First Game: Hi Ho! Cherry-O
I bought this game a while back for really cheap, before we had a lot of games for the kids to play. Surprisingly, my kids both really enjoy this game. I, on the other hand, really do not care for it. Basically, the idea is to collect all 10 cherries off your tree. You do this by spinning a spinner on your turn and doing what you are told. There are four good spaces (take one, two, three, or four cherries) and three bad spaces (bird, dog, and spill). We play that the bird is a loss of one, the dog a loss of two, and the spill is the loss of all of your cherries. As you can no doubt guess, this distribution of results can lead to some very long games.
In our first game, Grace went first and jumped out to an early lead. On my first turn, I rolled a three. Unfortunately, on my second turn, a spilled all of cherries on the ground. Fortunately, my pain would not last long, as Grace would get her 10 within the next 2 spins. Wow, four turns. That must be a record. The second game was not nearly as quick. We both started off collecting cherries. However, in short order, we were both forced to lose cherries. For several turns, Grace sat with an empty basket spinning negative events. I, on the other hand, was slowly racking up cherries one or two at a time. That is, until I hit my own spillage. At this point, Grace's luck (and consequently mine) took a turn for the better. She managed to get all of her cherries in her bucket over the next several turns with only a single sparrow cherry-picking her crop.
Grace -- 2 wins
This game is pretty mindless. Still, my children want to play it from time to time. As a good father, I generally indulge them. Sometimes, though, I will attempt to divert them with something else. That was not the case today. As a nod to the importance of theme to a game, Grace asked me how the cherries got back on the tree after you spilled them from your bucket. Tough question, huh? My answer was that we were picking some others that had grown on the tree. Not entirely satisfying but it served to distract her from thinking too much about this game. Our total playing time was about 20 minutes.