Superfarmer – kids board game review

Superfarmer board game

Let’s get those animal farms growing!

It’s time for a quick visit to the farm for a board game review of Superfarmer.

But if you’re expecting to farm fields of grain, you’re in for a surprise. Because Superfarmer is all about animals.

So we guess you could call it an Animal Farm.
Although it’s not an Orwellian Animal Farm where pigs will rule the world.

The interesting tidbit however is that the game Superfarmer was actually created in 1943 – the same year George Orwell wrote Animal Farm.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Now it’s time to see the farm…

The Objective of Superfarmer

Superfarmer board game

Grab your farm and start breeding.

Superfarmer is a kids board game where up to 4 players compete to become the Super Farmer by multiplying their animals.

Players roll dice, breed animals, and exchange those animals for other animals until they reach the winning conditions of being the first to have an animal herd consisting of at least 1 horse, 1 cow, 1 pig, 1 sheep, and 1 rabbit.

At the outset that sounds very easy to just get at least one of each animal.

However, the game revolves around how the animals are bred and exchanged. And the best laid plans can be thwarted by the wolf and the fox that are also roaming around the farm.

How to Play Superfarmer

Each player gets their own player board (representing their farm) which has spaces to hold their rabbits, sheep, pigs, cows, and horses. Each player also starts with one rabbit token in their farm.

On a player’s turn, he/she rolls the 2 12-sided dice (orange and blue). Which animals he breeds will depend on the results of the dice plus what he already has on his farm.

If both of the dice show the same animal, he gets a token of that animal from the main heard (pile of animal tokens in the center of the table).

Superfarmer board game

Roll the dice to see what animals you’ll get to add to your farm.

If the animal shown on the dice match animals the player already has on his farm, he gets as many new animal tokens from the herd as he has full pairs on this species.

Here are 3 examples:

  • If a player has 4 rabbits and 1 pig on his farm and rolls a rabbit on one die and a pig on the other, he would receive 2 rabbits and 1 pig from the herd. (The total rabbits would be his existing 4 + 1 on the die for 2 full pairs of rabbits (1 remainder). And the total pigs would be his existing 1 + 1 from the pig showing on the die for 1 full pig pair.)
  • If a player has 4 rabbits and 1 pig on his farm and rolls a sheep on one die and a pig on the other, he would receive just 1 pig from the herd. The rolled sheep doesn’t make a pair and the 1 pig on the die will make a full pair when paired with the pig he already has on his farm.
  • If a players has 4 rabbits and 1 pig on his farm and rolls a cow and a sheep, he gets nothing.

Animal Exchanges:

While the dice bring the luck into the game, the animal exchange introduces some strategy.

Before a player rolls the dice on his turn, he may choose to make an exchange – either with the main herd or with another player (if that player agrees). The rate of exchange is detailed on each player’s farm board.

Superfarmer board game

The animal exchange rates are easily accessible on each farm board.

They are as follows:

  • 6 Rabbits = 1 Sheep
  • 2 Sheep = 1 Pig
  • 3 Pigs = 1 Cow
  • 2 Cows = 1 Horse

As you can see, figuring out when and how many of your animals to exchange will require some thinking.

Players may exchange in either direction – several animals for 1 animal (eg. exchange 6 rabbits to get 1 sheep) or 1 animal for several animals (eg. exchange 1 cow to get 3 pigs). Players can also exchange multiple animals as long as the rates are met. As an example, a player with 6 rabbits, 1 sheep, and 2 pigs may choose to exchange them all for 1 cow (since 6 rabbits = 1 sheep, 2 sheep = 1 pig, and 3 pigs = 1 cow).

But that’s not all to think about…

Beware of the Wolf and Fox:

Superfarmer board game

Take your chances or get some Dog protection.

There are dangerous, ravenous animals lurking around the farms as well.

If a player rolls a Fox on one of the die, he will lose all of his rabbits except 1.

If a player rolls a Wolf on one of the die, he will lose all of his animals except his horses and rabbits.

