Improving your game: 5 Easy Tips to Win Scrabble Easy

Since 1931, Scrabble has been busying the minds of word-fanatics, friends, and families. But are you one of many who are having a hard time playing the game? Or are you just looking around for other strategies to beat your scrabble rivals? Here are 5 easy tips you can use to win a scrabble game:

scrabbles

1.     Look for a Bingo

The easiest and yet most stressful way to win Scrabble is playing all your 7 tiles at once. When you successfully lay down all 7 tiles you achieve “BINGO” which means an additional 50 points on top of the points you gained from the word you placed.  The problem starts with laying down all 7 tiles. How can you easily lay down your BINGO word? First, you can either look for words you can add an “S” on or words that already have it. Most likely, these words are the easiest way for you to get a bingo. Aside from looking for “S”, take your time and rearrange your letters to fit words that allow you to add tenses, prefixes, or suffixes. An example is if you found a letter “D” on the board, depending on the placing and the words, you can create the word “D-isagree” or “exclude-D”.

2.      Switch and Pass

Sometimes you get into a situation where you get stuck with tiles that give you small scoring words which offer you no advantage over the game. When this scenario arises, do not hesitate to switch your tiles. Although you lose your turn from changing your letters, sometimes it is better than pushing your word and giving your opponent an opening for high scoring words. Be cautious about constantly switching your tiles when you’re having a hard time because it might just cause you to lose the game.

3.     Open, Close

One sure-fire way of winning is taking control of the scrabble board. How do you do this? First, you should know how to take sight and create an opening for yourself. Look around the board for those score multipliers and ask yourself if you can take that within your next two turns. If you can, then play your word. If not, then here comes the second condition of this tip. Know how to close those openings you find. If you can’t get the score multiplier, its best to block that area by putting in words that move away from the multiplier or are too short that your opponent can’t utilize your word to take the multiplier.

4.     Hit two birds with one stone

Another great way of scoring big and getting the edge is to create two words in one turn. You can easily do this by attaching a letter from your word to a word that’s already on the board and creating two words at once. Example: you want to play the word “exit” and you look around the board. You see two words namely, “Transit” and “Cut”, and both can be used for your word. However, using the word “Transit” only allows you to use the letters “E”, “X”, and “I” which gives you a smaller score. In comparison, using the word “Cut” gives you the word “Exit” and can create the word “Cute” which gives you a higher score.

5.     Less is More

In scrabble, putting in a very long word doesn’t always ensure a better position or a higher score. In some cases, it is better for you to play short words. It’s a good tactic to frustrate your opponent until he slips up and gives you an opening. Back in high school when I used to compete, I remember one game where I kept playing two and three letter words. I kept the words together, piling them on top of each other which frustrated my opponent because he can’t get an opening. He eventually created long words which I used as a ladder to get score multipliers. This strategy works better when you familiarize yourself with two-letter words like “JO”, “XI”, “YA”, and “ZA.” This tip also works well with tip numbers 3 and 4.

Scrabble is more than a word-game. It also requires you to apply a certain set of strategies in order to win. Did the tips help you or do you have other tips in mind? Tell us what we’ve missed! We’d love to hear from you.

Check out our Scrabble Games Items:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZF3ZG4
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UAK96U
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000IWH9
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D97N2JM

scarbbles-1scrabble-gamescrabble2

Pachisi 101: Learning the Basics

Whether you’re an adult or a kid, you’ve probably enjoyed playing board games such as Ludo, Puchese, Parcheesi, and Uckers. But did you know that all these originated from one game called Pachisi? That’s right! All of them are simplified adaptations of this popular Indian game. Putting the adaptations aside, it is also related to Chaupar, another ancient Indian board game. It was believed that these pastime games have been around since the 4th Century A.D.

Even though this pastime activity is old, a lot of people still play it because of its fun factor. If you haven’t played this game before, but you’re interested to try it, here’s a list of things that you need to know about Pachisi.  

pachisi-board-game

 

A picture of a Pachisi board made of cloth in 18th century India.

 

So what is Pachisi?

The name of the game originated from the word Pachis which means twenty-five. Why? One of the strategies to win this board game is to stay put in a specially marked square and wait to get a throw with 25 moves. It is a cooperative game intended to be played by four players who are divided into two teams. To win the game, both players from the same team must have all of their pieces to finish.

Things one must know before learning how to play the game

  • The large square found at the center of the board is called the Charkoni
  • Squares that are marked with an X are called a Castle Square
  • Getting a grace means getting another turn
  • Having a piece on the same square of the opponent’s piece means you have captured it
  • A player may decide to move their piece or not after throwing the cowry shells

No dice here

Dice didn’t exist during ancient times. Instead, people threw six cowry shells. The number of cowry shells with their mouths up indicates the number of squares a player can move.

