Chun Ping
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Hi guys!

I'm currently in a charity organisation where we are doing a game tour to teens who are under "beyond parental control" and "Child Protection Order" at boy's home. We are planning to donate some games to them, and also teach them how to play, so that they can have fun and learn to socialise with other people in a healthy way. These games are meant for them to play with each other during the one hour they have in between meals and rest time.

For these, i would like to ask all the fellow gamers to recommend some suitable games. I have some in mind, but i think hearing from you all is the best! The are some restrictions and quality that we are looking for in these games:

1) Positive values in the theme, ie, no chaos in the old world.
2) Short play time within one hour.
3) Easy to learn. as we are donating the game to them to play in their free time, they should be able to pick the game up easily. we only have one session to teach some game to them.
4) ideally should not have too many components. In a boys home setting, it's very easy to have missing pieces. so things like agricola will be nightmare
5) encourage positive interaction. this is very important as our aim is to help them socialise with each other.
6) Fun. this is particularly aiming at boys and girls aged 11-17
7) Other things to consider: Clear rule book, compact storage space, durable components.

So please give me recommendation for suitable games. It'll be useful if you can tell be what kind of good qualities the game can help to instill, as well as what are potential points to consider for the game. Would appreciate if you can also rate the fun factor.

thanks alot in advance!

OH, PnP will be very good too. We are tight on budget and cost is an important factor. Free PnP such as space junkyard and micropul are some prime games I'm looking at currently.
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Yes, cooperative games sound like they might be good:

Pandemic
Shadows over Camelot
 
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kisnney wrote:
Coloretto
This is a little cutthroat, isn't it? I only played once many years ago.
 
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Hi
Good luck with your project, it should hopefully prove worthwhile. I work in hostel accommodation for disadvantaged young people, and have had a few opportunities to try out boardgames at work. Your criteria are very well suited to the situation - I think the following games fit that criteria and have gone down very well in my experience :

Blokus - attractive and durable components, simple but very involving game play.
Portobello Market - although the theme isn't up to much, as an abstract with tactile and attractive components, very easy game to grasp, very rewarding play.
PitchCar - really goes down well
For Sale - another game that's really easy to grasp, and very enjoyable to play.

I haven't had much success with Pandemic, but it's a game I'd still be prepared to try out in the right circumstances. I think the problem lies in all the 'administrative' tasks involved in play - a problem which can be side-stepped by someone 'GMing' the game, maybe. I think one has to be aware that there's sometimes even more room for personality conflict in a cooperative game, so that games which are competitive without being aggressive are perhaps a better better with the 'troubled teen' market.
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I work in a residential facility that works with troubled youth, and I use board games a lot. Co-op games are typically best, but I also "transform" games that normally not co-op, into one and have everyone on a team against myself. That or we play a "epic" game that takes all day.

We tend to play (a sort of co-op) BattleTech a lot, but of course that's pretty expensive, and not small to store.

How about Axis & Allies: 1942? It seems to get people interested in history, while thinking long term and has a few different aspects that can be learned, like spending money, thinking ahead, value, and so om. Pretty cheap too.
The way I try to frame competitive games for my boys is sportsmanship. If you're going to play something that people fight against each other, you could have a little speech about the importance of being a good sport.
Never played the game, but I know a bit about it.
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Incan Gold with the caveat that would buy poker chips to have on hand to replace the treasures.

The Adventurers. It is a push your luck game that can be quite entertaining.

Carcassone. A simple game but easy to play and to teach.

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Thanks for the replies! schkff, you made a good point about competition. So far in my scouting of the games, I've been avoiding games with conflicts. But with your comment, i think i'll look deeper into whether the conflict created is healthy and competitive. That'll open up more choices for me.

As for war games such as axis and allies, personally i agree that it is more fun and attractive theme for troubled teens. I mean, if i were them, i would be more interested in blowing things up than to play let say ingenious? Only worry we have is that it encourage their violent tendency. FaydeShift, do you have experience to share in this aspect? does simple war game helps with them (i'm thinking nexus ops, war of the ring, axis and allies and the kind)?

Keep the suggestion coming, it's a great deal of help!
 
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Pitchcar has worked well with all of the boys I've introduced it to. I teach 6th grade and they really enjoy playing it. The girls not so much.
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Pit or Bohnanza are games that are loud, require trading, consist mainly of just a deck of cards, and are easy to teach.

Oh, and unlike PitchCar, these card games are cheap. You should spend no more than $20 a game, and they each play 3-7 players.
 
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cpf86 wrote:
Thanks for the replies! schkff, you made a good point about competition. So far in my scouting of the games, I've been avoiding games with conflicts. But with your comment, i think i'll look deeper into whether the conflict created is healthy and competitive. That'll open up more choices for me.


