Party Games

August 22, 2011

Looking for a Good Quiz Party Game?

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Wits&Wagers is a fast-paced party game with a unique combination of trivia, gambling, and social interaction. You're always involved in the action because everyone answers every question and each player bets on who they think is closest to the correct answer. So while you might not always give the right answer, that doesn't mean you can't profit. Wits&Wagers has won the MENSA Best Mind Game for 2006 and is a great party game as it can be played by 3-7 players, ages 10+.

At Wits&Wagers

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March 30, 2011

Can You Be the One to "Spot It" First?

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While at PAX East, I was fortunate enough to play Spot It, from Blue Orange Games. This extremely fast paced matching game was a total blast to play. There were 3 of us playing at PAX and 2 more joined later, but the game is meant for 2-8 players and a round can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to play. The game comes with 55 cards with 8 images on each card, and according to the publisher, "there is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any 2 cards." While I haven't spent the time to verify this, there was never a time where there wasn't a match somewhere. Each of the 4 different game variations will have you testing your visual perception and matching skills, while also verifying that you can be quick on the draw. The game comes in a small cylinder that is great for traveling and is a great way to have some family fun with the kids. For $10, it makes a great gift, stocking stuffer, or reward for a good report card.

At Spot It

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March 25, 2011

Zombie Dice Will Have You Rolling for Brains

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Zombie Dice is a fun, easy to learn, and quick to play action packed dice game published by Steve Jackson Games in 2010. It is a 3-8 player game that takes about 10-20 minutes to play. Zombie Dice is a great party game and with the zombie theme, everyone should be having a blast in no time. For only $10 you can't go wrong.

At Zombie Dice

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2010

Fictionaire - A 'New' Party Quiz Game Announced

FictionairePress.jpgPublisher Days of Wonder describes the upcoming party game Fictionaire (4-7 players) succinctly:

"You may know it as dictionary, fictionary, Balderdashâ„¢... or even "Call my Bluff", the classic British TV game show; but it could just as easily be called "the making up lies to fool your friends" game!"
- Days of Wonder

And it makes us wonder a few things. One, if the game has been all these things before, then why do we need another installment? Two: why would Days of Wonder, a maker of such unique, high-quality and well-balanced titles, push what's essentially a re0randing of such a long heritage of incredibly similar games?

We can't quite figure it out. Days of Wonder is quick to note that this title distinguishes itself in a few ways, but they're all related to the production materials and not in the game itself.

For one, each installment will come in a pack of cards the size of a cigarette pack that has been stylized like it's chalk full of ye olde cigarettes. Secondly there will be multiple installments centered around different themes. First up is the 'classic dictionary game', but other installments will be themed Tall Tales, Fool Science with quirky science history, and Naturals which tasks players to crafty zainy definitions of things straight out of the natural world.

But with only 120 cards in each pack, it might not take too long to start iterating over the same questions. And once everyone knows the true definition, or true background of scientific oddities, then it the replay value might not have the staying power.

You can read more information about the title in the official Fictionaire Press Release. Also, Days of Wonder has posted a nice little Preview Website here.

We'll keep you posted about more Fictionaire news as it nears release.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 29, 2010

Dixit Wins Germany's Game of the Year

Dixit.jpgAs you may recall, we posted some news about Dixit just a few weeks ago. Well now the sages of the German Game of the Year have just given this party game title the best game of 2010. Board Game News has the full story.

So whats so big about the Spiel des Jahres? Think about it like this: one of the major reasons we're playing all of these cool new games and not reiterating over Battleship or college campus reflavorings of the same old Monopoly is because of the Eurogame revolution in the 90s (washing up on our shores more recently). That revolution all started when German families decided enough was enough, started shutting off the TV, and focused on spending quality time with their families. And thus a new generation of board games were born. Games that kept everyone involved from start to finish, and everyone interested on every player's turn -- even when it wasn't theirs. Almost all of the new classics have these qualities.

So when the judges on the graduation class of games comes out and says "this is the best of the year" then we take notice. For 2010 it's Dixit [Amazon, Funagain], a party game that has been fully endorsed world wide.

Here are the game's official details:


"Storytelling is the name of the game in Dixit, winner of both the French and Spanish board game of the year. On each turn, one player becomes the storyteller. This player makes up a sentence from one of the six interesting and abstract images in his hand. The other players select from amongst their six images the one that best matches the sentence made up by the storyteller. They each then give their chosen image to the storyteller who shuffles and lays the images down on the table. Everyone then votes on which image they think is the storyteller's. Points are scored (or not scored) based on vote tallies. The game ends when the last card has been drawn. The player who is the furthest on the scoring track wins Dixit!

Dixit makes a great party game and is perfect for family game night!"

Contents of Dixit:

  • 1 Game Board
  • 84 Cards
  • 36 Voting Tokens in 6 Different Colors
  • 6 Wooden Rabbits
  • Instructions in English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 8, 2010

Downtime Town Reviews Dixit, A Party Game

Each episode of Downtime Town is an experience. Host Robert Florence seems to be a gaming muse for our souls -- he's always spot on the details and the game's essence, heck he sells us on games we already own. And this review of Dixit [Amazon, Funagain] is no different.

