To read Part 1 of this series, click HERE.
Trend: Co-Operative Games
Another trend I see developing is the concept of co-operative games. As you can tell from the name, it’s when players work together during a game and sometimes the game wins, sometimes the players win. Peaceable Kingdom Press had a whole line of new co-operative games including one called Hoot Owl Hoot, which I can’t wait to try out! Ravensburger introduced one new co-operative game called Whoowasit? is a Clue-like cooperative game that’s currently a best-selling game in Germany and France and has now come state-side. Players are up against a running clock and must uncover clues as to who stole a magical ring before time runs out, and they win or lose as a group.
Apparently we’re getting antsy waiting for our turn because all-play games are cropping up right and left! I don’t like waiting for slowpokes to take their turns either so I guess I’m somewhat for this trend, but I also hope this doesn’t get out of hand there is something to be said about turn taking. I’m sure it plays on the need for instant gratification of the younger generations (including me). Some notable examples: Farkle Frenzy from Patch in which everyone has their own dice and the centerpiece holds a bonus die that everyone plays with. Another new all-play dice game is Dueling Dice from Endless games. And not dice but pigs, Winning Moves’ new item, Pass the Pigs: Pig Party, everyone has their own pigs. There’s also a part where you get to throw all 8 of the pigs at once, which is kind of funny, but the idea of throwing pigs makes me laugh anyway.
Three games that are all-play that don’t involve rolling or throwing from ThinkFun are HyperSwipe, Cartoon It! and Snack Attack. In HyperSwipe you’re quickly grabbing circular cards with crazy black and white patterns from a card spitter. Cards you grab must match the patterned cards in your hand. All players in Cartoon It! are trying to recreate the drawing of a character they were shown at the beginning of the round by copying a variety of body parts onto their paper from a central “parts board.” Snack Attack has an extremely cool centerpiece that serves up snack tokens and players try to quickly grab ones that match the images on their cards.
Mini Trends: In-A-Row Games and Tiered Games
Somehow every year there are games that I feel have a similar look, feel or game play mechanism that makes me wonder why multiple companies jumped on that bandwagon at once. One year it was Tic-Tac-Toe games, but this year there were two: In-A-Row games and Tiered Games. Maybe it’s that I’ve seen a bunch of new in-a-row games in the past couple years and there are already a bunch of classics out there so I’m starting to feel that everyone has to have one. Some existing games: Connect 4, Toot & Otto, Pentago, Gobblet, Score Four, Pente, Sequence, Simplexity. There were two notable additions at Toy Fair, Tic Tac Turn by Briarpatch which is 4 layers of 4×4 girds where you place pieces trying to get 4-in-a-row, but you can also turn layers making it more complex than Score Four. The other is Swivel by Patch Products and in this game it’s 4 tiers with the lower layers framing the smaller layers. Only the top two layers rotate to help you or stop you from getting 4-in-a-row. Both of these in-a-row game examples have tiers, which was my second mini-trend, and to add to that group there is the new I Spy Spectacular game by Briarpatch. They even had the Cake Boss create a layer cake in its honor. (The top blue portion was the I Spy Spectacular spinner part — and it really spun!) Looks tasty doesn’t it?
I’ll cover continuing trends in the final part of this series tomorrow.