New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in August 2015
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Some excellent weather had meant that my kids have been playing outside a lot, something I fully approve of. It does mean that slightly fewer games have been played than usual, but maybe that's what Autumn will be for.

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 and have suddenly become popular again?

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. If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..
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1. Board Game: Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2096]
Board Game: Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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We hadn't played this entertaining tile-laying exploration game for quite some time, but I thought Daniel (16) would enjoy it. It took a few minutes for the details of the rules to return to me, but once I remembered them he was able to pick them up quite easily. He played pretty well, but didn't quite manage to lock the other players out of high scoring islands, and in the end came third by a small margin. He seemed to enjoy it, though it can be hard to tell with teenagers!
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2. Board Game: Critical Mass: Raijin vs Archon [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:5470] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
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Eddy Richards
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Allanton
Duns
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I took Matthew (13) and a friend along to Edinburgh's wargaming show, Claymore. They combined against me and another friend of mine in one of the many participation games on offer. This was a 15mm Science Fiction tactical game, designed and published by the guys running the game. This meant we didn't have to worry more than vaguely about the details of the rules as they were happy to deal with all that and let us get on with enjoying ourselves shooting each other to bits. All concerned thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the game played quite quickly, and the systems involved worked pretty well. It was a close game and could easily have gone the other way but in the end the adults' depleted attacking humans managed to panic the defending lizards, enabling the good guys (us, I think) to loot yet another planet.

Great fun, nice figures and terrain, and I think we'd all be happy to play again - though I doubt either my purse or Matthew's pocket money will stretch to investing in a new miniatures system.

Matthew successfully persuaded his friend to get soem cheap Warhammer 40k figures and codexes and they've been playing it every so often - including at lunchtime at school, once being so engrossed that they forgot to get anything to eat!
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3. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:269]
Board Game: Love Letter
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Having been Rebecca's favourite game for quite a while, this fell out of favour; however, she seems to have recovered from her overdose and we've played this a number of times over the last few weeks, qualifying it for the New Lease of Life category.
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4. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:817]
Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish!
My 6-year old son must have gamer genes as he insisted on playing a new (to him) game. This time my eye fell upon the Penguin game and we enjoyed a string of games with my 9-year old daughter and wife also joining in. My daughter did well playing as a hawk.
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5. Board Game: The Little Orchard [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:4665]
Board Game: The Little Orchard
So far it's been only Memory games with my 3-year old (with a chocolate Mr. Men version being the most successful). We introduced him to a first Haba game now and had a good time with it.
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:647]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The City
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Got to play this with my son Shawn (11). Was pleasantly surprised with this version and it looks like this will be my favorite title among the lot. I think this is the most visually appealing post game as the city with the walls looks stunning. I also like the eased up rules in placing the tiles which makes this more accessible and less frustrating to play.
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7. Board Game: Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:2041] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Board Game: Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This got played with Sherwin (20) and his buddy Paulo. This game makes the game fully cooperative by automating the consul via a deck of cards. It still is fiddly though and takes some time to play, but I won't mind as long as I get to play games with Sherwin.
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8. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:533]
Board Game: Eminent Domain
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Got to play this with my brother Sunny and my nephew Ethan (12). Ethan didn't have difficulty in playing the game and this means this is something I can bring out during family gatherings.
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9. Board Game: Inspektor Hase [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Board Game: Inspektor Hase
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Dane (7) and I played Inspektor Hase at the FLGS. He's getting to the point where he pretty consistently and capably plays games more advanced than HABA. And, like me, he just loves games so he'll play anything. Memory is not a game I like much. Roll and move dice games are usually my least favorite. Yet, somehow, HABA games put these two elements together and made something fun to play with kids where you have decisions to make to put yourself in the best position to find a match. My kids are getting past games like this, but this one does work. Dane seemed to enjoy it too. It wasn't his favorite, but he had fun and he won!
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10. Board Game: Gobblet [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2169]
Board Game: Gobblet
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Dane (7) and I played this abstract tic-tac-toe like game where pieces are added to the board and move on the board and larger pieces can "gobble" smaller pieces. It seems like a decent design though I doubt it would hold up to serious play. For a quick few rounds with Dane, it was interesting enough. He enjoyed it a bit, but didn't love it. Generally, abstract games don't seem to hold kids' attention as much. Though, he did play it twice and after getting beat handily in the first one. I played with just two stacks of pieces in the second game and he beat me up in that one.
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11. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:249]
Board Game: Telestrations
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This has definitely been the biggest hit with my children (aged 10,8 and 5) this month (after Machi Koro which is still going strong!). They saw us play it at a family gathering and just stayed to watch as it was so much fun seeing it all go wrong - my 8 year old in particular loved that. They then didn't stop talking about it all that evening and the next morning, so we pulled it out for them to try, and it was an instant hit and they absolutely loved it. The 5 year old is a bit hit or miss - he's too young to know some of the words, and although his drawing skills are good for his age (and occasionally he comes up with a gem of a drawing - his giraffe yesterday was the best of the lot!) they are a bit hit or miss and at times they end up more of a random scribble that you have to decipher than anything else - we put an adult either side of him as a result! The older two are much better at drawing, but things are still far more likely to go wrong with them than with an adult, so this game almost works better (in the sense of more cards going wrong and more general amusement anyway!) with children than with adults.

