New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids January 2013
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Snow meant lots of indoor play in between sledging and snowmen for us. So lots of gaming opportunities.

Looking back over the last month, which are the best games you've newly introduced to your kid(s), and why? Please pick an entry even if it's the same as someone else's because it's more fun that way. Or are there some which have enjoyed a new lease of life?

It would probably be helpful if you say what ages the children you played with are, and how much they enjoyed it as well as how much you enjoyed it.

Please, add you own entries - one per child might make sense if they are of different ages and abilities. And if you play with kids that aren't yours - nieces, nephews or friends' kids, include those!

Just like the idea of this series of monthly lists, I've also nicked the idea of an announcement thread from Grimwold (Thanks Andy!). If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..

Last time's list can be seen at Renewed Enthusiasm or New to Your Kids December 2012
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1. Board Game: Lost Worlds: Lizard Man With Scimitar and Buckler [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:4340] [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Family: Series: Lost Worlds (Nova Game Designs)
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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An oldie but a goodie. Matthew (11) likes fantasy combat games, so we tried this out. After initial confusion we soon got the hang of it and have played a number of times using different characters. I'm glad I hung on to them!

For those that don't know this classic game, you each have a book showing your character which you give to your opponent. Each turn you both choose a manouevre (restricted by what's happened the turn before) like lunge, jump, block etc. These are then cross referenced to find a result which could be a wound, knocked off balance, drop your weapon or the dreaded "behind you!". More advanced books include magic and special items - we haven't played with these rules yet. It's interesting that each character does have its own characteristics and ways of playing, learning these is part of the fun.
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2. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:1968]
Board Game: Mississippi Queen
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Daniel (13), Matthew (11), Mum (21) and I (97 ish) had a go at this. There was plenty of bumping and pushing and we all enjoyed it immensely. The only drawback was that we all finished more or less at the same time and it seemed impossible for any of us to actually finish! I may have missed a rule somewhere to cope with this. Anyway, I'm sure we'll try again, a fun racing game.
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3. Board Game: Locomotion [Average Rating:5.15 Unranked]
Board Game: Locomotion
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca (7) and Matthew (11) lpaeyd this with me. I got this as a sweetener in a maths trade so had no idea about it, but it played well, with nice chunky bits and quite clear rules. In a way it's more of a puzzle than a game, though you can interfere with each other. Worth picking up if you see it in a charity shop or something (I don't imagine it is easily available though).
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4. Board Game: Okavango [Average Rating:6.24 Unranked]
Board Game: Okavango
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Miska, 4 years, 4-5 months old.

Okavango
Labyrinth meets Pachisi in this no-dice children’s game where you have to make your 4 animals get to the island on the other end of the board, mostly using the rivers that move like roads move in Labyrinth. More thinky than Pachisi, less thinky than Labyrinth, and maybe more exciting than the latter for this age group. I have never heard of this game before so it was a quite pleasant surprise for a children’s game. thumbsup

Geistermühle
Another ghosts/magnets Drei Magier game with some very simple mechanism but a fun look of a big wheel that is turned so there are ghosts that appear and make your pawns jump if they are frightened by these ghosts. It’s not bad, but too easy with 2 and too hard with 4… thumbsup

Cards4You
Last year I have already mentioned this game which is a tin box of 37 cards and rules for 4 games, suggested age: 4+. Last year I found out only the first game, a very simple shedding game is for 4-year-olds, the other three are for older kids (Top Trumps 6+ and two other Knizia titles for 7+ and 8+). But this January, when I added the compendium to the database I checked the other rules and found out we could play the 8+ game with my 4-year-old – it’s quite similar to Cheeky Monkey (the variant of CM suggested for smallest kids) which we have played a few times since Christmas. So yes, we played it without problem. Then I tried the 7+ game as well (using the variant suggested for smaller kids in this box) which is a kind of Poison-like trick avoidance game and this one was certainly not good for a 4 yrs& 4months old kid yet. Strange age suggestions. Also none of the rules are satisfactory as written: each one of them leaves some questions unanswered. Well, this game is certainly not aimed at gamer groups, although it can be moderately fun for those who don’t know the predecessors. thumbsup
Board Game: Cards4You
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5. Board Game: The Hobbit [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:4234]
Board Game: The Hobbit
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Matthew taught Rebecca this one and the two of them have played it several times since. She seems to like it even though he always wins! We've also played it three and four players, she gets on fine with it and understands the rules perfectly well, though is perhaps less good at estimating probabilities.
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6. Board Game: The Little Orchard [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:4665]
Board Game: The Little Orchard
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Got this from the European chain of generosity in December and tried it with my 3 years, 5 months old son. We managed to get through one game with me acting the crow to keep him interested!

Afterwards he enjoyed taking the cherries, putting them in the basket and drop them in a truck he owns. Up and coming farmer?

The game was simple and enjoyable for what it is, a memory game with a random element of a dice. There are tiles with five types of flowers on them, and each type of card has either a crow, a cherry or a sleeping animal. On a crow, the crow advances one spot, on a cherry, you pick one cherry from the tree, on a sleeping animal nothing happens.

