Featured Image – Rhino Hero Super Battle by HABA picture taken by myself.
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I love dexterity games, they are always fun and challenging for all ages and they often look amazing. But what are they?
A dexterity game is any board game that requires you to place, move or remove things in a particular way. This could be stacking like in Rhino Hero, removing pieces like in Jenga, flicking pieces like in Flick ‘Em Up, any game which requires some form of skill moving or placing pieces.
Obviously these types of game are brilliant for very young children as they help to develop fine motor skills and you’ll find that many games designed for under 5s will have some form of dexterity mechanic built in.
However they are definitely not just for children, at the game night’s I attend and run it is always the dexterity games that are what I call ‘the crowd magnets.’ These are the games that have a wow-factor about them almost instantly because everyone wants to see what on Earth it is that people are doing. Often there will be a lot of laughter, cursing and movement around a dexterity game!
At my best friend’s stag do we ended up playing multiple rounds of Rhino Hero Super Battle, trying our utmost to make everyone else collapse it, eventually building a huge tower on very shaky foundations that unfortunately collapsed when we went for our takeaway dinner leaving no one the winner, but everyone had a great time playing it.
It is also a game type that works well across playstyles as well, all the games can be played tactically with a desired goal in mind that you’re cunningly planning each move, whilst the player next to you just wants to see how much chaos they can create each turn and the player next to them just enjoys flicking objects randomly to see where they go.
There is also an inherent sense of fairness in the games. You can sympathize with other players when they make a mistake because you can see how you could have fallen foul of the same thing. It also helps to mitigate any frustration you may have when you fail because you know it will happen to someone else another time.
In summary these games are excellent for all ages, often starting great conversations ensuring lots of laughter and fun when they are played.
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There are many dexterity games out there that I have yet to try, my recommendations are for ones I have personally enjoyed as well as a couple I have heard very good things about.
Rhino Hero and Rhino Hero Super Battle: These 2 games are by far the favourite games in my collection for many people. The aim of both games are simple, build a tower and don’t let it fall, with super battle having the added rule of and make sure your hero is on a higher level than all the others. They are deceptively simple games. I would recommend starting with Rhino Hero as there’s less rules and things to focus on so I’d say it’s suitable for 4+. Super Battle makes it into a more challenging game adding more rules and a more complex build, suitable for 8+ if playing it as it should be, though I have been able to explain it and play it with a 6 year old, it was just more challenging for them and they said they liked the simpler
version more. The two games can be combined to make Super Battle into a 5 player game.
Connect 4 Launchers – This game is a brilliant take on classic Connect 4 only instead of it being one level and vertical it’s 2 horizontal layers, one above the other and you need to use the supplied ‘launchers’ to flick your tokens into position. Lines, diagonals and stacks of 4 lead to a win, though there are other game modes suggested in the instructions as well. It is often fast paced and fun. It does not appear to be on sale on Amazon currently, however I have seen it in various super markets recently.
Flick ‘Em Up – You take on the role of the sheriff’s and deputies or the bandits in this Sabbuteo style game, you flick your characters to roughly where you want them to be then flick their bullets to hopefully knock down the opposing side. It’s great fun and comes with lots of buildings and terrain you can use for cover, as well as power ups and special scenarios you can play through. It says it’s a game for 10 people with each person controlling one figure but that does lead to a lot of down time it’s much more fun as a 2 or 4 player game. Originally it was released in wood – and the expansions are wooden too. The plastic version by Z-man games is usually cheaper. They have also released Flick ‘Em Up Dead of Winter which re-themes the game as a zombie survival one, I have yet to give it a go but I hear good things.
Catch the Moon – In this game you need to stack ladders in the specific way you are told to by the dice you roll trying to get them as close to the moon as you can. But be careful, make a mistake and you will gain a teardrop – the game ends when the last ladder is placed or the last tear drop is given out, and if you have the most teardrops you lose! A very fun one for 2 to 6 players suitable for 6+.
Flipships – I haven’t yet had chance to give this game a try but it looks like really good fun. It is effectively Space Invaders meets Galaga, cards from a deck of spaceships are continually moving down a grid towards the edge of a table and can only be removed if you successfully flip one of your ships – a small token – on top of them. You also need to be flipping your ships into the ‘mother ship’ in order to destroy it before you get overwhelmed. It can lead to a frantically fast paced game trying to get your ships to land on the right targets.