Monday, September 26, 2011

Bellwether Games interviews Randy!

by Randy

Hey, all!

I just wanted to let everyone know about some upcoming projects by the Growing Up Gamers crew. Bellwether Games, publishers of Drop Site, did an interview with me about some game design work I'm doing (some with my wife Angie and Julian of Cool Factor 5). We discuss Princess of the Hill as well as some other projects in the works. Drop by and check it out! Here's the link:

Interview with Randy

A big thanks to Dennis of Bellwether Games for giving me this opportunity!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Hello! Who likes party games? We at Growing up Gamers do, and we wanted to share one with you. The excellent people at FunQ Games provided a review copy of their newest party game, Befuzzled. And here are our thoughts...

BefuzzledOkay... party games. It's an interesting and important genre in the boardgaming world. I would guess that most boardgamers had their first taste of boardgaming via a party game. Overall, they focus on social interaction. The rules tend to be simple and the idea is that you can open the box and have things going in a few minutes. Some party games are games to play at parties, and some are kind of meant to -be- parties, meaning they consume a lot of time and overshadow other social activities. A good example of the latter is Cranium, though most people could probably fill in one or two more. The game we're looking at today fits in the latter category... a game meant to be an activity (and a fun one at that!).

Befuzzled by FunQ Games is light, quick and fun. The game consists of three types of cards: Shape, Flip and Action. Eight Action cards get dealt out and randomly paired with one of the eight Shape cards. Once that has been set up, one player is the judge for the turn and looks at the Flip card, which will have one of the eight shapes on it. The judge then reveals the Flip card and will award the card to the first player to perform the action corresponding to the shape on the card. The the next player to the left is the judge, and the process is repeated until the Flip cards are gone. Pretty simple, yes?

What makes this game a lot of fun is the frantic race to perform the action. The actions range from Clap Hands, Laugh to Say "Arr" Like a Pirate. It's very amusing to see several people clamoring to pat themselves on the head! Each Action card also has an illustration with a little guy who looks like Einstein showing the action (to the extent they can be shown; the "say" actions have him with a word balloon). This is great... and I'll tell you why.

We at Growing Up Gamers are all about playing games with kids. We love to teach them to play games, and we believe that are great reasons to play games with them. It's always great when a game has features that can make it more feasible to play with non-readers. The little illustration of each action allows you to play this with kids too young to read. To scale this to work with a pre-reader, simply replace any Action cards that come up that require reading. There are plenty of Action cards that will work for kids who haven't yet learned to read, so at the startup swap out any like "Say 'Befuzzled'" for something like "Make Antlers" or "Flap Arms". Then prior to starting, go over each action and perform it. Voila! Kids are ready to play!

Our verdict on this game is that we like it a lot. It's a party game makes no illusions of being "the" thing at the party, but can certainly generate a few laughs. This is an excellent choice for younger kids, with the advised changes above. The box recommends age 7 and up, but we played this with our five year old and had a blast. And we're not the only ones to think so, either! Creative Child Magazine named it their 2011 Game of the Year. Check it out!