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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » General

Subject: Suitability for younger players? rss

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Nick Avtges
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One genre not represented in my collection is the dungeon crawl. Of course, Descent is the latest and possibly greatest of this genre, so I'm considering buying it. The one issue for me is that my regular gaming group generally shies away from longer games, so this would probably get one or two plays at most with that group. The majority of my play would most likely be with my younger sons. They are soon to be 7 and 5, which seems like it might be a bit young for this one. Do you think this game could work with them if I designed a scaled down dungeon, keeping things simple and basic? I imagine myself as the OL but a kinder gentler overlord, guiding them through the game. Not so much helping them make decisions, but talking about what they want to do and then showing them how to do that within the structure of the game. They both enjoy heroic fantasy (just finished reading Eragon to them) so I think they would enjoy the theme. I play Heroscape with the older one without any problems, although the younger one still enjoys the toy factor more than the game itself. I'm also interested in how much reading is necessary for the heroes...specifically of things that should be kept hidden from the OL.

Anyway, I have no doubt that they'll enjoy this game as they get older, I'm just wondering if I'll be able to introduce it to them now, or if I should just get it now, stick it up on the shelf knowing that when they are 10 and 8 it will get regular play.
 
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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For kids 5 and 7, the game is too long, and requires too much micro-management to do properly. They'd be able to handle the basics of the game (move once and attack once), but they wouldn't really fare well against anything other than the intro scenario -- especially if they have to sit through some of the 5-hour sessions our gang has had playing Descent.

For the more difficult scenarios, we've come to the conclusion that every player really needs to be burning the candle at both ends. If all you do is move-and-attack, you're wasting your turn.

This might prove to be a bit too stressful for 5 and 7 year olds.

I'd suggest waiting a few years.
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Not to hijack nix342's thread (or, "apologies for hijacking..."), but is there some other dungeon crawl game which would be better for younger players, then? (One of my 5-year-old's favorite games is Dungeon!, but that's, uhh, "not the best game.")

(He always seems to want to play cooperative games, but whenever we play cooperative variants of Dungeon! or Zombies!, he leaves me behind to be killed & eaten at soon as we're able to win.)
 
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Brad Miller
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HeroQuest is really good for a slightly younger age group I think. Played it before with my kids, (then 11 and 7), and it went fine. Anything but Dungeon.....WAIT, not the NEW DUNGEON...Aiiiieeeeeeee zombie
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Descent is too long for kids that age, and for most adults, now that I think about it.
 
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Mike Giro
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My 9 yr old son enjoyed it more than my 13 yr old daughter, but it is definitely an epic game so children with a shorter attention span will have problems. It took us 5 hours, 1 hour to learn rules and 5 hours to play the supposedly short first quest.
 
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Tim K
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I regularly play Descent with my two kids ages 7 and 9 and they love it. My 9 year has taken over OverLord duties and is quite good. That said, I would think your kids, espically the 5 year a is a little too young for it. It would be difficult also since as Overload (which you would initially have to be) you are trying to take out their heros which they probably won't like.

I would second the comment about Dungeon, its not a good game at all. Clearly a game that I remembered as being much better as a kid. I personally would still buy it and play smaller dugeon maps until they get accustomed to the game just because I think the game is so good. Although not a dungeon crawl, I'd throw out Heroscape. Simple rules, plenty of figures and easy for a young kid to pick up.

I hope you get them playing games you enjoy, there is really nothing better . Good luck!
 
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Dennis Murray
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I can recommend Return of the Heroes. My kids are 7 and 5, and we played it twice last weekend for the first time (got it for 50% off at the Barnes and Noble sale). I had to guide them through it, but they liked it quite a bit. I found it certainly much better than Dungeon, but a bit repetitive for adult play. Still, with the kids I think it's just right. Once caveat: don't even try to learn it with the rules in the box. There's a very good set of replacement rules on the geek, which are much better and easier to use. I think it's the very first file on the list.
 
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Nick Avtges
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Thanks for the replies everyone. It was pretty much the response I expected. The game is a bit too long and probably a bit more involved than they are ready to handle right now. It's still on my buy list, though!

I am interested in alternative dungeon crawl style games that might be good for younger players. Heroquest, of course, seems like a good one, and I'll have to give Return of the Heroes a try. Heroscape, as I mentioned, is already a favorite which comes out almost every rainy day. I'd be interested to hear of any others!
 
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James Forsythe
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I second the heroquest recommendation - Descent is essentially a more tactical and complicated version of it. For us adults, or older kids, that's great, but for kids as young as yours, Heroquest could be just the right speed.
 
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Tom Snäll
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There's allways WarhammerQuest if your wallet is of the thick sort.
Quite nice, with simple basic rules. All the kids need to worry about is to throw the dice.

You might get one from eBay. I did, a well painted one. Though I do not dare to tell you the price. blush

I hope the agony of my wallet will settle a bit while waitning for my kids to grow old enough to actually play the damn game.
 
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John Peterson
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I'd recommend Nin-Gonost - or its less expensive cousin - Dungeon Clash. The basic rules are a single sheet and should be pretty straight-forward for a 5 and 7 year old. You can add the more advanced rules as they get comfortable with the rules and concepts.

If that doesn't work for you, I'd suggest Mage Knight Dungeons - which is reasonably inexpensive on eBay and reasonably expandable with more figures, monsters, and/or dungeon stuff.

p.s. No, Paul didn't bribe me to plug Nin-Gonost....
 
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