pie face game

The PIE FACE GAME is a fun-filled, silly family board game that anyone can play. This colorful plastic game involves turning the handle on a “hand” which is filled with whipped cream (not included), and the tension mounts as no one knows who will get slapped in the face next. New in the US this year, it’ll make great holiday entertainment.


Hasbro Pie Face Game

PRODUCT FEATURES:

– for 2 or more players

-recommended for ages 5 and up

-pie throwing mechanism can go off at any moment

-points are scored when players turn the handle without getting splatted

-includes one pie thrower, one throwing arm, two handles, chin rest, splash guard mask, spinner,   and sponge

-no batteries required

-dimensions: 3.2”x 10.5” x 10.5” – 1.2 lbs

-made in China

-ships within the US and to select countries outside the US

 

POSITIVES:

Just in time for Christmas, Hasbro has just begun to distribute this family fun game in the United States, having acquired the rights from Esdevium Games, based in the UK. The game became a sensation earlier this year because of a YouTube video showing a grandfather and grandson playing it. It’s easy to assemble, and once it’s up, players take turns spinning the spinner, and turn the handle the required number of turns.  The hand slaps at random numbers, so at any moment, someone will get a face full of whipped cream. The Pie Face Game will keep youngsters and oldsters laughing. After the game is over, the plastic parts are easy to take apart and clean. And after the kids have gone to bed, adults can use it as a drinking game!

NEGATIVES:

The Pie Face Game costs less than $20, because it’s cheaply made.  The face guard tends to move around and comes off; it won’t stay on even through one game. It takes a lot of whipped cream to get it slapped onto the face, and when the handle is turned, the whipped cream tends to slide or fall off prematurely, necessitating repositioning. The buyer must supply his/her own paper and pencil to keep score.

This game will get people messy! Kids will need a bath afterwards, and all players will get sticky whipped cream in their hair. It’s advisable to keep a washcloth handy for cleanup after getting splatted.

SUMMARY:

The Hasbro Company has long been associated with quality items of children’s play. The Pie Face Game provides a lot of family entertainment for a low price. It’s colorful and a bit nostalgic. Although it’s recommended for ages 5 and up, even 3-year olds will love it and squeal with laughter as they play. And of course, there’s sweet whipped cream to lick off!

Click Here to get the Hasbro Pie Face Game

It has been described as “Yahtzee meets Godzilla.” “King of Tokyo” is a dice game in which players are monsters trying to take over Tokyo. The object is to out-last one’s opponents. This is a fun family game with cards that are artistically designed and also contain cliches from classic horror movies. Players aged seven and up will enjoy accumulating points and attacking their opponents.

King of Tokyo Game Review

FEATURES OF KING OF TOKYO:

  • ships from and sold by Amazon.com
  • gift-wrap is available
  • for 2-6 players
  • playing time: 30-45 minutes (more if there are 6 players)
  • designed by Richard Garfield, who also did “Magic the Gathering”
  • appropriate for children aged 7 and up: college students; parents; anybody else

PROS AND CONS:

One of the best features of this game is that it is not complicated; anyone can easily learn the rules. Parents can play with their children. It is similar to Betrayal , where players battle for dominance. The “monster” theme is fun, and there is a lot of player-to-player interaction.

The game is played like a variation of Yahtzee: players roll several dice, and decide which ones to keep. The dice kept determine whether the player will focus on attacking other monsters, healing, resources (buying cards that modify the game), or gaining victory points. “Energy” points allow players to upgrade their cards to give their monsters an advantage over their opponents. Only one monster can be in Tokyo at a time (unless there are five or six players, in which case there is a second area of Tokyo to rule). When a monster in Tokyo is attacked, he can choose to leave or stay. If he leaves, the attacker then takes his place.

Victory points can be gained in three ways: (1) rolling three of a kind on the dice, (2) taking over or staying in Tokyo, and (3) buying cards that add victory points. The game contains many different types of “power” cards, which can be wicked and wonderful as they add to the monsters’ abilities. Strategies include knocking people out of the game, stacking up points, building up a character’s strength, or a combination of these. Players win by obtaining more points than their opponents, or by being the “last monster standing” – that is, reducing the other monsters’ lives to zero. Because of the variety of ability cards, the game is fresh each time.

Some downsides might be the following: although the monsters look different, their abilities are essentially the same. Some cards confer special abilities, but any monster can buy them. Some of the cards can be interpreted in more than one way, causing some confusion. Players who are eliminated early may become bored as they sit around waiting for the game to end. The game also tends to get old quickly, unless expansion packs are purchased. The outcome of each game depends heavily on chance and not so much on strategy, making it fun for children, but adults may tire of it after several times playing it.

king of tokyo game

WHO WILL LIKE “KING OF TOKYO”?

