Uno is a classic card game where the object is to get rid of all the cards in your hands while playing by the rules on each card that the other players and yourself put down. Uno Flip is a fun twist on the original game.
A few months ago when we were on a weekend getaway with a friend, we searched the gaming aisle at one of the stores. We picked up a handful of board games and card games to try. Uno Flip was one of them. I love Uno and this particular version has double-sided cards – one side has darker colors and is more unforgiving.
It was a simple enough transition, though. Aside from the usual trap cards — reverse, skip, wild cards — there is an included flip card that signals when everyone should turn their hands around, as well as turning the draw and discard piles over to reflect whether you’re playing the light side or the dark side of the deck. The dark side of the deck still has reverse cards, but it includes a skip everyone card to basically give you an extra turn and a certain wild card that forces the next player to keep drawing until they find a card that is the same color that was called.
Additionally, instead of +2 on the light side, it’s a +1 while the dark-colored side has +5 cards. Having the cards double-sided is another tactic of playing the game. If someone calls Uno and you have a flip card, you can easily check out what that person has on the other side, flipping everyone’s hands, and potentially screwing them over.
Potentially? It happened quite often when we were playing with our family, haha! Other than that, the game followed the typical Uno rules. The additional flip gives it a bit of an extra challenge, allowing the game to not be quite as stale.
The flip also makes the game last longer as well – well, in some cases. We have had some rounds that were fairly short. Overall, having the rules remain the same with different cards was a great way to spice up an old classic.
Uno Flip gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played Uno Flip? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Stuff Happens is a simple enough card game that we picked up on a whim while on a weekend getaway with a friend. It took us months to eventually play it, but we had a great time with our friends when we did so!
Honestly, I thought Stuff Happens was kind of like Cards Against Humanities. It’s not at all like that and when we read the directions I wondered how fun it would be. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought. You need to have a good, decent-sized group to play with, though.
There is a giant stack of cards that all have unfortunate incidents and circumstances described on them, ranging from “going bald” to “getting a nail stuck in your foot” and plenty of other scenarios. Each card has a rank depending on where it lies on the Misery Index, courtesy of the creators of the game. Each person starts with a random set of three of these cards to start the game off, creating their beginning range of the index.
Then you take turns picking up a card from the draw pile. When it’s your turn to pick up a card, you don’t say where it lies on the Misery Index, but just say what it is. For example, bleach in your eye. (Yes, I believe that’s actually one of the cards.) The person to your left then needs to guess where it lies on their timeline. If they have cards that lie on the index between 7 and 10 and they guess the card in question is either an 8 or 9, they point to where they think it lies. So, you’re not necessarily guessing the number, but gauging where it could be based on what you already have.
If you’re correct, you get to keep the card. If you’re incorrect, it goes to the next person to guess. If no one guesses correctly before the round returns to the person who read the card, then the the card i discarded. The first person who has ten cards wins. It’s a fun game, one that keeps everyone guessing, even if we didn’t always agree with the misery index that came with the game. For example, according to the game, your favorite local team relocating is somehow worse than falling into a septic tank.
If you guess correctly and get to keep the card, then you place it in your timeline where it belongs. This actually gets harder the more cards you collect. If you have a card that rank 1.5 and the card next to it is 1.7 then it’s hard to guess which card might land in the 1.6 spot. The wider the range, the more likely you’ll be correct.
There were definitely cards that are difficult to place regardless of what range you have in front of you. An interesting twist to this game may be for the drawer to determine where the card would end up on their personal “misery index” rather than the game’s list, and then for others to guess correctly. Either way, it’s a great game to play with a good group of friends.
It’s a much better game than I originally thought it would be. It’s fun to play with the right group of people and you certainly need a good-sized group. This wouldn’t be as intense with three people or so. When we played there were five of us and that was a good size. If you haven’t tried this game, put it on the list. You’ll be surprised at the fun you can have with it.
Stuff Happens gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
The board game Life was a staple in our childhoods. While I don’t remember playing it as often as Monopoly or Clue, it was a fun game with the spinning wheel and the random “life” events as you traversed the board. We recently found a slightly updated version of the game that includes pets.
