THE ROB REPORT:
“SPOT IT! NHL” & “NHL FASTRACK ” BY BLUE ORANGE GAMES
If you’re starved for NHL action this hockey season, Blue Orange Games has a couple of titles that might just hit the “spot” for you. I recently took Spot It! NHL for a few laps around the rink, and here’s what I thought:
I’m into bigger style board games, so it was a bit deceiving when I saw Spot It! NHL was so compact. However, along with its miniature size came a great deal of fun, as it provided 5 different NHL hockey themed matching games.
The game’s single dimension is to spot matching NHL logos and other hockey-themed images before the other players can. This game has 5 different variations. The fun is all in the mayhem, trying to quickly make matches before everyone else.
I played with 4 friends, 2 of which don’t follow hockey regularly. All of us thought the game was great. My friends I played with play a lot of board games (they have a few shelves dedicated to them) and they decided to add this game to their regular lineup of games to play on game night.
The gameplay time is short enough that it does not get tiresome (3-5mins). Short is also good because players can exit a game anytime without disrupting a very involving showdown. There are a few variations that can potentially take a little longer (up to 8-10min) to finish than others, and the time difference adds to the variation.
You can keep score, but I found it more fun when each game is mutually exclusive from the other, since there is potential for players with superior matching skills to run away with the score over the course of multiple games. The game has a tendency to favor better players, as the real good players can go on long streaks, and slower-matching players could become frustrated. I’d recommend players organizing games amongst evenly skilled players, rather than letting the game even it out for you. But then again, playing the game is the only way to truly find out what level of matcher every player is.
The game comes in a durable case so game owners do not have to worry about wear and tear outside of actually the game.
Overall this is a great game to play for not only hockey enthusiasts, but for everyone. The learning curve is extremely low and the logos are easily distinguishable.
Below is their official press release, and some additional info.
While the NHL hockey season is on hold, Blue Orange Games is proud to be the source for the hottest NHL® licensed games to kick start the action!
Blue Orange gave their wildly popular games, Spot it! and Fastrack a sporty makeover that Wayne Gretzky would approve of! Now hockey fans have the perfect family games to fuel their passion and show off their pride. Packaging and instructions for both games is in French and English.
Whether you are a die-hard hockey fan or you just want to break the ice, Spot it! NHL® is for you. Hockey themed symbols give this collectible edition its cool edge. There is always one, and only one matching symbol between any two cards! To become one of the Greats of the game, be the first to spot the match. Officially licensed by the National Hockey League, this hockey card game contains the logos of every NHL® team. Have a blast skating through all 5 mini-games: make that “Sweet Pass,” avoid “The Penalty,” and score in “The Net,” and more! Packaged in a puck-size tin, Spot it! NHL is the perfect stocking stuffer for hockey heads young and young-at-heart!
Ages 7 to Adult • 2 to 8 Players
Here’s another NHL themed game from Blue Orange games that we think you’d also enjoy…
NHL® Fastrack brings your favorite sport to your fingertips! Officially licensed by the National Hockey League®, this puck passing game produces kinetic energy and exhilarating competition. The first to send all 10 pucks to an opponent’s side takes home the trophy! Just like a hockey game, NHL® Fastrack calls for lightning-speed, accuracy and just the right amount of chance to win. This eco-friendly speed game is made of 100% sustainable wood and the rink’s sidelines feature logos of teams adored by hockey fans all over North America. With quality you can see and ready to play right out of the box, NHL® Fastrack makes an unforgettable holiday gift. And what’s more—Blue Orange plants two trees for every tree used to create this game!
Ages 5+ • 2 Players
About Blue Orange Games:
With 12 years experience creating stimulating and easy-to-learn games,
exquisitely designed for maximum fun, Blue Orange Games looks to the future
with consistent ideals.Using durable materials, Blue Orange pledges to produce high quality games that are enjoyable for the whole family. The eco-friendly company remains committed to planting two trees for every one tree used in game construction. Blue Orange has won multiple awards, such as Parenting Magazine’s “Mom Tested Toys of the Year,” Parents Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Family Fun Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s “Platinum Seal,” and Dr. Toy’s “10 Best Games,” among others.
Dear Soccer People,
So you’ve got the most popular sport globally, soccer (football for the purists). Though I doubt the research sometimes, I’ve heard the stat so many times I guess there’s got to be some truth to it. You sell-out stadiums every night, and sometimes you riot because you’re into it so deep. You got passion, I dig that.
Your game doesn’t differ conceptually that much from similiar sports (get the ______ in the other team’s ______ ), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tough. Playing some pick-up soccer myself has re-inforced this to me. If you haven’t noticed by now, just because the pro’s on TV in ANY sport make it look easy, doesn’t mean you can do it that well in your half-time beer-and-smoke-break league. Just like any sport, it takes a lot of skill and effort to be any good at soccer. Minus the diving.
BUT still, with all that being said, please soccer players… if you listen to only one thing I say in this whole blog, let it be this:
Your sport contains THE BIGGEST NET IN SPORTS.
I realize that goals in soccer come on an average of 2 or 3 a month, but just because you finally punted that borderline beach-ball size of inflated rubber into netting which could corral a beluga whale, past the guy with no over-sized padding, does NOT mean your backflip is warranted. Hey, scoring is cool, heck it’s one of the best feelings there is to feel. But honestly, the fewer airplane spins and power knee-slides I see, the better. I don’t, for one
second, approve of the baby thumb-sucking celebration i’ve seen on a few occasions. Also why do soccer players feel the need to rip off their jerseys when they score a big goal? That jersey is a sense of pride in most sports. The difference between hockey players and soccer players is that while soccer players don’t want their jerseys on and rip them off, hockey players grab their crest and shake it like a polaroid they’re so happy to have it on their chest. Some hockey teams will actually fine their players for letting their jerseys touch the floor in the dressing room they’re so serious about respecting the uniform.
Scoring in hockey is unbelievably tough at the top levels. The net is small, and most goaltenders are large humans to begin with, AND THEN they put on their pads, filling in and spilling over any “holes” that may have previously been present; likening your scoring chances to moustaches ever being actually, really, cool again. You gotta be really good to pull either situation off. So hockey goals deserve a big celly (celebration), but even the rockpiles (rookies) know not to go too far. Fist pump: yes. Stick ride: No. Ice duster with a follow-up pumper-nickle: time and a place. Canoe paddle: Don’t bother suiting up next game.
Football players gotta grind those TD’s out. There’s some big, bad mamma-jamma’s out there that really don’t want you in their end. There’s some huge meathead football players, but even the best teams have a tough time getting it in field goal range against a defensive line named after large kitchen appliances. So Terrell, I say flap your wings. Throw the grenades and blow your team up. Dirty bird, get derrrty. You’ve earned it.
Basketball is well aware that even though they have the smallest net in team sports, it’s just not that big of a challenge when the telephone-pole sized players can literally start placing the ball in the net for over 100 points a game. Even the dunkers are aware of the frequency of conversion. Rarely do you see a basket celebration, and with good reason.
So soccer players, in conclusion, I enjoy your game, but never forget NO ONE IN SPORTS HAS A BIGGER NET THAN YOU.
The only exception I will allow to this rule is the header goal, or that bicycle kick. These might be the toughest goals in sports to score, and to that I say climb the goal post and pick the coconuts for all I care, you deserve it. Hopefully my British friends haven’t disowned me. Remember, I’m not attacking soccer as a whole, just the over-sensationalized celebrations to goal size ratio, that’s all. Just keep it all in perspective. This is all I ask.