2018 – Lock and Load

Welcome to 2018.  So far, looks comfortable enough.  Bit of padding around the waist, but nothing that a little diet (and a lot less C2H5OH) won’t solve.

Would’ve written this yesterday but was suffering from a little post-New Year pneumonia (as defined by Grand Tour, Season 2, Episode 1).

Christmas 2017 brought us some fantastic games that we’ve spent the holiday playing – these are games that all the family can play, for a certain definition of “all the family” – we’ve got just the 5 kids, so they’re games that can cope with 7 players, our youngest is 7, eldest is 17, and my wife and I are both significantly north of that so they’ve got quite a spread to keep us interested.  If you’re looking for fast, fun, family games, you can’t go wrong with:

5 Second Rule

Apparently we’ve got the “Junior” edition of this game, so I dread to think how hard the “Adult” version would be!  TL:DR – you’ve got 5 seconds to name 3 things as dictated by the card.  3 Superheroes.  3 things you do at school.  3 bands your parents’ listen to.  That sort of stuff.  Assuming you name 3, you get a point, play moves to the next person, and they’ve got to do the same – only they can’t repeat any answers.  Continue until someone fails completely and draw a new topic.

Now 5 seconds is not a lot of time and your brain can do some wonderfully creative thinking.  For “3 things with wheels” we had “cars, bicycles, er, er, er, buckets”.  For “3 birds” the first answer was “Herring”.

You play until someone scores 15 points, so the game moves along pretty quickly even with 7 playing.

Family score: 5/5


Somewhere between “Uno”, “Snap”, and “Down the River”, this is a quick and simple card game, the aim of which is to collect all the cards.  Wasn’t helped by Thing 1 having honed her reflexes playing Irish Snap at school with her friends winning pretty damn quickly.  7 players is a bit many and, like “Down the River” when you get to 2 or 3 left in the game it can slow down.  Still, fun enough for the kids to want to play it again.

Family score: 3/5

Sussed – All Sorts

How well do you know your family?  Each player takes turns to read a scenario from their card, with a choice of 3 possible answers – e.g. “What would I most want to do? (a) Sky diving, (b) Llama trekking, (c) Archery”.  They make a note of their answer, everyone else playing picks one.  Move on to the next player.  When everyone’s done the 4 scenarios on their cards, you go back around the table and find out how well you know the rest of the family.  You score points for correct answers.

Turns out, not very!  Well, I don’t seem to know my wife or kids, my kids know my wife and I pretty damn well.

Family score: 4/5


The neighbours brought this round to play on New Year’s eve.  Another fast-moving card game, similar to Uno but less complicated.  Cards have a suit and a number, there are 4 suits.  7 cards each to start with.  Each turn you play a card that matches either suit or number, or you draw a card if you can’t play. There are “Whot” cards that match everything and allow the player to change the suit.  Play continues until either (a) no-one can play or (b) someone plays all the cards in their hand.  Then you total up the points scores of the cards you’re left with, jot it down, deal passes 1 player left, and you continue until you’ve gone round everyone.  Winner is the person with the lowest score.

Simple?  Yes.  It doesn’t have the reverses or skips of Uno.  Fun?  Definitely!  Cries of anguish when someone changes the suit on you just as you’re about to play your last card!

Family score: 5/5, must get a set ourselves.


We brought this out on NYE after a few rounds of Whot, some Mao (I’ll have to get Thing 1 to explain that) and some poker.

If you don’t know Fluxx, it’s a card game that starts with a very simple rule:  Draw 1 card, play 1 card.  Other cards complicate things by changing the rules, actually setting victory conditions for the game, allowing you to steal cards from other players…  Great fun.

We’ve got “Classic”, “Eco”, and “Family” versions of Fluxx.  Thing 1 has “Cthulhu”.  I’m rather keen to pick up “Dr Who” and “Monty Python”.  They all have their own little variations on the rules, but the classic is just that

Family Score: 4/5

Looking ahead

Got some good gaming ideas for 2018.  We’ve got a couple of games from Christmas that we’ve not had a chance to play yet – Sherlock Holmes, the card game, for one.  We’ve got a few RPGs on the shelf that we need to play – Tales from the Loop, Traveller, Space: 1889, Timewatch.  They’re all going to get outings in 2018.

What are your gaming hauls from Christmas?

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