Friday, August 6, 2010

New fun games

Well, it's been a busy year and playing games has not been high on the agenda.. but for a change I thought I'd write about the couple of games that have been fun in the classroom and others that have been fun at home.

The three big success stories of this year have been Lupus in Tabula, For Sale and SET. All three are relatively inexpensive (<$40) and can be played with groups.

Lupus in Tabula is a game that can be played with a whole class, basically heads down thumbs up with Werewolves. Some students are the werewolves, others are the villages and we all have a bit of fun lynching the wrong people. I get to stand at the front of the class and describe in graphic detail how students are ripped apart in the night. From my top to bottom class, all have enjoyed the theme and it has allowed me to discuss problem solving strategies such as limiting choices and probability to resolving social issues such as how to play fairly and that being involved can be fun. It's probably the new favourite over Apples to Apples for a whole class.

The next one is For Sale, an auction game where students buy houses and then sell them, the person that sells their houses for the most money wins. We have great laughs about who will end up living in a cardboard box (one of the houses for sale) and who will end up in the space station. This one requires a little mental maths, ordering of integers, a little recall and a fair amount of fun.

SET was the big surprise. A bit of a brain burner, students have to pattern match cards to find groups of patterns. It plays a bit like an IQ test and after you get the hang of it, can drive you batty. It's interesting that the 'smartest' kids are not always the fastest, it's an occassion where 'visual learners' (how I hate that term) can show their mettle.

Honorable mentions should be given to Leaping Lemmings, Battle Line, Ticket to Ride - Europe and Cave Troll that had some table time, but weren't all that successful.

At home, the big winners are Campaign Manager 2008, Arkham Horror, Runewars, Space Hulk and Twilight Struggle. I'd still love to get Die Macher & Brittania to the table, but I'm not holding my breath until TEE exams are over. We still have to complete proofs and stats/probability, so I'll have to have a sit down and figure the rest of the course out.

Until next time...