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The Kid Games 100
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Over the last year (or so), I've been blogging my own personal Kid Games 100 over on my blog, aka pastor guy (http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com).

I've decided to take advantage of the Geeklist format to list all 100 games but arrange them in BGG average rating order rather than the order I'm choosing for them - I figure the contrast will be interesting.

Each entry is in the following configuration:

=====

Kid Games Rank

Quote:
a pithy pull quote from my longer blog post


the link to the blog post

=====

By the way, this link:

http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/search/label/Kid%20Games%20...

...will bring up all the posts in the Kid Games 100.

And this link:

http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/07/kid-games-100-whole...

is a comprehensive list of all 100 games.
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51. Board Game: Monte Rolla [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:8220]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#80

Quote:
Monte Rolla is an object lesson in how to take the same basic elements as a supposedly "classic" game (Chutes & Ladders) and turn them into a game people (esp. kids) enjoy playing. You've got your dice rolling, your pieces moving forward or backwards due to the design of the board, and it's basically a race to the finish.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/80-monte-rolla.html
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52. Board Game: Rüsselbande [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:4425]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#70

Quote:
The wooden pig pieces stack - and while it's an important part of the game, it's also makes this, in the words of SNL, "a floor wax & a desert topping." Stacking the pigs in intricate formations (having nothing to do with the actual race game) is encouraged by a sheet of potential stacking combos that you can try. (I think a couple of them are impossible without the help of Crazy Glue, but I don't usually do real well at stacking games.)


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/08/70-rsselbande.html
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53. Board Game: Das Störrische Muli [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:7848]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#78

Quote:
The two dashing gentlemen in the picture are Ted Cheatham (designer of Silk Road & Gumball Rally) and Greg Schloesser (head of the IGA & well-known gaming figure)... and it was taken in my game room in Nashville, TN, about 7 years ago. This was our late night silliness - and "The Intractable Mules" (that's how the title translates) was perfect.

What I've found out over the years is that DSM (I'm not typing that name again - no way) works just as well with kids as it does with adults. I'm not sure where Klee (the manufacturer) came up with age 8+ recommendation... I've had kids as young as 5 play it and play well.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/78-das-strrische-mu...
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54. Board Game: Secrets of the Deep [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:7215]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#24

Quote:
So, you've got to manage your air, avoid the other divers (you can't move through them), use the dolphins (there are 2 of them) to your advantage - as they can push divers, and watch the time... when the boat reaches the far side of the board, the game is over.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/03/24-secrets-of-deep....
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55. Board Game: Die Ritter von der Haselnuss [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:5776]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#71

Quote:
Back in the day (OK, back in the late '90's), Goldsieber was known for making games with lavish production values (examples include Mississippi Queen, Africa & Goldland) as well as producing a splendid line of kid games under their "Minibox" label. (You've already seen 4 of them in the Kid Games 100 - and there are more to come.) Team that kind of production team up with the designer of Settlers of Catan and what you end up with is a tricky little memory game called "The Knights of the Hazelnut."


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/08/71-die-ritter-von-d...
 
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56. Board Game: Immer oben auf! [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#40

Quote:
The first thing you notice about Immer oben auf! is how flingin'-flangin' heavy the box is... that's because the game is played with twenty-four wooden blocks. Seriously, you could kill a small child by dropping the game on them.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/40-immer-oben-auf.h...
 
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57. Board Game: The Powerpuff Girls: Saving the World Before Bedtime [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:5744]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#81

Quote:
There aren't a lot of TV/movie tie-in games on this list... though if you go to Wal-Mart or Target or Toys'R'Us, you could easily be fooled into thinking that this is the main source of new kid games. Thankfully, the Powerpuff license inspired some really nice design work from Craig Van Ness, one of the gurus behind the development of Heroscape.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/81-powerpuff-girls-...
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58. Board Game: Der Kleine Riese Kasimir [Average Rating:5.89 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#89

Quote:
Designer Rudiger Dorn is best known in the boardgaming community for his meaty games like Goa, Traders of Genoa & Louis XIV. Since I'm not a fan of any of these games, it's a bit surprising that one of his kid game designs ended up here on my Kid Games 100 list. (To his credit, I do like Emerald, Arkadia, and Gargon.)

http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/89-der-kleine-riese...
 