Many of the residents are likely to have a form of attention deficit disorder (ADD) that aggravates their potential to learn and play things with lots of details.

I recommend starting with games with simple rules, but enough challenge to invite repeat playings.

Of the common games, decks of playing cards, chess sets, and sets of dominoes are great starts. The residents recognize them, and can either introduce fellow residents to the games they know, or learn new games from supervisors.

Then, I'd try introducing abstract games such as Hive, Ingenious, Blokus, TransAmerica, and Othello. Also, card games like 6 Nimmt (or its clones), Rage, or Fluxx,

You might also try Carcassonne or Ticket To Ride.


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Many have already stated Pandemic as a cooperative game. It's a great teamwork game. It can be played in the 1 hour timeframe that you mentioned, is also one of the least expensive good games, and has a small box. Players also learn geography while they play. Pandemic = 4 players + 1 more I believe with expansion.

A couple games that others have not mentioned might include Hacienda and Oregon. They have competition involved, but not the kind that's likely to upset kids with each other. They are both light, easy to learn games that can play in around 60-75 minutes. Hacienda has a decent number of cardboard counters though. Both boxes are reasonably small and both games are not very expensive. Hacienda = 5 players and Oregon = 4.

The cardboard and wooden counters of these 3 games are pretty solid, but depending on how responsible the kids are, I'm not sure how well the cards will hold up over time if they don't have protective sleeves.

Someone mentioned the card game Pit. Games don't get much easier to learn than that. If there is one game that is never short on interaction, it is this one. This game is funny even when you lose. Pit is a quick fix that can be played under any time constraint.

Someone also mentioned Carcasonne. This would be a good choice that meets most all of your criteria.

If the playing time was 1:30-1:45, there would be a lot more constructive games to mention (Ticket to Ride, Thurn & Taxis), but a playing time of 60 minutes reduces the options.

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I'll third Carcassonne. It's awesome, easily stored, no big deal if a piece or two is missing, zero violence, and the rules are very easy to wrap your head around.

Cluzzle is interactive, friendly, creative, and simple. The only downside is that the clay that comes with it must be replaced. I've been using play-doh instead, and THAT must also be replaced every few months. I wish I knew what the Cranium WOW clay was made out of, because that stuff never dies. We typically use our Cranium Wow clay for Cluzzle, so much so that I've started to box the two together and treat it as one game unit when I'm schlepping them around. Although the game is technically competitive, the interest in people's guesses and schedules tend to supersede the competition going on underneath. Note that ideally you want six people playing this game. It's easy to force another player or two into the game, but it really suffers if you get it down to three.

Please note that Cranium Wow, a wonderful game, does NOT play in under an hour, and although the team play is great, I'd hesitate before springing it on a group of guys who aren't getting along. Triple that reservation if any of them are gloomy gusses.
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Perhaps Ubongo, Transamerica (or Transeuropa), Taluva or Lost Cities the Boardgame might work well for the time frame and lower cost you are looking for.
 
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Revival of the thread.

Some of the recommendations given i've never gave it a thought, but after looking at their respective page, some are indeed suitable! thanks for help out. Any one with any more recommendation? I'm all ears!
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Some others I could suggest are

Fairy Tale (card game) there is a chance of some trouble in that part of the game is when you flip over someone elses card thus losing them points.

Dominion (card game) Can tailor the game so there is no competition between players and with all the decks losing one deck won't ruin the game.

(can't make a list without plugging my favorite game)

Tales of the Arabian Night. Don't think it fits all of your criteria but the game is a lot of fun and helps kids build reading skills.
 
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cpf86 wrote:
Hi guys!

I'm currently in a charity organisation where we are doing a game tour to teens who are under "beyond parental control" and "Child Protection Order" at boy's home. We are planning to donate some games to them, and also teach them how to play, so that they can have fun and learn to socialise with other people in a healthy way. These games are meant for them to play with each other during the one hour they have in between meals and rest time.

For these, i would like to ask all the fellow gamers to recommend some suitable games. I have some in mind, but i think hearing from you all is the best! The are some restrictions and quality that we are looking for in these games:

1) Positive values in the theme, ie, no chaos in the old world.
2) Short play time within one hour.
3) Easy to learn. as we are donating the game to them to play in their free time, they should be able to pick the game up easily. we only have one session to teach some game to them.
4) ideally should not have too many components. In a boys home setting, it's very easy to have missing pieces. so things like agricola will be nightmare
5) encourage positive interaction. this is very important as our aim is to help them socialise with each other.
6) Fun. this is particularly aiming at boys and girls aged 11-17
7) Other things to consider: Clear rule book, compact storage space, durable components.

