New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in July 2013
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Still scorchingly good weather in this neck of the woods, but still plenty of gaming opportunities too!

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 (Thanks Andy!). If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..

A list for August can be found here: New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in August 2013
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1. Board Game: Sanctuary [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:11793]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Burglars, magic and the possibility of sending your fellow players to the dungeon made this a hit with all three kids (Daniel, 14; Matthew, 11; Rebecca, 7) when I got it out on one of the few rainy afternoons we've had round here. At heart it's a very simple game - go to location, play card, get treasure. However, there is lots of flavour, random events and ganging up on anyone doing too well. Daniel was about to win when Rebecca managed to get him arrested, and by the end we all had just about enough money to win. However, in spite of being the favoured target for the town's magicians and heroes, and thus missing turns left, right and centre I managed to get the cash back to my cache first, and become top thief.
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2. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca had watched the rest of us play several times whilst we were on holiday in Italy and decided it was time she had a go. She did reasonably well (helped by sitting in between her parents who were perhaps a bit kinder to her than her brothers might have been). Since returning home she's played again, in a six player game including Grandma, and again did quite well, coming in third. She's definitely getting the hang of the cards, though the strategies for how to score are probably still quite tricky to master.

She also learned Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (from her brother) and Two by Two, both of which she's played several times now. The latter she hasn't managed to win yet, but seems quite happy to make sure she collects the cute pair of unicorns!
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3. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:860]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Sadly Helena doesn't like this classic, though it is one of my favourites, so I rarely get the chance to play it. By cunningly teaching it to Daniel and Matthew at least I managed a couple of games this year! They quite enjoyed bidding on My Little Pony, My Little Ocean Going Yacht and so on, not to mention anti-bidding on the burglar (they did wonder how he would steal an island, but ah well, who cares about logic holes).
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4. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15333]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I found this hard to believe, but when a couple of the kids friends came round the other day one of them had never played Monopoly! Matthew and Rebecca soon put them out of their misery (or into it, depending on viewpoint). I wonder how many kids this would apply to today?
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5. Board Game: Sherlock Kids [Average Rating:6.40 Unranked]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Hmm, only one new game this month. It was new to me also (and even more, I was the only one to log a play in July).
So this game keeps popping up on the monthly Geeklists because of me.

As stated elsewhere, it's a decent kids' game but to me it feels like I've seen it before. The kids weren't all too enthusiastic either.
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6. Board Game: Monster Factory [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3628]
Alyssa McCain
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Big hit! Plays a lot like Carcassonne, but with a fun monster theme. My five year old, husband, and I really loved this game. There is some real strategy involved (so much so my husband and I have played with just the two of us so we could be super cut throat) and the art is fantastic. I highly recommend this game!
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7. Board Game: Enchanted Forest [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:5164]
Alyssa McCain
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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A friend picked this up for us at Goodwill because she knew I wanted a copy. So far my husband and five year old have played it once and really enjoyed it. They liked the pieces, the art, and the memory part of the game. The kiddo says she wants to play it again right away.
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8. Board Game: Get Bit! [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:1883]
Alyssa McCain
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Within minutes of bringing this game home my five year old saw it, opened it, decorated all the little people (we got the deluxe version which has a pirate theme and stickers to personalize the little figures - our daughter LOVES pirates so part of the appeal for sure), and had us set up to play. It's super easy to learn and very amusing. There is a bit of bluffing and strategy. My daughter actually was a little bummed when at first her little pirate wasn't getting chomped on! I highly recommend the game for families.

I'm taking it to our grown-up gaming group tonight and I'll be curious to see how it plays with adult gamers.

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9. Board Game: Der kleine Sprechdachs [Average Rating:5.34 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Miska is almost 5 years old. We played Der kleine Sprechdachs together. What is this game? Forget the speed element of Alles Tomate and add some roll and move and storytelling instead: this children's game by Knizia was a surprising success at home. (Place tiles to locations, telling a story about what happens to the items/characters shown, then move the board with dice rolls, and remember the stories and items; finally replace the revealed tile with another one, telling another story.) I was quite surprised: my almost 5-year-old son was really creative when creating short stories.

