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Subject: First time my daughter played a "Hard" game and she LOVED it! rss

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Jeff Knapp
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Pennsylvania
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My daughter already loves board games, and she just turned five on Christmas Eve (2017). Because I have a hard time getting my wife to play games, I decided to start ramping my daughter up to harder games as soon as I can - hey, having extra gamers in the same house can't possibly be a bad thing, right?!

So I looked for games that required some extra thinking and/or strategy. Outfoxed still has the "luck" element of a dice roll (I was having some post-Robinson-Crusoe jitters watching Dice Tower reviews...) but seeing how easy it was to adjust the difficulty (allow extra re-rolls, fox moves less spaces, etc) I decided to go for it.

On Christmas Day (it was a gift from Santa) my daughter and I played our first game while dinner was cooking. I got a little nervous at first - she had this uncomfortable look on her face, seeing the unfamiliar artwork. She's used to licensed games like Paw-Patrol Candy Land. But once I explained the rules and added some dramatic sound effects for "finding the BAD GUY!" and "before the fox falls down the hole!", she was hooked.

A few turns in and my daughter was completely engaged. I was very relaxed with the rules - basically allowed nearly-infinite rerolls, only moved the fox 2 spaces, and even then only once. I wanted her to grasp the concept of the deduction process and how to determine who is "safe" and who's a suspect. It was a bit of a struggle because she couldn't quite understand the two-sided aspect of the clues - that one pile contained artifacts the thief DIDN'T have, and thus if a suspect had one of those items, they were cleared. Ultimately, I decided to keep items that the thief DID have on the board, and items they didn't were removed from play. Going forward, I might only start clearing suspects once we find "confirmed" clues, and wait until she reaches the understanding that non-matching items can clear suspects on her own.

In the end, Ingrid was caught red handed, and my daughter shouted with glee to her mother in the other room - "We got the bad guy!!! Her name matched this card here! Look! LOOK!!"

It's only a matter of time until we play as Castaways, building a massive fire before the boat sales by...
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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My grandkids love this one too. We play with the fox moving 4 spaces at a time and nearly always win, but the fox still has some chance at that level. The fox winning is still rare enough that they don't mind when it happens.

When playing with just the older ones we move the fox 5 for a tougher game. You can still win that way, but the detectives are no longer heavily favored and that makes it more exciting.
 
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Jeff Knapp
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We actually finally lost a (3-player) game last week, which was quite surprising. Several turns resulted in bad luck, and it honestly frustrated me. Going three turns without getting to do something is... ...well, it's like STARTING a game of "Sorry". However, our daughter took it in stride and we quickly set up for a fresh play.
 
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