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12 Days of Gaming - Cortex Challenge

12 Days of Gaming - Cortex

Everyone could do with stretching their brain capacity; playing something that really gets the old cogs turning. We do, of course, want to enjoy it too! The Cortex Challenge collection is perfect for just that. Not only do they really get your mind thinking in all sorts of ways, they are immensely fun to play too. We've trialled these games in schools recently and they've gone down a treat. They're easy to learn, great to play and filled with challenging puzzles!

The Cortex Challenge collection has 3 editions; the original game, Kids, and Geo. Each game follows a similar format which we'll get onto soon. The games are suitable for 2-6 players and each game will take around 15 minutes. The age ranges for these games differ slightly from ages 6 to 9, as some are a little more challenging... are you up for a challenge? We sure are!

The original game of Cortex Challenge consists of different 'test' which all players have to compete to solve. Players have to complete these puzzles in order to obtain cards which they can eventually then trade in for a 'brain' piece. When they complete their 'brain jigsaw', they are the winner. Inside the box there are a total of 90 cards and 6 brain jigsaws. The cards are a mixture of Test Cards, Touch Cards and Raised Touch Cards. The Raised Touch Cards are really something else; when you play the game, you'll get to look at these cards for a short while. When you choose the appropriate card, you have to guess the image using only your sense of touch! 

If you like a competitive edge to your games, and think your gaming friends would welcome the chance to prove themselves against the brains of everyone else, then this will hit the nail on the head.

- The Gaming Review.com

Here you can see how the Raised Touch Cards look! How many things can you identify using your sense of touch alone?

There are 8 different types of test in this game; Memory, Maze, Colour, Coordination, Duplicates, Frequency, Reasoning and of course, the Touch Challenge! All the cards are initially shuffled and set in the centre. The first card is turned over and all players look at the card in order to work out the answer. When a player thinks they have solved the puzzle, their hand is put over the card and their answer is given to the rest of the group. If their answer is correct, the player keeps the card. If it is incorrect, they have to miss out on the next round!

So, what about the brain jigsaw I hear you ask? Well, to obtain one of these pieces, you'll need to collect 2 cards of the same type of test and then trade them in. I think this is a clever and quirky little addition to the game...it is 'The Brain Game' after all!

Click here to purchase Cortex Challenge. Stock is limited!

Let's take a look at the two variations of the game...Kids and Geo!

The Kids edition of Cortex Challenge is suitable for the younger ones at age 6+ and has a slight variation in the types of test; Memory, Maze, Odd One Out, Coordination, Duplicates, Frequency, Reasoning and the Touch Challenge. The challenges in this edition are slightly easier than the original version as you would imagine, but doesn't compromise the amount of fun you'll have playing!

Click here to purchase Cortex Challenge Kids. Stock is limited!

The Geo version of the game is slightly more challenging for ages 9+ and includes everything Geographical! Although the Touch Card test works the same as the other two versions, in this one you'll find a variety of different challenges; Memory, Maze, Country, Flag, Duplicates, Odd One Out and Population. This one is great for getting to know the world around you.

All games encourage thinking and speed skills whilst playing against your friends at the same time! A great selection of games which will defintely sharpen up your brain.

Click here to purchase Cortex Challenge Geo. Stock is limited!


Competition time!

We've had so many positive reviews from these games as we've tested them out over the weeks. Look out for a competition puzzle shortly on our social media; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entires into our prize draw. This year, you could win a HUGE game pack worth hundreds of pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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12 Days of Gaming - Crabz

12 Days of Gaming - Crabz

The tide is rising! Your team of Crabz need a safe place to settle, but there isn't enough space for everyone! In this game of observation and strategy, you must protect your Crabz and be sure to prevent your opponents from doing so first. Stack them on top of eachother to avoid being swept back to sea!

Crabz is suitable for ages 8 and up and for 2-4 players. A game will last approximately 20 minutes. Stop your opponents Crabz by landing on top of them or wash them away!

As well as looking fantastic and vibrant, the game plays really well too. Inside the box, you'll find a large hexagonal gameboard which is a brilliant size, and 36 crab tokens. The tokens are in colour sets and one set is given to each player. The set includes 3 large, 3 medium and 3 small tokens.

To set up the game, all the tokens are mixed up and placed randomly on each section of the board. The game can now begin; which player will be the first to guide their team of Crabz to safety?

When a player takes their turn, they choose one of their Crabz to move. Players are able to move their tokens a certain number of adjacent spaces depending on their size. A player must end their turn on top of another crab.

When this happens, the crab underneath is no longer allowed to be move unless they are uncovered! There are a number of rules for the game, including how crabs are unable to move over open water and they can't backtrack over the same spot on their turn.

When a player can't move any more of their crabs, they are then eliminated from the game. The last player standing wins the game and is safe from the waves!

This game is great for getting those cogs turning and even for fine motor skills! You need to really think where the best places to play are and how you can win. A big IG thumbs up!

