During the summer, I introduced my parents and sister to The Oregon Trail card game. On Thanksgiving, my parents were further brought into the world of gaming with The Oregon Trail: Hunt for Food and Exploding Kittens.

As my family was trying to determine how turkey day was going to be spent, I offered to bring the newly purchased games to my parents’ home so there would be something to do after eating beside taking the traditional Thanksgiving nap.

“I just don’t want to die of dysentery right away again,” my mom said the weekend before Thanksgiving.

When we played Oregon Trail while camping, she actually died twice, but because she died so early in the game, I decided to let her keep playing. A few rounds later, my mom died for the second time – pretty sure it was from a broken arm. Every medical emergency can equal death on the trail.

After we ate our Thanksgiving lunch, I opened up the games. I had never played the hunting card game before, I honestly just bought it based on how much I enjoyed the initial The Oregon Trail card game. I probably should have watched an online tutorial, because once it was set up, I still wasn’t quite sure how the game was supposed to be played after reading the instructions. But, I interpreted them the best I could.

No one died of dysentery this time though. It was dehydration and exhaustion that did my dad and I in.

“Does this mean I won?” my mom asked.

“No, you ran out of bullets and only collected 400 pounds of food,” I said.

After watching the tutorial, I discovered we had been playing the game closely to what the directions had laid out.

After an unsuccessful hunt, I brought out Exploding Kittens. I’d played it previously, so I at least knew how the game was supposed to be played. I described the game to my parents as being kind of like Uno with cards that had directions (skip, etc.), a tad of Go Fish (getting pairs is advantageous) and basic luck of the draw.

Exploding Kittens is usually a pretty fast game to play. I don’t recall ever having an entire game go beyond 30 minutes (and that includes waiting for someone to get a drink). We played one game for nearly two hours.

How is this possible? Well, we went through the entire deck once with everyone able to defuse the cat explosion. The same thing happened a second time through the deck. And then the third time.

The time that would typically be devoted to post-turkey naps was being held hostage by the card game. My dad really wanted to take a snooze, but every time he drew an explosion, he had a defuse card in his hand. Eventually, he pulled an explosion and wasn’t able to counteract the card. I have to say, I’m pretty sure his favorite card was the “Nope,” because he really liked voiding people’s actions.

My mom was the last person standing after I exploded. During most of the game she kept laughing. I thought it was at the ridiculous cards coming through her hands. Actually, she was laughing about often having defuse cards in her hand. At least now I know her tell. I’m pretty sure there needs to be a rematch.

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