However, players can protect themselves from these mischievous animals. A Small Dog will protect a player’s rabbits from the Fox. And a Big Dog will protect a player’s animals from a Wolf.

How do players get Dogs?

Through animal exchanges of course.

  • 1 Sheep = 1 Small Dog
  • 1 Cow = 1 Big Dog

So if players want to protect their animals, it will cost them some animals to buy that protection. And they’re just a one time use. When a player with a small dog rolls a fox, the dog will do his duty and protect the rabbits, but also ends up chasing the fox away and disappears.

As such, players will have to buy more protection or run the risk of losing animals. It’s an interesting dilemma.

Once a player has at least 1 horse, 1 cow, 1 pig, 1 sheep, and 1 rabbit in their herd (at the same time of course), he/she wins the game and is declared the Super Farmer.

Can the whole family enjoy Superfarmer?

Superfarmer is a great kids board game that can also be enjoyed by the rest of the family. In fact, Caleb and I have had some animals runs in 2-player, head-to-head matches that were a hoot.

In one game, Caleb tried to go with what he called his Sheep strategy. He traded up to sheep as soon as he could and then just went for rolling and breeding sheep. He wouldn’t exchange up to pigs or anything until he hoarded almost the whole herd of sheep – leaving me sheepless. Then he simply exchanged them away on his next turns to run away with the victory.

Another time he tried more of a living off the interest strategy. He’d get up to 8 sheep, then at the start of each turn would exchange away for a pig, then roll more sheep to resupply his sheep. After a couple pigs, he’d exchange those couple sheep plus the now few pigs for a cow, and roll sheep again to restock. It was a nice little engine he had going.

And what I loved to see was that he was figuring out different configurations all on his own.

Superfarmer board gameOf course, he also learned a lesson about risk. Because a roll of the Wolf without a Big Dog on the farm, would send that empire to the ground. And after some good laughing he’d start to rebuild.

Where to get Superfarmer?

Superfarmer was created in Poland and is most available in Europe. However, Granna, the publishers of the board game, recently entered the US market by working with Publisher Services, Inc. (PSI).

Currently you can find Superfarmer at Barnes & Noble in the US. And we anticipate it becoming available in additional retail outlets as well.

Thanks Granna for a fun kids board game.

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Game of the Year – from 1979 to 2014

Thanksgiving board games

Fall is in the air – and so are great board games!

This time of year, we get a lot of new visitors to our website. We know it’s because so many people are looking for fun family board games and card games to play with family over the holidays. They’re also looking for great family board games as Christmas presents.

Not only do kids love games to play during their holiday break, but adults also love playing games when they get together with family and friends.

Last year we put together a list of the Top 11 Best Board Games for Family Gatherings.

Two years ago, we also posted about our favorite board games and card games – by each member of the family. (Which I know, looking at my own list, we should probably update soon as well because I know a couple more I’d add…)

But you don’t have to just take our word for it.
This year we thought it would be a great idea to list out the games that have won Game Of The Year!

There are a few sources we could point to for Game of the Year. We often share the Game of the Year as voted on by game reviewers around the world through The Dice Tower Awards.

Spiel des Jahres

Game of the Year awards.

But there’s also another reliable source for Game of the Year each year and that’s the Spiel des Jahres.

The whole purpose behind the Spiel des Jahres is to “promote games as a cultural asset to encourage gaming amongst family and friends”.

So if you’re looking for a fun board game or card game to get for your family this year, you may find a big hit on this list of Spiel des Jahres winners going back to when it began in 1979.

