My Oldest 5 Childrens' Favorite Games In Their Words: 2012 Edition - With Photos
James Fehr
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Edmonton
Alberta
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My children and I have enjoyed this board gaming hobby together for several years now, and it's been so fun to see their tastes grow and change over time. When I first got into the hobby in late 2004, it was hard to picture a day when my kids would be old enough to play "adult strategy" games with me, but I could hardly wait. Well as all you parents know, time only speeds up as it goes by, and before I knew it, I was bringing out some of my favorite games for them to enjoy with me. I am now at the very happy stage where the oldest 4 kids can handle anything and everything in our collection, and can give me a run for my money with most of them too. In most cases, it's the kids begging me to play with them more than the other way around, which is pretty cool.

I am a spoiled father, but the purpose of this list is not to brag on my kids or make anyone jealous - plenty of you have been, are, or will be in this situation as well. This list is mainly a record for myself of what experiences my children have enjoyed, and I thought it would be fun to share it with everyone.

Over 2 years ago, I posted the 2010 version of this geeklist:
My Oldest 5 Childrens’ Favorite Games in Their Words - With Photos
Then last year, I found that their favorites had changed enough that it warranted another list:
My Oldest 5 Childrens' Favorite Games: 2011 Edition - With Photos

This was the first year my wife and I started giving big board games as birthday or Christmas presents to kids that would appreciate it. The kids have played a ton of new games in the last 12 months, and I was shocked to see how much their top 10 lists had changed - in fact, close to half of what is listed here was new to them in the last year. I am a card-carrying member of the "cult of the new" myself, and the children have indulged me. But when it really comes down to it, if I had to choose between old favorites and perpetually new games for the rest of my life, I would choose old favorites. I suspect that many of the top games on this particular list will remain my kids' favorites for a long time now.

As in the previous years, I took their lists and assigned a score to each game listed based on its position in each top 10 list: a game at the top of a list would get 10 points, the second favorite would get 9, and so on. Additionally, for each person’s list that the game appeared on, I gave it one extra point. Then I ranked all of the games based on total points. This is the master list that resulted, from the games that scored highest to least high.



From left to right are: Julianna (10), Isaac (12), Sam (13), Bethany (15) and Adam (12).
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:10]
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#1 on Sam's top 10 list:
I like to explore, exterminate, exploit, and expand in Eclipse. This game has some great mechanics as well as an appealing theme. I especially like the economic, action selection, and population mechanisms.

#1 on Isaac's top 10 list:
I really like Eclipse’s theme and it’s fun when you have battles (especially with intense music playing).

#2 on Adam's top 10 list:
I like the feeling that you are growing an empire in this game. You have to grow, but at the same time defend or attack against your neighbours. I like it in games when, to win, you have to be balanced but also steadily growing.
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2. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:85]
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#1 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I like Galaxy Trucker because I like finding the pieces to put on my ship and the people are so cute. I like watching other people's ships blow up - even mine!

#7 on Sam's top 10 list:
7.Galaxy Trucker: Galaxy Trucker is an exciting game of survival and destruction. I love to see those wonderful ships, so carefully built and prepared for the mission ahead, get smashed to nothingness. This game has some really unique mechanisms and is a super game for two to four players.

#9 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like Galaxy Trucker because of the importance of fitting everything together perfectly like a puzzle (although I sometimes get consumed with this and forget to add rockets)!
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3. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:38]
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#1 on Adam's top 10 list:
This game is very interesting, because there are so many things to do, but you're not sure what to pick. I like it that you have to strategically choose which action to take so that you can do another key action your next turn. When your playing it’s fun to figure out whether the thing that will give you an instant amount of points, or the action to give you points every round, but at the end of the game it will add up to more than the other choice.

#4 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like Trajan because of all of the many different ways to earn poitns and because I enjoy collecting the points in this game even if I don't win.
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4. Board Game: Why Did the Chicken...? [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3254]
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#2 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like this game because it makes me laugh. It also helps to show me what kind of tone amuses people.

#7 on Isaac's top 10 list:
I like making up jokes and it’s really fun when you get to read other peoples' jokes too.
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5. Board Game: Mondo [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:971]
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#4 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I love to accomplish goals in Mondo. And I like getting my board just perfect.

#5 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like Mondo because I like puzzles and this game is very much a puzzle, and also because I have a burning desire to beat Samuel at it!
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6. Board Game: Infiltration [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:862]
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#3 on Isaac's top 10 list:
The thing I like most about Infiltration is the theme.

#8 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I like finding new rooms. I love collecting points too.

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7. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:119] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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#7 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I like the funny pictures and making up sentences. I especially like guessing what the card is.

