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Subject: Kids games with some depth rss

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Quantum Jack
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I now have a child on the way, due in september sometime. I have always thougjt about gaming with my children, and like the prospect of raising them on games. Recently, I have started thinking about acquiring kids games that are simple to play, but have some strategic depth so they can develop those faculties, as well as be entertaining for adults.

So far I have 3:

Escape from the Hidden Castle

Sputnik

duck! duck! Go!

I plan on playing other, heavier games with them as they become ready (with help) but I was wondering what other games are considered kids games, buthave more depth than candyland, chutes & ladders, etc.
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Russ Williams
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Ribbit
Hey, That's My Fish!
Let's Catch the Lion!
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John Crawford
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Push Your Luck
Duck, Duck, Bruce
Unnamed Object
Can't Stop

Memory
Chicken Cha Cha Cha

Dexterity
Villa Paletti
Animal Upon Animal
Zitternix

Just a few off the top of my head.
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Nathanael Robinson
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Battle Sheep: Area control, similar to Hey! That's my Fish, though quicker to set up and with better components.


Citadels
/Lost Temple: Both games are nearly the same, focusing on role selection as the primary mechanism. Citadels is the better game, but the racing element of LT works better with kids.

(Rise of) Augustus: Reputed to be "gamer bingo," it requires simple, but thoughtful, decisions about taking and completing goals.

Samurai: Area influence that requires a small amount of lateral thinking. About to be reprinted by Fantasy Flight.


Timeline Inventions
: Combination of rudimentary knowledge and deduction (the other Timeline games are good, but this one is far better with kids.)

Ogre: A simple, and cheap, wargame.

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Bart R.
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I highly recommend Monza and Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters.
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kSwingrÜber
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Secrets of the Deep

Ok... kind of a wise-guy answer, but it's actually a pretty good game.
There is some strategy to it, and who doesn't love diving DEEP for treasure chests?

My kid sure loved it when he was in the 5-7 age range!

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Rick Martin
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Tales & Games: The Hare & the Tortoise - A fun racing game for kids or adults.
Love Letter - I've found kids pick this one up pretty quick.
Forbidden Island - Coop games are great to play with kids. This is the simplest.
Ticket to Ride - Box says 8 and up, and I agree. A must have for any collection. 1910 expansion essential though.
Thebes - Great theme, easy to learn.
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Quantum Jack
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Alot of great options here, especially, hey thats my fish looks great.

I have to say I am inspired by this

Teaching Magic Realm to my 6yo and 8yo daughters

If someone can play magic realm (my personal grail game) with a 6 year old, I can surely teach my kids other great games at unexpectedly young ages.
 
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Driver 8
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Château Roquefort if you can find it.
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Nathanael Robinson
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
Alot of great options here, especially, hey thats my fish looks great.

I have to say I am inspired by this

Teaching Magic Realm to my 6yo and 8yo daughters

If someone can play magic realm (my personal grail game) with a 6 year old, I can surely teach my kids other great games at unexpectedly young ages.


Obviously, you won't play anything for a few years, but when you do, make sure you are taking your cues from your child's interests. You might imagine Magic Realm going over well, but it might not resonate with your child. Conversely, there might be a game out there s/he might love (Twilight Struggle?), but might never get to play, which will make gaming less appealing.
 
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Quantum Jack
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Definitely. I don't plan on pushing games on them that they don't like. The main thing about that session report is to not underestimate a child. Don't rule out a game just because it is hard.

Children will always surprise you if you give them the chance. Restrict them to roll & move games, and thats all they'll know. Give them games where they make decisions, and they will learn about actions and consequences.
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Rob Harper
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Lots of good suggestions there, but with the kid just on its way you might be a little while before you play them.

Not directly answering your question, and not the most exciting of answers, but I think the two things I would try first would be Dominoes and Snails Pace Race. I used these games for my daughter when she was very young (though actually a home-made game based on Snails Pace Race rather than the real deal).

