Wednesday, June 18, 2014

UK Games Expo 2014--Family Zone

While I did a lot of playing and shopping at the UK Games Expo 2014, the kids spent most of their time in the Family Zone. This year the zone had its own dedicated room, with dozens of table and just as many (if not more) games for the kids to play. J and L loved it.

The Family Zone had its own dedicated library of games geared towards children. J and L must have played twelve or fifteen games. One favorite was Set Junior, based on the smash hit Set. This version is more friendly to the younger crowd including two different ways to play.

J playing Set Junior

Another favorite was Jungle Speed Safari which substitutes animals for the random color patterns in Jungle Speed. This version of the game is definitely easier to play and was so popular that we didn't take a picture while we were playing. We bought a copy to play at home and with friends (and possibly with friends at home).

Villa Paletti was another popular choice. In that game, the children have a large number of small columns that they put upright on a base. Then they place a board on top of the columns and start drawing columns from below to put on top of the second board. After several new columns are in place on the second tier, a third board is placed on top. It looks very challenging but was also very enjoyable for the kids.

Villa Paletti with J and friends

Other games in the area included large versions of popular titles like Ticket to Ride (which I saw last year at the convention) and Pandemic (which doesn't seem so much like a kid-friendly game if you ask me). L and I tried the extra-large edition of Quoridor. She won.

Pandemic with children?!?

L v. Daddy at Quoridor

Another fun activity in the Family Zone was face painting. Since the children went two days to the convention, L had her face painted twice by Victoria Mullis.

L didn't want her picture taken even though the face paint looked great on the first day

In the chair on day 2

L with a rainbow butterfly

The room also had massive dice that were Rory's Story Cubes. Rory himself was there on Sunday though I didn't get a chance to talk to him or to thank him for helping out my writing group with a ready-made writing prompt.

The Family Zone was a lot of fun; I hope any gaming expos we visit back in America have just as great a room for J and L to visit!

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