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Subject: Games that cross language barriers? rss

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Andrew Torrens
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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Hi everyone,

My sis-in-law and her son are coming to visit from Russia and will be staying with us. They speak virtually zero English (though the son took English in high school).

My wife is able to translate, but she's relatively new to board games, so wouldn't be able to simply explain rules to them directly rather than having to translate my explanation.

I'm looking for games that are accessible to new gamers, are not dependant on text (or at least have minimal text), and ideally support four players. Nothing against Blokus, but I'm looking for some variety.

I vaguely remember there being a relevant category or mechanism, but can't seem to find it.

Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations!
 
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Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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This is pretty much every true abstract game.

Also, numeric games like No Thanks would work.
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Rob Hart
United States
Arizona
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Bughouse Chess is a ridiculously fun four-player chess variant (if they know how to play chess), though that might not be what you mean.

Ticket to Ride: Europe is language-independent and simple. So is Splendor.
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Germany
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Istanbul is language independent. All cards and board tiles have action symbols instead of text. Plays well with four players.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Sequence is just playing cards and matching spots on the board with each corresponding space.
 
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Andrew Torrens
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I had a chance during my lunch break to skim through my collection, and found a number of games that could work, but I might just HAVE to buy a new game for the occasion. I'm sure you all understand. So please keep the suggestions coming!

I also found out that one of my wife's favourite games, Isla Dorada, has a Russian reference sheet for the cards (the cards just have an image and name; the explanation of card effects are found on the reference sheet)

Other options include games like Pit or Tokaido.

Abstract games are fine, but my personal preference is for games that carry a solid theme.

It'd be really cool if there was a game we could play that required communication but relied on the non-verbal kind...

Edit: Thank you all for your suggestions, and please keep them coming!
 
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Michael Coniff
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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Tsuro, Pit, and Roll for it all immediately come to mind.

Splendor is also a good choice, so +1 to whoever mentioned that.
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f h
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Dixit is the first one that comes to mind.
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
Germany
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Las Vegas


Splendor


Stone Age


Sushi Go!


Takenoko


Qwirkle


Ticket to Ride
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Deb Wentworth
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Celestia is a new game that is fun, easy, and has no text. And good for all ages.
 
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Guillaume Pages
United Kingdom
Oxford
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There are many language independent games, but not all are foreign players-friendly.

You need minimal rules to explain.

So a game like Tsuro is a good choice.
I would also recommend Incan Gold. Minimal rules to assimilate.

Splendor is fine, but is not terribly exciting as a game.

 
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Alexander Churchman
Canada
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Jamaica
Small World

Both are light family games that can be a lot of fun; with no in game text I believe.
 
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Derek H
South Africa
Pretoria
Gauteng
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Geosphere wrote:
Also, numeric games like No Thanks would work.

Or 6 nimmt! or Bohnanza (except you need to talk to make trades in the latter...)
 
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Arthur Wohlwill
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10 days in Asia?
 
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Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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Cacao
Las Vegas
 
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Kyle
Canada
Toronto
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Show me something that beats a natural 20 and I'll show you hateful lies.
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fh13 wrote:
Dixit is the first one that comes to mind.


Seeing as that game is match the picture given the word clue from other players, that might just be one of the worst recommendations ever for a mixed language group.

Is there a flag for language independent games? Games have a 'language dependence section' to them.

For sale would be a good one, certainly.
 
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Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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Gone swimming
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Splendor is a good language independant game. Also I would go for games like
Istanbul
Colosseum
Vikings
Qwirkle
Stone Age

Easy to learn games with no written language on the bits and cards to the game.
 
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