Feed the Kitty

Image of Feed the Kitty

Image of Feed the Kitty

Overview

This adorable little game is perfect for family or friends to play together. This game takes no reading skills to play and doesn’t even take much in the way of counting either so any child that can keep the dice out of their mouths is old enough to play. The whole idea is of the game is that there is an invisible cat whose food bowl sees a small group of mice in and out of it through the actions of the dice. The game is pure chance, which means that like the classic game Candy Land you can’t through the game in your child’s favor if they aren’t able to lose well yet.

Game Play

The game play of Feed the Kitty is pretty basic. The components of the game are small wooden mice tokens, 1 plastic food bowl, and two 6-sided dice. Youngest player goes first and play proceeds clockwise around the table. The mice are divided evenly between the players with any left over mice placed into the food bowl. The player rolls the two dice and follows the actions shown. The various actions for the dice are:

  • Sleeping Cat: The cat is sleeping – nothing happens
  • Food Bowl: The cat captures a mouse – place one of your mice in the food bowl
  • Mouse: A mouse escapes the food bowl – take a mouse from the food bowl (if there is one) and place it in your mouse pile
  • Arrow: A mouse moves to a new pile – pass a mouse to the player on your left

Play continues in this manner until only one person has mice left in their pile. The nice thing is that if a player runs out of mice they are not totally out of the game. They could get passed a mouse from the player on their right.

Pros

  • Requires no reading so perfect for those that can’t read
  • Game play is fast so games don’t take very long
  • The rules are simple so it is easy to learn
  • My kids still enjoy it even at 12 and 10

Cons

  • Game is pure chance no skill involved
  • Because it is pure chance you can’t throw the game to make it easier for your kids to win

How to get the game

The game is still in print and should be available at your local game store. Or you can order Feed the Kitty online via Amazon.

 

Falling: Goblin Edition

A month ago or so we tried out a new card game, Falling: Goblin Edition and while crazy it was a lot of fun. The premise of the card game is that you are a group of Goblins who, for whatever reason, are falling and are sure to die when you hit the ground. So you take on the goal of trying to be the last one to hit the ground.

The game is very fast paced and lacks a true turn based system as you just fling cards as fast as they are dealt out. While it took us a couple of games before both the dealer and the players had figured out what we were doing, once we did it worked nicely. With such a fast paced game it did an excellent job of simulating the story line. While you were busy pushing other goblins (players) or grabbing onto thing to try to slow your decent the ground appeared with an unexpected “Thud!” often without you seeing it coming.

I wouldn’t recommend the game for kids younger than perhaps late Middle School, the pace would be a real challenge and the lack of true turns was a challenge for even the table of seasoned gamers I was playing with. It did make for an entertaining passing of time though while we waited for the last member of our gaming group to arrive for the evening’s table top session.

Why I Love Guild Wars 2

Buy Guild Wars 2


So, as many of you likely know, Guild Wars 2 will be releasing on Aug 28, 2012.  At our house this is exciting news, as I trust it is at many of yours as well. My husband and I pre-bought the game for both of us as our anniversary present this year back in April when the option became available.  We intend to each dedicate a character slot to our joint play time, kind of a gamer date time when the kids are at their dad’s house.  Any way that works is a good way to keep the spark alive.

I never played the first Guild Wars, and haven’t been very big into the whole multi-mass player online game thing.  Mostly I don’t like to team up with others, partly because as a mom my attention can rarely be devoted fully to the game and partly because I am not super good at them and feel self-conscience around others.

Thankfully Guild Wars 2 has proven to be the game I was waiting for, I just didn’t know it.  A big thank you to my husband for knowing it for me.

When I play rpg style games it is all about the character and the development of the character.  I will choose things based off what the character would choose not always what is the best from a number-crunch perspective.  This often makes my characters ineffective but very real; so far I have had enough choices to implement style without sacrificing ability which is great.  I love how the items have really out there names sometimes which feeds my character personality need quite well.

I also have enjoyed the immersion of the character background into their personal story line.  This allows me to focus on doing things and generally staying away from the tedium of grinding.  Any game that makes me grind will quickly be left behind, I don’t find it engaging to endlessly run areas to kill monsters just to get experience to level to do the next real thing.  With Guild Wars I can collect hearts or way point or views and just go to a whole new area if I need to level for my story line.  It keeps me engaged which means I keep playing.

