Thursday, July 18, 2013

TDC Games Review: Part 1 (Campbell's Alphabet Dice Game, Makin' Bacon, Chaos)

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 TDC Games was founded in 1984 by President Larry Balsamo and Creative Director Sandra Bergeson. The company currently operates out of Itasca, Il, and is nationally recognized for both its puzzles, as well as its unique board games with a "wry sense of humor". TDC Games can be found in over 4,000 retail locations, and in several different countries.

 
 

Here are the games that I have not featured in my two-part review, and a little blurb from the website:
  • The Green Game - Everyone wants to save the planet, but are your efforts helping or hurting it? The Green Game is an entertaining, enlightening and sometimes alarming way to examine the ecological facts and myths that face us today. This game includes eco-friendly trivia and is even made out of 100% recycled material! It is for 2-6 players, ages eight and up. It retails for $26.99.
  • Reminiscing - Reminiscing challenges your memories of past events, fads, clothing, music, radio, TV and movies by stimulating you to remember and share thoughts and feelings from your own personal past. The newer, deluxe edition contains questions pertaining to the period from 1950-the 2000's. This trivia game is great for people who born in earlier generations. It is for 2-4 players and retails for $29.95.
  • Greed - Greed is one of the most addictive dice games ever created. Challenged to keep throwing the dice for a better score, players must learn to stop before raw greed overtakes them. This game is for two or more players, ages seven and up and retails for just $6.95.
  •  Make Your Own-opoly - Make Your Own-Opoly contains everything you need to hand customize the game board, cards, moving pieces, and play money for your very own property trading board game. After you're done, even the box itself will look like it was manufactured just for you, your family, your town, your school, or virtually any other purpose. With a digital camera or scanner, you can even put your own picture on the money and moving pieces. All you need to make your own game is a PC, colored printer, and some scissors. Isn't this innovative? This game retails for $29.95.
  • Party Games in a Can - "Who's in the Can?" - Act, mime, impersonate, or say anything to help your team identify famous names in a race against time. "B.S. The Game" - How good a liar are you? Decide whether to tell the truth or use one of the hilarious lies or whoppers provided to fool other players. "The Game of Top Ten Lists" - Funny lists become nutty clues when one player doesn't know the subject. Each of these "canned" cans are for two or more players and for ages eight and up. You can purchase all three together for $24.99.
  • The Game of Baloney - You decide to lie or tell the truth...while keeping a straight face. Both the truth and the lies are provided for you. It's only when you fool your fellow players that you will win the game. You read a fact, you decide whether to lie or tell the truth (the answers are provided), and whoever is the best at fooling everyone is the winner! This game is for two to six players and ages eight and up.
  •  Dirty Minds Ultimate Edition - This game is a provocative stimulant to mature adult conversation that is bound to make any party or get-together memorable for years. There are still the hilarious Dirty Clues that made Dirty Minds famous. These seemingly filthy clues point toward totally clean answers. Added to them are Dirty Deeds, which sound like naughty little stories, but they're about completely innocent things. In other words, if you have a dirty mind, you'll lose. Dirty lies contain simple facts of interest to adults...along with two ways to lie about them; Dirty Secrets are tasty little tidbits from your own very personal experiences. You alone must choose to either tell the truth or lie about them. With both Secrets & Lies, other players score by correctly guessing your intentions. This game is for four or more players, ages 17 and up (mature players only). This game retails for $29.95.

 

Here are some of the types of puzzles that TDC Games has to offer:
  •  The World's Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle - Comes in "African Oasis", "Six String Fling", "Times Square", "Puppy Playmates", "Peekabo Raccoon", and "Into the Wind"
  • The World's Most Difficult Jigsaw Puzzle - Comes in "Killer Cupcakes" or "Campbell's Souper Hard"
  • The World's Smallet Jigsaw Puzzle Christmas Edition - Comes in "Yule Pups", "Naughty or Nice", "Stocking Stuffers" and "White Christmas"
  •  The Alphabet Mysteries Jigsaw Puzzles - Comes in "A is for Arson", "B is for Birthday", "C is for Chocolate", "D is for Diamonds", "E is for Espresso", "F is for Feline", "G is for Golf",  "H is for Housewives", or "I is for Internet". 
  • Jigsaw Ball Spherical Puzzles - Comes in "Antique Globe" or "Major League Baseball Team".
  •  Night and Day Panoramas - Comes in "New York City", "Chicago", or "Las Vegas". 
  • United States Jigsaw Puzzles - Comes in "Make the States with License Plates", "Official State Flowers", "Official State Birds", or "Baseball Across America".
  •  Action Bible Puzzles - Comes in "David and Goliath", "Feeding the Five Thousand", or "Noah's Arc".
  • Eco-Friendly Puzzles - Comes in "Ships Aglow", "Fifties Junkpile", "Fairy Dreams", "The Big Game", "Six String Fling", "Red Sky at Night", "Coyote Moon", and "Jungle Dew". 
  •  Green Pieces Earth-Friendly Puzzles - Comes in "Crude Awakening", "AMERI-CANS", "I Need a Hug", and "Tiger in Your Tank".


