Addicting Games News

September 2009

Risk – World domination is in your grasp!

Did you know that Risk has been around since the 1950s? I didn’t even know it existed until a few of my crazy cousins dragged me kicking and screaming into a game and made me play somewhere around 15 years ago…but I haven’t been able to get enough of it since!

Risk is a strategic board game, invented by a French film director Albert Lamorisse and this addicting board game was originally released as La Conquête du Monde (The Conquest of the World), in France. A funny but true story about Risk, by the way…Lamorisse was on vacation in the Netherlands when he created the game, so to this day there are disputes as to which country the game originated from.

As a stylised Napoleonic-era political map of the Earth, the game board is divided into forty-two territories, which are grouped into six continents – up to 6 players each control their own armies and attempt to capture territories from other players. The primary object of the game is world domination while – of course - annihilating all other players. If you like a noisy, knock down, drag em up and really fun addicting board game, then Risk is definitely for you.

From the original Risk game described above, there evolved many equally addicting board game versions – all under the classification of War & Combat Games:

  • Castle Risk (played on a map of Europe)

  • Secret Mission Risk (I'd tell you but...

  • Risk Edition Napoleon (an expansion in 2000 added the Ottoman Empire!)

  • Risk 2210 AD (you can conquer the moon and underwater territories with this version)

  • Lord of the Rings Risk & Lord of the Rings Trilogy Version (travel deep into Middle-earth for these versions)

  • Risk: Godstorm (a really cool mythology version)

  • Star Wars (a couple different Star Wars versions exist)

  • and of course, a number of unofficial expansions and new maps have been published over the years since it came out

If you want to learn more about the game, check out Wikipedia, they have a great write up on Risk. You’ll soon be immersed in the strategies of play for this addicting board game, so if you don’t already own it, get yourself a copy and get playing!


The Abridged History of Card Games?

I was asked recently, during a rousing round of Go Fish, by this bratty kid (I was able to tolerate him till be beat me for the 5th straight game in a row…), just how the deck of playing cards came about. Now I knew, of course, that cards were invented by the Chinese some time after they invented paper, but that was about it. So, having been cursed with the type of mind that once I realise I don’t know something, I just naturally had to go snooping around to find out just a little bit more….

So, the abridged history of card games is this. Sometime after the Chinese invented the concept of paper sheets (during the Tang Dynasty), they decided the world needed cards – which actually may have been money at that point rather than something to play with. And these ‘money’ cards had four suits. By the 14th century, playing cards had spread and evolved and the playing of them was rampant across Europe – although some had 5 suits instead of today’s 4 suits, and some contained 56 cards…a Tarot deck can contain 78! And of course, once royalty got hold of them, they had to ensure the royalty cards, Kings (which of course were always the highest in the pack), Queens, Knaves (Jack was considered vulgar), were included the pack…it tool the French Revolution to put the Ace at the top.

Today’s ‘international standard’ 52-card deck does not mean that all of the 52 cards will be used though. There are some great games that do use the whole pack (like Cribbage, Gin rummy, and of course the highly addicting game of Poker…). There are also many just as addicting games that do not.

  • Central Europe – these decks contain 32-26 cards

  • Spanish – most Spanish games involve 40 card decks

  • East Asia – uses the standard 52 card ‘poker’ deck

  • Anglo-American – The primary deck containing 52 cards is most often used, although Piquet (French) and Scat (West German) uses a 32 card deck.

My personal favourites are the thoroughly addicting trick-taking games like Bridge, Hearts , Euchre and Spades, all of which evolved from the game of Ecarte by the way…and none of these use the full 52 card deck…not that that’s what makes them so competitively fun!


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The Most Addicting Game

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Classifying Card Games – What’s your addiction?

There are a lot of different ways to classify card games, but none of them seem to completely fit. If you try to classify card games by what you have to do when its your turn, the you are probably playing a Trick taking game.

A Trick taking game is where you try to take the trick to win the points (A trick is where each player takes their turn in playing a card and the winner gets the points, or trick).