Yes, we came across this interesting edition of Life when we went to the store with our friend during a weekend getaway. We splurged on the game because… well, who doesn’t want to add pets to their family? By pets, I mean strictly cats and dogs. Don’t think Life has allowed you to add fish or turtles. (Maybe someday.)
It really wasn’t anything special, though. At the beginning of the game, you choose a car and the little peg that represented you to “drive” said car around the board. With the Pets edition, you also just added a cat or dog peg to join you for the ride from the beginning. After that, you decide if you want to enter the workforce immediately after high school or if you want to take the college road to begin the game.
Then you go along the board doing what the cards tell you to do. School, job, house, marriage, kids… other than our initial dog or cat at the beginning of the game, none of us got any other pets. There were spots on the board that allowed us to get another pet or two, but our rolls skipped right over them. Which is fine in a way because the cars weren’t any bigger than they are in the original edition of the game.
The object of the game is to reach retirement with the most equity with your house (or houses, if you happened to have the money to buy more than one), your job’s salary, how many kids you had, etc. It was fairly straightforward with each of us taking turns spinning the wheel and moving the number of spaces, obtaining money, cards, and kids. I’m pretty sure we lamented a couple of times about how simple it was to get money in the game, wishing that real life worked that way, too.
Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if real life worked that way? The game is exactly how I remember it being. Except it was less fun. I don’t know if it’s because I know what real life is actually like and it was more fun when I was younger and to imagine my life actually going the way it did in the game. However, I felt as though the game overall was kind of boring.
I actually didn’t mind the game, but that could also be contributed to the good company I had when playing it (and, also, I believe I won). I liked the idea of the random careers and houses to choose from, as well as the different life events that the board had. In a sense, it felt like the game had more potential and I enjoyed what it could have been if it was executed better. As a simple board game where you spin the wheel and move your car around, it was okay.
I still like the game, of course. I just meant that I feel like it was more fun when we were younger. I think real life ruined me. Of course, we all know in real life our cars would be filled with more pets than anything else.
Life with Pets gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Our good friend Jett over at In Third Person sent us a fun game called Exit The Game: The Sinister Mansion. There are quite a few of these games and while we’ve seen them around our local stores, we never picked it up with the intention of going back to it later. Now we finally had a chance to try the game out.
We played it when we went away with another friend for the weekend, and I was delegated to reading the directions and setting stuff up. Considering most of the supplies, as few as they were, were supposed to be a secret until you have reached that point in the game, there wasn’t much to do other than arrange the riddle and hint cards into their respective piles. The answer to each riddle gave you a three-digit code which, when put into the disk decoder, pointed you in the direction of the next riddle. In order to escape the mansion, we needed to solve all of the riddles and move through the rooms.
If Kris didn’t set it up, we wouldn’t have played. I would have accidentally spoiled it for myself by looking at something I shouldn’t have or I’d be too confused about it all and give up before the game even started. When we were presented with the first riddle, all three of us were confused and stared at each other – I think secretly hoping the others understood the question.
After a few minutes, we did eventually start to get it, even if we had a difficult time figuring out the answer. All of the riddles’ answers were presented to us, but some of them had unorthodox methods of solving, such as ripping up some other cards and going back to previous riddles to help us figure out the answers. It was definitely a challenge, but I enjoyed trying to figure out everything. Yet, I think it would have been more fun if there was more set-up, if you will, to the game. We were comfortably sitting on the couch around the coffee table with all the supplies surrounding us, but for an “escape room,” it seemed odd just sitting there.
I was under the impression that we would need to find materials around our house to, you know, escape the room. While that wasn’t the case, it was still a fun, interactive game. The riddles, while they had hints, didn’t come with directions on how to solve them (obviously) but that’s a reason I wouldn’t be able to play myself. I’d use up every hint and still lose. But one fun part about playing with others was that we all interpreted the riddles differently sometimes. It helped us all think outside the box and view the riddles from a different angle.
