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Subject: Gaming with children aged 8 to 11 - Careers rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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This review is part of my series of reviews of how games have worked with my children, now aged 8 to 12. For the full list see: My children's game reviews - children aged between 2 and 13

Fun Components:

Careers doesn't have much in the way of fun components. The places they go are attractively named, and the events that happen, but the components are just dice, pieces, cards and a board in a square. The real-world setting appeals, but it's not a game where the components are going to draw them in from the start.

Simplicity of rules:

As a mass market game you'd expect the rules to be fairly simple, and indeed they are - it's a roll and move game, with various choices to make along the way. There are no problems for children as young as 8, and indeed younger children could play, although I found that when they were younger the children didn't enjoy the game - I think it is aimed at slightly older children, and there are other more suitable roll and moves for younger ones.

Randomness:

It's a roll and move, so there is certainly randomness, but this game has always been a popular family game with my gamer family because there are still decisions to make - from the very start when you choose your end-game condition, to in the game when you have choices about whether or not to use your opportunity cards, whether to play your experience cards, and how long to wait in park bench before you give up and pay!! There's no huge strategy in there, but enough decisions that you feel like you're controlling your destiny, while enough luck that everyone in the family stands a chance of winning. If you're wanting a family game that everyone can join in on an equal footing, then this is right for you.

Did the children enjoy it?

When I introduced it to the children when they were younger they played it, but never requested it again. However, when I tried it this Christmas my 8 year old took an instant liking to it, and it's been requested at nearly every games session since. It has the added advantage of being one of my childhood family games, so it has also come out with grandparents - and it's always a bonus when they can enjoy a game with grandparents where everyone is on an equal footing (far too often my parents are having to learn a new game my children are very familiar with, and although they're gamers, they do still take a little time to learn new games and don't like being at a constant disadvantage!).

And how is it from the adult's point of view?

I'm actually really enjoying revisiting this game with my own children. It was a family favourite when I was a child, coming out regularly at family gatherings, as well as just with my sister, and hence I have a huge nostalgia for it, but also as an adult I bought myself a copy and it is one I've never stopped playing, pulling it out with my husband and other friends from time to time. It's great to now have a chance to play it with my children and see them enjoying it, as well as playing it again with my parents and my children, and seeing the three generations enjoying it together, as I did with my own grandparents (my parents' copy is one that one of them had as a child and took with them when they left home - I don't know which parent, as both had it as children and they don't know themselves which one it belonged to!). There aren't many games that stand the test of time well enough to still be enjoyed two generations later!
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Brent Pollock
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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I think my dad, sister and I logged the most of our gaming time on Careers when we were in elementary/Jr High. I made sure to chase down a copy of the reprint.
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