Well, 2020 is nearly over and we are looking forward to welcoming the New Year promptly at midnight! We’ll be staying up late and are planning our Countdown Games now! Each of these games features a timing element, meaning we’ll get plenty of practice counting down while we wait for the Ball to Drop!
Our first three games are fully cooperative, fast paced games in which players trade information freely and work together to accomplish the mission within the time restriction!
Players in 5 Minute Dungeon take on the role of one of ten heroes in an effort to get past monsters, traps, minions and bosses. Working together, they play the appropriate cards to defeat the current card until they have defeated the boss! And they must do this, for each level of the dungeon, within five minutes! With successively more challenging levels, your team will have to work seamlessly together in order to beat the
final boss, The Dungeon Master! 5 Minute Marvel plays very similarly to 5 Minute Dungeon, except players assume the role of one of their favorite Avengers to defeat progressively more difficult missions. Each mission must be accomplished within the same 5 minute limit, so teams will still need to work together to get through!
In Fuse players work together to claim the right dice to defuse all of the bombs before the time runs out! Each round of Fuse spans only ten minutes, and players must work together to roll the dice and clear all of the bomb cards. Be careful to use as many of the dice as you can each round so that you don’t lose your progress and have to start cards over. Flatline takes place in the Fuse world and plays similarly to
Fuse! In Flatline, players are rolling and placing dice to clear patient cards in the busy ER! Beware your time restrictions and the Emergency cards as you and your team attempt Flatline!
Our next set of games require players to think like their teammates in order to win. These games are generally team-based or competitive, but they still require a fair amount of teamwork!
First up is Hive Mind, the game where players score points based on the similarity of their answers to the other beeples in the game! The more answers you have like your fellow beeples, the further into the hive you are able to move! Too many answers unlike the other beeples, and you’ll move right out of the Hive Mind and lose!
Next up, can you get your teammates to guess the right word without using any of the Taboo words? How many can you get them to guess in one minute? Is it enough to beat your opponents? Play Taboo and find out! And then there’s Trapwords which plays similarly to Taboo, but your opponents choose the words that you cannot use and you won't
know what they are until you use them! In addition to these traps, you will also have two random curses in play that can completely change how you hint to your teammates! Teams play against each other each round and move through the dungeon until either, or both, teams end up in the same room as the wandering monster! If either team is able to defeat the monster at that point, they win the game!
These next two games still require you to think like your teammates, but they add an artistic wrinkle to your challenge!
Telestrations combines the classic drawing game of Pictionary with Telephone! The first player will pick a secret word and sketch it. Then they will pass their sketch to the next player who will attempt to guess what was drawn and then pass the sketchbook. Once the last player has drawn or guessed, the entire book is reviewed! If you choose to keep score, two scoring options are given in the rules, but we really love to just play.
You’ve spotted a Monster who’s suspected of nefarious deeds, even if you only got a 20 second glance. The Department of Recording Anomaly Witnesses is here to get your statement and produce a sketch of who you saw. Can you describe it well enough for the sketchers to produce a recognizable sketch? Points are awarded to the sketcher who comes closest to what the witnesses saw! And then, it's your turn to sketch in MonDRAWsity!
The next three games are app-driven, which we like a lot because the app takes care of the timing and we can focus on the game!
Much like its longer cousin, Werewolf, players in One Night Werewolf will have secret roles that determine their win conditions! Villagers are attempting to accuse a Werewolf, while Werewolves are attempting to get a Villager accused and survive the night! In One Night Werewolf, players will have to do all of their investigating in just 10 minutes!
Players in Chronicles of Crime are attempting to solve one of the crime scenarios included in the game. The cards and puzzles in the game are QR-code driven allowing you to scan and complete them on your favorite device. The app will take care of most of the minutiae of the game which allows you to focus on solving the crime! But you will still be up against a time-limit!
