Kids on Board Games Geeklist - January 2018
Nick Shaw
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Plymouth
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Welcome to
Kids on Board Games Geeklist
- January 2018



Hello all and welcome to the monthly "Kids on Board" games Geeklist.

Children need time to play alone and with other children without adult intervention, but playtime with adults is also important. As we all know board games are great for that. Not only do they teach children patience, problem solving, social skills and creativity amongst other things they can just be plain FUN for everyone.

This is a geeklist for anyone that plays any board games with children. Remember, they don't have to be your own children! (Just get permission first if they aren't!!) Hopefully it will inspire, inform, advise and open our eyes to the world of gaming with kids.

Feel free to post geeklist items, comment on other peoples items and generally mingle in the comments below. Also, consider spreading the word to anyone you feel may be interested.


Now, all you need to do is:

1. Play a board game with kid(s) within this month - it'd be extremely helpful if you can give the ages of the kids
2. Post a geeklist entry after you've played
3. Let us know how it plays
4. Provide feedback for others:
- hopefully one comment/word per child, maybe they can devise their own rating system?
- give your own overview, the adults perspective on how it was for you and how it seemed for them
5. Be nice, it's okay to disagree but it's not okay to be rude - we're all different but also the same
6. That's it!

Feel free to post photos but also feel free to avoid using full face pictures and avoid full names. You know, the usual internet safety rules.


Previous Months

For past and future geeklist notifications consider subscribing to the Kids on Board Games Geeklist - SUBSCRIPTION THREAD



Kids on Board Resources

Gaming with Kids BGG Forum
"New to Your Kids" Monthly Geeklist Annoucement Thread
GeekDad - 10 reasons to Play Games with your Kids
The Benefits of Board Games
10 Benefits of Board Games with Kids
Stop Playing Monopoly with your kids and Play These Instead
BGG Family Games List
BGG Family Games Subdomain

Kids on Board Games Geeklist - SUBSCRIPTION THREAD



This Month's theme - New To You!

It's a whole new year. Wow, where did 2017 go?! I hope everyone had a great holiday break, and are feeling refreshed and ready to face a new year. January is one of my favourite months (my birthday is in January, which helps!), as there's so much potential in what's possible in the coming months. It's really exciting. Plus, post-Xmas sales!

So this month's theme is "New to you". Are you going to do anything new this year? Start going to a gym, a dance class, a new gaming group, a new job? Do let us know! And to keep things game-related too, do you have any new games you're playing with kids this month (new to you OR new to them)? Let us know that too! Teaching new games to kids can often be challenging, especially teaching the more complex games. How do YOU go about teaching games to kids?

And as a summing up of 2017, what was the best new-to-you or new-to-the-kids game of last year? Any games that will be staying in your collection for a long time to come?


Above all, have a great month at the start of this new year!

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1. Board Game: Bugs in the Kitchen [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2506]
Adrian Harper
Switzerland
Baden
Aargau
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Played this numerous times over the last week since my 4 year old received it for Christmas.

Most recently played with 4 people, two kids (4.5 and just turned 6) and two adults and it never fails to amuse. We notice that we have to ensure that people make their move immediately after rolling the dice rather than waiting for the bug to be in a preferential position.

My 4 year old would happily play endless games of this, but the 6 year old tends to get bored if she is not able to keep up with the leaders and „forgets“ to roll the dice, preferring to simply make the best move

On a side note - this was the game played by 4 adults in the house, in the half hour before the clock struck midnight for new year - all had a blast, so its not just for kids!
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2. Board Game: Catan Junior [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:5019]
Adrian Harper
Switzerland
Baden
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Seen as though my eldest daughter turned 6 at the end of November we again tried Catan Junior today, so she barely remembered it and it was new to my youngest. Played with three players, myself, 6 year old and my 4.5 year old playing in a team with my wife.

The game went ok, but perhaps was not the best choice for late afternoon the day after a very late night (both kids managed to stay up for the midnight fireworks on New Year‘s day!).

The game is too much for my 4 year old to handle, the concept of working out what you need in order to build something, how to trade for that and the optimal placement of buildings just went completely over her head. Being fair this could have been simply because she was tired as she manages well with other games above her age range.

The six year old really got hold of the main concepts this time around, a big change from when we last tried her with the game. She still needs to work on her thinking around placement and priorities, but I think going forward she is going to enjoy the game more and more.
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3. Board Game: Rhino Hero [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:605] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Cliff Austen
United Kingdom
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I brought this to keep the children entertained on boxing day, but forgot to take it with us.