  • 0 mouths up means 25 squares, the highest value in the game, plus a grace
  • 1 mouth up means 10 squares plus a grace
  • 6 mouths up means 6 squares plus a grace
  • 5 mouths up means 5 squares
  • 4 mouths up means 4 squares
  • 3 mouths up means 3 squares
  • 2 mouths up means 2 squares

Playing the game

Four players must divide themselves into two teams. Each game requires 16 pieces, usually in the shape of a beehive, with the following colors: Green, red, black, and yellow. One team will have the green and red pieces, while the other team will have the black and yellow pieces.

Players of the same team must sit at the opposite side of the other. Then, they must put one of their pieces at the Charkoni. It is considered as the starting point and the finishing line as well. Each player will throw the six cowries. Whoever gets the highest value will start the game.

The board consists of four arms adjacent to each other, and each is made of eight rows of three squares. The pieces are to move along the columns. First, they will move down the middle column of their arm of the board. When they reach the lowest square of the middle column, the piece will move at the edge of the board anti-clockwise then move up back to the Charkoni to finish.

 

Photo credits: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/pachisi
Photo credits: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/pachisi

 

A piece can move outside the Charkoni with any value from the throw at the start, but they must have the exact number required to get in for them to finish. A piece that has finished is then placed outside the board to know which pieces are still in the Charkoni.

Helping a teammate

If the player’s teammate is lagging behind, a finished piece may continue to go around the board for a second time instead of going out the board to help them. 

Capturing the opponent’s piece

If a piece gets on a square when an opponent’s piece is in it, the opponent’s piece is considered captured. Any captured piece must start again from the Charkoni.

Don’t want to risk a piece of getting captured? Worry not!

Castle squares were mentioned before, but their purpose wasn’t explained. When a piece is in a castle square, that piece cannot be captured. Each castle square is conveniently placed to be exactly 25 moves away from the Charkoni. This is the reason why Pachisi originated from the word Pachis. It is one of the strategies to win the game as a piece returning to the Charkoni can stay in a castle square and move only when the player gets a 25.

 

Not enough players? Not a problem!

Pachisi can be played by two people as well. Each player will either have to play as the red and green team while the other plays as the black and yellow team.

 

There is no “I” in team

Even if a player is skilled in the game, trying to win as an individual is impossible. Just as mentioned earlier, both players of the same team must have all of their pieces return to the Charkoni before the other team does. That means if a team member keeps getting captured, the other team will eventually finish and win.

Some team sports or games nowadays can be won by skilled individuals, thus making it a challenge to maintain a winning team spirit among the members. Some players may even compete with their own team to get the attention of the crowd. Playing Pachisi requires a concerted team effort, cooperation, and communication. Each member must know what to do with each throw, and execute a counterattack when the other is falling behind. This does not only make this game challenging, but also gives the feeling of camaraderie among members.

Got thoughts or strategies to share? Put them in the comments section below!

 

You may also want to check out our other games sold in our amazon store -the escape placewe have more games for you!

The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia: Re-Introduction To a 19th Century Board Game

(Image source: http://www.bonhams.com/)
(Image source: http://www.bonhams.com/)

 

What is Noble Game of Elephant?

The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia is an interactive board and race game that will keep players entertained while learning. The purpose of the game is to amuse and educate young people of both genders. Adults, don’t worry, you can enjoy this game too!

When you purchase the game, you will receive a full-color board, and a rule book which has 84 pages that’s packed with information that covers Asian customs, events, and remarkable people. The package also comes with the Catalog of The Historical Games Collection, four “Travellers”, or the pieces that each player will use to move along the board. These Travellers are tipped with different colors. There are also 16 “Counters” or lightly-colored chips to match the Travellers (4 for each player). The last piece is the Teetotum – a spinning top that has eight numbered sides.

 

History

The game was first introduced in 1822 as a hand colored engraving by William Darton – a book publisher from London. Released at the height of the British Empire, this piece describes the appearance, customs, and culture of the locals, and comparing their way of life to that of the British.

The game is played on a board that depicts an elephant surmounted by a howdah (ornate carriage) with an Indian mahout (driver). The board is subdivided into 25 cubes which have corresponding historical information that players will learn at each stop. Historical information varies from the mysteries of the Orient, across the frozen Arctic waters in the north, all the way down to the Asian regions like India, China, and Japan.

