Some days I feel like life is just pure chaos and nothing goes according to plan. That’s the way life can be, especially if you have kids; what’s a parent to do? Sometimes the best option is just to abandon the plans and bring out the board games and join in Pandemonio! It will make everyone feel better and that’s important for mental health.
Drumond Park sent us their new game, Pandemonio…and just in time too, we all need a break from our work and responsibilities. Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year when there are a million tasks that need to be completed, and everything is hectic. Well, grab your coffee and chattering teeth and sit down with the family and have some fun!
Pandemonio comes with:
- a foldable game board
- 8 spikes (playing pieces)
- 8 crowns
- 1 wind-up Colin the coffee cup
- stickers for the coffee cup
- 64 playing cards
- 1 track
Colin the coffee cup winds up so there’s no need for batteries. Excellent! The stickers that need to be applied to the coffee cup are very sticky and a bit tricky, so take your time and have a steady-handed adult apply them.
How To Play Pandemonio
Choose your spike and your lane on the game board and place your corresponding crown on the far end of the lane.
There are eight cards that correspond with the eight pictures on the game board. If there are three players then use only three cards of each picture. Shuffle and divide the cards evenly between the players; each player will have eight cards.
Wind up the coffee cup timer and set it free along the track along the centre of the board.
Each player wants to get as many cards as they can to match the square their playing piece is currently sitting on. The players all trade cards at the same time, calling out how many they want to trade with particular players. Players pass the cards to each other face down in a scramble to beat the coffee cup timer.
Players can stop trading at any time when they are happy with the hand they have.
When the time is up (once the coffee cup timer reaches the end of the track) add up the number of cards you have that have the same picture as the one your piece is sitting on. For example, if I am on the chattering teeth and I have two chattering teeth cards in my hand, I need to move two squares ahead.
When you reach the end of the lane, then you can place your crown over your playing piece and then make your way back to the starting line to finish the game.
What’s unique about Pandemonio is that all players play at the same time. There are no taking turns and the more players there are, the crazier it becomes! The more players there are, the further ahead it’s possible to move as well.
For older players, there is also a more advanced version of play that incorporates Super Game Card combinations to up the ante. We haven’t yet tried this version, but I’m sure we’ll be adding this in next year when Kallista is better able to think strategically. This game is aimed at those 8 years and up as the younger the age, the more difficult it is to handle the cards quickly and still keep track of the cards you have as well as try not to give away cards that will be advantageous to your opponents.
My children and husband are enjoying playing Pandemonio. Phil wasn’t sure about it at first, but once he tried it with the kids, he quickly changed his mind. Kallista might still be just a little young for playing it competently and her feelings get hurt if she isn’t in the lead. However, she also changes her mind as her piece moves up the board. Of course, this also sets the stage for the rest of us leading by example and congratulating the winner, and the winner complementing the other players on their good effort and contributions to a good game. Good sportsmanship is important for life as no one likes a gloater, nor a whiner; true leaders are great participants.
And while we’re on the topic of life-skills; you can also use Pandemonio for practicing those 8-times tables! If each player gets 8 cards, and there are 6 playing, how many cards will be used? How many squares are on the board? Little things like this make math more fun!
Yesterday we had some snow, and the weather is certainly looking to go the way they’ve forecast it: a very cold winter ahead. With that forecast you’ll certainly want to stay indoors and have some fun.
Pandemonio retails for £19.99 and is available through Amazon.co.uk, Tesco, Argos, Toys R Us, and other fun retailers.