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Subject: Suggestions for an older player. No cartoons, no kid themes, must be simple. rss

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Cathleen Feduke
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An older gentleman came to my store today looking to buy something. I support his store; he wanted to support mine. He thinks "You can't beat Upwords. That game is the best!" Ooof. He wanted a word game. I tried Unspeakable Words - it being almost the only only word-centric game in my store. I tried Apples to Apples - he's heard of it and didn't like it (or just didn't like the name). Once Upon a Time and Fairy Tale were too kiddish. We moved on to math and/or card games, then anything else. All were too kiddish based on the cover art or the idea did not appeal to him: Pack & Stack, Poison, Guillotine, Black Friday (possibly blew his mind here and scaled it way back), Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Sumeria, Revolution!, Infinite City, Pacific Typhoon and every simple game I could find that I could explain quickly.

Nothing appealed to him. He ended up with Unspeakable Words because he wanted to support me. I'll buy it back from him when I visit his store because I'm pretty convinced he'll hate it and it's not in my gaming library yet. Any ideas for a simple game for a 70+ year old. The cover art cannot contain cartoons. Dexterity games are also out.
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Hi Cathleen,
Did you try Carcassonne?
I read a review today (as a geek-mod), about how some young kids taught their grandma (in her 80's) to play, and she loved it because it felt like building a puzzle.
I am surprised that he didn't like Catan. Many of the elderly ones I've played with have enjoyed it. BUT, I must say, explanations didn't cut it.
It's a lot to take in, going into a boardgame store, especially if your most recent boardgame purchase was Scrabble.
Another one that he might like, that I found entertaining, and reminiscent of Scrabble was Quiddler.
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My dad likes 10 Days in the USA and Qwirkle Cubes.
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It seems like he doesn't like theme at all. So any abstract or knizia game should do the trick
 
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Kurt Weihs
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Big Kat
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Maybe a simple, but interesting abstract game like Quoridor
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lisa smith
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Typo is what you are looking for I think based on my experence.
 
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Judy Krauss
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GameVaultVirginia wrote:
An older gentleman came to my store today looking to buy something. I support his store; he wanted to support mine. He thinks "You can't beat Upwords. That game is the best!"

Scrabble or one of the many variants of Scrabble. Or BuyWord.
 
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Brian Schroth
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If he likes word games, I'd suggest Prolix as a great unique member of the genre.
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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bigkat wrote:
Maybe a simple, but interesting abstract game like Quoridor

This the exact game I was about to suggest.
 
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lotus dweller
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Rummikub Word plays as a free and fluid un-themed word game.
 
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Jason Wallace
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Quiddler in a group

Bananagrams to race to make crosswords

Any good abstracts like Santorini, Go, Pente, Quinamid, etc. might work dunno....
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Kelly Bass
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Word on the Street
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David Yggdrasil
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I played Hive with some seniors and they seemed to enjoy it.
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One Armed Bandit
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Kings Cribbage?
Wits & Wagers?
Maybe even Scrabble Slam!?
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I'd second Prolix, Word on the Street, Hive, and Qwirkle Cubes.

Also Big Boggle (back in print), What's My Word?, Tai Chi Chuan (really fun push your luck word game), Cities, maybe something like Ubongo or FITS.

It's kind of funny to think of it from this angle. Lots of us bitch about pasted-on themes because we want more theme. Here you'd be better off with less. I can think of lots of card games that are basically set collection with suits and numbers, but once they've become Botswana, or Maus au Chocolat or Famiglia (cartoony art), it's no-go. No Thanks! might work. Parade is a more versatile pick (works with 2 and scales well) but I'm guessing even vintage Alice in Wonderland might fall in the childish category for him.

Actually, he may be representative of a big enough niche (which would also include people looking for what they'd consider worthwhile games for kids) that it'd be worth experimenting with carrying a few more entries in this category (depending on where you're located). The gamers will find you regardless, but in my area at least the birthday party business is a potentially big source of game sales.
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Pone McPoneface
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The deluxe edition of Tangoes was packaged very nicely and at a good price. Math/spatial type of game based on pattern recognition.

Court of the Medici has a simple, but elegant look. The cards are also very stylized with nice artwork and it is a pretty simple two player card game.

Oshi is another nice abstract board game with an elegant look and simple game play. The box cover might not appeal to him but the game has a nice eastern "chess" look about it, though plays nothing like chess.

For a word game, the only one I can think of that hasn't been mentioned already is Balderdash, but not sure if he would like this word definition deception game.

Hope you can find something that appeals to his tastes!
 
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Cathleen Feduke
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I did try Carcassonne, that was one of the early "too kiddish" results. He really, really wanted a word game & his next choice was a math game. I suspect the 10 Days series would just be too far out of what he's looking for, also there are pictures on the cover rather than old fashioned block letters. I was frustrated enough to think that classifies anything of the sort as back at the too kiddish state.

I did try Set, Hive, Pente, Oshi, and Triplica as some abstract games. He did not like them. He wanted words or numbers. I even tried Cthulhu Rising - nope.

Typo, BuyWord, and Word Rummikub look promising but none of my vendors stocks them. Prolix, Scrabble SLAM!, and What's My Word? will be tried. These are all still available at the moment. Scrabble is one that he already has and loves. It's almost as good as UpWords! (Which we know you can't beat.) Big blocky letter art might be the only thing that gets him...and others like him I have encountered. Prolix and What's My Word should fit the bill.

Games can be so much better than these! I'm always so disappointed when I have to suggest things like these to people because they won't try anything out of their comfort zone. But games should be fun, and if they fight trying them, that's not fun for anyone. I could see the guy's eyes glaze over with each new game I described to him. He really did want to try something, just nothing in my store. I greatly appreciate your responses. I think these will make him happy which will in turn make me happy, if a little disappointed that I couldn't convert another player.
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Michael Withstand
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Try Pentago
 
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Cathleen Feduke
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My name is Watt wrote:
Thanks Michael but his nose kind of quivered in repulsion every time I suggested an abstract game. It was very frustrating. I wanted to scream that these were good games, he just had to try them. I even suggested I demonstrate several so he didn't have to read the rules. He grew up in America with just the typical Scrabble/Monopoly/Uno to play. I can't fault an old guy for not wanting to try something that looks completely foreign.
 
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John Kowalski
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How about Memoir '44? There aren't many guys around without an inner child that likes to move miniature soldiers and tanks around a board. It's easy to learn, quick to play, and if he does enjoy it, offers numerous expansions (and the opportunity to branch out to the Commands and Colors series).
 
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My name is Watt wrote:

Word Pentago would be right up his ally if they ever make it. There are a lot of 5 letter words that it could work with. It would be a little more interesting too from the added vocabulary dynamic.
 
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Judy Krauss
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What about this?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2007077/If-dont-succ...
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Sue Hemberger

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Ok, I know this suggestion won't exactly/immediately fulfill one of his objectives (supporting your store), but you might point him toward the Geek and, in particular, the entries for OSKI and Jotto which are excellent pencil and paper word games (and for which there are electronic solo play options -- ipad app for Oski; online for Jotto). If he likes these, it may give him a sense that there are more games out there that he'd enjoy and that you and BGG are good resources for finding them.
FWIW, What's My Word? also has a solo play online option (linked to the forum page) as well as an ipad app, so if either of you wants to try before you buy on that one, it's an option.
 
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Meredith Martini
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Qwirkle
Qwirkle Cubes
Word on the Street
Chronology
Boggle

They all work on my mother, anyway...
 
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