Round and round for the whole family! Three fantastic family games

inspiration

True. This picture is not entirely clear. In fact, it shows three games.

These are the three games I highly recommend for the whole family.

Two of them are new this year and won several awards this year. The third one is a bit older, but I played it for the first time this year and was very excited about it!

All three have a fun round as their theme: round island, round tower and round dewdrop. How nice can you have it for the R in the alphabet.

Fancy playing games with your family this Christmas? Then choose one or buy all three immediately…. Christmas holidays last two weeks 😄

1. Collecting round of dewdrops

This beautifully designed game didn’t win the 2023 Toys of the Year award for nothing. And it not only looks nice, but plays well too. There’s a base game to get the system a bit of a grasp, and expansion that gives it quite a bit more punch. Oh, and then also: a solo variant.

Cool when time and attention have been put into a game’s playability that way.

Puzzling and deckbuilding

Each player gets a player board with 20 squares in different colours: the green squares are moss squares, the blue water squares and the red ones are leaf squares. There is also a field with a kind of water vortex, which is the temple field.

At the beginning of the turn, all players put dewdrops on their player board. Everyone follows the same pattern in doing so. During the game, you have to move the dewdrops, box by box, to the temple field.

You do this by playing cards. This contains the deckbuilding part. Deckbuilding means that you always take a number of cards and play them one by one. During the game, you can also buy new cards, giving you an increasingly large deck to draw from. At the beginning of the game, you shuffle your cards and then you always take the top 3 cards.

On those cards are mushrooms that help you move your dewdrops. One mushroom moves one dewdrop away from a blue space, the other mushroom lets you move two dewdrops one space. If you play it smart, you can get many drops near the temple in a turn. But then it is puzzling in which order you play the cards.

Spin it!

A nice bonus of the game is the large temple. You have to assemble it first. Then you have a kind of tree trunk with a turntable on top. Every time you get dewdrops in the temple square on your puzzle board, you can move them to the big temple.

In that turntable there is also a die. When all the squares in the turntable are full of dewdrops, you may turn the disc one circle. All dewdrops and the die will fall out at the bottom. The symbol shown on the die is also shown on a reference card. The reference card shows on which spaces on your puzzle square you have to put back dew drops. Fortunately, there are only 1 or 2 drops each time, so you don’t have to start all over again from the beginning.

  • number of players: 1 – 4
  • time: 45 minutes
  • from: the box says 9+, I think you can definitely play the basic game already with younger players
  • prijs: round € 26,00 (Dutch price – autumn 2023)

I received this game as a review copy from Ravensburger. You’ll find affiliate links in this text. If you purchase the game (or anything else) through these links, you support the website and the work of Pen & Pion 🎲🧩♟️

2. Sail around the island

The game Jamaica is a pirate racing game where it is all about who can sail around the island first. What I like about it is that it plays like Aggravation, but not as boring. All sorts of things happen in between and you can annoy your fellow players.

Follow the captain!

Each player has a pirate boat with which she can make moves across the board. Furthermore, each player has some cards and a game board (the hold) in which you can load goods.

One player is the captain. She rolls 2 dice, looks at her hand cards and then says which of the two dice is the day die and which is the night die.

Then each player chooses a card from her hand. The card shows a day action on the left and a night action on the right. On your turn, you perform the day action first and then the night action.

On the attack!

If you accidentally (or on purpose) end up on a spot where someone else is already standing, you’ll go into battle as a real pirate. You do this by rolling dice, possibly increasing the value by using gunpowder from your supply. The one who wins the fight may steal goods from the other player.

  • number of players: 2 – 6 (highly recommended to play with a larger group!)
  • time: 30 – 60  minutes
  • from: 8+
  • price: around € 28,00 (Dutch price – autumn 2023)

You will find affiliate links in this text. If you purchase the game (or anything else) through these links, you support the website and the work of Pen & Pion 🎲🧩♟️

3. Racing around towers

This game was showered with awards in 2023! And rightly so because it is an incredibly fun game where a good memory is a prerequisite.

In this game, you first make a circle of ground tiles. Then you put tower parts on top of it. The funny thing is that you can move both your pawn and the tower. This means that a tower may be placed on top of your pawn, making it invisible, but it will still participate in the game.

Collect all wizards

In your turn, you play 2 cards from your hand. You can use these cards to move sorcerers (your pawns) or towers. You always move clockwise. Your goal is the black tower, because that is where you want to collect all your wizards. When all your pawns are in the black tower, you have won.

Filling magic potions

That is: when you have also filled all your magic potions. And filling a potion is done when you have locked up another sorcerer in a tower.

So it is a game of locking up and being locked up, of racing and moving towers to thwart each other. Towers can be several floors high and each floor can contain pawns. When you move a tower, you have to think very carefully about which part you move next. You want to clear yourself, of course, but not accidentally your fellow players. A game for people with a good memory!

  • number of players: 2 – 6
  • time: 30 minutes
  • from: 8+
  • price: around € 40,00 (Dutch price – autumn 2023)

You will find affiliate links in this text. If you purchase the game (or anything else) through these links, you support the website and the work of Pen & Pion 🎲🧩♟️

Want more inspiration for beautiful, fun, funny and original games? Then check out the complete A-Z for the holidays. You still have plenty of time to buy gifts that will impress soon! If you buy through a link in this review, you also support Pen & Pion!

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