|Where to Buy:||Online or Local Game Store|
|Objective:||Place walls to trap your opponents' pawns before they trap yours.|
|Contents:||One game board|
84 wall pieces
55 Got ’Em!™ cards
4 pawns & Rules
If you know that reference you are awesome! If not…watch Little Monsters. Now the REAL reason behind the title is an awesome game we discovered at (where else) Gen Con! It is called Got ‘Em! from the fabulous company Calliope Games. You will see more games from them on here but back to this one. It is a colorful wall building trap your opponent game that kids as young as 4 can learn and as old as 99 will love!
Got Em! is a game of skill, strategy and fun. There are two ways to play which means you NEVER get bored and the game grows with kids. Which means you get more for your money. I LOVE games like this! We haven’t gotten to the Brainy side of the board yet, but the Bright side is we have something to look forward to. You see what I did there? Anyway, moving on to how to play and how to teach someone under the recommended age!
My 5 year old was 4 at Gen Con this year (of course we discovered this at Gen Con) and learned to play this game at the Calliope booth. I helped but the staff there was amazing and oh so patient. They taught him to play this game and 2 others. They scaled it down to help him out and I am sure they let him win but you could tell they loved their jobs.
On to how to play! First you should know the set up and a few other rules and things though…let’s start there shall we.
- Your starting with the Bright Side so that is the colored square side.
- Each player chooses their color and puts their pawn on its matching starting square.
- Make piles with the white plastic walls (of your doom)
- Shuffle cards and deal 3 to each person face down. Players can look but no cheating.
- Make a stack of the remaining cards where everyone can reach. This is the draw pile.
- The person with the birthday closest to today’s date goes first. That is such a cool starting rule.
If you are playing with someone under 8 you might start explaining the rules. Go over the cards. The brilliant part about these cards is they are color coded and the order of things is always the same. If you have a child who can’t read yet they can still play without help!
I started with verifying color knowledge and number word recognition. There are only three possible moves so learning the words one, two and three will actually be easy. Mostly because of the beginning letter for one and the length of the word for three. He knew all of that but its best to say “Let’s review anyway. It’s the rules to review” That was how I countered the “But mommy I know all that!” Yeah he’s fun.
Show your child each part possible on the cards. Each card either has one of the four colors or is a wild card with all the color dots on it. THAT is how they will recognize what color they can place a wall on. If the card has three sentences he will know that he can remove a wall. Seriously, I think they designed the game with non-readers in mind.
The hardest part will be having a non-reader learn the words through and remove. But after a few games of “what’s this word?” and some giggling they can pick it up easy enough. I recommend doing a few practice card draws but strategically place each type on the top of the deck. This helps put things into practice and is just fun.
Once he has the basics down it’s time to play! Game on!
On every turn you will do four steps. One step has (or can have) a couple parts to it though.
- Play one from your hand face up and follow the rules on it. Follow them In the order that they are on the card. Most have two instructions with the first one telling you what color you can place a wall and the second tells you how many spaces you can move.
- If a card says you MAY do something it is optional and you can choose not to.
- Place a wall on the color from your card (or your choice if the card gives options). The grooves in the board support these walls brilliantly. The wall you place can only touch two squares so no putting them half way between two colors. That’s called cheating.
- Move your pawn UP TO the number of squares that the card says to. Here are rules for moving.
- You can’t move your pawn through walls (unless the card says you can)
- You can’t move diagonally.
- You can’t move through a square another player is in.
- You never HAVE to move your pawn.
- You don’t have to move the exact number of squares the card says to. You can move less if you wish but not more.
- Once you have played a card, followed its instructions and moved your pawn discard your card and draw another so you have 3. Next up is the player to your left!
- Last player to have their pawn on the board wins! If you get trapped into ONE square at any point in the game you are out for the remainder.
- The edge of the board counts as a wall.
- You must (should) yell Got Em! when you trap someone. They recommend a little dance and I couldn’t agree more. Victory dance! We do them.
This game is a lot of fun for my husband and I to play and my son LOVES it. He teaches his friends now and we are only allowed to help with teaching the cards. The strategy for kids under 8 will come later but let me assure you that it WILL come earlier then you would think (or like). This game has helped him learn strategy, tactics, evasive maneuvers, problem solving, sportsmanship and early reading.
Even Younger Kids!
You can do a modified version of the game without wild cards for younger kids or kids who might struggle with picking up key parts of the game. I am teaching my 3 year old daughter this version.
- Basically use the Bright Side of the board.
- Pick a color pawn and make a pile of walls.
- Remove wild cards and shuffle into a deck face down. Do not pass any out.
- Have them start by drawing a card and telling you the color. Then have them place a wall on the board on that color.
- Move the pawn ONE space and the turn is over.
- Keep doing this until someone is trapped.
- OR you can remove pawns altogether and just draw a card, place a wall until each color has a square of walls around it. Trapping the colors instead of the person.
This will help little kids learn or reinforce color knowledge and setting and achieving goals. Early sportsmanship is never a bad thing so don’t always let ANY child win. They can learn to lose too and to say “Good game”
If you are looking for a family game for all ages then I think this is a great one! They can learn, have fun and never play the same game twice. I can’t imagine a better family game time than that!
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