I believed that the person reading the directions would help set up stuff around the house as well. Still, it was a fun activity and it’s good to know that, between Rachel, our friend, and me, we’d be able to escape a creepy mansion, with a few hints here and there, of course. Even with all three of us, though, we did miss a couple of supplies that the game provided. For example, a riddle needed a clock face and we tried to sketch one out on paper to find the answer. Much later, we realized that there was a ready clock face provided to us on the back of the decoder circle.
Oh, right. I forgot about the clock. In the house we were in, the only non-digital clock that had a face was hanging high above the wall. Otherwise we would have taken it down and used that as a prop. We somehow got the right answer though. See? Thinking outside the box!
Speaking of thinking outside the box, my favorite instance of that was our friend totally skipping a couple of steps during the last riddle to actually escape the manor. We were supposed to use a paper door and peephole to find a code, but she kind of just ignored the code, found the number we were looking for, and we were free! The ranking of how well your group does is based on how long it takes you to escape the manor — we took a little over an hour and a half — as well as how many hint cards you had used. I can’t remember what exactly our rank was, but it was average, I believe. It was a fun thing to do, but due to ruining some of the supplies in the process and, of course, figuring out the riddles, it’s a game you can only play once. Still, give these games a try if you have the opportunity!
Have you ever tried a game from The Exit series? What did you think? If you liked this post, please share it around!
Skip-Bo is a card game that requires counting and quite a few different piles of cards surrounding your spot at the table. Seriously, you’ll end up with six piles of cards, including the one in your hand. This doesn’t count the pile you draw from nor the building piles in the middle of all the players. While it does take a bit of multitasking to keep track of the dozen or so piles of cards, it’s an entertaining game that deals with both strategy and luck in order to win.
Skip-Bo was first introduced to me a long time ago by a friend. I enjoyed the game a lot and it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I found out the game was more popular than I thought. I hadn’t heard of it before until then. We finally got our own copy of the game and played it the other night.
I’ve played it before too after Rachel was introduced to the game, of course, but this was the first time in a while we picked the game up. I had to skim over the instructions to recall how to play it. There are over 150 cards, ranging from 1 through 12 with a couple of wild Skip-Bo cards here and there. We spent about ten minutes giving the cards a good shuffling before actually dealing them out. Depending on how many players, or how long you want the game to go, you deal out an average of 20 to 30 cards per player for a stock pile. This is the pile you want to get rid of in order to win the game. You get rid of the cards in the stock pile by placing them in numerical order onto one of the four building piles in the middle.
You don’t know what’s in your pile. You flip the first card over and work on getting rid of that first. You always have five cards in your hand and need to use strategy and a little bit of math and thinking ahead in order to get rid of your stock pile of cards. For example, if you need to get rid of a three, then you need to put down a one and then a two in order to put your three down. Of course, if one or both of those cards are already put down, then you can use your three faster – depending on what your opponents put down. They know what card you’re trying to get rid of, so blocking is definitely a thing in this game and it can get competitive. The four piles in the middle don’t reset until you put down one through 12 in order.
Aside from the cards in your hand, your stock pile, and the building piles in the middle, you can also have up to four discard piles in front of you. These piles are used to indicate that you are done with your turn. You must put at least one card from your hand onto one of these piles. They are not used in the building piles towards getting rid of your stock pile, but you can use the cards to help on your turn if you do not have the necessary cards in your hand. The catch is that you must use the topmost card on the discard pile towards the building piles. I got stuck a couple of times because I had an 11 in one of my discard piles, but I had a few cards on top of it that I needed to get rid of first.
Lots and lots of piles, yeah. Four piles in front of you, plus your stock, as well as four piles in the middle to get rid of them all. It’s all about order and you need to keep track of your cards, strategize where you want them to go and when you want to use them. Not to mention, you have no idea what your opponent will do. Of course, as I stated, it helps that you know what card they need to get rid of. You can block them as they can try to block you.
Once we play it more, strategy will come easier. I remember playing with our friend during a weekend getaway and she continued to win because she stockpiled her cards just right in order to just demolish her piles so she didn’t have to wait too long to get rid of her stock cards. Meanwhile, our discard piles ended up just being a mess and tended to hinder rather than help us when we were trying to get rid of our stock cards.
