This post on Dexterity Games is brought to you by HABA USA and written by guest blogger Isaac Romsdahl.
I love all games, pretty much all the time. But I'm the minority. When I want to spend quality time with people who don't carry the same obsessions as me, I need to find common ground.
And If you want to make a gaming connection between different people…like your work buddies at the bar, home-for-the-holidays relatives, and other folks you don't share a lot with…there's a reason you aim squarely for dexterity games.Isaac attempting to place Rhino Hero!
We all learn how to play games as kids, and usually our first games involve building or stacking. Before we started branching out into sports and debate team and law school, we were all one united community building and stacking things on the floor. We all understand how physical objects interact, and that makes seemingly "just for kids" dexterity games like Animal Upon Animal and Rhino Hero hits right off the block.
A Taste of the Unexpected
What makes a dexterity game a game (and not just building stuff) are the rules the games puts in place to guide your choices.Isaac placing his roof card (Game Pictured: Rhino Hero)
In Animal Upon Animal, casting the die gives you a single option for your turn. It tells you the number of animals you can place, or it completely shakes things up by handing out surprises like making your opponents decide what animal to use or allowing you to force an opponent to place the animal for you. That frilly lizard who you've been dreading all game is now someone else's problem!In Rhino Hero the complications of the turn are handed down on the building cards themselves. The player who went before you is going to try to make things as complicated as possible…your building plan might include an unbalanced wall layout or even the quaking return of Rhino Hero (a wooden behemoth who feels very heavy indeed on your fifth or sixth level). It's always a little bit of a surprise!
Rather than make the decisions for yourself, the roof card means you get to cook up a true challenge for the next person in line. Some cards even let you reverse turn order so the jerk who handed you down a terrible roof card can face some of his or her own medicine!
In Animal Upon Animal each piece, from the long, slender snake to spiky porcupine, creates an interesting dilemma requiring analysis. Rather than pulling your hair out, this is a familiar kind of decision-making that gets people excited instead. Because its the same kind of decisions we all got plenty of practice with in those good old block-stacking days.
While the difficult decisions of a typical strategy game are very abstract, the decision regarding monkey vs penguin are right and doable.
Rhino Hero, on the other hand, turns a traditional house of cards into a competitive contest of skill. You need to both get rid of your cards, while simultaneously testing the next builder in line with something hopefully he or she cannot handle. Like the typical house of cards, this thing could go any minute.
Everybody Loves Games
After an evening of balancing rhinos or stacking sheep, you're going to discover people aren't so different after all. Sharing in the highs and lows of these critters is something every adult can find interesting and taking your turn with a big crash on the line always gets the entire table completely invested.Take a look at dexterity games for your next tabletop experience, and you won't be disappointed.
Isaac Romsdahl lives in Bloomington, MN with his wife Paula and his two kids Magnus and Ameila. When he's not playing games or writing about games, Isaac is a copywriter for a online and catalog retailer of hunting, fishing and outdoors gear. You can see his blog at minotaurillusionist.blogspot.com
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