How to Play

Rules:

  1. Up to four players can be accommodated at the same time.
  2. The Teetotum must be marked 1 – 8 on each of its faces.
  3. Each player must have a Traveller and four Counters of the same color.
  4. To begin, all players must spin the Teetotum. Whoever got the highest number will be declared the first player. The second player will be determined by who got the second highest number from the initial spin, and so on.

The first player is required to read “The Caution” on page 4 of the accompanying game booklet, before the game officially begins. The Caution is a poem that talks about cheating and gambling – both of which are considered abhorrent to players.

  1. First player will spin the Teetotum to officially begin the game. The number that comes out from the Teetotum will be the corresponding spaces his Traveller will move on the board. The rest of the players will take their turn to spin and move their pieces as well, all while referring to the explanation for a Description of the Plates.

This is the part of the game that makes it different from other board games like, say, Snakes and Ladders, and other such pastime activities that share the same fundamentals. In The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia, players get to learn about the 19th century history, the biggest news of that time, remarkable occurrences that marked a plate in world history, as well as historical figures that created a name for themselves through their remarkable deeds.

  1. There are instances when the game will direct a player to stop one or more turns. During this event, the player must place as many Counters on his Number and take one up each time, instead of spinning, until all of his counters are redeemed.
  2. When it was the first player’s turn to spin once more, he needs to add the number that turned out on his second spin to the number of the first spin that he got. For example: For the first spin, Player 1 got 6. So his Traveller now stands on No. 6 on the board. Suppose that Player 1 got 3 for the second spin. He will just add 3 from the previously acquired 6 so his Traveller should be standing now on No. 9 on the board. Second player will do the same, and so on. The game will go on until one player reaches No. 25, (A Gentoo), and wins the game.
  3. Players must land exactly on No. 25 to win the game. If a player goes beyond that number, that player will have to go back as many spaces as he exceeded then wait for his turn once more. For example: Player 2’s Traveller is already standing on No. 22 but he got 5 instead of 3 which would’ve let him won. When this happens, Player 2 must move 3 spaces towards No. 25 then go back 2 more spaces to use all his acquired moves. On and on, players will compete against each other until someone reaches Number 25.
  4. When a player spins and the number he got landed on a number with a corresponding Article that has a note, that player must refer to the page of the Notes for an explanation, reading it out loud for his fellow players.

 

If you are interested about the game, Click Here to purchase the game from our Amazon Store.

Do you think this could be your next favorite board game? Let us hear your thoughts!

Barbie by Stefano Canturi: The Most ‘Valuable’ Barbie in History

 

(Photos taken from: www.canturi.com and www.google.com.ph)
(Photos taken from: www.canturi.com and www.google.com.ph)

 

Who is Barbie?

Barbara Millicent Roberts, internationally known as Barbie, has over 50 years of popularity. She has been every little girl’s favorite doll. She takes on different roles, providing girls with lots of fun opportunities to dress her up. At the same time, she also serves as a role model they can look up to. She reminds little girls that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be.

She has become a renowned fashion icon and having been dubbed with such a title, Mattel made sure that she lives up to the expectations of her fans. And that’s why, to this date, Barbie has already worked and modeled for world-famous clothing and jewelry designers, throughout her years of popularity.

Barbie-2

Each specially designed Barbie is treated as collector’s edition which not only commemorated Barbie’s milestones, but also answered the yearning of Barbie collectors which have already grown in number. These exclusively designed Barbie doll versions were auctioned, setting the record as the most expensive Barbie sold, one after the other.

In 2009, in time for the launch of the Barbie® Basics Collection in Australia, Mattel invited Stefano Canturi to work with Barbie in creating her most precious and valuable look. Now, if you’re not a jewelry enthusiast, the name Canturi may not be enough to wow you but let us give you an idea about who Stefano Canturi exactly is.

Who is Stefano Canturi? 

Have you seen this sophisticated and intricately designed jewelry anywhere? (Refer to the first photo on the left) If you’re a fan of romantic or musical films, then you probably guessed right. It’s Satine’s necklace from the film Moulin Rouge. Stefano Canturi is the jewelry designer behind this perfectly crafted piece, he created the necklace for Nicole Kidman’s role in the Academy award winning motion picture.

Stefano Canturi is an internationally celebrated fine jewelry designer known for his designs crafted with soulful cubist inspiration – a look that’s modern, timeless, and iconic. His designs also shone in other movies including The Matrix and Superman Returns. Necklaces and bracelets made by Canturi Jewels have also been scouted on the arms and necks of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Christina Hendricks, Kylie Minogue, among others.

Barbie® by Stefano Canturi ­

Barbie-1When Mattel asked Canturi to ‘create a world first – the rarest and one-of-a-kind Barbie’ – that was exactly what he did.

