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Problem Picnic Game Review & Giveaway

Problem Picnic board game

In Problem Picnic, you get to be the ants!

Summertime is a wonderful time to have lots of picnics.

And what would a picnic be without ants?

Well, in Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants by Kids Table Board Gaming you get to play the part of the ants!

In the game, players are ant colonies trying to steal the best plates of food from a picnic.

The player that best organizes their collected food to meet the scoring objectives will be the best ant colony around!

With plenty of dice rolling and good collecting, Problem Picnic includes a mix of luck and strategy that’s just right for family play.

Plus, Kids Table Board Gaming is giving away a copy of Problem Picnic to a lucky reader of our review!

Problem Picnic board game

Let’s get this picnic started!

 

How to play Problem Picnic

Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants is an easy game to learn and fun to play.

During the game players will send out their ants (dice) to collect food cards and then organize them in their personal play area to score points that are different each game. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

 

Set Up

To begin, players set out a number of random picnic cards to form the picnic area. The number of cards and layout depends on the number of players. For example, a 4-player game will have 9 cards in a 3×3 grid.

Then the scoring for the game is established. First, the Majority card is placed near the game area and other scoring cards are randomly drawn and placed face up next to it. The number of scoring cards each game is one more than the number of players.

Then the Reward tokens are mixed up face down and randomly set on each of the scoring cards and in the indicated spaces of the Majority card. Then they are flipped over to see how much each scoring card and majority will we worth at the end of the game.

The Round cards are shuffled and 5 are placed face down in a draw pile. And the Puddle card is also placed next to the play area.

Finally, each player chooses a color and takes the anthill card and 6 dice of that color.

Problem Picnic board game

Nice and brightly colored ant dice.

 

Playing Turns and Rounds

A game of Problem Picnic lasts 6 rounds and each round follows 3 stages: Send out ants, Bring back food, Prepare for next round.

Sending out the ants is where all the dice rolling happens.

Beginning with the start player for that round players take turns rolling one of their ant dice. The player chooses one of the die on their ant hill and rolls it toward the picnic cards.

Problem Picnic board game

The ants are on their way to collect food.

If players have no dice left when it comes to their turn, they’re skipped and other players continue sending out their ants until all players have rolled all their available dice.

The ant dice come in 3 different types:

Soldier – the large Soldier die does not go to the Puddle when used to win a picnic card.

Workers – no special ability but have higher ant probabilities.

Scouts – these small dice may be rolled again if they don’t touch any dice during the roll and don’t come to rest on a picnic card.

Now players get to Bring back the food.

First, any dice on the Puddle card as well as dice not on a picnic card are returned to their player’s ant hill. Each picnic card with dice on it are then collected by the player with the majority of ants on it.

Problem Picnic board game

See who has the majority of ants on each card.

Any of the dice used to collect a picnic card are then sent to the Puddle. (They’ve been working hard and need a drink to refresh.) Any dice on a card that weren’t in the majority (and thus didn’t collect the card) are returned to those players’ ant hills.

Problem Picnic board game

Dice used to collect food go to the Puddle for a turn.

Once a player has collected picnic cards, they must add them to their colony. To add a card, players flip over the plate of food collected to the side that shows a small plate in the corner and two ants next to it. Players must place newly collected cards so that the plate icon on the new card covers a visible ant icon on a card in their colony. New cards cannot cover an existing plate in their colony. Also, once placed, cards in a colony cannot be moved.

Problem Picnic board game

Where should I place this watermelon?

 

Then it’s time to Prepare for the next round.

First, players refill any missing picnic cards in the picnic area from the draw pile.

Next, the starting player for the next round is determined by whoever has the least amount of plates in their colony. This player draws the top card from the Round deck and places it face up in front of them. They can use this special power in future rounds.

Then a new round begins with players sending out their ants.

Problem Picnic board game

The Round cards give the player in the back a special action to use.

 

Game end

Once the sixth round is complete, players total their scores.

Scoring each game depends on which Scoring cards are in play and the value of the Reward tokens on them.

