Beg, Borrow and Steal Ideas on Which Games are Worth Purchasing

Beg, Borrow and Steal Ideas on Which Games are Worth Purchasing

I was cruising the game aisle at my local Target the other day when I witnessed something that I believe happens all the time.  A woman shopping with her daughter picked up a card game off the shelf and said “this looks cute, but I wonder if it’s any good?”  I thought, “I love that game!” should I intervene and tell her it’s worth all $5.99?  Well of course I did.  And after being a little startled by getting a glowing review from a random stranger, she thanked me, tossed it in her cart and started down the aisle.  She then quickly turned back to ask if I worked for Target.  That’ll be the last time I wear that red polo out shopping.

To me it’s sad that there are so many fun, entertaining and overall good games on the market that are virtual unknowns – especially when they cost less than a single movie ticket.  And all we really need is a glowing review from someone who’s actually played the game to convince us to try it.  So maybe there’s a lesson here.  Read more articles on this website (shameless plug) or ask your friends to play or borrow their favorite games.

I’m sure you’re wondering which game was so good that I insisted on recommending it to a total stranger; it was Gamewright’s There’s a Moose in the House.  While Gamewright isn’t the biggest game company out there, I’m sure you’ve seen at least a couple of their games marketed under the “12 Minute Games” brand (of which my favorite is Wig Out).   There’s a Moose in the House takes approximately 15 minutes, so it didn’t quite make the 12 minute cut but it’s still a winner in my eyes.  Gamewright’s too.  When the inventor, Scott Anderson, showed it to Gamewright it was love at first sight and it quickly rose to be one of their top selling games of all time.  They even liked his photo-real artwork so much that they kept the style when they produced the cards.  This is really impressive since games usually go through a series of modifications and changes so the product you see on the shelf is often quite different from the game that was initially pitched to the game company, especially when it comes to the artwork.  It’s similar to books going to an editor before they are published; they’re polished and tweaked until they are the best they can be.

moose near houseSo then where does one get the idea to make a game around a moose invading different rooms of a house?  You’ll never believe it but Scott got the idea from seeing a moose attempt to wander into a woman’s house on an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos!  With this humorous image in his head, he set out to make a game he could play with his kids and that’s just what he did.  There’s a Moose in the House is a non-reading game for kids 8 and up and it’s just as fun for adults as it is for the under ten crowd.  The goal is to put as many moose as you can into the rooms of your opponent’s house but they can block you by playing door cards to close off a room or trapping a moose by using, what else, but a moose trap.  Who knew an oversized mousetrap baited with lettuce could trap a moose, but then again if it’s going to keep the moose out of my bathtub, that’s fine by me.  In the end, the only place a moose belongs in your house is on your game shelf or in your refrigerator, but only if it’s chocolate mousse.

There’s a Moose in the House stats:

  • ~$6 Amazon and many others
  • 2-5 players (but 2 is not as fun)
  • ~15 minutes
  • Ages 8 and up