As I mentioned in my previous post, my wife and I attended the Origins Game Fair last weekend. We had a lot of fun, played a lot of board games, and lamented that we could not come for the entire convention due to its overlap with the school year. While most of the games we played didn’t relate to speech pathology or the use of board games therein, I did find some gems I wanted to share:
Dixit: Journey – I mentioned this expansion for Dixit when I discussed the game itself, but I finally got my hands on a copy. The artwork is of very high quality and less “cartoony” than previous Dixit games, and it comes with updated 3-6 player rules (although I haven’t had a chance to review those yet). Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with storage for the previous expansions, so I’ll have to see if all the cards fit into my Dixit: Odyssey box.
Get Bit! – I discussed this game in an earlier blog post, but I wanted to bring it up again because it won this year’s Origins Award for Best Family, Party, or Children’s Game. So, if your administrator questions using a game about sharks eating robots in therapy, you can respond by saying that you’re using an *award-winning* therapy tool – and then deflect the follow-up question about which award.
Hike – A small-press casual card game I had never heard of before this convention. It’s similar to Uno in that your goal is to get rid of the cards in your hand by matching, but differs in that all the matches are nature-themed (tree, water, bug, bird) rather than just color and number. There’s some literacy, too, but I’m considering it as an option for lower elementary students who are working on ecology units in class (gotta address that NCLB-mandated curriculum relevancy, after all).
Say Anything – Say Anything is a game I didn’t buy at the convention, but will be ordering soon based on a demo in the dealer’s hall. The best way to describe it is free-answer Apples to Apples – instead of picking a card, each player writes a response on a markerboard.
Telestrations – Telestrations is my big find of the convention, and the subject of my next full post. It’s Telephone plus sketching. Each player in the group has a markerboard pad with multiple pages. The players get a prompt (usually a one-word or two-word phrase) and one minute to draw it. The pads are passed to the player next to them, who has to guess what the picture is. The pads are passed, and the players then have to draw the previous player’s guess. Continue until the pad reaches its original owner. In one game, we got to see, through a variety of miscues, “wig” become “belly button”. The educational aspect of the game is learning about where the communication breakdowns occur and how they can be prevented. I’m very excited to try this one out.
Timeline: Inventions – Timeline is a sequencing game in which players need to put a series of cards in chronological order. The first version of the game, Inventions, features various innovations throughout history including writing, the corkscrew, and the compact disc. It’s a good sequencing game for older students, especially if you can get them to talk out their reasoning behind where a certain invention should go.
Wits and Wagers – Wits and Wagers is a spin on trivia games in which you don’t necessarily have to know the correct answer – you can guess what the correct answer is. Each player is asked a question with a number for an answer (for example, “How many people signed the Declaration of Independence?”) and writes down their answer on a markerboard. Then, the answers are arranged from lowest to highest, and the players place a bet on which answer they think is correct. The answers nearest the middle get the lowest payout and the answers at the extremes get a higher payout. Because the scoring is based on the wager and not having the correct answer, even students who don’t know the facts can still try to guess what the correct answer is. This is another game that’s on order after a demo, but I’m very excited to take an in depth look at it afterward.
I’m sure there were many other good therapy games there that I didn’t see, but we were only two people, and it was a pretty large convention. If there’s something you think I might have missed, let me know and I’ll look into it next time…