Addicting Games News

December 2009

Diplomacy is a game best played with 7 friends...or enemies...

We’ve been training as diplomats since the beginning of time. And while the first diplomatic language dates back to around 2500 BC, the language of this truly addicting board game is the language of secret negotiation, alliances, conspiracies, betrayal and – ultimately - of conquest! Created back in 1954 by difficult problems Allan B. Calhamer, Diplomacy is a favourite with organized gamers.

Intrigued? Pick up a copy of Diplomacy for the gaming fiend on your holiday list and you’ll thoroughly enjoy the struggle of numerical supremacy that ensues every game! Dice are not used in this game. Tactics are not important in this game. Instead, players entice bluff, wheedle, threaten and cajole each other while secretly setting your ‘supposed’ alliances up for betrayal. I mean, come on! How much fun can you have, right?! This type of sneaky game is right up my alley I must admit.

Since dice aren’t used, and the successful Diplomacy player must control more than half of the continent to win – which is 18 of the 34 supply centers on the game board. And what continent is that you ask? Well, this game play is placed just prior to World War I, with the seven Great European Powers . A map of European political boundaries (as they existed in 1914) is divided into 75 regions containing the greedily fought over supply centers spaces.

So, if you have a lot of time on your hands - about 4 hours – grab a bunch of friends – 7 players is the optimum number – then you are in for a real treat!



Where’s your Ticket to Ride?

Ticket to Ride is an awesome train game that will never lose its appeal when it comes to sheer enjoyment of a relatively quick playing and addicting board game, or card game, or arcade game.
And before you ask; No, its not inspired by The Beatles’ great classic Ticket to Ride, a tune we all know and love, nor does it have anything to do with the Ticket to Ride World freeboard Snowboard Tour...gee, I would be really disappointed right about now – except that this Addicting board game is just about as exciting! It’s got destination tickets, it’s got brightly colored train pieces, it’s got train cards, and scoring markers and...well, just everything needed that makes it exciting and fun to play! And it’s won numerous awards because its such a great educational game (don’t tell the kids)!

Best yet, you can play an entire game in less than an hour so it provides a lot of depth without being all slow and complicated to learn. Simply, players make a bunch of different strategic and tactical choices while competing to build railroads across Canada and the US of A; or across the Ocean into the heart of Europe, or...just check out the various versions because there are some great destinations. Where-ever you travel on the board game maps, you do it trying to develop your plans while disrupting the plans of others - while they’re trying to do the same thing to you, of course. The different gives the game a lot of variety so you’ll be happy to play it again and again! That’s called high replay value. *grin*.

Whatever, all I know is I like it, and I am going to get to try a couple of different versions this holiday, because I am going to pick up a couple of them to play with people I know I’ll be asked to play it with. And I’m not only going to get the board game version, but I’m also going to grab the card game AND the dice expansion version, just because they sound so fun! You can even find a Xbox live arcade version.

With the Dice expansion, you still try to complete your Destination Tickets while claiming routes and blocking each other on the map, But, instead of drawing and collecting the Train cards, you get to roll five custom Train dice on each of your turns. Fun!

In the card game version (which, by the way, has all of the excitement of the board game version), you’ll find there are a bunch of game play it’s that much easier to take with us on the road. Which is a great bonus while we're travelling this holiday season!


Gift Ideas for Christmas - Go for Something Exclusive and Personalized

There is great fun in experimenting a bit when it comes to deciding on any Christmas gift ideas as with this, the recipients would feel special. As the Christmas is around the corner, festive spirit starts to run in our minds making us more happy and eager... (Read Article)


Twister is a twisted game...but in a good way...we think

Twister is an addicting and classic board game that uses the players as markers...or rather, the players bodies!

