On The Seventh Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Uno, and said in hushed tones that it’s the only child-friendly way of playing Blackjack early in the day…

The Rules:

The deck of cards is shuffled, and seven cards are dealt to each player, the remaining cards are placed face-down in the middle of the table and the top one turned over and placed next to it. Generally the youngest player begins and they start by putting a card on top of the face-up one that matches either the colour or the number of the card. If they aren’t able to do this, but they hold a wild card, they can play that instead and change the colour of the cards that are being played. There are a few other cards that change the direction of play and similar things, but those can mostly only be played when they match the colour. The objective of the game is to play all of your cards. If you are unable to play a card on your turn you must pick one up from the face-down pile and add it to your hand. When you only have one card left you have to say “UNO!!” as loudly as possible before you can put it down. If you play your last card without proclaiming Uno, you must draw new cards and continue playing as a punishment.

For Christmas?

Yes! Definitely! This game is great for large or small groups of players, and is all-ages inclusive. Aunt Jean could almost definitely grasp this one without too much trouble, and she might not even complain about it! On top of that, it’s a speedy play, so a good time filler.

Happy Seventh Day of Christmas! Keep the cheer and food flowing!

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Das Kasperlspiel, and walked around like a puppet for the rest of the day.

The Rules:

This game is pretty straightforward; to play you just claim one Harlequin movable card and arrange its arms and legs into a starting position. Then shuffle the Harlequin cards and deal them out into three piles, which should then be turned face up. The youngest player begins and tries to make their Harlequin match one of the cards they can see by moving only one arm or leg one position. If you succeed in matching one of the images on your turn you get to claim that card from the top of the pile. If you don’t manage to match one of the cards it is the next players turn. The highest number of cards that any player can in one turn is two, and this is only possible if a players Harlequin matches a card that’s already face-up when their turn begins. They are then allowed to claim that card before moving their Harlequin to try and claim another. The game ends when all the cards have been claimed and the player with the most cards wins. If two players are tied for the most cards then the points (shown in a small coloured circle on each card) are added up and the player with the highest number of points wins.

For Christmas?

Maybe… To be honest, although I like this game, I also struggle with it a bit. It requires quite a lot more concentration than games from our previous posts of this years Twelve Games series to consider the most logical/efficient way of moving your Harlequin. On top of that, Aunt Jean definitely wouldn’t be able to cope with it, it’s likely she’d find it boring and too fiddly. I would recommend it to families who like serious, logical games. Not because it’s difficult, but simply because you have to concentrate that little bit harder on it.

Happy Sixth Day of Christmas! It’s around this time that people are starting to have to go back to work and there’s less time for games, but if you’ve got kids, or lots of holiday days, keep the games flowing!

On The Fifth Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

  Märchenland, and told me that I really needed to work on my storytelling skills!

The Rules:

The aim of the game is to collect all four story tiles from three different fairy tales before any other player. To do this you roll the die and move around the board turning over the number of story tiles indicated on the space you land on. A player who rolls a magic wand must switch places with another player, the same applies for a player who lands on the magic wand space. If a player rolls a number that would mean they land exactly on the same space as another player before the gingerbread house they have to remain one space behind the other player, but if they roll this after passing the gingerbread house they are able to force their opponent to go back to the start.

For Christmas?

This game is a good opportunity to tell a few stories, but you might not want to invite Aunt Jean to play if there are little kids around – she’s likely to tell the slightly more gory versions of the stories written by the Brothers Grimm, rather than the lovely, romantic Disney versions of each story. It’s a good memory game, and is relatively quick, with very few rules so can be easily learnt and played by players of mixed ages. I would recommend it.

Happy Fifth Day of Christmas! We hope no one in your house is bored of their presents yet!

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Lotti Karotti – and asked if we could eat more vegetables in the next few days to help counteract the Christmas binge!

The Rules:

There are hardly any rules for this game. Basically everyone has four rabbits, and it’s a race up the mountain to get to the big carrot. You take it in turns to draw a card to see what your action is, for instance, how many spaces you can move, or whether you need to twist the carrot, and you then perform that action. If you get a “twist the carrot” card this will cause several spaces on the board to change from normal space to open hole. If your rabbit falls through one it’s lost and gone forever! The first player to reach the carrot wins.

