Christmas might be well and truly over, but we’ve still got a few weeks of long, dark nights ahead of us. And with February half-term just around the corner, what could be better than playing a few games as a family? As members of the Ginger Fox Games Club, we’ve been checking out Corks and The Emoji Game, which are both suitable for families with older kids.
Corks is a game for three to 14 players, aged six and over.
It is fast and furious and you need to keep concentrating, but of course, as with all games, it’s very funny when people lose their concentration!
The aim of the game is simply to collect a set of matching cards and then grab one of the coloured corks from the centre, before your opponents do. So you need to watch the cards, watch the corks and watch the other players!
It doesn’t matter what colour corks you set out (apart from the gold one, which has to stay in the box), but you need to have one less cork than players – so five corks for six players, five corks for four players etc. You need to select a set of four coloured cards for each player, but then shuffle all the sets together before dealing.
The players then look at their cards and decide what colour they want to collect, and put down one of the ones they don’t want to collect (so if they’ve got two yellows, they will put down a red). Then every player picks up a discarded card and play continues until someone has a complete set of cards.
Once someone has a complete set, they grab a cork of any colour, then everyone else needs to grab one. The player who fails to grab a cork is out. Once a player is eliminated, a set of cards is removed, and play starts again.
Once it gets down to the final two, the golden cork enters the game. The winner of the game isn’t the person who has won the most rounds, it’s the one who has a matching set and the gold cork at the end of the game.
There’s a few different ways to play, so once you’ve mastered Classic Corks, you can try one of the variations.
We only played with three players and it was hard enough to follow the action, it must be hilarious and great fun with 14 people, or even seven or eight players.
The Emoji Game
The Emoji Game is a card game for three to six players, aged eight and over.
I guess you could describe The Emoji Game as Happy Families with a twist. You collect together sets of emotions – such as feeling cool, feeling happy or feeling poorly. The winner is the first person to collect a full set of five emoji cards.
But there are also action cards, which mean your good work can very quickly be undone. (Watch out for kids who get stressed about games at this point or they might display some of the ‘feeling rage’ emotions!)
On every turn, a player picks up an action card and an emoji card. Action cards can be for the individual player, all of the players or two of the players. So everyone might have to pass a card to another player, or even thrown all of their cards up in the air and take each others’ cards. Players have to play their action before picking their emoji card and getting rid of an unwanted emoji cards.
This is great fun to play as a family or for a group of tweens to play with their friends. As it is just a pack of cards, it would also be great for travelling – whether sat on a train, waiting at an airport or in a holiday cottage or hotel, when you’re trying to encourage the kids to get off their screens!
Just a word of warning on The Emoji Game from one who knows… Teenagers think emojis are ‘cringe’. In my experience, they will refuse to have anything to do with emojis, whereas tweens think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. This is definitely one for 8-12 year olds either to play together or with parents, keep the teenagers out of it! If you want a similar game that teens can enjoy, I would recommend Cat Chaos from Ginger Fox.
We are members of the Ginger Fox Games Club. We were sent The Emoji Game and Corks for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.