Canturi was given complete freedom to stylize Barbie from head to toe. From the hair, the make-up, the wardrobe, and even her pose. But of course, the highlight of his Barbie masterpiece is a diamond collar necklace that he designed especially for the timeless fashion icon.

It took Canturi 6 months to create and stylize a very original Barbie and according to him, “… he loved every minute of it.” He thought of every detail and his designs were centered on Barbie’s very own persona. “Barbie is iconic and so I didn’t just want to cover her with diamonds, I wanted the jewelry design to pay homage to her modern yet timeless style, this is why I applied my Cubism design concept to her look; it is perfect for her.” He stated in an interview.

The diamond Cubism necklace, which features a bunch of white diamonds surrounding a precious 1 carat Australian Argyle pink diamond collectible, makes Barbie® by Stefano Canturi the World’s Most Expensive Barbie. She also wears a Canturi diamond ring on her right hand, matching the intricate neck piece. The doll went up for auction at Christie’s in New York and has been sold in October 2010 for $302,500.

Most Valuable Barbie in History

The Barbie made by Stefano Canturi is considered the most valuable not solely because of the West Aussie pink diamond that she wears, nor of the auction price with which she was sold. Her value is considered most significant for the cause she stands for.

After Canturi received the commission from Mattel, he thought the undertaking much too decadent during that time, and decided to take on the job if Mattel agrees that all proceeds from Barbie’s auction, be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As much as Canturi wanted to pay homage to Barbie’s “modern yet timeless style”, he also wanted to dedicate his masterpiece to the women who inspires his art and for which he designs all of his fine jewelries.

And so, as soon as Barbie® by Stefano Canturi arrived back at Christie’s New York from her World Tour, she was sold for $302,500 and as promised, benefited The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

Barbie is definitely one extraordinary woman, with 150+ career experiences and a beauty that’s immortalized all around the world. Though she’s made of plastic, she lets little girls know how fantastic it is to dream big and keep going. As long as her true calling remains the same – to encourage generations of girls to place no limitations on their ambitions – she is sure to be celebrated for more and more years to come.

References: 

http://www.canturi.com/
http://www.wnyc.org/story/98765-barbie-fashion-creating-worlds-most-expensive-doll/
http://www.barbiecollector.com/news/barbie-stefano-canturi

Back to Basics With Board Games: Why I Raised My Kids with Them And Not Video Games

board-gameI remember the time when my husband and I first bought a PlayStation for the kids (the first console, and yes, that was so long ago). It was fun at first. It was nice seeing the look of sheer joy on their faces whenever it was “game time”. A few weeks into it, and we noticed that they spent less and less time with us. It was only until our little one flat out refused to let us play when we decided that we had to bring back board game Saturday, as my husband fondly calls it.

I remember the time when my husband and I first bought a PlayStation for the kids (the first console, and yes, that was so long ago). It was fun at first. It was nice seeing the look of sheer joy on their faces whenever it was “game time”. A few weeks into it, and we noticed that they spent less and less time with us. It was only until our little one flat out refused to let us play when we decided that we had to bring back board game Saturday, as my husband fondly calls it.

Not All That Bad

I’m not saying that video games are the enemy. In fact, studies show that they actually help improve hand-eye coordination, decision making, enhance creativity, and math skills. A lot of these games are built on strategy and logic. This makes it a great supplementary tool to honing your child’s brain. However, like everything else, it has its downsides too.

The Missing Piece

The biggest problem we had with our children playing video games was their lack of socializing when they’re so immersed in it. Even if they were playing with other kids, their focus (as well as the focus of the other kids) was on the game, rather than their playmates. I suppose it had a lot to do with the fact that the game was on the TV screen. But even so, there was very little opportunity for actual interaction among the kids especially when they were “in the zone”.

The Key Difference

When we brought back board game Saturday, despite the many protests and cries of “lame” from our kids, we saw one vital difference. They paid more attention to us than the board. One advantage or disadvantage (depending on how you look at it) with playing a board game is the fact that the game is right in the middle of your group. Since the board games we played were strategic and highly competitive; the kids had to learn how to pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues of the other players (i.e. me and my husband). They learned how to read people better. But more than that, they learned to converse with other people in the group while one is taking time “strategizing”. Mission accomplished for us, in tricking our kids to learn how to socialize better.