Roll a dice to see which type of card you can turn, with five sides having one of the flowers, the sixth side has a sun where you can decide which tile to turn.
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7. Board Game: Mag·Blast (Third Edition) [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:3741]
Board Game: Mag·Blast (Third Edition)
This game was given to us by a friend in our local gaming group. He thought my sons would like it. Well, he wasn't wrong. At least about the 6-year-old. I have two sons, one is 12 the other 6.

In our first game, I was destroyed (out of the game) before I even had a turn. So this should give folks a feeling of my personal opinion. Since then, the 6-yo begs to play it. I've hidden the box, but he still asks to play the game. I'm looking at Munchkin variants to satisfy his "need to shoot space blasts". Anyone with suggestions on card games with space ships shooting at other space ships would be MOST appreciated.

To be fair, I believe that it is rare to have the above mentioned circumstance occur. But we were only playing a 3-player game. It is supposed to be able to handle up to 8 players. If everyone ganged up on the 8th player, they'd be gone before having a turn.

We continue to play other games together, but this one was "new to us" this month. Very rare to have negative experiences, but it's very cold in space!
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8. Board Game: Feudality [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3382]
Board Game: Feudality
Corey H
United States
Stillwater
Minnesota
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Threw this on the table with the neighbor kid (10) two weeks ago. 2 days later he was over and he and my son, Grant (10) and another neighbor kid (10) got in a game.

I was fun to see tham all get a game in together.

The game has a nice mix of cool empire building and a few ways to attack without harming the oponents that worked well with the kids.
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9. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:305] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Board Game: Mice and Mystics
My 9 and 7 year old boys favorite newly played game this month is Mice and Mystics. This was one of my Christmas presents and it was quite the hit at the table with the whole family. While it was difficult to get through the learning game with the kids, we really got the hang of it and played through the first chapter of Mice and Mystics. I love how the game is broken up like an adventure storybook where the humans have turned themselves into mice.

Here is more about our Mice and Mystics session:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16106/autism-and-gamin...

We also played The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus which was really fun. We've been enjoy the original The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac for awhile but our youngest was extremely excited about playing another Indiana Jones style game that included mummies.

Board Game: The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus


Here is my write up about our family gaming sessions: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16138/family-gaming-mu...

Our other newly played game was The Hobbit. It was another learning game that felt a little long. I hope to give it another try soon or it will go in our trade in pile. Overall, the kids thought it took too long.

We also played a couple of favorites that they requested like PitchCar Mini, Hey, That's My Fish!, Carcassonne Junior, Castle Panic, Say Anything Family Edition, and Forbidden Island.
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10. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:164] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Jeffrey L.
United States
Western Burbs of Beantown
Massachusetts
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We have played this about 6 times since receiving it for Christmas.

We are used to playing deck builders so this was very easy to learn. The rule book is designed well. The components/cards are all very nice.

The gameplay flows easily and it is a decent game. My kids seem to like it ( 13 and 11). They like comic stuff though and like battling things. I didn't mind it. It doesn't take that long to play. I like there is a victor at the end versus a group win. We always do the Final Showdown.

I wouldn't say I like this as much as Dominion, but I do like it better than Thunderstone or Ascension ( not a fan of those themes personally). I will not be begging to play this regularly, but it is fun for my kids so I will play whenever they ask.
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11. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:3548]
Board Game: Go Away Monster!
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Go Away Monster

While I was playing De Bellis Antiquitatis: Quick Play Wargame Rules with Army Lists for Ancient and Medieval Battles at Cancon last weekend I managed to make time in between games to join Mrs Fish and Little Fish the Elder (two and three quarters years old) at the Bunyip Toys stand.

They had a bunch of playmobile as well as a selection of childrens games for demo and sale. The Bunyip guy offered us a demonstration of Go Away Monster! which my little guy loved; he played it with a four and a half year old and she seemed to enjoy it too.

We picked up a copy of Go Away Monster! for AUD$20 and it has gotten a fair bit of play over the last week.

It's good in that it isn't language dependant and is a lot of fun for the littlies. The draw from the bag mechanism works well for this age and my little guy loves to shout "Go Away Monster" at the top of his lungs and then throw the piece in the box.