Click here to purchase Crabz from our website. Stock is limited!


Competition time!

Look out for the next chance to enter our competition; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL gain 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 are NOT including 12 Days of Gaming items in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

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12 Days of Gaming - F Hein Spiele

12 Days of Gaming - F Hein Spiele

Today we have three very different and rather calming games from German company F-Hein-Spiele. These games are rather similar in the fact that they use patterns to enable you to really think about card placement! We love the art and design of these games and are very excited to bring you something different and exclusive to us in the UK.

Mandala

The first of the three games is Mandala; an intriguing and beautifully presented game of matching and observation! The puzzle is suitable for ages 5 and up and for a single player or any number of players to work together. The game will take approximately 10-30 minutes; a perfect time to explore the puzzle!

The game includes 36 different cards with 9 patterns. The aim is to create a picture that mirrors itself along the diagonals, from corner to corner, as well as each vertical and horizontal line. Not as simple as it first looks! Keep making Mandala patterns and you'll create a fascinating masterpiece!

The Big and the Little Tree

A slightly different puzzle here, where you must connect the branches and flowers to create an image; from a small tree to a big one! The game will take approximately 10-20 minutes and is suitable for ages 5 and up. Again, it's suitable for a single player or for a group to solve together.

We like this game as there's lots of possibilities to create an image, and there are certain rules that need to be followed; you must create a 6x6 grid of leaves and branches which don't form closed circles! Create an image by combining and exchanging cards, observation is key!

Florentiner Domino

The objective of this game is for players to collect as many gem stones as possible from 'rooms' of a certain colour. Like the other two games, the pieces must match in a certain way which will then, in turn, create a beautiful domino-style image! The game is suitable for ages 7 and up and for 2 to 4 players. A game will take around 20-30 minutes.

Each player takes four cards and keeps them secret fro the other players. Players take it in turn to place their cards down next to card of a matching colour. We think this one is great in that it combines the classic game of dominos with strategy; you must think very carefully where to place your cards in order to collect the most gemstones!

Click here to purchase Mandala,

Here to purchase The Big and the Little Tree,

Or here to purchase Florentiner Domino. These games are exclusive to us and stock is limited!


Competition time!

Look out for the next chance to enter our competition 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 are NOT including 12 Days of Gaming items in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

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12 Days of Gaming - Four in the Forest / Four in the Zoo

12 Days of Gaming - Vier Im Zoo/Wald

Today's additions include two brilliant little games perfect for brushing up on those memory skills! Players need to look very carefully in order to remember where animal cards are situated and use this to their advantage. Vier Im Zoo and Vier Im Wald (which translates as Four in the Zoo and Four in the Forest) are great little compact games, perfect for on the go or for a quick game anywhere!

The games are suitable for ages 5+ and for 2 to 4 players. Game time can vary from 5-20 minutes; the more practice you get, the quicker you will be able to memorise the cards and identify their correct locations!

Each game comes in a very compact box which includes 9 cards and 2 wooden discs. The images in each game vary, from all the animals that you find in a zoo to all the animals you may find in the forest!

To set up a game, the 9 cards are laid face up in the centre of all players and the game box is placed to the side for now; it's needed soon! Inside the lid of the boxes and the box itself, you'll notice grids with the same pictures as the cards. The two wooden discs are placed in the box and in the lid.

Now the game is set up, players observe the cards and learn where they are situated. The cards are then turned face down. There are many ways you can learn where the cards are and the more you play, you'll come up with more strategies to help you. Practice makes perfect!

Players take it in turns to shake the lid or the box to make the disc move. They then try to remember where the animal is that the disc lands on. If the player chooses the correct card, they take it. If not, it is flipped back over for the next player. Remember which cards have been revealed and where they were situated!

So why are we playing these games? Well it's safe to say that this game is perfect for build up those memory and observation skills. We think they're quick, easy to understand and the more that you play, the better you'll get!

Click here to purchase Vier Im Zoo,

Or here to purchase Vier Im Wald from our website. These games are exclusive and stock is very limited!


Competition time!

Look out for your next chance to enter our competition 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 are NOT including 12 Days of Gaming items in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

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12 Days of Gaming - G Game

12 Days of Gaming - G Game

The last of our amazing selection of new games for the 12 Days of Gaming, and definitely very popular ones! Introducing Rainbow 35 and Animal Auction, two fantastic games from G Game in Korea. These two have been very popular so far, being tested out in schools and events locally.

Rainbow 35

Rainbow 35 is a very clever number game, where players have to be quick to observe and even quicker to react! The aim of the game is to be the first player to collect cards of all 7 colours of the Rainbow Cards, or 5 with the same colour. The game is suitable for 2-6 players and from ages 7 and up. The game will take around 10-15 minutes to play, but be sure to stay focused at all times!

