St Thomas of Canterbury, 28 September 2018

Back to our regular Friday spot from now on! Today we played games requiring quick eyes (and quick hands).

First up was Space Faces (Spear’s, 1970s/1980s), Debbie’s favourite game from childhood. In a bizarre oversight, the gospel Board Game Geek have neglected to create a page for Space Faces. Here is an image instead:

There are 120 different aliens to find. Each alien has a unique colour combination for its face, eyes, nose and mouth. There are five colours (yellow, red, green, purple and blue) but a shaker is used to have only four colours in play at a time. After a good shake (possible design flaw – the shaker is rather ear-piercing) the first player to find the alien wins a counter. The first to five counters is the winner. The children found the aliens with yellow faces were easiest to find, as there is more contrast with the other colours. Some of the younger children decided this was a “hard game to play”. I think they found it hard to retain four pieces of information at the same time, while also knowing they were in a race against other children. I must work on some strategies to help them.

Next up was Dobble (Asmodee, 2009), a pattern recognition game. There are 55 round cards, with eight symbols per card. Any two cards have only one symbol in common. Players race to find the symbol shown on two cards. There are various mini-games which can be played. I urge you to read the leaflet explaining how Dobble was invented as it touches on some interesting maths, as well as showing the persistence required to turn an idea into a game people can buy.

We then brought back a favourite from last year, Rubik’s Race (Rubik’s, 1982). Each player has a 5×5 grid, with one tile missing. The 24 tiles consist of four tiles each of six colours (white, yellow. orange, red, green, blue i.e. the same as a Rubik’s Cube). A scrambler is shaken which reveals a 3×3 pattern. Players race to make the 3×3 centre of their grid match this 3×3 pattern. The space made by the missing tile is used to move the other tiles into the correct position. There was a developmental ‘gap’ between the Year 5 children who moved the missing tile around with fluency and speed, and the Year 3 children who took a little longer to understand how to play. There was good resilience shown by all the children.