Sometimes the play means that you start out with the same number of cards and each turn the number of cards played dwindles until the cards are all played, the points are taken and recorded and then the play starts over again (like Hearts or Spades). In other games, you all start out with the same number of cards, but, according to the cards played (like in Crazy Eights, or UNO), you might end up having to pick up one or many more cards, making it harder for you to win. In still other games, you have the same number of cards in your had at all times, and try to get a specific pattern, or combination of cards before the other player does (like Gin Rummy).

There are games played that are classified by the type of cards or tiles that the games use.

Do you have cards that you’re not quite sure what they are to be used for? I remember a deck of cards growing up that nobody quite knew how to use…I later found out that it was a deck of Swedish cards brought by my great greats and was a Kille – which means that it was on old Swedish card deck…go figure… but the object of the game was to keep the fewest points possible (sort of like Hearts…except that there is no suit distinction), and the last person remaining is the winner (where in hearts, the game only goes until the first player to reach 100 is declared - to great taunting and laughter - the Loser); where upon the game begins all over again.

I would love to have that deck of cards now that I know what the heck they’re for and how much fun they would be!

So are card games addicting? I think yes!


Different Types of Card Games You can Enjoy

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Cranium – The ultimate addictive board game

If you’re a fan of party games and trivia games, you should definitely try Cranium. A totally addicting board game, Cranium is a creative mix of word games, sculpting, drawing, charades and more.

Cranium is well known for the challenge and fun it provides. It’s such a favorite in the board games market that its won the Game of the Year award more than a few times. In fact, since Cranium was invented in 1997 by Whit Alexander and Richard Tait has won more than 50 industry awards and sells in 20 countries in ten different languages!

In other words, everyone loves Cranium board games – both adults and kids because it allows everyone playing it to shine. I’ve listed just a few of my favorite versions of this addicting board game:

  1. Cranium Balloon Lagoon – a carnival style game where you have to complete fun filled carnival style games. Collect the maximum number of balloons before anyone else and you win!
  2. Cranium Zooreka – race to build your own zoo by collecting resources, food, and other stuff for your zoo as you gear up for Opening Day!
  3. Cranium Board Game Cadoo - pick a Solo (puzzle solving, trivia questions and more) or a Combo card (acting words out or sculpting them from dough so that your team can guess), either one will instruct you to perform and complete some activity to get a token on the board.
  4. Cranium Hullaballoo Game – with a set of 16 little floor pads and a speaker unit, the pads have shapes, colors & pictures close enough to hop onto one from another. A fun voice gives instructions (step, jump on this color, animal), or there is various combinations of things to do. After a few turns, a freeze command is called out, whereupon a winner is picked out. This addicting Cranium game is really fun – and great for teaching your little ones!
  5. Cranium Cariboo – again, great for little kids as they get to match shapes, colors and more and learn and learn by matching cards and opening doors to discover whether there is a ball underneath. Collect 6 balls and the treasure is yours!

Try one of these or one of the many versions available out on the market today – they’re all addicting and fun!




Baccarat – The history of; and other truly interesting stuff about this addicting game

Historically, Baccarat has always been a high stakes, high roller game – you only have to watch the hunky Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royal to realize the amount of monies that can be won or lost in a single night. Its also been featured in Dr. No and Golden Eye and also the action-comedy film Rush Hour 3 in case you’re into that kind of thing - and who isn't.

But way before that – and we’re talking centuries before - a man named Felix Falguiere or Falguierein created the game of baccarat in Italy in the 1400s. He called the game "baccara," Italian for "zero," because all the tens and face cards were worth zero. Later, the baccarat was introduced in France around 1490 A.D. (becoming known as baccarat (also meaning “zero”) and remained an exclusive game played by the French nobility (it was a favorite of King Charles VIII) before being brought to the rest of the world some centuries later.

In the 1950s, when Tommy Renzoni brought this thoroughly elegant game to the States, that it became a happily addicting casino game - after changing of the rules so that players only played against the house rather than against each other…pretty ingenious…but still pretty much a rich man's game.

Since then, other variations have shown up such as mini-baccarat, which is played on smaller tables, and the Makccarat, which is a modified table.