The Number Cards are placed randomly and the Rainbow Cards are placed in a well shuffled deck. One card is turned over at a time and players are now in a race to find a matching number in the selection of cards around it. The first player to do this earns themselves that Rainbow card, and the game continues. However, things do change slightly when there are more than one of a certain Rainbow Card... here is where concentration is key!

Now when a card is overturned, players have to count the number of coloured Rainbow Cards in play, and add this the the number on the card! When a player collect one of each colour or 5 of the same colour, then they are crowned the Rainbow champion!

We love Rainbow 35 as it combines the use of maths and observation; a very fast paced game where your memory skills will come in handy! Remember where cards are located and how many of each card is in play. The more times you play, the faster and more accurate you'll get in spotting the correct card and working out the total first!

Click here to purchase Rainbow 35; stock is limited!


Animal Auction

Here's a game of managing your money and knowing when enough is enough! Animal Auction enables you to 'bid' for cards; the more cards you collect, the more points you gain! The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. Use your coins very wisely and be sure to try and trick your opponents into bidding more...but we didn't tell you that part!

The game is suitable for ages 10 and up and for 3-6 players, it takes around 15-30 minutes to play. Each player receives 10 chips which enable them to 'buy' cards from the landscape. Three cards are turned over at a time and players battle it out to be the highest bidder for these cards. The thing that players are really looking for is the opportunity to gain a collection of the same card. 

At the end of the game, collections of the same card gain you points, while a single card means that points will be taken away! There are a few surprise cards in there and one card that you really don't want to reveal...

We've tested out these games recently in a number of schools and at events around the area, and they've been extremely popular! They're great to improve observation skills and to even help brush up on your Maths! Matching skill is essential to be successful in these games and the more you practice, the more these skills will improve.

Click here to purchase Animal Auction from our website. These games are exclusive to us in the UK - get yours now while they're still available!


Competition time!

Look out for the next chance to enter our competition 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 game pack worth hundreds of pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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12 Days of Gaming - Kingdomino

12 Days of Gaming - Kingdomino

This one has proved very popular at recent events and it's one we really love too. Kingdomino is a different take on a classic game of Dominoes; this time, you're a Lord seeking and joining new lands! Your aim is to connect your dominoes to build your kingdom in such a way that you gain the most points at the end of the game.

Kingdomino is suitable for ages 8 and up and for 2 to 4 players. The basic game will take around 15 minutes, but the variation of the game will take a little longer; a quest to build and even bigger and more impressive kingdom!

The box contains a castle for each player, 4 starting tiles, 8 wooden king tokens and 48 dominoes. These dominoes are double sided; one side holds a different area of land which include wheat fields, lakes and mountains, while the other side holds a number which we'll get onto shortly. The game works very cleverly and incorporates some strategy alongside some basic math skills, and this is what you'll work out as you play!

To set up the game, each player needs to gather their wooden tokens and castle, and dominoes are placed numbered side up and in ascending order. Players' tokens are shuffled to determine play order and dominoes are then flipped to show their landscape. Now the task is on; can you build a 5x5 grid and ensure your kingdom is the most successful?

Players take it in turns to choose dominoes to add to their kingdom to build their grid. On some domino pieces, you may find crown images which are great to go for; these gain you more points! Here's where there's a sneaky bit of maths involved. When you have a collection of a certain section of land AND you have a certain number of crowns on these parts, these numbers are multiplied together to boost your score. The more crowns you collect, the bigger your final point score will be at the end.

It's a great game to teach new players and the rules can be taught in a matter of minutes.

- Tabletop Together review

When you've mastered the basic game by creating a 5x5 grid, why not challenge yourself to a more advanced variation? For this game, build a 7x7 grid and create a bigger and better kingdom! Other rules you may wish to include in your game are:

  • Dynasty: 3 rounds are played and the winner is the player with the highest score at the end.
  • The Middle Kingdom: if your castle is in the centre, score 10 additional points!
  • Harmony: 5 extra points if your grid is complete.

Kingdomino is a great game and very easy to pick up. The rules are simple and enable players to use tactical choices to succeed. Use strategy and observation to build the greatest kingdom and gain the most points!

Click here to purchase Kingdomino from us online. Stock is limited!


Competition time!

Look out for the next chance to enter our competition soon; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entries into our priz draw. This year, you could win a HUGE games pack worth hundred of pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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12 Days of Gaming - MindMaze

12 Days of Gaming - MindMaze

MindMaze is a fantastic way to think outside the box. A tale is read from one of the cards and players try to fill in the missing pieces. However, there is a catch; only yes or no answers are allowed! There are a great variety of these games available with a different theme. Today, we'll be looking at Young Detectives and Bits and Bob variations!

Each game is suitable for ages 12 and up and for 2 or more players. Why not team up and play against another team of players? A game lasts around 10-40 minutes depending on the amount of discussion and the cards used. Can you solve the puzzle?

Each game works the same way, but there are different themes in which to play the game. The aim of the game is to solve a riddle in the form of a strange and mysterious story. One player will be the 'Moderator', who will tell a part of the story.

