Addicting Games News

January 2010

Can't Stop

Here’s another addicting game that you’ll find you just can’t stop playing. Around for about 30 years, Can’t Stop (also known as Can’t StopBasta) is a great dice game. Mostly because it’s a little bit strategy, a little bit skill, and a whole lot of luck. The game that came before this game was a pen and paper version from the early 1970s (The Great Races), but this board game version is really much cooler!

With its great stop sign look and feel game board (from whence it gets its name), and its fast play, you’ll be hooked in no time too.

Why? Because the game board is arranged in columns, matching all possibilities of a dice roll, from 2 to 12. You use four dice and temporary markers, and you can continue rolling until none of the dice match. But by that point, if you didn’t make a move to the top of the column to win it, you’ve given up any possible progress you made or could have made during you turn.

So watch out! And make it a point to study dice rolling and probabilities. Again you ask why? …because you’ll need more sevens than twelves, and if you have markers on all even or all on odd columns rather than on mixed even and uneven columns, you’ll find that you have a better chance when rolling and combining totals to win that column, and the next column, and the next.

Sound complicated? It’s not at all. Pick up a copy of Can’t Stop or any other great dice game, and try it out with your friends. Just be ready for a fun time.

The goal of the game is to "claim" (get to the top of) three of the columns before any of the other players can. But the more that the player risks rolling the dice during a turn, the greater the risk of losing the advances made during that turn. And you have to claim 3 columns to win the game.

Games get pretty exciting and fast let me tell you!


The Mystery of the Abbey is how fun it is!

There is a burning question to be answered with the addicting board game called Mystery of the Abbey: Who threw Brother Adelmo (No, nothing to do with the Sci Fi movie of the 80s, The Name of the Rose which featured the equally untimely death of Brother Adelmo…although that was pretty good) off the cliff to his untimely death?

You have 24 fresh prospects, each with 5 characteristics that are uniquely their own, to choose from. You roam the halls and grounds of the Monastery and Abby to figure it out.

Hooked yet? You will be.

For in the darkest corners of the darkest halls you must sneakily deduce who-dunnit without giving away your suspicions to your fellow nosy monks. Visit the scriptorium and read its pages, question your fellow players, er, monks you meet along the way – with confidence knowing that they must answer your allotted one question honestly. Unless, of course, they have taken a vow of silence…but that’s ok, because then you too can take a vow of silence and don’t have to answer their question either!

This is simply a really fun and addicting mystery game. And when you grab some friends to play, don’t forget to attend Mass or you’ll find yourself doing penance in purgatory while everyone else figures out your clues!


Asshole - No, not you, the card game! Right?

Unlike Rummy , which is undoubtedly the most acceptable of card games, the mere name of the addicting game of Asshole tends to put people off. But if you call it by one of its many other names, perhaps it would be less so?

Asshole is known by so many different names, most offensive: Scum, Arsehole by the Brits, President, Bum, Emperors and Scum or Warlords and Scumbags in Australia, Butthead, Capitalism, Sluitspieron in the Netherlands, Pimps and Hoes – noting a trend here?

Many variations of Asshole have evolved over time, but, of course, we have the Chinese to thank for the original addicting card game, known as Zheng Shangyou (which means most closely, Swimming upstream). Or perhaps the Japanese with their version: Dai Hin Min or, Very Rich Man, Very Poor Man. Our version is known mainly as a college drinking game but is really fun on a boat too!

Get 4 to 6 of your favorite friends, team up, decide on the rules beforehand to minimize the fighting, and you’ll spend a really fun evening with no one being thrown in the drink before the end of the game!

Add a twist by creating your own social status (common with such climbing games), ranging from king asshole to mere flatulence – the ranks are decided by how well players do on any given hand in the game, of course, and then make the losers stink more by enforcing the giving up of their best cards to the winners, plus whatever other abuse you decide to dump on them…no pun intended.

Of course, they’re especially good for fetching fresh beverages!


Jenga – always there for a great time

Jenga has always been one of my favorite games and now that I’m a bigger kid, I like to play with the smaller kids because I usually can win. Kidding. But not really. Ok, truthfully? Those rotten kids usually beat me and I STILL have to rebuild the tower! Its Not fair, I tell you!

Jenga is a great manual dexterity game – and a great thinking game. Not only do you have to try to pull a block out of an increasingly unstable tower, you have to put it on top where hopefully it will re-stabilize the structure enough so you can pull the next one out from somewhere without the bloody thing crashing down – on your turn anyway!