Its only been with the onslaught of online casinos that the rest of us have discovered how truly addicting the game of Baccarat can be!
And what we found is that Baccarat is actually similar to blackjack. You count your scores and add up all card numbers. The difference is that the tens digit of the numbers, once added, are ignored so that a hand of 7 + 4 is actually 1, so the highest score you can actually get is 9.
This is why Baccarat is such a fun and risky game – and because of the high amount at stake (online is usually from $2 to $200 - a bet!). But, there are now also different versions and variants of this highly addictive game available to choose from when you want to play and just have fun!


Lawn games – Turn off that console and get out there already!

If you think about it, a lawn game is just a really big (and addicting) board game. Any outdoor game that can be played on your lawn, in a nearby park, empty parking lot…or any pretty much any flat outdoors surface – that is known is a lawn game. Lawn games such as croquet have been played since the 18th century…games such as cherokee marbles, since, well, who knows really?

Common summertime lawn games include:

  • Horseshoes – Set up a few posts and have a round robbin competition! Its so fun!

  • Lawn darts – Must keep all tiny humans under control with this addictingly fun and noisily competitive game.

  • Extreme Croquet– ok, not so common, but bloody fun! The twist is that its played in such interesting and novel terrain as trees, roots, hills, sand, mud, or moving or still water.

  • Bocce – Brought to us all the way from the Roman empire, this is the ultimate addicting game for sure.

  • Disc Golf – now this is one game truly competitive and yet so fun! Played with modified frisbees, I’ve seen people with bags full of indexed and babied discs that each have their specific purpose…twilight zone music must play.

There are so many and varied games that can be played outdoors that its really worth looking into. Outdoor games are great for developing the sterling qualities of co-operation, tolerance, team-spirit, and leadership. Right. What they’re great for is a fun and healthy competition, that’s what makes them all so fun!

…and yes, the sun, the fresh air and the wide open spaces are great for indulging in a uncontained, loud, boisterous and unconfined down and dirty competitive game of bocce or water balloon toss (not so dirty!), or even a rousing game of cricket…batter up baby!


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Clue – the first of the addictive mystery-themed board games

Since Parker Brothers in first published it in 1949 in the US (and Waddinton’s Games in England of the same year), Clue has been extremely popular.

It was actually designed by Anthony Pratt in 1944. Anthony Pratt was a seemingly unassuming solicitor's clerk. He and his wife invented the classic "who dunnit" murder game, tweaked and finessed and patented it in 1947 before finally publishing it in England. Parker Brothers then bought the US patent and the rest is history…just to throw it out there, the British version of the game is known as Cluedo, which was a play on the word Ludo meaning ‘I play’. Yup, that’s it.

Sooo….you can play with just 2 or a bunch of players (up to 6). This addicting board game consists of 6 characters, 6 weapons and 9 rooms.

Take one of each of the 3 categories of cards – no peeking! – and then place them one by one in the envelope. The rest are placed in their spot on the board. As you play, you get to guess who is the murderer, who was murdered, where they were murdered, and what they were murdered with. If you guess correctly, before anyone else, you are the winner!

Clue has gone on to inspire many many other mystery themed, or deduction games. And all of them are as addicting as they are fun, so watch out!


The Popularity of Video Games

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Euchre – A fun and fast paced trick taking card game

Euchre has been a personal favorite for more years than I care to think about. As a weekend cottage game, it can’t be beat. Its been around since the early 19th century and although there have been some disputes over the years as to exactly where it came from, Euchre is generally believed to have been derived from the Alsatian game of Juckerspiel that was brought to America by German immigrants. Given that the J is pronounced as a consonantal Y, the spelling "Uker" seems to be a reasonable phonetic representation of "Jucker" for all of the non-German speakers that played.

Euchre is played with 2 teams of 2 players (partners). The partners face each other across the table and play clockwise so that turns are staggered between partners. Unscrupulous partners sometimes attempt to increase their chances of winning tricks by cooperative communication - which is not allowed in play. Just a warning…it is necessary to be ever vigilant and deal harshly with these low down sneaks! Written in indelible ink in our cottage rule book, punishment is exacted by making these card cheaters to walk the plank in summer or thrown into the nearest snowbank in winter. Which all adds up, of course, to the hilarity and addicting fun of the evening!

