Friday, December 18, 2009

Game Variations and House Rules

Last month we held a contest asking our fans how they play Out of the Box Games. We got loads of responses with great game variations and house rules. Below I have pulled out a couple of my personal favorites. Thanks for playing everyone!

"My six-year-old and I like to play games together, And he often asks to play "10 Days in Europe" or "10 Days in the USA". But since he is still learning what the countries/states are called and where they are, "10 Days in the Europe/USA" would be strongly tilted in my favor. He still wants to play it though, so I take a handicap; he follows the usual rules of placing the tiles one at a time to try to set up some starting connections, but I take ten tiles and put the in days 1-10 in order, without looking at them first."- Nate, IL

"When my roommate and I sit down with our dates to play Backseat drawing, instead of forming teams, the four of us take turns playing with each of the other three players (once as the director, once as the artist) for a total of six rounds. We keep score for as individuals, so which ever pair wins a round, we give each of those players a point." -Erin, CA

We lay out all 4 boards on a big table and pick 10 cards from each set randomly, shuffle the 40 cards in your "hand," stack them, then place the top card in slot 1, the next card in slot 2, etc. until all 40 slots are filled. You are not allowed to look at them or place them in relation to any cards - just shuffle and place.
We use all of the seas, oceans, and common countries, etc. to connect to each other. So for example, you can take the Pacific Ocean from Japan in the Asia game to California in the US game. You can take the Mediterranean Sea from Italy in the Europe game to Egypt in the African game. Turkey exists in both Asia and Europe so you can use those interchangeably. You can use any plane to fly to any other country of the same color and of course, in any order within any rack. You can use cars in Asia (not normally in this version).
We do stipulate that you must have at least 7 cards of each game so that you don't just spend 40 days in Africa. One time, I needed to get another Europe card because I only had 6 so I just needed to swap out a yellow African plane for a yellow European plane but I didn't get the chance before my daughter Vicky beat me!" -Ginny, PA

"A variation to Ciniplexity. For those who are movie experts, instead of using only two cards and be the forst person to name a movie, use three cards to make it much more challening."- Sara, MN

"I use the following variants for "Harry's Grand Slam Baseball" (which I love):
Take out one homer card, one triple card, and one Balk card. That leaves 1 homer and 1 triple card in the deck, and cuts down on scoring, making the game more tactical.
Also, I use the following variant rules: a run can score from 2nd on a single with 2 out and from 1st on a 2-out double (assuming that with 2 outs the runners would be moving on the pitch). Also, with 2 out a runner can move from 1st to 3rd on a single.
Finally, a sacrifice bunt card is treated as an infield out if it's not a sacrifice situation (e.g., nobody on base or men on base but 2 out)."- Richard, IL

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