For more than 20 years we’ve been “pulling ‘em out and stacking ‘em up”, and I see this addicting game crashing down around us for the near and distant future.

And while you can’t believe everything you read about Jenga (except I think maybe the bit about Osama beating Bush at it might be true), it is actually of Swahili background. Its British creator Leslie Scott grew up in Africa, and the meaning of the word Jenga in Swahili is “to build” (go figure).

And now they’ve come out with a Jenga Max version that is really cool. You have blocks, but you have to “hook ‘em and hang ‘em” on a tall freestanding ring without unbalancing and toppling it.

Plus, there is a Jenga version for wii! No more rebuilding the tower is a bonus after the first couple of falls for sure!

If you have Jenga in your games closet, you have a sure winner.


Thingamajig – the best darn game since you know when

With its really great electronic thingamajig, this board game is the slickest game since Apples to Apples or Cranium. And, because it was designed by Wolfgang Kramer (who has has designed over 100 games – many of them award winning) – you know it’ll be fun!

Thingamajig is a great group party game that you can play at work gatherings (you know…instead of those lame ‘group assignments’ that drive everybody insane). The thingamajig that displays your secret word has thousands of them stuck in its miniscule brain, so by the time it gets around to repeating a word, it will be long forgotten. Great for longevity and repeat playability!

The rules are simple and the play is fast and fun!

On your turn, press the thingamajig and it displays your word. You then define the word and hope that not everyone can figure out what it is. Why don’t you want everyone to be able to figure it out? Because then you won’t get any chips! If only some players guess your word from the definition you give, then each player who has written it down correctly gets a chip – and so do you – one for each player who gets it right (unless of course all of them have got it right, then you get none. And, of course you want to collect as many chips as possible because the player at the end of the game (when the chips are all gone) with the most chips wins!

Simple. Fun. Addicting.

So if you like word games, pick up your own Thingamajig and introduce your friends and family to yet another great addicting board game.


Sequence – get your game on!

If you believe that the best kind of board game is also a card game, then Sequence is for you! This addicting game has been around for quite a while (early 80s), although you might know it as Tom Foolery, or Double Series here in Canada, eh?! There’s even a version using dice instead of cards for those of you who like to play craps!

The game board is a 10x10 square on which shows the images of all the cards contained in 2 decks of cards (except the jacks). It looks like a large bingo card or scrabble board, except its grid images are made up of the cards in the decks. The four corners are the Jokers and act like wild cards or free spaces and are for the use of all players – no, not just you, sorry… As a bonus, you get to pick your color of red green or blue marker chips to play on the board.

The goal is for you or your team to place chips on the board and form one or two rows of 5 chips, something like Connect 4, before the other team does. And this is where those missing Jacks come in. If you play a 2-eyed Jack (Clubs or Diamonds) then you get to place a chip anywhere on the board. If you play a 1-eyed Jack (the other two) then you get to take one of your opponents’ chips off the board. But watch out, there’s no table talk allowed and certain rules have to be followed.

Hey! If this addicting game is sounding confusing with too many rules, no worries, its not. Its just me describing it wrong. Really. Its surprisingly simple and easy enough that kids can play and enjoy, yet has enough strategy involved that parents or older siblings will steal it to play at their next get together. And it only takes about 10 minutes a game, so no worries about boredom with this addicting and fast paced board game.


Balderdash – weird and wacky words win the day!

The 80s give us another great word definition (or parlor) game, Balderdash. Created along the lines of Fictionary, Balderdash is definitely the most popular and commercialized of them all.

And trust me, with this addicting game that is definitely a good thing!

To play, you first gather a whole group of people to play and the more the merrier. Then, you pick a card and read the obscure word written on it.

Everyone then writes down an explanation or definition of what the word means (or what they think it means). And this is where the more people playing the better, because once they hand the definitions back to you and you’ve read them aloud, the player then have to decide which definition is most plausible. The players get one point for every player who chooses their definition and get another point if you’ve actually written the correct definition.

Simple and fun, yes?

Balderdash is a word that comes out of the 1800s but no one really knows from where or whom...although people sure love to debate it. and everyone seems to agree that it means to obscurify or bastardize something from its original state or meaning to something else – usually something unappealing.

But I have to say that there’s nothing unappealing about this great addicting game – in any of its many versions:

  • Paradisian Parody

  • Peculiar People

  • Marvelous Movies

  • Laughable Laws

  • Incredible Initials

  • Weird Words

  • And the newest fun version:
  • Beyond Balderdash, referencing movies, people, and acronyms!

