Tuesday, December 04, 2007
#9 Favorite Christmas Game: Spy Web/Guess Who
Spy Web—a game of international espionage, clue giving, eavesdropping and finger pointing.
Spy Web was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1997, which I think is when we got ours. It's a two person game, recommended for ages 8 and up, but I think most children need to be around 10 to really enjoy it.
Each player has a game board with nine locations. You each have a team of spies (see cards below) and you choose where to put each spy on your board. You also select one of your spies be the spy leader and you put them in a "safe house". To play the game, you take turns asking yes or no questions about the spies and their locations. The winner is the one who figures out who is in the safehouse and where it is.
My family really, really liked this game. The hardest part was remembering to share nicely and wait your turn to play—and honestly, I was as impatient for my turn as my children were for theirs. So many games for children are a bore for parents to play, but this one tested my skills of deduction, memory and strategy. It wasn't a guaranteed win for the adult.
Unfortunately, this game isn't available in any stores that I can find, and that's really too bad. I don't think it was a big seller for PB but, in my opinion, that's due to their marketing (or rather, lack of) and not due to the quality of the game. I never saw it promoted on TV or in any sales ads. I found it by accident years ago when I was browsing the game shelf at K-Mart, looking for something my son would like.
There are a couple of them over on ebay right now. If you have boys, ages 8 to 13, rush over and get one before they're gone.
Guess Who by Milton Bradley is another game that uses many of the same deductive, strategy and memory skills. (That's why I'm mentioning it here. You get a two-for-one game recommendation. Lucky you.)
Guess Who designed for younger children, ages 6 and up, and this time I think the age level is correct. Some younger children will be able to play it, but it may take some help from Mom and Dad.
My children loved this game too. We played it over, and over, and over, and... Like Spy Web, it's also a two person game (so more practice at sharing). You each start with a game board of faces (see below). These same faces are printed on cards and you each draw one at random, but you don't let your opponent see who you have. Then, by asking yes or no questions of your opponent, such as, "Is he bald?" you rule out each face until you have one remaining. The first person to correctly guess who is on their opponent's card wins.
This game comes in several variations. There's a Disney edition (there's a Disney edition of EVERYTHING and, of course, you'll pay for the branding), a Marvel Heroes edition, a Littlest Pet Shop edition (if you happen to like weird looking animals with big eyes). There's also a Guess Where game out, but personally, I'd stick with the original.
Now playing on my iPod: Sleigh Ride by Andy Williams