First up, we set mechanical plans in motion to cobble together a victory in Nerdy Inventions.

Next, we cross the windy desert and wildflower prairies as we expand our empires in Kingdom Builder.

And lastly, we squint hard  as we try to recall some really elementary stuff in Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Nerdy Inventions

Designed by: Chih-Fan Chen
Published by:
Homosapiens Lab & Mayday Games (2016)
Players:
2 – 4
Ages:
8 & up
Playing time:
25 – 30 min

Nerdy Inventions – where players compete to earn the title of Nerdiest Inventor!

In each turn, the active player rolls 3 dice. They then may do the following 4 actions as many times as they want. The 4 available actions are:

  • Use your own invention card
  • Charge your own invention card
  • Research (by swapping uninvented cards)
  • Build (by taking a new invention card)

When a player cannot take any more actions (or does not wish to), they pass, and the next player’s turn begins.

Invention cards provide victory points and abilities. At the end, the player with the highest total of victory points wins the game!

Kingdom Builder

Designed by: Donald X. Vaccarino
Published by:
Queen Games (2011)
Players:
2 – 4
Ages:
8 & up
Playing time:
45 min

In Kingdom Builder, the players create their own kingdoms by skillfully building and arranging their settlements, aiming to earn the most gold by game’s end.  

During his turn, a player plays his terrain card and builds three settlements on three hexes of the appropriate terrain. If possible, a new settlement must be built next to one of that player’s existing settlements. When building next to a location, the player may earn an action tile, which allows special actions such as moving your settlements.

Players earn gold by building next to Castles, and by meeting the goals of the three random Kingdom Builder cards.  The game ends when a player has placed all their settlements; the player with the most gold wins!

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Designed by: Michelle Duval
Published by:
Parker Brothers (2007)
Players:
2 – 4
Ages:
8 & up
Playing time:
30 min

In Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, each player tries to win money by answering a series of questions that have been taken from elementary school textbooks.  If a player can correctly answer 2 questions from each grade (1st through 5th) in a row without getting any wrong, they can go for the final, million-dollar question.  If the player reaches and answers that question correctly too, then they win a million dollars . . . and the game!

If a player gets any question wrong along the way, they instantly lose and are out of the running.  A player can also choose to stop answering questions at any point on the way to the million-dollar question, opting to take their money winnings and run — but to do so, they must first admit, out loud: “I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader!”

Then, if no one gets to the million, the player with the most money wins.

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