Wednesday, July 16, 2014

June 2014 Games of the Week

 By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.

Rivet Wars Eastern Front, Cool Mini or Not
Rivet Wars is a miniatures boardgame set on a world that never quite left World War I but with crazy technology like walking tanks, diesel powered armor, uni-cycled vehicles and armor plated cavalry! Don't let the cute visuals fool you; it's a world full of angst, war-torn camaraderie and dark humor. Rivet Wars is at its heart a strategy game, with both players deploying units each round to counter the threats set forth by their opponent and stay one tactical step ahead.  Players gather resources (bunkers and capture points) and use these to deploy streams of new units! There's an ebb and flow on the tactical landscape and you can stock up surprises for your opponent to be unleashed even as he thinks he's winning!

Dungeon Raiders Board Game, Passport Game Studio
Players work together, but only one will win! Join a brave party of adventurers! Explore a dungeon filled with monsters, traps and treasure! In Dungeon Raiders, each player takes the role of a different adventurer.  Players need to work together to survive the dungeon, but only one will make it out with the most treasure and win the game. The dungeon is different each time you play, offering new surprises as you collect treasure, trigger traps and fight off horrible monsters.

The King Commands, Z-Man Games
Camelot has fallen. King Arthur is dead, Merlin is missing, and the treasury has been plundered. The remaining Knights of the Round Table have decided to duel over the remaining bags of gold found in the castle. To their aid they have King Arthur's crown, Merlin's crystal ball, and the magic sword, Excalibur. Players play combination of sword cards to steal bags of gold from players who can block or parry. The relics, such as the crown, crystal ball, and Excalibur, have special abilities. The player with the most points at the end can call themselves "king".

Camelot The Build Board Game, Wontan Games
A game of medieval interior design with all sorts of dubious stratagems, dirty tricks and subtle ploys designed to challenge all ages and types of players. The game has only three rules, allowing everyone to understand how to play it and win.  It is a fast-playing tile-laying board game where you are laying out tiles to build the legendary seat of Arthur’s power, Camelot.  It is the first title in “The Camelot Chronicles”, a series of easy-to-play games with a target of three rules and a maximum playing time of one hour.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, MayFair Games
Descend deep into the interior of the earth, as you lead the three adventurers from Jules Verne’s classic novel: Professor Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel and their guide Hans. Begin your amazing journey with entry through the crater of the dormant Icelandic volcano Snaefells. Explore a dense forest of giant mushrooms, traverse a turbulent underground ocean, before you are hurled out of an Italian volcano to return to the earth's surface. On your journey, collect fossils both small and large, collect gold and overcome obstacles through the prudent acquisition and use of select equipment. Explore the many parts of the subterranean cavern, using equipment and luck are critical to overcoming the obstacles within your path. The player who can escape with the best collection of artifacts is the winner. Will you direct our heroes on a journey of danger, discovery and fortune?

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Sampling of Old School Children’s Games

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.
The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom. As such, we are constantly on the lookout for games that we can play for fun. Recently, I was able to play different “old school” games, many from my childhood. Indeed, I spent hours playing the Mad Magazine and Muppet Show games.  Some of the games hold up well and are just as fun to play today as thirty years ago, some not so much. 

Let us take a trip down memory lane.

Mad Magazine, Parker Brothers
Each Player starts with $10,000. The board is Monopoly-like, with 2 inner tracks that can also be used. Play is counter-clockwise and you must roll the dice with your left hand. Certain spaces, and the ever present 'Card' cards send you elsewhere, make you pay money (good), make you get money (bad), switch seats with someone else or exchange money with another player.  First to lose all their money wins.

Garfield Board Game, Parker Brothers
This game features Garfield, America's famous comic strip cat. Object: you and the other players must try to run three complete circles around Garfield. For each circle you complete, you'll earn a ring. The first player to earn 3 rings wins the game.  

Yoda the Jedi Master Game (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back), Kenner
Be the first player to become a Jedi Knight, defeat the Dark Side of the Force and win! Travel to the Dagobah System where Yoda, the ancient Jedi Master, will teach you the ways of the Force. Acquire Jedi merit as you successfully accomplish the difficult tasks and trials Yoda sets for your training. Once you've obtained sufficient merit as a Jedi, enter the Jedi Knight circle and out-spin the Dark Side of the Force to win.

The Muppet Show Game, Parker Brothers
Directed by Kermit the Frog. Produced by Parker Brothers. Starring Jim Henson's Muppets. A board game in two acts, simulating the Muppet Show. Playing pieces are popular figures from the show: Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie Bear, Rowlf, Scooter, Statler, Dr. Teeth and Waldorf. I loved The Muppet Show as a child and this game took me back to my childhood.

Disney Monorail, Parker Brothers
This is a race game based on the transportation system of the Monorail and Casey Jr. train at Disneyland. Players race not only each other, but the train, Casey Jr. (a non-player character). Roll the dice, using the white die for your own movement on the monorail track and the colored die to move Casey on the train track.  Pure luck, no decisions at all, and Casey can win the game.

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer.