Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Duck Duck Bruce

I've recently been playing a lot of Gamewright games. Gamewright publishes games that are mainly focused toward kids. I've played a few of them with my 3 year old daughter and she has loved them. What's surprised me most though is that I've had a ton of fun playing them as well. One of the games that I've had the most fun with is Duck Duck Bruce.

Duck Duck Bruce is for kids 6 and up. I played it with my daughter, but she didn't quite grasp the concepts. She really like the fun art though. I played it with my wife a little later in the day and luckily she picked up on it really quick. :)

Gamewright says this about the game: "A flock of ducks waddling through bizarre locations and a rambunctious dog named Bruce. If this sounds like a strange combination for a card game, wait until you give it a try! After just one round, we guarantee you'll be barking (or quacking) for more. Remember to say "Duck!" every time you reveal a duck card and do your best to resist the temptation of turning over more cards than you should. Oh, and Bruce loves to be scratched behind his ears, and on his belly, and well - just about everywhere else!"

The object of the game is to score the most points by collect numbered cards in a variety of different suits. A suit of duck cards could be: ducks at a pond, ducks on a log, or ducks on a treadmill for example. Cards are numbered from 1 to 4 but only the highest number in each collected suit counts at the end of the game.

To start the game all of the cards are shuffled and put in the middle of the table. The starting player turns over the top card of the deck and starts a row of face up cards next to the draw pile. If the card is a duck the player says "Duck!". The player can then either take the card or draw another card and place it next to the first. Play continues and the player either takes the card/cards or keeps drawing cards. If two cards of the same suit are drawn it's called a "double duck". If you get a double duck you must discard all cards in between and including the two cards that match. The remaining cards are then place into your nest for scoring at the end of the game. Play then passes to the left.

If a Bruce card is turned over all players shout "Bruce!". Your turn ends immediately and you lose all of the face up cards in the row. You now have the opportunity to steal cards from another player. The player says 1 to 3 indicating how many cards they are trying to steal. The player then rolls the dice and if the number on the dice is equal to or higher than the number of cards they want, they get to randomly take those cards from another players nest and add then to their own nest. If the roll is a -1 the person they are trying to steal from gets one of their cards.

The round ends when the draw deck is gone. Players then sort all of the cards in their nest by suit and count only the highest numbered cards in each suit. The person with the highest total is the winner for the round. You can play for a set number rounds, a specific length of time, or play until one player reaches a set point value.

Duck Duck Bruce is a lot of fun. I really enjoy press your luck type games. The game kind of reminds me of Incan Gold, but has a different feel and is definitely geared more toward kids. The art is great. The cards are high quality and should last through hours and hours of fun. This is a great game to help teach and reinforce counting and matching skills for kids. Games can be great teaching tool and this game is no exception. So if you're looking for a fun press your luck type card game with a fun theme this one might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mystery Express

Ever since I played Ticket to Ride for the first time I have been a big fan of Days of Wonder and the games they publish. They set the standard in component quality, artwork, and just plain fun games. They have just recently announced their newest game called Mystery Express. It's a whodunit on rails. Here's some flavor text from the DOW website about the game:

Seeking a well-deserved break from your latest misadventures, you decide to splurge, treating yourself to the extravagant luxury of the most talked about train of our time - the legendary Orient Express. Most unexpectedly, and rather unfortunately, the holiday turns out to be short-lived. The train has barely left Paris when word spreads that someone has just been murdered, and in the most hideous manner...

Mystery Express is a deduction game where you are trying to figure out the who, what, when, where and why before your journey ends. It kind of looks like a game in the same vein as Clue. After checking out the site this one's definitely on my radar and it will be one I pick up as soon as it comes out. Only time will tell if it's another Days of Wonder classic, but I'm excited to find out. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Ubongo is a game that I didn't think I would like, but was pleasantly surprised. The game is a puzzle game where you are trying to be the first person to solve your puzzle. First of all, I'm not very good at puzzles, and second, if there is time limit...well, that's just a disaster waiting to happen. It turns out I'm a little better at puzzles than I thought and with a little practice I'm getting better. :)

comes with the following components: 1 game board, 4 sets of 12 tiles (think Tetris or Blockus), 1 sand timer, 36 puzzle boards, 4 player pawns, 72 jewels, and one custom die. To set up the game the game board is placed on the table in a place that is easily reached by all players. The game board consists of six columns with twelve holes in each of the columns. Once the game board is set up the jewels are randomly placed in all of the holes. The puzzle boards are then handed out to all of the players and you're ready to go!

All of the puzzle boards are double sided with one side being the hard side and other side the easy side. Each puzzle board contains a pattern of squares that you are required to fit either 3 or 4 of your tiles on. The easy game is 3 and the hard game is 4. On the top of each of the boards there are 6 symbols. Each symbol corresponds to a side on the custom die. The symbols on the puzzle boards have 3 or 4 pictures of tiles below them. To start the game a person rolls the die and all players then match the symbol on the die to the symbol on their puzzle board. The indicated tile pieces are then taken from your tile supply and they must be used to complete the puzzle on the board. The timer is then turned over and all players frantically try to complete their puzzles. The first person to fit their pieces on their puzzle board yells Ubongo!

The first player to complete the puzzle can move their pawn up to 3 spaces in any direction on the red spaces on the game board. The second player to finish can move up to two places. The third person can move one space and the fourth player has to stay where they are. Once the players move their pawns they immediately take the next two available jewels in the row. If a player does not complete their puzzle before the time runs out they do not get to move their pawn or take any jewels. If no players complete their puzzle before time runs out the timer is flipped over one more time. If nobody finished their puzzle the second time feel free to mock each other. If you complete your puzzle but don't take any jewels before time runs out then you're out of luck and don't get jewels for that round.

The winner is the person who collects the most jewels of any color. If two or more players have the same number of jewels in their "best" color, then one of those players with the most jewels in their second best color wins. And so on.

Ubongo is a lot of fun. It's very easy to explain and play. New players are up to speed in a matter of minutes. I introduced the game to a game group over the weekend and every one really liked it. One of the new players actually won. I like the fact that the faster player won't necessarily win. The faster player does have an advantage because they can move the furthest and will get first pick of the jewels, but with good strategy slower players can be competitive as well and still have a chance to win. The only thing that I don't like about the game is that two of the jewels are very similar in color. It makes it a little hard when your quickly trying to pick which jewels to take, especially when the time is almost out. So if you're looking for a great family game that is very accessible to a wide group of people Ubongo might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Days of Wonder!

Great news from The Board Game Nut. I'm now able to get Days of Wonder games! Days of Wonder makes the very popular Ticket to Ride line of games as well as Shadows over Camelot, Colosseum, and Small World. I received my first my first shipment of games in today. My inventory list has been updated with all my new games with the current pricing.

I also received some new games from Gamewright. Gamewright's games are mainly focused towards kids. I now have a good selection of games for kids ranging from 3 years old and up. I just played two of the new games with my daughter and she loved them! All of the Gamewright games that I have played are not only fun for the kids, but are also fun for the adults as well. So if you're tired of Candyland and the other old standbys, give one of the Gamewright games a try.

Also, Alicia and I will be hosting a game day for kids sometime in the next two or three weeks. It will be an open house where you can come and play all of the games I have available with the whole family. Up until now all of my game nights have only been for adults. It will be fun to involve all of the little munchkins as well. It will also be a great way to try before you buy and make sure it's something your kids will enjoy. If you're not in the market for new games, come anyway and have a fun afternoon playing games with the kids. More details about the open house will be coming soon.

If you have any questions about the games I carry or games in general please give me a call or send me an email. I would love to help if I can. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!