Archive for the 'The Game Room' Category Page 2 of 2

Mr. Potato Head’s Home

The classroom where I earned a Bachelor of Play.

As part of a business trip this week I visited the home of Mr. Potato Head. He lives in the Pawtucket, RI headquarters of Hasbro. Hasbro’s HQ is a temple to play. When you enter, you notice that the receptionist has a pile of action figures on her desk as well as a nameplate built out of toy blocks. Moving further into the building, you walk through a museum of some of the world’s most famous toys and games: The prototype Monopoly board on yellowed-paper, a set of original Lincoln Logs, an early set of Mr. Potato Head pieces (no potato included), multiple GI Joe action figures and a 60’s era Risk Board. It’s wonderful that these old toys and games continue to be relevant to kids. Which reminds me that we’ll need to break out some of these classic games when Annabel’s parents visit this week.

Von 0 auf 100

Taking a turn on Von 0 auf 100.

With head colds keeping us indoors this weekend, we broke out a new game from our secret Haba stockpile. Von 0 auf 100 (From 0 to 100) is a car racing game for 2-5 players ages 6 and up. This is one of those rare games that is suitable for young kids but fun for adults. There is little luck, physical skill or memorization involved. It’s pure, simple strategy. A track laid out with random tiles keeps the game replayable. Each round is a fast-paced 20 to 30 minutes.

Blow me Down! The Black Pirate!

Peabody sets sail.

In addition to our sea dog themed dinner, for Talk Like a Pirate Day we played a session of The Black Pirate (Der schwarze Pirat) from Haba. Players propel their ships around the board using a small bellows. A roll of the die determines how many puffs you get to fill your sails. It’s a game of skill and requires a degree of patience. Squeeze too lightly and your ship won’t move; squeeze too hard and you’ll overshoot your port and its treasure. With the right crew, it makes for a hilarious half hour of plunderin’.

Lego Adventurers in Thebes

Archaeologists in Thebes

We love the game Thebes, but Nettie doesn’t identify with the male archaeologist figures that come with the game. So we’ve swapped them with some Lego mini-figs. From L to R: Nettie, Merriweather and Peabody. We haven’t convinced Annabel to join us in a game yet.

A Board Game for Would-Be Archaeologists


I dropped into our favorite game shop this afternoon and ran across a new arrival called Thebes. With an archaeologist and Egyptian ruins on the cover, the box instantly caught my eye. The description promised a game of travel, exploration, excavations and exhibitions. According to the shop owner, Thebes had just come in the day before and had been played that night with much enjoyment. In fact, the box I held was the shop’s last. I bought it, brought it home and quickly had Nettie and Peabody popping out cardboard pieces.

Thebes puts players in the roles of turn-of-the-century archaeologists competing to uncover treasures from around the ancient world. Players travel through

Europe acquiring support and knowledge about five ancient cultures. Once prepared, they head off to the dig. The more knowledge, support and time they bring to their excavation, the more likely they are to uncover valuable treasures. When a player excavates at a site, he or she pulls tiles from a bag, but some may only be worthless trash instead of historic artifacts. Thebes has a number of little details that enhance the fun: a zeppelin can speed you across the Mediterranean, locals can pass on secret legends and exhibitions can be held to showcase what you have uncovered.

Thebes is easy to learn and can be played by two to four players in 60 to 90 minutes. After just one game it has become a Derringdo instant favorite. Nettie simply loved the game. And while Thebes’ strategy is too advanced for Peabody, with some help he managed an archaeologist and had a great deal of fun excavating for treasure.