Monday, January 5, 2009

2 Good Games

Since Target stopped selling Heroscape, I haven't been too interested in the game aisle at Target. But on BoardGameGeek, I read about a couple of new Hasbro games that have been getting some pretty good reviews. This weekend, I decided to go ahead and give them a shot.

The first is Yahtzee Free for All. First of all, the box is very cool. The 6 sided box bottom expands into the game board, and the 6 sided box top is a felt lined box for rolling the dice in. 
Now, Yahtzee is not a game that I really enjoy very much. I can't ever think of a time where I'd challenge someone to a game of Yahtzee. There isn't any player interaction, the decisions are all kind of the same, and it seems to drag on. Yahtzee Free for All is a little bit different. It still uses the same familiar Yahtzee combinations (Long Straight, 4 of a Kind, Full House, etc.), but you can only use certain ones on any given turn. Three cards are placed in the middle of the board that show what combinations can be played. In addition, player have a chance to STEAL other players cards for combinations that they've already rolled. In other words, you may have just rolled a Yahtzee, but if I get a higher Yahtzee before your turn comes around again, I get your card, and you get nothing! How's that for player interaction!
Now this game is still a Yahtzee game, so there's a lot of luck and dice rolling, which some people just don't like in their games. But if I wanted to play a game with people who are not into boardgaming as much as I am, I think this would be a great game to pull out. It's Yahtzee, so it's familiar to everyone. But at the same time, it's got some improvments that make it a lot more fun. Definitely a good family game that parents and kids can play together.
By the way, this game was designed by Richard Borg, who has also designed a few of my other favorite games, including Memoir 44.

The other game I got was Sorry! Sliders. Again, I'm not a big fan of the original game. Even when I was a boy, I didn't like Sorry. But you know what? It doesn't really matter because this game has NOTHING to do with the original Sorry game at all.

Let me emphasize this important piece of information...this game has NOTHING to do with the original Sorry! game.

Well, ok, there are pieces that look like Sorry! pieces, and you have to move your little Sorry! pieces home. But that's it!

First of all, this game is a dexterity game. More along the lines of shuffleboard or carroms or paper football than a traditional boardgame like Sorry! You slide these oversized Sorry! pieces (each player has 4 of them) that have a ball bearing inside of them down a track towards a scoring area. You get points based on where your piece lands. Scoring doesn't occur until all of the pieces have been slid, so there are many opportunities to knock other players pieces off of their desired locations, knock one of your own pieces onto a better scoring spot, or carrom your piece off of pieces already in the scoring area to get to a good position on the board. 
I played this 4 player with Mrs. BigKat and the 2 LilKats. We had a great time! The boys absolutely loved it. I knew that LilKat2 would enjoy it, since he already loves Pitchcar (another great flicking game). But LilKat1 also had a fantastic time with it. At bedtime, he even asked if we could quickly play it again (sadly, it was a school night, so we couldn't extend his bedtime and play).
I like having nice components in games, but in dexterity games, this is crucial. Sorry! Sliders certainly delivers in this area. The sliding pieces actually slide quite nicely on the tracks. You really need to use some finesse to get your pieces to land where you want them to.

So there you go! Two fun family games that you can get right at your local Target/Walmart-type store. No having to go to specialty shops or searching online. Right now, Target it selling Sorry! Sliders for $15. And at my Target, Yahtzee Free for All was on clearance for just under $7 (bargain!).

1 comment:

Tara said...

Oooh, those look great! I'm going to go look for those!