3 Games For Hot Holidays

With the schools having broken up for the summer holidays and many people thinking of escaping on holidays of one kind or another I thought it might be worth beginning an occasional series of articles on 3’s, with 3 Games for Hot Holidays.
Games on a sunny holiday
The primary consideration for these games is the absence of cardboard (Tip - leave the cardboard boxes at home and just take the playing pieces in resealable bags) as anybody who has played a board game in the sun will testify to, let alone the need to be waterproof given cold drinks and frequent proximity to swimming pools.

Other considerations were the need to accommodate a varied number of people from 1 to 5 rather than normal 2 to 5, and short playing times given the distraction of books, sun and the inability to concentrate after retsina at lunch time!

My suggestions therefore are:

A game we found for the first time many years ago whilst on holiday in Cyprus when we stumbled upon the Discovery Set (10 tiles) being used at the beach water sports centre. We got hooked whilst we were waiting for our turn to go out jet ski's and be scared witless (in my case at least). There were sets for sale and we could not resist; from that point on it seemed that someone in our party was always trying to master what now seems a relatively simple puzzle – it gets easier the more you do it. The aim is to create a single connected line of colour where all other lines also connect with their respective colour. We were even doing it in tavernas and had the waitress trying to help!
Tantrix - The solo version at 27 tiles
When we got back to the UK we discovered that there was a larger set, the Tantrix Game Pack, with 56 tiles that offered a number of solitaire puzzles. My favourite is the Discovery Puzzle where players seek to complete a variety of complex and increasingly large connected lines, up to a maximum of 30 tiles. However the pack also has rules for a 2 to 4 player game where players compete to create the highest scoring line in their chosen colour.

I found recently that the solo option with this was particularly useful as the rest of the group were engrossed in their books and unwilling to sacrifice valuable sun worshiping time!

Designed by British designer John Yanni this 2 player tactical game challenges players to surround their opponents Queen Bee with an assorted group of other insects. It plays quickly has a lot of depth and replayability and is available in three versions. The smallest of which is the new Hive Pocket which fits in a small cloth bag, alternatively there are the Carbon and Original versions with larger tiles that are less likely to get lost when playing with younger children.
Hive - On a very hot day under the shade of a tree
This is a personal favourite, although frankly I am pretty rubbish at it.

Sushizock im Gockelwok
At a thematic level this has chickens eating sushi! I am sure it makes sense somewhere! However ignoring this it comes with a set of 5 dice and 24 portions (plastic tiles) showing either a piece of sushi or a fish bone. Sushi tiles have positive numbers whilst fish bones have negative ones.
Sushizock im Gockelwok  - Playing in a taverna whilst waiting for the food
The idea is by throwing various combination on the dice is to collect a pile of both types of tile. The catch is that all tiles in the positive pile higher than your pile of negative tiles are discarded at the end of the game. So you are seeking to collect a pile of high numbered sushi tiles matched by an equal number of fish bone tiles but ideally with low negative numbers. The score at the end of the game is the sum of the two piles. It is simple, quick and because of the ability to steal other peoples’ tiles, if the right combinations come up on the dice, a fun game that has amused young friends of ours for a number of years.

We could undoubtedly have selected other games for this list with Pickomino (or Heckmeck am Bratwurmec)Army of Frogs and Rory’s Story Cubes obvious contenders, however this is the first of a new series of posts and these other games will feature in future 3’s.

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