ contains zombies which appear, and each player must roll to move their character to safety and also roll to move the zombie swarm which is growing every go.

Whenever a player is faced with a zombie they must fight it, but they have a myriad of powers / tools / resources that can help them to do this. The objective - to find the helipad and survive long enough to get to it and fly away.

The cards in the original game are definitely a bit gruesome for a younger audience but knowing they’d love the game we did something very special with it. By creating our own deck of suitable cards we can play this game with any age.

The best bit - we use this to fuel imagination for story writing, character development, comic and poster design and other literacy based skills in our Zombie Diaries classes. Mu-ha-ha!

 

5. City Of Zombies

Devised and designed by Matt Tidbury, City Of Zombies is one of our favourite games of the year. Originally conceived to help his young daughter with her Maths, this has become one of the most popular games we use, partly because it looks so cool and everyone loves zombies. Especially zombie dogs, clowns and taxi drivers!

This is a cooperative game played around a board that has zombie cards advancing towards your barricade, where your team must defend the survivors. During each turn, every player gets a chance to fight and destroy zombies as they come out of the city, across the motorway, fields and eventually your backyard with only one thing on their brains.... your brains.

Players work together to fight zombies by rolling dice and then using the numbers to make sums to hit the numbers on the cards. Combinations are allowed, as is the use of squaring (special power!), to destroy one or more zombies at a time.

Meanwhile the rescue plane is on its way. Depending on where you start you have to survive up to 15 turns before the plane lands to whisk you to safety. But the closer the plane gets, the closer the zombies appear.

With plenty of variety of powers, characters, play options and and cards, once you know how it works this game can easily be matched to the age and ability of the group playing and has helped massively in all the maths classes I have used it in so far.

There’s also more to come with re-issues, expansions and more games to follow. Having won 3 of our independently adjudicated Imagination Gaming awards (Best Family, Best Numeracy and Expo Players Choice) in 2014, this is definitely one to watch.

 

Like the sound of these games and others like them?

Come to one of our events, ask us about getting the games for yourselves or tell your school about what we do - it’s fiendishly simple!

This was the first ‘list’ of games we have published on the new blog. Do you recognise any of them, have you played them or would you like to? - Let us know below or catch us on social media, we’d love to hear from you.
Have you any other topics or subjects you would like to find games that link to. Suggest away and it might be the subject of another list soon!

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