Steve B
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Hello everyone.

At my job we have adopted some families to donate gifts to. One of the requests from a 10 year old boy is "Board Games." Others all list clothes or hand-held games so this one really sticks out.

So my question is... do I pick this fine young man and introduce him to hobby board games? If so, which one(s) should I get for them? I have no idea what the rest of his family is like, however.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!

UPDATE:

So the mom is 34, and has the 10-year old son, a 6 year-old daughter, and a 5-year old son. This gives the kid little siblings to play with!

Does this new info change anyone's ideas, or make a stronger case for some game over another? Maybe Animal Upon Animal?
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john m
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
How about Ticket to Ride?
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Jerry Martin
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
YES YOU PICK HIM!

And you give him awesome games.
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Rick
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Yes.

A board game is a great entertainment item that can have lots of re-playability. Plus it doesn't need any other outside expenses or reoccurring costs (like batteries to replace).

Do you know what other family members are there (Mom? Dad? Siblings and their ages?)

With nothing else to go on I would recommend Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game. Space Marines fighting Aliens would have caught my eye at that age. Plus he can play it solo if the rest of the family can't play.

I would probably get that and something else that would accommodate more people (Carcassonne, Catan, etc.)
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Shayne Gray
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Yes pick him, because if you don't someone is going to give him Monopoly.
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Kaiwen Zhang
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
there a risk though, that the family is entirely non-gamer and they don't make the effort of learning whatever you send them (since i assume it will be more complex than what they're used to). then they end up selling your game away. I think to be safe you need to personally teach them how to play it.
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Geoffrey Ulman
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
johncraven wrote:
there a risk though, that the family is entirely non-gamer and they don't make the effort of learning whatever you send them (since i assume it will be more complex than what they're used to). then they end up selling your game away. I think to be safe you need to personally teach them how to play it.


I really wouldn't worry about it. There's lots of great games like Ticket to Ride which are easy for anyone to pick up.
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Matt Davis
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
My gut reaction is something like Blokus or Blokus 3D - easy to learn and play, a wide range of ages possible, etc.
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Doug Click
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
ImaginaryRoot wrote:
Hello everyone.

At my job we have adopted some families to donate gifts to. One of the requests from a 10 year old boy is "Board Games." Others all list clothes or hand-held games so this one really sticks out.

So my question is... do I pick this fine young man and introduce him to hobby board games? If so, which one(s) should I get for them? I have no idea what the rest of his family is like, however.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!


Yes, pick this one and get some nice boardgames... Please, make sure there is at least one solo game, just in case he can't get anyone to game with him.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game for one. Maybe something abstract like Ingenious would work for both solo and muli player. Then look at lots of cheap games, like Forbidden Island and Battle Line so he can get more for Christmas plus he can check into different kinds of games...

Speaking of which, The Cheapskate gamers guide to published games under $20 USA with a variety of mechanics, might give you some good ideas for low cost games.
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Johannes cum Grano Salis
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
You're looking to give a kid a Christmas present that he and persons-of-intellect-unknown can share with him, yes? Blokus or Travel Blokus. Quoridor. Hey, That's My Fish. Qwirkle. Quarto. Anything that can have him up and running in just a few minutes. Maybe something a little meatier, but we're talking Carcassonne-meaty here, I'd think. This is just my guess.

If you're buying gifts for someone who is in this much financial need, then there is no slippery slope here, and the usual definition of "gateway game" does not apply. I'd get games that are pretty solid, fun for kids, work with adults, etc. Approach it knowing that you will be giving him his entire "collection," and then try like hell to draw his name next year. And the year after.

J
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Maybe print out this thread and add it to the present so he knows there's a community of other gamers full of encouragement? Add a printout of scheduled gaming events at the FLGS or information about any local open gaming groups for kids?
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Ian Toltz
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
RiffRaff14 wrote:
With nothing else to go on I would recommend Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game. Space Marines fighting Aliens would have caught my eye at that age. Plus he can play it solo if the rest of the family can't play.


I think that's a logical choice, but I'd worry about giving it to an unknown 10-year old simply because you don't know how his parents would feel about the theme. The worst thing that could happen is if the parents see a bunch of gore-spattered space marines and take the kid's present away; that would put a nasty dent in his Christmas and also potentially cause some problems with introducing board games at a later date.

I like the idea of choosing a solo-friendly game, for the reason suggested, and that would make me lean towards co-ops since those tend to be the best games for a solo player.

Pandemic's not terrible playing solo, although there's no official solo rules AFAIK. The theme also might not be the most interesting, unless the kid also happens to be a science buff.

I'd go with Ghost Stories for a good combination of interesting theme, solo and multiplayer suitability, and unlikely to offend his parents unless they're the hyper-religious types who think Harry Potter is the devil.

Ascension: Deckbuilding Game might also work as well, if you print out some solo rules for him. I enjoy playing it solo, at least. I'd worry about the card quality with this, though; not a game you want to play un-sleeved.
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Of course!

I'd go with Forbidden Island. Nice shiny components and easy to play.

EDIT: Also inexpensive, as well as on Gamewright's list of games for 10 year olds.

Also check the geeklists!
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Catan is the obvious choice in my opinion
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Liam
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
I would be looking for something to that can be played solo and that is a lot of fun to play with others. Further something that a ten year old could teach themselves, in case that is required:

Forbidden Island +1
Castle Panic
Ghost Stories (possibly but the rules concern me a little)
Pandemic (Better than Forbidden Island IMO but again the rules...)

