These five games are not all new. But they are probably new to you. And they all make for good family fun.
Out of the Box Games
Ages 8 to adult
(Newest versions published by Mattel)
The party game where everyone is an animal . . . or at least sounds like one! In Snorta each player chooses the sound of a typical farm animal and the fun begins. As cards are quickly flipped over, tongue-tied players stumble and stutter to blurt out the animal sounds of the other players.
“It’s funny to make the animal sounds. You get old people going, and it’s just hilarious. Sometimes the action stops because your brain freezes up and you can’t think fast enough.”
“I thought the little animal characters were cute. Any group can play – a mix of little kids and moms and dads.”
“This is the game where normal people act like dorks.”
On Tiki Island, nine colorful carvings all compete to be the top Polynesian Idol! In this fast-paced strategy game, maneuver your secret tikis to the top of the line by playing the right combination of action cards.
“I like this game because it Involves strategy and luck. And, this is a weird comment, but I really liked the design of the game and how it looks. My favorite guy is Wikiwiki.”
“I liked making defensive moves and blowing other people’s players out of the game. I thought it was a different kind of idea for a game.”
“It was a frustrating strategy extravaganza. You don’t know who’s going to win until the last move is made.”
“You want your pieces to stack up just right. But everyone keeps changing the order. So it’s kind of chancy like that. They say there’s strategy. But I don’t believe it.”
Rise and Shine! The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and ten of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell and it’s your job to wake them up. Use strategy, quick thinking and a little luck to rouse these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for wicked potions and dastardly dragons! The player who wakes the most queens wins.
“This is a great winter time game. There’s something about it that is fun when the weather outside isn’t the greatest and you’re sitting around looking for some fun to have. It doesn’t require a ton of energy, but it’s fun. It doesn’t require a ton of skill, so even the youngest can win. We got this for Christmas and have easily played at least 30 times (my wife says 50+). So that’s an average of more than once a day. Of course, we usually end up playing 3-5 times in a sitting. The younger kids love the colorful characters and everyone has a favorite King and Queen. (I like the “Fire King” and my wife likes the “Pancake Queen”.)
“A different idea overall than I’ve seen before. Endearing because it’s a clever game developed by a kid.
“Probably more for 8 year olds. It’s kind of a strategy game where you can steal other peoples cards and play counter cards that stop them from getting points.”
Who, What, Where
Not an artist? Not a problem. Who What Where is an outrageous drawing game where the fun increases with every picture drawn. The scenes are silly and ridiculous, but always loads of laughs. You might get Prince Charles Performing Ballet in Egypt, or thousands of other wild combinations. Try to get other players to guess your scene. It’s hilarious!
“It’s kind of for the Pictionary professional. There is less yelling overall. It’s calmer, but just as funny.”
“I like this game because you get points on both sides — for drawing a good picture, and for guessing other’s pictures. We got in the groove of it and you could make some pretty good guesses. We had a ton of fun. Plenty of laughs.”
“You have to know what some famous people look like. That tripped me up sometimes because I don’t really know who Luciano Pavorati is.”
“You could kind of see inside other people’s heads with this game. You could start to predict how some people would draw stuff. And that’s good. It gave you more points!”
“I still think my picture of Martha Stewart turning into a werewolf in Egypt was the best.”
Out of the Box Games
12 to adult
The hysterical game of sketchy directions! Two teams race to identify drawings done by their own team members. But the artists don’t know what they are drawing—they can only follow the instructions given by another team member. Laughter erupts as players attempt to follow direction and to guess what is being drawn.
“It was a nail-biter to the finish! Once we got rolling, our competition was fierce, with each group perfecting their skills. I think this develops great skills for communicating efficiently, and listening precisely. We had a blast!”
Fun! You try to go so fast you get tongue-twisted.”
“Play with someone who thinks like you do. You can kind of read each others’ minds. I did that with my brother, and it led our excellent victory!”
“Comes with little white boards, markers and little erasers You really could play this as a fun travel game.”
“A great game for visual families. If you like Pictionary this game’s for you. It’s easy to learn and fairly quick to play. It’s much more fun in big groups, and having the right group is essential. You can expect lots of laughs during the game. ”