Well, she hoarded all the “one” cards. She plays by a house rule where you can’t use a Skip-Bo card, which is a wild card, as a “one.” So, she’d hold onto all the one cards and be able to knock down her pile quickly as she gathered all the other numbers. We wouldn’t be able to start piles because we didn’t have the ones and couldn’t use Skip-Bo cards. Which, as frustrating it was, it made the game more intense and competitive. Overall, Skip-Bo is a great game and so much fun to play a good group of people.
Have you played this game? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
When we went on vacation with the family at the end of July, we knew board games were going to be a way to bond and pass the time with everyone else. At one point during the week, one of our cousins bought Bananagrams, a fun little game that has no board. Instead, it’s a little banana-shaped pouch filled with letter tiles reminiscent of Scrabble.
We used to have this game though I think we got rid of it when we went through all our old board games a long time ago. We were at the bookstore and, for some reason, Bananagrams was on a shelf. Our cousin grabbed it and it was the main game of the week. Our go-to games have always been Monopoly, Code Names, and Headbanz, but Bananagrams was the family favorite this year.
If you haven’t played Bananagrams before, it’s a quick-thinking game where one needs to create words intertwined together like on a personal Scrabble board using all of their letter tiles. All of the letter tiles start face-down in a pile in the middle of all the players. Depending on the number of players, everyone would start off with 15 to 21 tiles, only flipping the tiles over to start creating words when the game begins when someone says, “Split!”
If you can’t fit a letter into your board, you can exchange that one letter for three in the middle of the pile. If you manage to fit all the letters you can say, “peel” and everyone, including yourself, will have to take one letter from the pile. Once there aren’t enough letters left in the middle for everyone to “peel,” then you can say, “bananas” and claim your win.
I don’t know why everything is banana-themed — who decided bananas were the best theme for this word game? — but it was still a great time all around. We managed to get everyone in the household playing a couple of games at least, and I cannot decide whether it was easier to create words by starting out with more letters or fewer.
Bananas is a fun word to say and the pouch is easy enough. Not to mention there’s also a game called Apples to Apples, so they couldn’t do that. I would love to try to play the game with double the letters. I believe there is a deluxe version, if you will, that doubles the letters so you can play with more people and have longer games. There was, at one point, when we split all the letters up. There were four of us playing and we each got 36 letters with none left over and we played like that without swapping tiles out at all. Whoever used all their letters first, won. Which is another nice thing about the game is that it’s your personal board so if there’s a letter that you need to fit and can’t, you can rearrange the other words to make it fit.
Having twice the letters would definitely be more interesting and chaotic. We were amazed at some of the words that the rest of our family came up with, too. Being the writers and bigger readers of the family, Rachel and I thought we would do pretty well conjuring up words, but some of the words that our cousins came up with — dandelion, homicide, bigger words than we usually came up with — were great to see.
Oh, please. I played the game and instantly forgot words existed, tried to make up words, and forgot the concept of spelling. Most of my words – it, them, dog, happy – were short and sweet. I did come up with a couple of good words here and there, though every game was different. I’d love to play again and try to do themed words. Like words related to video games or something. That’d be difficult, but a lot of fun.
Have you ever played Bananagrams? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Yahtzee is a simple enough game of chance with the main components of the game being five dice. It’s a game that we used to play all the time eons ago while vacationing with family, but we haven’t played it in a long time until recently.
I house-sat recently and we were going through the games they had. Admittedly, they didn’t have much and while we planned on playing something new, we saw they had Yahtzee and just had to play it again.
You have a scorecard that details what kind of rolls you should be aiming to get with your three shakes of the dice. The top part of the scorecard has you counting the numbers that you roll, such as twos and threes, while the bottom part is a little more complicated with three of a kind and full house. Of course, there is the Yahtzee part of the scorecard, where you can get fifty points for having all the dice land face up as the same number.
With each roll, you can take out certain dice that you want to keep if you’re trying to aim for a certain score. For example, if you have three threes, you want to take them out so you can aim for a full house by getting two fours, for example, or even a Yahtzee by getting two more threes. Of course, when we played, my luck was not with me.