Dominoes actually fits your criteria. You can play in kiddie mode (just trying to match the ends of tiles, whether by number, colour or picture, depending on the set you get), but when the kid gets older you can move towards variants of the game with more skill, like the classic pub game of 5's and 9's. Plus a decent Dominoes set can withstand being put in a child's mouth, which has to be a bonus.

Snails Pace Race isn't really a game, so no depth at all, but has lovely chunky pieces (again these can survive chewing and dribbling) and the "game" is all about learning to take turns, rolling dice, and doing something based on the result. It can be a lot of fun with little'uns.

And just to do a little self-promotion, you might be interested in my blog, Training a Gamer, which chronicles my gaming adventures with my daughter since she was 4.

Good luck with the baby. May he/she bring you much joy and not too much lost sleep!
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Mav
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
Definitely. I don't plan on pushing games on them that they don't like. The main thing about that session report is to not underestimate a child. Don't rule out a game just because it is hard.

Children will always surprise you if you give them the chance. Restrict them to roll & move games, and thats all they'll know. Give them games where they make decisions, and they will learn about actions and consequences.


I find the key is to not flood kids with new ideas, rather than decide about a difficulty level.
 
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Bart R.
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I saw that I forgot to add Bloqs, but that's probably because it's not a game easily had in the USA.
 
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John
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Where's my Cupcake? - no depth, no decisions, but teaches the basic structure of a game and I found it a much more pleasant experience than Chutes and Ladders.

These aren't kids games but work with kids or adults (ages based on when my kids first played them):

Carcassonne 4+ don't play with farmers

Hive 5+

Hey, That's My Fish! 5+

Aquarius - filler or kids game, has rules for very young children.

I wouldn't worry about getting anything yet though!
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Edward
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My five-year-old twins are crazy about Quoridor and can play it against each other unsupervised. They also enjoy Kalah (also unsupervised).
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Ryan Steadman
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Escape: The Curse of the Temple

Although younger children might find the music a little scary.
 
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Robert Bennett
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kswingruber wrote:

Secrets of the Deep

Ok... kind of a wise-guy answer, but it's actually a pretty good game.
There is some strategy to it, and who doesn't love diving DEEP for treasure chests?

My kid sure loved it when he was in the 5-7 age range!



If you can't find this, Key Largo is also about diving for treasure for roughly the same age group. Oh, and +1 for Mancala.
 
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Luke Paruman
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I've picked up Welcome to the dungeon this weekend. My kids enjoy it.

There are 2 ways to win and only about 5 rules. Very easy to learn and setup.

It is billed as a push your luck game but their is a fair amount of strategy involved. Depending if you want to run the dungeon or not.

The Tales & Games series is also good. There's a good story that you can read to very young kids. Then 2 versions of the game, one for a younger and another for an older audience.
 
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Jessie Karpus
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My husband and I found that by the time our child was 4 is when we started "playing games" with our children. For my daughter's 5th birthday we bought her Blockus. We also bough Robot Turtles and she really enjoyed both of those.

Before then we just "dumbed down" the rules of what games we could. Monopoly we just let her roll the dice and move around the board. Who got to Go first, won. Descent, they got to move the pieces across the board and then roll dice to kill the monsters. Ticket to Ride we played without destination cards. Pryamix we just counted the ankhs and they could take the cubes off the base (which you aren't supposed to do).

My husband has walked her through Marvel Dice Masters, Heroscape (the basic game).

Find ways that work for your family. You will know what your child can and cannot handle. Our son who is a year and a half younger than our daughter doesn't like to play games as much. He will quit about half way through, except for Disney's Eye Spy game. Every child is different!

You may be bored out of your mind, but your child will love the game. There are some games that are just awful, but you won't know it until you try to play the game, Robots (in my opinion) and there is a Thomas game that I refuse to play with my kids.

It is something that you will have to figure out as you go along. I would wait and see what interests your child before buying too many games.

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