Thursday, April 12, 2012

Game Night

Whether you’re entertaining rambunctious children or a roomful of grown-ups desperate for an icebreaker, there’s nothing quite like the right game.

Card games are numerous and vary greatly. The definitive guide would be Hoyle’s Rules of Games (M). Any edition will do; the rules are timeless, yet flexible enough for additional house-rules. With indexes for age-appropriateness and the number of players, and rules for variant games, Hoyle’s is great for impromptu entertainment. Depending on your edition, more than just card games are described; gambling, domino, dice, board, parlour, and even computer games are examined.

Another good title in our collection is How to Play the 200 Best-Ever Card Games (M), by Jeremy Harwood. Each chapter offers the rules to a type of card game. This includes 7 forms of solitaire, 9 fishing games, 17 variants of bridge, 8 forms of hearts, 22 vying games including poker, and even 2 games for your tarot deck. It is full of clear diagrams and bold colour photos, and the instructions are reduced to fit on a single page despite the large print. Overall, this is an easy guide to follow.

Need party games suitable for all ages? Here are three titles that could help.

Family Party Games (M)
by Peter Arnold

This book presents each activity with a suggested minimum age, number of players, party suitability and requirements. Some games are not for young children (The Horror Game), some are not for adults (I-Spy). Some have a maximum group size (Beggar My Neighbour), while others require large groups or have no limit at all (Pin the Tail on the Donkey). You wouldn’t host an “Egg and Spoon Race” in your living room, nor would you play the “Block Game” without a full set of dominoes. That’s why this book is so handy.

Need to Know? Party Games (M)
by Sean Callery

The games within this book are divided into 8 categories, such as acting games and racing games. An index in the back offers different categories, such as ball and balloon games, quiet games, and icebreakers. Like Arnold’s book, the games are listed with age and number requirements, necessary preparations, simple rules and colour photos.

The Spirit of Play: cooperative games for all ages, sizes, and abilities (M)
by Dale LeFevre

This book focuses on games that require cooperation, all of which suitable for any age. They require few (if any) resources, as they are based on the players themselves. Go on a “bear hunt”, complete with lyrics and hand actions. Build a human pyramid. There are lazy games, active games, games for 15 to 50 players, games for the rumpus room. But most importantly, this book is full of motivation to add play time to our everyday life.

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