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The following games are popular right now with both children and adults. They are all basically easy to learn, but keep you interested because you have to develop strategies to be good at them and win. All three games are actually educational, too, because of the thinking skills or word skills they help to develop. 1. Blokus Blokus is a strategy game that has received the Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity. It is simple enough for young children to learn, yet challenging enough to keep adults addicted to it. The object of the game is for each player to fit all of his or her pieces onto the game board, and to win by being the first to get rid of all his or her tiles. But in doing so, the piece can not be adjacent to the other players' pieces. Yet it has to touch at least one corner of the pieces that are already on the board. This is where the strategy comes in by being able to fit in your tiles, while at the same time blocking possible moves of your opponents. 2. Bananagrams Bananagrams is another game that is extremely popular right now. This is a word game for two or more players. Bananagrams consists of letter tiles stored in a cute little banana-shaped pouch. The object of the game is to create words crossword-style, and to win by being the first to use up all of your tiles. The beauty of this game is that multiple ages will enjoy it, and no pencil or paper is needed. It can be taken anywhere and played on the spur of the moment. Also, it only takes about 5 minutes to play a game, so if your kids can't sit through long, drawn-out games, this is a fun way to entertain them. 3. Qwirkle Qwirkle was awarded the Mensa Best Mind Game in 2007. Again, this is easy to learn, but it takes a while to master winning strategies. The game consists of wooden blocks with shapes and colors. You have to make columns and rows of matching colors and shapes, but there are ways to place the tiles so that you get even more points. It almost reminds me of a cross between the card game "Uno" and the classic game of "dominoes." Some game owners say it is similar to "Scrabble," but without the letters.
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