Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bigger is better

As I write this, hunkered down in the living room with the cooler and the fan running, it's 39 ° (Celsius) outside - that's somewhere over 100 ° Fahrenheit. It's going to be a long, hot summer.

This week, some friends taught me to play Alles im Eimer (The Bucket King) on BSW. This is a gorgeous little game, but what really struck me was what fun it would be to enlarge.

We're having a barbecue just before Christmas, and a couple of over-sized games would be great fun. I want something a little more interesting (do I mean more Euro, or more unusual?) than garden chess or draughts.

The Bucket King would work really well. While I'm tempted to invest in 90 colourful buckets, I can see Fraser rolling his eyes at the thought of storing them somewhere. Instead, I'm going to go to the party supplies shop and buy some plastic tumblers in five colours - although we may need to weight them down somehow, perhaps with play-doh or plaster.

Anyway, that one idea got me riffing on other games that I could oversize. Some ideas are more practical than others, though:

* Pirates' Cove in the olympic-sized swimming pool up the road, with a couple of floating pontoons for the central islands. Or maybe Crocodile Pool Party, if Tom Vasel were anywhere nearby.
* Trias with our toy dinosaurs (might need a bit of work to make the giant hexagons though)
* Lots of dexterity games would work well - Make & Break, Hamsterrolle, Balance ...
* Cartagena or Big City would work well, too - but again, it would involve a lot of work. And at this time of year, I have to confess that I'm all about simplicity.
* And the Waldschattenspiel would be fun with leftover christmas trees - at least before the flame got too close!
* Given a big enough room, Fearsome Floors would be pretty good and easy. Mark out the grid, nominate someone to be the monster, and off you go.
* I'm sure, too, that there's something you could do with Igloo Pop, cardboard boxes and plenty of small children.
* And how about Power Grid, with a real grid and little light-up houses? (Now I really *am* getting carried away and breaking all the rules)

The thought of re-creating Ticket to Ride with the girls' wooden Thomas the Tank Engine train set is almost TOO tempting ... now there's a project for the holidays!

The best ones, though, are the travel ones. Life-sized Deutschlandreise, Thurn und Taxis or Trans Europa all sound good - even The London Game or On the Underground - or a very slow and steady "Around the World in 80 days". Not these holidays, though.

How about you? Which games could you (or would you) upsize - using simple, cheap and readily available household equipment? Or not ...


Anonymous said...

quote: "Bigger is better"

IMHO, I think this says a lot about Fraser ;-)

Gerald McD said...

Melissa --

How delightful! I am always concentrating on extending games for additional players, but have never given thought to expanding the SIZE of games. However, my son and son-in-law were joking just yesterday about enlarging Settlers of Catan, so it could be played outside with real resources (akkk, all those bleating, stinky sheep)!

You have a great imagination. Please post photos of your *expansions*. :-D

Friendless said...

"I'm sure, too, that there's something you could do with Igloo Pop, cardboard boxes and plenty of small children."

They'd need to be fairly sturdy boxes, and maybe sound-proofed so you couldn't tell the number of children inside by their different cries. If you got some of those rocking-horse things they have in parks, that are mounted on the big springs, you could mount one box on each of them so you could just sprong the box without having to lift it.

But seriously, I'm now lusting after a large Trias set that people wouldn't play with me. That would be so cool :-).