Category Archives: games

Holiday Gift Guide: Grandpa Beck’s Card Games And A Giveaway

1StopMom Holiday Gift Guide

Sample provided for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links

My family went to the Chicago Toy Fair about a week ago to check out some of the latest games and toys for this holiday season. As I have mentioned before we play a lot of games and are always looking for new ones to add to our collection. My daughter and I were checking out Grandpa Beck’s Games and had the pleasure of meeting the inventor, Brent Back and his lovely wife. He is the Grandpa behind the games.

grandpa Beck's Games giveaway

Brent and his wife were very nice and we enjoyed talking to him about his games. I thought it was pretty cool to meet someone who saw a need for game that he wanted to play with his family so he invented it. Actually he invented four:

cover your assets game

The goal of Cover Your Assets® is to be the first player to achieve a total of at least ONE MILLION DOLLARS in assets! Players stack matching pairs of assets to create their own asset stockpiles. Strategy comes in when players attempt to capture the top set of assets of other players.

grandpa becks golf

Use multiple strategies to lower your score each turn. Just like golf, the lowest score wins!

skull king game

With a “Yo Ho Ho,” players simultaneously bid how many tricks they will win. Scheme to make sure you win exactly how many you bid.

nuts about mutts game

A fast paced hand-elimination game with many unique twists.  The pile in the center of the table is your dogs’ home! You can play a dog card if it matches the color, number or breed of the top card.

My family had a chance to play both Nuts about Mutts and Cover Your Assets. Our family has six members so I like that we are all able to play together. The instructions for both games are very easy to understand.

We really enjoyed playing Nuts About Mutts. My kids are older so we played the advanced way and kept score. I kept forgetting to yell match when we first started playing, but I caught on with no problems. The game can go pretty quick and we had a good time.

Cover Your Assets is for 4 to 6 players. You have to play rounds in order to try to get to one million dollars so we were playing this game longer than Nuts About Mutts. We played for over an hour. I have no complaints though because the game is fun. You need to be strategic and can go from being on top to having all you assets stolen without warning.

These games would be great additions to family game night, especially during the holidays when family is visiting. I want to try Golf and Skull King next.

You can buy any of Grandpa Beck’s Games on Amazon for $12.99 .

Grandpa Beck’s Games Thanksgiving Weekend Sale

This weekend from 11/27 -11/30 buy any three Grandpa Beck’s Games and get one free! To save 25% just use the code bstgms15 when you check out.

Stay Connected!

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The Giveaway

3 readers will win a Grandpa Beck’s Game. They can choose from Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets, Nuts About Mutts, Skull King and Golf.

grandpa becks games giveaway

Grandpa Beck's Card Game


Family Fun With Games From Marbles The Brain Store And A Giveaway!

marbles the brain storeMarbles The Brain Store is a specialty store with unique, challenging games and activities to help build better brains, for both adults and kids.  This includes products for aging baby boomers concerned about memory loss, those with children with ADHD, as well as products for those who want to improve focus and attention, enhance creativity, become better multi-taskers and get the most out of the world’s smartest supercomputer: the brain.They have 29 locations around the country as well as a full online presence.

Summer vacation is finally here but that doesn’t mean I want my kids to stop using their minds. I like to find activities that make them think because I don’t want any lazy brains around here! My family spends a lot of time playing games, so I was happy when Marbles The Brain Store recently sent us two of their newest games to play with.



Tugie is a two player game where you take turns rolling the die  to see which color piece you need to tug from the Tugie Tower. If any pieces fall while you tug, you must keep them and they count as points against you. The player with the least amount of fallen pieces at the end of the game wins. This is a game of balance and precision that will help develop fine motor coordination.

Kayla and I already have a few games of Tugie underneath our belt. We both have different stratagies when it comes to trying to win. I like to to tug a piece as fast as I can when it is my turn. If I go slow, my hand starts to shake and game pieces start to wiggle. Sometimes it works, other times I end up with a few pieces on my side of the table.


Kayla has a steady hand and tugs her pieces out with no problem. She has had a great time showing me her skills. When she has to tug game pieces during a turn, she loves to show off her skills and tugs out both pieces at the same time!

tugie from Marbles the brain store

Tugie is for ages 5 and up. We had fun playing it together, I definitely need to practice a little more. The kids have not even put it away. They have it out on the table so they can play whenever.

Sock Puppet Charades

Sock Puppet Charades is a fun twist on a classic game. You get to use use sock puppets on your hands with different props. It comes with 200 cards with clues to “act” out.

sock puppet charades

Kayla loves our new sock puppets that she named Brenda and Augustus.

sock puppet charades

She loves to use her imagination so she couldn’t wait to play Sock Puppet Charades.

sock puppet charades

sock puppet charadesI had a little trouble guessing this one. I was yelling out falling, fell, sleeping and laying down. Once the time was up Kayla told me it was napping. I was kind of close.

I got better the more we played.

sock puppet charades

This one was back scratching.

sock puppet charades

Augustus was driving here. Kayla is really good at charades.

