Have Fun with the Family With These 2 Brain Games was made possible with review copies of El Capitan and Katamino from Gigamic. All opinions are our own. Some of the links are affiliate ones for your shopping convenience.
Does your family enjoy playing games together? Or, do you like to use games in your homeschool?
For our family, the answer to both of those questions is yes!
I particularly like when we find a game that is fun while also being tied to educational needs. The category of brain games is one I am particularly drawn towards.
So, having 2 new ones enter our house was cause for excitement. And, a great way to spend our time in the afternoon for a break from regular school work.
Brain Games: El Capitan
Building and maintaining your memory skills is something that everyone should spend time doing. After all, if you don’t flex that particular muscle, you can see atrophy.
El Capitan has you working on your memory while trying to outplay the others by collecting the most coins and being named the new captain of the ship.
Inside the box, you find 72 Pirate cards (12 cards in 6 colors), 27 Captain cards (reverse: « El Capitan »), 6 Ship
pawns, 1 « First » card, 1 « Second » card and 1 « Last » card, 130 gold coins, 1 treasure chest, and 1 hourglass (1 minute.) Each player picks a color and that determines their ship pawn & pirate cards.
To play, each person lays out their 12 cards in a grid face side up. The hourglass is flipped and each player does their best to commit the arrangement of cards to memory.
Then, all the pirate cards are flipped upside down and the play begins.
As a new captain card is drawn, the players have to quickly put their ship on top of the card they believe to match. Receiving a coin is determined by speed to place the ship and whether it is correct. Get it right fast enough and you earn 1 or 2 coins. Get it wrong and you forfeit one of your coins. (Everyone starts with a few coins.)
A few of the captain cards influence the play, including one that has you shuffling the cards and having another minute to memorize placement.
I love puzzle games as there are so many ways to approach and they really tickle your brain.
Katamino is a puzzle game. But unlike a puzzle that forms just ONE picture, you can create a variety of “pictures.” In the instruction booklet, you’ll find a lot of different combinations. 500+ combinations, to be specific.
There is also the ability to have 2 players on the board by using the slider.
Inside the box you get 12 pentaminos, 5 small red pieces, and 3 small maroon pieces, 1 game board, 1 slider to define the chosen playing area on the board. Game instructions: 6 grids to produce the Slams, 2D and 3D pattern, 1 two-players chequered board.
For educators (including homeschoolers!), they have a free Educator Guide that walks you through different ways to use Katamino as an educational tool. This includes defining a pentamino (a game piece formed by 5 juxtaposed squares with at least one common side) and what constitutes at PENTA (a group of several pentaminos which perfectly fills the rectangle bound by the positioning of the slider.)
Be warned….this game may LOOK simple, but it can be quite challenging! So, prepare to stretch your brain muscles a bit especially when it comes to spatial awareness.
Our Thoughts on These Brain Games
Sometimes we find a game to be okay. Other times, we find a game lacking. And, then there are times when we find a game we love.
For my pirate loving son, El Capitan is awesomeness in a box. He’s played it with me several times and even ropped in his 16-year-old brother to play with him as well. Best of all, the game moves quickly so you can easily plan to have a fun game night and not worry about when a game will be done.
My 8th grader was more interested in Katamino. Considering all the time he’s spent with different building block sets, I’m not surprised that he’d love this puzzle focused game.
My youngest is loving this one as well. We’ve even used it as ‘fun’ math time.
I love that Katamino is made of wood and can become a decorative piece on a coffee or end table. Although, I do have it living in the box for now as certain boys are prone to finding creative uses for pieces like those.
Overall, these both get huge thumbs up for being fun and challenging. Plus, I love having something that can be considered educational for days when we want to put the regular books aside.
Buying These Brain Games
Katamino comes in a few different versions.
For a really gorgeous tabletop version which is perfect for gifting:
|Katamino Deluxe – $49.99Fit striking, natural wood blocks into the grid in this award-winning puzzle. Spatial processing is challenged as you complete each puzzle. Increase the level of difficulty by increasing the size of the grid.|
El Capitan is available through Amazon as well.
There are several more types of games from Gigamic. Considering how much we love these, I could see a few of the others working their way into the house over time.
Brain Games Giveaway!
One lucky blog reader in the United States will win ONE of these 2 games. Mandatory entry is to comment on the post. No comment, no winning.
Entries are through the Gleam form below. The giveaway ends on November 21, 2016.
Which of these brain games would your family enjoy?
Do you have a regular family game night or game day?