School’s out for summer!! What a successful academic year it has been for us at the Club Rules Board Game Club. We’ve grown progressively over the year and achieved a lot. This includes; hosting a weekly after-school games club (for around 25 pupils), building a collection at the school that can rival some hobbyists, visiting our friendly local game store Rules of Play with the Year 5 pupils for our end of year trip!
All that and putting on two of the biggest Big Board Game Days the school has seen with over 120 pupils, aged 8-11, playing games and raising money!
It’s that time of year again where we ask the Year 5 and 6 pupils to vote for their favourite games of the year! If you’d like to see more of how these results were collected, check out the About the Clubs Rules Game of the Year Award page.
A total of 55 different games were voted for this year! So let’s look at what they’ve gone for!
10 – Monza (⇒ New Entry!)
Monza speeds into the list at number ten which is a strange one in my opinion. Players are racing around the track in an attempt to be the first to cross the finish line. On their turn, the player rolls six dice. Each dice has six different colours that correspond to certain areas on the track. If you’ve rolled the colour of an adjacent space, you may move into that space. Simple!
The game plays up to six players comfortably and is accessible to younger players.
This is a game I’ve had in the school collection since the beginning, and yet it didn’t make the list last year! Nevertheless, it has grown into a nice filler game for the children which they tend to play at the start or end of the Board Game Club sessions.
To find out more about Monza, click here!
9 – Spinderella (⇒ New Entry!)
Another new entry makes its way in to the number nine slot! Spinderella sees players take the roll of three ants attempting to make their way across a dangerous path to the delicious fruit. Players roll three dice and the green dice determines what they can do on their turn.
If they roll an ant symbol, they can move their ant the number of spaces shown on the brown dice. If they roll the spider, they can move a spider for the amount shown on the black dice. Lastly, if they roll the leaf symbol, they may place the tree trunk in any space on the path, potentially covering up other players’ ants!
All the while players are attempting to avoid the spider which is hanging over the board. If an ant gets too close, the spider will catch the ant, and the ant returns to the starting point. The first player to get their three ants to the fruit is the winner!
This game received a lot of playtime at this year’s Board Game Days. The 3D aspect of the board demands attention from passers by! The children pick the game up quickly and understand the roll and move aspect of it without any trouble. Nice to see this one on the list!
To find out more about Spinderella, click here!
8 – Snake Oil (⇒ New Entry!)
Snake Oil slithers into the number eight spot on the list, and like Monza, is a game that has been in the collection a while! In Snake Oil, one player draws a card that gives them a type of person (e.g. Police Officer, Teacher, Actor).
Each other player then chooses two cards from their hand to create a new, innovative product to try and sell to that player. These cards consist of nouns that when combined can create some hilarious and interesting combinations! Each player has a few minutes to try and persuade the other player of why they should buy their product.
Once each player has put their argument across, the player decides the best, funniest or their favourite product and awards them the card. Players can play to a predetermined amount of cards.
The club members have been getting back into this one recently, especially after they looked at persuasive writing in class. I think playing this one in class helped it a lot too! This game always produces laughs and memories, with children and adults alike. Which is exactly why it sits here proudly on the list.
To find out more about Snake Oil, click here!
7 – Cube Quest (⇒ New Entry!)
Dexterity games always go down a treat in Board Game Club. So it was no surprise that Cube Quest battles its way onto the list after I purchased it this year. This two player game sees players create two armies of cubes on each half of the board with the goal of eliminating the other player’s king.
Players flick any cube that they own at another player’s. Any dice that fall completely out of the play area is eliminated for the rest of the game. If any of your cubes land on their greyed out face in the opposition zone, a roll is needed to see if it survives. If the king is eliminated, then the player wins! It’s that simple.
Games of Cube Quest can last fifteen minutes.. or fifteen seconds! As long as the players know what they’re in for before going in, it goes down a treat. The club members have spent whole afternoon club sessions playing this one in a ‘winner-stays-on’ manner. No surprise to see this one on the list!
To find out more about Cube Quest, click here!
6 – Dobble (⇓3)
Slipping down the list a little bit is Dobble. This is a small card game with a few different games within it. The game preferred by the Board Game Club however is where players are each given a card with a number of different symbols on it.
A stack of cards is placed face up in the middle of the table and players attempt to match a symbol on their card, with that of the card in the top of the deck. Once a player identifies one, they shout it out, claim the card and the process is repeated.
The game ends once all the cards from the deck have been claimed and the player with the most claimed cards is the winner!
Another filler game that has been played by nearly everyone in Years 5 and 6. This popularity means that Dobble is a much loved game by most of the children and why it still sits proudly on the list this year!
To find out more about Dobble, click here!
