Review: Sunny Day Pond, a Children’s Game

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Sunny Day Pond Box Art

Game Info

Publisher: Peaceable Kingdom

Year Published: 2014

Number of Players: 2 to 4

Play Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Set-up Time: 1 minute

Learning Curve: Low

Ages: Rated 3 and up, but suitable for some 2-year-olds

Table Size: Small

Introduction

It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a board game around here, but one of the original purposes of this website was to talk about game accessibility. One aspect of accessibility is a game’s appeal to a variety of audiences, and Sunny Day Pond is one of those games that’s certainly accessible to young gamers.

Description

Sunny Day Pond is a co-operative puzzle game for children. Its simple design has won multiple awards thanks to its nearly flawless presentation and execution. It teaches several great skills to toddlers and pre-schoolers, including: color matching, … Continue reading

Virtuacon 2013 Recap

Introduction

Virtuacon 2013 is over, and it was a huge success. Roughly 375 people participated in RPGGeek’s first online game convention, and every single one of us had an amazing time.

Though we had some organizational hiccups, I consider them normal growing pains for any event this big. It isn’t clear whether or not RPGGeek will decide to do a Virtuacon2014 yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed because this really was the best 3 days in virtual gaming.

Day 1 – Friday, October 18th 2013

Virtuacon kicked off on Friday and hit the ground running. Though I didn’t make it to any of the games that ran, I did get a chance to watch the first speaking panel of the convention: Kickstarters and Publishing with Fred Hicks.

This was a great panel. If you’re at all interested in the game publishing business, you need to … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #12: Ch-Ch-Changes

This entry is part 12 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 12 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

Life has a funny way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it? One day you’re gearing up for a new Kickstarter campaign, the next day you’re not even sure where you’ll be during the time the campaign was supposed to be running.

Unfortunately that’s the case here. I’m sad to announce that, due to that crazy thing called “personal life,” the MKM Kickstarter campaign will not be launching next week. It’s still in the works, but at this moment I have no idea what’s in store for me over the next month and it wouldn’t be feasible to run a campaign during such a tumultuous period. Hopefully things will flatten out and return to normal soon, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I’m going to … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #11: Circus of Craziness

This entry is part 11 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 11 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

Come one, come all! Tonight’s Big Top event is sure to astonish, astound, and amaze! All of the circus’ best, brightest, and fastest racers will compete in the incredible, the wonderful, and the entirely insane Race of Awesome!
In tonight’s main event, watch in astonishment as Cuckoo the Clown speeds down the midway. Watch in horror as Buri the Circus Bear rides his bouncy ball across the tight rope of death. Gander at Malrock the Magnificent as he maneuvers his flying carpet through the mirror maze, and root for Francesca the Flameeater as she attempts to navigate the roundabout carousel.
Tonight’s going to be an extravaganza you won’t want to miss!

MKM: Circus Craziness

The fourthadd-on adventure for Monster Kart Mayhem is Circus Craziness. It’s a departure … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #10: New Alpha, Upcoming Kickstarter

This entry is part 10 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 10 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

Monster Kart Mayhem has been getting a lot of polish this week. Thanks to the feedback of one of our volunteer playtesters, I was able to add some much-needed rules clarifications and examples of play into to the book. Just this week I added about 1100 words to MKM, which is mighty impressive if you consider the whole book was only 8,000 words before.

I clarified and simplified language surrounding the Pace rules that were introduced to the Alpha 1 version of the book. There was some confusion over using the Trait Ladder’s numerical annotation alongside the notation for the number of Spaces moved  during around. For example, the rules used to say something like: “if your Pace is Good (+1) you may move 5 Spaces.” The question was: … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #9: Fairyland Progress, Playtesting

This entry is part 9 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 9 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

Progress on MKM: Fairyland has been slower than on some of the other adventures, but I still feel it’s coming along quite nicely. After I”m done with Fairyland I’m going to begin work on MKM: Circus Carnage, which is a departure from the mythology theme of some of the other race courses but brings the game back to its monstrous roots.

I hope to launch a Kickstarter campaign for MonsterKart Mayhem in October, just in time for Halloween. My goal is to have the core book and four adventures finished with enough detail to show off when the Kickstarter goes live. Stay tuned for more details.

Additionally, I have had some renewed interest in playtesting lately. The offer still stands to let playtesters create new content for the game and gain a free … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #7: VirtuaCon and a New Alpha

This entry is part 7 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 7 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

This week I took a bit of a break from designing MKM Fairyland because I had a lot of work to do on the core book itself. There’s a lot to talk about this week, so let’s get started!

Monster Kart Mayhem at VirtuaCon ’13

First of all, I’d like to bring your attention to VirtuaCon ’13. Player sign-ups went live today, and we already have 3 out of 10 total slots filled up for Monster Kart Mayhem.

Here’s the info you need to get started.

Sign up for games using this list.

Specifically, Monster Kart Mayhem sign-ups are on page 4 of this list. You might also wish to check out the sign-ups for Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #6: Fairyland

This entry is part 6 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 6 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

As Monster Kart Mayhem continues development, I continue to research and develop new ideas for race course locations and new racers. We already have monsters, merfolk, and mythic creatures, but there is so much more potential.

Next up for development is Fairyland. Similar to Camp Myth in some ways, Fairyland will contain several new varieties of fey creatures from many different cultural backgrounds. These aren’t completely fleshed out yet, but here are a few of the ideas I have for new creatures in the fairy realms:

Dryad
Satyr
Brownie
Sylph
Sprite
Gnome
Boggart
Hobgoblin
Spriggan
Nixie
Pixie
Nymph
Dwarf
Elf

 

There are obviously a lot of different creatures to choose from, and I am actively … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #5: Merit Badges

This entry is part 5 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 5 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

I’ve been talking a lot about the new Camp Myth race course for Monster Kart Mayhem, but that’s because it’s the biggest and most engaging yet. In addition to the new track and the new Power-Ups, MKM Goes to Camp adds a new merit badge mechanic that can be used in conjunction with Camp Myth: the RPG by Third Eye Games.

While I’m talking about Camp Myth, I’d like to point out that Chris Lewis Carter is currently (as of the date of this post) running a Kickstarter campaign for the second book in the Camp Myth series, entitled “Kraken Fishing.” Check it out if you’re interested in a great new work of kid-friendly fiction.

Merit Badges

In Camp Myth: the RPG, … Continue reading

Monster Kart Monday #4: More Camp Myth

This entry is part 4 of 21 in the seriesMonster Kart Monday

This entry is part 4 of 21 in the series Monster Kart Monday

Last week I revealed the next race course that will be available for Monster Kart Mayhem: the Camp Myth Kart Race. Read last week’s post for a brief overview of the new racers and race track locations you will find in the game.

This week I’d like to spotlight some new Power-Ups. If you haven’t read the freely available , a Power-Up is an item you can acquire during game play to to provide a boost to your haracter, to attack another player, or to overcome certain negative effects.

For MKM Goes to Camp, I had a lot of material to draw upon thanks to the rich world of Camp Myth. I’m very pleased with the outcomes of the Power-Ups designed for this course, so I’d like to reveal … Continue reading