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New to Your Kids July 2012 - best new games you've played with your kids and why
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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July: more rain.

Looking back over the last month, which is the best game you've newly introduced to your kid(s), and why? Please pick an entry even if it's the same as someone else's because it's more fun that way.

It would probably be helpful if you say what ages the children you played with are, and how much they enjoyed it as well as how much you enjoyed it.

Please, add you own entries - one per child might make sense if they are of different ages and abilities. And if you play with kids that aren't yours - nieces, nephews or friends' kids, include those!

Just like the idea of this series of monthly lists, I've also nicked the idea of an announcement thread from Grimwold (Thanks Andy!). If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..

You can have a look at June's list here

The list for August is here : please add some!
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1. Board Game: Montego Bay [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2457]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Having played this a few times with two adult players, I thought that Matthew (10) would enjoy racing around picking up barrels and trying to outguess opponents in a three player game. The rules are reasonably straightforward (and maybe our kids are getting better at picking up new games), and it wasn't long before we were launching our ships full of goods. It plays fairly quickly and is good fun. UK readers may well be able to pick it up for about £5 from The Works, and at that price it's well worth it!
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2. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:650]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca (6) is always looking for new games but isn't quite ready for those her brothers enjoy like 7 Wonders, so we are gradually trying out different two-player options.

She quickly got the hang of the rules to this and quite enjoyed trying to capture the different trophies. It's not her favourite game, possibly being a bit dry and abstract, but is a good choice for a change.
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3. Board Game: Friday the 13th [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1090]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I'd got the travel version of this through the European Chain of Generosity but had been saving it for a time when the whole family was around as it appeared to work better with more players. At first we were all a little confused about the best moves, but we soon got the hang of the scoring and played several games in a row with various combinations of 4 and 5 players (Daniel, 13; Matthew, 10; Rebecca, 5 + 2 parents).

Quite fun trying to force other players to pick up the bad piles, and simple enough for everyone to have a chance.
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4. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:636]
Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
United Kingdom
Godstone
Surrey
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This was the only new game to my kids (boys aged 8, 5 and 2) this month, but it was a stormer.

I had high hopes for this game, and when I finally got a decently priced copy I was pleased to see it played not just with the boys (even the 2 year old), but also, as I'd hoped, with my wife as well.

Simple rules, (by which I mean explainable in less than 3 sentences), and nice enough pieces (I think the actual tiles are a bit bleurgh, but love the player pieces and the board) made this a hit with each boy.

We went on to play it with their cousins (2 girls aged 12 and 10) who also really enjoyed it. Just a shame it doesn't have a little more depth, and only really shines with 4 or more players in my opinion!
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5. Board Game: Rat Hot [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1903]
Gerald Gan
Philippines
Quezon City
NCR
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This game is a big hit with both my wife and five year old daughter. Great abstract game!
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6. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:197]
Chris Talmadge
United States
Clinton
CT
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My daughter Sarah is 11 and my primary gaming partner. A lot of new games played this month.

In early July we started playing Kingsburg. HUGE hit with both of us! She likes the Collecting & using resources, rolling dice, and the worker placement aspects. She says it's one of her new favorites. We've played 2, 3, 4 and 5-player games and each was fun.



I think Yahtzee Free for All is one of the better Yahtzee games. Sarah agrees. Another hit.



Mid-July saw us opening up Stone Age. Another big hit! She loves the dice and the worker placement. She also enjoys the set collection of the cards and calculating variable point scoring huts.



I had high hopes for Ice Flow, but it fell flat for us, as a 2-player game. She became discouraged by getting stuck at the Diomedes for too long. Gameplay seemed to be a bit stagnant with just two, and probably needs more players to better rate it.



I thing Thebes is a great family game and quite enjoyable. Sarah disagrees. Maybe we just started playing a bit too late. She did the tour of Europe and collected many cards, as well as performing one dig in the first year. Halfway through the second year she just went to digging for the rest of the game. Once again, we will try with additional players (and start at an earlier hour).



On the last day of the month we played Alien Frontiers. Billed as "Kingsburg in space" by some, I have to disagree, though I really like the game. She enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as Kingsburg. We only played with 2, so we must give it a chance with 3 and 4.
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7. Board Game: Drecksau [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:3796]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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We had been playing this with our five year old for a while, but now our two and a half year old daughter has picked up the rules (took about 20 plays, though). She isn't always focussed, but enjoys the game immensely. Which makes this game the first one we truly enjoy with the whole family of four. Priceless.
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8. Board Game: Crossboule [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:3119]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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This is a hit at my brother`s family. His daughters are 6 and 2 years old, so the 2-year-old is making her first experiences in taking the balls and throwing them without too much of a target. But still, she likes them for the material and how they feel like.

The older one asks a lot for this, when we meet. Especially now, being outside, it is great to have fun with her and how excited she is. No matter, who wins - plain throwing and laughing, all three of us (together with my 15 year old son) ...
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9. Board Game: Hoot Owl Hoot! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:5053]
Professor of Pain
United States
St. Cloud
Minnesota
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My daughter turned 3 this Monday past so I bought her a couple of games recently. Both were a hit.