Considering that this game was first offered to the public in the sixties, the releasing company that did so, Milton Bradley, was pretty daring, don’t you think? A large vinyl sheet is the game board and the players then spin to see which hand or foot goes to what colored spot on the game board. Pretty much gave new meaning to “full body contact sports” and imagine, it was an instant hit on college campuses...especially once Eva Gabor, live on the Jonny Carson show and splayed out around the game board in a low cut dress watched, along with all of the rest of the TV watching and live audience Johnny Carson spin to take his turn and climb on top of her! The audience went wild and the game was such an instant hit that it sold over a million copies that first year alone.

But there is a darker side to the origins of this great game. Because before Twister was Pretzel. Enter Reyn Guyer into the scene the year before Twister was patented in the name of Charles F. (Chuck) Foley and Neil Rabens. Reyn was a sales guy, along with Chuck and Neil at the firm he and his father had founded. While looking for a catchy ad campaign for a Wisconsin shoe company, he came up with the idea of Pretzel. Instead of using it for the ad campaign, he decided it would be a great game. One of the company’s artists then created a giant board with colored spots on it and had some of the employees try it out. It was of course a success and was picked up by Milton Bradley...but the name got changed and somehow so did the inventers. Think he delegated a bit too much and trusted them to do the patenting for him? We’ll never know.

What we do know is that this great game is still a hit to this day. And if you don’t have your copy yet get one! Then get another for the teen gamer on your list. Then get gramma up playing. Still Hilarious Fun!


Best Gift for Your Child this Christmas

The jigsaw puzzle games can be the perfect Christmas gift ideas while being entertaining and everlasting game and provide huge line of benefits for supporting the cognitive developments of kids while they grow up. The parents should engage their children with... (Read Article)


Air Hockey Rules!

Look all over the internet, and it seems at first glance that everyone agrees on the stated fact that Air-hockey was invented in 1972 by Bob Lemieux. Bob was an engineer (at Brunswick Billiards) by trade and an ice hockey fan by hobby. Is it fact? No. Air Hockey was actually invented in the 1960s by a trio of Brunswick engineers Phil Crossman, Brad Baldwin and Bob Kendrick who were attempting to create a game that made use of a frictionless surface. They never got anywhere with it and it got shelved for quite a few years. Then, along comes Bob Lemieux, who dusted off the project, refined the clumsy design –refined the design – and viola. Once that great air cushioned table top popped into his ingenious mind he thought its holey version could become the recipe for instant success...which it was – both publicly, and financially.

Air Hockey is such an exciting and fast paced game – a mini-version of hockey – that you’ll be thoroughly addicted in no time. When you and your opponent play on a table that forces blasts of air through holes found all over the surface, slamming those disks around with the accompanying paddle mallets, you’ll find your competitive streak in overdrive. In fact, get a couple of extra paddles and play teams! Its so fun you should really spread it around!

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. Get a table, a couple of extra paddles and play teams!


You can buy cheap games on the Internet

There are many people who like playing video games. What they do is either as a pastime or as an activity to get together with their friends or family. For most people, they would have to go and visit| the local game store to get new games. You will likely... (Read Article)


Bumper pool where a good defense is just as important as a good offense.

Weirdly enough, it is not known exactly who thought up bumper pool. Although its bumpers have been patented, the actual person who created it is to this day unknown - it’s been around since the 1500s, after all). But he must have been a genius. I mean, who else could have thought up the concept for this crazy addicting game?

With its original octagonal shape and smaller sized table to conveniently allow those of us with a smaller room space (or just so we can fit more games in) and its 2 pockets (one for each player or team) and its infuriatingly, shot impeding bumpers scattered around its surface (12 to 16 of the suckers!), where was I going with this...oh yes....the art of taking a shot that actually might make it through all of the bumpers and make it into one of those many pockets. It’s crazy fun!

Each player or team gets 5 balls. But for a game to start, you have to shoot one of your (pool) balls into your opponent’s (the enemy’s) pockets – through all those bumpers in the middle of the table surface, and then through the two bumpers guarding the pocket! If you actually make this shot, then you get to start the game. Don’t worry; the rules of bumper pool don’t get any harder than that.

