Just before the shelter in place order went into effect we had a fun game night with our local homeschool teen group. It was hosted at Galaxy Games. We had never been there before but it’s a great store. We got to try out several new-to-us games, and left that night with ‘Just One’, and later ordered ‘Code Names’ as well.
They have both been a lot of fun for our family (4 of us, 2 adults and a 13 and 16 year old) and I’ve even counted them as language arts a couple days when we needed some stress relief, and a little less book work.
Just One is a cooperative game and I’ve noticed the kids like those games. I don’t think the like feeling like they are competing against each other or us. One person chooses a card and a number and that will give us the word we will use (the chooser can’t see the word). We write down 1 word that we think will guide them toward the clue word and try to make it something the other players won’t have also picked because if 2 of us pick the same word, it gets eliminated. It’s surprisingly difficult but we get a lot of laughs from our mistakes as well as the successes. The goal is to get as many right, as a team, as we can.
Code Names works in teams, so still a little cooperative, and a little competitive. There is a layout of 25 words, some are ‘agents’ of yours, some are for the other team. Some are innocent bystanders, and 1 is an assassin. One player gives one word clues to their teammate to get them to pick the right words from the choices. Because you want your team to find all your agents first, the goal is to give a clue that can apply to multiple of your words, but not to any of theirs, and defiantly not to the assassin. You pick the assassin, and you lose. There is a variation to play with 3 players, and I think even 2 maybe, but we haven’t tried that yet. We’ll probably give that a try this week.
I really like the language work involved in both games. The kids really have to think about the words they want to use and all the different way that word could be understood since they can’t include any context.
Have you been playing any great family games while you’ve been stuck more at home? Any recommendations?