It Was Good For Us Too

Of course, we knew that the games would help shape our children’s minds as well as their characters. What we did not expect was that it would help us as well. There was one month when every Saturday we’d play word games. Our ever-competitive children, who take after both parents, wanted a chance to beat us so they started memorizing 3 words per day in the dictionary. It definitely increased their chances of winning, but the competitive side in me and my husband struck and we started reading books again, to refresh on fresh vocabulary words and grammar. Looking back, it helped both of us in our jobs in the long run. My husband had more bits of information to talk about with clients, my memory and retention of information improved, and overall we felt like we had better focus.

I can go on forever about how these board games improve critical thinking, sportsmanship, creativity, and self-confidence. You probably know about most of those board game benefits. My point is simple, board game Saturday didn’t just help our kids become smarter, stronger, and better people. It helped our family as a whole become all those things, and, more importantly become closer than ever. I hope this inspires a few parents to make your own board game traditions at home. Happy Playing!

Here are cool board games to check out!

Clue-Board-GameClue Alfred Hitchcock Edition

Hero-QuestHeroQuest Game System

Pirates-Caribbean-ChessPirates of the Caribbean Chess (in a Box)

PowerPuffGirls-Board-GamePowerpuff Girls Board Game

ScoobyDoo-Board-GameScooby Doo Clue Board Game

Play On: 4 Unexpected Things You Can Make with LEGOs

Who hasn’t heard of Lego bricks? Lego is a construction and assembly type of toy made of interlocking plastic blocks, gears, and mini-figures. They can be used to construct robots, vehicles, buildings, and other toys. These bricks are good for anyone with a creative mind and a wild imagination. But who says that Lego is just a children’s toy? Lego is also widely used in robotic experiments and demonstrations. Physicists and engineers use Lego blocks and gears to help build prototype robots and cars. But it doesn’t end there. Did you know that you can also use Lego bricks to make nifty projects you can ac use in your daily life? You just have to play on!

Take out those bricks and blocks out of because it’s time to start playing. Squeeze out those creative juices with these 4 simple and fun to build activities will surely bring out your inner child!

 

Lego Key Holders

lego keyholders

 

(photo from: http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/26-unbelievable-fun-diy-lego-crafts/)

Create a quirky home for your keys so they never get lost! Turn your Legos into a Lego Key Holder. Aside from legos, you will need:

  • Key rings or key chains
  • Drill (depending on which type of Lego you’ll be using)
  • Adhesive tape

First, choose your base. It can be a thin Lego platform or a large Lego block. It really depends on your preference. This will be the base of your key holder. Using your adhesive tape, stick the platform onto your wall. You can also opt to drill a hole and screw it against the wall to ensure that it doesn’t fall.

Of course, key holders won’t be complete without the keys! Attach the key into a key ring or a key chain. Choose your preferred Lego block to accessorize the key chain. If your Lego piece already has a hole in it, then simply attach the key ring. However, if you intend to use Lego blocks or pieces without a hole, you may need to drill a hole in it. Voila! You now have a nifty key holder that’s appealing and fun to make.

 

Lego USB Stick

Pump up the style of your USB Stick by making it look like a Lego brick! Find the perfect Lego block where your USB stick could fit in. Using a pen knife and pliers, take out the inner part of the brick and cut out a part of the side where your connector will be placed. Secure your stick inside the block by filling it with clear silicone. This will reduce movement of the stick and will let the light shine through. Then you can enclose your masterpiece by gluing a flat Lego piece which has the same size as your brick. You can also opt to make an end cap. Amazing isn’t it? You can also attach it to the key holder we made. You can go from one block to an amazing masterpiece!

lego usb

(photo from: http://www.instructables.com/id/E06127GI9YEP287UU0/?ALLSTEPS)

 

Lego Jewelries

Add a touch of childhood into your usual grown-up apparel! Attach Lego pieces into your necklaces and turn them into cute charms and trinkets. These can also be made to bracelets, earrings and even rings! You just need small Lego pieces and a glue gun to start making these adorable jewelries. These are perfect gifts for children and even for the children at heart.

 

Lego Salt and Pepper Shaker

Bring those Lego blocks into your kitchen. These salt and pepper shakers can be made using your black and white Lego blocks! You will need 2×4, 2×2, and 2×1 Lego pieces for this. Build a bottle, with one side colored white for salt and the black side for the pepper. Use a flat lego piece or any material that you can cut and put inside to act as a divider for the salt and pepper. Carefully drill tiny holes onto the middle of the top portion. Be sure not to destroy the protruded Lego locks. The 2×2 block will act as the lid of the shaker. It’s a cutesy present for your friends who love to cook!

These Do It Yourself projects are not only useful and nifty, but they are also a form of bonding to families and friends. Of course, it doesn’t end here. Use your imagination to continue developing projects using Lego. Be a master builder of your own. Play on!

