Tom S.
United States
Sykesville
MD
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OK, folks, I need your help. I've been recently awakened from my bleary subsistence on Hi Ho! Cherry-O and Monopoly: Pokémon for Family Game Night. I've been lurking on BGG for a couple of months now, reading reviews and news, and with an Amazon gift card and a birthday coming up, I'd like to enlist your help in planning the first two real additions to my family game library.

I'm looking for a game to play with my wife and/or three sons, ages 10, 7, and 6. I'm looking at cooperative games (the kids turn everything in life into a contest anyway, so a break from that would be welcome).

For the first one, I've got $25 to spend; I'm thinking of games like Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Castle Panic, or Dungeon! here.

For my birthday, I'll probably stick to the $50 range. I was looking at Mice and Mystics, Dungeon Fighter, Dominion, or Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. (I know the last two might be too much for my youngest, but he could team up with me or Mom).

Basically what I'm looking for is replay factor, accessibility, and something that will get them excited for family gaming (and also get them ready for Descent/Twilight Imperium in a couple of years)!

Thanks in advance for your help, and I look forward to logging a few games soon!
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Joe Miner
United States
San Antonio
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Forbidden Island. Nice cooperative game that requires players to solve the puzzle, which sometimes isn't solvable.
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Josh Morgan
United States
Moore
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Forbidden Desert! I play this with my wife and our 11, 8, and 6 year old children. It's a big hit.
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Chris B
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Victoria
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Try Castle Panic. I'm playing it with my 5.5 yr old & he loves it.
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Josh Morgan
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Joe Miner wrote:
Forbidden Island. Nice cooperative game that requires players to solve the puzzle, which sometimes isn't solvable.

Forbidden Island is good too, but we play Forbidden Desert more since it accommodates 5 players and Forbidden Island only 4 player.

You're right Legendary probably is a bit much for the 6 year old. I know it is for my 6 year old, but he does love being on my team. If they like super heroes chances are very high they will like Legendary.

If you haven't watched them yet Rodney Smith's Watch it played series on Mice and Mystics and Legendary are good and will help you make an informed decision. Your boys might even enjoy watching the videos with you.

Watch It Played - Come LEARN and PLAY Mice And Mystics with us!
Watch It Played - Come LEARN and PLAY Legendary with us!
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Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue would be a definite to me. What kid doesn't want to be a fireman and save lives fighting fires?

Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert are both solid, cheap games that combine co-op and puzzles.

Saboteur is small, cheap and semi-co-op - definitely worth looking at.
 
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Scott Preston
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Fremont
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If you're looking for a family co-op in that age range, I think Forbidden Desert is definitely the way to go.

It may not be your style, but for a game that's not a co-op to ease them into gaming, Rise of Augustus is pretty good. My 2 oldest kids (7 and 9) really like that one...but both of those kids like history, so the ancient Rome theme (albeit paper-thin) is one they enjoy. Another light, quick game that we really like is Walk the Plank!. Judging by the Amazon pricing, Mayday must have gotten another printing done. I think the first run sold out pretty quickly.

You mentioned Dominion...the 6 year old is probably a bit young since he doesn't have the gaming background. The only problem playing with kids that young is having to help them with the shuffling every time through the deck. Having said that, both my 7 and 9 year olds love Dominion.

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Renee Thorson
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Albert Lea
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My sons are 8 & 10. We also do lots of cooperatives at our house. My boys absolutely LOVE Castle Panic! We also have the wizards tower expansion, which makes the game much more challenging. My 8 yr old never tires of this game!

Their next favorite would be Flash Point: Fire Rescue, followed by Forbidden Island. Both great games! We got Forbidden Desert for Christmas but havent played yet.

A cooperative game that surprisingly failed at our house is Escape Curse of the Temple. They just didnt care for it.
 
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David Taylor
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if you want to go with a super hero themed co-op game for the boys, try Justice League: Axis of Villains Strategy Game you get it at Target. $24.95…...similar to Castle Panic
 
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GeJayGe
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Windsor Hills
California
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You can sometimes find Sentinels of the Multiverse for under $25. It was as low as $19.50 on Amazon for about a week not long ago.

It is a co-op card game where you play comic book superheros defeating villians.

