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STAFF PICKS - GAMES!
 


Looking for a fun (and different) way to pass the time with family or roommates? Look no further! New games = new fun. Here is a curated list of staff’s favorite games – board games, card games and apps! We hope you find some new favorites..and let us know yours!



BACKGAMMON
And, Celia wins again!
~ Bert DeJong

 

 

 


FILL OR BUST!: Card and Dice Game by Bowman Games
It's a Day family favorite! Would definitely recommend, 
~ Kelly Day

 

 


SKIP BO Card Game
One of my favorite games to play since childhood is the card game Skip Bo. It is a game that is best for ages 7 and up, as it does involves a bit of strategy. We pull this game out at our house on a regular basis as it can be played with as few as 2 people or with the whole family. 
~ Michelle DeJong


BLOKUS Board Game
TREKKING THE NATIONAL PARKS Board Game

Both of the games that we are enjoying were gifts from other families!
For a quick family game we love Blokus.  It is an easy strategy game of getting your colorful pieces on the board and staking your claim.
If we have a longer period of time and want to sit around playing while talking and eating popcorn we pull out Trekking the National Parks.  Not only is this game fun to play, but there are beautiful pictures of the different parks and you learn a lot about them as you explore and visit.  
~ Kara Hackert

QUIDDLER Card Game
"Quiddler" is a DeMey family favorite because it's both a word game AND a card game! 
It also combines elements of skill and luck with frequent comic results - I can occasionally get a little competitive (who knew?). 
The rules are relatively simple: There are eight rounds starting with 3-10 cards per round. The goal is to use all your cards to spell a word or words, preferably long words, difficult words, or goofy words - those are the ways to score and amuse your fellow players. You can see my "Super" hand in this pic: 4 cards but with a 5-letter words becuase of a double letter "ER" card. 
Someday I hope to play this game atop a building in downtown Chicago - "Quiddler" on the roof! 
~
Gregg DeMey

TWO DOTS App
I don't love family board games, but I do love solitary games. Thus, my pick is the app Two Dots. I have been hooked on this app for years. Two Dots scratches two itches: 1.) It hearkens back to my favorite childhood road trip game of Dots, 2.) Two Dots is relaxing and escape-y. It's the perfect satisfying time-passer for the introvert during quarantine. 
That said, I also just pre-ordered Benjamin Dreyer's "STET: A Game for Language Lovers, Grammar Geeks, and Bibliophiles." Dreyer is the chief copy editor at Penguin Random House. His book on grammar is amazing. I'm very excited about THIS game. Even if I have to play with other people. 
~ Caryn Rivadeneira

JACKBOX.TV Online Game
We absolutely love playing games in the Horner House, one way we have been able to stay connected with friends is by playing the online game Jackbox tv. We have a few versions of their party packs. To play, we log into zoom with friends and share our screen. Everyone uses a phone, lap top, or tablet to interact with the game and submit their answers. It's been so fun to have game nights with our friends and family! This has also been a great way for our teenagers to stay connected with their friends!

A few more of our favorite family games in this season have been: SushiGo, Quirkle, Quarto, Rack-o, 7 Wonders-Duel, Suburbia, Yahtzee, Latice Hawaii, Go Nuts For Donuts, Pit, Trash Pandas, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (thanks to the Pasek family for the suggestion!!). 
~ Laura Horner

PHASE 10 Card Game
The Olson family (that's defintiely us on the right) enjoys this longer form card game, especially when Nana (my mom) is in town. It's a simple gathering of card sets that gets increasingly (but not much more) difficult as you finish each Phase. The game can take a few nights to get through sometimes but anyone can come back after losing in a couple of rounds so that keeps everyone engaged. Another favorite is PEANUTS which is a super-intense-3-things-happening-at-once game played with a regular deck of cards per person. My multi-tasking drumming skills are no help as Anne usually mops the floor with all of us in that one. 
~ Kyle Olson


Got a favorite? Let us know!