Hey all, have you heard that the Easter Bunny now brings games?! Yes, it’s that time of year again when we discuss great Easter basket-sized games! Beyond being small enough to fit in an Easter basket, they must be under ~$15 or less, and bonus points for having a springtime theme (although this isn’t mandatory!) Some of these games are brand new, some are kind of new, and some are new-to-me — but they’re all great gifts!
Gamewright, 1-5 players, ~20 minutes, ages 8+ (although I think a 7 could play this), ~$11 at Amazon
BLOOM screams SPRING and is perfect for an Easter Basket! It’s a dice game about picking bouquets of flowers. The dice all match flowers on your scoresheet and when you select a die, you’ll circle flowers of that color and up to the die’s number. White flowers are wild, but there will definitely be times that you might have to circle a different color flower or fewer flowers than you’ve rolled and then you’ll get angry customer points. You’ll get points for using up all of the flowers in a flower bed (one of the six rectangles) and whenever you’ve used all of one color – although how many will depend on if you’re the first, second, or third to have used all of that color. Overall, it’s a fun, colorful, and floral roll and write game that really enjoyed. Also, it has a solo variant in the instructions despite the outside of my box saying 2-5 players.
Heads Talk Tails Walk
ThinkFun, 2-5 players (you can play with 1), ~10 minutes, ages 3+, ~$15 at Amazon
Heads Talk Tails Walk is the hilarious game of “silly sounds and movement” from ThinkFun. (And it’s one of my games!) Players are trying to find matching heads and bodies but if the cards they flip don’t match, they have to make the sound of the head animal and walk around like the body animal. Can you prance like a horse while clucking like a chicken? What about barking like a dog while walking like a seal? Kids love not find a match in Heads Talk Tails Walk as much as they do finding a match!
Hoyle, 2-4 players, ~15 minutes, ages 6-8 (I would say a 5+ and it was fun to play with the kids), $6 at Local Game Stores
Seal Squad is a cooperative game that comes in the cutest little box with a flip open front to give you an idea what’s in the box. Despite being from Hoyle, Seal Squad is not just a card game. There are also dice, tokens, and a fabric play mat which is really impressive. The idea of the game is that you are seals trying to collect more fish than the hungry walrus. You’ll be moving the seals around the mat by rolling dice. One die has a number and one has North, South, East, and West it – but don’t worry, the directions are on the map so there’s no effort in remembering if you’re directionally challenged! If you roll a walrus, he moves up the path toward the fish cards, but if you roll ore move to a crab he moves back one space. Hopefully, you’ll be rolling numbers and directions so you can choose which of the 4 seals to move to get the most fish. The game ends when you either collect all the fish or the walrus finally reaches the fish pile (more likely). Then you see if you collected more fish cards than the walrus to win the game! We liked this game and the walrus really keeps the pressure on, but the one tip I have is to slightly reduce the number of fish cards if you’re playing with younger kids. The game will play just as well and if you lose it’s easier to play again.
Ubongo! Fun-Sized Edition
Thames & Kosmos, 1-4 players, ~15 minutes, ages 7+, ~$14 at Amazon
If you haven’t played Ubongo! you’re missing out! It’s a great geometric puzzle speed game where players are given cards and they have to use their tiles to complete their puzzle first. The original game is a bit more complex, but the Ubongo! Fun Sized edition is a great way to learn or play on the go. Just like in the original, your tiles must fit exactly into the white area without overlapping or spilling over the edge. But in the Fun-Sized edition, when someone completes their puzzle they yell “Ubongo!” and then starts counting down from 20. Everyone who completes their puzzle before time is up, gets to keep their card as a point. The player who yelled “Ubongo!” gets a bonus gem that’s worth one at the end of the eight-round game. The player with the most points is the winner. The game includes cards labeled A (easier) and B (harder) and it’s easy to play solo too! And later this summer, Ubongo! Fun-Sized Extreme is coming out so if you love Ubongo! Fun Sized you might want to grab that too.
Grey Fox Games, 2-4 players, ~30 minutes, ages 8+, ~$15 at Amazon
While it may not seem very spring-like to play a game about harvesting, it’s much more about planting veggies which is VERY spring-like. Like BLOOM, Harvest Dice is a roll-and-write game where each player is given a sheet and will draft dice after one player rolls. The color of the die indicates the veggie and the number indicates which column you may plant it in, so on each turn you’ll choose to plant carrots, tomatoes, or cabbage in your field or to feed your pig the number on the die. The goal is to get the most points and you can earn points by feeding your pig, planting full rows of crops, and each vegetable you planted will be worth a certain number of points – but how much each veggie type is worth isn’t determined until the end of the game. Overall it’s a solid roll-and-write that a I really enjoyed playing. You can learn after playing one turn and it feels like there are lots of different strategies you can try — plus there are advanced scoresheets to keep the game “fresh.”
Some games were provided free of charge from the manufacturer with no guarantee of review (I’ve got to like it).