My older daughter used to enjoy playing this game at a local library (they had copies of a few children's games available to play). Although , it is only a simple memory game (and an advertisement for Marc Brown's books), the Arthur theme worked well for her and she always enjoyed playing this game.
Fairly simple abstract area control game. I found myself getting rather bored with it after only a round or two of gameplay. It might be possible to play error free moves after a few games but it seems like a decent introduction to strategy games for children.
Like with most mainstream boardgames, you are probably better off introducing the kids to the original games which are not terribly more difficult or strategic than the Jr. versions anyway. That said, this game introduces kids to the deduction genre without a backstory of bloody murder (although the murder story in Clue was always tongue-in-cheek anyway).
I owned this as a child and distinctly remember that I did not particularly enjoy it. I might not have been playing with the ideal number of people, however. I would have to play again to give it a completely fair rating.
This game plays like a lighter, more chaotic takeoff on Werewolf. My experience with it has been frustrating. The ability of the players to end the game by taking a shot on a hunch makes it so chaotic that it can be tough to watch the interesting negotiation and deduction begin.
I would like this game more if it were played a bit more like a standard trick taking game in that the highest and lowest cards of the suit led gathered the other cards. I realize that there is apparently quite a bit of strategic depth here that I haven't been able to access but I feel that the game would be much improved if it kept the intriguing scoring system at the end but made following suit important for taking cards.
Admittedly, I have only played this game once and it was only with four players but it was very disappointing. The factions seemed imbalanced in our game (the Emperor and particularly the Guild having enormous influence due to their spice income). Two players began the game in control of two strngholds each and could have won on turn one due to an alliance (which we avoided just because it seemed too stupid). After turn four one of them had won independently. The alliance rules seemed broken to me (maybe they work better with the full compliment of players. It's really a shame as I enjoyed the asymmetrical powers and found the combat system, spice blow mechanism and the variable storm progression interesting.
Of course one could simply play this game with a pen and paper. In fact, it makes things somewhat easier to play without the plastic tiles (which always fall over or are out of place) and the "hangman" dial. Nevertheless, my children both enjoyed the game more with the tiles and dial (maybe I did too when I was young) and it is a fairly educational game for elementary school kids.
Old school children's party game -- a seated and less violent version of musical chairs. My kids used to play something similiar at their parties called "Pass the Present" in which the kids all pass around a large wrapped mass containing a bunch of dollar store toys. When the music stops, they would unwrap the outer layer and keep the trinket. The last prizes were the best.
The trap is fairly interesting to build (usually fix/adjust) and set off correctly. The game itself is absolutely awful. Even my kids have no interest in the game -- although they do like playing with the trap.
I have vague memories of this game from my childhood in the 70's. I distinctly remember its pop-up book backdrop. This game, Bermuda Triangle and Cat's Eye are games I recall as objects from my earliest youth but I have nearly completely forgotten the gameplay. My rating is an estimate.
I rate this expansion the same as the original game which I don't really love -- the kind of stories that it encourages seem haphazardly cobbled together and pointless. The cards seem to add some variety to the original so it might appeal more to those who've enjoyed the base game and played it out a bit.
More of a cooperative storytelling activity than a game. Perhaps this would work with the right group but it seems to degenerate into nonsense stories with a bunch of random elements strung together with little narrative cohesion. Sounds more fun than it is.
Very mediocre children's game of set collection. The tree shaped spinner is a cute gimmick (the mother panda's tail acts as a means of telling what number is chosen and the mother panda herself descends from the tree when one selects bamboo). Thankfully it is quick.
In my opinion, most kids can play the standard version well enough to make this version unnecessary. With the standard version, one of the adults may have to inform the child about unusual words (such as a "divot") but that is one the educational factors that makes gaming with kids so worthwhile. The idea of allowing kids to draw with a variety of colors is interesting but one can obviously allow the children to do this in the standard game as well.
Slightly below average kids game. This is a kids game with a gimmick -- namely that periodically random "Piranha" marbles are rolled down the board which the players' marbles are racing up. Some of the players' marbles will be flipped up and replaced with menacing orange fish which are on the underside of the tile.
This children's dexterity game isn't winning any awards for cleverness -- you basically just repeatedly smash a thick disc into a pile of thinner ones and hope they flip. It was a fad for a while in the US (after I was a child and before I had children so I mostly missed it). My son was very into Marvel heroes and bought a metal thing slammer. This prompted me to get a lot of superhero pogs from Ebay and play the game with him. It's cute but must lose something without the gambling/collection dimension.
Children's race game in the tradition of Parcheesi and Trouble. This version has a penguin theme and a new mechanic in which one is able to slide a bridge open and send your opponents back to start without simply landing on them. Tedious but my 6 year old son enjoys it.
Interesting print-and-play dice game by Knizia. I have only played it with a group of 7 and the game lasted about an hour. That's a bit long for a game like this -- I would definitely stick to the recommended group of 1-4 people. Gameplay is more than a bit repetitive but there are some challenging decisions.
Cute little kids game. We don't really play by the full rules but simply use the cards to select what we're hunting for. The difficulty level of the items is well done -- they are easy enough for a young child to locate the items before he/she becomes frustrated.
My son received a copy of a limited version of this in a Kids Meal at Wendy's. Answer a bunch of questions (less than half of which utilize the visual nature of the medium) and roll a die to determine how far you move. I prefer playing a trivia board game without needing to sit around a tv.
Vague impressions of this game. I know I've played this and might have owned it but I can't really recall the gameplay very much so take this rating with a major grain of salt. As always my ratings of 70's games are based more on my recalled enthusiasm for the game rather than an appraisal of their mechanics etc.
I was hoping for a quicker Dungeon Crawl on the order of Descent here. Instead it felt like a boardgame version of Munchkin. I don't have a great problem with the randomness but I would have preferred a much shorter game. The limited player interaction just helped make the game drag.
Incredibly frustrating and boring light card game. The number of delay cards is too high compared to the number of "Go" cards in my limited experience. You have to have the patience to draw and discard to no effect very often -- not really the ideal recipe for a game.
Obviously this rating represents the fact that this is a children's game so I am rating it by my children's reactions to it not mine. When my daughters want to play, I limit myself to two or three turns in a row; this gives them about a 50/50 shot at winning.
Somewhat amusing memory variant for young children. Carmen pieces (colorforms) are hidden under pieces of a map of the world and players try to find them using a system based on luck and memory. Mildy entertaining for the little ones and it does teach them some basic geography. Picking up the tiles to look for Carmen is quite a pain for young children.
I am rating this as a game for children. I like the tile dispenser and appreciate the fact that the quick recognition element actually means there is something other than blind luck to determine the winner. Have you ever sat through a dispute about who called the "bird" first? That can make a father wish we were playing regular bingo. Short playing time means that the game does not outlast my 4 year old's attention span and that is nice.
Sub par resource management game. There is a an elaborate tech tree but I found myself with very little opportunity to explore the tech options because I was constantly putting out fires on my borders. The wall strategy that I played made for a very boring slog in which I was reserving regions behind a barricade and hoping to avoid internal outbreaks of a size that would overwhelm my defenses.