 

Have you ever done DIY lego projects before? Sound off in the comments!

Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted on a Board Game

There is a plethora of board games available today; and only a few stand out to be worth playing for the whole family. Such is The Game of Life – with such a grand name, one wouldn’t think that it would be so easy to play and that it would appeal to millions, be known all over the globe, and sustain its popularity through the ages. Have you ever wondered how the game began and how it is still as popular as ever? Read on and be enlightened…

The Beginning of Life

The board game traces its humble beginnings in 1860 through the brilliance of Milton Bradley, an American Lithographer and an innovator of board games in the United States. When he first introduced the game, it was called “The Checkered Game of Life”. Basically, it revolves around a person’s journey through life – attending college, choosing a career, marrying, having children, until retirement. It can be played by 2 to 6 persons; the goal is to retire with the most money.  The game is played on a board with illustrations of a track, a spinning wheel with the numbers 1 through 10. Players each use a peg to represent their characters in the game. There are also houses, cars, buildings, and mountains to use to make the game more interactive. Play money and a bank tray are also included in the package to serve as the keeper of all assets. Remarkably, it sold around 45,000 copies on its first year of production – marking the beginning of a worldwide phenomenal board game that will entertain millions of people for generations and continues to do so.


How LIFE is Played

An updated version came out in 1960, on the 100th Anniversary since it was launched into the market. This one has a modified checkerboard for the main board, and the name of the game was changed to “The Game of Life”. Many changes have also been made – the cars were modernized, monetary values increased, insurance and stocks were added to the assets, and “Lucky Day” spaces were added as bonus.

At the beginning of every game, each player starts with $ 10,000; then on the first turn, they decide whether to start a career or go to college. As the game progresses, the players may get married, have children, buy a house, a car, and invest in stocks or gamble. The average play time of the game varies; with the end goal of everyone reaching retirement – whoever retires with the most money and assets is declared the winner.

A Game of Chance

If you’ve already read reviews or blogs about this product, you may have noticed that one of the prominent observations was that the game was more of a game of chance than strategy. Well, that was the original concept of the game anyway. As a matter of fact, with the game being very easy to play, it greatly outweighs its shortcoming.

The “Life” – Diversified

Since the updated inception of The Game of Life was introduced in 1960, it has spawned several editions intended to appeal to a wider audience. Below are some of them:

  1. The Game of Life: Extreme Reality – this is one of the most spontaneous versions of the board game; you get to add your own story to the game. You can live in a castle, in a space station, or even a shoe house!
  2. The Game of Life: Rock Star – this was launched in 2009 where players get to be their own rock star selves. Starting at a garage band, Recruiting Band Members, Touring on Buses, and Performing on Concert Venues are what this game is about.
  3. The Game of Life: Star Wars (Jedi’s Path) – this version appeals to a large audience especially the countless fans of the well-known series. This version is now considered rare and a collector’s item if owned as it has not been manufactured a long time.
  4. The Game of Life: Indiana Jones – introduced in 2008 in support of the release of the latest installment of the movie franchise – The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  5. The Game of Life: Pirates of The Caribbean (Disney Theme Park Edition) – this was launched in 2004 for Disney, being a product of the movie’s fame. The game involves going through a pirate’s life. This version is only sold at Disneyland Resorts. Movie editions were later published in 2006 (Dead Man’s Chest) and 2007 (At World’s End) and were made available for the local public on most toy stores and bookstores.
  6. The Game of Life: Spongebob Squarepants – this was published in 2004; and targets youngsters. Players move around the hit TV series’ plot setting, Bikini Bottom; and instead of children, pets are acquired through the game.

In conclusion, it is evident that the game has greatly contributed to the establishment of the board game industry both in the U.S.A. and internationally.  It has captured the attention of many mainly because it is an embodiment of what an ideal life is. Plus, parents not only get to teach their children to participate in family quality time; they are also given the opportunity to show their children how to get through life in a methodical manner.

Check out this cool Game of Life, Pirates of Caribbean – Dead Man Chest Edition Board Game.

Life-Pirates-Game

Pirates of the Caribbean the game

Puzz 3D Puzzles: Not Your Ordinary Jigsaw Puzzle

Most of us, if not all, grew up building jigsaw puzzles. For those of us who did, I’m sure you remember receiving them as gifts from your parents on birthdays, Christmas, or other special occasions. Do you remember waking up and seeing that big rectangular box underneath the Christmas tree? I’m sure you’re just as excited to see what’s inside the box so you shake it and hear tiny pieces rattling against each other. As you open the box, you find small, oddly-shaped interlocking pieces that represent parts of a complete picture. What if, upon inspecting the contents, you notice that this is not your usual jigsaw puzzle that lays flat? What if it’s a 3-dimensional puzzle that simulates something real? Ever heard of the Puzz 3D Puzzles?