Played it this afternoon with my daughter (6). She absolutely loved it. It's a fun take on a jenga type game.

Just make sure to play it on the floor as after 7 floors my daughter couldn’t reach the top when playing on a table.

Also played with her Grandma, so a good family game.
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4. Board Game: Leo [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2551]
Adrian Harper
Switzerland
Baden
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Another game received for Christmas but only managed to get it to the table today given other commitments, family visits etc.

I bought this game based on the Games Night review I watched some time ago as both kids love, and excel, at simply memory games where you have to find pairs of cards facedown on the floor.

Leo didn’t disappoint and we played two games using the easier rules of open hands and full discussion between the players (4 year old, 6 year old and two adults).

On the first game we were incredibly lucky and managed to make it to the barbers chair on the first day, I think we only lost 2 or 3 hours in the day.

In the second game we also won but it was down to the wire with only a couple of hours left on the timer of the last day and around 10 tiles left to the end.

Both kids really enjoyed the game, especially my 6 year old who tried to convince us that she had a photographic memory
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5. Board Game: Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:4140]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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To end the year, I wanted to get one new GMT game. I let Mr. E pick, and to my surprise he picked this, a mostly solitaire simulation of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. In retrospect, I should not have been too surprised: the new Nathan Hale book is about the Doolittle Raid.

It's a big game with lots of segments, but it isn't difficult. It's almost possible to play the entire game solely from the player aids, using the rulebook only for clarification. The designer even recommends starting by opening up the scenario book and following the setup. The other interestin thing is that the game has four modes: one can just conduct a bombing raid over a Japanese city; one can fly the bombers in over the ocean to the raid targest, and after completing the bombing mission, try to land in China; one can add a phase in which the US Navy brings the fleet across; or at its fullest, the entire raid can be planned out, including training crews, outfitting planes, and conducting diplomacy to get access to foreign airfields.

We played the second mode, flying five flights of B-25s into Japan, bombing the cities, and proceeding to China, each taking a few flights to command for ourselves. The decisions are simple, but carry big consequences. In the flight phase, players must decide whether to change altitude or push forward toward Japan. Those decisions have the potential to save fuel or perhaps avoid hazards, like interceptors or ships, which can raise the alert level, meaning more hazards may be faced when bombing. In the bombing phase, need to pick targets and decide best how to avoid flak, interceptors, and other obstacles. Coming out of Japan, planes consume all their gas, sometimes literally flying on fumes, hoping to land in China rather than being forced to ditch or land in the Soviet Union.

The game tells a great story as well. Elias decided to keep pushing forward without changing altitude, whereas I changed to high altitude. It meant that I consumed more fuel than he. His bombers made excellent runs at all the Japanese cities, but he didn't find the two high value targets, the two aircraft carriers. When my planes made their runs, I flew them around the cities, hoping that each new hazard would reveal a carrier. I hit both, but I also lost a B-25 in the process. Four flights limped into Japan; one was forced to land in the Soviet Union (presumably they were imprisoned). Overall, it was a successful mission

Mr. E's reaction: "When can we play again?"
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6. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Laura Blachek
United States
charlotte hall
Maryland
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Played with Lego boy (7). Had this set up for last night, but bath time happened before we started and he didnt want to play after the bath. Left it on the table, because there was no school today (too cold) and i figured we could try in the morning.

Base game, 5 epidemics, close win - cured final disease on the last turn. He played scientist, i played medic.
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7. Board Game: Go Fish [Average Rating:3.59 Overall Rank:15316]
In a hole in the ground there lived a
United States
Muncy
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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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3 games tonight with Ben (8). I won 2, he won 1.
He loves beating me!
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8. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:379]
Matt Web
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Played this for the first time with 6 year old. He tended to focus more on moving the camels (he loved using the pyramid!) than making bets, but was getting the hang of it by the end. He lost by a large margin, but didn't seem to mind (or even notice very much) - the game was so entertaining we didn't have to worry too much about final scores.

He does keep asking me whether it's Camel Up or Camel Cup though...
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9. Board Game: Roll For It! [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2587]
Not Gandalf
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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Had the day off yesterday with my 2 girls (9 and 7 years old). They go back to school next week.

Between some chores (visit to Ikea, tidying the kitchen) we played a bunch of games. We started with a couple of games of this.

I lost both times. One win each for my girls.

However, my moment where I gave the single die I had left a stern talking too and that it just needed to be a 6 and then rolling a 6 was a fun moment.

