Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Got ‘Em! by Calliope Games ~ The Game of Masterful Maneuver and Clever Capture ~ Review

January 23, 2012 By 14 Comments

I love board games! Since having a son, I’ve started to come more and more a homebody, opting to spend nights in during the week. Lucky for me, I have a niche of friends, and family, who love a good game night too. We are always looking for something different than our normal games of Mexican Train and Left, Center, Right. I was thrilled to learn about Calliope Games and their family-friendly selection.


Calliope Games generously sent me one of their games Got ’Em!™  Got ‘Em! is a simple strategy game that contains one game board, but each side is a different game. There is one side with colored squares, which is used for Bright Got ’Em! The side with white squares is used for Brainy Got ’Em! For this review, we played the Bright Got ‘Em! side. You can have up to four players and the game is intended for ages 8 and up. The object is to place walls around the game board trapping your opponents pawns. Last pawn standing wins! Now I love strategy games, but hate the ones that take hours on end and tons of focus to win. Got ‘Em! is so much fun. It challenges the mind, but it won’t take hours to win. Often the game would go by so fast that we were able to play round after round! Brainy Got ‘Em! is purely strategic and does not involve the cards.

To begin, each player receives 3 cards which they can view, but should keep hidden from opponents. You can choose which card of the three you would like to play. The color of the card corresponds with what box you can place your wall on. Follow the instructions on the card. Further instructions on the card will indicate how many spaces you can move your pawn, if you can move through walls, or if you can remove a wall. Your pawn cannot move through a wall unless the card indicates so. After your move, draw a new card. The game moves onto the next player!

Continue the game, with each player taking turns, until a pawn is trapped. If your pawn is trapped in a square with walls on all four sides, you are out. The game continues till all pawns are out, minus one. The player with the last pawn standing wins! In the picture below, you will see that I (Red) have already trapped Green and am getting ready to trap Blue.

We had a lot of fun playing this game! I actually won the first three games and was worried my opponents wouldn’t want to play anymore. However, they were having so much fun, we kept on going. The game can go by quick. Usually around a half hour, or slightly more. We especially loved how straight forward the game is without a bunch of complicated rules. If you are looking for a new fun game for the whole family, check out Got ‘Em!
Don’t forget to connect with Calliope Games on Facebook and Twitter!
Buy It: You can purchase Got ‘Em on Amazon, or you can find a local retailer near you!
Quick video demonstrating how to play Bright Got ‘Em!

I received complimentary product(s) to facilitate this review from the sponsoring company. This is 100% my own honest opinion. No one has influenced me otherwise and I was in no way compensated financially. This review is solely based on my own experience with this product.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tsuro Game Review


January 12, 2012

If you have a boy (or man) who is into role playing games or comic books – this is a game for you. Dragons – getting blocked from finding your path along the way….old fashioned fun.   It sounds complicated but the game is pretty simple.  For younger kids I think it can teach some lessons about how the choices you make can impact you….

About the Game
Create your own journey with Tsuro…the Game of the Path.Place a tile and slide your stone along the path created, but take care! Other players’ paths can lead you in the wrong direction—or off the board entirely! Find your way wisely to succeed. The rules are simple: you place a tile to build the next step for your stone to follow.

Paths will cross and connect, and the choices you make affect all the journey across the board. Stay the path—your journey begins here.
  • 1 game board
  • 1 Dragon tile
  • 8 markers
  • 35 playing tiles
  • Tsuro is recommended for 2-8 players ages 8 and up.

About the company
At Calliope we develop and publish tabletop games for the “Family”. Calliope is focused on pulling families and friends back to the recreation room table in an era where occupations and digital mediums are constantly soaking up each minute of one’s day. It is our intent to facilitate communication of families and their relationships through analog tabletop gaming experiences.
As such, we are very aware of the burdens created by today’s economy. The reality is they are changing the way families are allocating their entertainment dollars. All Calliope games are priced to meet those restraints and retail at or under $30. More importantly, the games are fun for the entire family! In most instances, our games entertain 2 to 6 players and sometimes up to 8. They always play in under 60 min. but typically play in 40 min. or less. They are accessible by players of 8 years of age and up; in other words, we do our best to write the rules so that children as young as 8 years of age can read and understand the game without the direction of Mom and Dad. The key is this… Calliope branded games are games that Mom and Dad will prefer to play after the kids have long gone to bed.
Buy it & Get Social
You can use the store locator to find a place to buy these games and be sure to check out the Facebook page for more ideas, info and games. Amazon also has it for around $25.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or did not receive any compensation, but did receive samples to review and test out. The opinions in this post are soley mine

