We own a large number of games. Before Christmas I would have called our game collection excessive. Now, it's just obscene. That's trouble for me when it comes to shelf space, but it's great for this new series. I have plenty of options when deciding which game to feature.
Our game collection is large because I think games are a wonderful gift, and my kids get several for each gift-giving occasion. Many games promote some sort of skill, encourage planning and thinking ahead, and foster patience. Games can also be used to teach new concepts and help retain those already learned, and all games are a tool to teach good sportsmanship and how to win or loose with grace. Additionally, games usually disassemble to a fraction of their full size and come with their own box for storage. See. A near perfect gift.
I wanted the first game I chose to write about to be something special, and it wasn't hard to pick one. You see, Mr. hates nearly all games, but he'll play to amuse the kids. Little Mama can quickly loose interest in a game. The Boy and I like nearly all games and could play them for hours. Tres is a toddler. For this first article, I wanted to feature a game that our entire family enjoys. My choice was not hard to make.
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Two Christmases ago, The Boy received a fantastic game that has become one of our family favorites.
Doodle Quest is a drawing game unlike other drawing games. Each player is given a square transparency sheet, a dry erase marker, and a fish shaped-stencil. Each round consists of presenting a colorful card, which is the same size as the transparency sheets given to the players. The scenes are all undersea-themed and have a set of directives for the players. Players must complete each round, called quests, by circling certain objects, tracing paths, drawing objects in a specific area, or stenciling fish onto the scene in a precise location. The challenge lies in correctly drawing these things onto your transparency sheet without the scene underneath it. Each player can only look at the scene and then draw whatever is being asked by estimating the appropriate location and size on their transparency sheet.
After all players are finished, each takes a turn laying their transparency sheet on the scene and seeing how well they met the challenge. There are guidelines for scoring on each scene card. After six quests, the player with the most points wins.
As I said, our entire family enjoys this game. It's relaxed, yet stimulating. That's the perfect combination to keep Mr.'s attention. The Boy loves all games, but being an avid doodler, this game is extra fun for him. Little Mama stays interested because she gets to participate in each round. If she has to wait for three other people to go before she can be active, she probably won't make it to the end of a game. Although Tres can't actually play the game, she sits with us and we give her some drawing materials. She thinks she's playing and gives us peace while the rest of us have fun.
The Boy is drawing a path for the little fish to escape the mouth of the larger fish. The little fish must avoid touching the teeth of the larger fish. Hitting any starfish along the way means bonus points!
From a mom perspective, I really appreciate what Doodle Quest does for developing some important physical skills. Obviously, anything requiring precision with a drawing implement is going to improve fine motor skills, but hand-eye coordination and visual-spatial perception are also benefitted from the play of this game. These things are good for kids to work on, but adults might be surprised how well (or not) these skills are developed in themselves.
And here is how well he did. Not too shabby. He got 8 points for making it out of the mouth, lost a point for hitting that tooth, and picked up a bonus point for going through the starfish. Grand total=8 points. (It's up to you on how stringently to score a doodle. Some might see the line barely touches that smaller tooth and count it as a point lost. We don't get that intense.)
Another selling point of Doodle Quest is its price. A lot of games are ridiculously priced, and they're not beneficial or fun. At the time I am writing this, Doodle Quest is selling for just under $12. Considering the fun factor and skill-building included, I think that's a very fair price.
Doodle Quest is a Blue Orange game. You'll probably see more Blue Orange games featured in the series. It's a great game brand offering high-quality products at a decent price. Hence, we own several. (And nobody paid me to say that or gave me anything in exchange for those two cents. I simply like this brand of games.)
If you've played Doodle Quest, let me know in the comments. What are your thoughts? How well did your family enjoy it?
You Pinterest lovers can see all Mind Game Monday selections on my Pinterest board.