We then played The Game of Life and my youngest one that. We were all within £100K of each other and if my eldest had sold her house for more she would have won.

Then a game of King of Tokyo. I managed to win it. I was in Tokyo for ages and in the end that was what gave me the points to win. My girls just don't get punchy enough. Maybe that's a good thing.

Finally, we played Catan: Junior and my eldest romped to victory. She just seemed to roll what she needed every turn. I couldn't keep up. My youngest got bored and just decided she would collect as many goats as possible and open a goat farm.

A great day.
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10. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.66 Overall Rank:2]
Rafał Olek
Poland
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Played August with my almost 9 yo and wife. Lost this time but I was happy because after first few turns my wife decided we can leave the kid to play all alone cause he tells her what are her best moves . I've created a "monster" alfa player !!!
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11. Board Game: Star Realms: Scenarios [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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I hesitated buying Star Realms Scenarios. We had played Star Realms to death, and recently it has made occasional appearances on the table. However,these twenty cards did a lot to spice up the game. Each card adds a simple rule to modify the game, putting certain unique cards into starting decks or changing the way buying works. We played four consecutive games the first time we integrated the cards. It was certainly a good investment.
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12. Board Game: Stellar Conflict [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2575]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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I bought this one at Miniature Market's Black Friday sale for $7. Tom Vasel praises it, and for the price it was an easy purchase. Basically, it is a bunch of cards with space ships printed on them. Each ship has beams coming out of it that can cause damage to other ships or steals cubes from them. Mr. E loved this. We played a monster game on Saturday that filled up the floor of our living room. Definitely fun.
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13. Board Game: Star Trek: Frontiers [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:778]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Not a new game, but a new mode we had not played before. Mr. E finally consented to one of the competitive scenarios. This one takes out the Borg and had the players capturing bases and trying to keep them from other players. Mr. E destroyed me, rushing to get a specific advanced action card that simply allowed him to get ahead on every combat. Although it did not reach the heights of the cooperative mode, it was still great fun. It was also nice that it is easier to set up, takes less table space, and plays faster.
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14. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15285]
Justin
United States
Plano
Texas
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Peppa Pig version. Haven't done much board gaming with my daughter recently (my wife has while I'm at work). She's been far more into playing Salt on the PC with me.
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15. Board Game: Rhino Hero [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:605] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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My son asked to play this on Saturday, and as it's one of the few games he can play and actually play *by the rules*, I happily obliged.

We played 3 times. He knocked down the tower (by accident) all 3 times, though he still insists that that means that HE has won.
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16. Board Game: Gaïa [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2705]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
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My daughter wanted to play this again, after I beat her twice over xmas. We played with the advanced cards, but skipped the rule about stealing another player's city.



And she managed to beat me! 6 meeples deployed to my 5. She did v well; I was nowhere near getting my 6th meeple down.
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17. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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As Mr. E loved Legendary Encounters: Predator, this seemed to be an obvious buy. We've played through three very tense games, twice in the Aliens mode, once in Alien (I). Undeniably, the theme is much more interesting in this game than in the Predator game, particularly in the threats themselves. Not only is the source material better, the game has better highs and lows: there are times when we felt that we were barely doing enough to survive, then suddenly we were effectively pushing back. However, the Predator game feels better designed. The character cards, which one purchases and adds to their deck over the course of the game, are more varied; the keywords are more interesting; and the faction and class symbols, that allows one to unlock special abilities, are better distributed. Overall, we both felt that Predator allowed us to not only cooperate better, but also to find synergies within our own decks. Moreover, it felt that the character cards had more personality in them. Of course, that game has the Predator mode, which Mr. E loves. Alien allows some dead players to return as an Alien, but Mr. E doesn't seem motivated to explore those rules. We've not yet tried the mode in which the Predators hunt the Xenomorphs.

Still, a very enjoyable game.
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18. Board Game: Dawn: Rise of the Occulites [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:7625]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Our infamously large, epic, immersive and quirky game that we got for $10. Mr. E and I talk about playing this more than we do, mostly because the size takes up more than our decently sized kitchen table allows.

We played the "habitation" scenario, which has players using their Occulites to collect the insect-like Nymphlets while avoiding attacks from the iguana-like Puscuals. We wanted to play a scenario that used the various creatures and that made more use of terrain. As we hadn't played in a while, we were rough on the rules. Also, the scenario didn't explain as well how the special rules interact with the game's general rules. Still, it was fun chasing the darting insects. We had fun trying to manipulate the Nymphlets so the they came more toward us than our opponent. Mr. E eeked out a narrow victory by killing a Puscual. The scenario was probably better for more than 2--we barely interacted with one another until the last round, when I tried attacking Mr. E in a desperate attempt to grab the Nymphlets his figure was carrying.