Any gamer who is fond of “knock ’em, sock ’em” brawls will love this game. There is risk involved in deciding to occupy Tokyo, where a player may earn points but cannot heal, and may be attacked by other characters. It is a game of competition, with horror themes sure to appeal to young and old.

Click Here to get the King of Tokyo game

munchkin board game review

The box containing the Munchkin Deluxe Board Game has a picture of a cartoon character with a Viking-like horned hat. He carries a chainsaw. On the box is the caption: “Kill the Monsters, Steal the Treasure, Stab Your Buddy.” This pretty well sums up the game, which the whole family can play in a friendly but cutthroat fashion.


Munchkin Deluxe

FEATURES OF MUNCHKIN DELUXE:

  • sold by and ships from Amazon.com
  • gift-wrap available
  • $20.00
  • contains 168 cards, 6 player cards, game board, rules, and dice
  • for 3-6 players
  • ages 9 and up
  • stand alone game

PROS AND CONS:

This game is similar to Munchkin 1 (the original), except there are more pieces, and a board which makes it easier for players to keep track of which level they’re on. The object is to get to level ten. All players begin at level one.

Players gain levels by defeating monsters and by obtaining certain cards. On each turn, a player will “kick open a door” which reveals a monster to fight, or a card to keep. If the monster is defeated, the player moves up a level and gets some treasure cards, which may be weapons, armor, spells, and more. There is strategy and social interaction, as players form alliances to help each other, or to foil someone else’s plans. A player may ask for help to vanquish a monster; other players may choose to help, or not. The players may be bribed with some treasure. This makes for some interesting twists: one player, off his guard, may think he is about to win; then some others gang up on him and he ends up thwarted. It’s a situation in which children may be encouraged to steal and cheat their parents– all in fun, of course.

The cards are printed with puns and jokes. The humor is PG-13; for example, one card depicts a troll reading porn. Participants will be kept laughing at the amusing and quirky witticisms.

The difficulty level here is easy-to-middle. If players have never played a Dungeons and Dragons-type game before, it may take hours to learn all the rules. There is a 6-page rulebook with which players must be familiar in order to play successfully. After a few rounds, participants will catch on. Some people may find the instructions time-consuming and frustrating. “Newbie” gamesters, especially, may find all the cards overwhelming. Buyers who need help learning the game can go to YouTube and watch Will Wheaton’s review, found by searching “Tabletop games, Munchkin.” The video is somewhat lengthy, but Wheaton explains the basics of the gameplay in the first five minutes, which makes it less daunting.

The game time varies depending on how many players there are, and how competitive they are. Backstabbing, discussing tactics, and “You’re going down!” attitudes can add to playing time. Larger groups of 5 or more may require more time, especially if expansion sets are added. This game can be played in 40 minutes, or take two hours.

WHO WILL LIKE MUNCHKIN DELUXE?

Anyone who enjoys fast-paced, easy-to-play games involving strategy will like Munchkin Deluxe. It’s laugh-inspiring to decide whom to help and whom to “do in.” It is a furious fight to see who will beat the monsters and win the game.

Click Here to get the Munchkin Deluxe board game

Takenoko

If you’re looking for a great family game, not too complex, light on strategy, but fun for all,  Takenoko might be a good choice. Instead of being highly competitive and cutthroat, players in this one focus on caring for a giant panda and feeding it. The farmer has to grow different types of bamboo, irrigate the land, then move the panda around to feed on the plants.

Takenoko Board Game

FEATURES OF TAKENOKO BOARD GAME:

  • Cute panda and trees artwork
  • sold by and shipped from Amazon.com
  • gift-wrap available
  • $36.78
  • for 2-4 players
  • 45 minutes of playing time
  • players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow a species of green, yellow, or pink bamboo
  • ages 6 and up
  • by the makers of “Seven Wonders”

PROS AND CONS:

Asmodee has created a beautiful-looking game. The artwork is stunning; the bamboo pieces are sturdy and interlock; the land tiles are thick cardboard; the farmer and panda figurines are cute. Even the instructions are in colorful comic book form. The whole thing gives the impression of quality and fun-filled family entertainment.

The game is quick to teach, and plays relatively quickly. There is very little reading involved, which makes it nice for small children. The players build a garden and move a farmer and panda around it, while trying to achieve goals set by the cards drawn. The players’ actions will influence those of their opponents, because some goals may compete with others, adding to the gameplay choices. When one player has achieved a set number of goals, the other participants get one final turn. Victory points (gained by meeting goals) are totaled up at the game’s end to determine the winner.