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Best Board Games of 2011

The Golden Robots Award

2011 was a tricky year: my family went through a major move, from our tiny rural town in western Kansas to a bustling metropolitan center in the Pacific Northwest. For me, it meant scaling back on game nights as I was preparing for moves and — gasp! — sealing up my games in moving boxes. Probably the hardest part was having to leave them packed up and shoved in the back of the garage while some needed renovations were being finished. And then came the process of reconnecting with my old gaming friends and shifting gears from playing board games mostly with high school and college kids, and now playing with parents of small children and working out our mutual schedules.
Despite all of that, I still managed to get a good amount of board gaming in this year. (It’s never enough, but that’s a story for another time.) In fact, when going over my list, it was really hard to narrow down the list, because there were a lot of really great games. But here are some of the best board games reviewed on GeekDad in 2011, picked by myself, Jenny Williams, Dave Banks, and Michael Harrison.
Jonathan’s picks:
Game of the Year: I’m adding this category for my own picks. For sheer fun-factor, I pick Catacombs as my top game of 2011. It didn’t necessarily have the most plays, and I admit that it’s not a game for everyone. But it combines the roleplaying of D&D with Crokinole-style disk-flicking, and makes for an experience that has been a blast every time I play it, win or lose. Here’s the original review.
Jenny’s picks:
  • Best Use of Random Element: Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype – Get your pieces to the other side before anyone else, but don’t get stuck as an ear! (review)
  • Most Laughter and Chaos: Shake ‘n Take – Search for aliens as fast as you can. (review)
  • Best Gateway Game for Kids: Gubs – Get ‘em hooked and then play Munchkin! (review)
  • Best City-Building Game: City Square Off – Great for parents and kids to play together, this game has players competing against themselves, as much as each other, to place the most tiles in their city. (review)
  • Best Deck-Building Game for Beginners: Dominion -  Different each time it is played, yet its finite options makes it easy for new players to learn. (review)
  • Best Short: Tsuro – Great for all ages and many different group sizes, this game is quick to play, and even quicker to learn. (review)
David’s picks:
  • Best portable game: Hive – This play-anywhere strategic tile game will have you buzzing as you attempt to take over your opponent’s hive. (review)
  • Best Cartoon Art: Food Fight – Food warriors go to battle on your plate in this humorously and gorgeously detailed card game. (review)
  • Best Digital Board Game: Ticket to Ride – The simple and enjoyable railway game makes its way to the digital realm in the best iPad port of any board game to date. (review)
  • Most Suspenseful Letters from Whitechapel – A detective game that will have you on the edge of your seat as you chase Jack the Ripper. (review)
  • Best Picture(s): Pastiche – Recreate masterwork paintings by building colors on your palette in this fun, family-friendly game. (review)
Michael’s picks:
  • Best Horror Game: Elder Sign – An exciting return to H.P. Lovecraft’s dread city of Arkham, but this time, you’re armed with lots of dice! (review)
  • Best Monster Flick: King of Tokyo – A dice game full of madcap monster movie mayhem, as you and your friends compete for the top spot in Tokyo. (review)
  • Best Short: Carnival – It’s quick, it’s easy to learn, and it combines dice and cards in a new and fun way. (review)
  • Best Backstabbing: Launch Pad – The space race gets dirty in this fast and devious card game where you and your friends build (and sabotage) rockets and try to get them into space. (review)
Again, as with last year’s list, these are all games that were reviewed on GeekDad in 2011. So they may not have all been released this year (and there are some games that came out this year that’ll have to wait until next year for their chance). We also coordinated our picks to avoid duplicates, but there were actually a lot of ties involved… What about you — what were your favorites this year?
May 2012 bring lots of great board gaming and no massive earth-ending disasters!