5 – Tumblin’ Dice (⇓1)
Rolling down one space from last year is Tumblin’ Dice; a dice flicking game for 2-4 players. Players take turns to flick or roll their dice down the board in an attempt to score as high a score as possible.
Whatever number a player rolls is multiplied by the value of the platform where the dice lands. Opponents dice can also be knocked off the board, which adds a small tactical element. Whoever has the highest total after four dice each is the winner of the game!
We also had a competition called the Tumblin’ Dice Open, which the club members had a blast with. Players are given a target number they have to get with their dice. If they match or exceed that value they qualify for the next round, where the value will increase. Play continues in a last man standing style until one player is victorious!
This is a great game that promotes learning times tables, which can be a drag at times, in a fun, innovative way. I have the full size version of the game in my own personal collection that I bring most weeks and it gets a lot of playtime. Great to see Tumblin’ Dice on the list once again!
To find out more about Tumblin’ Dice, click here!
4 – Dr. Eureka (⇒ New Entry!)
When I first saw Dr. Eureka I knew this was one I had to get for Board Game Club. My prediction was certainly correct. The game comes in at number four on this list! In Dr. Eureka you need to manoeuvre your chemical ingredients between the test tubes to match a central card displayed in the centre of the table.
Players move the multi-coloured balls between their test tubes without handling the balls or letting the balls hit the table! Once a player believes they’ve got the correct combination they will shout “Eureka!”. If they’re successful they win the card, if not, play continues with the player making the false call eliminated from the round. First to five cards completed is the winner!
I absolutely adore Dr. Eureka. There are so many thinking and dexterity skills going on in the game that it was an obvious purchase when it became available. I tend to add my personal copy to the game we have in school to accommodate more players. The game is superb no matter the player count and one you should certainly check out if you haven’t given in a go!
To find out more about Dr. Eureka, click here!
3 – One Night Ultimate Werewolf (⇒ New Entry!)
Every year there has been a game that surprises me and this is that game. One Night Ultimate Werewolf was a little experiment to see how well the children could handle a social deduction game. (Disclaimer: I very firmly explained and discussed correct etiquette with them before playing)
In this game players are given a secret role that they are in the game. There are many roles to be assigned, but overall you’re a member of the village team who wants the werewolves eliminated, or the werewolves team attempting to not be eliminated.
There is a delightful app that comes with the game that ensures the initial night phase runs smoothly. Players complete a task that their role has during this night phase. I feel without the app the game, for children this age, would not work. Players then discuss, argue and plead their case as to who they think is a werewolf.
After a set amount of time has elapsed, players vote for a player to be eliminated. The player(s) with the majority of votes is then eliminated and reveals their role. If they’re a member of the village, the werewolves win. Or if they’re a member of the werewolves’ team, the village members win.
Following an in-depth discussion about the etiquette needed in games like these, I believe the members of the club understood the importance of implementing this and as a result have had a really fun time playing this. Big groups are needed for this one, as well as an app and a cool head! Approach with caution!
To find out more about One Night Ultimate Werewolf, click here!
2 – Ice Cool (⇔0)
I was absolutely delighted to hear that Ice Cool picked up the Kinderspiel award for 2017! It is certainly a very popular game and is frozen at the number two spot on the list. In Ice Cool players control a penguin that is trying to get out of the classroom and collect some fishy snacks! These penguins (that are weighted and curved at the bottom like larger Subbuteo players) are flicked around the rooms that are arranged using the innovative box in a box system.
The game takes place over a number of rounds, equal to the number of players. During each round, one player acts as the hall monitor that is trying to obtain each other penguin’s hall pass through tagging them. While the other penguins are attempting to make their way through doorways with their matching colour fish to collect all three of them.
The first player to collect all three fish, or if the hall monitor tags all other players, ends the round. Players receive point cards for each fish/hall pass they have and they go again! Once each player has had a turn as the hall monitor, the game is over and the player with the most victory points is the winner!
This game proved super popular after I picked up a copy at the UK Games Expo last year! Such simple premise which is executed perfectly. I’ve played Ice Cool with children as young as four and adults as old as my dad! A tremendous game that should be in everyone’s collection as their dexterity game of choice.
To find out more about Ice Cool, click here!
1 – PitchCar (⇔0)
Securing the top spot for the second year in a row, PitchCar is yet another dexterity game where players are given a wooden disc that represents their race car. On each turn players flick their car around the track in an attempt to be the first to cross the finish line after an agreed amount of laps. Players can bump into one another, but be sure to not knock others (or yourself) off the track!
There is a plethora of expansions for PitchCar including; ramps, different levels and the cross. With the jigsaw style pieces and the sheer amount of the game available the possibilities and variations are endless.
This is also another game that is accessible for younger children and can entertain adults. Its popularity with Board Game Club is helped no end by the annual PitchCar tournament that we have! Great fun! A modern classic in my eyes!