There are three types of goal cards: (1) panda goals: claiming a certain color of bamboo by having the panda eat it; (2) plot goals: redeemed when certain parts of the farm are irrigated; (3) garden goals: to grow colored bamboo to a specific height. On a person’s turn, the player chooses from the following actions: drawing garden plots, moving the panda to eat bamboo, moving the gardener, laying irrigation pipe, or drawing a goal card. Although the game involves a fair amount of luck, choices do influence the game’s outcome. There are also weather tiles, which for simplicity’s sake, need not be used if small children are playing. It is a good “gateway” game to introduce non-gamers into the field.

One downside may be the lack of balance. The panda cards are too easy to achieve compared to the other cards, so players may choose those and avoid the more difficult ones. This can be remedied, however, by other players using tokens in a timely way to prevent certain tiles from having their bamboo eaten. The lack of competition and suspense may be boring for some people. Veteran gamers won’t be challenged.

WHO WILL LIKE TAKENOKO BOARD GAME?

Families who like games that aren’t too cutthroat will enjoy Takenoko. It doesn’t feel like you’re playing against each other; rather, you are sharing the garden in your desire to please the Emperor. It is nonviolent, easy, and pleasing to look at.

Click Here to get the Takenoko Board Game

the resistance

The Resistance board game by Indie Boards and Cards is an adrenaline-filled, high-stakes game of hard-fought, dramatic victories and interactions. It is not for the faint of heart or slow of mind. The Resistance pits a small group of resisters against a powerful, corrupt government in an attempt to bring it down.

THE RESISTANCE board game

FEATURES OF THE “RESISTANCE” BOARD GAME BY INDIE BOARDS AND CARDS:

  • ships from and sold by Amazon.com for about $15.68
  • gift-wrap available
  • for 5-10 players
  • 30 minutes of playing time
  • recommended for ages 13-99
  • includes a board to track progress, role cards, voting cards, and mission success or fail cards
  • 8”x 1.8” by 6”; shipping weight: 12 oz.

PROS AND CONS:

In this game, players take on one of two roles: “good guys” (dealt at random) or “bad guys/spies.” The spies know who the other spies are, but the “good guys” are clueless. Participants try to form teams to go on missions against the government. If the team includes a spy, the group may lose that mission. If the team consists of all “good guys,”the mission will succeed. The trick is to figure out who the spies are, and each team has only five missions in which to deduce the truth, or lose their chance at freedom.

The game requires logical deduction, strategy, team playing, and social skills. Being able to read people is a great help. Who looks nervous? Who’s the best liar? Who’s trustworthy? False and misleading accusations may be thrown around as everyone is suspicious of everyone else. There is a fun and interesting social dynamic as the spies try to trick the resistance, and the resistance counters by figuring out the spies. When things begin to go wrong on a mission, then the team members can begin to figure out who the infiltrator is, and make sure he doesn’t go on future missions. Unlike some other games, there is no player elimination in this one – no one “dies” and everyone gets to play to the end; and if you are embarrassingly defeated, you can always play another game. For a twist, players might pretend the corrupt government is on Mars, or in the Middle East.

One down side to “Resistance” is getting together a large enough group to play it. It seems perfect for 7-8 participants, but smaller groups had better find a different activity. The game can erupt into shouting and colorful language, as team members disagree on who should go on the mission. It may even cause rifts in friendships or families, as players may accuse each other of lying outside of the game. The arguments can be either frustrating or exciting. Hopefully, the players will be mature enough not to take the game too seriously.

WHO WILL LIKE “RESISTANCE” BOARD GAME BY INDIE BOARDS AND CARDS?

Teenagers and adults who enjoy “Mafia,” “Werewolves,” “Battlestar Galactica,” or poker will probably like this one too. It is full of good-natured lying, accusations, and planting seeds of dissent. If you think you can look your friend squarely in the eye and lie through your teeth, “Resistance” will provide many hours of fun without becoming boring.

Click Here to get The Resistance board game

Pandemic

Pandemic is a great family game which is different from your average race-to-the-finish, high-scoring board game. It is cooperative, which means the players must work together instead of wiping each other out. They take on the roles of disease specialists, who travel around the world, treat diseases, and build research centers. It is exciting, unpredictable, and will provide hours of entertainment.

