Forbidden Desert

From the box: “Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. You’ll need to coordinate with your teammates and use every available resource if you hope to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the flying machine and escape before you all become permanent artifacts of the forbidden desert!

In Forbidden Desert, players take on the roles of brave adventurers who must throw caution to the wind and survive both blistering heat and blustering sand in order to recover a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city. While featuring cooperative gameplay similar to Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert is a fresh, new game based around an innovative set of mechanisms such as an ever-shifting board, individual resource management, and a unique method for locating the flying machine parts.” Continue reading “Forbidden Desert”

5 Minute Dungeon

From the box: “Will you make it out alive? Test your wits in a battle to the end with 5-Minute Dungeon! In this chaotic real-time card game, players use quick thinking to combat monsters, overcome obstacles and escape dungeons – all within 5 minutes! With the clock ticking, it’s up to you and your team to battle together in pursuit of victory or perish alone.”

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Mysterium

From the box: “A horrible crime has been committed on the grounds of Warwick Manor and it’s up to the psychic investigators to get to the bottom of it. In Mysterium, one player takes on the role of the ghost and over the course of a week, tries to lead the investigators to their culprit. Each night the team will be met with visions, but what is the ghost trying to tell you? Can the psychics determine the weapon, location and killer or will a violent criminal pull off the perfect murder?” Continue reading “Mysterium”

Creative Team Building for Small Businesses

Despite its reputation for being, well, lame, team building is one of the best investments you can make to improve your workforce. Good team building exercises foster employee communication, morale, motivation, and productivity; help employees to get to know each other better; and learn about strengths and weaknesses. Even the best teams can benefit from quality team building exercises, and as most business owners and managers know, great teamwork is a key factor in any company’s success.

Quality team building includes four major components: 1) communication, 2) problem solving/decision making, 3) adaptability/planning, and 4) activities that focus on building trust. A mixer/lunch out at the local restaurant or pub isn’t going to magically make all that happen. But if your company is fairly small, shelling out a lot of money on expensive off-site activities might not be in the cards. Budget team building, often cobbled together by well-meaning HR employees, is full of DIY party games, lackluster mixers, and well-worn icebreakers like “Two Truths and a Lie.” Groan. Not another boring team building game.

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Hobbit Card Game

Loy says: “The Hobbit Card Game is a unique take on a trick-taking style game. Not only are you taking tricks, but you’re also dealing damage to your enemies and healing your friends. Some players are good guys (hobbits and dwarves) while at least one is evil (Smaug). Trick taking takes on a new level when you’re concerned for your teammates and battling the forces of darkness at the same time. A nifty change of pace.”

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Pandemic

We’d heard good things about Pandemic, so we tried it out at a game cafe and ended up buying our own copy. As scientists, each with a unique ability to bend specific rules, you race to contain a virus before epidemics take over the world. Similar to Forbidden Island as a cooperative game, and loosely following the geographic patterns of Risk, this one delves deeper into set collection and geographical problems. The virus spreads in somewhat predictable means, so you can make some plans, but occasionally outbreaks sneak up on your team. Another great cooperative game; the players work together to contain the virus.

From the box: “Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the Operation Specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. Pandemic is a truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.”

Forbidden Island

From the box: “Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!” Continue reading “Forbidden Island”

Rory’s Story Cubes

Loy says: “Looking for something unique and creative? Boy-howdy, have you found it in Rory’s Story Cubes. The box includes a couple of ways to play, but here’s our go-to: roll the dice and start to tell the story. You can tell the whole thing, or players can grab dice and jump in when they want. Or, you can have each person tell a sentence in a round-robin until the story comes to life. It’s not as easy as it sounds – be the one at the table with the best contribution and exercise your vocabulary, your imagination, and your thinking cap! This is a lot of fun as a game, and also works as an ice-breaker, a teaching manipulative, or a tool for overcoming writer’s block. Get your creative on!”

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