Those of you who've enjoyed numerous sessions of Apples to Apples should definitely give Dixit a gander. It takes the base elements from that ground breaking franchise and slabs a gorgeous layer of icing over it. Instead of static, bare bones words printed on cards Dixit treats you to gorgeous and interesting illustrations. The other players are then fully engaged, more so than A2A, in almost all facets of the game. ginally described.

For more info check out the Downtime Town Review. Also here's the official details:


"Each player at his turn plays the storyteller. He is given a single picture, while the other players get a hand of six pictures. The storyteller says a sentence or a word connected to his picture, then each player chooses one of his pictures to bet upon. All pictures are showed face up, and every player have to bet upon what picture was the storyteller's. If nobody or everybody finds the correct picture, the storyteller scores 0, and each of the other players scores 2. Otherwise the storyteller and whoever found the correct answer scores 3. Players scores 1 point for every vote gotten by their own pic. The game ends when the deck is empty. The greatest total wins the game. "

Dixit is availble from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 27, 2009

Critical Gamers' 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

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Welcome to the one-stop index page for all of our Holiday Board Game Gift Ideas for 2009! There have been some tremendous games that were released this year. Some released created new genres of games, others lovingly refined old formulas. We'll break down these top releases and let you know the perfect present for your gaming friend or love one, all while avoiding the frenetic crowds and annoying cell phone vendors at your crazy local mega mall.

So lets kick things off with our favorite game of the last year, Dominion, which has two new expansions this year!

ArrowContinue reading: "Critical Gamers' 2009 Holiday Gift Guide"

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August 6, 2009

Wits & Wagers Expansion 1 Released

WitsAndWagersExpasnsion1.jpgThe first expansion to the sweet Trivia game Wits and Wagers h as been released. The expansion, named Wits & Wages Expansion 1 [Amazon, Funagain] adds some 700 questions to the game.

Trivia fans who haven't played Wits & Wagers should definitely check it out. The questions are hard, near impossible hard, and that's the point.

Relax though -- players aren't expected to get the answers right, but instead players guess or approximate the answers. For instance, "In what year did Ben Franklyn run his famous Kite Experiment". Players then write down answers, sort them chronologically and bet 'points' on which answer is closest to the actual answer. The true answer is revealed, and the player's bets are paid out based on odds.

Sounds complicated. It's not. It's actually a pretty sweet idea. The only drawback are the components, which are themed and get the job done, but they really are fairly low budget. Thankfully the gameplay itself is probably the best of all Trivia Games on store shelves.

And it just got bigger. A lot bigger; the expansion sports 700 new questions that we bet you won't know the answer to. And unlike the perennial edition of Trivial Pursuit, there's no way in Hades you'll ever remember all the the obscure answers all these obscure questions for the second playthrough. It's the gift that keeps giving!

Here are the details:


Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1 features 700 new and intriguing questions for Wits & Wagers, the most award-winning party game in history. This expansion gives Wits & Wagers fans more of what they love most -- pop culture, everyday life, animals & nature, and even the outrageously zany. In Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1, there's something for everyone!

So, how many licks does it really take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Get Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1 and find out!!!


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 4, 2009

Magic the Gathering Injects Itself into Xbox Live June 17th

MTGXboxLive.jpgIt's that time of year again: The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is in full swing in Los Angeles, and with it comes gobs of news of all sorts of games. We're most interested in the extension of board games and cards games, of course, and once again there's some great news to be had.

Now we all heard before that MagicThe Gathering was heading to an XBox near you, but it was a general "sometime" announcement without much detail. Well now the details are out (in this press release) and sometime soon is actually now really soon: June 17th.

It appears the game centers around 7 pre built decks that seed your collection, and then you unlock more cards as you play. Multiplayer is included, included the Two Headed Giant fiormat for 2v2. There are even tournaments planned soon after release: one on June 20th and antoher June 27th where you can players will be able to compete against Magic the Gathering League members and Developers of the game.

The game sports a slick trailer showing the game in action ( a must-see if you found the Magic Online interface a complete travesty ) More details can be round at the Magic the Gathering Duels of Planeswalkers website, and in the product's recent press release from E3. Here's a snippet from that:



Developed by Stainless Games, Ltd., Duels of the Planeswalkers, rated T-Teen, lets players simulate the Magic: The Gathering trading card game through lush interactive 3-D environments. The arcade-style game takes players on a journey through a vast Multiverse of unique worlds where they are deemed Planeswalkers, powerful mages who battle others for glory, knowledge and conquest.

Players can choose to battle against the computer or compete online against real-life opponents using Microsoft's Xbox LIVE Arcade. With numerous game play scenarios, including multiplayer game mode, Duels of the Planeswalkers offers an unrivaled depth in which each game is different from the last. Wizards of the Coast is supporting this release with an exclusive promotional card, which includes brand new artwork, making Duels of the Planeswalkers a game that both new and existing Magic players will enjoy.


