Over Chinese New Year, I was invited to my friend Irene's house for dinner. 'Bring a board game,' she'd told me. 'The kids want to play one of yours.'
Being the mother of two children with a rather large age gap (6 and 12), Irene liked having activities that her whole family could join in, and upon my recommendation had taken up board games. While obviously not a traditional CNY activity, I nevertheless selected a co-operative game from my collection and headed over.
After dinner, we opened with Ammeline's favorite game, Sushi Go, a simple and adorable card game about collecting sushi to score points. Aaron won the first game but was narrowly edged out by his sister in the rematch when her strategy of collecting the puddings (which score highly at the end) paid off handsomely.
Food is cuter when it smiles at you.
Sushi Go, while relatively simple, requires players to pay attention to which sets their opponents are trying to collect,and how many points they're worth. Observation, decision-making, and simple arithmetic coupled with the sweet art style make this a great family game.
We then moved onto Mysterium, a co-operative murder mystery in which one player is a ghost trying to help the other players figure out the circumstances of its death.
Was it the baker, in the nursery, with the razor?
This game was so enchanting that despite the longish session, Aaron demanded we play twice. The stunning card art and lavish production values underscore a simple game - figure out who murdered the ghost, with what weapon, and in which room of the house - but unlike Cluedo's dice and deduction, the non-ghost players must work together to interpret the dream visions that the ghost is giving to them, with a limited number of rounds in which to do so.
I ended up leaving around 10:30, way past their bedtimes, as we all got so caught up discussing the games and what made them fun. Irene loved having activities in which she could involve both her kids, and she enjoyed the bonding experience board gaming created. I am glad to have introduced her to one more game.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!