When I try to remember what my life was like before I had kids, sometimes I find myself drawing a blank. Was that possibly a different lifetime?
What I do know, however, is that my husband and I used to get together much more often with family and friends for a regular game night. We would hang out, talk, laugh... and hopefully find a game we could all agree on. It had to be interactive, challenging and, of course, a lot of fun. Throw in some educational value and we would have had a hilarious time with You've Been Sentenced! from the creative thinkers at McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds.
Designed for ages 8 and up, You've Been Sentenced! is the type of game that can be played almost immediately after opening the box. Simply pass out 10 of the pentagon-shaped cards to each player and the round begins as they each try to score the most points by constructing the longest, grammatically correct sentence. Sounds like an innovative way to hide some thinking skills behind the laughter, doesn't it?
In fact, You've Been Sentenced! cleverly disguises teaching abilities such as sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling, word comprehension, language, and more on each and every card. Beginning with the base word, the 5 sides show multiple conjugations that make players think about which would be appropriate for their sentence... or at least somewhat make sense. With 540 cards, that adds up to well over 2500 words and an almost infinite number of creative possibilities.
However, the game gets even funnier as sentences are read aloud and other players have the opportunity to object based on the grammar or if the sentence just doesn't work. The defending player and the objecting player then debate their views while the rest of the players vote thumbs up or thumbs down for their opinion on the matter. If you've never tried to defend or explain a completely ridiculous sentence, you don't know just how much fun it can be!
Even though my own children are too young to play You've Been Sentenced! now, I am definitely keeping this game around for them as they get older. I love that it inspires creativity and independent thinking much more than rolling dice or moving a game piece around a board. McNeill Designs even offers 5 different Add-On Decks to tailor You've Been Sentenced! to specific interests or subjects (for example, pop culture or sports).
Whether playing the original You've Been Sentenced! or with the added twist of the Add-On Decks, you're almost guaranteed an evening of fun and laughter. I don't know why my sentence of "odd noisy fish will have weak and mouthy faces before chickening out" didn't make sense to some people, though...
For a game more manageable for slightly younger players that still involves humor and quick-thinking, McNeill Designs also offers their innovative twist on Go Fish with their version, aptly named Twisted Fish.
Taking the traditional rules of Go Fish and including flashy new cards, inventive additions to the rules and Zingers to keep things exciting and fresh, Twisted Fish takes much more thought than just asking if your opponent has any twos. Only when you have compiled a "Full Basket" (complete set) of one of the illustrated fish can you remove them from your hand to gain the points.
Adding in the options to peeks at another player's hand, gain an extra guess or even steal someone's card and Twisted Fish will hold the interest of kids and adults alike. Even though Big Sister E is too young to play by the actual rules, she still thought the brightly decorated cards were a blast to sort and match together.
McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds creates unique, addicting, educational and humorous games for all ages and can easily be adapted for individual needs. Scoring for both games isn't really necessary, and the timer for You've Been Sentenced! can be left out to remove the pressure for younger players. Both games will provide a completely different experience each time they are played, making for a new and unpredictable challenge.
Even better, McNeill Designs uses their success to help charitable causes in the community. They currently donate a portion of the sales of You've Been Sentenced! to Success Won't Wait, Inc, a wonderful non-profit organization that works to fight illiteracy. Each time that McNeill Designs comes out with a new product, they are committed to finding a new way to give back, and that makes enjoying their games even more fun.
Plus, thanks to the generosity of McNeill Designs, one person will have the opportunity to play their inventive set of games, because...
One lucky person will win Twisted Fish, You've Been Sentenced! and all 5 Add-On Decks! ARV $75!
To enter to win: Visit McNeill Designs store locator and tell me a retailer near you that carries these great games.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
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Fun family games! You've Been Sentenced, Twisted Fish & more! WIN a $75 prize pack @thxmailcarrier! http://bit.ly/ak18ey #win #giveaway
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Giveaway will end on April 15th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to McNeill Designs for providing You've Been Sentenced!, its Add-Ons and Twisted Fish for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. Educational and fun, what a combination! The opinions shared are my own and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.