Great game, and it can sometimes be more fun to loose than win. Highly reccomended. My wife and I play it while each being two heroes. Game is best with 4, and a little harder at 3.
 
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Jacovis
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fretnut71 wrote:
if you want to go with a super hero themed co-op game for the boys, try Justice League: Axis of Villains Strategy Game you get it at Target. $24.95…...similar to Castle Panic


Super hero themed, but my son at least much prefers the game play of Castle Panic to this one. Besides that castle panic is more scalable for all of you to play together, with various types of game play. Further, with Castle Panic if you decide you want a greater challenge later you can buy the Wizard a Tower expansion to keep it fresh.

I will also reinforce Dungeon for you. I don't know what it is, but my son has loved dungeon ever since he first played it, he just turned 9 in November and it is still a big hit with him.

Another game I'd recommend, if you can ever find a copy, is The Magic Labyrinth. This game is stupid levels of fun, but it has been hard to find for a while now afaik.

Good luck, and Happy Holidays and New Year!

Edit: forgot to mention that with a little help your youngest should be fine with Legendary, so teaming up with an adult is a good way to start. As you can tell I love Legendary, it is my favorite game (going on one year!) at the moment, but for maximum enjoyment you will probably be dropping for the expansions as well, so expect to put another $50 or so into it at some point. Th good news is that it is almost infinitely replayable. It does have the distinction of being a competitive cooperative game as well, so you can play just trying to beat the bad guys as a team, but also if you want (or with the older kids) to compete and see who gets the most points.

DC Deckbuilding game is another decent option for the kids, though it can get stale over long, repeated plays with adults. That said, the kids will have an easier time with it than Legendary at first and it is still pretty decent fun. It is also expecting an expansion in the near future, so that may be Something to look into. Unlike a Legendary, however, this one is entirely competitive.

 
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Tom S.
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Sykesville
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Thanks for your advice, all. I think I'm going to go with Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game and Castle Panic for now and keep Forbidden Island/Desert and Flash Point in mind for my next purchase!
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JB
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Hi Tom,

Did you consider The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac ?
I am tossing up this and Castle Panic for my 2 boys (ages 6 & 9)
 
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André G.
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There are a few good games, I've played with a group of boys in school.
Games they really like were:

- Legends of Andor
- Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister
- Escape: The Curse of the Temple
- Whoowasit?

And with a little help for the younger ones:
Quest: A Time of Heroes

I don't know Castle Panic, but I heard a lot of it.
Also good are the known games Forbidden Island/Desert.
 
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JB
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Have been on the fence about legends of Andor, never thought of it as a kids game. How old are the children that liked it ?
 
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André G.
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The youngest was 7 1/2 years old. It was a little bit difficult at the beginning but worked very well after a few rounds. The fantasy setting is the reason they keep on playing again and again. And because it's cooperative, they are helping each other. And the rules aren't that complicated. Maybe you're able to get this at an library to try?
We love the game and will try the new expansion in a few days
 
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JB
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Very interesting, although the expansions aren't in English, from what I read.
 
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André G.
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I don't know, but I think they are not. But it's not that important, cause in the main game, there are 5 Missions and they have some changes each time (hidden tokens and so on) you play. So you can try them more than one time. In Germany, there will be a new expansion very soon, so you can play the game with a fifth player. Hopefully in english too, the game deserves it.
 
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David Villa
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Big aggreement with Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. Start with Forbidden Island. It is a bit simpler and may be easier for the younger kids to handle. If they show a keen understanding of the game and are ready for slightly more advanced mechanics, then get Forbidden Desert.

I think Castle Panic, Flash Point and most defintely, Marvel Legendary and Legends of Andor are too advanced for this age range.
 
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Josh Buchanan
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One that hasn't been mentioned is DC deck builder. Super easy to play. My 6 year old needs very little help. Only when multiple effects need to be resolved. My 8 yr old nephew needs no help. It is competitive but it's random enough that my 6 yr old regularly beats me. GREAT light game. There's also a LOTR version but haven't played that.
 
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Andre Malmfjord
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Umeå
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Defenders of the realm
 
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James Patterson
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+1 Forbidden Island.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned King of Tokyo. Definitely not cooperative, but should be perfect for your boys. My 5 yr old loves it, and it's a great way to teach kids some sportsmanship, because their monster will get killed.
 
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