James Stubbs
United States
Florence
South Carolina
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EDIT: Also lets please try to keep the games to stuff that is currently in print. Because of the short amount of time involved (my fault), I need a quick single-stop solution like Funagain or Thoughthammer.

Alright folks I need your help.

For the last three years now I've been helping out a friend of mine's family by helping them out with christmas by buying gifts for their kids much like the "secret santa" here. His wife had cancer and finally succumbed to it last year and, to make matters worse, their house burned down not more than five months later.

EDIT: If you want to know: http://rhymeswithdrowning.blogspot.com

While the burning wasn't their fault and insurance covered the repairs, they've basically lost a lot of stuff. They've got all the essentials (clothes, food, etc.) so don't come down on me about that when I suggest buying them games to help them come together more as a family.

Basically, I'm looking for family-friendly games that can be emjoyed by a 9 year old girl and a 12 year old boy with their dad. I know their father and he'd pretty much be willing to play anything with his kids so tailor your suggestions towards what might interest the kids.

The 9 year old girl enjoys horses, mythology and is really big into music. She sings and plays the clarinet & guitar.

The 12 year old boy is pretty much exclusively into video games but has lately been playing a bit of Dungeons & Dragons and the old West End Games Star Wars RPG with a friend of the father's group.

Thanks a lot guys!
 
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I am happy.
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Milford
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Wow, this has a way of putting the Christmas spirit into perspective. Can you supply an address? I'd like to buy a game for them.

Also, I will second some of Sinister Dexter's list:
Ticket to Ride
Blokus
Cartagena
Pirate's Cove
Winner's Circle
Robot Rally
Settler's of Catan
Carcassonne Hunter's and Gatherers
Order of the Stick
Parthenon (Outside chance on this one, but my 12 yr. daughter likes it).
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Sounds like "plays well with three" is the first criterion. Can you tell us a little more about the kids -- do they like games (what kind)? what subjects do they like in school (and/or are they visually or verbally or mathematically inclined)?
 
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Rob
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30° 12′ 38″ N, 95° 45′ 2″ W
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Amazing Labyrinth
Ticket to Ride
Hey! That's My Fish!
Blokus
 
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Mark Ballinger
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Seattle
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I'll second Blokus, although the 3 player version is not great.

Through the Desert is great with 3, and for these ages. Settlers of Catan and For Sale are two others that work well for me.

You might consider Runebound. Not knowing the family I can't say 100% it's appropriate, but the boy may like the campaigning/fighting. When I play with kids, I appreciate that the base game has little player v. player combat. It's almost a team game.

But, if this family would be turned off by the fantasy elements and/or the, let's say, endowments of the females on the cards it might not go over well.

 
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Seriously, turn off Facebook. You'll be happier.
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    My nine-year-old daughter plays Ticket to Ride well. That is an excellent choice for the first one.

    I'd also consider Alhambra. And Carcassonne of course.

             Sag.


 
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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I have 10, 13 and 15 yr. old boys.
My 13 yr. old would play video games without sleeping or eating, ever, if he were permitted. He does however, enjoy party games.

I would second some of the suggestions made already (order intentional):
Pirate's Cove (they all love this game)
Settler's of Catan
Ticket To Ride
Carcassonne Hunter's and Gatherers
Alhambra

I think the biggest hurdle is finding games that both kids will get into.
Quick games that they can play in 15 min. and would probably enjoy:
No Thanks!
Coloretto

My 10yr. old loves the more complex games. I think he likes to "play with the big boys"... but he has recently taken a shine to Nexus Ops (and Risk genre type games), but I don't think the 9yr. old girl would like those.







 
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James Stubbs
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Florence
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Boss Happy wrote:
Wow, this has a way of putting the Christmas spirit into perspective. Can you supply an address? I'd like to buy a game for them.


I think I'd rather not post that here. I will send you a geekmail if you really want to but, honestly, I'm not looking for people to adopt another charity. Thanks for the suggestions though!

 
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James Stubbs
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smithhemb wrote:
Sounds like "plays well with three" is the first criterion. Can you tell us a little more about the kids -- do they like games (what kind)? what subjects do they like in school (and/or are they visually or verbally or mathematically inclined)?


Well... "plays well with three" would be good but "one on one" is also acceptable.