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19. Board Game: Sleeping Queens [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1936]
April Parekh
United States
California
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My 5 and 6 (almost 7) year old have been enjoying this a lot. They can play it alone and both of them now know the rules better than I do as they played with Dad a couple of times after our first game. The six year old gets the idea of adding up the numbers so she can discard more cards. The five year old, while good at math(he does his sister's first grade math assignments), doesn't generally think of trying to discard more cards via this method.
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20. Board Game: Rat-a-Tat Cat [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2450]
April Parekh
United States
California
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I seriously feel I should have paid more for this game. My kids LOVE it and play it alone (priceless!). I can make dinner and they will be playing. The only trouble is that my 6 year old tries to cheat on her 5 year old brother. 5 year old is still learning when he should call rat-a-tat cat and that sometimes having a 2 or 1 isn't a bad thing...it doesn't have to be a zero.
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21. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:340]
April Parekh
United States
California
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I just picked this up a week ago at Target. I enjoy playing this with the kids and doesn't requite much of my concentration which can be a huge perk in the evenings. I usually keep score but I ask the kids to help me add which makes it both fun and a learning experience. My 5 year old is a little less upset when he loses at this game (vs losing rat-a-tat cat which he insist on playing with his sister until he wins a round). I like that the kids have their own collection preferences. My youngest likes the Maki rolls and dumplings and my oldest loves wasabi and chopsticks.
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22. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:517]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Hyperborea is another new game that we acquired over the holiday. When I purchased it or Mr. E, I mistakenly thought that it was set in the Conan universe. Robert E. Howard had apparently been influenced by myths about Hyperborea, a lost, ancient civilization in the far north, but his Hyborea was his own creation (which, confusingly, contained a kingdom names Hyperborea). The game is still filled with some interesting artwork that Mr. E and I delighted in looking at.

All that said, the theme isn't much there. This isn't an immersive fantasy realm of myth. It is a light civilization game with bag building, area control and deterministic combat. Moreover, the actual combat is underwhelming, almost working against whatever theme is there.

Regardless, Mr. E and I really liked this. If I were to characterize our impressions, I might call this Mage Knight Light: the Engine Building Game. It reminded us both of Star Trek: Frontiers, where one new cube or one new card opens dramatically new possibilities for the player. We played a short game, which ends when a player meets one of three endgame conditions. Mr. E emphasized just getting victory points, and as a consequence, really set the pace of the game. While he was farming points directly, I was left to find ways of generating victory points that would show up more in the final scoring: killing figures, getting more cubes, controlling territory. Mr. E wasn't running away with it, and his strategy still required that he do lots of different things. In the end,it was close, Mr. E winning 45-42.
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23. Board Game: Bios: Genesis [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1770] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Melissa
United States
Ames
Iowa
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This and Bios: Megafauna (Second Edition) just showed up from the Kickstarter, so the are "New to Us!" My son really wanted to get started with Genesis, so we've gone through a couple beginner games. It was probably too early to add other players as my understanding of the game is not yet ready. Too much rule book reading, which really slows up a game, and soured my daughter and husband on the game a bit. I'm going to have to do some more prep on this one! I think I might attempt a solo game or two to work on it. My daughter is excited about Megafauna and started attempting to read the rulebook.
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24. Board Game: Dead Drop [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:3029]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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New to us!

Played this with my 7yo, 9yo, and 13yo. They got right into it, and played v well. I won 2 rounds and my 9yo won 1 (which she was super excited about). Great fun. Even had a quick 2 player game with my 7yo afterwards.

Lovely small game that plays relatively quickly, and promotes logical deduction and reasoning. Very much recommended.
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25. Board Game: Rivet Wars: Battle of Brighton [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Not a new game--we've had Rivet Wars since 2014--but new pieces. We picked up the Battle of Brighton expansion and another tile set in CMON's holiday sale. A few weeks ago we played with the air units from Brighton, and they were fun, but the extra tiles not only made the planes worthwhile, it opened up the whole game. Rivet Wars is fund, but it always feels as if you are fighting for points. With the extra tiles, it feels like you are fighting for territory. Moreover, the planes have lots of room to fly around. It really made everything more strategic. Mr. E loved it.

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