Tetris Effect

A gorgeous new way to play

One of my favorite games to play is Tetris, which isn't great for big parties but nice for small groups who enjoy taking turns. Yes, there are multi-player versions, but for some reason I really prefer using Dr. Mario for that kind of game. The peppy music and Mario tossing pills is just fun for two players.

Tetris is more relaxing, even if you do have people watching and waiting for a turn, and I've always chosen the flute music because of that. Now that I've seen Tetris Effect on Xbox, I don't know if I'll ever love the original the same way. This game is absolutely breathtaking and bound to make you feel less stress while you watch fish, jellyfish and horses go by. Each level just outdoes the previous one in terms of beauty.

Have you played Tetris Effect? What did you think?

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Have you played it?

On New Year's Day, my family usually goes for a hike. This year it was way too cold so we opted to play the game Thinkblot instead. Have you ever played it? It's really fun.

Each page has a big inkblot, much like the kind some psychologists use for evaluations. You have to identify as many things as you can to get points and argue where you see them. If you can't, you don't get the points. There are bonus challenges, too. It's a quick, ready to play game that we highly recommend.

Did you play anything over the weekend? What games are you playing right now?

2021 Games

What's on your radar?

One of the most exciting things about a New Year is the up and coming things to be released that we get excited about, from books to movies to yes, board games! Like any year, 2021 has some much-anticipated games coming soon, from Quest to Frosthaven to Lizard Wizard, and I'd love to try many of these out.

Then there will surely be plenty of games that will be released via platforms like Kickstarter, which are also always fun to anticipate. I've bought a few of these that ended up being duds, but it was nice to support a new business at the same time. I've bought a few that were fantastic as well. 

What games are you excited about for 2021? Share them in the chat!

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Beloved Christmas Family Games

Share the ones you play every year!

My family and I like to sing karaoke at Christmas, so while we'll be doing that at home, we will be deeply missing our annual karaoke fun together all in one house. That said, we have some other fun games to play via zoom.

We're going to try Roll a Reindeer, where you roll dice to build a reindeer from various cut-out parts. You can do this with anything--a snowman, Santa, Buddy the Elf, whatever. We're also going to try some virtual Christmas BINGO. 

What games do you have planned for this year? Which ones do you play every year?

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New Games For The Holidays

What are you going to play?

Even if a pandemic wasn't going on right now, it's definitely the time of year to check out more games! From colder indoor weather to more time at home in general, it's the season for games, for sure. The hardest part is narrowing the games you want to play down to a manageable list, given how many cool new games exist.

This list of 11 games looks promising, and I love how they rated each game. The Horror game and Pando look really cool, and I am pretty sure everyone in my house would love the MTV game! A couple of these games are too young for my house but I could see myself giving them as gifts.

Are any of these games on your to-try list? What other games are you going to play this winter?

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Quarantine Puzzle Night

Another fun virtual tradition to try

Even during quarantine, it's sometimes a challenge to get everyone together for a virtual game night in my family. Some of us have evening meetings and classes, most still have to work outside the home and some of us are even doing projects at home when it's warm enough. So a lengthy game night doesn't always work out.

But what about a puzzle night? It's a nice activity to do when you all have puzzles already in progress and just want something to occupy your hands while you chat. And if you can't find a puzzle you love, check out this cool Magic Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle with unique pieces. It looks like a lot of fun!

What other ways have you been connecting virtually lately?

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The Best Print and Play Games

Share what you've got!

Print and play games have been such a godsend this year. We're able to find and play anything from Battleship to Cards Against Humanity with friends and loved ones virtually anytime we feel like playing, and it ensures that we all have pieces or the cards at home without having to run out to the store and buy any.

We'd love to find new print and play games, which is what I thought we could do here. Some of our best games have come from simply signing up for the email lists to get free links to printable games as soon as they are available. That's how we got a free download of Liar Liar to play for Thanksgiving.

What fun print and play games have you found? Share them in the chat!

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Liar Liar

Try this print-and-play game during Thanksgiving

Have you heard of Liar Liar, the game of Truth and Lies? It's a print-and-play game that tests your ability to lie and tell the truth! You get category cards to guide you in what kind of lies to tell, followed by cards to delineate whether or not you are to be the liar of the round. Some examples of categories include traffic, snacks, hotel and songs.

If you are the liar, you need to make your lie about the category really believable. Maybe it's "I saw one of the Barenaked Ladies at a hotel once." If you tell the truth, you need to make it sound like a lie, so make it sound like it could have never happened!

This is a great game to print to play over zoom for the holidays, but a physical copy will also soon be available for purchase. Will you be playing it, or any other games over video chat this week?

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Make It Up As You Go Along

Having random fun with friends and family in quarantine

Every week we try to find fun new games to play in quarantine, but have you ever just played the goofy little games that platforms offer instead? This is incredibly fun to do, especially with people who've never experiences them before.

Take Facebook messenger, for example. Have you ever created a room? You can not only play with your backgrounds and filters, but you can play goofy games, like hitting a water balloon with your head to the next person. It sounds silly because it really, really is, but it's so much fun. Try mixing younger kids or teens with older members of the family and it's even more fun as one teaches the other!

What unexpectedly fun games have you played in platforms like this?

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A Successful Zoom Scavenger Hunt!

Tips from after the hunt

Last week we talked about planning a scavenger hunt, so I thought we'd talk about what makes them successful. I held ours yesterday and the kids had a blast zooming around their homes to find items for the hunt!

The first thing I did was have them each find something that starts with the first letter of their names in order to introduce themselves, saying their name followed by showing us the item. Then I alternated between easy and had to find items, adding in some personal items here and there. Some examples include:

Something red

A shell (the kids loved interpreteing this, from an actual seashell to an acorn shell)

Something that you're proud of

Something smaller than a fingernail

We had a wonderful time laughing and rushing around and I really enjoyed seeing the kids have fun. 

How about you? How have your scavenger hunts worked? Share your tips in the chat.

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