In North America, a 24-card deck is most common (using 9, 10, J, Q, K and A in all four suits, with the two jacks of the same color trump suits being the highest cards, then the A, K, Q, 10, and 9 of the same trump suit).

Sound confusing? No worries, the rules of this highly addictive game are explained very well at the European International Website.

The goal of this great, addictive card game is to get 10 points before the other team for the win…and the five cards of the deck are used for scoring.


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Some Addicting games for 7 or More Players

When you have a lot of friends over and want to play a party game, it can be a challenge to find something that everyone can play. Unless you pick card or board games that are fairly quick and can play multiple rounds ‘round robin’ style – which can also be really fun! But sometimes you’d just like everyone to play at once, right? So, luckily, I’ve found some really fun and addicting games that will fit the bill!

  • Saboteur
    Saboteur is a fun as it sounds, and it can be played by 3 to 10 players, ages 8 and up. In this addicting game, Dwarves are mining for gold, and working together to find the best path to make sure they can get the gold back to the surface and divide it up between them…of course, its not going to be that easy! Watch out for those among you who are sneaky rotten saboteurs, looking out for themselves instead of the group…which you just might be one of. You get three rounds of play to amass your fortune and the one with the most after the third round wins! Keep this one on hand and available – its really fun!
  • Werewolf / Mafia
    This game can be played by 8 or more players. Obviously, its great for large groups! Two players are the werewolves (or hitmen in the version known as Mafia) and the rest of the players are furiously trying to discover who they are and kill them before it's too late. The more and longer into the night this game is played, the more fun and addicting it gets!
  • Play It By Ear
    Played by 2 or…well, as many more players as you’d like, really. This addicting game has a CD packed with about 1,800 questions – and is the most vital part of the game. You’ve got 12 questions in 12 categories, so there's an area of knowledge for each and every person playing. It might be hard to find this game if you don’t already have it – but it’s definitely worth the search!

There are many other fun and addicting games designed for large groups of people…just waiting for you to discover!


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Battle it out with Battleship

If you love competitive and strategic family games, then Battleship is definitely for you! This 2 player game has been around since being invented by Clifford Von Wickler in the 1900s. Back then it was a pencil and paper based game, named Broadsides. It was in 1931 (or thereabouts) that Milton Bradley turned it into the extremely popular and addicting board game that we love to play (still) today!

And Battleship is the definition of a game of strategy - a deduction game with a naval battle theme - to win, you must seek out and destroy your opponent’s five vessels, before they do it to you.

In Battleship, the board is a grid. Boats are placed strategically along these grids and then you have to guess where each others boats have been placed. Its really hard to take random guesses to find those pesky cannot guess the positions of your opponent's ships, you must know by systematically place you shots throughout the grid and eventually (again, hopefully before your opponent has found yours) you’ll thoroughly annihilate them!

There are five kinds of ships used in Battleship, each occupying a set number of squares:

§ Patrol Torpedo boat (two squares)
§ Destroyer (three squares)
§ Submarine (three squares)
§ Battleship (four squares)
§ Aircraft carrier (five squares)

Each game takes about 15 to 30 minutes to play. To start play, each player secretly positions their ships on their side of the board (its hidden from the other players view by a wall in the middle of the game board that separates each players side). You then take turns calling out various grid coordinates (e.g., B-2 or F-8), in areas that you hope will hit one of the grid spaces that your opponent has placed a ship in. You must sink all of their ships to win.

Great hint: When you are looking to strategically place your ships, place your little Torpedo boat (two-spaced vessel) on the outside of the grid, but not in a corner…guaranteed you’ll drive your opponent nuts at trying to find it.


Information about Online Card Games

You can play online card games on the Internet. The other players can be either humans or robots. If the game demands, there will be more than two players. Some play just for fun, and some others love the gambling endeavor. In case you want to gamble, you will... (Read Article)


Single player games – for those times you just need to be alone!

