Help me find a game: Non-war historical theme, young kids can play it, fun for adults, not too heavy.
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
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A friend of mine is looking for a game for her family to play. She'd like it to be light ("not too many rules"), allow her 5 & 7 yo boys to play it (but they can be on 'teams' with their parents), fun, and have a historical theme.

She's not looking for one that's necessarily educational, but one that has a feeling of recreating some event in history, preferably American history.

An example she gave is "imagine a game where you travel down the Oregon Trail".

A big limiting factor here: she's not interested in any battle simulations.

Any ideas?
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JessA
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It's not American History, but it's a fun game that would work with these ages.
 
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4 6
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What about this?
 
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3. Board Game: Oregon Trail [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:16541]
Board Game: Oregon Trail
4 6
United States
Oneonta
New York
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Or this? Obtainable on the secondary market for low prices.
 
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30° 12′ 38″ N, 95° 45′ 2″ W
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From the reviews, it appears to be historically accurate and pretty engaging for most players.
 
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Board Game: Made for Trade
I think she wants this one. A lot of people who are interested in 'educational' games just go gaga for this, although I personally don't think it's that great. Three levels of difficulty, easiest level is age 8 and up.
 
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6. Board Game: 10 Days in the USA [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:2156]
Board Game: 10 Days in the USA
If she's willing to drop the historical requirement, try to talk her into this, it's a much better game than Made for Trade and definitely educational.


Sigh. All these people want 'educational' games when the fact is ALL games are educational. Still, there's a big potential market out there for the first GOOD gateway Euro-type game that simulates, oh, the Lewis and Clark expedition or the California Gold Rush or some such in a historically accurate way.
 
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Something like this?

Although the theme (History) really seem 'tacked' on.
 
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Greg Jones
United States
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Egyptian theme. You can learn some things about ancient Egypt from it, like the importance of the Nile flood and the names of some Egyptian gods. Besides what you can actually learn from the game, I find I developed more of an interest in Egyptian history just from the game being on my mind.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Or the more modern one?
 
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Greg Jones
United States
Washington
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An ancient Greek theme. The theme is kinda pasted-on, and you could forget that it involves ancient Greece. I can't say the pieces teach me much about life in ancient Greece. For example, from playing the fortress tile, I don't really know much about what ancient Greek fortifications were like. There are ships involved, but they never go out sailing, so it doesn't teach much about what the Greeks did with their ships. It could even be inaccurate. One tile is the "corn field", but corn is native to the new world. I think it's a bad translation and really means "grain field".

Still, each player takes on the role of a different historical ancient Greek city-state: Athens, Sparta, Corinth, or Thebes. Playing the game inspired me to learn something about those city-states.

The strategy is pretty deep, but the rules aren't too hard.
 
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David Seddon
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Congleton
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I suspect that this isn't a very good game, but it fits the bill.
 
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Board Game: Niagara
Jon Cormier
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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What about this? It's kind of got a "goldrush" or frontier exploration look to it. I haven't played it, so I'm not too sure about whether or not it would be too complex for the younger players.
 
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"A very simple railway game. Each player has a set of 5 cities strung across the US that need to be connected by rail. Players place either 1 or 2 rails each turn. The player who can make the best use of the other players' networks is generally victorious."

The simplicity of this, plus the feeling of developing historical rail networks across the country, plus no battle simulation, would seem to make it a good choice.
 
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14. Board Game: Chronology [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3362]
Board Game: Chronology
Sean T
United States
Tucson
AZ
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While not a euro style game, we've had a lot of fun with this one. There is a deck of cards that have an event described on them and a date generally between 1400 and present.

Everyone is dealt one card, and has a "timeline" in front of them. You take a card and read the event to the current player, and they have to guess where if it is before or after their card. They can keep going and on subsequent card must decide if the event falls before, between, or after the two cards they have, and so on until one player has 10 cards and wins.

What make the game interesting is that before you take your next card you must decide to "lock in" your current cards or not. If you do not, and you miss the next card, you lose all the cards you got right this turn. Otherwise, you lock in the cards and play goes to the next player. The events are interesting and varied, but you really don't need to know exactly when they occurred, just relative to the events you already have.

While it might be to much for a 5 yr old, we've been beaten by 7 year olds before; darn those elementary school history teachers! :-) There are a number of versions and I believe one is currently in print now, but there are loads available second hand in the usual places.
 
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15. Board Game: The Settlers of Canaan [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2510]
Board Game: The Settlers of Canaan
Since you mentioned twice that a Christian themed would interest your friend, you may want to look into this game. It is a nice family game and involves the different biblical/historical tribes. Good luck and happy gaming!
 
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