Borcsa, my daughter, is 3 years old today, but actually she played the game as well with her mother, just telling something about the tiles at the locations and abandoning the memory element.


...Actually, I have played another game with my son as well, a game for grown-ups, as he was curious: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a cooperative game where I could tell them what he can do and what the advantages and disadvantages of the choices are. Even though I was intentionally the alpha player here, he really enjoyed what we were doing.
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10. Board Game: Croak! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3716] [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this random board set up, abstractish game of capturing your opponents' queen frogs without losing your own. I lost early as my baby frogs were captured or eaten by a big fish and, eventually, I lost my queen too. My 7 year old was playing conservatively and that cost her too. My 5 and 9 year old battled it out to the end with my 5 year old son taking the day.

There is actually quite a bit more to this game than just a luck fest of flipping tiles and hoping for the best. Especially as more and more tiles are flipped, the ability to string together combination moves and take some risks based on known information is pretty good.

I think it would be best for multiple plays with a 8+ age kid. The pieces are very cute which helps draw in some kids (and adults) too.

All of the kids said they liked this game a lot, but that isn't how it looked while we played. They were very nervous about flipping tiles and taking risks and especially weary of taking out other players' pieces. That might be a positive for some kids, but my kids were definitely nervous about that part.
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11. Board Game: Q•bitz Extreme [Average Rating:6.01 Unranked]
Christian Monterroso
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Danica (9) has really enjoyed Q•bitz at after school daycare. So when she saw an Extreme version of the game, she asked to get it. How could I resist?

Danica is really, really good at this game. I still can't beat her!


edited for typo
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12. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:752]
Christian Monterroso
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Kyler (7) rarely asks to try out new games, as he enjoys playing games that he already knows. But when I picked up Colossal Arena in a math trade, he was drawn to the box cover and the illustrations of all of the monsters.

The kids got right into this one, teaming up to ensure that "Daddy's Monsters" would be the ones kicked out.

Building up kinship, one game at a time...
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13. Board Game: Ghost Chase [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4241]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My son Dane celebrated his 5 year birthday in July and received Ghost Chase from his uncle. We played it right away with me, uncle, Azalea (7) and Dane (5). Uncle, Dane and I were chasing Azalea (the ghost). I've heard this described as a simpler Scotland Yard and that sounds pretty accurate to me. Azalea escaped.

We liked the idea and felt quite limited by the movement of the chasers, but I'm sure that would change with more plays. Dane and I tried it two player as well and I caught him easy, but he made a mistake that made it easy.

We're looking forward to trying this more. The board is pretty neat and reminded us of some of the maze books that we have. Just like with Scotland Yard, one issue with this game is that most people just want to be the ghost.

Azalea loved this game. Of course, she was the ghost and she did get away. Dane said he liked it and did play it again a few days later. Uncle seemed on the fence, but kids games don't really seem like his thing anyway... He prefers gamers' games. I thought it was fine, but am concerned about the limited movement ability of the chasers.
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14. Board Game: Dungeon! [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3534]
 
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this a bunch as a kid and liked it then, but it really is NOT my style of game today. I just don't play dungeon crawl games... I'm more of a Euro, cube-pusher, deeper strategy and economy type games kind of guy. I suggested that my in-laws get it for my 5 year old son for his birthday and then started second-guessing myself. He got it and we played it.

Then, we played it again and we played it again. It is one of his new favorite games. I forgot how much fun it is to just explore and fight and fall into traps as a kids. The heavy luck element didn't bother me when I was 8 years old and it doesn't bother my son today. He loves this game!

I think it's okay. There actually are a few decisions to make and certainly a nice opportunity to push your luck in this game too. I don't rate it highly, but I'll be happy to play it a bunch with my boy.
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15. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1084]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My dad picked this up for my 5 year old (Dane) for his birthday. I knew he'd get excited about the Indiana Jones style of the game. He has not seen any Indiana Jones movies, but has definitely seen this style of adventure in plenty of stories. This game has been a huge hit.

