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Subject: Light Adventure / Strategy Game for Kids (~age 8) rss

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Oliver Kiley
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Alright, so I'm looking for a few recommendations for a game for my daughter and nephews. They are in the 5-8 year old range, and with coaching we play games like Mice & Mystics, Hero Quest, Sea of Clouds, Mascarade, and Eight Minute Empire Legends, to name a few.

I'm interesting in finding something that has this sort of mix:

- Engaging, fantastical, whimsical, theme in a kid-friendly presentation
- Some sort of large overland map/geography to explore, with a focus on adventure
- Not too complicated (less than 2.0 weight probably)
- Competitive or Cooperative is fine
- Bonus for using lots of symbols over text (kids are learning to read)

Some of the games that are close that I've been considering include:

Celestia - Whimsical press-your luck game with a great aesthetic, but I worry that the theme is a little dry for the kids. They might not find it all that exciting.

Broom Service - This seems like a great choice, except I think the action card selection / programming will be too complicated. But I love the idea. Is there a way to simplify it a little? I'm not opposed to house-ruling things to make it easier.

Tokaido - Certainly hits many of the right bells, but I wonder if it will be too simple and wear-out its appeal too quickly. Also maybe not interactive enough?

Mission: Red Planet (second edition) - Been watching this one for a long time. More of a roll selection + area majority game than adventure, but could maybe work?

Elfenroads - This could be a big contender, but I wonder if it might come across a little too dry for the kids to really get into? They've played Ticket to Ride, so maybe this a good step up from there? Or is it just dated feeling?

Legends of Andor - Might be too heavy? I need to read the rules.

Fantastiqa - I already own this ... might be worth a shot with the kids too?

Jamaica - Coolish looking Race map

Colt Express - Also looks good, fun theme, but I worry about the action programming being a bit too much.

Any reactions to the above games and/or some other games to consider?

I had a dream about this last night, where in my dream I was like "Oh yeah, I should totally buy THAT game!", and I even knew exactly what game it was. When I woke up this morning I didn't have a clue what the game was! Gah!


 
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Recalcitrant Ronnie
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Broom service is not too complicated for a good reader to play. It is likely going to be difficult for them to play well because that requires knowing how to avoid getting hosed by other players and attempting to hose other players.

The same is true of Red Planet but even more so. It is easy to play but might be difficult for a kid to play well.
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Charlotta
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How about Dragonwood? We haven't played it but I am considering it for my 8yo daughter who likes "adventure on a map" type games. (Gamewright titles are usually great for that age group.)

Forbidden Island could also be a good choice. My son LOVED it at 8 (and still does at 10), lots of suspense with treasure seeking etc. But it does require some reading/learning of cards of course.

I am also tempted by Broom Service but am similarly concerned that it might be too complex.

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Return of the Heroes is a 2.35 on complexity scale. OP but gettable. Charming modular map; some text that can be easily explained; quests; RPG element with building characters; great components (little gem stones and red glass beads, etc.)
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Oliver Kiley
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I have Dragonwood and Forbidden Island already. The former I'm not too impressed with, as it can be really swingy depending on whether a player grabs some of the bonus special cards or not. And it's often down to luck of the draw as to who gets it. Forbidden Island is fun ... I should drag that out for another go with the kids.
 
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Charlotta
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Mezmorki wrote:
I have Dragonwood and Forbidden Island already. The former I'm not too impressed with, as it can be really swingy depending on whether a player grabs some of the bonus special cards or not. And it's often down to luck of the draw as to who gets it. Forbidden Island is fun ... I should drag that out for another go with the kids.


Ok, good to know about Dragonwood. How about Dragonland, seems to be a possible fit? Again, I am considering it for my daughter (similar set of preferences). Not sure how easy it is to get hold of though...
 
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Samo Oleami
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Adventure Land?
Haven't played, seems kinda odd, but check a video of it. It's from HABA's new family oriented line (i.e. more complex than their kids games)
 
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Oliver Kiley
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Welp, I pulled the trigger on Broom Service. Should arrive on my Birthday (August 11)! I'm going to hit up the Broom Service forums and see if anyone has any creative ideas for making the game a little more forgiving for the younger kids so they don't get frustrated with it too quickly. Seems like it will be a fun game to grow into overtime as well.

Plus, access to some of the potion components is inspiring me to make my own set of Witch's Brew cards as a personal PnP project. Seems like it would be relatively straightforward.
 
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Oliver Kiley
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Gah! Just stumbled across this game: The Witches: A Discworld Game - which looks almost perfect for what I had in mind. Oh well... I'll try to track down a copy.
 
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Milan
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Carcassonne, but without farmers and shields to avoid complicated counting?
One up for Forbidden Island.
Otherwise, Monopoly Deal Card Game is a good deck builder, strategy gateway game.
 
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Recalcitrant Ronnie
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Mezmorki wrote:
Welp, I pulled the trigger on Broom Service. Should arrive on my Birthday (August 11)! I'm going to hit up the Broom Service forums and see if anyone has any creative ideas for making the game a little more forgiving for the younger kids so they don't get frustrated with it too quickly. Seems like it will be a fun game to grow into overtime as well.

Plus, access to some of the potion components is inspiring me to make my own set of Witch's Brew cards as a personal PnP project. Seems like it would be relatively straightforward.


If someone always plays cards the cowardly way when they aren't last player it will be forgiving enough.
 
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