If you live here in the US, Memorial Day is this weekend; which means the kids will all have a truckload of extra energy – you know, the kind that comes from knowing that they don’t have school on Monday. I don’t know why this occurs, but whether they’re your own children, your relatives, neighborhood kids or ones of questionable ownership that show up just in time to snag a hot dog fresh-off the grill, you’re going to need to find something to keep their salty potato-chip fingers off your garden gnomes, your vintage board games and the game of bags you and some of the other adults want to play during the requisite Memorial Day barbeque. May I suggest grabbing a copy of Out of the Box’s new game Shake ‘N Take – it will keep them occupied and out of trouble, at least for a little while.
Shake ‘N Take is a fast-paced, frenzied game for up to 10 players, although you only need 2 to play. Everyone gets a sheet of funny-shaped aliens and then one kid is selected to start with the dry-erase marker and shape die and the player to their right gets the egg with the alien die in it. When the game starts, the kid with the marker rolls the die and starts circling aliens that match the shape on the die. The kid next to them is shaking the egg hoping to get the alien face-up on the die inside. Once the kid with the egg is successful, they grab the pen from the other kid and roll the die and start circling aliens on their own card. Obviously the kid on their right is going to grab the egg and start shaking it feverishly so they can get a chance with the pen since the object of the game is to be the first player to circle everything on your sheet. With 2-5 players you play with one pen and one egg but with 6-10 players you play with 2 pens and 2 eggs to make things a bit more exciting. It’s a simple, fun and fast-paced game invented by Keith Meyers and since I know Keith, I thought I’d ask him how he came up with the idea. Here’s what Keith said:
“I’ve always felt that to be a good inventor you need to be a good observer. I think my development of the game Shake N Take is a good example of that.
Shake N Take was born from a game played at camp and in classrooms. The original premise had the sheets filled with letters or numbers and you would be progressing down or up through the alphabet or counting down or up a string of numbers.
In watching the game play it was obvious the fun factor was there: lots of screaming and laughing amongst the kids and a certain palpable tension that made the game very exciting. But in watching several groups play over time, I noticed a couple of core repeating issues that I thought detracted from the heart of the game.
First, the older kids, or at least the ones with better critical thinking skills, would spend time plotting out where their next batch of letter or numbers would be when they weren’t marking their sheets, while the younger kids were caught up watching the insanity revolving around the table. Invariably, these methodical kids came out ahead, but also seemed to miss out on the fun and laughter surrounding them. Changing the numbers and letters to symbols and adding a die that allowed you to mark them off, solved this issue nicely. There was only so much planning you could do when it came down to dice rolling.
And the second issue was the tug-of-war that often ensued when one person was ‘stealing’ the pen from another person. Someone would have a death grip on the pen, the other desperately trying to wrest it from the other. While initially funny to watch, it did not help the play of the game, and it put younger players, again, at serious disadvantage. Some tinkering with pencil toppers and other concepts, yielded the workable, but ugly, design you see pictured (wooden spool with packaging tape).
These observations lead to my design of “On A Roll” which took another step forward in the capable hands of Out of the Box, who upped the quality of the components – like the awesome alien-egg shaker, and added spiffy alien-themed graphics to make this design out-of-this-world!”
Thanks to Keith for sharing the story behind Shake ‘N Take! I should also mention that the sheets have 2 sides, one with aliens and the other with basic shapes so kids of all ages can play and the game is pretty even, so whether you are having just a couple kids or a small army at your house this weekend, I highly recommend you have a copy of Shake ‘N Take to keep them entertained. And let’s face it, if kids are playing games, they probably aren’t causing any trouble – at least not any major trouble.
Shake ‘N Take Stats
- ~$29 Amazon.com, FatBrainToys.com, FunAgainGames.com and some mom & pop retailers
- 2-10 player
- Time completely depends on the number of players
- Ages 8 and up is what the box says…I say 6 and up