So please give me recommendation for suitable games. It'll be useful if you can tell be what kind of good qualities the game can help to instill, as well as what are potential points to consider for the game. Would appreciate if you can also rate the fun factor.

thanks alot in advance!

OH, PnP will be very good too. We are tight on budget and cost is an important factor. Free PnP such as space junkyard and micropul are some prime games I'm looking at currently.


Having watched "Charm School" and "real world" and "Making the band" and all these other shows where they take misfits and put them together in a situation, I would think pandemic would be one of the worst possible games you could pick for this situation.

...or maybe the best.
 
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One hour game?? Too short you need at least 3 hours to instill or to teach these troubled boys a thing or two about some virtues such as fairness, critical thinking and fellowship.
 
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Hmm. I think you need to do some research on whether games with war and conflict should necessarily be disqualified. On one hand I could see Axis & Allies as having some team building. You are not simply trying to win on your own, cooperating with your teammate is important. It will foster some natural interest in history as well. It deserves a second consideration. I mistook you for being in Poland due to your flag, so I would tink there is no special sensitivity about the subject matter.
 
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My name is Watt wrote:
One hour game?? Too short you need at least 3 hours to instill or to teach these troubled boys a thing or two about some virtues such as fairness, critical thinking and fellowship.


Ummmm, they're not going to be playing one game for one hour and then stop and never play again. Lots of little games could throw up far more varied interactions and teach the children far more than a single three hour epic.
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Some thoughts....

Saboteur
you have turns at stopping people so players have to be saboteurs and other times work together.

The Haunting House
what is good about this game is it starts competitively but most games I've played end up co-operatively (as you can't get out of the house). Nice theme, great mechanics, but not a great game as the ability to move is restricted by the random round forcing people to work together Not expensive. You could introduce it with you have half an hour to get someone out to win or you all lose.

yes to Bohnanza

Carcassonne
Settlers of Catan
Alhambra

People will hate me for suggesting this but roll and move games are worth looking at. Clue (Cluedo) might be good for them, deduction, elements of luck, simple mechanics not aggressive.





 
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Derek Carver
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There is, of course, a great deal of difference between donating a game and taking a game along and teaching/playing it.

For 12 years I was a volunteer at an establishment dealing not with troubled teenagers but with severely handicapped late teenagers, so there is a difference. The aim was to get them actively participating in something as opposed to TV watching.

In my case the game had not to be complicated but I wanted games that involved decisions and discussion within a team. One that was very popular and involved no equipment apart from a few dice was the dice game DIX MILLE. And I found the whole thing could be give more ongoing excitement if a League was established.

But, as I mentioned, all this needed to be led - relying on self-motivation wasn't enough.
 
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I think Unnamed Object or Diamant (effectivly the same game) would be a really good bet.

Relativly short

Simple rules

An element of competition, (you want to leave the mine at a different time from everyone else) but it is not directed negativly agains others

An element of risk evaluation, (the longer you stay in the higher your potential reward but the greater chance that you will get nothing, or if you leave early and are on your own you may be able to clean up)


It worked well with my nephew when he was about 8 and had issues over not winning. While he could claim it was "not fair" he couldn't really blame anyone else especially as often it was his greed the led him to wait too long before leaving and end up getting nothing
 
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Thanks all for the contribution, please keep them coming! =D

My name is Watt wrote:
One hour game?? Too short you need at least 3 hours to instill or to teach these troubled boys a thing or two about some virtues such as fairness, critical thinking and fellowship.


Currently we are actually going down for one 3 hour session to teach interested kids various games that we are donating to them. Afterwards, the games will be left in the common area of the teen's home, free for any of them to play during their free time. and this usually means about 1 hour or so, after their meal, hence the one hour restriction on the game. It's ok to have one or 2 games that is slightly over 1 hour, but that means it wont hit the table as often. and it must be easy enough for them to learn it themselves, since we wont be there to teach them.

ralpher wrote:
Hmm. I think you need to do some research on whether games with war and conflict should necessarily be disqualified. On one hand I could see Axis & Allies as having some team building. You are not simply trying to win on your own, cooperating with your teammate is important. It will foster some natural interest in history as well. It deserves a second consideration. I mistook you for being in Poland due to your flag, so I would tink there is no special sensitivity about the subject matter.


I think i'm seriously reconsidering this. It seems to me after some thoughts that light wargames may not actually encourage them to be violent and kill each other. if this restriction is lifted, is there any game that play within reasonable time and is not hard to learn? 2 de mayo comes to my mind, but i've only seen it played once. Not sure if it's a good thing for this purpose.

another request: can I start a discussion on whether wargames are suitable for these troubled teens? Our worry is that it encourage war, violence, backstabbing and aggression. what would you guys say? is there any one with experience about troubled teens learning such war games? thanks!
 
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