They do have rectangular bumper pool tables if you want the look of traditional pool, but the octagonal tables do triple duty as gaming, cards or poker tables (eh? Eh?). And the upside is that a bumper pool table is much less expensive but still has all of the excitement and uber competitiveness that regular pool can provide.

So get yourself or the obsessive gamer and pool lover on your list a difficult problems and let the competitions begin!


Foosball - the babyfoot that kicks butt

Foosball is another great indoor table game. This one is also another with a somewhat murky history. Although patented and supposedly invented in 1923 by Harold S. Thornton, yet there are US patents that go back to around 1890. And an earlier US patent for a foosball table exists from 1901. Even with that, Foosball is still thought to have generated in wester Europe.

Yet another source wrote that the inventer was a French employee of Citroen in the late 1800s, Lucien Rosengart. This fine fellow invented enough stuff to garner himself a ridiculous fortune (the minicar, frontwheel drive, the seat belt, and babyfoot - the original name for foosball).

It is even possible that Foosball developed in a bunch of different countries over time and converged to become today's addicting game that we all know and love. Its even said that this was another game that was developed to help post war soldiers with their recovery and that stories of US soldiers getting thoroughly whomped by their german captors, and in fact, they were soo good that they just couldn't be beaten. Needless to say, this didn't go over well...

But, again, as always when it comes to games, although its a nice distraction when you're playing and trying to win to be able to start spouting the games' history, who really cares where it came from - but that it is there now to be enjoyed.

So take a look, get yourself a table and get playing. you'll learn to spin those foos men around their bars fast enough to kick that little ball at warp speed (Expert player can move balls at about 56 kmh (36 mph)) so you've got something to strive for, yes?


Five of The Best Christmas Movies You Should Watch...or not

At this time of year especially, we look for stuff to keep the kids busy so we don't go crazy counting down the days until they're back in school and everything returns to normal again. What. Don't tell me you don't calendar watch. Even the kids seem to be doing it near the end. So we go out and pick up movies that are designed to make us feel good and restore our faith in humanity and all that heartwarming talk.

5: The Polar Express - ok, so I have this in my Christmas library. But its a great movie about a little boy who is trying hard to believe in Santa despite his kill-joy's family insisting its all bogus. And when the train's conductor comes on the scene, I'm sold...I love anything with Tom Hanks in it!

4: Gremlins - The stars of these films kind of look like my ex...especially in the Cristmas hats...tee hee...they eat everything but the burgers in the McDonalds - go figure. Yeah, its gory, but what kid doesn't like to cheer on a little destructive monster with their Christmas cheer?

3: Bad Santa - definitely not a movie for the younger ones, this dark comedy stars Billy Bob Thornton, begins in a bar and ends after his and his friends (little person Tony Cox) annual mall robbery. That about says it all for you to decide if you'll love it or hate it. Love it!

2. Scrooge - This is a great old movie, and if you find the original 1951 black and white version with Alistair Sim you'll be as enthralled as I am when I dig it out every year and curl up with popcorn to watch it. Even the kids will watch this one with me...whereas I run screaming when "It's a wonderful life" is mentioned...yeah, yeah, but even James Stewart isn't enough to make me watch it.

1. A Christmas Story - The classic story of home town anywhere and a little boy who wants just one thing for Christmas - his own Red Ryder BB gun! But how is an eight year old kid to overcome everyones assertions that he would "Shoot his eye out" if he got one. The whole family will laugh their way through this one, and just maybe that Christmas spirit will leak out a bit.

So, maybe you disagree with my picks. And that's ok with me. Just pick out a few great - or nor so great - Christmas movies for yourself and watch them with your family. You'll all feel better after laughing your way through them together this Christmas season...and the many to come.