TDC Games sent me SIX awesome board/card games to review so that I could share my opinions with you. I received Chaos, Makin' Bacon, Campbell's Alphabet Dice Game, Dirty Minds, Senior Moments and That Dirty Card Game. In order to make this extensive review readable and more concise, I've split it into two parts! This part of the review will focus on Campbell's Alphabet Dice Game, Makin' Bacon, and Chaos.


 


Campbell's Alphabet Dice Game is a great family game that focuses on building words (in crossword fashion) out of dice. This game is for two to six players, ages eight and up, and retails for $13.95. The game contains: one instructions booklet, 216 letters on 36 dice, and scoring sheets.

The goal of the game is simple - to score the lowest amount of points. How do you do this? You try to get rid of as many of your dice as you can by making words that build upon the first word played (like Scrabble). You begin the game by splitting up the dice evenly amongst players. Then, the players take all of the dice in their hands, shake them, and roll them out on the table. All of the letters that are face up become the letters that you will be able to use to play words. After the first person makes a word from their letters, play goes to the left, and players build upon the first word. All words must be found in the dictionary to be used, unless the word is "MMGOOD". You cannot use formal names, abbreviations, or hyphenated words. Besides building, players also have the option of "slurping"; this can only be done once per round (rounds are called "servings"), however. To slurp, you take out one of the letters in a word previously played and insert your own. The word needs to make sense still! Then you take the letter that you have pushed out and you can give it to any player. This increases the amount of dice that they have left to play, and thus gives them a disadvantage. The other option that players have is to "Pass", if they cannot add to or create any words. If ALL players cannot add to or create words, everyone can "reheat" by re-rolling the dice to get new letters. Each "serving" ends when one player has placed their last die (and everyone gets one more chance to play).

You want to try and get rid of your red letters as quickly as possible, because when it is time to add up scores, the red letters count for two points (and you want the lowest score). You lose one point for all black letters that are left at the end when you are marking down the scores. When a Slurp is used, that box should be checked on the scoring sheet provided as well. The last serving of the game is called the "Souper 2x Round", because all of your dice scores are doubled (2 points for black die and 4 points for red) at the end. To win, you need the lowest overall score from all four rounds combined.







 

 

As you can tell, my boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed Campbell's Alphabet Dice game. I lost with a total score of ten to four. There were several things that we really liked about this game. First was the ease of game play and the convenience. This game can be tucked in your purse and brought anywhere, as it does not take up much space. It is a game you can pause and come back to without losing your concentration. We also liked the challenge of "slurping" and the non-conventional scoring process. The more you play, the clearer it is to see when you should slurp and how you can be competitive against other players. This game was easy to comprehend and should be fun for all ages, as well as families to play together! We highly recommend Campbell's Alphabet Dice Game.  



Chaos is an innovative card game that has elements of UNO combined with a humorous edge. This game is for two to six players, ages eight to adult. It retails for $6.95 and contains 56 game cards, 56 rule cards, and an instructions booklet.

The goal of Chaos is to be the first person to get rid of your cards. First, each player is given five red Game cards and one white Rule card. If you have six players, you get only four red Game cards each. Then, as seen below, you have one pile of Game cards with one beside it, face up and one pile of Rule cards with one beside it, face up. To start, a player has a few options of play. The first is to discard a card of the same color or value onto the face-up Game card (if it is a green two, you can play a two of any color or a green card of any color). The second is to discard a Chaos card or a Wild card. The Wild card can be put on top of any card, as it serves as any value or color. The Chaos card is like a Wild, except that it alters all rules in play. A player can also discard one of three Picture cards, which alter gameplay in a more minor way. One is the Lawyer, which causes the next player to have to draw a penalty card from the deck. Another is the Hippie, which causes the next player to lose a turn. The last is Contrary Mary, which causes gameplay to reverse directions. If a player does not have a card in their hand that can be played, they must draw one from the deck and play it if they can, or pass. The central Rule card that is face-up next to the pile must be enforced, as WELL as the rule cards that each individual player holds. You should not talk about your Rule card, but if a player does not follow the rules indicated on your card, you must penalize them (each rule card has its own directions for how to do this at the bottom of the card). Players may also call each other out on not following the central Rule card, and can be penalized as well. The Rules in players' hands must be learned by the other players. If you pay attention, you might notice that you get penalized every time you play a certain card, say a certain word, or do something. It is safe for you to talk very little, keep your hands to yourself, and be cautious when playing cards. 