So if you like huffing and puffing and bluffing (i.e. lying with style) and useless trivia as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to try Balderdash out at your next get together.

I’m pretty sure you’ll find you love it as much as I do.


The Mansion of happiness

First published in the mid 1800s, this addicting game (yes game, not the wonderful book of Poetry by the same name) was advertised as the first ever board commercially produced game published in America. The riveting box the game was sold in was captivating with its bright colors and exquisite details courtesy that newfangled thing called Chromolithography! And the fact that it is still around and happily played attests to just how fun it is!

The Mansion of Happiness was designed by a clergymans daughter (Anne Wales Abbott) and the game board reflects this.

As you race around the inward spiralling track to be the first to reach the promised land (Heaven) and thus redeem your wicked wicked soul – kidding – in order to reach eternal happiness, you must pray for a safe landing on the virtuous spaces while trying to avoid those damned spaces containing the miserable vices of cruelty or ingratitude or *gasp* immodesty - because you will promptly be sent to the whipping post to repent and then heal somewhat while you await your next turn.

Believe it or not, this game is quite fun and is pretty fast paced so it can be played multiple times in one sitting without getting old. The Mansion of Happiness is a hilarious racing game to the finish!

And you can be sure that false modesty will abound when you beat down your miserable and thus estimably less Puritan opponents.


Scotland Yard – Mr. X strikes again

This addictingly symmetric board game, based on the Historical Scotland Yard, will get your evil genes flowing (If you’re the lucky one who gets to be the bad guy), and has you pitted against the obviously inferior minds of all the rest of the dicks playing.

Although this game can be fun with 5 players, its at its best when its just you and your opponent. If you’re the detective, you can more easily coordinate your capture strategy for getting Mr. X (by landing on the same board space). If you’re Mr. X, however; its way easier to elude a bunch of police, rather than just one…go figure…just watch out for the one in the tan raincoat if he’s wearing a fedora !

I have to say, though, it's not easy to capture the mega elusive Mr. X. He’s only got to resist being captured long enough for the detectives looking for them to run out of tokens. However, the detectives get to use taxis tokens, bus tokens, and London Underground tokens to get around. However, once they’ve used them they have to give them to Mr. X.

So Mr. X then has use of all of those, plus he has exclusive use of the water routes. And Mr. X gets to remain hidden throughout the game, writing down his moves in a log book and covering them with a token, which is then the only hint as to where he might be on the game board.

Good luck to the detectives…because unless you’re perhaps Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous Sherlock Holmes, you’ll probably find yourself out of tokens, out of luck, and out of the game within the ½ hour.

So go ahead, try this great addicting game on for size. You’ll love it too!


Having Fun on Valentine's Day

If you are looking for games to play in order to make your Valentine's Day celebration with your lover really enjoyable, there are some games that you can try doing with your [partner|lover]. People should be reminded that some of the [mechanics|instructions]... (Read Article)


Werewolf or Mafia…it’s a great party game!

Werewolf, or Mafia as its otherwise known, is a great large party game, perfect for 8 or even way more people!

Two people are secretly assigned as werewolves (or Hitmen if you’re playing the Mafia version), and the rest are (secretly assigned as reqular Joes/ the Mafia).

Everyone is desperately trying to kill the werewolves. Sounds simple? Ha!

In playing this addictingly fun game, you have the fun inducing elements of team work and role playing and social skills involved (which makes this a great party game for work rather than one of those more lame ones that always seem to be picked – no I won’t name them, you know what they are – that’s right…every one but this one!)

Or, if you happen to be camping or at the boat, try playing this late at night with anyone you find around the campsite or marina – adults, kids, teenagers...the more you find to play, the merrier!

Lots of laughs and fast friendships happen over a weekend or over a boating season with this type of party game ready to be pulled out and played by friends and strangers alike!


Quo Vadis? Gesundheit!

Nowadays, when Quo Vadis is mentioned its usually when asking someone to play it rather than read it. So we are not talking about the book of the same name published way back in 1895 that vivified one rather brutal Roman officer in the time of Nero’s reign. Although that really is a great must read book about a particularly brutal era - and it even won its author a literary Nobel Peace Prize!

Talking about being brutal, that’s just the quality you need to win this addicting board game. What. Brutality, Negotiating skills...Tomato, Tomahto. I mean, we’re talking influencing the Roman senate here and with that lot, what else ever worked to win the game? Which is the whole point, of course.

