Second Look—Mole Rats in Space

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Matt Leacock, the designer of such awesome games a Pandemic, Roll Through the Ages, and Forbidden island, has just put out a new cooperative kids game with Peaceable Kingdom called Mole Rats in Space.

(They’re not naked mole rats because they have space suits on)

Snakes have invaded the mole rats’ space station and it’s time to get out! First, you need to grab the essentials, 4 pieces of equipment, then pile into the escape pod and be rid of those pesky snakes forever.

To be honest, it has a very Alien feel to it. Just not horrific.

Each player takes control of a mole rat, gets one medkit, and a single card face up. Each turn player plays their card, taking the mole rat action first and then the snake action. They then draw a new card and play moves to the next player. Every player always knows card the other players currently have so they can plan their moves to their best advantage. Certain cards will allow you to move just your mole rat, while others will allow you to move any, or all, of the mole rats on the board. Beware, the same holds true for snakes. There’s also ladders and pipes on the board that you will go up, or get sucked down if you land on. Snakes, too!

Be extra warned. There are many ways to lose Mole Rats in Space. Land on a snake, move through a snake, or have a snake land on you? Go back to start and lose a medkit. Get bit again? Everyone loses. Get sucked out a pipe into space? Everyone loses. Run out of cards? Everyone loses. Snake get into the escape pod? You guessed it. Everyone loses. This makes Mole Rats in Space, unlike most Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games. This one is tough to beat, and that’s OK! The added challenge has kept my older kids much more interested in the game. This means they’re more likely to pull it out and play with my 3-year-old son and almost-7-year-old son.

This is the first time I can think of that such a renowned designer has put out a game through Peaceable Kingdom and overall I think it’s awesome for everyone. Mole Rats in Space is a solid game that the whole family can enjoy and gives you a bit more than the standard Peaceable Kingdom far. I know it’s quickly become a favorite PK game in our household!

A copy of Mole Rats in Space was provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.

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Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.A trio of Peaceable Kingdom games arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, much to my excitement after seeing them at Toy Fair. We’re big fans of PK games in our household, so we immediately set forth playing them.

This or That

A ice-breaker type of party game, This or That has players drawing chips from a bag that have two items printed on each side. You draw a chip, pick a side, then silently choose which of the items you prefer. Other players then have to guess, and get the chip if they get it right. The first person to get 5 chips wins! It’s simple, easy to play with just about anyone, and comes in a portable drawstring bag. A lot of giggles from the kids with this one, even if they didn’t understand certain things on some chips. The game is family friendly, which is a breath of fresh air in a time when everyone seems to be coming up with raunchier and raunchier party games. This one has proved to be a great game to get my kids’ friends to loosen up and play more new games when they come over!

Dinosaur Escape

GMC7_Dinosaur-Escape_SPREADA volcano is about to explode, and the dinosaurs need to escape! Players take turn rolling the die, moving any dinosaur they wish, and flipping over any tile on the board. If they flip a tile that matches a dinosaur in that area of the board, that dino moves to the safety of the island. Rolls the volcano and you have to place a piece of the 3D volcano puzzle on the board. Play ends with all the dinos escape, or the volcano erupts.

While I love the volcano aspect, this one actually seemed a bit too simple, and didn’t hold the kids’ attention very long. They loved playing with the dinosaurs, but felt the game was a bit too easy, and too quick. While it has similar mechanics to other Peaceable games they enjoy, this one just didn’t seem to do it for them.

Cauldron Quest

Cauldron Quest is a really cool game. It’s a bit more in-depth than some of the other Peaceable games, but it’s still easy enough for my 5-year-old to play. In the game you’re trying to get 3 ingredients to the center of the board to match the 3 randomly chosen increments chosen at the start of the game. The thing is, all the ingrediants are hidden, so you don’t know which piece contains which ingredient. There’s also a wizard roaming the board that can block paths, or send a piece back to it’s start location. On top of that, certain die rolls force a path to be blocked. Thankfully you can cast spells on certain die rolls to unblock a path, swap pieces, or reveal which ingredient a piece holds. Match the 3 ingredients in the center to win, or lose when all paths are blocked.

This one has provided a TON of fun for me and the kids so far. It’s long enough to feel really rewarding, but not too long that it loses their interest. Luck of the die combined with smart spell choices keep it fresh with each play. Out of all the Peaceable games, this one is by far my favorite!

Copies of each game where provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.

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Toy Fair 2015—Peaceable Kingdom


peaceable kingdomAlways a favorite of mine, Peaceable Kingdom is well known for fantastic kids’ games with a cooperative element. Of course they carry other products such as stickers, temporary tattoos, and the amazingly cool Jean Tats, but we’re here to talk games. There’s 3 new games in the lineup this year and, as usual, they all look pretty cool.