Get in the holiday spirit with a quick game of Liar’s dice…

This is a really fun and easily played game (takes only about 20 minutes each game) that anyone old enough to be fleeced can enjoy. No really. So go ahead and pick up your very own set for this addicting dice game and get playing!

Coming to you all the way from Spain by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro during the 16th century, this game has its own unique place in pirate history…I wonder how many pirates were made to walk the plank over this juicy little game, eh?!

In South America, Liar’s dice is still popular, although known as Dudo and Cachito (no not the popular song of the same name by South America’s favourite band Mäno) in – where else – South America; or as Mäxchen or Little Max in Germany; and the popular drinking game Mexicali or Mexican in the United States….

Its just fun, ok? The three most popular versions of this great dice game and its your guess as to which is the original one. The poker dice are rolled undercover and bids are made raised and challenged as to who may have the better poker hand. But you don’t have to tell the truth about what your saying your poker hand is. It’s totally up to the other players have to decide if you’re telling the truth or not…you may even have a better hand than you say you do just to get the pot sweetened. Especially if you’re playing for M&Ms!

So put on your liar’s…ahem…poker face and roll em’ …too fun!


Kriegspiel – wargame or chess…its all good!

With Kriegspiel (or Kriegsspile which is the German word for wargame), either version is addictingly…well, addicting! And totally complex…I mean, who ever heard of a chess game where you need an impartial 3rd party to judge it because you can’t see your opponent’s game pieces.

That’s right. You cannot see your opponent’s game pieces – that’s what you’re up against with Kriegspiel, the Chess version! In a crazy twist, probably because it came about because of the wargame version, you and the ref can see your pieces, and when you or your opponent tries to move, the ref will tell you if the move is legal or illegal and if you have then try again with another move. And the only thing you can ask that pesky ref is if there are any legal captures you can make with your pawn…so good luck with that. It’s really quite an addicting game.

And then…Kriegspiel, the wargame version. Talk about your involved and complex game! You need to really like wargames and to get totally involved in them because Kriegspiel the wargame needs exactly that from you! It was developed in 1824 for the purpose of training officers in the Prussian army. These guys all played and quickly became obsessed too (mainly, I’m thinking, because it was sent out to every regiment and got possibly totally undeserved credit at the time for helping them to achieve various military victories). This obsession, of course, then spread to other countries but by the time WW1 Germany was defeated it kind of proved that the complex strategies involved in Kriegspiel didn’t necessarily translate to victories in the real world…but that’s probably me just being mean… anyway…

This undeniably great game, the granddaddy of all other …wargames, has definitely set the bar for all others to follow. From its gaming map, use of opposing color codes, and umpires, and uniforms…not to mention the complex rules you have to follow for the military movement and combat theme that will allow you to annihilate your most unworthy of opponents.

I’m hooked, I tell you…hooked! And once you get your own copy of either or both versions and start playing, you’ll be hooked too!


Rook – A Tribute To Rooke Perhaps?

I feel I must warn you that the addicting game of Rook is so fun, that once you start playing, it will quickly become an annual tradition during the holidays…or any day really…

Also, although it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Admiral George Rooke it really should so I have nominated it to be for-ever forward played in his fine memory. I mean anyone who has burnt an entire Franco-Spanish fleet in the battle of Vigo and has also commanded the capture of Gibraltar; well, he deserves to have a fiercely fun competitive card game like Rook named after him. Am I right?

Now Rook, even though it took another 200 years after our greatly esteemed Admiral Rook, it is one of the first of the proprietary trick-taking card games to be published and that is still around and enjoyed to this very day (I’m playing later this evening).

Check out the rules (easily played) and pick up a copy of Rook to ensure full enjoyment. You could use a regular deck of cards, but its not as fun because you only have 52 cards rather than the standard 57 specialized cards in a Rook set. Also, you wouldn’t want to be associated with those filthy evils, gambling and / or cartomancy ….

So deal em up hotshot! But be ready to cry when I take all the tricks!


Crokinole – Watch that one-cheek rule!

