COMMENTARY: Fandooble is Fun for Players Young and Old

Christine.July29

During a recent game-testing session here at The Toy Book, I had the opportunity to play Fandooble, from Mindtwister USA. This game took a few rounds to get the hang of, but once I did, I really liked it—so much so that I called dibs and took it home. Last weekend, I hosted my two teenage male cousins from Sweden. Needless to say, it could be a challenge at times to find activities that we all enjoyed; after all, a 13-year-old boy and a 28-year old woman don’t have a lot of common ground. Fandooble was a great solution, and we played several times during their visit. I even purchased another copy to send home with them as a reminder of our time together.

The game includes four dice and a bag of gold coins. The dice bear images of green dragons, red dragons, knights, wizards, treasure chests, and Fandooble—the money-snatcher. Each player begins the game with five coins in their “stash.” The rest of the coins are kept in the middle. [Read more...]

WBCP, Cryptozoic Entertainment Announce New Lord of the Rings Deck-building Game

logo_CryptozoicWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and Cryptozoic Entertainment, a developer of licensed trading cards and board games, will launch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game, the first expansion to the The Lord of the Rings Deck-building Game line-up. This expansion adds all-new cards and gameplay mechanics to the Cerberus: Middle-earth game engine. 

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game, players pick a hero and fight to protect the wall of Helm’s Deep from Saruman’s forces. Players start with only basic combat maneuvers in their deck, but as the game progresses, they can add new and more powerful cards to their deck. The Wall of Helm’s Deep Deck adds a new level of strategy to the game, representing new perils if players cannot defend the wall from Saruman’s forces. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game can be played on its own, or it can be combined with other expansions from The Lord of the Rings trilogy to create an epic experience. 

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game will be available in hobby and mass retail stores in this summer.

10 Board Games You Shouldn’t Miss Before Stepping to Adulthood

by Pam Johnson

The great journey of adulthood will happen to us all. However, before you get there, it’s time to enjoy these fun and amusing board games.

Candy Land

Don’t even try to get to adulthood without playing Candy Land! This amusing game has been entertaining children of all ages for decades and decades, and you simply cannot miss it.

Monopoly Jr.

While one of the games can still take hours to complete, Monopoly Jr. is more suitable for a younger crowd than the standard version. Youngsters can certainly learn some basic counting skills while having a lot of fun.

Real Monopoly

Before making that final leap into the world of adults, it’s time to get out the board and play some real Monopoly. You’ll get a chance to see what it’s like to own some real estate and handle some seriously large amounts of money in your own hands! [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Fun in a Flash: Quick Games for Families

Flash_Pack_3DOn rainy days, classic favorites such as Scrabble and Monopoly are perfect to entertain kids. But some busy families might not have hours to devote to board games. There are great new games on the market that take only a few minutes to play, but will keep kids entertained when they are in the mood for a game or two.

In Flash!, from Blue Orange Games, players race to complete eight challenges of dice combinations as they try to rack up the most points. Combinations include six of a kind, a straight, all odd numbers, all even numbers, and two sets of three. The first player to complete the challenge picks up the chip worth the most points. Players continue rolling until all players earn a chip. Straight-forward and easy to learn, game play only takes about 10 minutes. There are enough sets of brightly-colored dice for up to six players ages 7 and up. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Help! Kids Should Know the Beatles Too

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The Fab Four: George, Ringo, Paul, and John

I was commuting to work yesterday, minding my own business, when I heard a teenager telling her friend that her strawberry-themed bracelet symbolized her favorite song “Strawberry Fields” by Twintapes. Now as a rule of thumb, I normally tune out every single thing that I hear on the subway, but this particular statement stopped me in my tracks. To say that I am an avid Beatles fan is like saying that the band was “a little popular.” I have obsessed over their music for as long as I can remember, and I will stop there because I could go on and on for days on the topic. The band changed my life and made me fall in love with rock ‘n roll at a very young age, and it breaks my heart to know that teenagers and kids are being robbed of the tunes that made me love music.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine, released in 1999

The Beatles Yellow Submarine, released in 1999

This Beatles-oblivious teenager could not possibly go on thinking that one of the greatest songs of all time was written and recorded by the Twintapes, and this problem should be addressed in the future—for all our sakes. Presently, I have seven girlfriends expecting babies and a brand-new nephew—I know, there is something in that Alabama water—so I feel that it’s my duty to make sure that they are brought up listening to “Come Together,” “Revolution,” “Hey Jude,” and “She Loves You.” I want them to recognize the phrase, “We all live in a yellow submarine,” and I want them to know who wrote “Strawberry Fields Forever.” I took it upon myself to find kid-appropriate methods of Beatles introduction. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Moby Dick, or, The Card Game Brings an American Classic to Life

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Moby Dick is considered one of the greatest American novels ever written. But more than just a classic tale, Herman Melville’s masterpiece leaves quite an impression on its readers, examining existentialism and obsession in a truly captivating way. Literary lovers of the classic tale can venture on the high seas in search of the White Whale in a new way.

