Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 6

Grandma (my mum) dropped by today for her weekly Saturday morning catch-up and gaming session. My wife had gone grocery shopping, Georgia (1) was asleep in her cot, and Maddie (5) was ready to play games with Dad and Grandma.

The first game we played was Sherlock. I have the German version which is called Der Plumpsack Geht Um. I was lucky enough to buy it on Australian e-Bay from someone in Perth for about $15.00. I think it is the cooler looking version.

Der Plumpsack is a memory game. Each card is durable and plastic-coated. You lay however many cards you want (we chose 8) in a circle and everyone memorises them. The remaining cards are laid face-down in a deck in the middle.

After about 30 seconds, when everyone's had a chance to memorize the cards, they are turned face down. The player to the right of the current player places the special 'Plumpsack' card in front of any face-down card. The current player then tries to guess what the object is. After guessing, the card is turned over and the object revealed. If the player guessed correctly, the special 'Plumpsack' card is then placed in front of the card as determined by the instructions on the card that has just been revealed.

For example, in the image above, if you correctly guessed the teddy bear, the 'Plumpsack' card would be moved 2 cards in the direction of the arrow. You would then have to guess the pretzel card correctly. As long as the player keeps guessing correctly, and following the directions on the cards, eventually a card will direct the player to a card that is already face up, having been previously guessed correctly. The player then keeps that card which is scored as a point. If a player guesses incorrectly then play passes to the next player. After a player's turn is over all the cards are once again turned face-down and that player now places the 'Plumpsack' card in front of a card for the next player to guess. Cards taken from the circle are replaced from the deck in the middle.

We decided to play to 3 points. Grandma won the game with 3 points, I was second on 1 point and Maddie was third on 0 points.

Next we played the old favourite Amazing Labyrinth. We each received 8 cards, with Grandma and myself only able to look at the top card, whereas Maddie was always allowed to look at her top 4 cards. This is a convenient handicapping system that produces a fair game for adults and children alike.

Unfortunately, Maddie became tired and a bit bored halfway through the game so pulled out. Grandma and I then fought it out for the win. Grandma was leading 7-4 at one stage with only 1 card to find to win. I eventually caught up. At the end we were 8 all and both racing to our home space to win. Grandma was able to avoid my many disruptions to her route and managed to sneak home before me to take the win.

After that, I dug through the game cabinet for an old favourite of mine, Travel Blokus (known in Australia as Blokus Duo). This was one of the first two-player abstracts I bought when I got into board games a few years ago. We played two games. I won the first game 71 points to 66. I also won the second game 77 points to 59 points. Here's an image at the end of our second game. I played purple in both games.

Our final game of the morning was Gobblet. The aim of the game is to get 4 of your coloured pieces in a row. You commence the game with 3 stacks. Each stack contains 4 cylinders of diminishing sizes. The cool thing is that you can put a larger cylinder on the top of a smaller opponent cylinder effectively changing the colour of the piece. I'm still learning the strategy of this game. Grandma, however, picked the strategy up fairly fast and went on to win the two games we played.

After that Grandma had to leave.

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