Friday, May 04, 2012

Game Night

Now don't roll your eyes! This isn't one of those oh-so-perfect-Mommy posts about how we "all look forward eagerly to the fun, fun, fun we have on family game night when we eat the YUMMY perfectly decorate cupcakes Mommy and her perfect toddler made after enjoying a gourmet dinner whipped up by the teenage son who LOVES to skip hanging with his friends for family game night...." No, not in this house and no, not in this lifetime!!  But, if that fits your family--enjoy and I'm proud of you!!!

No, this is about ME! Yes ME! ME! ME! Personally I dreaded those moments when a little voice would say "Mom can we play...." because I knew they'd pick an all-day-sure-to-end-in-tears-no-mother-ever-should-buy-game like, LIFE. Yes, it teaches marvelous lessons like "use birth control" and "become a doctor," but until the kids are about 12 it's too complicated to even get started down that road. It doesn't allow for do-overs and there aren't really any good ways to cheat to end the game in under a day.

Monopoly was only slightly better than LIFE with my kids. TOO MANY ways to cheat, but not that end the game faster. And, everyone wants to be the same game piece. And no one wants to pay taxes and someone always cries. Not a good choice.

It took years of experimenting but we finally settled on a few we could OCCASIONALLY play together without needing a family intervention therapist.

One great game we discovered we all really enjoyed was CADOO. This had enough silliness and action to keep even the one-who-shall-not-be-named happy. What's not to like about drawing, modeling with clay and acting, right? Ok, you can fiddle with the cards and cheat and get one you're good at, but it never matters in Caddo like in Monopoly or Life.

Blokus is one of my all-time favorite games! It's very, very hard to cheat except by hiding game pieces. And, normally I'm the only one put-out by the color choice I end up with! It takes a little bit of peace and quiet too, to work out the right moves. It's not about silly, but rather about SMART and that, to my mind at least, is a darned good thing! We've outgrown Cadoo, but Blokus still comes out when we're desperate to reconnect with each other.

Apples to Apples Junior was a very, very popular gift one year. It has the right amount of silly--one player is the "judge" and has to decide which is the most appropriate comparison. It doesn't necessarily come out rational. In fact it's often hilarious.

A few years ago we upgraded to the "grown up" edition. This has a very good effect on developing vocabulary for the SAT--a pleasant side effect. We like it, but the one who can tell you exactly which hair care product to use for any occasion still has the vocabulary of a 2nd grader because that "one" will not read so it isn't always FUN to play this version!

For Christmas this year we entered the 21st Century and got a Wii. Occasionally, when I remember we have it, I have no problems getting someone to bowl against me or play some equally normal game on it. No one will play basketball against P because he plays it whenever possible. It's fun though to see the mighty fall and whip his bowling or archery or something like that! Although some parents are naive and think you can't cheat at video games--of course you can. There are entire books of "cheat codes" published for that reason!! Still, cheating at Wii bowling is not really worth the effort!

These are the games for all three of us to play together. I've always found that playing one-on-one with only one child (usually when the other was on a sleepover) yields the best results. B and I played hours and hours of Mancala and P and I played entire war's worth of Battleship--I even used this game in homeschool for graphing practice.

For myself there is only one game: SCRABBLE! (I also LOVE WORDS WITH FRIENDS). I'll try any version, but always go back to the original. SCRABBLE is a book persons dream game. All those lovely words.

And tonight, I'm really hoping that the ladies at Church Game Night love Scrabble, too!


dstb said...

I love game night! We're having some friends over tomorrow for dinner and some games.

Blokus has been a favorite of ours as well. If you like that, you might like Qwirkle.

A couple of card games that you might like are Set (good for those aging brain cells) and Quiddler which is a word game.

Hope you had a fun game night!

Susan said...

What a fun post! I was cracking up at the dread when the kids choose Monopoly (thankfully, we've never owned "life"). Yes, we love Apples to Apples as well. I've heard of Blokus but have never played ... hmmmm ... we borrowed Cadoo from the church library and enjoyed it. Yes, we like Scrabble as well, and the kids like Clue. You make me want to dig out a game!

Guillaume said...

I used to play The Game of Life with a friend, it was one of the board games we played most often because it was easy to play, winning was due mainly to luck. I was not lucky often.

Hopewell said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! I DID leave out Clue--I always hold the cards with the solution so I don't play that one much!

Jeanne said...

I love scrabble as well. Guess you're not surprised by that. I do not like Monopoly. My husband cheats. Yes he does. I'm sure of it.

Hopewell said...

Jeanne--too funny about your husband. Just curious, what are the expensive properties in the Aussie version of Monopoly?