Spiel des Jahres winners

Game of the Year
Our quick thoughts
2014Camel UpHaven't played it. We've also heard the runner-up game, Splendor, is a great family game.
2013HanabiHeard lots of great things about it. Didn't enjoy it very much.
2012Kingdom BuilderOne of dad's favorite board games because of the variable layout, powers, and objectives.
Read our full review.
One of the connoisseur runner-up game of the year was K2 - one that dad loves as well.
2011QwirkleA great family board game of matching colors and shapes. Read our full review.
Although we wish the runner-up game, Forbidden Island, had actually won since it's a great family cooperative game.
The connoisseur game of the year in 2011 is also a big favorite of ours: 7 Wonders
2010DixitGreat party game with lots of creativity. Read our full review of Dixit Odyssey.
2009DominionA go-to favorite card game hands down. Dad's most-played game.
If you haven't tried Dominion yet, it's time to remedy that.
Read our full review.
This was a big year since Pandemic was also in the running. A very tough choice between the two because they're both excellent.
2008KeltisHaven't played it.
Though we do have a runner-up game, Stone Age, that's a great worker-placement game. It's the often recommended "entry-game" into the worker-placement style of board games. Our full review of Stone Age is coming soon.
2007ZoolorettoGood family game kids will love for the animals.
Review on the way soon.
We'd also really like to try a runner-up game - The Thief of Baghdad.
2006Thurn and TaxisSolid family board game that we haven't reviewed yet. We have it and have played a few times, but I'd like to play more.
2005NiagaraHaven't played it. The game box being used as the game board (with the waterfall going over the edge) looks like fun.
2004Ticket to RideOn our "Must Have" family board games list for a good reason. It's a game that everyone in the family can enjoy together. It's also great on the iPad.
Read our full review of Ticket to Ride: Europe.
2003AlhambraHaven't played it yet but would love to give it a try.
2002Villa PalettiHaven't played it. It's a building game requiring strategy and dexterity.
2001CarcassonneAnother board game on our "Must Have" family board games list. It's one of the games that got us hooked on family board games. There's a good chance it will snag you too.
Read our full review.
2000TorresHaven't played it and very hard to find.
1999TikalPlayed only twice - enjoyed it each time.
1998ElfenlandHaven't played it. But using dragons and unicorns as modes of transportation sounds fun.
1997Mississippi QueenHaven't played this paddle-wheel boat racing game.
1996El GrandeHaven't played it. It's another hard to find game currently.
1995Settlers of CatanIf you haven't played Settlers yet, stop what you're doing and play.
It's often credited as ringing in the modern era of board games.
Read our full review.
1994ManhattanHaven't played it.
1993Call my BluffHaven't played it.
1992Um ReifenbreiteHaven't played it.
1991Drunter und DrüberHaven't played it.
1990Adel VerpflichtetHaven't played it.
1989Café InternationalHave only played the iOS version. Read our review.
1988BarbarossaHaven't played it.
1987Auf AchseHaven't played it.
1986Top Secret SpiesHaven't played it.
1985Sherlock Holmes Consulting DetectiveHaven't played it.
1984Railway RivalsHaven't played it.
1983Scotland YardJust got a copy in 2014, and really enjoy it. It's a great deduction game where one player is on the run and the others work together to catch him/her.
Read our full review.
1982Enchanted ForestHaven't played it.
1981FocusHaven't played it.
1980RummikubFun family game of set creation and rearranging. Dad loves to rearrange a ton.
1979Hare and TortoiseHaven't played it.

Enjoy the holidays!

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VOLT – Robot battling fun!

Volt board game

VOLT is a fun robot-battle family board game.

How good are you at programming robots?

Are you ready to take on your buddies in a battle of bots to find out?

Well, now you can test your robot-programming prowess in Volt: Robot Battle Arena.

Volt is a fun board game where players use colored dice to program their robots to score points by landing on certain locations and knocking out the other robots.

Players simultaneously choose how they want their robot to move and shoot. Then everyone reveals their commands and the battles begin. After multiple rounds, one robot commander will be victorious.

Will it be you?

Check out Jaden’s video review to learn how to play Volt and to find out why he enjoys it.

Can the whole family enjoy Volt Robot Battle Arena?

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ChiTAG Toy and Game Fair is next week!

ChiTAG game fair

If you can – get to ChiTAG!

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) is going on next week at Navy Pier in Chicago!

(Chicago Toy and Game week is Nov 20 – 23)

Oh, how I wish I could be there.

Unfortunately, once again, I’m going to miss it.

Because my business trip to Chicago is this week instead of next week. Major bummer.

ChiTAG toy and game fair

So many toys to play with and try out.