King Post has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Moby Dick, or, The Card Game, a dynamic, action-packed adventure for two to four players ages 12 and up. The game is adapted from Melville’s classic novel, and is brought to life with three decks of unique cards featuring original compositions, period portraits, and classic illustrations.

The strategy-based game lets players live out the voyage of the Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. The Sea Deck contains adventures, creatures, and chapters adapted directly from the novel, including whales, giant squid, foreign ports-of-call, and pirate attacks. The Sailor Deck features characters including Ishmael, Starbuck, Queequeg, and Captain Ahab. The Whale Deck contains actions, defenses, and attacks of the hunted whales. In addition to the iconic imagery featured on each card, a quote from the novel ties the action of the game directly to the classic tale. The game also includes two dice and 40 oil markers. [Read more...]

Pinkalicious Introduces New Games with POOF-Slinky

Pinkalicious Cupcake Party Game_hi resPinkalicious, the popular picture book about a girl who loves the color pink and eats too many pink cupcakes, has expanded its franchise to board and card games, which are newly licensed under POOF-Slinky, the manufacturer of the world famous Slinky and top-selling foam sport balls in North America. The games include Pinkalicious 3 Cupcake Card Games, Silverlicious Sweet Tooth Game, and Pinkalicious Cupcake Party Game. Additionally, Pinkalicious is now a live and touring musical production.

Leapfrog Announces LeapPad2 and Leapster GS

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., the leader in educational entertainment, announces two new platforms: LeapPad2, the next generation of the No. 1 kid’s learning tablet LeapPad, and LeapsterGS, the learning video game system.

LeapPad2 arrives after the success of its predecessor. Within a year of launch, LeapPad has received more than 20 accolades, including three awards from the Toy Industry Association (Educational Toy of the Year, Preschool Toy of the Year, and Toy of the Year).

LeapPad2 features higher resolution front-and-back cameras and video recorders, twice the memory (4 GB), and improved battery life. The tablet also includes free content: a music player with five LeapFrog Learning Songs, a Cartoon Director creativity app, an Art Studio creativity app, the Pet Pad writing app, and choice of an additional app. LeapPad2’s Cartoon Director app lets kids develop their inner director by creating and starring in their own cartoons, as well as sharing their masterpieces with family and friends.

Continuing with its education and entertainment products, LeapFrog will release the LeapsterGS, an updated version of Leapster Explorer. With a faster processor and more memory, the LeapsterGS delivers fast-action gameplay while building core skills for success in school and life.

LeapsterGS comes with free content, including the new “Escape of the Sillies” game app, the Pet Pad writing app, and choice of an additional app. Exclusive to LeapsterGS, the “Escape of the Sillies” app immerses kids into the game with the built-in camera and face-morphing technology, where they will customize faces of silly monsters while building their math skills.

LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS will be available for pre-sale at leapfrog.com in the U.S. and Canada, and at major online retailers in the UK and Ireland beginning July 18. They will be available at major retail locations in early August and in select other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries later this fall. The LeapFrog App Center can be accessed through the LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS platforms. For more information on LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS, visit leapfrog.com/nextgen.

Top Toy Trends This Holiday Season, According to Target

This holiday season there will be nearly 7,000 toys featured in Target stores and on Target.com. Stephanie Lucy, vice president of merchandising at Target, shares what she thinks will be the five key toy trends this season and the hot toys that match them.

Interactivity

“One of the key items we selected is Fijit Friends. You look at Fijit and the ability to put it in dance mode, and the voice-recognition and built-in responses. Also, Let’s Rock Elmo is interactive for a much younger child, but we believe interactivity is important.”

[Read more...]

Games & Puzzles: New Dungeons & Dragons

Wizards of the Coast is releasing a new Dungeons & Dragons board game: Conquest of Nerath. Designed for strategy gamers who want to immerse themselves in the world of D&D, Conquest of Nerath has players gather armies of footsoldiers, and siege engines, monsters, and dragons in an effort to protect the fate of the fragile League of Nerath against the undead.

The Conquest of Nerath board game includes a rulebook, a game board, dice, 110 cards, and 252 plastic playing pieces representing champions and the armies of Nerath, Karkoth, the Iron Circle, and Vailin.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!