Hoot Owl Hoot! is a nice cooperative game that actually has some strategy that I hope she discovers as we play and she develops. She was so enamored of the game that the day after first playing she wanted to play again but only after playing her pretend owl game...

The other game that she got on her birthday is Pengoloo.



She's quite taken with this game mostly because it involves penguins - only her favorite animal ever. Whereas Hoot Owl Hoot! can actually engage me for some of the few minutes it takes to play, Pengoloo makes me suffer because it's so insipid and, dare I say, jejune. However, the kid likes it so that's good. Whatever it takes to get her hooked on board gaming... ninja

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10. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:623]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Gulo Gulo



I have heard a lot about this game and finally got a chance to play. Terrific fun! We played with four adults and two children (aged 3 ½ and 2 ¼). The children really have the edge in their little hands are a lot more dexterous in the vital process of egg collection. That said, a former surgeon took the honours in our game - good to see that they really do have steady hands.
I would definitely play this one again and suggest that, with the right set of adults, this would go
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11. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:598]
Tea or Coffee?
Czech Republic
Liberec
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Spot it! set our house on fire in July. This was a big hit that I introduced during our holiday at the beginning of the month.

It's a speed reaction game, but a well-done one at that. Easy enough for young ones to play (ours 5 and 7). The only drawback for the youngest is that sometimes you have to match a word instead of picture. There is also a junior version with pictures only.

The game includes 5 variants, all of which have a different feel to them even though the basic mechanic of matching runs through all of them.

Lots of fun, plays quickly (of course) and the whole family can compete on the same level.

Tea

Edit: Copied from my game comments.
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12. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:2677]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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The sproglet is nearly six and a big reader. My wife and I are both gamers, so he plays a lot of games already. This is the first game we've tried that involves any major amount of reading during the game.

He loves it. We play with thirty-card/three-prize decks. It gets requested most days, and when we do play it we do two or three rounds each time. And he wins sometimes, which helps.

I borrowed a bunch of old cards from a friend and put some decks together for us to use. For his birthday I've bought him some batches of cards off eBay so he can have a go at deck construction as well.

Other games he's been introduced to this month:

Fzzzt!
Surprise hit. Full rules. He needs a bit of help counting up at the end (unlike in Small World, where he can make change and stack tokens to keep track) but he really enjoyed it.

Carcassonne
Only one play so far. Base game only, but full rules.

Fairy Tale
Played a couple of times three-player. We took all the advanced cards out for the first game, introduced some of the easier ones into the second.

Mamma Mia!
Played once two-player and once three-player. Full rules, which are easy enough anyway. I think he was a point away from winning both games.

Ticket to Ride
Played a three-player game or two. Full rules. As with Small World, he has a tendency to attack/block his mum, so I usually win both games.

On the list for next month:

Frank's Zoo
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13. Board Game: For The Win [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:3789]
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Every time I get a new game in, my son always wants to play it. This is one I felt that I could introduce him to. Unfortunately, the first game wasn't much of a game, because he mostly handed me the win.

I didn't play Bohnanza with my son, but my wife did. Surprisingly, it went over pretty well with my son.
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14. Board Game: Master Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1623]
John R
Canada
Toronto
ON
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I picked up a copy at a thrift store last week and played it a couple of times with my wife and kids (boy 12 and girl 10). We enjoyed it quite a bit and my son especially loved the concept of moving the tiles around to create new paths, although he was slightly prone to analysis paralysis occasionally taking way to long trying to find the perfect move.
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15. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:539]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Played this twice with my 14 year old daughter and three adults. We probably didn't get into the spirit of the game quite as intended as we weren't quite taken with it. It was more like LCR or something with no way to know whether there would be a skull or roses coming up. I might try it again with a different crowd.
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16. Board Game: Wits & Wagers Family [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:940]
Chris Halaska
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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This is one we brought along on a trip to a family reunion, but we never got a chance to play it there. Instead, on the way home, staying with some friends, our kids got sick, & we had to spend an extra day recuperating. So, we played a bunch of games...

Our 7 year old loved this, and asked to play it several times. It's still a little old for him, as he often didn't know what answers were in the ballpark. However, he did figure out the strategy of betting on the adult who was in the lead, and picked up some points that way!

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17. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Chris Halaska
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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This is the other "party" game we brought that didn't get played at any parties. When we did get to play it, the game went over well with everyone, including my 7 year old. Unfortunately, I found it much less exciting than I was expecting, given its glowing reputation. (Maybe it's just because I didn't do very well in any of the games...)

Again, this game is a little old for my son, as his descriptions of the cards tended to be literal and obvious, so although he never did as well as the best players, he still beat me every time!

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18. Board Game: Mermaid Beach [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:8548]
Bradford Lounsberry
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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July was a record month for my 5-year old daughter and I. We logged 72 plays! We played a lot of different games, but Mermaid Beach was by far the one that dominated July for us.

She immediately loved this game due to the art and theme. It just clicked immediately. With elements of Old Maid and Go Fish, the rules were pretty easy to teach and now we play it constantly.

I'm enjoy playing it because she does, but it is a pure luck game so it does get tiresome after awhile.
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