But that won’t stop me from writing about it.

If you’re in the Chicago area (or can easily get there), don’t miss it.

Tickets are only $10/adult and $5/child.

ChiTAG brings together hundreds of companies and leaders in the toy and game industry and thousands of participants for a few days of good family fun.

So many of the board game companies that put out great family board games and card games that we’ve written about will be there including; Gamewright Games, Mayfair Games, Asmodee, Ravensburger, HasbroMindware, USAopoly, and Bananagrams.

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Stipulations Party Game = Dream Squashing Fun

Stipulations party game

Go ahead and limit your friend’s dreams. It’s fun!

We’ll cut right to the chase – Stipulations is a great family game and party game!

And it’s also such a simple game.

As the box says, it’s all about “stifling superpowers, crushing careers, limiting lifetime supplies, and destroying dreams. Your imagination and creativity are the only limits on how you can ruin friends’ announcements.”

Or as we like to simply say – “Creatively squashing each others’ dreams.”

Ok, so that may not sound like such a family-friendly or friend-friendly thing to do. But don’t take that too seriously. It’s not really a negative game. It’s a lot of fun being as creative as possible.

Watch Brooke’s short video review of Stipulations to see how simple and fun this party game is.

Can the whole family enjoy Stipulations?
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6 more Digital Board Games to play

Bang! Card Game

Can digital board games and card games really beat face-to-face play?

A few days ago we wrote about playtesting the digital board game implementation of BattleLore called BattleLore: Command. It’s been fun testing a game app during the development process. And it’s also been a lot of fun from a game perspective.

However, the downside has been that so far it’s mostly been a single-player experience.

One of the biggest reasons we love board games is the interactive nature of the games – sitting with others at the table for a shared fun experience.

But that doesn’t mean that all digital board games are bad. Or that you can’t still enjoy a shared gaming experience with friends through digital games.

There are a lot of benefits to digital board games over physical board games. We wrote about a number of them earlier this year as well (portable, no set up time, no space limits, scorekeeping, and time).

After all, how else can you play Small Word in the car?

As long as we don’t let solitary play of digital board games override our experiences playing with others, we give them a thumbs up.

Here are 6 ‘new-to-us’ digital board games we’ve recently played that are fun to play with others.
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BattleLore as a digital board game!

BattleLore board gameI’ve been excited to write about the digital board game implementation of BattleLore for a couple months now. Why? Because I’ve been lucky enough to be a playtester for the game as it’s been in development!

And it’s fantastic!

It’s also super close to being available for iOS, Android, and PC.
Knowing that a build has been submitted to the iOS app store means it’s very close.

What is BattleLore?
BattleLore is a 2-player board game with a hex-based combat system very much like Memoir ’44 (one of my favorite board games), but with a fantasy theme. Instead of armies waging WWII battles, players have fantasy armies battling one another for different objectives.

BattleLore board game

The BatteLore board game.

And I’ve wanted to play BattleLore for a long time.

Ever since Fantasy Flight Games published BattleLore Second Edition, I’ve had it on my board game wish list.

With BattleLore Second Edition, FFG adding a lot of cool elements to improve upon the battle system. One of the cool additions is in the game set up. In other games with the same battle system, scenarios dictate where each player’s starting units begin the game. However, with BattleLore Second Edition, each player gets there own few different options to of how to set up their side of the game board. That alone delivers a ton of replayability.

Anyway, it’s intrigued me for a while. But up until a couple months ago, I’d still never played BattleLore.

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How to Host a Murder: The Chicago Caper

How to Host a Murder party game

Ready for an evening of dinner and murder?

Last night we had a few couples over for dinner and murder.

Well, no one was actually murdered in our home last night, but we did have a very fun time playing How to Host a Murder: The Chicago Caper.

The How to Host a Murder games are a series of games that hit the game scene in the 1980′s. They’re murder-mystery, role-playing games where players take on the roles of potential murder suspects. Everyone arrives dressed, and in character, for a fun night of intrigue and accusations.

The few times we’ve played a How to Host a Murder game, we’ve had a great time. And last night was no exception.

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