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Subject: What games do you play with your kids/tweens/teens? rss

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Filip W.
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Linköping
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I'm wondering what games people play with their kids of different ages and why those particular games. Which are your favorites? Has any game that worked in your adult gaming group totally flopped with kids? Why?
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Andres F. Pabon L.
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My son has just turned 3, so it's quite difficult to play with him. However, he does love Go Away Monster! and asks to play it several times in a row, at least once a week.

He's also beginning to grasp Chutes and Ladders, which by itself is a bad, bad game, but it's teaching him how to use dice and move a pawn, which might in turn become useful soon enough in other, better games!
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chuck dunn
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my kids 12 and has enjoyed Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game,Kingmaker,Advanced Civilization,Agricola,Age of Renaissance,Dune,Conquistador,Innovation... basically anything I throw at him.. and he's better than me at most of them ... kids are adults who aren't allowed to vote, drive, or drink ... never talk down to them and it's all possible ( not the driving, drinking, or voting though) .. games in my view are actually "peerage" training giving kids that time to work as adults on an equal setting . maybe its more of a reverse though allowing adults to act as kids.. who knows really ...he's played with us for at least 3 years now ...
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Sue Hemberger

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Only child here, so she's always played what we play. (Of course that also means that we've played a wider range of games than we would have had we not had a kid in the mix).

She's an omnivorous gamer (strategy, dexterity, co-ops, cards, dice, word games, party games, spatial relationships, abstracts, etc.) and the ways we've been most likely to take her age into account have involved choosing games that aren't too long, handicapping when necessary, and avoiding games with references she won't understand (or just letting her choose another card when she encounters one) -- typically more of an issue for party games than others.

By about age 8, she could play just about anything we could.

Now, at 13, her faves include Ghost Stories, Kingsburg, Survive, Roma, Dixit, Mr. Jack, Crokinole, Passe-Trappe, Hoppladi Hopplada, Ubongo, Spot It/Dobble, and Montage.
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Paul DeStefano
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Here's some recent ones they've been enjoying.

Son, 12.
Crokinole
Blue Moon
Neuroshima Hex
HeroScape
Space Hulk

Daughter, 9.
Crokinole
Dixit
Headbanz
Conquest Of Planet Earth
Forbidden Island

 
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Rich Shipley
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We started our boy out on Snail's Pace Race and Monkey Madness when he was around 3. They are good to teach some fundamentals about how games work. He then moved on to more mainstream kids games of various sorts (Trouble, Monopoly Junior, Junior Labyrinth) and other games that didn't require much reading (abstracts were good here).

It is very important to instill good sportsmanship and deemphasize winning for kids. Concentrate on the fun of play and being happy for the winner without making it the only important thing. A kid that throws tantrums after games won't end up playing much.

He's almost 7 now with a good reading level, and can play any Euro: Carcassonne, Power Grid, Dominion, Agricola, etc. I'm starting to get him into lighter wargames as well.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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My stepson is 12. He is very competitive (doesn't like to play games if he thinks he won't win). Here are some of the games he plays:
Connect Four
Dixit
Ingenious
Forbidden Island
 
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James Cheevers
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Christian (14) - Agricola, Le Havre, Pandemic, Power Grid

Andrew (12) - Memoir 44, Small World, Pandemic, Star Munchkin

Amy (9) - Ticket to Ride, Zooloretto, Diamant
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Meredith Martini
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10yo boy: Obsessed with Dominion, also likes Fluxx, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Ingenious, Transamerica. Hoping to teach him Alhambra and/or Settlers soon.

8yo boy: Likes Dominion, Fluxx, Ticket to Ride, loves Ingenious and Battleship.
 
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Mark F.
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Indiana
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I play a co-op variation of Zombies!!! with my boys aged 8-14. They tend to argue and fight a lot (as brothers do) when they are pitted against each other, so we take the standard Zombies rules and add in the idea that anytime a player is split from another player by more than 6 spaces, a random number of zombies spawn between them. And the more players who "survive", the higher the score. (Which is kind of a fake way I get them to try to do better each time.)