All the other players will try to solve the riddle. To help them, they are allowed to ask the Moderator question with a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer given back. The Moderator can only reply with 'Yes', 'No' or 'Not Important'!

In the basic game, Moderators do the following:

  • Keeps the card hidden and reads the story to the rest of the group.
  • Secretly reads the full story on the back of the card
  • Answers questions from the other players!

There is also a different variation of the game which is more competitive. You can create a point system, where all players race to think of a correct answer for the riddle. You can also end the game after a certain number of cards have been played, or until every has had a turn at being the Moderator.

The Young Detectives variation of the game involves a mystery you need to solve, perhaps there are certain suspect or something has disappeared...can you solve the problem as a detective?

The Bits and Bobs variation of the game involves more general stories about everyday people and things. A totally random selection of cards!

So... why are we playing? The MindMaze collection is brilliant for storytelling and great for building speaking and listening confidence. It's great for the imagination and definitely gets you thinking outside the box. The game develops observation, logic and algorithmic thinking.

Click here to purchase MindMaze: Young Detectives, 

Or click here to purchase MindMaze: Bits and Bobs. Stock is limited.


Competition time!

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

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12 Days of Gaming - Nightmarium

12 Days of Gaming - Nightmarium

Over the years, the masters of the Order of Dreamers studied the human dreamscape, but there was one place which wasn't explored: the Nightmarium! Filled with gruesome Night Terrors, this is one place no one ever wishes to tread. Now, they have found a way to subdue these unstable creatures. Whoever can assemble five creatures of a unique design will gain total power over the Terrors!

This unusual but fantastic game from Russian company, Mosigra, is one for the horror fans! This frightfully fun game is suitable for ages 10+ and for 2 to 5 players. A game will take around 20 minutes. Can you be first to assemble your creatures and acquire power?

There's some very detailed artwork on the cards in the game which make them look even more horrifying! We definitely wouldn't want to meet one of these guys on a dark night...There are 108 Night Terror cards, each with either a head, torso or legs body parts. These are the cards that you'll create your own creatures from!

To start the game, five cards are randomly given to each player and are kept hidden from the other players. The rest of the deck is placed in the centre. Who was the last player to have a nightmare? After discussing this, (obviously) this player begins the game!

Players take it in turns to do the following:

  • Draw a card from the deck
  • Discard cards and draw new cards
  • Play a card and activate creature abilities

There are loads of brilliant Creature Abilities that trigger once you have created your Creature which can seriously affect the luck of your opponents! You can sabotage creatures that aren't complete or reveal more cards that will help you win the game. Be the first to assemble 5 creatures to win the game!

So, why are we playing this game? The game is fantastic for horror fans and gamers alike and we love it's creativity. It's ideal to get your imagination going but beware; what's that lurking over your shoulder?!

Click here to purchase Nightmarium from our website; stock is limited!


Competition time!

Look out for a Nightmarium based competition question on our social media; answering a question, sharing the competition and tagging a friend will ALL gain you entries into our prize draw. This year, you could win a HUGE game pack worth hundreds of pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Brix

12 Days of Gaming - Brix

Brix is a fantastic variation of a classic game of O's and X's or four in a row! Although playing against each other to win, players cooperatively build a wall using the bricks of their colour and shape. The player who is the first to successfully align four of their symbol or colour in a row is the winner!

A quick 10 minute game for ages 7 and up, this one is for 2 players only. Think strategically... can you beat your opponent and become the first to claim the wall?

The bricks used in the game look fantastic. They're a great size to hold for precise and impressive wall building; each brick includes 2 different colours and the 2 different symbols...not your average game of O's and X's! Inside the box there are 22 bricks, but beware; each brick contains both colours and symbols, so any brick you place could help your opponent to win the game if you're not careful!

There are a number of different variations of the game that mix things up a bit, which is a great way to get more creative with the classic game. The start a game, all bricks are placed in the centre of the players within arms reach. Players take it in turns and stack a single brick at a time to slowly build a wall and get four in a row!

The classic game, which is recommended for the newbies involves what you'd expect; each player chooses either O's or X's and attempts to get four of their symbol in a row to win the game, whilst their opponent tries to block their path and create their own four in a row. The game also suggests 2 variations of this:

  • Connecting colours - this is another way to try the game if you're a beginner; instead of connecting shape, why not try colour? This could be a way to totally throw your opponent of course...or maybe yourself! Concentration is key for this one.
  • Connecting symbols vs connecting colours: this variation is definitely for the more advanced. One player uses symbols and the other player uses colour to try and get their four in a row. A lot more thought is needed to get through this one!

Brix is an exciting and appealing variation of a classic game, which will definitely be of interest to wide range of gamers both new and old! A great one for observation, concentration and to even improve hand-eye coordination. 

Click here to purchase Brix from us online. Stock is limited!


Competition time!

Another exciting game from Blue Orange! Look out for another chance to enter our big giveaway; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entries. This year, you could win a huge games pack worth hundred of pounds. This is not to be missed!