For Christmas?

It’s a pretty nifty little game; it encourages kids to think a little bit ahead to try and make sure their rabbit doesn’t get swallowed, whilst being really nice and straightforward to play. I’d say yes, it’s great for Christmas if you’ve got little kids, as it can both interest and occupy them. It’s also so simple that even Aunt Jean can get involved! To add extra hilarity, you could get all the players to talk like Bugs Bunny for the duration of the game!

Happy Fourth Day of Christmas!

On The Third Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Tempo, Kleine Schneke (or Snail’s Pace Race)!

The Rules:

All six racing snails are placed on their colour on the board and players place bets on which two snails they think will come first and last in the race, respectively. Players then take it in turns to roll the dice and move the snail of the colour shown one space forward on the board. Generally two snails will be moved, as the dice will show different colours, however one snail will be moved forward two spaces if the dice show the same colour when they’re rolled. This continues until all snails have finished the race.The winner is the player who guessed most accurately the winning and losing snails.

For Christmas?

Yes! This game is great for everyone because there is no strategy or tactic to it; it’s not about skill, it’s about guessing and getting lucky with the dice rolls! Plus it would be funny to see Aunt Jean get frustrated over the apparent lack of any kind of method to the game, the very existence of it will upset her delicate world-view, which will add entertainment value to the overall experience of the game. Because every player has to guess which snails will win and lose you could make it interesting (if there are no kids playing) by placing bets on your snails to add a little edge to the game. After all, it’s Christmas, and there should be plenty of sweets around that could be used as chips.

Happy Third Day of Christmas! I hope you’re still trying to eat your way through the Christmas dinner leftovers and haven’t even thought about cooking anything fresh for the last few days!

On The Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Scwarzer Peter (Black Peter/Old Maid) and a book about German robbers and thieves.

The Rules!

The whole deck of cards is shuffled and then dealt out between all the players. Each player then looks through their cards and removes any pairs they already have in their hand and lays them on the table in front of them. Once this is done players take it in turns to draw one card at random from one other player and see if it makes a pair. Once all pairs have been laid down the player left with the Black Peter card is the loser.

For Christmas?

Yes! It’d be a good way of keeping the kids calm and in one place whilst you get dinner going, or out of the oven. Aunt Jean could even be enlisted to help play as it’s simple enough that she can’t get confused. This game would be a good stocking-filler for the kids as it’s pocket-sized. It can also be played with up to 6 players (when playing with one deck of cards) so it’s good for those times when there’s a group of people together!

Happy Second Day of Christmas! Keep playing games, keep eating sweets, keep opening presents and keep reading about our Christmas games!

On The First Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Teddy Memory – and suggested that I work on my memory before buying him another present…

The Rules:

This game is just Pairs, but under a cuter name. Very simple and straightforward. You shuffle all the cards and lay them face-down on the table/floor/whatever surface you’re playing on. Then the first player picks two cards and turns them face up. If they’re the same that player gets to keep them and takes another turn. If they’re different they have to be turned over again and play passes to the next player on the left. The winner is the person with the most pairs when all the cards have been picked up.

For Christmas?

Well, why not? It’s a nice easy game that can be played by any number of people (provided you have enough cards and a big enough table or floor). It’s also fantastic for all ages because it forces you to exercise your memory muscles! Brain-active games have been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s, so get all the oldies playing with the kids and then everyone can have healthier brains! It’s definitely a social game too, so Aunt Jean (see Twelve Games of Christmas – 2013) won’t be able to complain that no one wants to spend any time with her! (Unless of course she doesn’t want to play the game and then, well, what can you do?)

Anyone who was reading this blog as far back as 2013 will already have a feel for how these posts go. The only difference really is that this year they’re all kids/family games rather than just any game we really liked during the year.

Merry Christmas everyone! Play many games and bring joy and game-related arguments to all your family and friends!