Play though your favorite style of adventure in the Unlock! game series. Complete puzzles, solve riddles and find the clues you need to get the final Unlock! code, all before your hour runs out!
This game is different from the others we’ve talked about so far, but we had to include it in all of its chaotic glory!
Each player in Stay Cool will be put through the wringer on their turn! The player on your right will ask you questions, which you will have to answer by spelling the answer out on dice. The player on your left will also ask you questions, which you will have to answer verbally! On the first round, (in a four to seven player game) a fourth player will flip your thirty-second timer four times for you. On the second round, this player will flip your timer for you when you tell them to flip it. On the third round, they will hide the timer from you and flip it for you when you tell them to. During the second and third round, if your timer ever runs out before you ask for it to be flipped, your turn ends immediately! The asking players will keep track of the number of questions you got right and the product of the right answers from the left and the right answers from the right is your score for the round. The player with the most points at the end of the third round wins!
And our final inclusion, Pendulum is a worker placement, engine building game that takes a bit longer than the others and is a bit more complicated!
With a line like “Time Conquers All” on the box, we couldn’t ignore Pendulum in our discussion of games with timed components; in fact, Pendulum makes the most use of time and timing of all of the games we’ve included in this list. Each player in Pendulum will be competing to advance their character’s interest in four areas with hopes of advancing far enough to be declared the next Timeless King of Dunya. With each possible action only available while the sand in the hourglass falls and worker movements restricted to times when there is no hourglass in position, players have to be constantly conscious of time. Will you be able to manage your time and resources well enough to be the next Timeless King?
Whew! We’re excited to play some of these at our Countdown to the New Year! Did we miss any you’re looking forward to playing while you wait for 2021? Comment and let us know!
The carolers have just left and they sang us the most Game-tastic version of the 12 Days of Christmas! It went something like this:
Oh, we do love Uno! With easy to follow rules and a clear win criteria this game is definitely a classic for good reasons! And don’t forget the infinite variability offered by including fun “house rules” and all of the different themed Uno decks! We’re definitely adding this one to our list for Santa!
Quiddler! This game is so much fun and it’s such a sneaky fun way for kids to learn spelling and new words! Played in a series of rounds with more and more cards, starting at three and ending at ten. In each round players attempt to create a word with all but one of their cards in order to end the round and to score the most points! This game is definitely going on our list, too!
Ah, Cockroach Poker! The social deduction game disguised as a quick-playing card game! Stink bugs always get us in trouble because we can’t say, “Stink bug,” without grinning! And that’s a serious giveaway in a game where you’re trying to get your opponents to guess wrong about the card you just slid them! But it’s always fun to play! Santa won’t mind a few stink bugs in his bag!
This one took us a second to remember, but then it struck us like lightning! Zeus on the Loose! The game where you want to have Zeus when you reach the top of Mount Olympus four times to spell his name (like playing H.O.R.S.E in basketball)! Quick math and strategic thinking wins this game every time!
Eureka, the carolers are singing about Dr. Eureka! This game requires logic thinking and good manual dexterity! We love playing this one with as many of our fireflies as we possibly can! Maybe it’s time for another copy! Let’s add it to our list as well!
The Deadlies, is a great game where each suit of cards corresponds to one of the seven deadly sins. You start with six cards in hand and attempt to get rid of them! Then you start with four cards, then two cards, and all the while your opponents are trying to sabotage you and ditch their own cards! Do you think Santa would put us on the Naughty List if we add this one, too?
Animal Upon Animal, in any of its forms (and there are a bunch of them) is a great game for kids and grown ups! Starting with their choice of seven animals, each player will roll the die to find out what to do on their turn. The first player to get rid of all of their animals wins!
Codenames is one of the easiest party games to set up, explain, and play for any size group! We love being the clue master and thinking up those one word and one number clues for our team to use! With EIGHT different versions available everyone is sure to find the right Codenames game for their group!
We love competing to be the best chicken in Crazy Eggz! With nine orange eggs and one super special blue one, competing to grab the most eggs is a cracking good time!