From committee structures you have to manoeuvre your politicians through, to helping other player just because you need them indebted to you – and to win prestige points. Because to get one of the 5 available Senate seats is the only way to win this addicting game, but the prestige points earned from sucking up to your opponents is what will win you the game and earn you the power and the glory of victory!

So, to game board, says I and "Honi soit qui mal y pense” ("Shame be to him who thinks evil of it")

Oh sorry, my bad. Wrong version.


Great Valentine Games for Couples

Couples celebrate their relationship and their love for each other by doing something special on Valentine's Day. Many couples go out on a date. Some have a romantic dinner either at home or in a restaurant while others plan a short romantic getaway where they... (Read Article)


Modern Art – Bid your highest – or lose it all

Do you like art? If you answer yes, you’ll like this game.

D o you also like games where your main objective is buying and selling things? Yes? Well then you’ll really like this game.

Which is great, but if you really like bargaining and scrounging and negotiating til the grimace of pain on your unworthy foes face makes you smile with glee...then you’re going to LOVE this ultra addicting auction and bidding game!

Yeah, I know, it sounds like its all about the art – and it is – but really its about bidding and auctioning and a heck of a lot of luck and strategizing.

Each player gets to own their own gallery and then buys art up for auction from the other galleries. But watch out for those clever con artists because they’ll try to sell you a Picasso that’s not really a Picasso but is instead a clever piece that looks like a Picasso and you’ll likely end up losing your shirt to the thief!

If you’re really smart, and of course you are, you’ll be able to make money both buying AND selling paintings. Can you say laugh all the way to the bank? Cause of course if you’re the broker with the most cash at the end of the game - you’re the winner - but better yet, everyone else is the loser!

Going once, Going twice - Oh no! Quick! Bid higher!


Bonding with a Thrill

It is true that when you are together with someone, you always want to make everything spicy and exciting. If this is the feeling you get on most days and circumstances, I would understand if you feel pressured about making your Valentine's Day date with your... (Read Article)


Medici vs Strozzi: let the feuding – er...gaming – begin!

Medici is another auction game (like Modern Art) that is a lot of fun to play with 3 to 6 players. There is another version, Strozzi that is made for 2 players. So you can play with a bunch of suckers or just one and completely satisfy your lust for wrangling and winning!

The interesting thing about both of these games is at they’re based on 2 great Florentine families – you guessed it, the Medicis and the Strozzis. These infamously feuding families of commerce fought and feuded against each other for hundreds of years in Italy (actually Renaissance Florence). With their ships laden with valuable art and other goods, their fine precedence for wrangling for economic gain follows us into today’s great Medici and Medici vs Strozzi board games.

As all their advertising says (or close enough): Compete to buy the best goods you can afford, load em up on your ships, and bugger off to sail them for great profit (or just to ensure you have the best and most expensive) so that you win the game.
There’s so much fun involved and there really is a strategy as to how you can win. You have to use your best judgement when pricing the investment risk when buying or not buying the cards. The German designer of this great trilogy of auction games was a Quantitative analyst and the risks inherent in his job fits perfectly with the great tradition of commerce throughout history.

So to play a game that is both fun and rewarding, come on down come on down!


Fish Eat Fish – yes they do

This uber addicting card game is maybe too abstract for some people, but its as easy as go fish and yet as involving as Checkers or Chess, with the added bonus of being able to bluff your way to winnerdom. That’s right. Winnerdom...and the loser must go directly to Loserdom! Hey, if a published author can use those words, so can I!

Why is Fish Eat Fish so good? Face it, any game designed by Reiner Knizia (like Medici vs Strozzi) is going to be good. And that’s because anybody with a PhD in Math thinks weird enough to come up with some interesting ways of looking at and playing things – like involving card and board games!

Place your fish on the board and then attack or move to a better attack position. If you have the winning fish, you put it on top of your opponents’ punier weakling fish. When there are 5 fish in a pile, the fifth winner gets to keep them all. You play until only one player has a fish left on the board, but the one with the most piles of fish actually wins the game! You can bluff during the challenges, but remember – when you’ve used a challenge card, it has to be put aside and can’t be used again during the game, so you really have to time and choose your strategy well. Keep those best cards - if you can – ‘til the piles are ready to be won! And good luck with that. This turns out to be a very fun and addicting – and fast - game.

So go ahead, Reiner Knizia push your luck and try it out!


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