The more I travel, the better I get at it. I remember how I used to go to conventions, having packed only a few hours before. Most of my preparation time was spent making sure I had remembered everything required for work, and I knew there would be little free time to worry about. At the time I only had to be concerned with getting myself and a couple employees to our destination on time. Things changed when the kids came along.
Not only were we packing for four, having toddlers in tow meant bringing what seemed like their entire toy and stuffed animal collection. I swear I paid countless times because we were over the baggage weight limits due to way too many sippy cups and hardback books. Thankfully those have been traded in for iPads and headphones.
We’ve never been ones to fully plan out our entire vacation itinerary, knowing full well there will be plan changes and weather interruptions. Thanks to our love of playing games as a family, we travel fully prepared for almost any type of inclement weather. No, not with umbrellas and raincoats, but with board and card games to pass the time as we wait for the system to pass. We were fully prepared during our summer vacation to Washington D.C., and just this past week while we sunned ourselves in Jamaica!
Not just any old travel game that would fit into our suitcase, we made sure our game choice fit the theme of our getaway! Since we were headed to Jamaica, an island experiencing a resurgence in the practice of Obeah (a belief system with similarities to Haiti’s Voodoo), we carefully selected Passport Game Studios‘ Voodoo Mania to be our bad-weather backup plan!
And as we feared…it rained.
While Nicole was away in a conference seminar, the girls and I chose to break out Voodoo Mania and ‘chill’ on a covered patio. It was still 80+ degrees out and we couldn’t justify holing up in the hotel room. The buffet area wouldn’t be open for a couple more hours and the tables were perfect for an impromptu round of cards!
Designed for 2-6 players and recommended for ages 7+, Voodoo Mania is simply comprised of a deck of 91 ingredient cards and six legend (player help) cards. This is another one of those games where quick wit and physical speed is necessary as every player plays at the same time.
One ingredient card is placed in the middle of the play area and the rest of the deck is dealt out evenly to all players (with any extras being returned to the box). On each card there are four items of four colors. Your job is to figure out which color and item is missing and play a card with that colored item on it. To make things a little more difficult, the cards are double-sided.
Each player always has a hand of three cards to work from, discarding one to the bottom of their stack if they cannot find a match, and drawing a new one. When you find a match, lay it down on top of the center pile and call out the color and item you are claiming. Then everyone must look at this new card, figure out what is missing and try to match it!
You can also try to play a card that has the exact color and item missing from its face. If successful, call out “Voodoo Mania” and all other players must draw a card from the bottom of the center stack and add it to the bottom of their pile. It’s a great way to punish those players who get off to an early lead!
Voodoo Mania is played over three rounds. Each round ends when one player plays all of the cards from their hand and stack, with the other players receiving points for every leftover card in their possession. At the end of three rounds the player with the lowest total score is the overall winner!
A pretty good value for around $10 on Amazon and should probably be separated from the box if you’re planning on taking it with you when travelling. Super easy to teach and one of the more frustrating speed games we’ve played, you can expect your kids to have an advantage over our older minds.
What game(s) do you like to take with you when you travel?