This holiday we were blessed to have my niece and nephew visit from Korea. Looking for games to play that required little English, we pulled out Ticket to Ride. The game was a huge hit. I myself played six games of the original Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Ride Europe, the 1910 and 1912 expansions, as well as TTR Asia. The kids played literally EVERY day; sometimes more than once! This was definitely THE HIT GAME of the holidays.
Other games that got much play included Qwirkle, Fundomino, Rush Hour, Abandon Ship, and even Bananagrams (yes, I know that one requires English but put my 4th grader up against an international college student was a bit unfair – for the international student!)
No, this is not an iOS or Android version. Qwirkle is now available in a small travel version. I like the same black tiles but when I opened my set more than a few tiles stuck together and had to be pried apart. This resulted in chips and blemishes on the tiles. Not enough to make any single tile recognizable from the back but enough to be unsettling.
The smaller tiles have an advantage in that the area needed for play is also smaller. I also like the travel bag that maintains its shape vice the bag of the full set that never finds a good place to lay on the shelf between games.
Invited friends over and hosted a family game night. It was a real success. We had four adults and six kids ranging in age from 1st grade through high school.
First game up was Qwirkle. This was played amongst the adults. Interestingly, this was Mrs. RMN’s first game (though she has watched/helped in many) as well as the intro game for our guest couple. Game took about 45 minutes to play. Verdict: SUCCESS.
For a quick filler before dessert we played Fundomino. Three kids versus guest father. Game went fast with good action right up to the last plays. Playing time: 15 minutes. Verdict: Success.
Another game played was Dragonheart. This was played by the Dads first as a teaching game. Afterward, I stepped out and let some of the kids play against the guest Dad. Verdict: SUCCESS!
While the adults were playing Qwirkle the kids played Magic Labyrinth. This proved very popular; so much so that when the adults were finished the kids challenged guest father to a match. Playing time for a four player game was about 30 minutes. Verdict: SUCCESS!
The night finished up with a large seven-player game of Abandon Ship. All six kids played (the high schooler helped the new younger player) against the two Dads. The game was a good race all the way to the end; I think five of the original seven rats were within reach of the top. As it turned out, one of the youngest players won a close race. All wanted to play again but the hour was getting late. Playing time: 30 minutes. Verdict: RESOUNDING SUCCESS.
This was the first Family Game Night we ever hosted with another family. It was a great time and no TVs or computers were turned on all night. All the kids, big and small, and all the adults had a great time. Even Mrs. RMN joined in a game instead of just being an observer. From the kids perspective it was a blast with interesting games. From the adult perspective it was good friends, conversation, (a wee bit of drinking) and tons of enjoyment playing with the kids. It also helps that our guest family is game friendly (we have introduced them to several games before) and were anxious to play. They left with a list of new games that they will eventually get.
Qwirkle is a game that we have actually had in the family for a few years. At one time it was a present for Little Miss RMN but it languished for a time in the basement closet. This year we pulled it out and enjoyed playing it. We even took it up the the grandparent’s house and challenged Gramps to a game; instant hit!
The original plan was to get a copy for Gramps but we had an early setback when we went to get a copy. Black Friday at Borders we had a 50% off one item coupon and had seen the game. When we got there every copy was gone! This started an odyssey of shopping. We actually saw copies at Target but it was not on sale at that time. Later in the season Target put Qwirkle on sale but when we went it was sold out. I eventually used a money-back deal to bring down the regular price of a copy.
Turns out we went through a bit to much effort. You see, when the sale came Gramps bought his own copy (I think this is the first time ever he has bought a copy of a game we showed him). He is a big fan of the game and challenges Grandma often. When Grandma was hospitalized, Qwirkle found it way onto that really small table used in hospital rooms (though both will tell you it was way too small!).
The copy of Qwirkle we got was sent as a present to the nephew. Early reports are he likes it.
Day before Christmas we were walking through Target and looked at the games aisle. Qwirkle was sold-out. Suprisingly, we bumped into a couple that were looking for the game. It seems Qwirkle is quite popular this year, an apparent fact I find surprising given the lack of advertising seen.