The Reward tokens on the Majority card go to the player who has the most of that item in their colony. The Reward tokens on the Scoring cards are distributed based on what the stated goal is.

For each Reward token, the single player who achieves that goal earns that token. If there is a tie, the Reward token is discarded and the tied players each take a Tied token worth 3 points.

Players then tally up their points and the player with the most points wins!

Problem Picnic board game

Let’s see how well I did with these objectives.

 

Can the whole family enjoy Problem Picnic?

Problem Picnic is a fun dice game the whole family can enjoy.

Even though the recommended age on the box says 8+, younger kids can enjoy playing as well. When playing with younger kids it’s recommended to just play with the Majority card and leave the other Scoring cards out.

Obviously, a big part of the fun of Problem Picnic is all the dice rolling with differently sized dice. Not only is it fun to try to get the dice to end up on the food you want, it’s also a lot of fun to try to knock the other players’ dice around.

Problem Picnic board game

Lots of dice = lots of luck.

That also means the game has a lot of luck involved. First, there’s the random draw and placement of the picnic cards. Then there’s the lucky roll of the dice – both on which cards they land and how many ants come up. On top of all that are the other players’ dice.

So which picnic cards players get is driven mostly by luck.

However, once players have claimed cards it’s up to them to choose the best place for them in their colony. Players will want to pay close attention to the Scoring cards while placing their picnic cards because that’s how they’ll claim the Reward tokens in the end.

Problem Picnic board game

Building your colony well takes some thought.

The Round cards are also a good addition to the game to help mitigate the luck in the game. Those that are unlucky in claiming cards will end up with more of the Round cards – which may help them stay competitive in the game. For example, some of the powers on the Round cards let players negate the results of other players’ dice rolls.

The Puddle is also another way the game stays balanced with the number of cards players claim. Since the dice used to gain a picnic card are sent to the Puddle, those players will have less dice to roll in the next round. This in turn will give the other players more chances to gain cards and “catch up”.

So with each of these parts of the game in the mix, there typically won’t be a runaway leader.

Plus, we’ve also found that the Reward tokens seem to get evenly distributed because players can’t do everything. There’s no way one player can dominate in all scoring categories. Which means that end game scoring will be close and keep everyone engaged the whole game.

Problem Picnic board game

We love the random selection of objectives and Reward tokens.

We’re also big fans of the variable scoring in each game of Problem Picnic as it adds a lot to the replay value of the game.

Games where the goals change slightly from game to game are more engaging. The method of play doesn’t change, but the way players organize their colonies will change based on the Score cards that are randomly set for the game as well as the randomized value of each.

All those elements added together make Problem Picnic a fun game for family play.

Problem Picnic board game

No one has claimed this watermelon yet.

 

How does Problem Picnic score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Problem Picnic board gameAs you might guess, Problem Picnic gets a good score on our “let’s play again” game meter.

Not only do all the variable elements of the game make it tempting to play again, the game also plays really fast.

Since each player only rolls one die on their turn, there’s essentially no downtime during the game. The only time it slows down is when players are placing their claimed cards in their colony. And that’s still pretty quick because players typically only claim one or two cards a round.

And since there are only 6 rounds in a game, it’s easy to play a couple games back to back.

If you like rolling dice, variable scoring, and a bit of strategic choices in your family games, then we’d recommend you give Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants a go.

 

Problem Picnic Game Giveaway

Now, what you’ve all been looking for — a way to win a copy of Problem Picnic for your family!

Kids Table Board Gaming is happy to give away a brand new, in-shrink copy of the game for one lucky winner.

And that could be you!

To enter, or get multiple entries, simply complete the options in the Giveaway Contest box below.

Final day for entries is July 28!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




We’d like to thank Kids Table Board Gaming for a review copy of Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants.

 

 
 
 

Karuba’s game insert even speeds up play

Karuba board game

A fun family game gets organized.

It’s time to put another game insert from Insert Here to the test.

You may already know we’re fans of foam core game inserts. Not only do they keep the game components nicely organized, they’re also very light. So there’s hardly any added weight to the game box.

It’s even better when the game insert itself helps the game function more smoothly.