I ended up winning all three games, haha! Honestly, Rachel tends to have higher luck in games of chance than me, so I was surprised. It’s a game that you can probably play just about anywhere as long as you have the dice and a pen and paper to keep score.
I kept rolling high which is more than I can say when we play DnD, but I couldn’t get the numbers that I needed. Once you get a score for something, you can’t score it again – even if it happens to be better. There’s also some strategy to the game too though which makes it so much harder. There’s a “chance” score where you can just count up the total of the dice and put that down as your score. However, there’s always the possibility of you scoring higher later. If you need to get some scores for having certain numbers, which one do you go for? It’s all chance.
It is just all chance. The game ends when everyone has something filled in on all spots of their scorecard, even if you’ve taken zero points as certain scores. You cannot pass your turn — rather, we’ve never played it that way — as I’m sure otherwise the game would be a lot longer than it really is. It’s a good game to pass the time and it’s fun to see just how the dice will roll for everyone.
It’s definitely one of those “classic” games to play. It’s great to play with friends but it’s also not a bad game to play with yourself either. Yahtzee is just a win overall.
Yahtzee gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
This game has been on our radar for quite some time. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the board game and it was really different from other board games we’ve played. The biggest learning curve for us, I believe, was to remember that it was a cooperative game rather than a competition between all the players.
Playing a cooperative game was a nice change of pace though. Especially since we normally play just the two of us, most competitive games are harder and would be more fun if there were more of us. Of course, the first time we played (and learned) Pandemic, we played with our cousin Kat.
Yes, Kat was a great addition to the board game, giving us another to bounce ideas off of and a third voice to help interpret the rules. The main objective of the game is to find cures for four deadly diseases before the population of the world succumbs to them. To do so, you need to find enough “data” on each disease — also known as collecting enough city cards of the same color — and bring your findings to a city with a research center. Once you do so, that particular disease will have a cure. With a limited number of turns determined by the player deck, it’s definitely a challenge!
“Interpret the rules.” That’s code for Kris reading the rules and trying to explain it to us while Kat and I played with the game pieces. The rules are a lot of fun though. Once you start playing, the game is easy enough to understand, but it’s difficult. We played so many games – with just us or with three people – and I think we won twice.
Yes, we do not have a great win streak with this game so far. Speaking of the game pieces, there is a bit to set up. Aside from the character pawns — each of which represents a certain role with a special ability or two — there was also the disease tokens, the outbreak and infection rate tokens, and the two deck of cards. The player deck consisted of the many cities you could travel to and the infection deck indicated which city became more infected at the end of every turn.
To set up the game, you need to spread the virus around a bit so you can, you know, have something to cure. This is done by taking nine cards from the infection deck and, depending on their color – red, blue, yellow, or black – you need to place the virus block on those places. One infection on three places, two infections on three other places, and three infections on the last three places. Now, if a place has three infections already and they get infected again, an outbreak occurs. A place can’t have more than three infections so all the connecting places will end up getting one infection. Get seven outbreaks and the game ends.
All of the characters start in Atlanta at a research center along with a handful of cards from the player deck, indicating cities that they can charter a flight to. Working together, players must visit cities to start eradicating diseases. When you visit a city, you can take away a virus block as one of your actions. Players can take up to four actions during their turn, including traveling to another city, building a research center, or sharing knowledge with another player that is in the same city as them. Sharing knowledge is crucial, as it enables players to share city cards of the city they are meeting in. Collecting enough city cards of the same color is key to curing the diseases once and for all. During some of our games, we tended to assign a “disease” to each player, saying one would do her best to collect enough blue cards and another to collect black cards as a goal to find cures.
Depending on which character you choose, you have special skills as well. For example, I personally loved being the Medic because instead of taking away one infection in a city per action, I could take them all away as one action. It helped out a lot, but… we still lost the game a lot. And, honestly, I think we even fudged the rules a couple of times accidentally too. We still kept losing though, but it was a fun challenge nonetheless!