Tenzi is always a crowd pleaser, because who doesn’t love to roll some dice? We love to play it with the 77 Ways to Play Tenzi card pack because it changes what we’re trying to roll every round!
Playing as your favorite Monster, attempt to be declared King of Tokyo by either destroying your enemies or by being the first monster to win themselves twenty fame points! With extra monsters in the form of expansions and a whole new version released this year King of Tokyo Dark, you and your favorite monsters will love it! We’re adding this one to our list for sure!
Gnomes at Night! We love working with our partner to collect all the queen’s stolen treasures! Getting through the maze is always fun, and there are no losers! We really hope Santa has enough room to bring us this one, too!
Wow, those carolers certainly helped us add some great games to our list for Santa! We can’t wait to see what he brings us! Let’s see, the Stockings are Stuffed, the Cookies are Baked, Winter Wonderland has come, and the carolers have serenaded us with the 12 Days of Christmas Gaming!
Merry Christmas from Papa Firefly and all the Fireflies at Firefly Toys and Games!
Well, there’s no snow where the Fireflies live, but we’re still enjoying the Winter Wonderland weather! And these games are the perfect addition to any night-in away from the cold!
First up are the classic games Monopoly and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Operation, but with a twist that will make you say “Son of a Nutcracker!” Monopoly Elf features beautiful Christmas themed pawns and a board that will make it impossible not to think of everyone’s favorite Elf,
while Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Operation is the classic silly-skill game themed in beautiful Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer style! Can you successfully remove all of the toys, sore teeth, and spare Christmas decorations from poor Bumble the Abominable Snowman? It’ll take skill to get everything without making Bumble roar!
You’ll need to think strategically for the next four games: Race to the North Pole, Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries, Snowtime, and Funkoverse Nightmare Before Christmas. Race to the North Pole is an ever-changing strategy game! Players attempt to be the first to move all members of their team to the North Pole to claim victory over their opponents and their place in history!
Claim your Ticket to Ride through the Nordic Countries in this version of the classic train game! Complete train lines and ferry routes to win the most points and the game! But pay extra attention to your opponents, or you’ll end up blocked, and iced out of completion!
It’s Snowtime in your village which means it’s time for the annual fruit collecting, snowball dodging festival! Can you collect the most fruit as it randomly appears, or will you be stymied by your opponents? Play as your favorite Nightmare before Christmas character and use their special abilities to earn points through four different scenarios! Be the player with the most points at the end of the game to win! Combine
this game with any of the other Funkovese Strategy games (may we suggest Funkoverse Golden Girls, or Funkoverse Harry Potter) to create the perfect team for you!
Speaking of Harry Potter, it’s the most Magical Time of the year, which makes it the perfect time to return to Hogwarts! No matter your house, you’re sure to enjoy these Harry Potter-themed board games!
First up are our classic board games with a magical twist: Harry Potter Clue, Harry Potter Labyrinth and Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. Each of these classic board games feature Harry Potter themes and Potterverse twists! In Harry Potter Clue, you'll be
playing as your favorite witch or wizard to solve the mysteries in the ever-changing Hogwarts Castle! As the game progresses, you’ll find the rooms switching places, and the secret passages will take you to different destinations! In Harry Potter Labyrinth,
you’ll be navigating the maze in hopes of finding your favorite Harry Potter characters and powerful magical artifacts! But as with all Labyrinth games, beware the ever-changing nature of the maze! Are you a true Potterhead? Can you win against your
opponents in Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit? Featuring over 1800 questions about your favorite witches, wizards, spells, magical creatures, and magical artifacts and Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff movers, this game is a surefire way to prepare for your NEWTs! Other Harry Potter-themed games that are sure to cast
a spell on you are Munchkin Harry Potter Deluxe, Codenames Harry Potter, Spot It Harry Potter, and Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising!
