Somethings Old, Somethings New, Somethings in Between

We here at Parents@Play have been fortunate to review a LOT of games over the years. But we’re still constantly—and pleasantly—surprised at the constant flow of new products that make their way to store shelves—and living rooms—around the country and the rest of the world. This week we take a look at some completely new games, some new twists on classics, and some of those classics (without which those new twists wouldn’t have been possible).

Deer in the Headlights (Front Porch Classics)

deer in headlightsThis is a clever, new twist on the classic theme of “be the first to discard all of your cards.” Using a standard deck of playing cards, players take turn drawing and discarding. The custom dice, which are rolled at each turn, provide the game’s twists, allowing players to discard more cards or forcing them to hold, causing players to lose a turn, or letting them freeze their opponent—like a deer in the headlights—until he or she can roll back into the game. For two or more players, ages 8+. Under $19.

The Floor is Lava (Endless Games)

floor is lavaChances are, you’ve played a version of this game before—indoors or out—where you try to get from point A to point B without touching the floor. The Floor is Lava uses two dozen colored rectangles, a deck of challenge cards, and a spinner (kind of like the one in Twister) to direct players from one rectangle to the next. A great game for the whole family—as long as they’re willing to do a lot of jumping, giggling, sweating, and falling down. For two to six players, ages 5+. Under $22.

Sleepover Party Game (Endless Games)

sleepover party gameSleepovers typically don’t involve much sleeping, and this game is sure to keep everyone awake ‘til breakfast. The idea is simple, players spin the spinner, pull a card, and complete one of more than 200 challenges (individually or as part of a group), such as mirroring everything another player does, pretending to have a brain freeze, making silly noises, trying to lick your elbow, and doing all sorts of other things that involve making a fool of yourself in front of your friends. Players collect points for successfully completing the challenges. For three or more players, ages 8+. About $20.

Who’s There? (TCG)

who's thereTwo players have gameboards with the same 24 avatar faces, each with noticeable differences such as hair and eye color, facial hair, hats, glasses, and more. Players secretly select on avatar and ask each other Yes or No questions (Is it a woman? Does she have glasses?), using logic and the process of elimination to be the first to guess who their opponent is. For two players, ages 8+. Under $18.

Classic Games (TCG)

classic gamesWhile we’re big fans of completely unique games and new-twist-on-old games, there’s also something very comforting about settling into some of those games that we played as kids (or that our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did). These well-made classics include Chinese Checkers, regular Checkers, Chess, Dominoes, Backgammon, and more. Age ranges and prices vary, but all are available at brick-and-mortar and online retailers everywhere.

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