The result is a more encouraging experience as they all work together to help the team survive, even sharing supplies when needed.

Oh, and I've also removed some of the "grosser" cards from play so I don't feel too much like a bad parent. ninja
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Jack Reda
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Aquaretto, Forbidden Island, Through the Desert, Magic: The Gathering, Galaxy Trucker, Pandemic, Agricola. My ten year olds are getting hungry for new gaming experiences now.
 
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Yves Baguet
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With my daughter (3 years old)

carcassonne (with easier rules) and don't play with all the tiles, because they get bored, just the basic game tiles.
metro
a la carte (she calls it the "ratatouille" game, her favorite movie)
zooloretto mini. (She likes it for the little offspring you can get, and does't care if she loses, as long as she has babies in her zoo.)(Girls!!!laugh)
the-amazeing-labyrinth
And a lott of "haba" games. (we buy them at the flea market)

there are sessions that have been quickly stopped, but most of the times she asks me if i want to play.
Sometimes she invents a different game or other rules. (we played some strange games)

just have patience, and if kids don't feel like playing don't push them.
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Clare Marie
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That's exactly who I game with, their current favs include ..

10 and under group:
Gulo Gulo - small fingers have the advantage, and even the youngest kids can join in ..
Animal Upon Animal - stacking animals sounds simple but trust me, this is ridiculously fun for all ages!
Break the Safe - an OOP co-op but easily available on ebay, Highly Recommended as it's been a huge hit with all my kids and all their friends (gets taken to school a LOT) ..
Forbidden Island - another excellent co-op with totally unique game-play mechanics, great for kids & adults ..
The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac - still a roll & move but lots more going on, and dripping in theme that kids (esp boys) get right into ..

teens & tweens
:
Hive - intense little two-player my daughter (19) and I play every other day .. ..
Ticket to Ride - 'the train game' as it's called here, also comes out every other day and the most often requested by visiting kids who we've introduced it to in the past ..
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers - (one of my personal fav games), luck meets strategy and take-that serious gamers become evident ..
Monty Python Fluxx - light-hearted filler to play while waiting for someone to turn up or foods to cook etc ..
UNO - same reason as above though we have our own 'house rules' that contribute to the fun ..
Socken zocken - yes seriously .. I have no idea why they love it so much (or why they're still obsessed with pokemon?), both give me a headache but they're clearly having a blast!
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Clare Marie
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Umm, it was just pointed out to me that 'tween's doesn't mean early twenties like I thought it did .. Sorry 'bout any confusion the above might have and please read as such whistle
 
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Keith Koene
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My son is 10 and has just got into Pokemon (now I have to learn how to play). He also enjoys Thunderstone, Descent: The Road to Legend, and Memoir '44.

My 14 year old daughter is really into playing Cribbage (which I recently taught her how to play), and likes to play Zombie Dice.
 
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Matt Riddle
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my 7yo loves Caylus....

I kid.

6yo and 7yo girls and the riddlenettes enjoy
Order Up - fun light game, pizza theme is a hit
Forbidden Island - new fav, coop so I can help and they LOVE the imminent danger
Kids of Carcassone - my fav to play with them. genius implementation o tile lay
Magic Labryinth - fun game. can be frustrating though

we also have ans play zoowaboo, chateu roquefort, chicken cha cha, hey thats my fish, and others

gonna try zooleretto soon
 
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Clare Cannon
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My 6 year old loves Zooloretto but mostly just plays at setting up a zoo without any of the rules.

She Likes Batik (my version has different coloured fishes) and Castle panic(without the special cards in)

Castle panic was a flop with my adult gaming group at it is far to easy as a co-operative game goes but my daughter really enjoys when we play it together
 
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Judit Szepessy
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I play a lot of games with my two sons, who are 14 and 11 yrs old.
Recently we have played:
The Art of the Covenant
Carson City
El Grande
Paris Connection
Scrabble
Manhattan
Glory to Rome
London
Glen More
Bang
Roma

We try to play different games in weight and mechanics. I hope they will keep up gaming when they move out of the house.
 
