Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: If you have played Dragonland and Emerald... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
...which would you recommend for a family with children aged 8 and 11?

I am thinking about Christmas gifts for my children, and have already bought Takenoko and Memoir 44 for my 11yo son. (He has and loves Forbidden Island, King of Tokyo, Ticket to Ride: Europe and Machi Koro for example).

My 8yo daughter loves Pyramid, Jaipur, Giro Galoppo, Dixit and Sleeping Queens among others. She is getting a Dixit expansion, and I was also planning on giving her Dragonwood. However, I think she would LOVE a beautiful board game and have come across Emerald or Dragonland. The dragon theme is not important in itself, but both have great looking boards and look fun as far as I can tell.

So my question is to anyone who might have experience of these games, would you recommend either of them above the other, particularly given the above preferences?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
They are both out of print now but I managed to pick up a used copy of emerald a little while back but I just haven't managed to find the time to play yet whistle

However, I had looked at both at the time and emerald kind of won as it was more interactive and a little more interesting in terms of choice of movement rather than just rolling a die and moving accordingly. Plus the fact the dragon might catch you added a little excitement lol! But I suppose that would depend on what you like in a game. I just got the feeling that I would get more years out of that one???

I promised my little one a game of something tomorrow so this would give me a good push to finally sit down and play it so I could let you know how it plays and how my daughter liked it if you think that would be useful lol!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SaggyUK wrote:
However, I had looked at both at the time and emerald kind of won as it was more interactive and a little more interesting in terms of choice of movement rather than just rolling a die and moving accordingly.

I own both, and both are good games for children, but Dragonland is definitely better (and prettier, with the plastic gems). There is much more to it than "rolling a die and moving accordingly".

In fact, it may have more movement choices than Emerald, where you just choose which pawns to move. In Emerald, you have to move an exact number of spaces (equal to the number of pawns on the same space). There is a single path and you move always in the same direction. Also, the dragon's movement is completely determined by the die and the randomness of its attacks can largely influence the game's outcome.

In Dragonland, you can move over a number of different paths, up to the numbers on the dice (not the exact number) or even not to move, and there are various tokens that can be combined with that movement or used on their own. The set collection part is also more interesting.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SaggyUK wrote:


I promised my little one a game of something tomorrow so this would give me a good push to finally sit down and play it so I could let you know how it plays and how my daughter liked it if you think that would be useful lol!



How kind, that would be very helpful indeed!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
GSReis wrote:
SaggyUK wrote:
However, I had looked at both at the time and emerald kind of won as it was more interactive and a little more interesting in terms of choice of movement rather than just rolling a die and moving accordingly.

I own both, and both are good games for children, but Dragonland is definitely better (and prettier, with the plastic gems). There is much more to it than "rolling a die and moving accordingly".

In fact, it may have more movement choices than Emerald, where you just choose which pawns to move. In Emerald, you have to move an exact number of spaces (equal to the number of pawns on the same space). There is a single path and you move always in the same direction. Also, the dragon's movement is completely determined by the die and the randomness of its attacks can largely influence the game's outcome.

In Dragonland, you can move over a number of different paths, up to the numbers on the dice (not the exact number) or even not to move, and there are various tokens that can be combined with that movement or used on their own. The set collection part is also more interesting.


This is very helpful, thank you. I have been leaning slightly towards Emerald , but definitely need to look more closely at Dragonland.

Out of curiosity, would you be able to recommend any other good games with similarly attractive boards and relatively simple game play? (I see that you have a substantial collection!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Adventure Land would be at the top of the list as a great game for families and children, and it does have a beautiful board. Journey to the Center of the Earth, Blue Moon City or Titania may also be good choices.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Hi there, apologies, we did manage to play yesterday but didn't have time to get back online.

Well...hmmm! It was easy and my little one's only six so not sure. It's kind of like incan gold on a board with movement of downfall of pompeii (we play this regularly which is why she grasped this immediately). I believe there are much better games out there to be honest but it may still have it's place as she loved it and we need a couple of simpler one with very short game time (less than half hour) and I get the impression that it would be better with more than two players so will give another go when nana is round!

In terms of attractive, this seems to be different depending on preferences. For example, we have a game called Kodama: The Tree Spirits which is beutiful, as is Celestia and Tokaido but then I have a thing for oriental designs.

A lot of people think Jamaica is really nice and I also like the look of Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) and Steam Park for different reasons

What kind of themes is she into? Are you looking for fantasy type art I'm assuming?

Although I wouldn't say the best game in the world, my absolute favourite when I was her age was Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) which I thought was magical and is still in print lol!