If what you’re really looking for are original Harry Potter Games we also love Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: A Cooperative Deck Building Game and Harry Potter House Cup Competition. In Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, you and your team play as your favorite witches and wizards and work through seven successively more challenging years defending Hogwarts from the forces of evil.
In Harry Potter House Cup Competition, you will need to strategically place your students and manage your lessons to successfully complete challenges to win points for your House. Earn the most House points before the great End of Year feast to have your house declared the House Cup Champion!
These next two recommendations aren’t stand-alone games, but they are fabulous holiday additions to any Winter Wonderland Game Night! Make your next Catan game Christmassy by adding the Santa Claus Scenario to your next session! Gather extra wool and get it to old Saint Nick to get presents and even protection from the pesky robber with this add-on!
Santa’s Renegades is a fantastic collection of promo items for your favorite Renegade games! It includes a 7-card pack for Lotus, 1 promo tile for Lanterns: The Harvest, a double-sided track with the Dangerous Pit on one side and the Narrows on the other for Snow Tails, and the Dire Wolf Promo Card for Clank!
Maybe what you prefer is a longer, more cooperative game. (Well, mostly cooperative.) Work with your team to reach the highest peak in the Mountains of Madness! Try to stay sane and dodge those insanity cards as the stark, strange things you find slowly creep into your subconscious. Play your cards right, and with a good roll of the dice, you’ll all make it through!
Lead your faction, work with your teammates and their factions, and accomplish your secret goals in Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game! Be careful to collect enough supplies and keep morale high to get your colony through the Dead of Winter! Take care, though, everyone’s goals may not be so helpful!
And finally, for our truly grown-up gamers, revisit a wintertime horror classic playing The Shining Escape from the Overlook Hotel: A Coded Chronicles Game. Can you escape the Overlook Hotel playing as Wendy and Danny before the hotel itself or Jack manage to keep you captive here forever? Will you be able to solve the puzzles and use the skills available to you, or will you be trapped here?
Well, it looks like it's going to be another cold, cold night here! We’re gonna make some cocoa and snuggle up with one of these fantastic Winter Wonderland Games and maybe sing some carols! Speaking of carols, check back soon for our next Holiday themed blog The Twelve Days of Gaming!
You’ve added the perfect amount of sugar and spice to your cookies. You’ve rolled them out, cut them into adorable bells, stars, and Santa hats and popped them in the oven so they’ll be ready to leave out for Santa! Now that you have a few minutes to wait, break out these fantastic board games for a fun time While the Cookies Bake!
Our first suggestion is a great option for families with fidget-y kiddos to burn some of the sugar high off! (We think it’d also be pretty darn awesome for a group of grown-ups with eggnog, but can’t really say!) It’s Ice Cool, and you’ll be the cooooolest kid in the ice
palace if you manage to win! Play as the runner and flick your penguin through the doors of the palace to collect all of your fish before the hall monitor catches you and your friends! Then take your turn as the hall monitor and catch those naughty penguins! Collect Fish cards and secretly hoard as many fish as possible before the end of the game to be declared the Ice Cool champion! The base game plays up to four players, but Ice Cool and Ice Cool 2 together make a massive ice palace of awesomeness for up to eight of you and yours to slide around!
The next three games are perfect for anyone dedicated to making Christmas their own this year! They are Nightmare Before Christmas Something Wild!, Nightmare Before Christmas Operation, and Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee!
In Nightmare Before Christmas Something Wild!, players compete to collect sets of cards that grant special powers! The first player to gain three special powers wins the game! While they’re not exactly Christmassy, any of the Something Wild sets will play together, so you can add Something Wild Villains, Something Wild Mickey and Friends, or even Something Wild Toy Story to your game for a truly wild time!
Both Nightmare Before Christmas Operation and Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee! are re-themed versions of the classic games Operation and Yahtzee!
