Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Kids" Games

Recently I've heard the term "family game night" thrown around quite a bit, especially at my own house! Well I've decided to cave a bit and pick some up, but of course I can't just go with your basic vanilla boardgames off the local shelves!

I've mentioned many times how my wife is not a gamer wife, she never has been, and after fourteen years of marriage, it's safe to say she never will be...or will she? I've slowly been turning my daughter into a gamer-daughter, so the games below are geared for her. My wife may not have a choice but to join us! Cleverly, the games I also picked are also geared to pull double duty (especially Smallworld) with adults, drinking adult beverages, after the kids have all gone to bed. This is just the tip of the iceberg, budget constraints have limited getting more, but I've got a good foundation for a wishlist going...

Duck, Duck, Bruce
A simple push-your-luck card game with mechanics similar to Can't Stop. Players reveal cards from the draw pile one at a time, and may stop at any point and collect the cards into their score pile. However, if two fish of the same type are revealed, the player loses those cards and all cards in between, as well as forfeiting his turn. An octopus card when revealed also will end the turn and cost the player the other cards turned up on that turn, but allows the player to attemt to steal cards from another player's score pile. Only the biggest fish of a type in a player's pile count for scoring purposes. Game is to 77 points (perhaps this is a nice, round number in Germany). -BGG

Each time that the plumpsack stops next to a card, the players must guess what is shown on it. New cards are constantly added, bringing more chaos to the game. A wild game of observation for all ages. -BGG

In Small World, players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts as a fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory! -BGG


  1. Heroscape is also a good "kid's" game. It come with pre-pained miniatures and an endlessly configurable terrain/gameboard. Expansions are available for the minis and the terrain. My eight year-old daughter loves to play heroscape.

  2. Small World is great fun. And recently saw an expansion released.

    Tongayaki - a game that abstracts the island-hopping Polynesian expansion. Be the one with people on the islands with the most value and win.

    Ninja vs Ninja - Simple and fun.

    Pompei - Populate the city before the volcano blows and then try to get out of the city when it does.

    There are a lot more but these come to mind off the top of my head.


  3. Oh and "Wasabi" - Collect ingrediants to complete Sushi recipes. Think of it as Scrabble with raw fish.

  4. Definitely like to get in on some Small World.

  5. @Hermaño Vizlani: I totally had Heroscape, with a boatload of the expansions, but I gave it all to my nephew a couple of years back unfortunately...

    @Eli: Thanks for all the tips! There's a great list on Boardgame Geek with kids' games that adults can have fun with as well, Wasabi was on there I remember for sure.

    @Ikoma Andy: Yeah, I figure we'll warm it up with a few plays, maybe this week if it gets here in time...