When a Chaos card is drawn, you must change all the Rule cards that are in play. You all draw new Rule cards, and there is a new Rule card drawn for the center of the table. In order to effectively "call someone out" for not following a rule, you must follow a P.O.O (point of order). You have to shout "Poo!" and if you are correct (that the rule is not being enforced), you can give one of your cards to the player to increase the amount in their hand. If you are wrong, however, you take one card from their hand...so be careful who you accuse!








I played Chaos with my boyfriend and one of my friends and then another friend another night. In my opinion, this game is better with more people, because then it lasts longer and more rules are in play to keep things interesting. It was fun when the rules continued to change and we had to keep picking up cards when we were close to winning. We found Chaos to be very entertaining, and liked the unique spin on a normal card game. The base play reminds me of UNO, but the rule cards are very creative and add something special. We especially liked trying to guess each others' rules, and trying to keep a straight face whenever someone had to say or do something odd. It is also fun to try and con your friends into doing things that will make them break the rules, so that they will have to pick up cards. I think that this game would be great at a party or another get together, even as an ice breaker. Here are a few of the rules that we thought were pretty funny: "Players cannot straighten either card pile, except to re-shuffle", "Players cannot say the word card", "Players must scratch their foreheads before playing a card", and "Players must only speak in a foreign accent". Can you see how funny some of these might get?




Makin' Bacon is a simplistic dice game that focuses on making certain combinations in order to gain points. This game is for two to six players, ages eight and up. It retails for $9.95. This game contains 6 Makin' Bacon Dice, a score sheet, and instructions.

The object of Makin' Bacon is to score 6,000 points by rolling your dice and getting the right combinations. Players take turns by rolling all six die. Based on the value of the combination of dice, players can choose which dice to "save" and which to re-roll. The dice that you save must have a point value, and as you re-roll, your points must increase in order to keep rolling. Players must get a minimum of 400 points -- when that has been reached, they can decide whether to keep the points and stop rolling the dice, or to chance "Piggin' Out" (losing all points) by continuing to roll. Your re-rolls cannot be combined with your original roll. If you had three c's to begin with and you roll three more c's, you have two separate sets of c's, not six. If all six of your dice come to 400 points, you can re-roll all of them without saving, but you risk "Piggin' Out". The new roll must add to your score, or you go back to zero. The game is won when someone reaches 6,000 points across all rounds played. If anyone rolls a Makin' die and "B-A-C-O-N", they automatically win the game. Below are the values of the dice that you can receive on your roll:
  •  1 "Makin'" = 50 points
  • 1 B = 100 points
  • 3 a's = 200 points
  • 3 c's = 200 points
  • 3 o's = 300 points
  • 3 n's = 350 points
  • 3 "Makin'" = 400 points
  • 3 B = 500 points
  • 5 "Makin'" = 1,500 points
  • Six of a kind = 2,000 points
  • Makin' B A C O N = 6,000 points



Here is a little video sped up that shows my friend and I playing "Makin' Bacon". Although it is going really fast, you can see me saving a B (worth 100 points) and three n's (worth 350 points). That is more than 400 points, which allows me to roll again and add to my score. Makin' Bacon can be a little confusing when you first start, and I think that's because of the saving and the 400-point rule. Once you have played two or three times, which dice to save or roll starts to become second nature. This game is cute (especially the packaging) and entertaining, and could probably be transported anywhere. The scoring sheet is very helpful in tallying points. We liked that from a very simple set up, you get a relatively long and competitive game.

Interested in learning more about TDC Games and their products? Check out the links below:

14 comments:

  1. love the alpha dice came, looks like something I could use in our homeschooling - thanks!

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  2. I love finding new games for the family to do. They are great for spending non-tv time together!

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  3. I love how easy it would be to take the alpha dice game out about for you :) x

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  4. looks like some fun games, especially the alphabet one!

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  5. I think we would enjoy a few of these, most of them I had never heard of before. Great reviews! thanks!

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  6. Thank you for reviewing these--very helpful to me as I'm looking for fun yet simple games. Appreciate your examples and opinion.

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  7. We recently discovered Chaos & played it many times over Thanksgiving weekend. My teenage nephews especially got quite a kick out of it. We laughed so much while playing! Definitely a great family game... my nephews asked for their own copy so that they could play with friends after we go home & we've already decided this game has to come with us when we visit with our nieces & with my parents.

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  8. We recently discovered Chaos & played it many times over Thanksgiving weekend. My teenage nephews especially got quite a kick out of it. We laughed so much while playing! Definitely a great family game... my nephews asked for their own copy so that they could play with friends after we go home & we've already decided this game has to come with us when we visit with our nieces & with my parents.

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