Wise Alec & Wise Alec Junior: “Smart” Can’t Quite Compete With Wise

No, I’m not slapping around the eggheads some too often disrespect out there for knowing so much, folks. We all kind of need those stupidly smart people who know more than we do, as left unchecked, we’d all be quite dead and still trying to sue someone who didn’t fix that badly-made or never repaired bridge that fell on our heads or can of beans that was a wee bit too spoiled when it was put on that rickety shop shelf. Thankfully, Canada still likes us, as Griddly Games’ Wise Alec and Wise Alec Junior will get brains knitting away with their mix of “Oooh, I HAD it!” trivia and random acts of oddball activities you’ll be tasked with completing. Hey, it’s better than camping out in front of the TV sucking in awful cable news for an evening…

What’s cool about both games are you’re getting a ton of fun at home that some schools won’t let kids have these days. Hey, someone might yell a bit too loudly when they get something right or get overly-excited enough after a win that the on-site security will need to pack them up and put them in a broom closet until you drive down to bail them out. Hmmm… I do recall that sort of giddy behavior USED to be called HAVING FUN back in the day (before the age of Ritalin and other kiddie meds)…

This Week’s Oversight Committee Comes To You From Griddly Games…

In general, oversight is a VERY necessary thing thanks to the built in stupidity that keeps all forms of government under suspicion and always questionable in the ways they operate. But I’d say that’s because politicians of all stripes need to change their tactics to actually working for everyone in their areas and not a particular interest group with plenty of gifts to give, stop eternally scheming about how to stay in office as long as possible and perhaps learn to lose gracefully. One way this can be achieved might be having these clever (and not so clever) elected officials play actual board games such as Griddly Games’ Oversight, where their deft maneuvering and manipulating skills can actually work in their favor and no one gets kicked out of a job or home at the end of the day. Well, except for the guy or gal who gets TOO good at the game and keeps winning. You can’t have term limits for a family game like this… but you CAN throw down a curfew just to get the person beating your pants off the hell out of your living room…

Toy Fair 2013: The Gate: Yes, You NEED A High (Quality) Fantasy Board Game.

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My otherwise dull video aside, as soon as you see Oofdah! Games’ The Gate – A Game of Myth and Magic in person, you know you’re getting a quality product, but a longer look reveals there’s a great deal going on besides good looks and lots of cool pieces you’ll want to show off at your next game night. The game is actually a sweet two in one deal with beginner and advanced play modes (there’s an intermediate mode as well, but don’t tell anyone you now know this!), some surprisingly deep gameplay and as you can see here, a ton of pretty (and pretty useful) stuff inside that big box. I need to grab one of these for myself at some point, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have played the game at a friends on a few occasions and can safely say it’s one of those great board games that’s instantly likable thanks to its design and even more enjoyable once you’ve spent time playing it. Continue reading

Mind Food: Perisphere & Trylon Nails Nostalgic Novelties Neatly

Got an urge to play games your parents and more likely, grandparents might have been into? Want to check out some classic board and card games plus toys and other novelties from the UK and other places you haven’t been? Do you happen to love old-time packaging and presentation plus some really funny product descriptions? Well, Perisphere and Trylon, Inc. should be your next stop, I say.

Featuring a nice lineup of classic reproductions (done extremely faithfully, I must say) and even a selection of new dynamo-powered (that means no batteries, kids) toys from Ecotronic, there’s something here to strike nearly every fancy. And hey, if you don’t have a “fancy” to call your very own, a peck, peek and poke around the site will get you one in a hurry.  Um, hey! What are you still doing here? That time machine isn’t going to hang around waiting, you know…

Mind Food III: DABBLE – As The Word Plays, People!

If that header is a tiny bit confusing, don’t blame me, blame DABBLE, the new ridiculously fun and challenging word game (available in traditional board game and digital formats) that’s going to get you and your friends hooked after a single play. What works so well is how the game nudges you into thinking fast while expanding your vocabulary in each frantic five minute session as you rack your brain to come up with the winning wordiness. The rules are dirt simple to learn: two to four players need to sift through the 20 tiles they’re given and come up with two, three, four, five and six-letter words before the timer runs out. Points are scored based on leftover tiles and the first player to 100 points wins the game. An average game lasts around 30 minutes or so, but you’ll want to add an extra 15 – 20 minutes for sessions with younger kids and your snarky friends who keep trying to add made up words from some goofball urban dictionary.

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Mind Food 2: Oversight – Griddly Games’ Strategically Colorful Blast Of A Board Game

Rule number one: Never play against someone who works at the company. When I first saw the intriguingly simple-looking but definitely compelling board game Oversight at Toy Fair here in NYC a few months ago, I was soundly trounced in a few quick matches by Griddly Games‘ Angela Welch, the company’s now newly minted Head of Marketing & Operations (they probably gave her the job after she beat everyone in the office at all the games the company makes – ringer!). But I managed to eke out a victory once I got the hang of the sliding tiles and color matching. Still, memo to self: don’t play board games with anyone after two hours of sleep. It’s a good thing I’m not a betting man, is all I’m saying…

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