The 12 year old boy is really into Harry Potter and pretty much most video games and has asked for "Spore" for the PC this year so maybe something along those lines?

The girl is pretty much your typical girl - she's just outgrown the obsession with princesses phase. I don't know what games she plays but I do know that she likes the female heroes like Kim Possible, Totally Spies, etc. and, right now, she's going through a (very early) goth phase.

I would say that both are verbally inclined. The girl is definately visually inclined. I don't know about the math but the boy is pretty much average in everything else.

 
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Greg Gresik
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I would strongly second Carcassonne - solid 2 or 3 player game.

For some lighter fair (and cheaper) I'd consider Loot - always well liked as light, fun, pirate-themed card game with my 10 & 11 year old (daughter & son, respectively) Another light but fun offering enjoyed by our youngins is Apples to Apples (junior or regular) - usually a game that brings about quite a bit laughter...and is usually played numerous times in a row before having to finally be stern about bedtime.

For the Harry Potter fix, Harry Potter Scene It is a nice variation.


 
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Have faith
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Also check out Harry Potter CCG.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3495

I believe it's out of print but I've heard you can get cards cheap on ebay. It's basically "Magic: The Gathering Lite." Fun game, if the family doesn't mind the combatitive apect.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I wouldn't do Blokus, because it isn't good with three (Travel Blokus -- 2 player only -- would be a better choice). Boomtown is fun and atmospheric. Kupferkessel (in stock at Funagain) might appeal to the Harry Potter fan (hard for me to tell whether my 9 y.o. girl likes it because she's a 9 y.o. girl or because she's a Harry Potter fan, but since you have one of each....). (I just bought Experiment (also at Funagain) for the HP niche, but I haven't played it yet, so it's a guess rather than a recomendation. FWIW, Technowitches was not a hit here; I bought it on the HP logic last year.) Ticket to Ride is probably a good bet -- but is USA the best choice (and, if so, do you want the expansion(s))?. I second the idea of short games and prefer No Thanks (or Fairy Tale or Loco!) to Coloretto. RE games that appeal to verbal people -- we've had a blast with 25 Words or Less lately. And the 10 Days (in the USA, in Africa, in Europe) games play well with 3. I didn't like USA with 2, but Europe seemed decent.

 
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Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
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Ingenious.

I think I'm just going to make a hotkey. Whenever anybody asks for a suggestion for a family game, it just enters Ingenious.
 
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Brenda Frauenhoff
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Unspecified
Colorado
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I have a 10 yr. old daughter and 12 yr. old son. My son sounds similar to this boy but my daughter is quite a bit different. Anyway, they both love Category 5. Out of all the games I bought last year that has gotten the most play. My son prefers war games (refer to the list asking for wargames for the 12 yr old boy). They both love Apples to Apples on a light note too.
 
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JessA
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Southwestern
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The first game I think of when I hear 3-player and Harry Potter is Friday the 13th

I would second Ingenious, Amazing Labrynith and Blokus.

 
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Henrik Lantz
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Uppsala
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I would go for visually pleasing games, might make the kids more eager to play. Pirates Cove has already been suggested, haven't played it myself but it sounds like a perfect fit. How about racing games? Ave Caesar has been on my want list for some time now, or how about Arena maximus if you want something even more confrontational. I see no dexterity games suggested so far but I would suggest Pitch Car, seems to be enjoyed by everyone. If you get the chance to join them, Bang! is also a great choice. Good luck!
 
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Jody Ludwick
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Indiana
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Blue Moon City

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/21882

Ticket to Ride

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9209

Settlers of Catan

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13

and my personal fav... Downfall of Pompeji

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13004

All are wonderful family oriented games that are readily available.

Enjoy!
 
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Tim OConnor
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I have an 11 year old daughter and two sons, 8 and 10. The boys are real gamers, as is my wife so often my daughter becomes 'odd man out'.

Until... I got a free copy of Gift Trap at a game conference a few months ago. All the kids, including my daughter, love this game. Low on strategy, high on fun and interaction. This is really a party game but I'm pleased everyone is into it.
 
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Laurence Parsons
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Bristol
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You have plenty of good suggestions to choose from, and I won't repeat what's already been suggested, but I would also suggest
Fearsome Floors
Munchkin
Give Me The Brain
they're all 'fun' games for when you don't want a 'serious' game.
 
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