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Fun and Games

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

If anyone ever asks me, "Alex, do you want to play Bananagrams?" , the answer is both simple and obvious:

Because I love word games, and especially board games. Bananagrams doesn't technically have a board but it's basically a more fun version of Scrabble, so I count it as one. I love board games. I don't care if that makes me sound like a complete granny.

These are my three favourites.  Articulate generally results in extreme fits of laughter, Echelon isn't very well known but it's about BOOKS and therefore awesome and 221b Baker Street is like Cluedo but with added Sherlock Holmes.  If I'm in close proximity to one of these games I can generally be found making pleading faces at people until they give in and play with me.

I kinda gave up on board games for a while in my youth, probably because of the trauma caused by my mum throwing away Hungry Hippos because we played it so much it gave her a migraine.  Not that I still hold a grudge or anything... 

Card games took over. My Grandad Jim, who was in the Merchant Navy, tried to teach me cribbage but all I remember is moving matchsticks around the board and him saying bizarre things like "Fifteen-two, fifteen-three, fifteen-four, one's a jack and two for his nibs" (I may not recall this entirely correctly).  I was a veritable whiz at Rummy and Spit (sort of a cross between Solitaire and Snap) in my early teens but I haven't opened a pack of cards for ages now. Poker games of all varieties were the in thing when I was at uni but I don't really have a gambling temperament.

Neither do I have the temperament for proper computer games.  I get too tense when it comes to jumping ledges and killing baddies.  Honestly, you'll understand how limited my abilities are when I tell you that the four games I've been best at are Valhalla, Mad Professor Mariarti, Simon the Sorceror and Theme Hospital.

And this may tell you something about how old Valhalla is.

I can't cope with hacky slashy killing games, unless they happen to be cartoony and fun and more strategy than murder-based. I was jammy enough to get an iPad for Christmas and rapidly became obsessed with Kingdom Rush. So. Much. Fun. Except I've nearly completed it now and I need something new to play.  Any suggestions?


  1. Ooh, I love a board game. I've never heard of Echelon but now I want to play it... I'm a Scrabble and Monopoly girl. But only if everyone sticks to the (pre-agreed) rules. Yep, I'm one of those people. xx

  2. I loved Theme Hospital and Theme Park.
    I've been playing Hay Day on my iPod

  3. I've had that pleading look on my face over my harry potter scene it game - it may also have something to do with the fact I'm pretty nailed on to win it too!
    I love Simon the scorcerer! You sound a bit like me in terms if your computer gaming habits (blatant plug coming up here!) I did I post on my blog about iPad gaming apps and they are probably the sorts of games you might like if your into games like that - trust me I'm not a shoot em up platformy person either (I always manage to fall of!)
    I've never heard of echelon though - sounds like something I'd enjoy! Next time your in Derbyshire we should have a board game fest lol

    Jenni x

  4. I too love board games!
    Reminds me so much of been young and there such fun!
    Theme hospital i used to love, just thinking about it makes me want to play it lol.
    great post :)

  5. I also love a board game. The Logo board game being my favourite at the moment. I remember why too much silly information about brands and adverts. Scary.

  6. I used to love playing games! More recently (last 15 or so years) it's been Theme hospital, Theme park, Worms and Settlers. Although settlers kind of leaves you tranced. I haven't gamed for years now.

  7. I wasn't even ALLOWED Hungry Hippos - I guess my Mam could see what was coming (ie a massive headache). Still though :( :( I've recently become a little bit obsessed with The Sims app on my iphone - might suit you if you like Theme Hospital et al? x

  8. I used to love theme park and theme hospital and I still have a LOT of love for most boardgames! xx

  9. We play a lot of board games although I hadn't heard of Echelon or 221b Baker Street. The current favourite is Pandemic - my other half got the expansion pack for Christmas. We also love The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game - brilliant fun with a group.

  10. I remember Simon the sorcerer - one of the very few computer games I ever completed :)

  11. Oh man I loved Theme Hospital. Like LOVED it. And Lemmings, I like Lemmings, although I used to find it a bit stressful. And I liked the ORIGINAL Sim City. And by original, I mean that when Sim 2000 came out I abandoned it because I thought it was too modern.

    Articulate is the bomb. I've just been introduced to Rapidough which caused much hilarity and I feel the same way about Pictionary. I am mostly crap at anything like Scrabble though - all the words fall out of my head.

    The Person bought a boardgame called Carcassonne ages ago and I refused to play it because it looked so lame, but we got it out for our Christmas and became more than a little obsessed with it.

  12. I love board games, I think Cranium is my favourite!

    Maria xxx

  13. I sort of hate games! My Dad and sisters are quite big on them though, so we always played them when we were younger and still have a very full 'games cupboard' which my nephews enjoy rummaging around these days. Hungry Hippos was hell on your hands too-or at least the way my sisters and I smashed the hell out of it!

  14. I've recently got back into board games - we've been playing Ticket to Ride quite a lot. After my sister got Hungry Hippos for her birthday, we only played it the once. And when my dad was looking after us! Jen x

  15. I could have written this post! I ADORE board games!!! Articulate is great but EVEN better is The Big Taboo!!!! It's the Cranium equivalent of Taboo!!! I am exactly the same with computer games too- I get really tense and don't like violence! That said, I always wish I had completed Prince of Persia!!!

  16. I love board games and share your love of Theme Hospital too! Over christmas we revived an old one called Dingbats which is like a harder version of Tv's Catchphrase!
    The ones I love the most are:
    and my new fav... Rapidough which is like Pictionary with Play Doh

    So i'd recommend those as a new board game but if you are looking for a new simulation style computer game, I was a little obsessed with Virtual Villagers.


  17. I'm a great fan of board games too. When there's a lot of us I like Cranium, Pictionary, The Big Taboo and Articulate and can get very excited and always end up shouting my answers out!
    Scrabble on the other hand is a lot more refined and although I like to win, I also just like making words and ask other people if they want any help. Quite often I've found something really good for them and then realised they've gone where I was going to! If there's only me and my brother wanting to play Scrabble we pick names for two other players and play all four.

  18. For board games, I also HIGHLY recommend Ticket To Ride. It's addictive. There's a beautifully done iPad app for it too.

    If you like a card-based strategy game, you should try Dominion (also available for iPad, which is great because it's not nearly as pricey as the physical set and you don't have to coerce someone into playing with you).

    As far as computer games though - have you ever tried Portal? I'm a lot like you, I hate games that involve bad guys trying to get you and lots of violence. Portal is actually more of a strategy game though. You play Chell, a woman who is testing out something known as a portal gun for Aperture Laboratories. You have "long fall boots" so it's impossible to die from falling (I hate that in a game!) and while there are bad guys who shoot at you, they're sentry turrets so they don't actually move, plus they all shoot red lasers so you know where they're looking (and it's really fun to destroy them by shooting a portal on a high wall, and then another below them, so they go shooting through the air and crash). Portal 2 is even more fun.


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