My family budget loves the idea that I buy the game and then get to play it, no deciding what we are going to give up each month to afford the dues for four of us to play.  Or splitting accounts so that we can all take turns playing just to afford to play at all.  Thank you AreaNet for going “old school” on this and dumping the monthly fees!

All in all I am excited for go-live to get here so I can play, play, play!

 

 

Gamestorm 14

Last weekend was another exciting gaming convention, sure wish I could go to more of them.  As it is nearly bedtime for me this will be short and sweet.

For those that don’t know, Gamestorm is a gaming convention held each year in the Portland/Vancouver area of the PNW.  The last few years it has been at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA.  For 3-1/2 days we take over the entire convention space and fill it with RPG, RPGA, Miniature, Indie, Board/Card Games, LARPs, LAN, CCG, and console gaming.  There is something for everyone and all have a great time.

This year I ran one session of Horror Rules, and played in a number of RPGs.  I played Faery’s Tale, Monsters and Other Childish Things
, Zombie Cinema, Teenagers from Outer Space, and a d20 Modern" target="_blank">d20 modern set in the old west.  My weekend was full of all sorts of great stories and I plan to share them over the coming days.

But for now I will end with one of the many great quotes from my gaming weekend.

“I’ve been snasquatched by the hideunder!”

Magic Items from Children’s Books

Fan by classina

When reading bedtime stories to my kids I am often struck by the quantity of ideas for either game plot or magic items that I discover. Right now I am reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to my 9 year old, and Alice in Wonderland to my 6 year old. If we simply allow ourselves to see the items and situations in these works outside of the structure of the story we can reap a small army of ideas out of this simple bedtime ritual. Here are a few ideas I have been struck with for Magic Items.

 

Shrinking Fan (Alice in Wonderland) – A magical fan that when used to fan oneself causes the person to shrink at the rate of 1″ per minute.

Boots of Conclusions (The Phantom Tollbooth) – Magic boots that can be used once per day to “jump” to a small island, when on this small island the character may find the conclusion that would happen from a certain action. While on the island the character is not visible where they had been and time passes as usual while they are gone.

Almost Tea Cup (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) – A tea cup that can be filled three times per day. The liquid that fills the cup is “almost, but not quite unlike tea” and will sustain the physical needs of the character in terms of nutrition but still leave the character feeling not quite satisfied.

Thunderstone – The Boardgame

So last weekend I played a new game with the kids called Thunderstone. The game is a card based game that recreates an adventuring group. While the game is plenty of fun it is also easy enough for younger kids to play. I suspect that we may not have been playing with the full on set of rules, but we were close enough to them to get a good feel for the game.

In the game each person starts out with basic supplies for an adventuring party represented in cards. Using the cards you have collected you can either head to the village to purchase supplies or recruit and level up; or you can delve into the dungeon and battle creatures for experience points. The game play is pretty simple once you get it figured out, though I will admit that the setup is a bit on the complicated side to determine from the book. Just be sure to read through the instruction book and it will all come together pretty easily.

Man vs Dice – Part 3

Clipboard

ClipboardSo what happens when your dice mutiny all together???? When that happens you sit down at the game table, clipboard of characters, maps and miscellaneous information in hand and find that you have everything but your character sheet. You dig through the gaming bag that the gaming clipboard lives in, all of which only ever visits your bedroom, car or gaming table only to discover that you will be accepting the blank character sheet the DM is handing you with a grin. Now the fun part of trying to remember what darn stats your character had anyways. Not so bad on some games, but really bad on others where there are tons of skills.

Fast forward to game the next Friday night, mostly same group of gamers and same darn table, though this time Man sits at the other end of the table hoping for better luck. There is no better luck for Man. Now he finds that the whole gaming clipboard had been abandoned at the last gaming table. Lucky for him the owner of that gaming table is coming over for game tonight, perhaps he will have brought it along. Again no luck for Man, the owner of the gaming table lovingly placed the clipboard in his spot for “abandoned gaming gear” and moved on with his life. Yet another blank sheet for yet another game.