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Robert B
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My 8 year old daughter and I are currently playing:
Archaeology: The Card Game
Forbidden Island
Fairy Tale
Puerto Rico
 
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Steve Dubya
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I've two daughters, 8 and soon to be 6.

Together, we've played and enjoyed:
Forbidden Island
Monopoly Deal Card Game (with someone helping to read the card for my youngest)
Dweebies
Slamwich
Wobble
Suds
Loot
LCR
Fancy Nancy Acting Fancy
[edit] Almost forgot Junior Labyrinth

I've also played Magi-Nation Duel with my eldest and handicapped-Hive* with my youngest.

We haven't had so much success with Creationary, even played with teams with about 8 people; it seemed that either the objects to build tended to be either really easy or ridiculously hard.

*This takes the form of me having to pull random pieces to play vice choosing.
 
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Matt Riddle
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Steve Dubya wrote:
I've two daughters, 8 and soon to be 6.

Together, we've played and enjoyed:
Forbidden Island
Monopoly Deal Card Game (with someone helping to read the card for my youngest)
Dweebies
Slamwich
Wobble
Suds
Loot
LCR
Fancy Nancy Acting Fancy
[edit] Almost forgot Junior Labyrinth

I've also played Magi-Nation Duel with my eldest and handicapped-Hive* with my youngest.

We haven't had so much success with Creationary, even played with teams with about 8 people; it seemed that either the objects to build tended to be either really easy or ridiculously hard.

*This takes the form of me having to pull random pieces to play vice choosing.

Ha! We have fancy nancy too
 
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Mystery McMysteryface
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My 10-year old currently loves:
Shanghaien
Archaeology: The Card Game
Hive
YINSH
Water Lily


She also enjoys:
Hey, That's My Fish!
Dixit
Forbidden Island
Sorry! Sliders
Tiki Topple
Elk Fest
Sushizock im Gockelwok
Lost Cities
ZÈRTZ
 
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Thomas Bass
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I'm lucky in that my 14-year-old son will still (as of now) play almost anything we have--Settlers, Puerto Rico, Carcassonne. . . His current favorite is Quarriors!, and he loves Dominion. He and his friends like to get together occasionally to play Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot--I'm not a big fan, but will play with him sometimes. However--he'll play almost anything.

Except Livingstone, which happens to be his 11-year-old sister's favorite game. She also loves Quarriors!. She's a big fan of Forbidden Island. She'd rather read--we have a hard time convincing her to put down her book to play a game. We usually just play three-player (me, wife, son). She will play Catan: Cities & Knights with us on occasion.

She won't read any book that has "an animal and a medal" on the cover, because "the medal [Newberry] means that the animal dies." As a result, we can't get her to play Zooloretto, because it has a medal [Spiel des Jahres] and a panda on the cover!
 
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Oliver Macdonald
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At the moment my 11 year old is currently into Dominion (we have Base set, Intrigue, Prosperity and Cornucopia) and Small World Underground.

Other games that have interested him in the last year are;

Munchkin
Space Crusade (I have the original version - it's good to see it being played again after 20 years sitting unplayed on the shelf.)
Keltis and variants
Wings of War
Stone Age
Settlers of Catan (might come out more if I hadn't left it in the UK - we currently live mainly in Italy)
Dragonheart

My 13 year old has always been less keen on games and we also get to play less often as he is at boarding school in the UK. He was into Memoir 44 last year and loves Ave Caesar and recently discovered Powerboats at the UK games Expo.

As a general guide neither of them like games that are too long, although there tolerance for longer games is getting better as they get older. The younger one is happier with more complex games (e.g. Agricola). The older one prefers less involved games but often shows better strategic awareness.

My biggest problem when we have them together is that they rarely want to play the same game - the one exception seems to be Magic the Gathering.

 
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Oliver Macdonald
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Equally interesting is the games they don't like, which I thought they would;
Carcassone
Aquaretto
Colosseum
Ticket to ride

have all proved unpopular
 
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