My daughter also likes Adventure Land someone else has mentioned although we only play the basic level so far
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Oh, Legends of Andor is lovely, I'd really love to buy this and love the way the game plays but would never buy it as co-op games flop in my house as we like to be a bit mean but might work although not sure if it is as simple as you were looking for but she should just manage it playing with the rest of you but requires thinking lol
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
So maybe if you want just down right beautiful - then kodama tree spirits.

If she likes the 3d aspects of games like the horse game you mention, then maybe steam park, terror in meeple city or even River Dragons(this is also lovely board with gorgeous wooden kokeshi figures and really simple but fun). If you like being a bit mean then survive, escape from atlantis.

If you want fantasy with strategy then maybe adventure land, if you want a fantasy romp then talisman or for a family challenge, legends of andor :-)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SaggyUK wrote:
Hi there, apologies, we did manage to play yesterday but didn't have time to get back online.

Well...hmmm! It was easy and my little one's only six so not sure. It's kind of like incan gold on a board with movement of downfall of pompeii (we play this regularly which is why she grasped this immediately). I believe there are much better games out there to be honest but it may still have it's place as she loved it and we need a couple of simpler one with very short game time (less than half hour) and I get the impression that it would be better with more than two players so will give another go when nana is round!

In terms of attractive, this seems to be different depending on preferences. For example, we have a game called Kodama: The Tree Spirits which is beutiful, as is Celestia and Tokaido but then I have a thing for oriental designs.

A lot of people think Jamaica is really nice and I also like the look of Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) and Steam Park for different reasons

What kind of themes is she into? Are you looking for fantasy type art I'm assuming?

Although I wouldn't say the best game in the world, my absolute favourite when I was her age was Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) which I thought was magical and is still in print lol!

My daughter also likes Adventure Land someone else has mentioned although we only play the basic level so far


SaggyUK wrote:
Oh, Legends of Andor is lovely, I'd really love to buy this and love the way the game plays but would never buy it as co-op games flop in my house as we like to be a bit mean but might work although not sure if it is as simple as you were looking for but she should just manage it playing with the rest of you but requires thinking lol


SaggyUK wrote:
So maybe if you want just down right beautiful - then kodama tree spirits.

If she likes the 3d aspects of games like the horse game you mention, then maybe steam park, terror in meeple city or even River Dragons(this is also lovely board with gorgeous wooden kokeshi figures and really simple but fun). If you like being a bit mean then survive, escape from atlantis.

If you want fantasy with strategy then maybe adventure land, if you want a fantasy romp then talisman or for a family challenge, legends of andor :-)


Thank you for taking the time to write such thoughtful and extensive replies! I think I will skip Emerald then, good to hear your thoughts on the game play.

I have been thinking about Jamaica for a few years but it seems to get quite mixed reviews. And Celestia and Kodama the Tree Spirits have both been on my radar recently as I love their aesthetics, just not sure about how their play would work in our family (Kodama looks slightly too involved for the 8yo, and not sure how fun Celestia actually is), but I will certainly look at them again. And I was thinking of getting Tokaido when she is a little older, but will look at that again as well. Will also have a look at Steam Park which I haven't considered at all. And all the others...:-)

It's not the fantasy theme necessarily that I think she would like, more the combination of a beautiful board, a tactile experience and relatively simple game play, like Pyramid which we played this evening. Perhaps Adventure Land might be a good idea...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My six-year old handles Broom Service really well. Fantastic game for all gamers.



Sea of Clouds has also gone over really well with my kids and newphews. Cool little pool drafting game. Great components.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Binning
United States
Rollinsville
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
chaelm wrote:
Out of curiosity, would you be able to recommend any other good games with similarly attractive boards and relatively simple game play? (I see that you have a substantial collection!)


I have both, and I agree Dragonland is better. Another game that comes to mind with similar complexity is Magic Hill.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Yes, you are kind of right, celestia and kodama are good for the aesthetics but have their downsides. Celestia has something missing in comparison to similar games but is a short game and great for variety so definately has it's place. Kodama, I so want to love kodama, I love the concept of it and many parts of it but scoring is annoying, as you feel like you are constantly stopping to count again which seems to take you away from getting lost in the building of the tree and this is why it doesn't come out regularly - I've actually considered house ruling this one and streamlining it when I have the time to think about it lol. I don't think she'd have a problem with this one to be honest and it contains sprout cards for the younger ones to make the objectives easier for them.

Jamaica, my mum and daughter both love this one, me not as much, it's good to be fair but doesn't flow as well as some games.

If you were happy to get second hand games and attractiveness and simple game play is most important aspect, one game I've been trying to get my hands on just because the board is so lovely and would feel like exploring is Return of the Heroes but I imagine this wouldn't live up to my expectations either lol!

It's so hard trying to find the perfect games isn't it as often something missing and it's always the least expected that end up being our favourites. Ours are little prince make me a planet (fabulous short game), downfall of pompeii and carcassonne over hill and dale.


