New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in July 2014
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The school holidays are in full swing in this part of the world, and somehow you have to keep the kids occupied and entertained. And what better way than enjoying yourself at the same time with some games, sneaking in a few new ones of course!

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..
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1. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:396]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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We were lucky enough to get some free accommodation in Southern Spain this year, courtesy of some friends, along with the use of their car while we were there. So, the only problem we had was deciding exactly which games to cram into the suitcase! Mostly these were old favourites, but we also included a few new ones.

Alhambra is a relatively simple game once you get your head round it, but is slightly tricky to start with. However, this got taught to all three kids (15, 12 and 8) at various points and I think they all got it, and played more than once. It happens to be one that their grandma likes, so that will be useful next time she comes to visit.
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2. Board Game: The Sorcerer's Cave [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:4293]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I'd previously played this with Matthew and thought Rebecca (8) would like a go. Warning: you need a lot of floor space for this! It's a very luck driven game, but quite fun. Rebecca and I played as a team against Matthew, who rapidly built a large party but managed to fall down a pit and never found a way back. So our small and feeble party won, almost by default, in spite of failing to acquire much treasure. Good fun if you treat is as more of an experience game than anything with much skill!

She also learned Nur die Ziege zählt, a fun little card game which is easy enough to play but hard to play well. Possibly a bit hard for an 8 year old, so I'll wait a year or two before bringing it out with her again.
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3. Board Game: Ogre [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:984]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I thought Matthew would enjoy this classic wargame. He steamrollered through my defences, with bits gradually being shot off, just managing to destroy my command post before having all the tread units of his Ogre blown up, for a marginal victory. He really enjoyed this one, proving that you don't need great production values (mine is one of the earliest versions in a small palstic box) to have a good time.
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4. Board Game: Gloria Picktoria [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2452]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Brought this out to play with Matthew and Rebecca. My wife and I used to play this a fair bit, either two player or with other friends, but hadn't done so for a while. It's certainly better with more players, and the kids both quite liked it, and picked up the rules and the tactics quite well.
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5. Board Game: Hungry Hungry Hippos [Average Rating:4.10 Overall Rank:15434]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Weirdly, I never played this game as a child. Not at all. I must have been in something of a minority. Anyway, when we were visiting friends with little ones one of their young guys suggested a game and Little Fish the Elder was interested. We ended up playing 14 games on the trot and enjoyed every one of them.

Some children’s games have great educational values, others teach the importance of taking turns, planning ahead and dealing with bad luck/bad decisions. Hungry Hungry Hippos is not really like that. It does, however, demonstrate that games can be fun and that in itself is no bad thing.

To quote Dr Seuss: "These things are fun, and fun is good."
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6. Board Game: Via Appia [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2058]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Introduced this to Shawn, who joined Jim and I in a 3P game. I fared miserably in that game and Shawn came in 2nd. It was OK for him but it seemed not to blow his mind.
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7. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I played this twice with my daughter Sharlene. She was frustrated in the first game since she lost, but felt better in the 2nd game when she won. She's really quite competitive you know.
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8. Board Game: My First Carcassonne [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1196]
Jordan " ; " Czop
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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I picked up a copy of this game from game surplus last month. I have played Carcassone often with my children aged 5 and 7 but wanted something that was just for them. This one was an instant hit! Both kids love the theme and the fact that it has kid-eeples. For a kids game I really like this one despite having very little to do with the original Carcassone game. Every tile in this game connects to the other so the strategy is low but the games does what it intends to do; have fun! This is a fantastic gateway game for my kids to start understanding the basics of the board gaming hobby.

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9. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:860]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This has most definitely been the biggest hit with my youngest, 4, this month, and the older two (7 and 8) have both been enjoying it too. The idea is very simple - every pair of cards has exactly one match and you find it and you gain another card for your pile. We also discovered a very simple handicapping system - distance between your pile and the central pile - if kids put theirs close together and adults a long way apart, it gives an automatic handicap, so that adults can play competitively and the kids still stand a chance. In fact, the older kids aren't much slower than me now, but I do win most speed games against adults even, so I do need to find some way of handicapping myself against kids or they complain!
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10. Board Game: Zoo's Who? [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was only strictly new to the youngest, but the other two hadn't played it in three years and had forgotten it. They were too young when I tried it before, but now, at 7 and 9, they were just the right age for it. In the two days before the end of the month they played it 5 times, and I've played it a couple more times already in August! It's just the sticker game with animals, but with cards and headbands instead of stickers - you have an animal on your head and have to guess what it is. I'm having to be careful which animals I put on their heads, as the decks is quite varied, and has animals I think they'd struggle with. Actually seahorse for me turned out to be one of the hardest, mainly because of the questions I asked and what they implied, and my son struggled with tiger, again because of the questions he asked which implied something different. Fun game, and teaches them a lot about thinking through a problem and deducing stuff from what they know. My 4 year old is really too young for it, but insists on joining in, and manages with a little help.