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February 12, 2009

Rubik 360 Revealed as a Puzzling Sphere

The Rubik 360 was revealed to the world last week with a rush to fanfare. When we heard the latest puzzle is series of concentric spheres with colored balls in the middle, we thought it was pretty darn interesting. But to see it, and now hear it shake and rattle, the mass of plastic detracts a bit from the puzzle. We're pretty sure that it's not built with cheap materials, but it instills the feeling that it is.

Hopefully the puzzling aspects of the device outweigh the hamster ball vibe. At least the puzzle is complex enought that it won't ever be solved by a simple iPhone App. See for yourself -- here (above), a fan unwraps it for the first time.

The Rubik 360 should hit shelves sometime mid summer. To tide you over until then, also checkout this interesting Time Magazine video interview with Erno Rubik, creator of the Rubik Cube and the Rubik 360.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 3, 2009

New Rubik's 360 Debuts in Just Two Days

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There are three major toys that we remember from our youth that should sit comoftably in our consciousness until the day we die: the original Light Brite, Simon, and Rubik's Cube. Sure, there's Tiger Baseball and Speak & Spell, but those seem to hover a level above "toy" raiting so we wont' even mention them. Oh Crap.

While Light Bright and Simon have both stagnated for nearly 3 decades, the Hungarian doctor of puzzles Ser Rubik has put his finishing touches on a new masterpiece. This is truly his new invention, too, not a marketing board table's reinvisioning of the classic cube with more squares, or fewer squares, or with a key chain. zzzZZzzz

RubiksCube.jpgWell this time the doctor is back to square one, and the movable clicky shapes are no more. Will the Doctor be able to create a craze the size of his original cube? Probably not. The original sold 350 million worldwide, which is off the wall crazy numbers. Those are tall shoes to fill.

Unfortunately the new Rubik 360 puzzle - which is still officially under wraps - looks a bit hampsterballish. Made with clear plastic the sphere doesn't really scream high quality with first glance, or 'cool' like the primary hued cube once did back in the color confused 1980s. Still, the concentric sphere idea does sound quite intriguing, and if the gameplay holds up then it should make a rather significant crash on the market later this year, and perhaps as stocking stuffers for the next decade.

Read the full prerelease story on Telegraph.co.uk. The Rubk's 360 will be officially released to public scrutiny on Thursday.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday Board Game Sales on Amazon

CyberMondayJackson.jpgThe everything superstore Amazon has been growing in the world of board gaming the last few years. Not only have they been stocking titles of their own, but the third party suppliers have shown up in force this year.

And for Cyber Monday they have a special deal: Each of the Discounted Virtual Storefronts in Amazon's Toys & Games section has Free Shipping on orders of $50 or more.

We dug into the storefronts to find which have the best board gaming titles up for grabs:


There is some fine print: You'll have to check for items in the stores that state the $50 free shipping offer (check for the "Special Offers Available" link near the product image). Also, the deal doesn't count across stores, so you'll need to have at least 50 bucks in one store for that store to ship to you for free. Seems reasonable. Finally, the order has to ship all to the same address.. and that, too, seems like a no brainer.

That's basically it. You can checkout the full terms of the holiday shopping deal at the Main Holiday Shopping Toystore Index

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 27, 2008

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Board Games, Strategy Games, and Card Games Galore

HolidayBuyersGuide.11.15.06.jpgWe know how important it is to find the right game for the right person - it's hard work. And so once again we've lovingly crafted individual guides chalk full of selections tailored for various specific of gaming styles and genres.

Rest assured that you'll find the right game for the right person for some unwrapping goodness come December. Your anchor is this page. Everything you'll need to shop for a gamer spirals out from here, linking to all of our selections for best-bet titles to gift wrap this holiday season.

And here they are:

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Shopping Guides:

If you haven't found exactly what you're looking for then please also check out our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide and our 2007 Holiday Gift Guide. They're both also chalk-full of great game ideas with staying power - we still play many of these games even years later!

Happy Holidays folks!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 24, 2008

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Party Games

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For more great gift ideas across all genres of games please see our
Holiday Gift Guide Index.

Now while we love a board and some strategy in most of our games, they're not the right fit for a social evening. That's where party games come in - they tickle the exhibitionist side of everyone, and promote social elements of gaming in a far stronger light than the cerebral mind-game of positioning and placement. Most importantly, they make us laugh our buttocks off.

We're not going to lie to you; the releases in 2008 weren't very friendly to the party gamer. Sure, you could suck it up and buy the heavily commercialized PartiniTravolta.jpg, but it's just the rehashed/ reboiled essence of decade-old Cranium repackaged under a new publisher, and we simply can't suggest that to anyone.

So for this year's guide we revisit our favorite Party Games. These titles still top our table even after numerous repeat plays, some over the span of years, and that's saying something. So as much as this is a Holiday Shoppers List, also consider these choices our Best of Party Games Eva' list, too.

ArrowContinue reading: "Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Party Games"

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