Cauldron Quest – $19.99 – Ages 6+

CameraZOOM-20150215150453813I had to start off with Cauldron Quest because of it’s sheer cool-factor. A bit different, and more indepth, than Peaceable’s usual offerings, this one will offer a bit more to older players. The game has the players trying to get 3 ingredients into a potion to stop an evil wizard. Each pillar on the board has a hidden ingredient under it, so players must move the pillars towards the middle, figure out the hidden ingredients they hold, and get the 3 needed ones into the potion. The whole time the evil wizard is trying to stop you from doing so. If the wizard blocks all the path to the middle the players lose. Available now.

Dinosaur Escape – $17.99 – Ages 4+

CameraZOOM-20150215151042352A volcano is about to erupt! Get the dinosaurs to safety before it does to win the game. Players take turns moving the dinosaurs around the board looking for tiles that match the dinosaur being moved. If it’s found then that dinosaur can move to the safety of the island. Be careful, though. Roll a volcano and you have to place a piece of the 3D volcano puzzle in the middle of the board. It’s game over if the volcano is completed before all dinosaurs reach safety. The real fun here is the plastic dinosaurs and watching the volcano built up in the center of the board. Available in March.

This or That – $15.99 – Ages 10+

CameraZOOM-20150215145835630A new title in Peaceable Kingdom’s party line of games, This or That is a conversational game where players try to guess which of the 2 items on a disc the other player would choose. Each disc has 2 sides with choices on them. Do you like sneakers or sandals? Iced tea or lemonade? It’s portable, and easily played on trips or taken with you to parties. While the box says ages 10+, there’s nothing in here inappropriate for younger players. A certain reading level is required for the tokens, but that’s about it. Available in March.


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Second Look—Feed the Woozle

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.The Woozle is hungry, and it’s your job to feed him all the nasty snacks that he loves to eat. Chocolate-covered flies and hairy pickles? Yum. Sounds like a good time to me.

Feed the Woozle is a preschool game by Peaceable Kingdom. It’s a cute little dexterity game for kids 3-6, though my older son had a blast playing with his younger siblings. The object of the game is to walk a spoon full of 1-3 food tokens over to the Woozle, and put them in his mouth without dropping them along the way. Roll the die, put that many foods on the spoon, and off you go! Well, almost. Older kids have the challenge of spinning a spinner to see if they have to bunny hop, hula, spin, go crazy, or walk backwards while trying to feed the Woozle. Blindfold even older kids for an extra challenge.

My kids got a kick out of reading off all the gross foods the Woozle likes to eat. They had even more fun trying to come up with more challenging ways to get to the Woozle. Bunnyhop and spin at the same time? Crabwalk? Carry the spoon in your mouth with your hands behind your back? It’s all fair game.GMK2_FeedtheWoozle_SPREAD_R

Like all Peaceable Kingdom games, Feed the Woozle is cooperative. Get 12 foods in his mouth before you run out of them, and everyone wins. It makes it low stress, with the kids all rooting for each other to complete their task for their turn. Got young ones in the house? You can’t go wrong with this one.

A copy of Feed the Woozle was provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.

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Toy Fair 2013—Peaceable Kingdom

Toy Fair 2013 Logo

The people at Peaceable Kingdom know how to have a good idea, and it shows with their kids’ games. Their cooperative games are always bright, attractive, and good fun. I expected, and saw, no less from their Toy Fair booth this year.

Buzz!:  Collect all the nectar before the bear gets to the hive! Each player may only collect their color nectar, and there are multiple paths around the board. Help each other find the fastest route to the nectar to make sure the game doesn’t win. A roll and move game for 2-4 players, ages 5+.

Great Cheese Chase: Get to the attic and have a cheese party before the cat makes his way up there. All players have control over all the mice tokens and must roll and move the pieces up the board. Ladders let you climb faster when landed on, and catnip lets you stall the cat while you race the finish. 2-6 players, ages 5+.

Stack Up: A dexterity game for children where you’re stacking colored blocks. Spin the spinner and place the correct colored block on the stack. Little kids can use their hands while slightly older kids use the two sticks. Need an extra challenge? Use the softer ends of the sticks to try and stack the blocks. If a challenge is spun, draw a card for extra fun. Some cards have you hopping on one foot while trying to stack, or having you quack like a duck while stacking. Spin the monster and he moves closer to knocking down your tower! 2+ players, ages 5+.

What’s It?: Peaceable Kingdom tries something for an older crowd this year with What’s It?, a party game where each player needs to come up with 3 items based of a drawing and a use for it. Matches between players score points for the players. If no players have matches, the Doodler (the game) earns the points. Fill the point meter before the Doodler does to win. 2-6 players, ages 8+.


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