The third new game this month was Cat Attack, which my daughter received for her birthday so we tried out. The bits are incredibly cool, but the game itself is a bit frustrating, and the youngest in particular was definitely not old enough for it. Not sure yet if it'll be a keeper or not - the bits may mean I keep it for longer than I might otherwise.
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11. Board Game: Connect Four [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:15418]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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I found our copy of the travel edition in the kitchen cupboard and me and the 5yo played two games of this. He figured out that he had to get four in a row, but wasn't able to foresee if I had a change to get four myself. He enjoyed the game though, and also playing with the chits.
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12. Board Game: Ker Plunk [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:15387]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Another one from the kitchen cupboard, this one hadn't been played for almost 5 years (probably with the at that time 11 year old). Tried this one couple of times with the 5 year old. He enjoyed it, but mostly when the balls dropped. The travel edition leaves something to be desired though, the design is a bit strange, so that the balls can only end up in two out of four trays.
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13. Board Game: Hive Pocket [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I taught Hive to both my kids in July. Now I can't beat my son (13). I won the first game, then out of the next 8 games, I've managed one draw. He really should go easier on his old man!
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14. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:276]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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This was the only new game I showed the kids this month and it went over great! The first game I facilitated because there were 5 people who wanted to play and it was the most fun I've ever had watching a game. The expressions on the kids' faces as they want to say something but know they can't are priceless! I need to remember to have my partner take pictures the next time we play

Kids ages: 8, 10, 12, 12
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15. Board Game: Rack-O [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:7213]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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We had this one sitting on the shelf in shrink for a long time. My wife and I both played as kids, but we didn't have our own copy. We saw one on sale a couple years ago, and now my 4-year-old son is ready for it. We're using it as both a game and a math lesson. He gets the number ordering but has trouble estimating how much room to leave in between numbers. He likes it enough to keep it in the rotation for a while.
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16. Board Game: Jungle Speed [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1064]
Ender Wiggins
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We picked up the Jungle Speed: Silver edition and its companion Jungle Speed: Dark. These come with smaller waterproof cards.

Easily the most-played game in our home over the last month. My children and their friends have had enormous fun playing this fast and frantic game over and over!



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17. Board Game: On the Underground [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:959]
Tom
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Played this with my wife and 9yo daughter. Daughter needed some coaching in the first half of the game, but was up to full steam in the second half and wound up winning handily. Proud moment.
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18. Board Game: Asking for Trobils [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:2102]
Matthew Sanchez
United States
chaska
MN
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I built a print and play of this kickstarter last month. The kids love it (boys 7 and 9). it is a lightweight worker placement with some unique mechanics. The kids picked up on it right away and had a great time. I can't wait for the game to come out.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1205300753/asking-for-t...

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19. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:607] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Matthew Sanchez
United States
chaska
MN
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Picked up a reprint of this one at the beginning of the month. It's now one of my 7 year olds favorites. In zooloretto you are trying to collect animals to build the best zoo possible. Great theme for kids and fun for adults also.
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20. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:698] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Marc Nelson Jr.
United States
Cumberland
Maryland
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Had some store credit at 2nd and Charles and picked this up at one of their board game nights after playing it there with my five-year-old son. Now, deckbuilders are possibly my favorite genre but I've never been able to get the family on board.

But for whatever reason, everyone (including my wife and nine-year-old daughter) has just gone crazy for this one! We've played it probably 12 times in the past week. We picked up the Crisis expansion yesterday and have already played the new co-op mode twice.

Would I rather the family had fallen in love with Nightfall or Dominion? Sure. Am I going to complain? Heck no!
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21. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:607] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Andrew Baker
Canada
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Zooloretto was also new to our whole family this month. I remember seeing it when we first started playing games, but didn't get it at the time. Once I learned more about it and thought it sounded interested, it was out of print. Now that it's back, I grabbed a copy.

The day I got it we got home late, had a quick bite of food, and took the boys to bed. T (age 3) fell right asleep but B (age 6) asked if we could try the new game. We played most of a 3-player game until we gave up for the night and finished it in the morning. T joined us for the last part, and enjoyed playing with the animals too.

It was a great little game, and they're both asking to play "the animal game" again.
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22. Board Game: Monza [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1881]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Played once with my 6yo in June and he seemed fairly neutral about it. Thought maybe after playing Tsuro which he loves, he maybe found this too simple. But after repeated plays in July it has proved a hit.
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23. Board Game: Trans Europa [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1173]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Played once with our cards open. Another game he enjoyed, but I think i'll but it back in storage for another 6 months and then try it again.
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24. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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Had my niece over for a few days and played some Carcassonne. Every new game we started adding another part of an expansion. Loved our games; she's good at it!

Played Duell. That was boring. And some Pyramid of Pengqueen. Fun game.
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25. Board Game: A la carte [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1475]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My 6 year old son received a gift certificate to the game store for his birthday. He and I and his 8 year old sister went to the store and tried out A La Carte. He liked it so much that he bought it with his gift certificate. This is a bit of a dexterity game and very simple with solid components. There actually isn't a ton of game here, but it's cute enough and entertaining to watch people try to drop the right number of spices into their dish or flip their crepes. We won't play it a ton, but the kids do like it.
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