Yard of the Month

If you are anything like me, your two favorite smells are a freshly cut lawn and victory. And if you are not one of the many people who suffer from gnomophobia (a fear or dislike of garden gnomes) then Yard of the month might be for you. 

No seriously gnomophobia is real, Elton John says that it caused the delay in the release of his animated film Gnomeo and Juliet. But I digress. 

YotM is a pretty simple game you need to grow ten flowers in your garden before your opponents do. To protect your seedlings against weeds and other nerdowells you have the Gnick the Gnome a tireless defender of the garden. A guardian in grass. But there is always a dark side of the coin, a plague, the neighborhood nuisance, a conjurer of crabgrass Gnack the Gnome. 

Players try to keep Gnick around to build up curb appeal while Gnack is driving down property values. 

YotM might be a little tame for some adult crowds who are used to collecting games that are either much more racy or violent. But the colorful cards and ease of game play make it a fun intro into collecting games for youngsters. 

I thought there was not enough variety in the cards, there are only seven different cards and a few times when playing (mostly due to bad shuffling) you got full hands of the same cards, which ended up slowing down the game play. I have been told that there are some bonus cards that may be added to the set if certain goals are met during their Kickstarter campaign. 

Note: I was given a copy of this game to facilitate this review. But as always all opinions are my own. 

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters aka  Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister

One of my friends recently told me that our local Toys R Us was having its liquidation sale. It was bitter sweet, picked through aisles, leftovers and kids riding around on bicycles. As I looked around I found a hidden treasure. 

I turned into the remnants of what used to be the board game aisle when I found the English language version of the amazing award winning German board game Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister. Re-named Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters, I knew I had to have this game. I was first exposed to the original by one of my friends who had gotten it as a gift. We had to google the instructions in English but it was pretty self explanatory. 

You are a treasure hunter who goes exploring a house for treasures. But the house has a ghost problem. And the problem is getting worse. As you explore the house, more and more ghosts populate the rooms. As a team you need to get out all of the treasure before 6 rooms become haunted. A room doesn't become haunted until three ghosts show up and form into a “Haunting” a large red ghost that takes at least two hunters to fight. 

This was the first cooperative game I had ever played. And it was hard to turn off trying to win mode. I quickly caught on playing with a group of adults. But how would a 9&7 year old react to the concept?

For starters the ghost figurines which are the color of very light wasabi sauce and the clear red hauntings were certainly hits with my kids. The game play was really easy to explain. And we were off, in our first game we battled ghosts and hauntings all over the house and as a team found our way out of the house right before we were overwhelmed. This was going to be too easy. 

We played a second game and it didn't go as well. Even though we came up with a plan to get the treasures out, our rolls didn't work out the way we planned. And six red hauntings stood in the house and we were defeated. But then they wanted to play again. Next time we will use the advanced rules which will make it a lot harder. I'm sure they are up for it. 

Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister or Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters, or whatever (there is also a licensed Ghostbusters version) you want to call it is such a fun game that can be played by kids, adults or even adults and kids together. 

Tabletop Tuesday - Funky Chicken

This is our video review of Funky Chicken from North Star Games it a great game for the entire family and perfect to take along on a road trip.

NOTE: I was given a copy of this game to facilitate the review but all opinions are my own.

TableTop Tuesday - Unstable Unicorns 

I will admit that I was a little worried about bringing a game whose goal is to build a stable of unicorns to game night. Oh yeah your stable starts with a baby unicorn.

But my group is pretty understanding and we started our first game of Unstable Unicorns and the game was so fun. Each player had to build a stable of Unicorns and stop their opponents from building theirs, using some magical Unicorns special cards.  Basically you build an army of Unicorns (or Narwhals) and destroy your in real life friendships ... but the unicorns are so cute and you can find new friends.

The artwork is so cute, my favorite cards were the narwhals (the unicorns of the sea). But the gameplay is pretty ruthless. There is nothing that feels like a kick in the chest than putting down a card that will give you an advantage and disable your opponent, and then a moment later they drop down a “Neigh” card, which is basically a veto card that can only be overridden by two cards.

We played a bunch of rounds, and we did find some confusion in some of the rules particularly when it came to using lassos and seductive Unicorns. Admittedly it was late in the evening so we let it go.  After a while we added the Uncut expansion set. And it got racy ... two words Naked Narwhal.

The base set is rated for ages 14 and over and I agree. While younger kids might like the artwork it is not a game for them, definitely not the Uncut expansion which is adults only. The game play is really good, it can be frustrating when you think victory is at hand and it is snatched right out of you hoofs. Once you get the feel of the game it is quick and you your former friends will have a great last twenty minutes of friendship.   

NOTE: While I was given a copy of this game for the purpose of the review, all opinions are mine.


You Bet Cha - video review

NOTE: I was given a copy of this game to facilitate the review but all opinions are my own.


Tabletop Tuesday - You BET-CHA

There was a pile of chips sitting in front of me. I was betting at will when the sports category came up, my friends conceding that they couldn’t beat me. I was Mike Tyson before Riddick Bowe. Tiger Woods before that fateful Thanksgiving. I beat them before I even started. Then my buddy’s brother-in-law and his girlfriend sat at the table and the odds changed. Not necessarily in my favor.

That night we tried out the new game from Gray Matters Games You BET-CHA. The game combines betting, trivia and racing against the clock. And is amazingly fun. Split into four categories, Paparazi (entertainment and celebrities) Know-It-Alls (general trivia), Jocks (sports) and Globetrotters (geography).

The game play is really fun and quick to learn. After everyone ante’s up, and the category and game mode dice are cast. The question is read. There are three game modes. Silent Bet, which every player write down the number of answers they think they will be able to give in one minute.Highest bet will have to give the answers out loud. Live bet, in which everyone has to say out loud how many answers they could give. This goes around the table until everyone has had a chance to make a bet, and raise if you are feeling confident. Oh you think you can name 15 NHL hockey teams? I’ll name 18. And finally All Play, no bets are placed and everyone has a minute to write down their answers. The one with the most answers right wins the pot and as many coins as correct answers. After seven rounds, you add up the chips and a winner is crowned.

Zach,Screech,Mr. Belding, Kelly, Lisa, Slater, Jessie, Ms. Bliss
(The card lists Max and not Ms. Bliss from the first season)

The best part of the game is that it almost gives you a game show experience. You are on the spot and it’s really easy to get caught up in the betting. Sure I know more than two Usher songs ... no I don’t

In that second game I got crushed, between her sports expertise (which caused me to over bet) and his insane knowledge of everything from Las Vegas casinos and Harry Potter books. But I still beat the rest of my friends which is still good.

One other great thing about You BET-CHA is that the team at Gray Matters Games supports brain health and is donating a meaningful portion of the profits are being donated to Alzheimer’s research.

NOTE: I was given a copy of this game to facilitate the review but all opinions are my own.


Rolling the dice on a new idea

For the past several months my tabletop gaming content has been appearing on my main blog Great Moments in Bad Parenting. I started to feel that the content doesn't always fit together. And in an effort to better serve you my readers, I have launched Tabletop Tuesday as its own stand alone blog. There will still be weekly gaming reviews starting next Tuesday March the 6th.