Looking for high-quality games that maximize the fun? Look no farther than Blue Orange, the makers of “Hot Games for a Cool Planet,” founded in San Francisco in 2000 by two game inventors from France.
Blue Orange has an eco-friendly focus, utilizing colorful wooden pieces that will last a long, long time, and planting two trees for every tree felled to make their games. Blue Orange games ignite creativity and are often educational, and have won a plethora of awards, including Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games and ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) Best Toy for Kids.
1. Spot It!
Blue Orange’s top selling game, Spot It! (7+), takes seconds to learn, but it will keep the whole family busy and giggling for a long time! The small tin is wicked easy to travel with, and includes directions for five different ways to play, but it does not end there. You can make up your own ways to play, use Spot It! for picture recognition games, and even use the cards to practice counting. Because Spot It! has been so wildly popular, it has spawned loads of different versions, including Spot It! Jr. Animals(4+), Spot It! MLB, Spot It! NHL and many more!
One of my favorite ways to play Spot It! is called Hot Potato. Everyone playing has one card facing down in their hand. At the same time, all the players flip over their card and they are trying to get rid of their card as fast as possible by finding a match on another player’s card. The last player who has all the cards keeps the cards and they go onto the next match. At the end of the game, the player least amount of cards wins! It seems simple enough, but in the heat of the moment you are panicking because you do not want to be the last player with the cards! Who will be able to spot a match the fastest?
Blue Orange’s first game was Gobblet (7+), which is a chess-like game with a tic-tac-toe twist. The object of the game is to get 4 of your color Gobblets in a row. Watch out, though: the other player can “gobble up” your piece and block your chances of getting four in a row.
Each Gobblet player starts with 12 pieces, in three columns, stacked inside each other. Players must play the pieces in the order they appear. On your turn, you can place a piece on the board from your stacks, move a piece on the board to an empty space, or “gobble up” another piece with a bigger Gobblet already on the board. The first player to get four in a row wins! This is one of my husband’s favorite games to play, since he has a very logical and mathematical mind. We play one game every night, because it keeps our memory sharp and keeps our brains thinking.
Blue Orange also has games for kids as young as age 3, including Zimbbos! Zimbbos focuses on color recognition, number order, and balancing. The object of the game is to build a pyramid with all the elephant pieces. When you roll a number on the die, you pick up that many elephants in numerical order. Place the elephants on the table any way you like. If you roll a star, you can pick any of the wild pieces – a joker or a balancing bar. You may have to balance on top of the bar or on top of other pieces. You can always play on the top level or higher, but never lower. The winner is the player who places the number 10 elephant on the pyramid. It can also be played as a solo game, or kids can just play with the pieces as blocks. The possibilities are endless.
4. Doodle Quest
New to Blue Orange this year is Doodle Quest (6+). The object of this game is to score the most points by completing different visual challenges. There are two different levels of challenges which can make the game easier or harder. Each player gets a transparent doodle sheet and a drawing board. The challenge is placed in the middle of the table and each player must draw according to the challenge: for example, a challenge may be draw a line to connect the mermaids to their matching dolphins without hitting any bubbles. Each player then draws their lines, and then one by one they place their doodle on top of the challenge and see how they did.
They could score extra points if they hit some starfish but if they hit any bubbles they lose points. After 6 rounds, the game is over and all the points are added up. This is a great game for spatial reasoning, creativity, attention, and addition/subtraction. I love this game because there are so many ways to get one result. Some people may draw a straight line, while others may go a completely different way.
We love the variety and creativity of Blue Orange games, each with unique educational and play possibilities, and you can save 25% off these fantastic games until June 22! Explore the world of Blue Orange on our website, or come into our stores and let us recommend a great game for you.