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Habalicious: The "Experts" Chime In

Mark Jackson
United States
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Well, it's the Christmas shopping season & I know that regular readers of my blog realize that I will personally egg the houses of those folks who give their children Candyland or Chutes & Ladders for Christmas. So I thought I'd recommend some great Haba games for you to purchase.

Then I decided you've probably heard enough from me about kid games over the last 18 months... and the plan to bring in some guest experts was born!

Expert #1 is Braeden Jackson... my first born son. He had four years before his brother arrived in the world (plus a couple of years while Collin was too small to game) to be indoctrinated into the world of gaming. His tastes at eight and a half years run to Pandemic, Battle Masters, Star Wars: Epic Duels, Battle Ball, Heroscape & Battlelore. (Are you detecting a theme?)

What follows are his Top Ten Haba Games, complete with comments about what he likes best about the games.

1. Casino Hot Dog - "The poop chip!"
2. Hungry Wolves - "Awesome... making noises & running around the table."
3. Turtle Twiddle - "The soccer game is my favorite."
4. Fleet Fins - "I like the SPEED."
5. At Full Throttle - "Very quick."
6. Castle Knights - "The pictures are funny."
7. Tolle Torte - "It's almost exactly like Fleet Fins except the stuff is moving."
8. The Suitcase Detectives - "I like being the crook & hiding the stuff."
9. Maus nach haus (Hula Hippos) - "The aim & luck part..."
10. Karambolage - "I like the aiming." (He's actually pretty good at this.)

Expert #2, Collin Jackson, is 4 years old. He wants to play the same games his big brother does... but his attention span is a bit shorter (read: normal). His imagination runs wild - he loves to get out games & use the pieces to make up stories. His favorite new game is Can You See What I See?

What follows are his Top Ten Haba Games, complete with comments about what he likes best about the games.

1. Drops & Co. - "I like that you have to get rid of all the candy."
2. Maus nach Haus - "I like that there is a hippo one now."
3. Fleet Fins - "I like that there's really scary teeth guys on the fish."
4. Marrakesh - "I like that it's really fun & really, really want to get the spices."
5. Cheese Snatching - "I like it because you're the same guy running away from the cat. You don't get any cheese if he catches you."
6. Chicken Squabble - "I really like to win because I won last night."
7. Animal Upon Animal - "I like the new animals (in the expansion) - they are all good."
8. Orchard: the Card Game - "I really like that you don't want the raven... you really want fruit."
9. Charly at the Zoo - "I really like that he gets to sleep but I don't win very much."
10. Little Thunder Witch - "I really would like to win."

You may have noticed that one of the repeated games (Fleet Fins) is now out of print... sigh. It's not impossible to find, though... I tracked down a copy this morning at FunAgain Games. Maus nach haus is published in the USA by Gamewright as Hula Hippos. Karambolage is supposed to be coming back in at Fair Play Games. Marrakesh is tougher to locate... but Game Surplus comes through again!

Drops & Co.
and Tolle Torte, OTOH, are both OOP and very difficult to locate. Good luck!

This post originally appeared on my blog on November 28, 2009. I have an ongoing relationship with Haba USA who sends me copies of their games in order for me to review them.
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