It's also great as it gives them confidence in drawing and trying things out, without the frustration of Pictionary, or verbal describing games, when people just can't guess what they're trying to draw/describe - as in this half the fun is when it goes wrong, so no-one minds when it does! They also learn from their mistakes and their drawing skills are improving rapidly - my 5 year old's first sealion wasn't very recognisable, but when I pointed out that a couple of flippers would have made it better, the second time it had flippers, and was instantly guessable, and much better than both the older two managed!


Other new games this month have been Putt 'n' Score, Monopoly Hotels, and Dancing Eggs, but none of them have had more than one play - nothing like the hits of Machi Koro (every day this month except when we've been out all day/had visitors and not had time), and Telestrations (pretty much every day since they discovered it!).
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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:151] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
...sure...
Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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My niece (10) loves TtR and wanted to try another map. She chose Nordic. Hmpf. Ah, well. I'm terrible with this map.

Also played 2 rounds of Qwixx.
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13. Board Game: The Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:998]
Board Game: The Game
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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I had the opportunity to pick this up cheaply and figured it was worth a try... they loved it. Especially the youngest one (9).
Even I find it strangely addictive. I tend to dislike themeless card games with just numbered cards, but somehow I keep wanting to try and "beat" The Game. I have a feeling my youngest son feels the same way.
The oldest (11) likes it too, but it less fanatic.
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14. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1079]
Board Game: Meuterer
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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We were on a cruise one week during this past month, and really not much time for games on the boat, BUT I did bring a few tiny ones along, including Meuterer, an ancient (2000) classic. The theme fit in well with our surroundings arrrh

We found a little downtime here and there and gave Meuterer a try. My oldest boys liked (didn't love) it; my oldest girl wasn't engaged.

I kind of liked it and can certainly see where it fits in the evolution of gaming in our hobby. A groundbreaking title that has aged okay
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15. Board Game: The Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:998]
Board Game: The Game
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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A friend showed us The Game at open gaming at WBC. Fun! Not my kind of game (coop) as a rule, but had a good time. Kids liked it as well. They like games like this (Hanabi as a good example) a good bit more than me.

Anyone besides me feel like the choice in cover art was a total fail?
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16. Board Game: Cockroach Salad [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2908] [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked]
Board Game: Cockroach Salad
Chad V
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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All of these are new games I played with my 5 year old daughter.

-=Great=-

Board Game: Cockroach Salad

Cockroach Salad - 8/10 5 Plays
My favorite new game for the month. This game needs to be played fast to be fun. My daughter wins a lot more than I do.


Board Game: Mummy's Treasure

Mummy's Treasure - 7/10 4 Plays
This is fun tile-laying, Tetris like, dice roller!



Board Game: Stake Your Claim

Räubern - 7/10 4 Plays
This is a fun little 80s Wolfgang Kramer design that has you stealing piles of tiles from other players. That is really the only mechanic and my 5 year old picked it right away. Both times we played it she asked to play a second game immediately after. Much better with 3 than 2 players.


Board Game: Ubongo Mini

Ubongo Mini - 6.5/10 5 Plays
The Ubongo series is one of the favorites in my house. This is my daughters first Ubongo game. It has a two tile side and a three tile side. She plays two while we play three. She still needs a good head start to be competitive with us but it is fun.


Board Game: Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings - 6.5/10 4 Plays
My daughters first Lord of the Rings game! An adventure game for kids with wooden cubes for hit points and LotR theme. The game is little dry but my daughter is having a blast so far. She always wants Gollum to be on the board because he is "cute."

-=Average=-

Board Game: Piratissimo

Piratissimo - 5.5/10 2 Plays
Very close to being roll and move only. The pieces are beautiful or the rating would probably be a little lower.


Board Game: Time After Time

Time After Time - 5/10 4 Plays
Edutainment. If you combined Old Maid with Rack-O and gave it a time theme you would have this game. It has great educational value in learning the hours of the day and before & after concepts.


Board Game: Rechen-Piraten

Rechen-Piraten - 5/10 3 Plays
Edutainment. Math practice with pirates!


Board Game: Dancing Eggs

Dancing Eggs - 5/10 2 Plays
I thought this would be a hit but it fell flat. Maybe she needs to be a little older to enjoy this more.