Crokinole is another great board game that has been around since the 1870s. This addicting game is played on a round gaming board and is somewhat like there’s more strategy and skill involved than first meets the eye! Yes, it was and is so innocuous a game that its still played to this day by many Mennonite and Amish groups, but No, its not originally invented by them. Rather, it seems to have been invented in Perth County, Ontario, by a Lutheran craftsman named Eckhardt Wettlaufer …if it really matters, other than to give the guy his due for bring us such a great game to while away our long cold Canadian evenings with.

Crokinole rules are simple. You flick and bounce your 6 to 12 discs onto the game board while trying to take out your opponents’ discs…but watch out, because if you bounce your guy out of play – either off the board or into the ditch surrounding the playing area of the board…you’re out of luck. Even if it bounces back onto the board – it’s outta there!

Sure, the game play gets really tense and exciting and even addicting, and the urge to get out of your chair to help your aim is excruciatingly so…but if you do – again - you’re outta there (at least your disc is, and your turn, and whatever evil punishment has been thought up by your opponents and brought forward as game rules is your next punishment.

OK, so I made that part up. But it could be if you all decide on something before the game and its assented into the game rules for that game, or the next game, or the evening of games (because you just can’t play only one). And it adds to the spice and competition, because, believe me…someone will violate it!

Crokinole is a nice social game…really…so what if it’s a little addictive and you might get carried away…it’s all good. So get yourself a copy of this or some other equally addicting board game and get playing!

You know that over two hundred years of family players can’t be wrong. Right?


Pit – the game that will rock the room

If you like really fast paced and loud games (ones almost as much fun as a great mosh pit), then Pit is definitely for you!

Now, although Pit has been around and originally invented as a board game over a hundred years ago (1903) by a dude named Harry E Gavitt (had to give him his due here), the more famously fun version by far was re-invented by Edgar Cayce, a famously kooky psychic the very next year. Both are played simultaneously and real-time by all players (having 6 to 10 players is best).

With Pit, there are 54 to 74 cards and the deck has 4 to as many suits as there are players. There are of course, just like with real trading, the requisite Bull and Bear (cards, of course) to use as wild or penalty cards respectively.

And if you need any further reasons to play Pit, just take a look at the rules. The best is that you get to de-stress as you yell real loud (your neighbours will love you), and you trade furiously, and if you’re the first to ‘corner the market’ with your commodity, you win!

Pit has been around for over 100 years and with the addicting fun to be had grabbing and playing your very own PIT version, it will surely for around for at least another hundred more!


Poker Dice

For those of us addicted to gambling games, Poker Dice is a must have in your gaming closet. The fact that my gaming closet is a spare room is really not relevant. Right? Except that I get to buy and store way more games (and have my very own copies of Poker Dice, and other dice games., than most people can dream about).

True gamers, who I actually let walk in there, walk out drooling in envy! Santa Clause makes night raids…ok, maybe an exaggeration…but not by much! *insert gloating grin*

look at the rules. Poker dice is a nice, viciously fun, simple game you play with 5 dice with the goal of rolling the best poker hand. with the usual 3 turns and winning…whatever…as long as you win, who really cares what it is that you are winning, am I right?! And remember, If you have horseshoes up where the sun don’t shine and get an awesome poker hand in just 1 or 2 turns, you can stop there. You earn bragging rights and one of your opponents can cry in there beer when it takes all 3 turns to get that crappy hand that you beat them with anyway!

So grab 2 to 5 people, off the street if you have to, and get betting…I mean rolling…maybe you’ll win back that awesome present you just gave away but really really wanted to keep for yourself. Or get your dinner free if you’re feeling lucky and just happen to have the Poker dice in your pocket when you’re out and about with friends this holiday season, it just might save you quite a bit of money…unless you’re not the lucky type…

Helpful tip and disclaimer: just don’t try it with your girl/boy friend or they may soon be exes. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience of course….


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