Pandemic gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
This game has been on our radar ever since we first saw it at our local Barnes and Noble. Supposedly it’s a Barnes and Noble exclusive, but there are similar-looking games on Amazon. Being fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise, we eventually splurged on the large board game and finally got around to playing it.
This game, at the time we bought it, was about $50. While the game was fun, I don’t think it was worth $50.
The board itself is rather big, which was fine. It consisted of all the locations that are mentioned in the movies (and probably some from the books) with pathways connecting them. Each pathway had a number of move values that it would take to travel and you could move up to the number you rolled or less than your roll value.
So, for example, if you rolled a two and had two branching paths – one that had a two and one that had a three, you could only go on the number-two path. Moving around the board was pretty simple and it was a fun way to do it rather than going through one linear path. Plus, there are events cards so that you can move anywhere on the board or move someone else anywhere. Then, of course, you have the cards that tell you a specific place to go.
The point of visiting as many locations as you can is due to the item cards that can be found. At the start of the game, each location has an item card randomly assigned to it, items that no one knows about because one of the items is the One Ring itself. The object of the game is to obtain the One Ring and deliver it to the Mount Doom location.
Of course, you need to keep the ring secret from the other players. There are ways to find out if someone has the ring. There’s a Gollum event card that forces whoever has the ring to announce it to everyone. You can also lose the ring if the Eye of Sauron and you land on the same space. It forces to go back to one of the starting points of the game and you have to drop the ring in that location.
While we imagine that the game can get a little chaotic the more people you play with — as you’ll have more opportunities to sabotage each other, use more event cards, and crash into each other on the board — we were getting a little tired of getting similar event cards and our turns going so quickly. The little character tokens weren’t the greatest quality, either. In fact, I accidentally broke a couple’s feet while trying to snap them out of their grid when first opening the box.
Hence, my point earlier when I don’t think this game is worth the $50. The character tokens were cheap plastic – Kris actually sliced her thumb open trying to get one out – and the event and item cards were repetitive. I don’t think they had enough ideas. Not to mention the fact that the event and item cards had the same backing. So, when we were supposed to put the item cards around the board at each place, we accidentally put the event cards down first.
I think they had the same backing on purpose, though, considering the creators of the game probably expected the players to be sitting at a table with their hands of cards held up and hidden from the other players. If the character tokens were similar to the tokens in Monopoly — better quality, a little weighted — and the events were much more varied, we probably would have had a better time with the game. Of course, we still had fun and may try the game out with a few friends, but we probably won’t break the game out again too soon.
Overall, the game was pretty good and we did have fun. I think this is one of those games that need more people for it to be more “chaotic” and really have a good time.
Lord of the Rings: Quest to Mount Doom gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Now that we’ve been doing more card game reviews, it got me thinking about some games I used to play when I was younger. I don’t play card games often, but here are some favorites of mine.
Uno is a classic. One thing I love about this game is that it can last five minutes or it can last an hour. It’s so easy to screw over your opponents and yet, it’s so easy to form a temporary truce with an opponent while you both gang up on another player. This game is a lot of fun and yet can be increasingly frustrating depending on the cards you’re dealt or just the people you’re playing with.
This is another game that can last a few minutes or last forever – most likely forever. War is simple where you split the deck evenly between the players and flip your cards one at a time. Whoever gets the highest, takes both cards. Whoever loses their deck, loses and the game is over. This is one that can get competitive quickly with my family – especially me.
This is the first game every child learns how to play as soon as they can hold a hand of cards. At least, I think so. I have fond memories playing this game when I was younger, especially with my grandparents. It’s a good game to just relax with.
Solitaire & Spider Solitaire
Speaking of relaxing games, Solitaire and Spider Solitaire are great relaxing games. I have to admit, I was never good at either of them. I used to play Spider Solitaire on the computer when I couldn’t get onto the Internet because my mom was talking on the phone. Show of hands – who remembers those times? Still, whenever I played Solitaire, I used to just click around and if a card moved, that was great. But then I would often get myself stuck and have to start over. It was always a great accomplishment when I actually won a game.
What are some of your favorite card games? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.