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Subject: recommendations for three 8-9yo players rss

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Pelle Nilsson
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Looking for some good three-player games that my 9yo and two of his friends (9yo and 8yo) can play. Something reasonably ameritrashy and action-focused, not too childish.

Just a few days ago they suddenly discovered boardgames and have been playing Goblin Slayer and Cube Quest all on their own initiative and without much help from adults (I stepped in to explain a few rules they got wrong). But both those games are for just two players and since those three hang out a lot (almost every day after school and on weekends) much of the time one of them has been just watching and waiting for the others to complete a game.

Ideally it would be something very quick (short attention-spans...) and probably somewhat violent (direct conflict). I know at least two of them have played Risk, but that game is much too long that it would be a good choice.

Oh, also they are (as expected) fairly quick to start argue about things and get upset when all three do something together, so some games designed for three players might be a bit risky. Direct player-conflict is good, but if two of them can gang up on the third or if there is just too much opportunity to be mean to other players that is not going to end well at all. A tricky requirement, I know.

Something like Goblin Slayer, that still plays in at most 15 minutes, that they can keep track of all the rules easily, but for three. And it might help with some more replayability as well, because I doubt they will keep playing that game for many more days before they get bored with the same same everything in the same small scenario every time.

EDIT: Also they do not read any English, only Swedish.

EDIT: And I think something with good toys, like moving around miniatures (or paper-standees at least) on a map and doing things (or flicking disks/dice) will work better than pure card or dice games.
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Charlotta
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My son (now 11,5) and his friends have loved playing both King of Tokyo and Forbidden Island since around that age. He would strongly recommend both! (He loves lots of games, but these are the two that he pulls out with friends.) Perhaps Forbidden Island wouldn't fulfil the violence requirement though...
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Philip O'Brien
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Here are a few that come to mind:

King of Tokyo
Terror in Meeple City
Small World
GUBS
Star Realms

I have only played the last one mentioned with my 9yo son. Some of the other are waiting to be played in the future. A consequence of having too many games.

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Charlotta
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Also, what about Zombie Dice?
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Pelle Nilsson
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chaelm wrote:
My son (now 11,5) and his friends have loved playing both King of Tokyo and Forbidden Island since around that age. He would strongly recommend both! (He loves lots of games, but these are the two that he pulls out with friends.) Perhaps Forbidden Island wouldn't fulfil the violence requirement though...


Should have thought of King of Tokyo! I only played New York, but I think Tokyo is even simpler? Does it have the upgrade cards? But I guess it can be played without them if they are too complex (or only in English)?

Violence might be a bad requirement, but some kind of action and adventure and heavy theme is definitely a must for those three kids. I can not imagine them playing an abstract game or something about building or gardening or something. Possibly some kind of race might work, like a simple car-game or something. Hm, I might have to finally ask a friend of mine to give me back my Ave Caesar that he borrowed from me about 25 years ago because that game might work if it is as simple and fun as I remember it.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Lucky Phil wrote:
Here are a few that come to mind:

King of Tokyo
Terror in Meeple City
Small World
GUBS
Star Realms

I have only played the last one mentioned with my 9yo son. Some of the other are waiting to be played in the future. A consequence of having too many games.



A second vote for King of Tokyo noted.

I have played Star Realms with my 9yo several times and he does enjoy it, but none of them can read English (I totally forgot to mention that important requirement!) so without an adult present to explain each card as they come up in the trade row it will not be easy to play. Actually even reading English might not be enough because some of the effects can be pretty difficult to fully understand.

Will look at the other games. Small World might be a bit too long, and some of the races would be too complicated for them (I assume, because they are too complicated for me and I keep forgetting how many are supposed to work).
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Pelle Nilsson
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chaelm wrote:
Also, what about Zombie Dice?


Not confident it is something they would enjoy playing many times (not that I have tried it myself). Just rolling dice and collecting sets or whatever sound a bit underwhelming compared to the other games mentioned here. Zombies is a great idea though. Some simple game where they can move around on a map and decapitate hordes of the living dead (in some cute, reasonably child-safe, manner) would most likely make them very happy.
 
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Casey W

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Flick 'em Up!
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Marcel Stipetic
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It's great to hear kids getting into board games. Mine are 8 and 12 (but girls), and as big fans of The Hobbit and LOTR, they have a blast playing Love Letter: The Hobbit. This is a very quick game (especially if you don't score the points). It might add a bit of variety, and it's cheap (and it doesn't take long to memorize what the cards do if they don't read English; you'd have to provide a quick translation). They played Carcassonne last night for the first time and loved it. There's a bit of a competitive element to it, and it's easy to learn and quick to play. They also like to play Evolution: The Beginning, which plays well at 3 players. Forbidden Island, as suggested, is a great cooperative game, which might be a nice change of pace to the combat and competition. You might also look into something like Takenoko. All are pretty much language independent.
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Mr Osterman
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Poisonguy wrote:
They also like to play Evolution: The Beginning, which plays well at 3 players.


I demo'd a game of base Evolution at Gencon to a group of 4 10 yearolds and one mom (not related). It was awesome to watch. Most of the boys had a decent lay of the rules and really got into it, though they did sort of miss out on the "big strategy" and had the fun of trying to out-carnivore each other.

They had a blast, that much I can say.

Beginings is a pared back version and much easier to keep all the rules straight with just as much "Take that" as the base game.
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SIMON GERRING
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Hi Pelle, think about Scrooge The Board Game on Kickstarter now. It's a fiendishly funny game, but if you keep in all the cards the board can be mean so there is a lot of fun and laughter! Outside of that Risk skirmish is an option, if your kids like Risk.
Simon
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Dipanshu Dutta
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Board games for three 8-9yo players
I would like to suggest a math board game "Pet me" https://logicroots.com/math-games/pet-me/. Pet Me is a division board game for 8 years and above. It is a brightly illustrated board game with pets and all about taking care of pets. Kids love it as they are attracted to the gameplay and practice division.
 
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