Sock Puppet Charades for ages 8 and up. After a few games, my fingers were tired from all the stretching but we had a ball. If was fun seeing how creative we all could be and there were a lot of laughs. The props help out a lot and time goes by fast!

You can find both games at Marbles The Brain Store. Tugie is $29.99 and Sock Puppet Charades is $24.99

The Giveaway

1 reader will win Sock Puppet Charades.

Sock Puppet Charades Giveaway


The Makin’ Bacon Dice Game is Sizzling Fun


“Since it was founded in 1984, TDC Games, Inc. has established an international reputation as the producer of innovative, trend setting, if somewhat zany, board games and jigsaw puzzles. True to its eclectic style, TDC enters its 29th season with a new and completely diverse collection of high quality, but reasonably priced, game and puzzle products that now use the latest in communication technology.”

Last year while my family and I were at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair I happened across TDC Games booth. Imagine my delight when I saw a “bacon” game. The Makin’ Bacon Dice Game. I actually spke to the President of the company, Larry Balsamo who is a pretty nice guy. When I talked with him about my love of bacon, he gave me The Makin’ Bacon Dice Game to try out. The kids were just as excited as me! making bacon game The packaging is very eye-catching. Who can pass up a box that looks like a pack a bacon?
makin bacon3

Even the back resembles a pack of bacon. I like that there are “game facts” are where the nutritional facts would be on a food package. The box is not huge and it easily fits into your hand. I opened the box very carefully. Of course I will be adding to my collection of bacon products. making bacon1Inside of the box are dice, instructions and a reference card. On the back of the instructions are score sheets to use during the game. We made copies so we would always have the instructions. The object of the game is pretty easy. Each player’s goal is to get 6,000 points by rolling the dice.  The fastest way to win is to roll the dice so it reads Makin Bacon. I have not been able to do that yet, but I will keep trying!

After the first roll the player must decide which die or dice are to be saved for points. Once you choose which combination to keep, you roll again.

makin bacon2

With each re-roll you are adding to your dice total. Each player is trying to reach a minimum score of 400. If you don’t improve your score during the roll you have “Pigged Out” and earn no points for that round.

After you reach 400 points you can keep rolling to try to get closer to the winning score of 6,000 or just quit that round and just add your points to the score card.

This is a fast-moving game that uses a little strategy. Do you want to play it safe and bank points or risk it all to try to win fast? My husband like to play it safe while the kids like to play on the more unpredictable side. I like to risk it all.

It took a game or two before we got the hang of the game. We had a lot of fun and have played Makin Bacon more than a few times. It does not require a lot of set up and we can always start the game quickly. The Game of Makin Bacon is very family friendly and is on my must have list for bacon lovers!

You can grab The Game of Making Bacon at TDC Games for $9.95

Connect with TDC Games on Facebook and Twitter



Swampy and the Gang Return for Where’s My Water? 2

where's my water 2

[box] Disney Interactive has released the next exciting adventure with Swampy and the gang in the Where’s My Water? 2. In this free-to-play sequel to the massively popular physics-based puzzler, players will explore challenging new levels across three brand new locations including the Sewer, the Soap Factory, and the Beach.[/box]

The kids and I love to play our mobile games. Where’s My Water was one of our favorites to play. We successfully completed all the levels and were waiting for an update that had new levels. I were pleasantly surprised when I found out that instead of an update, we were getting a sequel.

[box] Featuring over 100 levels and challenges to solve, players will experience the same cut and swipe mechanics pioneered in Where’s My Water? while being able to use power-ups such as Vacuum, Dropper and Absorber to “tri-duck” faster. In Where’s My Water? 2 players are also introduced to “challenge modes” for explosive level replays and quick-timed “Duck Rush” levels.[/box]

Key Features:

  • Over 100+ levels and challenges with a brand new look in the Gator universe featuring Swampy, Allie, Cranky, and Mystery Duck.
  • Introducing ‘Challenge Modes’ to replay the levels in explosive new ways
  • Players need to dig as fast as they can to get as many duckies as possible in ‘Duck Rush’ levels
  • Players can now earn and purchase hints to solve puzzles and power-ups to help earn ducks
  • Complete achievements and earn special themed duckies such as gladiator-duckie, astronaut-duckie, hula-duckie, and many more
  • Connect through Facebook to beat friends high scores and gift special items

The game was released on September 12th so we have had a few days to play it.

where's my water 2

It is definitely more challenging. Who likes a game with level they can easily beat? We don’t. The mystery duck moves a lot during the game so you can easily miss you chance to get him. We are really liking the power ups you can earn. The vacuum lets the ducks pull their fluids to them. There is nice because directing the steam or water can get tricky. The dropper starts you game with the ducks almost full. This helps a lot when you are trying to get all the ducks.

Right now we are not huge fans of the Facebook link to friends. If you lose energy, you have to ask friends for extra energy boosts. This is not a huge advantage to me because not a lot of my friends play Facebook.

