Sunday, November 04, 2012

We Completed Our Game Challenge

We had to make a big push for the last couple of days, but we did it!  Okay, we actually sort of did it.  I was thinking we had through Saturday, but if we'd really done it in one 7 day period, we should have been done on Friday.  Still, I'm counting it as a victory.

We had help for the last two days in the form of my friend, Chris, who flew in for a couple of days to visit.  I am so pleased she did, too.  It was great fun to see her and to have her laughing self help push us through those last two game filled days.

We played a grand total of 51 games.  Some were short, some were quite long.  Games ranged from about 5 minutes to 5 hours.  Most we enjoyed.  A few we decided to pass along for others to enjoy.  We had to craft rules along the way such as:  a different game had to be played with each deck of cards.  And, I have an astounding number of decks of cards, even though I've made attempts to cull them down.

Here is the complete list of games we played, in order, along with notes if I so choose to add them:

Forbidden Island (great game!)
Backgammon (an old favorite of mine)
Secret Door (a cooperative game for younger kids, but we kept it)
Zeus on the Loose
American Girl 300 Wishes
Cranium Dice (we are passing this one along now, but it's good for younger kids)
A card game that I can't remember the name of for the life of me in which different cards have different actions associated with them and the idea is to not loose all your chips, played with the deck of dolphin cards and the poker chips
The Ungame
Mad Chatter
Journey Through Europe
Journey Through Oceania (a Davan original and the most challenging of the Journey games)
Journey Through Africa (a Davan original)
Careers (this is a long time favorite of Davan's and mine plus a childhood game of mine - Davan and I enjoy playing two people each who are life mates with names and all.)
Sleeping Queens
Rat-a-tat Cat
Amazing Labyrinth (great game!)
Smatch Grey Cat Edition (a Davan original)
Tryominos (I enjoy this game, but Davan hates it, so we're passing it on.) 
(This is as far as we'd gotten by Thursday.)
Kings in the Corner (a card game) played with the Hawaiian map cards
Mini Mastermind
Catch with Balloons (Davan felt that the balloons counted as a game because they were in the game closet.  While I disagreed, this was a quick fix for her to feel like we didn't cheat.)
War with all the not-associated-with-any-particular-game dice (We're passing on some of our vast dice collection.)
The Hunger Games (our current most played game)
Speed with the purple bicycle cards
Crazy 8s with the pink bicycle cards
(Chris has to work for part of Friday while she was here and the above games were played while she was working.  She did dip in and out of some of them, but from here after, she played every game with us.)
Moods (Davan and I love this game, but Anthony hates it.  It's a 3 player minimum game, so we don't get to play it often.  Sigh.  We're still keeping it, though.)
Cranium Conga (Poor Chris hates this game, but sportingly played with us anyway.)
Uno (We're passing this on.  It's an okay game, but nothing exciting and we can always play Crazy 8s.)
Balderdash (Anthony came home and played this with us before going to bed early with an upset stomach.)
Cribbage played on the big board with the little pink deck
(Thus ended a very enjoyable Friday.  We did also get some cooking done, go out to dinner and walk the dog here and there.)
Apples to Apples (played by all four of us over breakfast Saturday morning - love this game!)
Cribbage played with the travel board and the little green deck (Anthony took a break here.)
Swap (he was back with us for several games now - Swap will be moving on.  It's fun, but needs a large group.)
Pit (good game!  Needs at least 4)
Wise and Otherwise (good game!)
Wizardology (We'd discussed passing this game along before.  It's long and nearly all luck-based.  It is a very pretty game...but...well.  We kept it because it actually belongs to Chris.  She's the one who bought it, but has kept it at our house because it had a chance of getting played here.  She didn't remember that at all and would have been happy for it to have been passed on.  Go figure.  We all found it rather tedious and will be passing it on now.  Oh, and Anthony wisely passed on this one - the start of a long break for him.)
War with the skat cards (no one actually knows how to play skat and we were low on time at this point for trying to figure it out)
Spoons with the blue German cards
Go Fish with the pink German cards
Phase 10
How to Host a Murder's "Tragical Mystery Tour"

My comments on the How to Host a Murder game will take too long to be contained by parenthesis.  Chris and I were very into How to Host a Murder parties in our teens.  I hosted a couple.  She hosted a bunch.  It was great fun.  We'd carefully pick characters for the invitees and send them invitations complete with a character description.  We'd all dress in character.  The evening would include appetizers, dinner, dessert with rounds being done in different rooms or over different courses. 

We've done a few as adults, as well.  Those were much simpler affairs - maybe pizza for dinner.  We'd randomly draw characters on the evening itself.  A couple times we even didn't have the right ratio of males to females and ended up really drawing randomly with some people playing characters of the opposite sex.

The general idea, if you didn't follow the links, is that the eight of you are murder suspects.  You get more and more information as the party progresses, some about others you're supposed to reveal and some about yourself you're supposed to try to keep a secret.  It's all supposed to be done through conversation as if you were those characters, but referring to your player handbook is always allowed.

Midway though our week of games, we realized we had a How to Host a Murder game in there.  We'd picked it up for $3 at Goodwill after stumbling across it, thinking we'd play sometime.  It's a one time off sort of thing because then you know the solution.  Anyway, it presented an extra challenge.  I had it in mind to get eight people together this weekend while Chris was here and we'd only need an extra four, but never did actually get around to organizing it. 

Friday we finally got serious about it.  I made a few inquiries, but got no bites for a last minute get together.  Chris jokingly said we could each be two characters.  That caught on, though, and we decided that would be an interesting twist.  So, the plan was hatched.

We got done with the rest of the games at 6:15 Saturday.  We broke out the How to Host a Murder, drew names, created some rudimentary costumes that had aspects which could be easily removed and put back on to signal which character we were being, added the rule that you couldn't hide information about your alter ego and played. 

We had a lot of fun, but I don't know I'd play it that way again.  It took us five hours.  Now, I should add that there was a break for a dog walk and brownie making, so it could have fit into a somewhat shorter period, but still.  Those are long games. 

I took pictures of some of the games we played, but not all.  I've assembled a video taken of the week of game playing.  Enjoy!


  1. My favorite is Labyrinth. Searched the web about it...won some awards...may be on Nintendo now!

  2. Can't view your video...blocked due to music. Enjoyed reading your post.

  3. I can not believe all the games you played. If I showed this to Keilee she would insist on trying it too. I always love seeing all the things you and Davan do. So inspiring!

  4. I was able to see the video. love the look of concentration on Davan's face. :)