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Hi Ho! Cherry-O» Forums » Variants

Subject: adjusting Hi Ho Cherry O so that it actually terminates rss

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Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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Like many games for young kids, this game is really about learning to take turns, follow directions, have good sportsmanship, and basic counting. It's not about choices or skill. I'm ok with these goals for this type of game.

However, I am frustrated by this game because it has termination problems. I know teachers who refuse to use this in the classroom specifically because it can take too long to play a single game. In fact, the expected value of any given roll is almost exactly 0 (if you work out the math).

Here is a reworking of the spinner results to make the game come to a close more quickly, while still offering the basic counting and luck elements. I also took the opportunity to introduce some very basic player interaction and politics. The game is still extremely simple and suitable for young kids, but it is much less painful for adults.



Modify the meanings of the 7 results printed on the spinner:
1 cherry = take 1 cherry (no change)
2 cherries = take 2 cherries (no change)
3 cherries = take 3 cherries (no change)
4 cherries = take 4 cherries (no change)
spilled bucket = lose all your cherries, then gain 2 (use to just be 'lose all')
bird = steal 1 cherry from an opponent (use to be 'lose 2' or even 'lose 3' in some editions)
dog = give 1 cherry to an opponent (use to be 'lose 2')

As before, you still win by getting to 10 cherries first.


Hopefully this helps you enjoy the game more with kids!
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Angus G
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Great stuff! I also had a lot of trouble with this game going on forever (plus losing everything seemed a bit harsh). We house-ruled it as:
dog = lose 1
bird = lose 1
bucket = lose 2

I've been playing with a 3 year old. As he gets a little older, I think I'll try your variant since it will add some interesting decision making elements like "Who should I take the cherry from?"
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Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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Director of Game Development at Cambridge Games Factory
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Updated variant I've been using with my 3.5-year-old:

1-4: pick that many cherries

bucket: put all your cherries back on your tree, then go again

dog: each other player puts 1 cherry back on their tree, then go again

bird: pick 1 cherry, then go again
 
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