Games of Groans

Years ago I instituted a rule: If any one of the kids dared to say he/she was “bored,” there were dire consequences. Like the kind that involved cleaning.

I H-A-T-E-D hearing them say that word, it was quite the slap in the face to me as I was racing around trying to cook dinner and shuttle them places and work. Bored?!? I wish I could be BORED! They were not allowed. Nooooo way.

”You have so many things you can do and if you don’t want to do them, then mop the floor.”

That was my way of trying to get them to do some extra chores. Like all my previous attempts, it didn’t really take. But, it did keep them from saying the ‘b’ word out loud.

Well, guess what? After a month exclusively at home, except for essential Target and grocery-store runs and picking up dinner, I am sooooooo bored. The mornings are long, the afternoons are longer. I’m so bitter because our clock stopped — so it was actually always 5 o’clock! At OUR house! Then my husband went and changed the battery. But, you should only drink so much.

In an attempt to make the most of our unexpected, 24-7 family togetherness, we’ve turned to games*. The entertainment three out of five family members lean toward skew quite nerdy (Catan, Cosmic Encounter) and require way too much thinking and strategery. I prefer things that call for less IQ power that are fast and furious. That’s just me.

So because I am all about helping others and am basically a saint, I figure probably others are struggling for entertainment with their older kids**, so maybe I can help out with some reviews of recent games we’ve tried.

Up first…

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So, I saw the warning on this game… “Adults only: This game is intended for ages 17+ and contains mature language and references. NOT intended for children — trust us on this one.”

Oh, how bad could it be?! I threw it into my virtual Target shopping cart, along with some Q-Tips, the one paper product that appears to be readily available because apparently people decided that clean ears don’t matter AND because it’s a funny pairing with this particular game and waited for the email that my order was ready.

Turns out, two of the three categories really aren’t appropriate for playing with your kids, no matter how adult they are. The “party” category contained quite a few cards involving bongs and at least one walk of shame. The other one is “kinky,” which I will tell you I left in the sealed packaging because ewwwwww… also, I didn’t know what half of the stuff was.

The dealio: You have to make sense out of what sounds and looks like gibberish. If you say the syllables fast enough, you can tell what the real phrase or word or name is. A judge decides who untangled the words first, and whoever gets the most cards wins.

Fun-O-Meter: Off the chart because my husband, who annoyingly excels at all the nerd strategy games, SUCKED so badly that he ended up designating himself the judge for every round.

Parental Difficulty Level: My hearing’s already kinda going so I should have been better at deciphering, but the pop culture section was full of references that were a bit of a stretch for this geezer. Saturdays are for the boys? I have NEVER heard that. Definitely more for the younger crowd, but then younger ‘rents can’t play this game with their toddlers. Well, unless you want them to know what a real walk of shame is and does not mean the same as in your house, which is getting busted for trudging down the hallway with a sippie cup when the rule is no cups outside the kitchen or dining room.

Is it worth staying up past my usual 9 p.m. bedtime: Mostly.

On a rating scale of 1 to 5 yawns (with 1 being the most fun and 5 meaning the game’s a snoozer): 3.5


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Not gonna lie: My video gaming skills peaked at Pong. Games these days are waaaay too complicated for me. Plus they make my thumbs hurt. But, my husband, who is really good at video gaming, thought this would be a good one for the whole fam, which includes me.

The dealio: Up to four chefs put together meals for a restaurant, but the scenes change from a legit kitchen to one with gaping holes in the floor that you can fall through and die. Of, you could end up in a hot air balloon with shifting platforms and if you don’t time things right, you miss the adjoining platform and fall to your death, which did not  bother my kids as much as it should have UNLESS I was carrying a full plate of food that needed to be delivered.

“MOOOOM!” they’d shout as I plummeted to the Earth. “THAT WAS A FINISHED ORDER.”

Hmmph. Wonder how they’d like it if I stopped cooking in the real kitchen.

Once you get over that your family is cruel and heartless and cares nothing about you and, perhaps worse, that there are not designated cutting boards for raw meat and veggies, it’s not that offensive.

Fun-O-Meter: I know my way around a real kitchen, but I was flummoxed in this realm. My son not only did his jobs, but then would shout out specifically which buttons for me to push. “Mom! Hit square! Hit square!” No. 1 mostly shouted at me: “Mooooooooooooooooooom! Why did you do that?!” Still, this involved a surprising amount of strategizing and multi-tasking, which I already have to do in real life so I prefer not to in a game that’s supposed to be enjoyable.

Parental Difficulty Level: For this parent, high. For the other one who spends A LOT of time playing video games, easy-peasy. Now ask me who’s better at making REAL dinner.

Worth Staying Up Past a 9 p.m. bedtime: Well, we did!

On a rating scale of 1 to 5 yawns (with 1 being the most fun and 5 meaning the game’s a snoozer): 2.3 (the kids would rate it MUCH higher, but then, they get it)Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 12.14.45 PM.png

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Throw Throw Burrito

Saw this in a Target ad and wasted no time ordering it.

I just picked it up yesterday and my husband saw it laying on the coffee table.

“Rebelling against the intellectual games, huh?”

Whatever! It’s going to be amazing because you get to chuck foam burritos at each other. It’s described as a dodgeball card game *and* it’s a choking hazard. Win-win!


*We turned to TV first, but that gets old and doesn’t feel like quality time. Well, at least not the shows we’ve been watching.

**Younger kids are easy, just tell ’em it’s nap or bed time. (Note: This works best until they can tell time. Or rebel. Or both.)

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