#8 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I enjoy Dixit because of the player interaction and the thought-provoking and whimsical artwork. It is a great game to play with family.

#9 on Isaac's top 10 list:
In Dixit it’s really fun when you get to make up phrases and sentences and it’s fun to hear other people’s sentences and phrases too. The cards are really neat too.
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8. Board Game: Nefarious [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1379]
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#4 on Isaac's top 10 list:
Nefarious has lots of neat cards and I like the theme.

#9 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I love inventing and collecting money. There are lots of funny inventions.
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9. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:61]
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#1 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like AoS because of the intensity of waiting to see if another rplayer will take over the space that you want or deliver the goods before you have a chance to. I also enjoy the challenge of working my way up the income track.
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10. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:89]
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#2 on Sam's top 10 list:
I enjoy building empires, and this game is the second best way to do it! I think this game also has wonderful mechanics and a captivating theme. I especially like the ways that your cities can be improved.
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11. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:321]
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#4 on Sam's top 10 list:
Core Worlds is definitely my favourite deck building game. I like conquering new worlds, upgrading my armies, deploying my heroes, and realizing at the end of the game that all the profit of my strategy has evaporated. Playing this game is a really gratifying experience.

#10 on Adam's top 10 list:
Core Worlds is fun because it is a deck building game. You are trying to conquer planets and get energy and points from them. It is fun to try to ruin other people’s plans by taking the planet they want.
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12. Board Game: Blink [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:2752]
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#2 on Isaac's top 10 list:
It’s really fun when I play Bible Blink with dad because he and I both are pretty good and it’s fun having so much competition.
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13. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:110] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
James Fehr
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#2 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I like Small World because it's a very mean game and I like mean games. I think it's fun watching people disappear from the board and getting rid of people. Especially when I have the elves.
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14. Board Game: Ikusa [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:475]
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#3 on Sam's top 10 list:
As far as war-games go, Samurai Swords is by far my favourite. I love to negotiate and make alliances, as well as crush the enemy to a pulp. One of the great things about this game is that no matter how badly you do you’ll still get a real kick out of it.
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15. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:9]
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#3 on Adam's top 10 list:
One reason I like this game is because you are trying to fill up your board with tiles to give you points. You have to buy the tiles that you will eventually put on your board, but you have to get the tiles you want before other players get them. You have to figure out which tile you want more, but also figure out what your opponents want too.
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16. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:768]
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#3 on Julianna's top 10 list:
My favorite thing about Conquest of the Empire is being attacked and attacking. I love defeating people.
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17. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:29]
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#3 on Bethany's top 10 list:
I like Battlestar Galactica because it has a clear storyline and because of the intensity of trying to find out who the cylons are.
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18. Board Game: Carson City [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
 
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#4 on Adam's top 10 list:
One very good thing about this game is that it is worker placement. I like it how you can fight to get the actions you want. I like it how you are building a town with buildings and houses. This game is a very exciting game, and you never know what is going to happen.
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19. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:23]
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#5 on Sam's top 10 list:
Dominant Species is a wonderful worker placement game that deserves a spot on this list. This game of uplifting your species to the highest possible extent really gives a full gaming experience and has earned the honour of becoming my favourite worker placement game.
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20. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:723]
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#5 on Isaac's top 10 list:
I like Bang’s theme a lot and it’s fun when you are the deputy or bandit especially.
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21. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:48]
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#5 on Adam's top 10 list:
This is very cool, because you have a very big choice range. Activating buildings and putting new buildings on your board gives a growing element to the game. It’s fun to use resources to get new buildings.
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22. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:714]
James Fehr
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#5 on Julianna's top 10 list:
I like Trans America because it's that kind of game that makes you really excited and your heart beats fast when you're going to win. It's very funny when someone's just about to win and then someone else wins.
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23. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:145]
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#6 on Sam's top 10 list:
A Few Acres of Snow is a great combination of a war-game and a deck building game. This game of colonial warfare has deservedly won the spot of my favourite exclusively two player war-game.
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24. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
James Fehr
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#8 on Adam's top 10 list:
Through the ages is a fun long game. Sometimes I just feel like a nice complicated game. Getting technologies and leaders is fun. I like it how you have to feed your people, but also grow at the same time. I have to complement the strategy of this game.

#10 on Sam's top 10 list:
This is a an exciting card game about building your civilization. This games variety and replayability make it a great thing to play at a time when length is not a big issue.
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25. Board Game: Pit [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1080]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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#6 on Isaac's top 10 list:
I think Gavitt’s Stock Exchange is fun because it’s so frantic and quick.
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