Please note, we are NOT including 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.

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Copy or Not Copy?

12 Days of Gaming - Copy or Not Copy?

Another easy to play, yet fun and competitive card game from Blue Orange, Copy or Not Copy? is a brand new one for fans of a spot the difference puzzle! The slight twist in this game however, is for players to spot the original image from a number of variations. All other images differ, but there is one single image that includes all extras and this is what you and your opponents are searching for!

Copy or Not Copy? is a 15 minute game suitable for ages 7+. A great feature of this game is that you can enjoy it as a single player or in a group of up to 5. Can you spot the original before your opponents?

Inside the vibrant, fancy tin, you'll find 72 cards, each with an original image and copies of that image that may have a few differences...there are also six different coloured tokens which are used for the different variation of the game. We'll get onto this shortly!

The basic game is pretty simple and will definitely get you thinking. On each turn, the top card is flipped over and players have to race to find which image is the original out of the selection. The way to do this is by looking at each image in turn and eliminating each copy in turn by comparing them to the rest of the images. This can be rather tricky when the pressure builds!

There are a number of different ways to play the game; here's where the tokens are used!

  • In race mode, when a card is flipped, the player who correctly guesses first collects the token of the correct colour.
  • In cooperative mode, players take their time to solve the puzzle. Each player in turn eliminates one image until there is only one image left.
  • When you play in solo mode, you race against the clock! You have 2 minutes to solve as many cards as possible.

Copy or Not Copy is another great one for your card flipping collection, building skills in a number of areas including pattern recognition, observation, concentration and that little bit of patience! A great little game for if you have some left over spending money this Christmas...or just to enjoy with the family!

Click here to purchase Copy or Not Copy from our online store. Stock is limited!


Competition time!

There's still time to enter our Christmas competition! Look out for another 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 are NOT including 12 Days of Gaming items in our competition. This is purely because stock is extremely limited and can be purchased on a first come first served basis from our website. We regret that we are unable to ship prizes and 12 Days of Gaming items outside the UK.

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Djeco

12 Days of Gaming - Djeco

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

Mosquito

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

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

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

- Amazon Customer review

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bla Bla Bla

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

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

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

- The Toy Factory

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

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

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

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

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


Folanimos

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

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

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

- Bird Kids.co.uk

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

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

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

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


Competition time!

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

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

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Fast Flip

12 Days of Gaming - Fast Flip

Blue Orange bring us another fabulously fast-paced recognition game; Fast Flip! Another one for fans of Dobble, Fast Flip encourages you to look carefully at your cards to be the first player to find a match! 

The game is suitable for ages 7+ and for 2-8 players, with a game lasting about 15 minutes. It's very portable and looks appealing too; a great start, we must say!

The concept of matching games like these seems rather simple on the surface, but what people may not realise is that it takes quite a lot of skill; something that can definitely be improved over time. There are a number of ways to play Fast Flip and each one encourages you to think in a slightly different way. All will be revealed!

The game tin is great quality and really looks the part. Inside you'll find 55 cards and 10 different tokens, either number or fruit. The basic game is set up rather simply in the fact that all cards are shuffled and placed into a pile. The other variations of the game will use the different tokens. So much fruit... how 'apeeling'!

In Game 1, players play simultaneously and try to find a match. The first card of the pile is flipped so everyone can see the lovely array of fruits printed on it. Players work as fast as possible to work out how many of a fruit there are or which fruit is printed a certain number of times, depending on the card that is flipped. Most cards collected wins!

The second game now involves the rather interesting tokens. When playing the game, instead of calling the match, players have to grab the correct token. This is where it gets competitive! When a player has 4 tokens in front of them, the game stops and the winner is revealed.

It helps to develop focus, visual perception skills and fine motor skills.

-  Game review

The third and final game the rules suggest is to line up the tokens in any order you wish. This is now the order you are looking for when you play! The winner is the player with the most tokens after all 10 turns have been played.

Fast Flip is a great one to improve your speed and observation. It's one of those games that you'll improve on each time you'll play. Your reactions will be quicker and you'll be faster at recognising the different numbers and fruits involved. A great stocking filler and much fun can be enjoyed with the family this Christmas!

Click here to purchase Fast Flip from our online store; stock is limited!

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Macroscope

12 Days of Gaming - Macroscope

How's your imagination today? Good we hope; you'll definitely need it for Macroscope! Lifestyle Boardgames have really impressed us with this one and have created a game that simply looks incredible. The Macroscope is a very peculiar device which enables you to peek through round holes in order to guess what image is concealed inside. Can you tell a giraffe from a pizza when using the Macroscope? Things aren't as simple as they seem...

Macroscope is a very unique way of playing an easy to learn game. We absolutely loved it and it even got our brains working overtime! The game can be played by 2 to 6 players aged 6 and up and can last approximately 30 minutes. You've never seen a device like this before!