 

Puzz3D

Puzzle 3D Camelot Castle

 

Put Some Twist in your Puzzles

Three-dimensional puzzles are not your ordinary traditional flat puzzle structure. It’s almost the same as watching a movie in 3D, and seeing the characters and effects come to life, feeling as though you’re part of the movie. With 3D Puzzles, you get more depth and shape compared to the conventional puzzle. Imagine having the famous Eiffel Tower on the table right next to your bed, and waking up in the morning being greeted by this Parisian scenery. True that it’s not the actual Eiffel Tower; but imagine the joy and satisfaction you’ll get from building this standing structure from scratch.

 

The Rise and Fall of the 3D Puzzles

From the New York City puzzle to the Golden Hall Edoras from the Lord of the Rings; Puzz 3D Puzzles offer a wide range of structures and pieces you can build from scratch. It’s amazing to think how creative 3D puzzles work. The process of creating traditional and 3D puzzles is pretty much the same, but brought upon the birth of these ingenious puzzles?

 

Puzz3d-2

Chateau De Chenonceau 3d Puzzle

 

Like most games in this world, the development of new games coupled with innovations in technology caused puzzles to lose their limelight which was most significant during the period of Great Depression. In 1991 in Quebec, puzzles became popular again and Paul Gallant, a French Canadian who specializes in marketing, took this opportunity to create something even better and more challenging than the traditional jigsaw puzzles. Thus, he developed Puzz-3D under the Wrebbit Company. Because of the overwhelming response from consumers, the company experienced rapid growth during the 1990’s. In 2005, the famous gaming brand named Hasbro bought Wrebbit. However, in 2006, Puzz 3D Puzzles had been discontinued with the “Towers Made to Scale” as the last series. In 2014, Hasbro resumed production of 3D Puzzles.

 

Benefits of Building Puzzles

Building a puzzle is a productive way of spending your recreational time. Why do I say so? Building puzzles is an excellent activity for keeping the brain sharp. According to an article on Saving Advice, jigsaw puzzles challenge your dexterity, logic, spatial reasoning, and keep both sides of the brain working simultaneously. It improves your concentration and helps you pay more attention to details while searching for the right piece to go into the puzzle. Aside from these benefits, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to bond with your family or friends. Display your finished 3D puzzle in the bedroom, living room, or anywhere else in the house and you have an instant art piece without breaking the bank. It’s not limited to a certain age group – kids, as well as adults can play and enjoy the game.

 

What is the first structure you want to create out of a 3D puzzle? Or have you built one before? Sound off in the comments!

 

A Game You Can Play For All of Time: Chronology Trivia Card Game

Chronology: This is one card game that has surpassed the evolution of social entertainment over the years and has continued to bring amusement to consumers the world over. It’s practically a game of pushing your luck, which can go along with how well you know your history. Nonetheless, the entire goal of the game is for players to relish the sense of interaction with the company of family and friends, or whoever they’re playing with.

Chronology | Trivia Card Game

A Game Already Written In History

The first edition of Chronology, a party card game, came out in 1996. There have been other editions released throughout the years; the manufacturers released a junior edition intended for children below 13 years old and a sports edition – for sports enthusiasts/hobbyists.  The latest version had minor changes made, but in any case, the original essence and quality of the game is still there. The objective of the game is for players to form a timeline of events that occurred in history (with a corresponding year when the certain event happened) written on the cards. First one to correctly align 7 cards wins the game.

Easy as One, Two, Three 

A set begins with one card for each player; then a random player starts by drawing a card from the box and reads what’s in it (except for the year written on the card) to the player on the left. That player will then take a guess where to place the card on his timeline. If he guesses correctly, he takes the card and adds it to his timeline. He then has the opportunity to take another guess; his turn ends when he gets a guess wrong – with this, the cards he acquired in that particular turn must be discarded. On the other hand, if he gets it wrong on the first try, the next player gets to guess at the card and the games proceed. The card game has neither a timer nor a board which makes it easy to setup and easy to store when not in use.

Not Just For History Buffs

The events included in the set are from a plethora of categories – from current events, arts and sciences, entertainment, the greatest inventions, famous geographical discoveries, popular culture, general knowledge, to history dating back centuries. A player doesn’t really have to be a history geek to enjoy the game. Plus the fact that you only have to guess the events in an estimated way is like playing a mystery game; you aren’t really sure whether to trust your instincts or just take a wild guess. But that is the real thrill of the game which makes it nerve-wracking and amusing.