In Nightmare Before Christmas Operation, players compete to remove the creepy-crawlies, dice, and other bits keeping Oogie Boogie together! Are your hands steady enough for this
Roll the Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee! dice and try for that classic straight, or even better for five Jack Skellingtons! Score big points and win bragging rights as the reigning Sandy Claws before you ice up your fresh bat hat cookies!
In addition to the great games we’ve already mentioned, the following four are sure to be jolly additions to your Winter Wonderland cookie-fest!
The animals are scrambling to get the best view of the winter wonderland! They are twisting and turning - some are even upside down - to fit everyone on the hillside to witness the white landscape! Can you stack all of your animals on the pile without knocking it over?
It’s that time of year again, and the weather outside is frightful, so stay in and build the most beautiful Patchwork Winter quilt you can! Score points based on how quickly you fill your quilt, how many buttons you manage to place, and how tightly quilted your final product is! Be the quilter with the most points at the end of the game to win!
Feeling like this year is ever-changing? Embrace the chaos and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year by playing Holiday Fluxx, where none of the rules are the same for the whole game!
Well, you’re to the baking stage, but we all know assembly is the most challenging part of any Gingerbread House! So, practice building the tallest, most perfect one you can playing Gingerbread House! Use all four types of gingerbread and keep those pesky fairytale characters from eating you out of house and home! Earn points for the height of your house and for completing orders, and be the player with the most points at the end of the game to be the winner!
Whew, was that the timer? Better grab the cookies before they get too toasted! And don’t forget to come back soon for our Twelve Days of Christmas Gaming and Winter Wonderland Games post(s)!
Holiday Stocking Stuffers:
Whether you loot your stocking first thing Christmas Morning or wait until all the other presents are opened, we’ve got a list of ten great stocking-stuffer sized games for every elf on your list! All of these games come in perfect stocking stuffing sizes and they’re all de-light-fully Christmassy!
Holiday Spot it
Number of Players: 2-8 Age: 7+ Time: 15 mins
Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman
Number of Players: 3-8 Age: 8+ Time: 10 mins
Elf Snowball Showdown
Number of Players: 3-6 Age: 6+ Time: 20 mins
Frosty the Snowman:
Have someone in your life that loves Munchkin? Grab the Munchkin Yule Log the Tails of the Season expansions and the Journal Pack 3 for extra holiday fun! Use the Yule Log and its extra cards to map your route to level 10 or to EPIC LEVEL 20! Add the Tails of the Season cards to your favorite Munchkin combination for a purrrrfect splash of holiday cheer! And then record EVERYTHING, for future bragging purposes, with your new Journal Pack 3!
Munchkin Base Game is needed.
Number of players: 3 - 6
Playtime: 15 mins
Divide into two even teams of Sushi Chefs. Draw a card to see what sushi order you need to make! Depending on the order, you’ll need to either communicate clearly or work together as a team to Maki Stack the sushi components to match the card before your opposing team gets their order completed! The first team to complete their order gets the card, and the first team to collect 6 challenge cards wins the game!
Number of players: 2 - 6 or 3 - 12
Playtime: 15 mins
Flip your card and find a partner to high five, fist bump, or Happy Salmon your cards away! This fast paced game takes almost no set up and hardly any time to play, but Happy Salmon is sure to leave you all laughing! Additionally, with both the green and blue fish, this game easily expands to play 12!
main play board, also known as the cursed library from which the Wizards are attempting to escape. In order to do so they must successfully pick the right door six times! The numbered circular outlines on the edge of the board represent the spaces for the six (at least) doors the wizards will have to choose from. Place this board where everyone can see it easily and place the Wizard character chips that your players want to use in the middle of the board and give the matching Wizard character card to each player. Then place a number of cohesion tokens (depending on the number
Sunday: 1 pm - 12 am
Monday: 10 am - 10 pm
Tuesday: 10 am - 10 pm
Wednesday: 10 am - 10 pm
Thursday: 10 am - 12 am
Friday: 10 am - 12 am
Saturday: 10 am - 12 am