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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
Bananagrams
(Bananagrams $14.95 Score:)

There are two new word games, Bananagrams and Pick Two Deluxe that are very similar. Both of these games are a version of "speed scrabble,"  in which players build their own word grid and try to be the first to use up their letters. When a player uses all letters she shouts, "Pick Two!" or "Peel!" and others must take two or three letters. Either is a fun word game. Pick Two tiles have number values, so there's more math involved in scoring.  Otherwise they are pretty much the same. We do like the banana-shaped bag for take-along play. www.bananagrams-int.com.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Pick Two Deluxe
(Outset Media $19.99 Score:) THere are two new games that are really very similar- both are versions of “speed scrabble,” in which players build their own word grid and try to be the first to use up their letters. When a player uses all letters she shouts, “Pick Two!” or “Peel!” and others must take two or three letters. Either is a fun word game. Pick Two tiles have number values, so there’s more math involved in scoring. Otherwise they are pretty much the same. www.outsetmedia.com or www.bananagrams-int.com.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Wallamoppi
(Out of the Box Publishing $21 Score:) Here’s a clever variation on the classic game of Jenga. Players must remove their dark or light wooden playing pieces from a pyramid and add them to a tower on top of the pyramid. Wait, there’s one more thing! Do all of this before a marble races down a runway into the wooden storage box. Not easy! A quick two-player game that builds dexterity and strategy skills. 8 & up. (616) 844-5263.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Ringgz
(Blue Orange Games $19.95 Score:) A strategy game that becomes more interesting the more you play it. The idea is to capture as many territories on the board as possible by having the “majority of color” on any given territory. You place your colors down by placing either a colored disc (which captures the entire space) or rings of color. The added difficulty: you can only add your color to an adjacent space that already has your color, which means you can quickly be blocked off from adding any pieces. All wood. 8 & up. (415) 252-6372.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Luck of the Draw
(3M $19.99 Score:) Our testers enjoyed playing Luck of the Draw, the newest “drawing” game on the market. As with most of the games in this genre, you have to draw an image as dictated by the cards, but here in a fun twist everyone votes on the different categories when judging all the drawings: “neatest,” “strangest,” “most detailed.” 10 & up. Younger players will prefer Who? What? Where? Jr. (see separate review). (800) 638-7568.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Doodle Tales
(Cranium $16.95 Score:) Players are shown a picture with a missing image and asked to draw what they think fits best on their secret doodle pad. The judge then redistributes everyone’s drawings and spins the “caption wheel.” All players have to finish captions such as: “While we were on vacation” or “late last night . . .” The judge chooses her favorite creation (very subjective but everyone gets to be the judge!). 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Zingo! Heroes
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) Updated with a superhero theme, this is a fun variation on Vingo. Each player gets a card with Marvel comic heroes such as the Thing and the Hulk. The dealer pushes down on the superhero tile dispenser. Be the first to see a match and the tile is yours. Will appeal to boys—quick to learn and to play. 4 & up. Thinkfun has also added the Marvel license to other past award winners including Hopper Heroes ($16.99 4) and City Crossing, now with Spiderman ($16.99 4). Still top rated, last year’s Toot and Otto Game ($7.99 4), a fun variation on Connect 4. (800) 468-1864.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Pisa
(HaPe $17.95 Score:) Construct a tower with colored rods between disks of wood. Roll the colored die, remove a rod of that color; but watch out, or the whole tower will fall! Harder than Pandabo,(HaPe $9.95 5) last year's Platinum winner. Pandabo is a beautifully crafted balancing game with a wooden panda holding up round, half-round, and square rods. Fine motor skills help as players take turns trying not to be the one who upsets the stack. They say 4 & up, we’d say more like 6 or 7 for both. (800) 661-4142.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
(Pazow $6.98 Score:) Here’s a great card game for a play date, birthday party, or sleep-over. Sure, you can write your own cards for a scavenger hunt; in fact, this comes with some blanks for that purpose. But this comes ready-made with a basic game, a race version, and a team variation. There are three items on each card and players must find all of them. Bonus points are also awarded for the first to put the found objects away. Designed for 8 & up. (415) 885-5006.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Cosmic Catch
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A great game for the whole family! Everyone wears a different colored band on their hands and the ball then identifies each player by passing it around once. Our favorite game mode is much like Simon Says—the ball calls out the color that it should be passed to next. If you make a mistake, the game is over. There are more challenging games, in which you have to break the “code” the ball has in mind. 7 & up, but will also be enjoyed by older siblings and family members. 2–6 players. (888) 836-7025.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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