Out of the Box Publishing is the creator of some really neat games that are unique and different from most of the games on retailer shelves. They describe their games as those that can be learned in minutes, are colorfully illustrated and fun to play, can be played in less than an hour, are efficently designed in smart packaging, and feature dynamic play interaction from start to finish. If you go to their website at http://www.otb-games.com/locator/locator2.asp you can find local retailers. They do sell their games at Barnes and Noble, Borders, BooksaMillion, and Target.
The first game I’ll be reviewing today is a fun game called Cloud Nine. This game is intended for ages 8 to adult. Today, I’ll be explaining two different versions of the game. The first version will be how the game is intended and the second a way to play with a toddler/preschooler.For the first method, my 10 year old foster brother helped me to try out this game. This game is very easy to learn and quick to play, taking about 30 minutes per game. Basically, everyone gets into the balloon to start the game. The roll of dice determine which cards are needed to get through the clouds. The players must decide whether or not to stay inside of the balloon, which is based on if the captain has enough cards to match the rolled dice. The object is to earn the most points which are earned by riding the hot hair balloon toward cloud levels. What I liked about this game is that it appeals to both the young and old. The neat looking game immediately drew in my little brother when he saw the balloon basket and he was anticipating great fun from the start! This is one of the greatest looking games ever! As an adult, I enjoyed the game as it reminded me a little of playing poker, with the calculated risk component. Now, the second version is NOT how the game was designed to be played, but I often make my own rules so that I can play games with my little toddler. The way we played is that we were each dealt out 10 cards. My little one had to find two cards that matched. If she could match the cards, the balloon would rise along the board. If she couldn’t, then I game her another card to try. It was a really fun take on matching with the added board game and fun balloon components. We have a lot of matching games but she seemed to enjoy this more than them. Again, this isn’t how the game was designed to be played, but this game really can be played by the entire age span, even those younger than it was designed for. This game folds up really small and could fit inside of a Christmas stocking. I think this would brighten up any young child’s Christmas and for about $12.00 it won’t break the bank either! When I asked my little brother what he thought of this game he said, “I really like it. I’d even get off my Playstation to play it.” If you knew my little brother, you’d know that statement is a big deal! This game has won several awards including Games Magazine Award, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal Top Board Games, Parents Choice Approved Award, Creative Child Seal of Excellence, and iParenting Media Award Winner.
The second game for review is called Squint Jr. For this game, players use a variety of shapes to build pictures designated by the card they draw. Players earn points by successfully building the shape or identifying the object built. This is the funnest game that I’ve played in a long time. It is similar to pictionary but you don’t have to draw the pictures yourself! You can even move the cards to “animate” them to help the other players guess the object. When I played this game with family members ages 8 to 63, everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’ve always enjoyed Pictionary but find so many people won’t play it because of their lack of artistic ability. This game puts the doodlers and professional artists on the same playing field! This is a seriously fun game. Now, I also played this game with my 2 year old daughter with my own made up rules. We didn’t play Squint as a competitive game, but I simply showed her a card and asked her to try to duplicate the image using the shape cards. She wasn’t extremely successful but I imagine in a few more months this is something she could do the simple cards (ie a circle with two smaller circles becomes a face). It is specified for ages 8 and up, but I definitely believe younger children could successfully play this game. It retails for approximately $17.00. This item has received awards from Parent to Parent, Dr. Toy, Chicago Tribune Toy Cool Games, National Parenting Publications Award, Teachers Choice Award, National Parents Seal of Approval, Parents Choice Silver Award, and Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award.
Zen Benders Dachshund by Out of the Box games is another fun little game that can be thrown into a backpack or purse for on the go fun. You simply select a challeng card and then flip and slide the cubes to duplicate the pattern. The puzzle in available in four different designs: Dachshund, Dragon, Quilt and Race Track,. There are three levels of difficulty: beginner (yellow), intermediate (green), and advanced (blue). I like that this isn’t just a cube sliding game but that the cubes must also be flipped over, which increases difficulty. I enjoyed playing this game as did my little brother. I tried to change the rules and figure out how to play this with a toddler but wasn’t able to do so. Awards received include Major Fun Family Award and Dr. Toy. This fun solo play game would be a great stocking stuffer. It retails for approximately $10.00.
Wallammoppi is a beautiful game by Out of the Box. Players take turns removing wooden disks from a wall them balencing them on the top to make a tower. If the marble timer makes it down to the end of the track before you complete your turn or you knock over the disks, then the other person wins. I’m really impressed by how beautiful the game is to start. The game box is wooden and inside is a pleather bag that holds the wodden disks. The disks are dark and natural wood finish. There are two marbles, which are used as a tiner.
The components are great. The game box is wooden, with a beveled top that slides off from the rest of the box. Inside the box is a large pleather bag to hold the wooden disks used to create the wall and tower. The disks come in dark and natural wood finishes, and are slightly larger than a typical Crokinole disk. The finish is smooth and the pieces have a nice heft to them. There are also two marbles, which are used as a timer. It retails for approximately $25.00. Awards received include Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award, Parents Choice Recommended, Dr. Toy, National Parents Center Seal of Approval, and Parent to Parent.
This giveaway is big! It includes the Cloud 9, Squint Jr, and Zen Benders. Official Rules:IF YOU DO NOT LIST YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ,IT ISN'T ON YOUR BLOG, AND THERE IS NO WAY TO LEAVE COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG I HAVE NO WAY OF CONTACTING YOU. ALMOST EVERY GIVEAWAY, THE ORIGINAL PERSON DRAWN TO WIN CAN'T BE CONTACTED THEREFORE THE GIVEAWAY IS GIVEN TO THE NEXT NAME DRAWN.If I don't hear from you within a week, another name will be drawn and you forfeit your prize. 1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Out of the Box product is. The website is http://www.otb-games.com/2. For a second entry, Subscribe to my site/follow my site and make a post letting me know about your subscription.This contest is open only to those with a United States Shipping Address .This giveaway begins 11/22/2008 and ends 12/01/2008 11:59 PM Central Standard Time.The name will be chosen by Randomizer.org.
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