Family Games: Gamewright Reviews
Outside my office sits stacks of Gamewright games. We’ve been encouraged to borrow the games to try out with our kids at home and report back what we think. Periodically co-workers come by and look at the stack and there is always someone there ready to jump and share their favorites.
Story Cubes comes up all the time. Truth be told, I bought the Story Cubes app months ago on a co-workers recommendation. Sounds like a cool concept. Basically there are 9 “cubes” (in my case “virtual”) that have various pictures on them. When you shake your iPhone, different pictures appear on the cube. As the directions explain you can either takes turns with someone trying to tell a story using one picture at a time or one person can come up with an entire story using all 9 pictures.
I was so excited to play this with my 5 ½ year old. What a great idea to get her creative juices flowing and easy to play on our commute. Problem is, her creative juices don’t work so well when she doesn’t know what the picture is. Even still, when I try to explain the picture to her she doesn’t always understand. The game is most appropriate for children ages 8 and up, and I probably should have listened.
I was recently telling a teacher about the game and she says they play this type of game all the time in the classroom and part of the fun is listening to the crazy interpretations that come from the preschoolers mouths. However, in the classroom, they use different, more age-appropriate objects. This got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great if there was a Story Cubes for the younger age group with pictures of things like a dog, boat, birthday cake, etc…
Despite discovering Story Cubes was a bit over my daughters head, I was excited to try other game and have several new favorites. I also found a few others you may want to hold off on depending on your kid’s ages.
GameWright Board Games Review
In this fun family game, each person gets 2 playing cards that have 6 food/beverage images on it. When it’s your turn, you roll the dice in order to have the chance to get a “tile” that contains a food image on it. The goal is to match up 6 tiles on each card. Once both cards are filled, you win. The game adds to the adventure by adding dice rolls that allow you to swap with someone else’s card (especially good when they have a full card and you have an empty one). There is also the image of a dinner bell on the dice. Roll this and it’s a race to ring the dinner bell that comes with the game. Whoever rings the bell, gets to pick a tile of their choice. We’ve played this game numerous times (primarily my husband and/or I with our 5 ½-year-old because our 3-year-old lost interest). My grandmother has also played with my daughter and they had fun too. I give this game 2 thumbs up!
This is a FAST passed card matching game that can be played quickly (and is marketed as a game that can be played in 12 minutes or less). What I love about this game is that if your child is like mine and doesn’t like to loose, it’s easy to play multiple games so that everyone gets a chance to win. It gives you the chance to teach your child the joys of winning AND the joys of congratulating the winner all within a short amount of time. You may need to remind yourself the game is supposed to be quick. The first time I played, I wished we had more faces to match but that would just make it a longer game!
This one might have to be put back on the shelf for a year or two. As you know, my kids are younger (especially than the recommended age of 8+), so we play the game face up. Meaning, I let my kids lay their cookies out in front of them, primarily because they can’t hold the 7 round cards in their hands. We modified the game by having them turnaround when they were supposed to pick a card without looking. This game takes a little longer and my 5-year-old couldn’t quite get the strategy of the game (all she cared about was getting the pink cookies!) But she had fun and at the end of the day that’s really all that matters. One thing to note on this game is the instructions are very confusing. In fact, the directions completely omit explaining what the half eaten cookie is all about. I decided it means nothing but must have read the directions several times trying to figure this out along with how to actually set-up the game for game play.
A great game for younger kids. Each board has identical pictures on it, but in different locations on the board. Players take turns calling out a picture which both players then get to put a game piece on. The end goal is making a connecting line from one point of the board to another (you have 3 choice connection points by color – red to red, yellow to yellow or blue to blue). I wish the game were magnetic because I think it would be a fantastic game for the car, but short of that, it’s a pretty good game that can be played fairly quickly.
A cute game designed for the younger player. The game comes with a plastic cupcake with a small hole in it that is filled with different colored shapes (sprinkles). Who wouldn’t love a game that involves cupcakes and sprinkles? When it’s your turn, you roll the dice which has a 1, 2 or 3 on it. The number on the dice indicates how many times you can shake the cupcake in hopes of dispensing sprinkles. The instructions recommend shaking into the box top which makes it an easy game to play on the couch or a bed. Both my kids enjoyed playing it (even if my youngest was really only interested in just shaking the cupcake). The kids like matching the shapes and colors. If you fill up all the sprinkle spots on a cupcake, the cupcake card is yours. The person with the most cupcake cards at the end of the game, wins!
The best part about trying out all these Gamewright games is that it’s given our family something to do to fill up time instead of putting on the TV (you know when it’s almost dinner time but not quite). It’s given us the chance to teach our kids how winning or losing can feel good and what’s the appropriate response in either case. And the best part is, we’ve laughed a lot while spending time as a family.
What are your family’s favorite games?
Gamewright and Bright Horizons have a marketing relationship however the views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.