Please share your family favorites!
Here are some of the best loved games at the Hammond Hacienda:
Ticket to Ride Ages 8 and up. Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. A game of chance (mostly) so great for everyone. No thinking really required.
Clue! Ages 8 and up. You know this one! To win, you must successfully deduce the who, where, and how of Mr. Boddy’s murder. With six suspects, six possible murder weapons and nine rooms in the mansion, there are hundreds of possibilities and plenty of clues to investigate! Completely redesigned game board and cards, for 3 to 6 players. Requires some thinking, but still enjoyable.
Carcassonne Ages 6 and up. A simple, clever tile laying game that requires a little bit of thinking but is one of the most versitile and fun games we own. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique roman and medieval fortifications, so we (as homeschoolers) of course had to do a Unit Study on it. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious, but playing is more fun that determining who wins (unless you have a super competitive child–we do!). The game is for ages 8 and up and 2 to 5 players. It has plenty of extensions and add-ons as well, such as Traders, Inns and Cathedrals, The River 2, The Tower Expansion, plus King and Scout. Be forewarned…it’s addictive! (Which shows how good it really is).
Apples to Apples: Apple Crate Edition This is a family favorite for all ages and we play it every time another family visits! The concept of Apples to Apples is pretty easy: match the adjective card on the table with a noun or verb card from your hand. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Watch hilarity ensue as players match terms like “Fluffy” to “Mildew” or “Sticky” to “Horror film.” While it may be limited by the hand of cards you’re dealt (what if you don’t have a perfect match for “Harry Truman”?), there is some strategy to the game. Each round of card matching is judged by a different player at the table. So you can use it to your advantage to play a card that you know is a shoo-in for certain judges.
Chess OF COURSE! This is our favorite set as it stores and travels well. Chess is not just any old game. It is one of the most revered board games ever to hit the market. Not only is chess a fun and exciting way to compete against your rivals, it also offers a numerous array of intellectual benefits. Chess increases memory and develops concentration. It encourages imagination and creativity. Chess is also known to improve student’s schoolwork and grades. Various studies have demonstrated that students acquire higher reading and math levels, and just an overall superior learning ability as an effect of playing chess. In fact, chess is part of the required curriculum in countries all over the world! A game for people of all ages. Limited to two players.
Monopoly Everyone knows this game. Buy! Sell! Mortgage! Build houses and hotels! And collect those rents! That’s what makes Monopoly the great American game–well, before we all become Socialists.
Uno Card Game Fun, easy to learn, always unpredictable, and never dull. It can be played with 2 to 10 players, individually, or in teams. And it can even be educational, teaching younger kids number recognition. Or play in a different language by saying the number and color in another language. Guess how we learned our numbers and colors in Spanish?
Sorry! This classic game of luck, strategy, and determination is easy to grasp for children as young as 6 years old, yet it’s fun for adults and older siblings too. By drawing cards, players move their game pieces around the board, hoping to eventually accumulate all their pieces at the final destination–home sweet home. Sorry is known as the game of “sweet revenge,” since players can send each other’s pawns back to the starting line, thus forcing one another to lose ground and begin all over again. This kind of frustration may be hard for children under age 8 to handle. In fact, young ones typically crumble into tears of outrage when their pawns are cavalierly sent back. Teach compassion, charity, and the fact that “life isn’t always fair”…but we always teach charity first. Limited to four players.
Trouble Board Game Similar to SORRY! but with Trouble you’re trying to be the first player to send your four game pieces all the way around the board, moving spaces determined by rolls of the dice. The “trouble” of the title comes when an opponent’s piece lands on a space occupied by your piece, thus sending yours back to the beginning. PERFECT for the car (or boat) as the Pop-O-Matic dice roller contains the die and the plastic slots hold the game pieces in place. Not as much ‘revenge’ as SORRY! so it’s better for younger players. Limited to four players.
Ian recommends Dutch Blitz Card Game which Amazon describes as “A Vonderful Goot Game”! The cards are illustrated in Pennsylvania Dutch Boy and Girl motifs. Everyone plays simultaneously trying to build sequences 1 to 10 in their own suits. It is fast-moving and competitive! Hard to find and often requested. Great for all ages, it seems.
Lisa recommends Balderdash! You can’t always believe what you read. Is it for real or is it Balderdash? Balderdash is the classic bluffing game that has gone beyond hilarious. Now with the outrageous, “Laughable Laws” category, play the game that challenges your friends to call your bluff. Would you believe that in Fairbanks, Alaska, it was illegal to serve beverages to a moose? You better, ’cause it’s true! Each game card lists People, Words, Initials, Movies and Laws that you’ve probably never heard of. But that’s where the fun really begins, because you get to make up an answer that’s as silly or as serious as you want! Now, mix in the real answer and vote. You score points for guessing correctly and for bluffing the other players. So, grab the bull by the horns and play Balderdash, the game that’s hilarious beyond belief.