Improvise, Improvise, Improvise

If you find the “Race to 7 Cards” too easy and tedious you can always bend the rules and amplify the race to 15 cards; or you can even set a timer to create a fast-paced gaming sensation to the players.  Be creative: the possibilities are endless!

You can find the Chronology Card Game almost in all toy stores and on ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to share them below.

The Bombshell: Top 5 Barbie Controversies You Probably Don’t Know

The Barbie doll was invented by Ruth Handler, founder of the toy company Mattel, naming it after her daughter Barbara. Through the years, Barbie became a cultural icon. The fashion doll is sought after not only by young girls but also by collectors all around the world. However, popularity sometimes comes with a price – criticisms and controversies, criticism and controversies that Barbie faced head on and survived since its invention on 1959. These are the Top 5 Barbie doll controversies which caused uproar to young girls’ parents and to concerned citizens.

 Barbie

5. Barbie Video Girl and Child Pornography

In 2010, Mattel released its new version of the Barbie doll: The Barbie Video Girl. This Barbie doll features a pinhole video camera on its chest, disguised as a necklace. The camera can record clips of up to 30 minutes and can be uploaded to a computer using a USB cable. However, on November 2010, the FBI issued a warning in a private memorandum saying that the said doll can be used in making child pornography but it was said that there were “no reported evidence that the doll had been used in any way other than intended.”

(Photo from: http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2010/12/08/1225967/456625-barbie-video-girl.jpg)

 

4. Barbie and Tattoos

Barbie and Tattoos

Toys play a large role in influencing a child’s lifestyle. That’s why a lot of concerned parents reacted when Mattel launched the Totally Tattoos Barbie. The said version features a myriad of tattoos, including a lower back tattoo, which really stirred up a controversy. This also happened when the toy company released its Tokidoki Barbie doll which has pink-dyed hair and a lot of tattoos. These dolls stirred up a lot of issues and made parents angry because of the thought that it can influence their daughters to be “rebellious” at a very young age.

(Photos from: http://www.nykola.com/images/tattoobarbie.jpg and http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/hot1073jamz.com/files/2011/10/tattoo-barbie-doll.jpg)

 

3. The Sweet-Turned-Sour Idea of Oreo Barbie

Oreo Barbie Back in 1997, a cross-promotion of Barbie dolls and Oreo cookies was done. The result was the Oreo Fun Barbie, a doll in an Oreo cookie-themed outfit produced in both white and black. However, this caused an outrage among the African-American community. Critics said that the word Oreo is a slanderous term used to describe a person that is “black on the outside but white on the inside”, just like the cookie. This caused a backlash and resulted to a product pull-out.

(Photo from: http://www.thestrong.org/online-collections/images/Z001/Z00151/Z0015175.jpg)

 

2. Happy Family

HappyFamily-Barbie

In 2002, Mattel launched a doll set with Midge and her baby. Midge is Barbie’s girl best friend. Midge was shown to be pregnant lady with her attachable baby in the womb in the Happy Family Doll Set. The doll set was complete with the baby’s needs, crib, table, and even a cradle. However, there is one which is lacking in the set – the father. The set was supposed to teach values of family life to children but since it lacked the father figure, parents were outrageous saying that it was promoting teenage pregnancy. Due to this unfortunate and unforeseen event, the dolls were immediately pulled out from the market.

(Photo from: http://g.foolcdn.com/editorial/images/105589/pregnant-barbie_large.jpg)

 

1. Don’t Eat!

 Dont-Eat

One of the most common criticisms of Barbie is the issue of anorexia since Barbie depicts an image of a lady who has an unrealistic body for a young girl. This leads to danger when girls attempt to imitate her and tend to become anorexic. Not only that, the Slumber Party Barbie and Barbie Baby-Sits versions of the doll came with a book entitled How to Lose Weightand guess what it advised. You’re right! It advised, “Don’t eat!” The Slumber Party Barbie set also came with a bathroom scale which was permanently set to 35 lbs., which is underweight for a woman whose height is 5 feet and 9 inches. These really caused issues and worried parents. In Mattel’s defense, they said that Barbie’s waist was made smaller because the waistbands and seams of her clothes added some weight to her unrealistic figure.

(Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie#mediaviewer/File:How_to_lose_weight_II.JPG)

What do you think about these controversial dolls? Did we forget something? Tell us about it! We’d Love to hear from you!

 

You may want to check out our Barbie Collections at http://theescapeplace.com/. Click on each doll to purchase and go directly to our Ebay Store.

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