Good thing this particular saga only lasted for two games or Man would have felt truly defeated. Until next time, may your dice roll well for you.

Trade your old gaming stuff for new dice

Another day, another cruise through some of my newly bookmarked websites. And what did I find you might ask? Why I found a barter offer from GM Dice (I wrote about them the other day). They are bringing barter back to gaming, and on the web even! According to the barter section of their website they will gladly take your old rpg books, board games, and even old gaming pieces all in exchange for gift certificates to spend on cool new dice.

But you don’t have anything in your collection you could bear to part with, me either to be honest. Well all is well as they will take anything in exchange for a gift certificate. You will send them information on what you are offering, as well as specifics like condition and quantity and they will let you know what amount you will get on your gift card. If you all are chummy and agree then you ship them the stuff and they will ship you a gift card upon receipt. Perhaps next time I will do this rather then donating my things.

I am not sure what I would ever need a d5, d14, or a d24 for in my games, but they would be great conversation pieces at Gamestorm. Though what I really want is The Amazing Everything Dice, but they are sold out. Perhaps it is time to see if I have any old games to send off.

New Family Board Games

Tired of playing Monopoly and Life for the millionth time with your kids, ready for something new and interesting to play on game night. There are a wide array of games that can meet your needs and now that there is the internet to make ordering easier these games are available to almost anyone. I have been slowly growing my collection of these card and board games for the last decade or so. Here I plan to review these games as a way for you to determine which might work best for your family. With any luck you should be able to find a number of new games to try out.

Lets start with a simple, yet complex card game called Fluxx. The game starts with the simple rule of draw one, play one, simple enough. As the game goes on people play goals for winning, which constantly changes as well as they can play different rules that can change a variety of aspects of the game. While it sounds complicated you will find it is easy to play and with all the expansions, like Family Fluxx, it is a great family game. This is one that I enjoy playing with my son, age 8, and my daughter, age 6. It is a bit over my daughters head she enjoys playing it none the less. You can pick it up at most any game store, in the Greater Portland Area we like going to Rainy Day Games as they have a great selection.

Legendary Lives 2nd Edition Review

Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is a fantasy based RPG published by Marquee Press in the mid 90s. I discovered it at Powell’s Book store in 1995 and fell in love right away. The system only takes one book and the character sheets have most all of the information a player needs on them.

The system uses percentile dice and all rolls are made against a table on the character sheet. Each roll is giving a rating between Catastrophic and Awesome and that rating is used to determine success or failure and to what degree. When a character rolls one of the two extremes they mark it with a check (one per adventure) and this allows them to perform a skill check later to possibly raise the skill, somewhat like Call of Cthulhu. Another feature of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition that is reminiscent of the much darker Call of Cthulhu is the sanity skill and how you can gain phobias and mental illnesses should you roll badly enough in the wrong situation.

With a choice of 26 different races and about as many non-magical and magical types there is a huge flexibility in the character choices. Also each character roles on tables to determine events that have happened in their character’s past both benevolent and tragic. This not only helps to shape the character but often provides the Game Master with plenty of character hooks to keep things moving along.

The magic system of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is unlike any other I have ran or played. There are a number of different spell skills each representing a broad area of magic, such as Fire Mastery or Protection. After the player describes how they are going to use the spell skill and the effect they are looking for the Game Master will tell them how many points it will cost in temporary skill reduction (usually between 0 and 5) and the character will roll for success on the reduced skill level. Having such an open system allows for a level of creativity in spell use that is rarely seen in more rigid rpg games and is one feature that really sets this often unheard of game above most others in my mind.

While print copies are hard to come by these days, the author has seen fit to put his Legendary Lives 2nd Edition rulebook up (minus the artwork) online as opensource for all to enjoy. I suggest you not only look at this game, but his others as well. Also there are a number of useful charts and adventures online as well. I hope you enjoy this simple, yet highly creative rpg system.

Update Jan 29, 2017

I have added a few new items on The Halfling that are in support of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition. Here are the links for quick access to these new items:
2nd Edition Legendary Lives Character Sheet – PDF Form that you can fill out on your computer
Automated Class Option Finder – Enter your character’s base stats and get back a list of all available classes