Now, I know that most games require multiple players to be any fun at all, but once in awhile I just need to lock myself in the computer room or in the bathroom with unlimited hot water - and a good, addicting, single player game. Single-player games have a unique challenge for a player to face. By that, I mean that rather than competing against other players, the goal is reached by battling against yourself or an artificial opponent and your skills create the win. Although, really, it’s not actually correct to describe a computer game as single-player game if the computer provides opposition. If the computer is merely record-keeping, then the game is validly a single-player game.

Actual single-player games that you might like to try out are

  • Solitaire – Whether played with cards, or played with pegs on a board – this is one addicting game best played alone – but watch out, time passes without you even being aware of it!

  • Amaze – A hand-held maze guaranteed to drive you crazy as the obstacles have a mind of their own and usually are uncooperative in helping you as you try to loop back to get the win…only to have them change on you.

  • Mahjong Solitaire – Awesome online game! Match and remove the pairs of tiles…if you can, but watch out, there are 2 pairs of each tile…and they’re hard to get rid of!

There are so many games described as "single-player" that may also be termed actually puzzles or recreations like those above. So go ahead…lock yourself away and go crazy playing by yourself…


TableTop Games

Tabletop games generally refer to games where the elements of play are confined to a small surface area and it requires minimal physical exertion to play. Games where you’re all sitting around and moving game pieces around a board. In other words, almost couch potato type of games. In fact most game types fall under the tabletop genre, party games, board games, card games. They’re fun and all, but now let’s take a look at some really fun and addicting party games

Air Hockey - Air hockey is an exciting, fast paced mini version of hockey that you and an opponent play on a table that forces blasts of air through holes found all over the surface. This air lifts the puck just off the surface of the table so friction is minimized and the speed of the game makes it competitive and quite addicting.

Bumper Pool – Bumper pool is great fun! Either you, or you and a another person have a great challenge in sinking all five of your balls before your opponent(s). Not so easy as it sounds because there are bumpers in your way!

Foosball – Also known as table soccer, this extremely competitive game takes good hand eye coordination…or just really fast spinning of the playing rods to boot the ball into your opponents net. But no hands!

Table tennis – or ping pong as we all called it until it got famous in Forest Gump (so some such)! Grab a ball and paddle and cream your opponent! Mild social diversion…I think not!

Table hockey – Pretty much a hockey version of Foosball, this is a mini hockey rink…and is just as dangerously fun and competitive as the real game of hockey!

Anyone who says any of these games aren’t physical obviously hasn’t played them lately. So go ahead, find one or two of these addicting table games for your garage or basement, round up a few beverages and friends and play away…if you’re not too scared to get competitive!


Fantastic Games to Play

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The Checkered past of Checkers

Did you know - I love saying that (usually in a really bad British accent) – anyhoo…as I was saying, did you know that the simple (addictingly simple) game of checkers has been played for not just hundreds, but, it is argued, thousands of years?!. In fact, this little game is quite a celebrity!

Checkers, called Draughts in most countries in case you’re confused by the name, was, in its earliest form, traced to the beginning of civilization – right back to 3000 B.C. and the ancient city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia (which of course is now Iraq. And a similar game, Alquerque existed in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 B.C and has been mentioned by both Plato and Homer.

Quite an honor for such a simple game, yes? And since the first checkers tournament way back in the 1800s, it’s gained even more popularity.

In play, 30 checkers are placed on the game board, a player then tries to manoeuvre his own pieces, one square at a time, and jump his opponents’ pieces to remove them from play. The first player to capture all of his opponents checkers – or the first player to block his opponent so that they canèt move – wins.

There is even now a new – and really fun version of Checkers – that was registered in 2001, called Freeze. You really should get out your checker board and give this one a try – so fun!

Now, I realize that there are dozens, even hundreds, of places to play Checkers online, either against human opponents or against the computer and they’re really fun, but, still, the best way to play is with family and friends, on those quiet evenings at home or rainy days at the cottage.


Information about Online Card Games

You can play online card games on the Internet. The other players can be either humans or robots. If the game demands, there will be more than two players. Some play just for fun, and some others love the gambling endeavor. In case you want to gamble, you will... (Read Article)


August 2009 « 

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