Pandemic Board Game

FEATURES OF PANDEMIC :

  • Number one Best Seller in Collectible Trading Card Decks and Sets
  • ships from and sold by Amazon.com for $29.83, plus shipping
  • gift-wrap available
  • updated version of the popular co-operative game
  • best with 2-4 players
  • playing tine is around 60 minutes, depending on the number and type of players
  • intended for those ages 10 and up
  • GAMES magazine called it the Best New Family Game for 2009

PROS AND CONS:

The second edition of Pandemic differs a little from the original. Two new characters have been added: the Contingency Planner, who can save Event cards after they are used; and the Quarantine Specialist, who can prevent cities from being infected with additional disease cubes. The disease cubes in this edition are made of plastic instead of wood, as in the first edition. Aesthetically, it’s prettier, and the rule book is easier to understand.

One of the biggest benefits of this game is that it encourages teamwork, rather than stomping an opponent. The game board is a map of the world, and the diseases are cubes of different colors. Each character has special abilities, which complement those of other characters. The players move around the map, curing diseases and building research centers. Roles include the Medic, who is efficient at curing diseases, and the Dispatcher, who can move the other players. The idea of working together to save the world is certainly a worthy one. Even losing is fun!

Most of the time, however, the players won’t beat the game. A player may draw an epidemic card, which makes things worse. There are several ways to lose: a player may run out of cards; a city has more than seven outbreaks: or a player needs to infect, but doesn’t have enough cubes of the correct color. It’s definitely an adventure, and people may have to play many times before defeating the game – but when that finally happens, it can cause a feeling of a job well done.

Some of the bad things about the game are that in some cases, a board is defective, lacking the line between Lagos and Sao Paolo. The manufacturer may be slow to replace defective boards. The cards may be subject to peeling and not last long. The game itself is dependent on luck, so some players may find it boring. The lack of competition may lead to a lack of excitement.

Potential buyers can get an overview of the game by watching Will Wheaton’s TableTop on YouTube. It is even better with the “On the Brink” expansion.

 WHO WILL LIKE PANDEMIC (SECOND EDITION)?

The best answer is: people who are tired of games where the other players get mad, cry, knock over the board, and throw things. It’s like a puzzle, different every time it is played. Get the family together to save the world from disease!

Click Here to get the Pandemic Board Game

BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a board game by Wizards of the Coast. It is an enjoyable activity at Halloween or any other time. Players become explorers going through a haunted house that is filled with unexpected traps, pitfalls, items to collect, and omens. It is a unique role-playing game in which one or more “traitors” try to kill the “heroes” and keep them from getting out of the house. The suspense and unpredictability will provide hours of spooky fun.

Betrayal At House On The Hill - 2nd Edition

FEATURE OF BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL (second edition):

  • $47.09 with free shipping from Amazon.com
  • for three to six players
  • 60 minutes of play time
  • ages 12 and up (recommended for ages 12-16)
  • cooperative game
  • a deck containing Room tiles
  • three sets of cards for Items, Omens, and Events; 6 character cards with 2 characters each
  • fifty possible Haunts
  • won the 2004 Gamers Choice Award for Best Board Game

PROS AND CONS:

The second edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill differs little from the first edition (which is out of print). The room tiles are the same; the character tiles are similar; the gameplay is the same. Some rules have been clarified, and some tiles contain more text, making them more user-friendly. The room tiles are chosen at random, so the house is different in every game.

Players experience two phases in the game: (1) Exploration, and (2) the Haunt. The explorers go through the house, drawing Event, Item, and Omen cards, and following the instructions. Each character has four stats: Might, Speed, Sanity, and Knowledge, which must be kept up so the players can continue exploring and finding Items before the Haunt begins. During the Haunt phase, one or more characters are chosen to be the “traitor,” who then tries to kill the other characters and keep them from escaping from the house. The teams of “traitors” and “heroes” develop game plans through reading special booklets. The game can be quite complex as the characters discover secret passages and experience suspenseful events – and the players never know which character will turn evil. Click Here to get the Betrayal At House On The Hill board game

Some disadvantages of the game are the construction of the pieces themselves. The markers for the character cards don’t stay on well. They have a tendency to fall off and must be taped or paper-clipped to stay on. In addition, the pentagonal-shaped pieces used to keep score tend to slide off. The tiles also have a tendency to warp.

Although the game is advertised as “cooperative,” once the traitor is revealed, he/she turns on the group and tries to kill them, with the aid of the evil spirits in the house. The scenarios in the books to determine strategy are rather complicated, and the teams can spend a lot of time trying to figure out a game plan. One other disadvantage is that the game relies a lot on chance and not much on strategy.

WHO WILL LIKE BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL?

Teenagers at a Halloween party are the most likely target, although it could be a family (age 12 and up) activity. Anyone who enjoys getting “creeped out” and having a horror-story experience will enjoy this game. It is especially effective when played while listening to creepy Halloween music. Players will meet cannibals, , zombies, and vampires, and classic monsters like Dracula. It’s a thrill!