This quirky game box really looks the part and has been designed very well to fit in with the whole game image. Inside, you'll find a lot of rather cool things and you'll even get the pleasure of building your very own Macroscope before the game begins! All the components you need to build it will be ready to be popped out of the cardboard (a very satisfying task as I'm sure many of you will know) and the instructions will tell you all you need to know to get set up quickly.

An awesome family game and one that gamers will like too!

-Game Boy Geek review

As well as the components to make the Macroscope, you'll find dice, a selection of blue and yellow gems (which are used to keep track of points throughout the game) and 200 double sided cards, which have a variety of images for you to guess throughout the game. There are also circular card tokens which are used to cover the holes in the Macroscope which are removed when guessing, and a tracker so you always know which round you're on. The stack of cards are placed inside the Macroscope with the numbered tokens placed randomly on top. When everything's set up, we're ready to play! Admit it...it looks rather impressive!

Players take it in turns to roll both the dice. The numbers on the dice tell the player which numbered tokens to remove from the top of the Macroscope. When these are removed, the image underneath can be seen. However, parts of the image remain uncovered so can be quite tricky to tell what the image is on a player's first turn! If a player can't guess the image, the game continues until another player feels confident enough to make a good guess. When a player guesses correctly, the image is removed and placed to one side. Be sure the put the number tokens back onto the Macroscope before you remove it!

I like the device and the concept of the game; a fun and interesting party game too!

- The Dice Tower review

Now for those shiny gems...when a player guesses the drawing correctly they receive a gem for each number token that is left on the Macroscope (as well as a pat on the back!) These are victory points for the player; the quicker it takes for a player to guess the image, the more victory points they receive! The yellow gems are worth 1 victory point and the blue gems are worth 5 victory points. The winner of the game is the player who has the most victory points after 10 rounds. 

Macroscope is a fantastic tool to engage the imagination and to get you thinking about different possibilities. There are some strategy elements to the game, such as is it worth taking a risk and guessing early or should you hang on and guess when you are certain? We think this is a brilliant game which will bring endless fun for those family nights in!


Competition time!

A quirky little game like Macroscope is definitely worthy of a place in our 12 Days of Gaming! Keep a look out for a question about Macroscope on our social media; answering the question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL get you entries into our prize draw. This year, you could win a HUGE games pack with old and new games worth several hundred pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Rings Up!

12 Days of Gaming - Rings Up!

We love the idea of Rings Up; a completely different game to what we've seen before! When we received it we couldn't wait to open it up for a test game, and it slowly became one of the most competitive family games we've come across! Rings Up! is another great fast paced game of observation and agility. Players race to stack different coloured rings based on an order shown by one of the challenge cards.

The game is suitable for ages 6 and up for 2-6 players. A game will last around 10 minutes but can be longer depending on how you wish to play. Are you ready? The race is on!

Rings Up! is a simple game that encourages you to think fast and act...well...faster! The objective of the game is to be the first player to win 7 of the challenges, and therefore obtain 7 of the challenge cards. If you're feeling particularly competitive however, you could always tweak the rules slightly and play until the pile of cards have disappeared, making the player with the most challenge cards the winner overall!

The components of the game are great quality and comprise of 50 beautifully illustrated challenge cards and 48 rings of different colours (12 of each red, green, blue and yellow). Each player recieves two rings of each colour to use. There are a number of modes and variations in this game, so there's always something new to try with this one.

Players take it in turns to choose a challenge card from the top of the pile. It's then a race to build the a stack of rings in the correct order as shown on the card. The game suggests to build the stack on your thumb; when a player thinks they have done it correctly, the rest of the group then needs to verify that their stack is correct. Definitely a fun way to play and the amount of rushing around and pressure can be very competitive!

This is the Classic game mode, but there are other ways to spice things up a bit, including stacking the rings in front of you, or completely mixing up the whole collection of rings on the table for all the players to grab! 

We think this is a fantastic game for a number of reasons. It's great for hand-eye coordination, hand dexerity and for those who struggle with concentration and observation. Another one where the more you play the better you get; practice makes perfect! A definite IG thumbs up for this one!

Click here to purchase Rings Up! from our online store; stock is limited!


Competition time!

Blue Orange Games have impressed up with this one; look out for a question about Rings Up! 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 are 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.

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - The Story So Far!

12 Days of Gaming

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

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


Creature College - Happy Otter Games

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

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

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


KIX: The Football Card Game - IT Games

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

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

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


Baby Blues - Jumping Turtle Games

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

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

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

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


Baby Clues - Jumping Turtle Games

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

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

Retrieve 5 milk bottles and win the game!

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


Race to the North Pole - Playmore Games

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

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

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


WordStacker - Ingenium Games

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

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

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


Glimpse - Legend Express

The fun, family game of friendship!

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

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


Also, don't forget...

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

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12 Days of Gaming 2016 - Top That!