I think I'm just understanding the tactile and beautiful thing - I'll have a think and will let you know if anything pops up

The carcassonne one above might fit actually

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
And I wouldsay, adventureland is not tactile, karuba from same maker is more tactile
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Haha, I've thought about it! Sorry I have naff all else to do tonight as too ill to move or sleep lol!

Depending on the types of games you play, out of the ones I mentioned and for simple, tactile and attractive components and gameplay, Iwould vote these best options for me:

very interactive:
Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - beautiful components, very tactile and simple.... but a little bit of eating other's meeples although this is made easier to swallow by the fact you have multiple meeples so never feels that bad and is a lot of fun!

Medium interaction:
Steam Park - very attractive, interesting mechanics and tactile.
Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale - very sunny and attractive with cute little animals everywhere, pleasure to play. no meaness unless you really go out of your way lol
River Dragons - first lot of images on listing are for older version but latest edition is beautiful. Simple and fun. No meaness.

No or low interaction:
Karuba- lovely short puzzle type game. mum and daughter love it, I would prefer at least some interaction.
Takenoko - this would work but I see you're giving it to your older one, unless you have something else in mind and swap lol! Don't know how this plays myself though but seems tactile and attractive
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SaggyUK wrote:
Haha, I've thought about it! Sorry I have naff all else to do tonight as too ill to move or sleep lol!

Depending on the types of games you play, out of the ones I mentioned and for simple, tactile and attractive components and gameplay, Iwould vote these best options for me:

very interactive:
Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - beautiful components, very tactile and simple.... but a little bit of eating other's meeples although this is made easier to swallow by the fact you have multiple meeples so never feels that bad and is a lot of fun!

Medium interaction:
Steam Park - very attractive, interesting mechanics and tactile.
Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale - very sunny and attractive with cute little animals everywhere, pleasure to play. no meaness unless you really go out of your way lol
River Dragons - first lot of images on listing are for older version but latest edition is beautiful. Simple and fun. No meaness.

No or low interaction:
Karuba- lovely short puzzle type game. mum and daughter love it, I would prefer at least some interaction.
Takenoko - this would work but I see you're giving it to your older one, unless you have something else in mind and swap lol! Don't know how this plays myself though but seems tactile and attractive


Thank you again! Am putting Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale on my wish list for the future, and Karuba is actually part of an order I've already placed, just not sure whether the puzzly aspect will appeal to her as much as to the rest of us... (And I'm glad to hear that you enjoy The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet, I have that stashed away but am saving it for her brother's next birthday, as the book is so special to him.) Difficult to find the right balance! I think that the thing is that most of the new games we are introducing now are slightly outside her comfort zone, as her older brother is more strategically minded, so I want to make sure that she gets at least one game that she has an equal chance of winning and enjoying... She is more of a tactical player than a planner, and even River Dragons, although simple, looks as though planning ahead is key..

I am not sure why I have never been tempted by Survive: Escape from Atlantis! despite the consistently enthusiastic recommendations on here. I have been considering The Downfall of Pompeii though, and I take it that you prefer this over Survive?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Most of the games I've mentioned are all pretty tactical over strategic or with enough luck to balance any lack of strategy most of the time as we've been playing many of them since she was five so was necessary for her to win sometimes or at least have a chance of winning. Most like survive and river dragons are intuitive enough as well. There was a couple we've only just started playing like jamaica and steam park so I haven't played enough times yet to know for sure but the rest should be fine.

She trashed me and my mum at river dragons the other day and we were really trying and are fully grown adults lol! Although you have to pre programme your five movements, they are taken one by one in turn so other people's actions mess your strategy up so the luck side steps in so I don't think this would be a major problem. For example, you can programme your guy to jump but if the person before you moves out of the way before your turn comes round and you have no one to jump over, you end up falling in the water and having to go back to your starting village. The actions are all simple to understand too and my daughter is far from being a long-term planner yet lol!

Yes, we like survive and many of my grown up non gamey friends prefer this but we prefer pompeii but it just isn't very attractive lol!! My daughter's not so enamoured by the first phase where you populate the city butshe loves the second phase where you're placing lava tiles so much she is more than happy to do the first. She loves this game but loves chucking meeples in the volcano most lol! There's enough luck in this too as depends a little on what cards and tiles you draw

Just in case you think it might work, I've just picked up Dream Home for her christmas present and is quite attractive and simple game play - maybe this could be an option?

Another of our favourites is Tales & Games: The Hare & the Tortoise which is a pretty good game but again, not that pretty but solid components and I suppose tactile to some degree?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlotta
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a quick update to say that I decided to go for Survive: Escape from Atlantis!! Thanks for very helpful advice!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.