Toys and Games

Holiday Gift Guide: LEGO Games

December 4, 2012

LEGO Hobbit GameKids love games as holiday gifts (especially ones the entire family can play), and kids love LEGOs. Why not combine the two? LEGO games, produced by the world's favorite maker of interlocking plastic building bricks, do just that.

As you might expect, LEGO games are constructed of LEGO bricks. As with all LEGO sets, part of the fun is actually putting the games together, and part is playing them. Kids can also rebuild the games into different versions, or even make their own creations. You can even modify the included six-sided die to tweak the rules of your game.

Many of the LEGO games are German-style board games, which are designed and played differently from traditional American-style board games. These games emphasize short game play times (20 to 30 minutes, tops), repeatability, social interaction (nobody gets kicked out of the game, like in Monopoly, so everyone keeps playing), and the use of strategy to win. Because they're intended for an international audience, there are minimal reading requirements and words involved, except for the instructions. Feel free to modify the rules to your liking, too. We can vouch for the fact that LEGO games are a lot of fun!

Some of our favorite LEGO games include:

  • Creationary, which is similar to games like Pictionary, except instead of drawing you create things out of LEGO bricks
  • Ramses Pyramid, where you race to the top of an Egyptian pyramid, avoiding mummies along the way

Holiday Gift Guide: Aquasaurs

December 6, 2011

Uncle Milton Deluxe Aquasaurs KitHow'd you like to have your very own dinosaur? Sounds neat, until you start thinking about all the details, not the least of which is that it's totally impossible, since dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. There is a way to have your own prehistoric pet, though, with Aquasaurs!

What are Aquasaurs? They're a commercial name for a water-dwelling creature with three eyes called a triops or tadpole shrimp (Triops longicaudatus). Triops have been around since the Devonian period, roughly 350 million years ago, and are still going strong in vernal pools and seasonal ponds in North America.

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