Breaking these rules a bit:
Memoir '44

It doubles as a toy and as a great game and would definitely be up my street when I was 10. Simple to teach yourself, fun with luck and only requires 2players.
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Battleball

How much time do you have before the game would be needed? I ask because one of the most perfect boardgames you could get for a 10 year old would have to be Battleball, which is out of print but easily available on ebay for fairly affordable prices.
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Chris J Davis
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
I'd say the important points are:

- Level of appeal to a 10-year old
- Acceptability to the parents
- Level of rules complexity

If the boy is requesting board games specifically, then presumably he already has someone to play them with (though you may not know whether they are his friends or his family).

The first thing that comes to mind would be a board game based on a video game (which would probably also make it more appealing to his friends). So perhaps Gears of War: The Board Game or World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game (if you can still find it).

Adventure games might also be a possibility; Claustrophobia is an extremely good dungeon-crawler. Mansions of Madness tells a great story. There's also Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game. All are easy enough to learn.

Or if all else fails: Galaxy Trucker. Everyone loves Galaxy Trucker.

I would advise against the usual gateway games, such as Settlers or Ticket to Ride, as I think they might come across as a bit dull to a 10-year old.

Basically, avoid Euros and go instead the Ameritrash route. In any event, be sure to tell us what you got him in the end!
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Martin Plourde
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
As a kid I wanted toys, like one of the above poster mentioned, so a game with minis might be double usage - toy AND game.

Have you considered Black Sheep ? Plastic animals and a simple card mecanic might attract the family, and I bet you could find cheap copies around in book stores or ebay. And I would give him a couple of D&D miniatures for his shelf.
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Jason Hinchliffe
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
First things first...He's 10. That means that he's not going to read the rules of anything even remotely complex. He'll need his parents to help him.

My advice, is include a letter to the parents, advising them of this requirement and gently encourage them to learn and play with him.

The heaviest I would go is Settlers, with a solid recommendation of Forbidden Island. My 10 year old loves both of those. He also really enjoys Mission: Red Planet.

Top Picks:

Settlers
TTR
Forbidden Island

Any of those will be solid picks.
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Amy Smith
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
My 11 year old loves:

Qwirkle
Sorry Sliders
Dominion
Ticket to Ride
Settlers of Catan
For Sale
10 Days in America (his friends really like this too)
Forbidden Island


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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Zalendar wrote:
Yes pick him, because if you don't someone is going to give him Monopoly.


OTOH, that might be exactly what he's asking for. He's 10 - that's what "board games" means to him. Monopoly. Life. Risk

He's likely also thinking about things like chess, checkers, dominoes, backgammon, those 10-in-1 game sets. He doesn't know anything about BGGdom. That said, there are good choices in this thread already (if you don't want to get him Hello Kitty Monopoly).

Games that any random 10-yr-old would like & could easily play:

Forbidden Island
Ticket to Ride
Qwirkle
10 Days in Anywhere
Hey That's My Fish!
TransAmerica

Survive: Escape from Atlantis is a reprint of a 30-yr-old game, listed as for ages 8+ - no personal experience but suspect it's decently kid-friendly.

Annwyn's list above is just about perfect, too. The one thing that I'd drop from that list, that several others have also recommended, is Settlers of Catan. A 10-yr-old can play it, but it probably needs an adult to help with teaching & setup, and I don't find the "rules almanac" particularly friendly for first timers. I mean, the game is pretty alien to someone coming from Monopoly...

Up and running in five minutes or less, basically, should be your goal. Otherwise it won't get played.
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
clockwerk76 wrote:
First things first...He's 10. That means that he's not going to read the rules of anything even remotely complex. He'll need his parents to help him.


agreed, & with the further note of - not only does it need to be a game that any random 10-yr-old can teach himself - it also needs to be a game that that 10-yr-old can teach *others*.

It may be that the only way he's going to get anyone else - friends, parents, grandparents - to play with him is if he can show them how to play.

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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Caylus
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Through the Ages

...that'll show 'em!


Really though, snag up a copy of HeroScape or Dungeon Run and get this kid hooked. (I would've hated Euro games at 10...but HeroQuest melted my brain!)

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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
Yes, you should...

As others have already stated you probably don't know the rest of his family (or at least we don't). So I think it is important that the games you gift are:
* easy enough to learn
* mainstream compatible
* not intimidating (stay away from games with lots of components. Some people consider that fun but others just shy away)

Games I'm suggesting:
Ubongo (solo play)
Forbidden Island (solo play)
Liar's Dice
King of Tokyo
Niagara
Any classic card game like 6 nimmt!, Wizard, The Great Dalmuti, You're Bluffing!

Suggested games I'd advise against:
Dominion - IMO this is not a game I'd gift blindly. It's a good game but getting your mind around the card interactions takes time. Not everyone (especially non gamers without someone to guide them) is willing to do that.
Anything with significant mythological tendencies since you might be gifting into strongly religious household.
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JonnyRotten
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Re: A chance to introduce someone in need to the hobby... Should I?
BATTLEBALL!!!!
Easy, fast, fun. Include other games as well, but this game is so good. A shame it's OOP.

My son (8YO) really likes:
The Adventurers
Forbidden Island
Pandemic
Survive!
Castle Panic

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