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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Games

 


2015 Award
My Family Trivia Game
(Purple Cow $12 Score:)

We like this unusual multi-generational games that will be fun for a family occasions since it calls for a lot of talking and sharing of family stories. Players must collect six different colored cards that are drawn randomly from the pile. The tasks on the cards require players to tell about themselves or things they know about other players in the game. For example one task card asks a player to name "all my cousins from oldest to youngest" or to tell "an object I could not live without" or "three places where we have relatives." There are a few picture cards, too, that are supposed to evoke family stories that relate to your family. An uncomplicated game that is sure to produce good laughs and happy memories, this is designed for 3-7 players ages 6-99.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Educational Insights Read My List Game
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

A game for listening, thinking fast and rapid recall. The game comes with 200 cards with lists and categories. With List cards players race to name three more things that fit the category. With category cards players listen to the list read and try to be the first to name the category. In the Lightening Round players take turns naming things that fall into the category. But be careful, if you guess wrong or name something that was already read on the list, you are out! 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Monopoly 80th Anniversary Edition
(Hasbro $20.99 Score:)

Need a gift for Grandma or Grandpa for a family celebration? This version of the original game comes with retro cards and money, wooden hotels and houses, and tokens that were used when the grandparents, parents and kids from the 30's to the Millennium played with. A perfect choice for keeping some of the crowd quiet and engrossed at your next family reunion. there is a fancier version of this with golden playing pieces. Game play and playing pieces are otherwise the same. 8 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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My Monopoly
(Hasbro $19.95 Score:)

The new My Monopoly board game allows you to create a personalized Monopoly game, but, as our testors told us, it's not that easy to do. You can download the free My Monopoly app or visit www.mymonopoly.com to set up an account and personalize property spaces, game tokens, Community Chest and Chance cards to use in the My Monopoly board game. Choose your own photos from your computer or smart device and add captions to the photos. Then, you need to print them out on the sticker sheets, and you are ready to play. Our test families loved the concept, but found doing all these so-called simple steps a real challenge, that took too much stress, time and fun out of the fun. For all but the most savvy computer-able players, stick to Boardwalk.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack
(Activision $74.99 Score:)

This relative newcomer to toyland with over a BILLION dollars in sales has engaged younger kids to the world of gaming with action figures that exist both virtually and as toys. Here's the story: "Kaos has blown up the walls of Cloudcracker Prison and freed notorious villains in Skylands. You and the Skylanders must hunt them down and capture them with magical Traptanium, a powerful material that can harness the Elements. Available for all gaming systems. 6 & up. Editors' Note: While we acknowledge that this is a large and growing segment of toyland, we still wish that the games and technology were less about combat.  On the other hand playing these types of games often becomes a social issue - in which case we suggest that you sit down and experience the game play with your child. And as with all "screen" time we suggest you put a time limit on this type of play before you bring the toy home. This type of play should not replace everything else like building, being active and creative in the real world.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Lexigo RUSH
(Wiggles 3D Inc. $16.99 Score:)

Our testers found playing against the timer a challenge. Word games are played by laying out a grid of 13 letter tiles, turn the 60 second timer and each player makes a list of as many words as they can see by using letters that connect in any direction. You can ever repeat the same letters, just as long as they continue to connect. When time is up players read their word lists and cross out words that others also found. You get points for any words that you alone were able to find. It's a bit like Boggle without the frame and box and with bonus rings for bonus points. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Blue Orange Doodle Quest
(Blue Orange Games $24 Score:)

Most testers really had fun with this visual perception game that involves spatial relationships and the ability to look at a scene and then draw lines around or under images on a transparent sheet that is not on the picture, but near it. When you have finished you place your transparency on the image and see if you have accomplished the task. There are two sided cards, so younger kids and older ones (and parents) can play the same game. It comes with four dry erase pens, erasers, drawing boards and transparent doodle sheets. 6 and up, up, up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Blue Orange Battle Sheep Game
(Blue Orange Games $24.99 Score:)

We had mixed responses to this game...very strong on both sides. The object of the game is to occupy the most number of pastures with your sheep. You do this by blocking off spaces or "pastures" with your sheep. A fun strategy game but it does take a certain amount of time to learn how to block and acquire depending on how you move your herd. Comes with 16 pasture tiles, 64 sheep chips (16 of each color). Designed for 2-4 players 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Pyramix
(Gamewright $21.99 Score:)

Our testers loved the look of this strategy game that comes with 56 cubes on a base tray. The game play involves pulling cubes off the pyramid. As you do this of course other cubes will fall - this is important since the cubes left at the end will determine your score. The score is also determined by the points you received from the illustrations on the sides of the dice. An anka is one point, a crane is two points, an eye is three points and a cobra is worth zero points.  Our older kid testers got the game play much faster than our grown-ups!  

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Gravity Maze
(ThinkFun $29.99 Score:)

A fun twist on Think Fun's usual brain teasers. The game board comes with spaces for placing plastic cubes that make up towers of different heights. The goal is create a maze (using the towers) that gets the marble from point A to point B on the board. The challenges (there are 60 in the set) becomes increasingly more difficult. A good choice for parent/child gaming. 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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