Fight Brain Drain: Play a Game!

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Bottle Flip

Ages 13+ , 2-6 players , $24.95

If you have a bottle flipper in your life, they will want this fun board game. Players attempt to complete a series of challenge cards (“Flip a bottle between your legs,” “Flip a bottle behind your back,” “Land 5 bottle flips in a row,” etc.) and race to be the first to reach the end of the game board and win.

Anomia Party Edition

Ages 10+, 3-6 players, $29.99

You met Anomia inventor Andrew Innes, now check out the party-sized edition of his award-winning game. Gameplay is the same: race to shout out an example of your opponent’s category before he or she shouts yours. This Party edition offers six new decks, more than 400 unique categories, and customizable blank cards for adding your own categories, ensuring hours of laughs.

Ages 10+, 2 to 8 players, $12.99

Gamewright has re-released this Mensa-Select-winning game with new card art and in a deluxe tin. Gameplay remains fun and the same — capture your opponents’ merchant ships while protecting your own, through the strategic use of pirates and their ships. The team-play aspect opens up this game in a whole new way, making it fun for younger players who may not be ready to sail solo or those who enjoy team play.

Rally Roll

Ages 8+, 2-6 players, $7.99

Players try to score as many points as possible by matching colors and numbers on six dice. They can continue to roll to increase their score or stop at any time. Pressing your luck can result in a higher score — or a bust and zero points when you don’t match any colors or numbers. Rally Roll is great because it’s tiny, portable, and easy to learn. Thanks to the provided mesh bag, the dice will travel with you anywhere you go.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle

Ages 11+, 2-4 players, $39.50

Players choose a character (Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville) and draw cards that increase their abilities as the game progresses. Together players combine to defeat villains and save Hogwarts from Voldemort and his Dark Arts devotees. The game is split into seven different adventures of increasing difficulty, reflecting Harry’s seven years at Hogwarts. This is a fantastic game in that everyone works together to win or lose. The game is beautifully packaged and designed, and offers sturdy, well-made game components. An expansion, The Monster Box of Monsters, will be arriving later this year offering much more gameplay and a fifth player: Luna Lovegood.


Ages 10+, 1 or more players, $9.99

PDQ will get everyone’s brains humming. Flip three letter cards. Your mission: to be the first to shout out a word containing those letters, in that order. For example, if the cards were SMP: “Simple!” PTR? “Picture!” Small in size, the box is easy to tuck in a bag for travel. It’s an ingenious way to boost vocabulary over the summer months, and offers several game variations, including one for younger players and solitaire.

Ages 6+, 2-4 players, $19.99

This dexterity game will be a big hit at your table because it’s colorful, tactile, and all about ice cream. Your job: Be the first to match the challenge card, which displays three gelato cones in a specific color combination and order. The trick: You can’t use your hands to build the cones. While players race to build three cones, they will always have a fourth empty one to help them manipulate the ice cream and cones into the right order. This is a fast, fun, game that parents will enjoy as much as kids.

Ages 8+, 2-4 players, $19.99

This fast game demands a quick brain and nimble fingers. Flip over a challenge card, and using your tweezers, add the microbes on the card to your petri dish. But, wait: The card is incomplete and one microbe is missing. You’ll need to follow the research rules and use logic to determine the missing microbe and complete the card before everyone else. Three rule variations keep game play exciting and keep players thinking. This one’s fun, fast, and offers a lot of laughs.


Ages 8+, 2-4 players, $39.99

Each player tries to toss his or her ball and ring closest to the target — the 12-sided Boochie ball. You can score points by your proximity to the ball, as well as by whatever is decreed on the side of the Boochie facing up. Players advance their wrist trackers, which tally their points, and follow whatever direction is given on the tracker once the Boochie is thrown again. For example, one player may have to throw their ball and ring while laying on their stomach while another has to throw with their back to the target. The winner is the first to 11 points. Boochie is a mix of bocce and ring toss with some really fun twists thrown in. The game also comes with a carrying case, making it easy to take and play almost anywhere. Keep it in the trunk for instant fun wherever you go.

Flying Kiwis

Ages 6+,  2-4 players, $17.99

The kiwis want to go on vacation — and they need your help to get into the fruit crate. Using their ramp, players simultaneously race to launch four of their kiwis in a row or square. Do that and you win the game. Or, you can win by scoring the most points by having your kiwi land on top of a square. However, with a mass of kiwis flying at once, points can be stolen or winning formations ruined by another player. This is a very fast, very fun game that will become an instant favorite.

Happy Salmon

Ages 6+, 3-6 players, $14.99

Try not to laugh during this wild game — it’s pretty much impossible. Stand in a circle with the other players while everyone shouts out the action on the top card in their hand: Pound It, High Five, Switcheroo, or Happy Salmon. Find someone whose action card matches yours, perform the action, then discard your card, and continue to the next action card in your hand. The first person to match and discard all their cards wins. This is a fast and furious game for all ages that will keep you moving when you’re not doubled over laughing. The packaging is super cute and small enough your Happy Salmon can tag along anywhere.