Posts Tagged ‘ games ’

A Great Game for Father-Son Bonding Time

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Senior Digital Editor Samuel Mead is today’s guest blogger. He writes:

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by the magical moment that is the before-school ritual of playing a deceptively challenging board game, Troy Extra Muros, with my third grade son before he rushes off to school (and me to work). After all, I love games, he loves games, and we both love playing them any time or any place.

At first, I didn’t think much of Troy—how fun or interesting could a game with a small playing area and 12 pieces be? But I was quickly proved wrong. My son, who had received the game as a birthday gift, explained the rules to me and we started to play at the kitchen counter. The game has never been put away.

Perhaps it’s watching him solve a particularly tough set-up that I am stuck on—Troy is a strategy game where you must solve 60 progressively more challenging game board situations using four sections of walls to protect blue forces from red forces. Or maybe it’s the quiet that accompanies minds at work. While playing, my son exhibits a patience that’s absent when he’s playing a video strategy game. There is no frenetic pace, no pumping of buttons, just the shuffling of combinations of pieces to see what will solve the problem.

One thing is for sure, it’s a blessedly peaceful part of the morning. Our middle schooler is long out the door to catch her bus, lunches made, breakfast consumed. It’s that 20-minute window when I could be plowing through bills, answering emails, or surfing the web. Instead, I’m on cloud 9, watching my son play a game that’s as challenging for him as it is for me.

I know this is a fleeting moment. We’ve been playing for 10 days and are through challenge #53. Troy must soon fall! Then again, perhaps more is going on than just the playing of a game, a ritual that we both value. So when #60 has been successfully completed, we will seek out a new challenge, or just return to challenge #1.



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Birthday Gifts for $20 or Less

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Deputy Editor Mary Giles recently appeared on the Today Show to present some of FamilyFun’s picks for inexpensive birthday gifts.

Our March issue featured even more great gift ideas for $20 or less, including three interactive and clever books.

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Great Family Games

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

What to do when Nemo (the storm) finds you? Conscript your teenagers to test preschool games with you! At least that’s what my boys and I did this past Friday while the snow fell outside.

Never Land Challenge (shown above), part of the line of active games themed around the hit Disney show Jake and the Never Land Pirates, was one of our favorites—even though, or maybe because, it wasn’t easy for a 5-foot 7-inch tall teen to wiggle through the vines.

Watch for all of our family game picks in the upcoming May issue.

For other games your family may like, see our Toy of the Year Awards.

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Welcome to Favorite Things

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to Favorite Things! I’m Ellen Harter Wall, the products editor at FamilyFun. Part of my job is to sort through the hundreds of new items we receive to find the best to share with you, both in the magazine and here on this site. It can be overwhelming, but I have a small army of testers, including my three boys and other staff members and their kids, who are more than happy to help.

I’ll be posting about the finds that pass the test: beautiful picture books, funny apps, great family games, sweet DVDs, and more. And I’ll also include the occasional classic, just to remind you of those family favorites that may have slipped your mind. Plus, watch for guest posts from other staff members!

Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star GameWhen I first saw the press release for the new Angry Birds Star Wars line of toys from Hasbro, I knew they would be a hit. Really, what child (or parent, for that matter), doesn’t want to fling a plastic Luke Skywalker Bird at a Stormtroooper Pig and blast apart the Death Star? I know I sure whooped louder than a Wookie when I did just that. My favorite has to be the Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star Game ($29.99), Ages 8 and up.

Be sure to check out our Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Awards for more holiday gift ideas, as well as our ToyHopper app , which has hundreds of FamilyFun recommended toys, games, DVDs, and more.

Over the months, I hope you’ll find plenty of kid-pleasing birthday gifts, toys that bust boredom, maybe a parent-sanity-saving thing or two, as well as inspiration for your next family movie night. Thanks for reading!

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