Another addition I would like to see is multiple profiles. My kids would appreciate not having to share progress in the game with their siblings.

Here is a video of the game so you can see it in action.

You can pick up Where’s My Water? 2 now on the App Store, Windows Phone Store & Windows Store and the Amazon App Store with a launch on Google Play coming soon.



DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods In Theaters 3/22 {Wii Game Giveaway}

the croods

This weekend is the perfect time to treat your family to a night out at the movies with “THE CROODS”.

[box] “THE CROODS is a 3D comedy adventure that follows the world’s first modern family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always been their home is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods are rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures — and their outlook is changed forever.“[/box]

Released in theatres, March 22nd, THE CROODS includes the the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman.  Once my kids saw the commercials for this prehistoric comedy, TJ and Kayla became instant fans. Eep, the oldest CROODS child, was pretty funny when she discovered “shoes” for the first time.

croods app, itunes, ipodIn addition to the release of the movie, there is  new mobile game by DreamWorks Animation and Rovio. Rovio also created Angry Birds, one of my daughter’s favorite games.  The Croods Mobile Game can be downloaded  for free for iOS and Android, .

Pre-hysterical features include:

  •  Trap & tame 10 evolutionarily mixed- up creatures! You’ve never seen anything like the Girelephant or Molarbear! 
  •  Create wacky inventions with Grug to open and explore new areas!
  •  Decorate your pre-historic world with the latest in caveman fashion accessories!
  •  Meet your favorite characters from the feature animation film from DreamWorks Animation!

croods wii gameYou can join in on all the prehistoric fun with The Croods: Prehistoric Party!  for Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and DS.

This game combines the ultimate fun of a family party game with Croods-style action as you journey through 30 unique and addictive multi-player mini-games. Game boards bring the Croods’ world to life, complete with hazards, never-before-seen creatures from the film, hilarious surprises and rough and tumble competition that only the Croods family can bring. Find it on Amazon.
Game Features

  • Challenge your friends with the ultimate mix of family fun and Croods-themed party games!
  • Play as any one of the lovable Croods family members – Grug, Ugga, Eep, Thunk, Sandy, Gran and Guy!
  • One to four player multiplayer fun! (single or split screen)
  • 30 mini-games on five unique unlockable boards!
  • Features spectacular landscapes and never-before-seen creatures from the film!
  • Boosts and items to collect throughout the game

 The Giveaway

Two (2) winners will receive:

·         $15 Gift Card to the iTunes App Store

·         The Croods: Prehistoric Party for Wii

Prizing courtesy of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation. 1StopMom received a similar prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


How Much Do You Like PacMan?


It seems like I have been playing PacMan for as long as I can remember. I am talking about back in the day on Atari and Intellivision. That was a lot of fun memories. Back then that was the game. Everyone was trying to get the highest score in the least amount of time. Man I remember the cramped hands and everything!

I have not met anyone who has beaten every single level. I heard that the 276th level is unbeatable.  I don’t think I have even made it to the triple digit levels at all and that is pushing it.

Well imagine my surprise when I came across the World’s Biggest PacMan Game on the internet. I am not kidding.

There have been 26,142,938 mazes played. The exit in each maze takes you to a new maze. It just goes on and on. You can even create your own maze if you want to.

I think I will be playing this for awhile, I’m curious to just how far I can go.

Do you or your kids like playing PacMan?


Cranium Breaks Review and Giveaway

[box] “Only have a minute? That’s all you’ll need to play CRANIUM BRAIN BREAKS! New from the CRANIUM line is CRANIUM BRAIN BREAKS, a collection of 200 different games that can each be played in 60 seconds! The classic categories of Creative Cat, Word Worm, Star Performer and Data Head can be found in this compact case of games, ensuring there is something for everyone”[/box]

We are a game playing family. Before we had kids, my hubby and I loved to have some friendly competition over some games. Once the kids arrived, we continued the tradition. My kids have that same fire and we love to get together for a good game night. While we love to play games, there are times when day goes by pretty quickly. We want to plan something, but a just a quick game or two.

Cranium Brain Breaks is perfect for those times. The brain shaped case holds 200 games. Even though they are only a minute each, if you have more time you can play a few games.  Inside the case are:

  • 100 cards
  • Cranium Clay
  • Notepad
  • Die
  • Timer
  • 6 Cranium cubes

We had a great time playing the mini games. It was hard to play just a few games because it seems like the time went by so quick. Kayla and TJ have been finding time everywhere to get in a quick game: before school, after dinner and while waiting to go somewhere. Kayla loves when she has to sketch something because she is always drawer. Of course TJ is a big fan of the clay, he can really do wonders with it.  The rest of us are not as good but the game is still fun!

The Giveaway

One 1StopMom reader will win their very own Cranium Brain Breaks game.

I was provided with the above item from the company or its PR agency for review purposes. They also provided the prize for this giveaway. Opinions are 100% my own as always.

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