Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Last Post on #TF14: The Greatest, Most Interesting, Most Important Puzzles and Games of Toy Fair 2014

Gravity Maze by ThinkFun.  Oh how darling. What a motivating way to think several steps ahead. 
WHAT: Toy Fair Coverage 2014 Most Exciting Games and Puzzles at Toy Fair 2014
INVEST:  Prices and availability will not be listed. Some will come out in the Spring or even later.  Some are available now!
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Make a comment if you want to see it reviewed and/or sold at a store near you.  Sign up for newsletters from the company that manufactures the toy to find out when your toy will be available.

What are the Greatest, Most Interesting, Most Important Puzzles and Games of Toy Fair 2014? Well, if you didn't get the humorous part of this line, I can only tell you to watch the LEGO Movie.  It doesn't matter if you don't like LEGOs. You have to see it. It's a stamp that marks our language, our media, our concerns of current times.

Still, these games do appear very special to me.  I have only but a couple of these at home because most of these are BRAND- NEW.  It's always exciting to me to watch great folks in the game industry come up with even more great games. It's a testament to the depth of the human mind. There is no shortage of creativity, at least not when it comes to puzzles and games. Even though games and puzzles are structured play, something tells me that ones in this post here will keep us far away from a life that is based upon instructions that tell us how to fit in, have everyone like you, and always be happy.

I have a major problem with word recall and this year I proclaim that Tapple will cure me. #nomoreseniormoments by USAopoly
This year, I will uncover the secret to why this game is so darn successful. USAopoly
Any game that explores 3D strategies is worth playing, You'll soon see what I mean. USAopoly
Language-based learning games need not be stationery. This one allows you to walk around the house while learning to use clues to find an answer. USAopoly

eeBoo's Simple Bingo. I was never a fan of Bingo but I'm a huge fan of Melissa Sweet (illustrator). This is eye candy and it's delicious.
Can you see how brilliant this is? No Boring BINGO here. This is for older kids and it's all about the earth. Again, illustrated by Melissa Sweet  Not when you have gold trimmings! Wow!
My son literally said to me, "This is by Melissa Sweet, isn't it?" Isn't that amazing? Kids can connect to inventors just like they do book authors, I love it! 
I consider this to be not just a toy but rather a 3D puzzle that moves AND can tell a story.  by Jack Rabbit Creations
Simple toy from my childhood. Stay tuned to see how I turn this into a language learning tool. by Jack Rabbit Creations
This is very different. So far I am understanding it to be a puzzle that thinks for two. Hmmm... Must find out more. This is from Smart Toys and Games. This is called City Maze- A GPS Game- Cool! by Smart Toys and Games
My son likes to take his LEGO Movie Minifigures apart and put it in an opaque bag and ask me to guess the character. It's too easy and he has a limited number of characters to use but HARK! Lookee there, in Quadrillion, legend says that you can create your own puzzle. I consider this a gift. I know my kids love to make me puzzles to solve but I won't play unless they figured out the solution first. I can't wait to try this out!!!! by Smart Toys and Games
This is from last year but isn't IQ Link pretty? They should make IQ Link Candies but then the puzzles will never get solved. by Smart Toys and Games
This is the newest "IQ" puzzle.  My son says that if we get this, I'm not allowed to bring this on the subway.  We had lost a piece of IQ Twist in Grand Central station once. I still think it is worth it to bring on any trip. Especially if your kids can't read in cars because of carsickness. by Smart Toys and Games
Which is your favorite? by Smart Toys and Games

We now interrupt this post to bring you an important question: 

Why are 3-D puzzle/strategy games important? 

Life  and many of its problems are experienced in 3-D. Example: one of the laundry rooms in my building barely has enough standing room. How can Tester 1 put the clothes in the dryer without having a nervous breakdown? Truth be told, he hates doing laundry. The other laundry room was full so we HAD to use this one. 
I said, "This is just like one of your logic puzzles. Think ahead and don't drop the clean wet clothes on the floor." He thought of it just like a puzzle, thought ahead, transferred clothing into the dryers by doing it differently than he does in the other room. (did drop a few clothes but I pretended that I didn't see that.)

Tester 5 LOVES Slamwich.  But will she like Super Slamwich?  by Gamewright

Newest game. Sushi Go. I love the art. And I love Sushi too! by Gamewright
OOOH Boy, this looks hard. by Gamewright   But I like the little orange piece.  Looks less daunting.

Briarpatch is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Davinci Challenge with a new game board and box. Really sturdy and the pieces won't move around.  Was a MENSA winner years ago. My son loves this game and was excited to hear about the new game board.
The newest version of the MENSA 2012 winner, Mine Shift now accommodates more players! Woo-hoo! Mindware.
Another MENSA Winner from years past. Instructures asks your team partner to build something without showing a picture, only verbal directions.  Love it! by Ideal
Recent Toys has so many cool puzzles! Wow!

I've always been curious about this game: Word Search by Goliath Games.
This is NIYA by Blue Orange Games. I like original game. Koreans call it Hwa-to and Japanese call it Hanafuda.  When I was a kid the grown-ups played for money while drinking lots of beer. This game is a bit different though. Still, I love the art. 
Fat Brain Toys made this awesome memory game. Chickens and eggs are always a hit. I would like to eat that little orange egg. 
Oh, this just looks so hard. Every year, they come out with something that will make you lose your mind. Fat Brain Toys
I see a lot of ADD-up-to-7 games but I've never played one until today.  This one is adorable! Fat Brain Toys
Stratego has a new mom and dad! Patch Products! And they've made a Stratego card game. That is awesome.
Fancy Stratego for the holidays or for any day when you want to feel special- like using the good china.  
The new Stratego has a new face.  My greedy kids will want this one even though they have Stratego at home. 
CODING- It's on top of every parent discussion in America.  Coding is good. Coding is fun. Coding is the antidote to too much screen time. Coding is going to prepare your kids for the future. Coding will be necessary to be literate in tomorrow's world.  Honestly, I don't know about all that but ThinkFun is just going to explore how coding is fun.  I'm good with that. Robot Turtles looks really awesome. 
Not for building future con-artists. Rather, use this game to help kids boost their working memory which has multi-level benefits.  by ThinkFun
Well designed cards encourages focused looking and even more focused thinking to think of a word that can start with the last letter of the word you heard. by ThinkFun 
Too simple?  Not if you have those kids who have grey area troubles. You know who I'm talking about. Some kids can not accept where the hour hand is placed. 
I think I will like this a lot! More ZINGO. MORE!!!!!!!!!!

Hoppers is now easier but still super cute. by ThinkFun
The sequel to Roll and Play. Move and Groove looks even more fun! by ThinkFun
What's this guy doing here? He's not a puzzle or a game. I know but I had to put him here as the very last picture to be posted in my Toy Fair post.  Rabbids sums up things in a way that is wordless and yet the meaning is always crystal clear. We need to celebrate them because all of us should be a Rabbid for a day.  Wouldn't that be better than a trip to outerspace? 

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And that's all folks! More reviews coming soon. If you see something you like, say so. I won't be reviewing everything you've seen in these posts. I have to sleep and the testers do have things like homework and state tests and summer vacations, etc.

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.  Heck this wasn't even a review. Let's just call all these posts previews.


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