Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘kids’

So we decided to get two of our nephews different boxes of Heroscape.  If you don’t know this game and you have boys 7 and up, you may want to look it up.  Imagine Dungeons & Dragons meets Risk.  With a cooler map that you can build.  We were able to get the first master set easily.  This one is about Valkyries and other cool things like that.  Got it for $27 too.  Nice!  Then we had all sorts of trouble getting master set #2, Swarm of the Marro.  Giant evil looking buggy monsters.  Very cool, could not find the dang thing though.  This is a Milton Bradley/Hasbro game and their page told me that I could get it at all sort of toy stores.  Yeah, right.  Nobody had it, nobody knew what I was talking about at Target, Walmart, Kmart, Toys R Us.  At least my local comic shops knew about it, but don’t carry it since it is so easy to get at the above named stores.  Sigh.

I did find it at one online dealer.  Hooray!  That was before I went out in the ice storm to go to the already named and now disparaged big box stores.  So when I came home I went back online and got my credit card out only to find it had sold out.  Sigh.  Thanks to Google though, I was able to find another merchant, this one in FL who had it.  After shipping, it was $40.  And yes, the other place I had bookmarked would have shipped it for less.

Lesson of the day – if you see it and want it, stop screwing around and just buy it.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

My friendly UPS man came by today and dropped off a package filled with 6 new board games!  Hooray!  I had to make the kids promise to finish their lunch and clean up a little and we tried out four of them in about an hour.  Here are some initial impressions:

Right Turn, Left Turn – Quick little card game, but not an easy one for my 5 year old.  You have to be able to differentiate between left and right based on the direction a traffic cop is standing on a card.  I modified it quickly to give each of them a couple of turns, but this one is going to need some work I think.

Number Chase – Another light card game, you lay out 50 numbered cards and one person selects one, writes it down.  The other players guess what card it was.  If you guess wrong, you flip over the card that you guessed and the writer has to answer the question truthfully to help lead the guessers to the card.  This was fun and teaches some basic algebra terms like range as well as other basic math rules.

M is for Mouse – This was a little more complicated that I had thought.  You have cards in your hand and cards on the table.  Each card has two pictures on it and two letters.  You have to match them up.  If you have a fish on your card and a card on the table has an F on it, then you matched!  Both kids needed some directional help to figure out how to make matches and there are three variations in the rules to help mix things up and change the game around.

Gopher It – This was our favorite one of the four we played.  You are a gopher trying to collect food for the winter.  There is a garden on the table (mixed up batch of cards) and you have to make groups of six of one of the food types.  You draw a card from the garden and either keep it or keep going, up to four times.  If you draw two of the same type of food in a row, you are done and have to discard all of the cards you just flipped over.  If you get more than 6 of one type of food, they spoil and you have to throw them all out!  Once you get 6, you get a gopher trophy for doing good work.  Collect three trophies and you are ready for the winter and win!

These are all designed by Reinhard Staupe and published by Bright Idea Games and Playroom Entertainment.

Read Full Post »

As you may or may not know (or care), many of the great games that we own and that we are talking about on this site are designed by Germans.  Germans seem to love their board games more than any other group, I think.  Every year, there is a gigantic convention in Essen, Germany at which designers, publishers and the general public mingle and play new games together.

Once per year, the Kinderspiel des Jahres award is given out to a new children’s game.  Many of our favorite games have won this award in the past and this is a good starting point when you are searching for that next game you would like for your children.  Each game is also linked to Boardgamegeek.com, which needs some discussion as well, but that is for another time.

It is nice to see what won the current year, but your chances of getting it are slim.  If you can find someone who has imported it, great!  Just be ready to pay a few bucks.  Instead, if you are new to gaming or to buying games for children, explore the past winners.  You will have a better chance at getting the game, it will probably even have rules in English and you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get it.

Here is the current list of Kinderspiel des Jahres winners and links to the ‘Geek:

Year Winning Game Designer
2008 Wer war’s? Reiner Knizia
2007 Beppo der Bock Klaus Zoch & Peter Schackert
2006 Der schwarze Pirat Guido Hoffmann
2005 Das Kleine Gespenst Kai Haferkamp
2004 Geistertreppe Michelle Schanen
2003 Viva Topo! Manfred Ludwig
2002 Maskenball der Käfer Peter-Paul Joopen
2001 Klondike Stefanie Rohner and Christian Wolf
2000 Arbos Martin Arnold and Armin Müller
1999 Kayanak Peter-Paul Joopen
1998 Chicken Cha Cha Cha Klaus Zoch
1997 Leinen Los! Alex Randolph
1996 Vier zu mir! Heike Baum
1995 Karambolage Heinz Meister
1994 Loopin’ Louie Carol Wiseley
1993 Ringel Rangel Geni Wyss
1992 Galloping Pigs Heinz Meister
1991 Corsaro – Irrfahrt im Piratenmeer Wolfgang Kramer
1990 My Haunted Castle Virginia Charves
1989 Gute Freunde Alex Randolph

Read Full Post »

The convention is getting underway today as people are setting up and getting things ready.  We won’t get there until Saturday morning though.  We will be packing up everything tomorrow night to bring down.  We have room for more families to come and play some games with us, so if you are still on the fence, drop me a note and come on down.  The convention also told me that if you are coming to our seminar and would like to stay later on to play other games, they will give you a special $5 per person pass for the remainder of the day.   There will be a huge game library to choose from, so we hope that you enjoy yourselves and come check out the rest of the convention.  There are a ton of games that are great for families as well.  We will be around after getting some dinner, so if you see us playing, come join us!

Read Full Post »

I like Gulo Gulo because the pictures are nice, and easy to set-up. I really like when I win. There are wolverines in the game that need to find the baby wolverine who is trapped in the swamp vulture’s egg nest.  The grown-up wolverines have to get the baby out without tipping over the alarm.  The alarm tells the swamp vultures that someone is stealing their eggs.  I like to play it because it is fun to try to get the eggs out of the nest without knocking over the alarm.  It is also fun to jump ahead of other people when you pick the mystery tile.

Read Full Post »

One reader noticed that I talk  a lot about modern board games, but I have not really defined the term or fully explained what I meant about it.  It isn’t an exact definition, at least from my point of view.  There are probably many serious gamers who could rattle off a liturgy about this topic.  I will focus on children and family games though, in order to help you understand games and determine what is right for your family.

I tend to think of modern games as being produced with high quality materials, made to last and a lot of attention to detail in the meeples, boards or other pieces of games.  While this does increase the cost of the game, you won’t have to buy several of them within a year if you play it heavily.

Modern games also have something critical that many games I might have played as a child did not have.  Modern games tend to allow the players to make critical decisions about what to do in the game.  Having a young child be able to decide what to do in the game makes the game more interesting for them.  Children are constantly looking for ways to control their own lives, and modern games can give that to them a little at a time.

Good decision making skills are important for everyone, young and old.  If a game can start teaching a child that their actions have consequences, sometimes bad ones, then they may be able to analyze real decisions they make in their lives when we (their parents) are not around.

Never forget the most important part though, it must be fun.  Even on the 5,000th play that month, it should be fun to play.  Kids and repetition go very well together and usually we adults can only stand so many choruses of “Best of Both Worlds” or “Wheels on the bus go round and round” before we go insane.  A modern board game can stand up to that level of playability and keep the fun going.

Read Full Post »