We played it once just Dane and me and once with my 7 year old daughter (Azalea) and once with grandpa (my dad) and both Azalea and Dane. Every game was a nail biter and lots of fun. I can see that the long term replayability is just not going to be there, but for an short, exciting, push your luck adventure this game is nice. The components add a lot to the game and the designers did well to make it feel like Indiana Jones.

Both of my kids and grandpa also like the game. A long as your kids (and you) can handle the possibility that the whole game could just fall apart for you and it could happen early, this can be good. Younger kids are definitely going to need help keeping the game going.
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16. Board Game: Ker Plunk [Average Rating:4.79 Overall Rank:15280]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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We had the chance to try Kerplunk with our (then almost) 3 year old. He had a lot of fun helping to put the straws into the tower, taking them out once the marbles were in, and watching as the marbles came down. We didn't really count who had collected the most marbles or anything tho.

Definitely one we should pick up at some point.
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17. Board Game: Super WHY ABC Letter Game [Average Rating:4.65 Unranked]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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My son received this game as a "big brother" present when our daughter was born. Honestly, I don't remember being showered with presents when my sister was born. But I digress...

It's a fun little educational game. Actually, it's education disguised as a game. So, I'll endorse it for that reason alone.
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18. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
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Been playing this a lot with my seven year old daughter and her friends this summer. Awesome game for kids and great fun for adults too.
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19. Board Game: Jungle Speed [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1052]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This was very well received by my youngest son Shawn. It has also taught me that young eyes and reflexes are a definite advantage in this game!

I think my daughter Sharlene will also like this game once we get to teach it to her.
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20. Board Game: Snake Oil [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1231] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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We've been playing this party game where you make up fictional products to sell to a wide range of customers quite a bit recently. My nine year old daughter says its her favourite game and my six year old son is in favour of any game that allows him to try to sell his grandma "fart cheese".

I wrote a blog post about it here: http://cabbagedan.com/2013/07/22/snake-oil-family-board-game...
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21. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:450]
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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Played with my six year old son, although left out the rules about the locations.

He liked it well enough, although grumbled about the lack of theme (which pretty much sums up my attitude towards it too)

I blogged about it here: http://cabbagedan.com/2013/07/09/kingdom-builder/
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22. Board Game: Cube Quest [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1284]
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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This game is the spiritual successor to Crossbows and Catapults in my opinion, and my Six year old Son and nine year old daughter absolutely loved it.

Basically you flick little dice like cubes across the board, trying to knock your opponents cubes out of play.

I advise playing it on the floor however as the cubes tend to get all over the place if they shoot off the table.

Again, another blog here: http://cabbagedan.com/2013/06/26/cube-quest/
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23. Board Game: Sorry! Sliders [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1489]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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This has been quite a hit with my kids this month, 8, 6 and 3. My husband bought it for them about 18 months ago, on a business trip to the US, and it was a hit with my daughter, but the younger ones weren't so keen, as they found it harder to play. My daughter suggested it this month to play with adults, and then played it several times with her younger brothers too - they're now old enough to play, although the 3 year old does cheat a bit to keep competitive (pushing his piece further than he should).
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24. Board Game: Halli Galli [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:4433]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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My kids were off school sick at the start of July, and they seemed more receptive than usual to new games, so I introduced them to a few - this, Fauna and Beep Beep. This one was by far the biggest hit - all three were giggling madly, and we've played it several more times since. The 3 year old isn't quite old enough to understand it, but can spot a card with 5 symbols on it easily enough, and occasionally works out other groupings. The older two, 8 and 6, are pretty good at it, and I don't have to handicap myself much for them to have a good chance of winning.
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25. Board Game: Enchanted Forest [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:5164]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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With my kids, it was Sagaland as well. I got if from a friend for helping him clean out his basement and thought ah well, might as well show this to the kids. And they (6 and 3) liked it a lot more than I did - I don't mind it, but the roll and move mechanism is a little old-fashioned to me. Five plays within a few days mean that I will probably see more of this in the not so distant future.
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