Over winter break and throughout this recent “ice storm,” my family went into a hibernation mode– constantly indoors eating puppy chow and playing different games. With it being cold outside, it’s easy to breeze through every Netflix show, but instead of succumbing to the next episode of “Stranger Things,” games are an entertaining alternative. Although it’s likely a few rivalries will emerge, playing different games is an ideal indoor activity that can keep people engaged for longer than a 45 minute Netflix episode. Below are a few of my favorite games to play with my family.
Monopoly: Here and Now
Monopoly: Here and Now could be the most addicting game I’ve ever played. The object is to fill up a passport until all the stamps are zig-zagged higher than a certain line before anyone else. The spaces on the board are different cities throughout the world from Chicago to London. As a fan of traveling, this aspect of being able to see small pictures of different cities made me even more engaged in the game. Lining the inside of the spaces on the board are stamps ranging from penny-sized to quarter-sized. Although all board games have to have miniature pieces, the extra small stamps were a bit of a hassle when playing with three younger siblings who constantly are accidentally shifting the board back and forth.
After rolling the dice, I landed on Michigan– a stamp about the size of my thumb nail. I figured since it’s unlike regular Monopoly, in the sense that there is no such thing as bankruptcy, I might as well pay the $200 and buy Michigan. Instead of going bankrupt, people just have to skip a turn in this version of Monopoly. In some cases this is nice, but when my sister runs out of money I’d rather have her out of the game, instead of giving her an extra life for her mismanagement of money. On the game board, there are random spaces that read things such as “Monopoly cards” and “Question cards.” These are the spaces that can pick up the intensity of the game. Question cards have to be read aloud and can say different challenges such as “Pick a person and roll the dice. Whoever rolls a higher number gets $200 from the bank.”
Monopoly cards can throw a wrench in the game because people don’t have to read their cards out loud. So, when I finally thought I won because I got a stamp to shove me past the passport line, my sister whipped out her Monopoly card that read “Switch any stamp you like with anyone else.” Being a little sister, she swapped her smallest stamp with my biggest, pushing her past the passport line and forcing me below the line. Although these Monopoly cards hurt me, they add spice to the game that wouldn’t be there otherwise. My sister got me out of nowhere, which left me feeling bitter, but also wanting to play again for another shot at beating her.
Was it Miss Scarlet with a dumbbell in the kitchen? Full of suspense, Clue has been the game that will keep all players alert to try and solve the mystery of which guest killed the host. With my notepad of all the different weapons, guests at the party and rooms in the mansion in hand, I couldn’t help feeling like a detective. My dad stuffed three different cards with a guest, weapon and room on it into the manilla envelope labelled “confidential” in the middle of the game board. This layout of different rooms on the game board surrounding the envelope looked very spy-ish to me, another reason why I enjoy the game. For some reason I always find myself fantasizing over this mansion with a pool, spa and library.
In order to win the game, I used process of elimination to figure out who killed the host, what the host killed with and where the host was killed. For me, the mysterious aspect of not knowing who has what is what kept me hooked– I was always eager for it to be my turn so that I could try and narrow down my options.
After rolling a five to put me in the spa, I made an accusation claiming that Professor Plum killed the host in the dining room with a bat. Quietly leaning over next to me, my sister quickly flashed her card with a picture of Plum and my dad showed me a picture of the dining room; at least now I was able to rule Plum and the dining room out. A half hour later, my dad had won the game with his accusation of Colonel Mustard in the billiard room with a bat. I had the bat part right, but didn’t have a clue about anything else – which only made me want to play again to try and figure out the mystery.
I was the first one up and had spun a five on the wheel. Hesitantly, I wedged my head between the clown picture with the cutout face. I rotated the knob controlling the hand with a pile of whip cream on it five times – and to my luck the whip cream pile never sprung up to smack me in the face.
This is the funniest game to play with my family. Who wouldn’t love to watch their annoying sister who beat them at Clue get whipped cream smashed in her face? To win, I would need to get 25 points before anyone else. To do so, I needed to get lucky and not get whipped cream shoved in my face because those who don’t get ‘pie-faced’ are awarded double points.
My younger brother was up next, and after spinning the knob three times, got whacked with whip cream the fourth time. Fast forward 25 points later, and we had lost track of points and all of us became eager to get whip cream in our face. We all were strangely let down when we didn’t get pie-faced– I mean, sometimes all people need to eat a pile of whipped cream. Unlike the other games though, Pie Face isn’t about points. It’s about seeing your dad’s face messy with whipped cream.