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The Importance of having FUN!

 

Introduction:

Seen as we sell so much fun at Totally Awesome I’ve been doing some research into some of its benefits. Turns out there’s a lot of reasons to enjoy yourself (who’d have thought?) and I’m genuinely surprised we’re not prescribed a dose of fun every now and then.

Oh and just to clarify, by “fun” we are talking about real fun: activities, trying new things, playing, completing puzzles, that sort of thing as opposed to consuming alcohol or other intoxicants that might make us feel happy. 

 

 

10 Benefits: 

Without further explanation here are some of the sometime surprising and absolutely fabulous benefits of having fun:

  1. The happy hormones secreted when having fun can boost your immune system.
  2. Having fun usually means being more relaxed, which results in better detoxification all round – from your brain to your kidneys, liver and gut will get rid of toxins so much better when you have fun often.
  3. If you have fun by moving, doing fun things, and not just sitting around you can improve your circulation, muscle function, heart function and so much more.
  4. Having fun often means trying new things or taking part in a variety of activities. This variety in life keeps your brain fit by continually building new circuits and finding new paths in its neural network. Kind of like a brain gym!
  5. Your gut ecosystem thrives on a happy and relaxed state and suffers under negative stress. Considering the fact that your gut ecosystem is the foundation of your immune system, helps you make a variety of valuable micronutrients, supports your digestion and detoxification, and has been linked to preventing health problems from diabetes to mood disorders.
  6. Having fun, together with getting some good sleep, is some of the best anti-aging medicine. The hormones that are involved in a lot of things involved in aging, including skin elasticity, skin and mucous membrane moisture, muscle and joint health, energy, concentration and memory, and more, are influenced directly by fun and stress levels. Have more fun!
  7. Having fun is great for building relationships. We need each other and we need ways to stay connected. Why not invite a friend you’ve been losing touch with to share a board gaming experience with you this week? 
  8. Having fun can help you lower high blood pressure.
  9. Fun activities during the day could improve sleep quality at night.
  10. Oh yeah and having fun is FUN, it’s kind of a no brainer.

 

 

Conclusion:

I don’t really care how old you are, or think you are, that’s a pretty compelling list of reasons to make sure you’re having a daily dose of fun. So get out there and fly a kite, build a robot or complete a puzzle. If you’re still not convinced swing by one of our shops and our staff will force you to enjoy yourself, and you can tell us if you experience any of these benefits 😉 

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What is Codenames?

                                                                                                                      

Overview:

Codenames is a game of word association and thinking outside the box. The multi-award winning game from Vlaada Chvátil has become one of the most popular group games around for a variety of reasons, due mostly to the fact that it’s quick and casual, it provides a superb amount of replayability, and it promotes creativity and social interaction. It’s also a great way to exercise your mind and push those language skills, and it plays well for both small groups and large parties alike. Most of all, it’s just fun. Whether you’re winning or losing, you’ll usually find something to laugh at – the ways in which the minds of your teammates work differently to yours will never cease to amaze you!

 

                                          

How to play:

Set up 25 word cards on a table visible to everyone playing. These represent agents in the world and their codenames. Split into two teams and decide on a spymaster for each team. The two rival spymasters know the secret identities (whether they are team red or team blue) of the agents, by looking at a secret key which only they can see. The two spymasters should sit at the same end of the table and agree on the correct orientation of this key, relative to the cards in front of them on the table. Work out which team – red or blue – goes first by looking at the highlighted bars around the edge of the spymaster’s key, and assign the double agent to this team – this is a special card which can function as either one additional blue card or one additional red; a small disadvantage given to the team which got to go first!

The Spymasters then take it in turns to give their respective teammates a clue which will lead them to one of their team’s agents. A spymaster is only allowed to say two things: a one-word clue whose meaning relates to words on the table, and a number, which tells his or her team how many codenames that clue relates to. Strong word association skills (and an understanding of how your friends think!) are necessary if you want to come out on top! After being given a clue, the spymaster’s team may make a guess. You fully commit to a guess by placing a finger on the word you have chosen, and the spymaster puts out a character tile (e.g. a red or blue agent) on the word to indicate whether or not the guess was right. So long as they guess correctly, the team may continue to make a number of guesses equal to the number the spymaster gave in the original clue, plus one. You could use this “bonus guess” to catch up to the opposing team by making a guess on a clue you guessed incorrectly in a previous turn. However, if you make an incorrect guess, your turn ends immediately and the next team gets to go. Sometimes when you guess wrong, a colourless civilian card comes out rather than an agent, which isn’t too bad, but sometimes you could get an agent for the opposing team’s colour! Think carefully whether you want to use all your guesses; so long as you’ve made at least one guess, you’re allowed to pass.

And finally, make sure you don’t accidentally guess the assassin. That’s like potting the black prematurely in pool – instant loss! Spymasters need to think carefully whether or not their clue could inadvertently lead to an assassin guess before giving that clue. The game ends when one team successfully finds every agent of their colour!

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What is Cobra Paw?

 

Cobra Paw Graphic

 

Overview:

Cobra Paw is a dexterity game in which you roll dice and snatch tiles. It’s quick, it’s fun and it’s for all the family. The game recommends 2-6 eager players from the age of 6+ to get competitive and show off their ninja fast reflexes. The box design and rules explanation are simple, quirky and colourful, with enough character to keep even the most impatient readers humored. 

 

How to play: 

Lay out the tiles so that they are face up and easily accessible to all the players. Decide an amount of tiles required to win, the standard amount is 6. Select a starting player and get them to roll the dice. Once the dice have landed, two symbols will be showing face up. Put together the symbols create a pattern which will have a corresponding tile in the play area, the first player to snatch that tile scores the point. You are only allowed to use one hand to grab a tile and if two people go for the tile at the same time, the person whose finger is in or closest to the circular indent on the tile gets the point! Oh and one last thing, if the pattern that comes up on the dice matches one of your tiles be sure to protect it from the other players, they’re allowed to steal them! It’s as simple as that, once you reach the decided number of tiles you win. 

Cawfuku Stones and Dice from Cobra Paw
Cawfuku Stones and Dice from Cobra Paw

 

Components: 

The components are few, but they are absolutely lovely. The domino-esque tiles are delightfully weighty and engraved with abstract symbols that match the pair of equally chunky dice that satisfyingly clunk along the table. 

 

Conclusion:

This game is a quick, intuitive game of snatching points. It is very accessible to both young and old players that enjoy partaking in a little competition. All you need to play is some space on a table or floor and due to the build quality and small number of components Cobra Paw travels really well. If you’re not convinced yet, feel free to challenge our staff to a duel in one of our stores! 

 

A picture showing Cobra Paw and components
Cobra Paw box and components