12 Days of Gaming - Top That!

Top That; a game of building, speed and magic! Carefully observe the challenge cards and stack your magical objects correctly, although there is a big catch; some of the pieces have to be hidden and some are discarded altogether! Do you have the speed and skill to tackle your opponents? 

A brilliant one from Blue Orange, Top That is a simple family game containing hours of fun in a friendly yet competitive way. The game is suitable for ages 6 and up for 2-4 players and will take approximately 15 minutes to play. You can of course make the game longer or shorter depending on the time you have as there are many ways you can amend the game to suit you.

The box artwork and all it's components are very appealing and look fantastic! It really gives the feel of being a magician and using your skills to build, stack and conceal; just like magic! Inside the box you'll find 4 sets of objects:

  • Black top hats
  • Red goblets
  • Orange pipes
  • Green coins
  • And of course, magic wouldnt be the same without...white rabbits!

There are also 55 cards which each hold a Top That challenge. How many can you complete quickly yet correctly?!

The aim of the basic game is to be the first to collect 5 cards. Cards are collected by stacking the correct pieces in the correct places, but also being the player to do this first! At the start of every turn, a card is revealed and players then begin to build. The game is very clever in the way to images have been printed; if the image is coloured, this is a definte item that must be on show in your stack. If the image is grey, this means that you have to use this item in your stack BUT it must be hidden inside another piece! If an image of a piece isn't there, it simply means it isn't used in this particular round.

There are a number of ways to vary how the game plays. For example, an advanced rule for the game is that whenever an object on a card is surrounded by yellow stars, this means that at least one other item has to be inside it. Also, the number of cards to win can be increased for a longer game, or you can even play through the whole card pile!

Another great game for hand dexterity and speed. It's great for improving those fine motor skills and for encouraging children to be more observant. A great fun and family friendly gift for Christmas this year!

Click here to purchase Top That from the online store; stock is limited!


Competition time!

Blue Orange never fail with their variety of games and we're sure you'll love Top That! Look out for the next chance to enter our competition on our social medial answering a question, sharing a competition and tagging a friend will ALL gain you entries into our prize draw. This year, you could win a HUGE game pack worth hundred of pounds. This is not to be missed!

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

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AireCon 2016

AireCon is a relatively new event that sees gamers from far and wide join forces and game together. Gamers of any ability are encouraged to attend and are able to see demonstrations of games from their creators, buy new games or simply sit with drink and grab a game to play from the games library!

We stuck our heads into Saturday’s event and were immediately greeted in a warm and friendly manner which definitely made us want to dive in and see what we could see. It was clear upon entering that a lot of thought had been put into their plans, from the layout of of the hall to the vast amounts of game space; we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

This year’s event was sponsored by Travelling Man and UK Games Expo, and has also gathered a brilliant selection of traders, including:

  • Travelling Man

  • Medusa Games

  • Stuff by Bez

  • District 31

  • Inside The Box

  • Elements

  • Band Manager Backstage Clash

It was fantastic to see many familiar faces and such enthusiasm from all; engaging attendees and demonstrating games to both older gamers and youngsters. The event ran very smoothly and there were lots of different things happening throughout the day, even a game of Codenames using the whole hall! There was also the chance to opt in for a Saturday night curry after a hard day of gaming, which we regrettably missed out on...

What we also loved about the event were the finer details and merchandise, ranging from AireCon mugs to your very own AireCon dice. Well let’s be honest; who doesn’t want a game while enjoying a cup of tea?

After being a sold out event on Saturday, AireCon couldn’t get any better could it? Wrong! After speaking to the lovely staff, the next event in March 2017 is set to be even better; bigger premises and more games but with the usual incredible gaming atmosphere that it brings. We’ll see you there!

Keep up to date with plans for next year's AireCon which will be held at Harrogate International Centre on the 10th-12th March 2017!

http://www.airecon.uk

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An Interview With... Michael Salmon - IT Games

An Interview With... Michael Salmon - IT Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read our game overview for KIX.

You can purchase KIX from our website here.

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An Interview With... Orhan Ertughrul - Happy Otter Games

An Interview With... Orhan Ertughrul - Happy Otter Games

A few weeks ago, we introduced a fab new game, where weird creatures roamed and battles were imminent - Creature College! In the game, you complete missions, build your research lab and annihilate your enemies to gain the most victory points. We caught up with Creature College creator, Orhan Ertughrul from Happy Otter games, to find out what inspired him to make the game and a sneak peek at what's coming up in the future!

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

Happy Otter Games is a relatively new company. We had the idea for Creature College mid 2014, developed and launched it on Kickstarter during 2015 and we're now looking at delivering our second game in 2017. Our design and development cycle was about 12 months.

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

I've been gaming since the age of about 11 so around 37 years! However, my inspiration for Happy Otter Games was my kids; I wanted to create a game that they'd enjoy and that my games group would also enjoy.

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

Today we have Creature College, a bidding and battling game with fantastical creatures and great characters. It plays up to 6 players and is great for kids from the age of 8 (although my son was playing it like a boss at the age of 7!)