-=Bad=-

Board Game: Igloo Pop

Igloo Pop - 4.5/10 3 Plays
Shake igloo, make bad guess. Repeat....
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17. Board Game: Karottenklau [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:13899]
Board Game: Karottenklau
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Tried this with a 3 1/2 yr old and a 2 1/2 year old. Older kid kinda got it, but lost interest; younger kid only wanted to roll a carrot. Bit of a bust, but hopefully they'll like it more later.
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18. Board Game: Käpt'n Jan [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Käpt'n Jan
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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This was a gift to our family from a fellow BGGer whose kids have now grown up... It has sat in the cupboard for quite a while as our kids have been a bit young for it... but this month it seems our youngest, Ben (2) has really gotten into games, and regularly wants to "play" the games in their cupboard, like Loopin louie, Buckaroo, ELC Monkey Business.. and finally Käpt'n Jan.

The game is a colour matching dexterity game, in which you have to roll 2 dice, one for movment and the other for cargo.. depending on the result of the cargo die, you will either load cargo onto your ship, which comes in the form of wooden pieces of various shapes and sizes, or lose an item of cargo into the sea... you then have to carefully move your boat around the board, and any cargo falling off is placed in the sea space to potentially be claimed someone at a later date.

My kids (2 and 5) both enjoyed the concept of the game, and even got that you were moving to different coloured spaces.. but they didn't quite get the idea that you wanted to pick the easier pieces of cargo first... they would often delight in taking the hardest ones, like the balls and the long round cylinders. The game drags on a bit, as you are supposed to play until all the cargo has been collected but often the kids lose interest before then. Still they both had a lot of fun playing it, so I'd say it was a hit.
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19. Board Game: Carcassonne Big Box 5 [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne Big Box 5
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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We already had the base game of Carcassonne which I sometimes played with my 6-year-old but I got the Big Box recently and my youngest (who just turned 4) now wants to play all the time too. I think his draw is the different meeples and turning over the tiles. He gets me to place them and wants points.

My eldest is getting very into it though. He's even playng city tiles and roads to wreck my cities. I never taught him that! angry
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20. Board Game: PÜNCT [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1758] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Board Game: PÜNCT
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Miska just got 7 years old.

Last month he learned 5 new games: 3 abstracts and 2 lightly themed ones.
PÜNCT
Backgammon
Checkers
The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet
Maori

Each of these have simple enough rules for him. But I think each of these have emergent complexity, "depth" so while he could play them, he didn't really feel the strategies when playing. In the end, I don't think he's going to demand playing any of these in the next months, especially as these have a relatively low fun factor, especially for a 7-year-old. Maybe later he'll enjoy them; I won't try to play these until Christmas or so with him.
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21. Board Game: Volta [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:9569]
Board Game: Volta
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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My kids finally got interested in the other game I rate a 10. After the initial annihilation, they were getting into it a bit more, and my older one even beat me once when I used the shallow horse against her deep one.
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22. Board Game: Mmm! [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:4374]
Board Game: Mmm!
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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I had heard that this game won "Spiel der Spiele" in Austria, so I traded for it. Harmless coop which the kids liked well enough.
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23. Board Game: SOLOmino [Average Rating:4.47 Unranked]
Board Game: SOLOmino
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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Mixture between Dominoes and Uno. Better than expected, and my daughters also enjoyed it (the 5 year old somewhat more than the 9 year old).
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24. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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I got a real bargain for this, and I could finally introduce my daughters to it. We played twice with open route cards (none of them knows how to read a map yet), and they liked it very much, yet didn't demand it again and occasionally even refused it when I suggested to play it again.
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25. Board Game: Méchanlou [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:14198]
Board Game: Méchanlou
Alexandra
Portugal
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Hi, hope you don't mind my barging in... Just found this cool thread and monthly threads and thought I'd contribute. I have been keeping my own list of games we introduced to our 3 year old, later 4 year old.
Our collection of board games for our 4-year old daughter (up to 5 years old)
Our collection of board games for our 3-year old daughter (up to 4 years old)
So here is a djeco card game we played in the evening during our beach break. We already have a reasonably long love history with djeco card games: ever since our daughter loved the cat in Mistigri so much she slept with it and took it to school!
My verdict:
At 4.5 yo this is age-appropriate. It is advertised as simple strategy, and everyone gets to manage their hand, can use the wolf to steal one of the other players' cards, and in each hand needs to decide between different actions.
We adapted one rule: at this stage we do not require the story sequence 1-6 to be laid down in order, it can be laid down randomly.
It is slightly confusing how cards keep changing, since at the end you always re-stock to 3 cards, and can discard cards, need to change the wolf/ lumberjack card. Now we simply have a pile for wolves and lumberjacks rather than a circle - it is still random, so does not alter the game essence, just the layout.
We have played it often on holiday as it is small and easily packed. A keeper.

4 year-old:
mon and dad:
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