With the summer holidays only six weeks away, I’ve already started drafting out packing lists – top of which is entertainment to keep the kids happy during their travels.
Whilst I’m quite happy to allow the children a little screentime during the flight, I tend to prefer that they steer clear of technology whilst traveling to avoid motion sickness and because wheres the fun in being glued to a gadget?!
University Games very kindly sent us three card games: Man Bites Dog, Switcheroo and SmartAss (which I have previously featured and reviewed upon this blog) to rate and review. Each of these games share similarities in style as they require creative, thoughtful and imaginative play, thus are ideal entertainment for both children and adults.
Man Bites Dog
My ten-year-old son and I put each of the games to the test whilst sat at the table together – we began by playing Man Bites Dog – a hilarious game in which players must piece together headlines to collect points.
Each player is dealt a hand of five cards (some of which they may swap should they wish), they must then construct a headline which makes grammatical sense, each card that they use is worth a number of points – these points are written down and the first player to get to five hundred is the winner.
Whilst this game is a fantastic tool for experimenting with language, it is also incredibly fun to play. J and I decided to ditch the rules, not bothering with jotting any scores down; instead, we decided to battle for the funniest headline, the winner being the first player to have ten winning headlines.
Man Bites Dog is a creative, crazy and humorous headline based game suitable for 2-6 players aged 8 years and over. This super little game reminded me very much of a child-friendly version of ‘Cards Against Humanity’, it certainly tickled our little lad as he was in fits of laughter each and every time he was dealt a hand to play.
Man Bites Dog is available to purchase in a wide range of high street and online shops, this game currently retails from £7.49 via Amazon.
Both my son and I would thoroughly recommend ‘Man Bites Dog’, we had a barrel of laughs playing this compact, comical card game.
Switcheroo (Mini Game)
Switcheroo is a fast-paced, fun, family game requiring quick thinking skills. Each player is dealt ten cards, which they must then try to rid themselves of by responding to amusing subjects accordingly; Play a card, turn the timer and then pass onto the next player but be aware, switches can take place at any point in the game (usually when you happen to have the perfect response at the ready).
Switcheroo features two packs of cards: subject cards and letter cards. These cards must be combined to name something beginning with a particular letter which matches a given silly subject. This is a great game for encouraging younger players to establish correct spellings, as my son when asked to name something which only women would use beginning with an ‘N’ shouted out “Knickers!”, which I simply had to let him have, but later explained the correct spelling for.
J and I were in fits of giggles playing this game and whilst we read through and used the rules for play, we also created our own version of this game – We simply divided the letter and subject cards into two packs, placing one of each into the centre of the table and being the first to shout an answer to claim the cards – this may be a more suitable style of play for younger players.
Switcheroo is available as a full sized or mini-game (as featured) and is available to purchase from a wide range of high-street and online stores including Amazon where the Switcheroo Mini Games currently at only £12.99.
Suitable for two or more players aged ten years and over, Switcheroo is yet another compact, comical card game ideally sized for travel.
Smart Ass – The Card Game
Unlike Switcheroo or Man Bites Dog, Smart Ass requires a certain amount of knowledge of facts and figures, thus isn’t quite as creative as the other games which we had previously played.
The Smart Ass Card Game is a smaller, more compact version of the original board game ‘Smart Ass’. The Smart Ass Card Game can either be used as a stand-alone card game or as an expansion pack for the Smart Ass board game.
Smart Ass proved to be a fantastic quiz based card game which is suitable for two or more players ideally aged twelve years and over. You can find a full, detailed review of this product here.
Priced at only £7.99, SmartAss is available to purchase directly from Amazon or alternatively can be picked up in a number of high-street stores.
Comparing Card Games
Having played all three games (SmartAss, Man Bites Dog and Switcheroo), my son was adamant that ‘Man Bites Dog’ was his firm favourite. I haven’t seen our son laugh like this whilst playing a game before, it was certainly entertaining! Whilst I’d recommend each of these games (especially as travel games due to their compact size), I would hasten to agree with J that ‘Man Bites Dog’ wins hands down when comparing these card games.
For further information upon the above mentioned or other University Games click here.
Disclosure: We were sent the above products for the purpose of this post. However, all opinions are my sons and my own.