The only real weakness is the lack of variety of objects in the box (I just feel five or six options would have been a bit better) and the fact that the bed piece is really easy to pick out as it's much bigger than the other pieces. Other than that, no complaints and one worth looking at if you have littlies you'd like to introduce games to.
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12. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:877]
Board Game: Loopin' Louie
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was definitely the biggest hit with my kids this month. My oldest, 7, remembered playing it when she was younger, but it was new to the younger two, 5 and 3 (I think the older one had played it, but not that he could remember). Sadly our copy had been broken when they last played it (probably why it was put away) but we were able to superglue back it together, but then after 21 games this month (mostly with the kids), my youngest helped to take it apart to put away and managed to break it again! More supergluing needed!
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13. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:481]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was the game that I chose to introduce to my older two this month, aged 7 and 5. My son had been watching us play Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons, and was fascinated by the tiles and the way they made a map, so I suggested we play this one as it had a similar map element. My daughter joined in too, and both seemed to quite enjoy it, especially the fishing.
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14. Board Game: Shave a Sheep [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:16440]
Board Game: Shave a Sheep
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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My 3 year old has had a month with several new games - he's started to get really keen on games now, so I've been trying to move him on from preschool fare, to games where you actually have to make some decisions! He was given two games for his birthday from his aunt - Chutes and Ladders (and Octonauts version) and Rory's Story Cubes, which I still say isn't a game, but all three kids had a lot of fun with. He also was introduced to Misfits and Ramses Return by me, both of which have been played several times, but his favourite game by far, which he has requested over and over again, has been Shave a Sheep. I absolutely hate this game, but he thinks it's great, and I'm happy to play anything with him. I think the funny sound effects for the wolf eating sheep might have helped!!!
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15. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2313] [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes
Gertrude McFuzz

New York
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My 4.5 year old has been playing a lot of new games this month, most of them gifts from Dec., but it looks like Rory's Story Cubes are his absolute favorite. He plays them with me several times a day and can't get enough. They are very versatile. He will suggest the "title page" ( i.e. theme) of the story, such as Batman, and we go from there. I had thought the generic pictures would not work with the more fantastic elements of most of the stories my kids enjoy, but it works just fine.

Also new hits for him this month were PitchCar Mini, which he also adores, and Flash Point: Fire Rescue, which we were able to get the whole family (husband and two older brothers, 7 and 10) to play with us several times. We discovered that the family game is much harder with just two, and enjoyed playing it with the whole family quite a bit.

He was less enthusiastic about Zooloretto, and while I was hoping we could get the whole family to play that with us, no one will bite.

We have also been playing the ios versions of Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne quite a bit this month. Ticket to ride on the ipad is much easier for pre-readers, since the routes are illuminated for you. It also plays significantly faster. Usually ipad games are fun, but the board version is preferable, but I prefer the ios Ticket to Ride.
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Rob Harper
United Kingdom
Wantage
Oxfordshire
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Coffee, please.
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So, with my 6-year-old girl, our biggest addition from January was Ticket to Ride. It was a post-Christmas purchase and I feel a little ashamed that I have got this far through my life having not played it. Anyway, it is already heading for family favourite status.

Probably our other most successful new game is Crazy Creatures of Dr Doom, which is light, quick, fun, and has really cute artwork of the creatures.
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17. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Railways of the World
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Introduced this to my 5 year old, with my 7 year old also playing, but he had played before a couple times. Using the Mexico map.

My 5 year old had no strategy but excelled in the area of 'not whining' and 'taking his turn'. Also he was good at 'making decisions without totally freaking out' and several other key metrics.

Overall, a success for him.

My 7 year old almost beat me.

Played it modified with no baron cards and no turn order auction. My 5-year old had more than 20 bonds, my 7-year old had 10, and I had 5.
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18. Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2035]
Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I actually did not introduce this, but rather this was introduced to me and my 9 year old son Shawn by my eldest son Shard and his GF Tricia. It is a relatively simple card game with surprising "take that" mechanics. Shawn loves it and while I find the Deal Breaker card quite overpowered, I do not fret over it since it is nothing more than a filler anyway.
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19. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:316]
Board Game: Lost Cities
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I got this 2nd hand, and I was surprised how much Shawn got to like it. Simple yet elegant is how I would describe this game, and now I understand why this is highly rated as a couple's game. It also has a bonus in making your kids practice Math.
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20. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:250]
Board Game: Merchants & Marauders
Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
United Kingdom
Little Kingshill
Buckinghamshire
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Introduced this very sceptically with a "its quite complicated" disclaimer to our boys 9, 5, 3!
I was really only intending to help them move their ships around and things, but the eldest particularly is obsessed with it. It was, as I expected too much for the 5yo, but the littlest likes to sit and help me out.
Problem is, it takes a while to set up and play, and spending more than an hour with the eldest kid is lovely for him and me but less nice for his brothers and Mum.

So I keep having to find alternatives for us all to play which means boy1 never gets to play this! Hard on everyone!

But they all loved the sense of story and progression that was there.

Think I need another themeatic game with a shorter playtime, shorter setup, and less rules! Any suggestions?
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21. Board Game: Pastiche [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1522]
Board Game: Pastiche
Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
United Kingdom
Little Kingshill
Buckinghamshire
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This has flopped with both my kids and a non-game family I tried it with.

I still have another group I think might connect with the theme though!
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22. Board Game: Spooks [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:6964]
Board Game: Spooks
Neal Sofge
United States
South Richmond Hill
NY
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No clue why, but this has been the kids' first choice whenever we're stuck waiting through a weather-triggered 2-hour school start delay. Maia's getting quite good at it, devising startlingly effective combo plays you wouldn't expect from such a light party game.
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