Well, that’s what Rob Searing (Insert Here) has done with the custom game insert for Karuba!

Not only does the insert keep the components organized for each player, it also has a slider that keeps the game tiles upright while playing!

Check out our video review of the Karuba game insert from Insert Here to see it in action.

If you’re unfamiliar with Karuba, you can check out our video review of Karuba here.

Read more »

 
 
 

Best Games of 2016! – The Dice Tower Awards

The Dice Tower Awards 2015

The Best Games of 2016 were just announced!

The best board games, card games, dice games, family games, and party games of 2016 have now been awarded!

The Dice Tower just announced the winners of the Dice Tower Awards — the annual crowing of the best board games published.

With thousands of new games published each year, there’s never a shortage of great new board games to play.

Close to 100 top board game reviewers, podcasters, and industry contributors from around the world participated in the nomination and voting process.

Without further ado, here are The Dice Tower Award Winners for 2016:

Read more »

 
 
 

4 Fun Games for the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July

Happy 4th of July America!

Today, Americans all over the world are celebrating Independence Day.

We celebrate with family as we gather around barbecue grills with hamburgers and hot dogs and lots of trimmings on the side.

And hopefully we take some time to reflect on what the 4th of July, our Independence Day, means. It means big sacrifices by many brave men, women, and children. It means freedoms along with responsibilities to one another. It also means we have a lot to live up to.

It’s not always pretty, but we appreciate the history that’s brought us to where we are today. And as a family, we also appreciate our heritage and ancestors who sought and fought for what we now enjoy.

So we proudly say, Happy 4th of July!

If you’re gathering with family and friends today, here are our 4 top board game, card game, and party game suggestions for the 4th of July.

Read more »

 
 
 

Will the Mole Rats in Space survive?

Mole Rats in Space board game

Can you help the mole rats make it to the space escape pod in time?

Mole Rats in Space is the latest cooperative family board game by famed game designer Matt Leacock.

But instead of curing the world of disease, rescuing artifacts from a sinking island, or constructing a ship among storming desert winds, this time we’re getting our mole rats safely to a space escape pod.

We don’t know what mole rats are doing in this space station to begin with, but apparently they’re out there. And it’s our job to make sure they get to the escape pod with precious equipment before the snakes overrun the space station.

Are you and your kids up to the challenge?

Read more »

 
 
 

Building water slides in Slide Blast is a blast!

Slide Blast board game

Let’s build water slides!

Ah, the joys of summer!

No school, no homework, and lots and lots of playing around.

What better way to enjoy a hot summer day than at a water park!

With various pools and lots of different water slides, water parks are a blast!

In Slide Blast, you get to build your own fun water slides. The longer the slide, the more points you’ll earn. You can also earn bonus points by helping other players extend their slide as well.

We’re big fans of tile-laying games and Slide Blast reminds us a lot of a couple games we really enjoy – Tsuro and Indigo.

So how will Slide Blast fare when stacked up against those great path-creating games?

It’s time to find out.

Read more »

 
 
 

The GAME on Fire card game review

The Game card game

Ready to play The Game?

“Hey, how about we play The Game?”

“What game?”

“The Game?”

“Which game?”

“The Game!!”

“What are you talking about?”

If that sounds a lot like the Abbott and Costello gag about “Who’s on first?“, you’re not mistaken.

That’s because the games we’re reviewing today are “The Game” and it’s expansion, “The Game on Fire“.

First of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way — the name of the game itself is ridiculous. Whoever thought naming a game “The Game” could use some marketing lessons.

Naming aside, The Game is actually a pretty fun, light cooperative card game that’s great for families.

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Level-up your parenting skills

Being a father is the greatest blessing in my life.

It’s also not an easy gig.

Let’s get some lunch!

I’ve recently had a few conversations with a neighbor that remind me how the challenges of fatherhood change over time.

I’m not talking about across the ages (medieval vs. modern parenting challenges), but rather throughout our own lifetimes.

Parenting challenges are quite different with toddlers vs. teenagers and young adults.

Read more »

 
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