The scene: Four parents sitting at a cocktail table drinking a beer and munching on chips with salsa. The board game is splayed out in front of us. The category is “vehicles.” One parent shouts out, “bus.” Another parent states firmly, “airplane.” Sounds like another boring game night of Pictionary, right?
The “builder” continues to plug away at their masterpiece, or if you are like me with little artistic ability, an abstract piece. Finally, the parent who called out bus, says “boat.” They were correct this time so they scored the point for that round. This game is Creationary from LEGO Games – one of ten new games that will be available to consumers online in March & in retail stores in July. LEGO Games is “the world’s first collection of games that you build, play and change. With the unique buildable LEGO Dice and changeable rules, LEGO Games is a great way of having fun together with family and friends.”
I was fortunate to participate in an exclusive LEGO Games preview night at the 2010 American International Toy Fair at the Javits Center in New York City. The gist of the game Creationary (retails for $34.99) is to “roll the LEGO® Dice to select one of four exciting building categories: vehicles, buildings, nature or things. With three levels of difficulty you can show off your building skills, while the others guess what you are creating. A great game for family and friends to test your imagination, creativity, building and guessing skills to the max.” This interactive game, suggested for 7 years plus, was challenging for the bunch of parents at my table. Was it just us? My 18-month old son would have had a field day destroying all of my abstract creations (which included a double-decker bus, a bridge, and a piano)! Growing up, I was constantly engaged in designing structures with Lego Systems. With this new innovation, Lego’s first foray into gaming will definitely create some spark in future family game nights.
The other game that we had a chance to experiment with was Minotaurus ($24.99). This game, reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons, was more my speed. The four of us players weaved through a labyrinth toward the safe zone, a secret temple. Beware the mythical Minotaur, who can find you, and send you packing to go back home… only to start your journey over again. “Be the first to lead your heroes to the temple, avoiding the Minotaur and cleverly placing walls to block your opponents.” This game required some strategy, friendship (getting friendly with one opponent so they won’t send the Minotaur after your hero), and a bit of luck.
Overall, a very positive experience with some of Lego Systems’ new games. I would even go so far as to say that parents might be seen playing some of these games without their kids. Throw the kids into the mix, and you have the makings of a fun, engaging, interactive, and creative game night with the whole family.
Image credit: Lance Somerfeld
Lance Somerfeld is an at-home-dad who resides in New York City. Lance started NYC Dads Group in November, 2008. The primary goal, of this diverse group of over 160 caring fathers, is to provide at-home Dads and other involved fathers an opportunity to socialize and support each other as they navigate parenthood. This group is the pioneer in achieving more resources and services for dads in NYC! You’ll find the NYC Dads Group at http://www.meetup.com/New-York-City-Dads-Meetup-Group/.
Additionally, Lance manages the NYC Dads Group Blog: The DESTINATION for caring and involved dads looking for interesting thoughts, relevant news and content, as well as playgroup information: http://www.nycdadsgroup.com/.