How did you get the ideas for your games?

A lot of my inspiration comes from my children. I rely on them a lot to tell me what they think looks cool in the artwork or what they enjoy playing. Some of the time though, ideas for games pretty much just pop into my head. I'm definitely also influenced by going to games shows like UK Games Expo and Essen Spiel. There are some amazing designers out there who regularly inspire me with cool game mechanics and amazing artistic design. I also work with some incredibly talented artists and their art often inspires ideas for how certain mechanics should work.

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

Gosh, favourite games are always hard because it changes over time. I do have some favourites though. Terra Mystica is right up there along with T'zolkin by Czech Games. For quick fun games, I'd probably go for Augustus, Ra (by Reiner Knizia) and Seven Wonders.

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

In 2017 we're launching a game called 'Ninja Snails' that is a game of battling Ninja's who are...well...snails. This is a fun pell-mell game for 2-7 players with the same artist that helped us with Creature College. We have a high Norse Fantasy game called Sverdgard which is a more complicated game that we're hoping to launch in 2018. We also have a tabletop figure game planned for 2020 but that's at a very early concept phase.

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

For new gamers, I think it would have to be: Enjoy the game and don't get too hung up on winning. The joy of games comes from meeting great people and having fun with them. If you win, it's a bonus. For old gamers: Try new games! There are some amazing games and fantastic new designers out there. Great new companies like Mantic, Hawk Games, Steam Forged to name but a few, who are producing really clever enjoyable games. Make a pact with yourself to try at least 5 new games this year!

Read our game overview for Orhan's first game, Creature College, here!

Click here to get your copy of Creature College from our website.

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CVLizations - Game Review

CVLizations - A game of happiness, tribe building and revolutionary ideas! This clever family game by Granna is unique for a number of reasons; you will lead your own tribe, create a civilisation and achieve greatness! Will your tribe be clever scientists, builders or warriors? Your aim is to make your civilisation the happiest by any means necessary! This one can be enjoyed by the older kids at age 10+ and an average game lasts approximately 45 minutes. However, we know how important creating a new civilisation can be and we totally understand if more time is needed...and with 2-5 players, there's a lot that needs to be discussed and debated! An extremely popular game released in the last year, CVLizations really got everyone talking and managed to win itself the 2016 UK Games Expo Best Family Game!

The game box and all contents within the game come with some pretty impressive artwork. Inside, you’ll find the game board, a selection of tokens, cards and the impressive leader helmet and crown pieces! The game board has been created so everything has a place, meaning set up time is significantly reduced. Straight away, you can see where all the game cards and pieces need to go which is really quite handy! When everything is set up, it’s time to get down to business. Serious business...

There are 3 stages with 3 rounds, and each round has different phases including order, action, development and cleanup. Each player gets a deck of 8 order cards and one of each of the three goods. To start, the first player chooses 2 of their cards and places one face up and one face down, which in all honesty could create a bit of tension; your chosen card could be someone else’s downfall! Each card has a different action from thieving to trading and there is also a sneaky doubling card in there too, so use it wisely and to your advantage! When all players have revealed their cards, the actions then need to be resolved in the correct order. These gain you resources and happiness points; smiles all around! At the end of each round, the cards used are discarded and the remaining 6 cards are then taken to the next round. Players can now ‘purchase’ one idea card from the gameboard by using their goods tokens. These cards show you the name, type, cost and a description of any special rule associated with the idea. It also tells you the number of happiness points your civilisation will gain at the end of the game if you choose that particular card. Some cards may have a special effect for the rest of the game so make sure you keep the game board replenished with cards throughout to avoid disappointment! The game ends after the third round and happiness points are counted up which will then determine the winner. How does your civilisation fare against your opponents?

The first time we tested this game we were very impressed with the gaming tokens, perhaps a little too much! We referred to each one as ‘the cog’, ‘the cube’ and ‘PacMan’ and realised the game made much more sense after we had a little look through the rules of play; stone, wood and food will definitely give our tribes a better start in life! I also love the whole idea of creating and ruling a tribe and the fact that how it grows is totally down to the player. It’s definitely a game to get excited about!

CVLizations is a great game for strategy, allowing you to think about what you play on each turn, the effect it can have on the amount of happiness you obtain and the goods tokens you collect throughout. It gets imaginations running wild as you think of ways to better your tribe and to make your civilisation thrive. We'd recommend playing this game with upper KS2 in schools and as a family. Why not include younger children as part of your team? We think youngsters will be able to quickly pick up the basic rules, and also encourages explaining the rules to others!

Calling all teaching professionals; do you have a suitable topic coming up that would suit CVLizations? Perhaps you're learning about different tribes of the world, or even the vikings! It's a great way to get children engaged and in the zone! 

Have you already played CVLizations? Please leave a comment about your experience so others can read your thoughts!

Click here to purchase CVLizations from our online store.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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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