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59. Board Game: Elevator Eddie [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:7902]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#87

Quote:
Yes, campers, this is a Speed/Espresso/Dutch Blitz variant that's simplified & streamlined to make for a really enjoyable gaming experience. In addition to the numbered cards (there are 8 floors to the hotel), there are STOP and GO. You can play a STOP at any time... which is kind of like having a kid monster on the elevator who pulls the emergency button. The only way to get it going again is with - wait for it! - a GO card. Anyone can then immediately play any number card on top of the GO card & get the elevator running again. You have a limited hand (2 cards, if I remember correctly), meaning you are playing & drawing cards as fast as your hand-eye coordination skills will allow to move.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/87-biesti-boys.html
 
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60. Board Game: Flying Carpet [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4962]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#97

Quote:
Granted, your average 6 year old has a hard time figuring out all the crazy things that can happen when they play a particular card - but one of the very smart ideas in the game is the mutable nature of the board. Through a variety of cloud & building pieces, you can design a raceway for the flying carpets that's easy enough for a 6 year old to navigate - or difficult enough to frustrate even the most hardened Formula De driver.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/97-flying-carpet.ht...
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61. Board Game: Beppo der Bock [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:6188]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#63

Quote:
I went through three phases with my acquistion of Beppo der Bock:

1. The WOWSA phase - where you open the box, start playing with the basic mechanic (the magnet/steel ball/wooden goat shooter) and are blown away by how powerful the magnet is and how much fun it is to shoot the little balsa wood goat around the board
2. The THAT'S IT? phase - where you realize that the mechanic is pretty much all there is to the game - otherwise, it's just a simple roll'n'move, albeit with a goat & some wooden refugees from the Weeble factory who never had their bottoms rounded off
3. The AH, NOW I GET IT phase - where it becomes clear that the virtues of the game (plays in 5-10 minutes, does reward experience with the shooter device, is attractive to & playable by kids as young as 3 with adult help) outweigh the phase 2 reaction


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/63-beppo-der-bock.h...
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62. Board Game: The Lost World Jurassic Park Game [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:7092]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#48

Quote:
You may or may not be a fan of the films - for the record, I really liked the first one, tolerated the second one, and ignored the third one - but if you like dinosaurs, you'll love the whole "run or be eaten" vibe that the game gives off.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/48-lost-world-juras...
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63. Board Game: Bumparena [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:7181]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#73

Quote:
My first reaction to Bumparena on taking it out of the box was "how in the heck did they figure out how to build it so it would fit back in there?" (Which, btw, it does.) My second reaction was "how are they able to set this low a price point with all this custom plastic work?"


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/07/73-bumparena.html
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64. Board Game: My Haunted Castle [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:7860]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#50

Quote:
Another classic example of the way to misname a game when it crosses the Atlantic - in German, this is "The Ghost Castle". In English, it sounds like a Halloween episode of My Little Pony.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/50-my-haunted-castl...
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65. Board Game: Enchanted Forest [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:3820]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#53

Quote:
So, by now the savvier members of my reading audience have figured it out: Enchanted Forest is an evil combination of Aggravation and a memory game. Stomping on other players is an integral part of the fun!


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/53-enchanted-forest...
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66. Board Game: Bis bald im Wald [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#98

Quote:
There are a lot (21+!) of memory games on the Kid Games 100... this is the first of those - and quite possibly the most difficult. There's only 25 pieces in the forest (aka playing grid)... but the need to move your deer & remember multiple tiles in order to complete tasks makes this one a real brain-burner.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/98-bis-bald-im-wald...
 
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67. Board Game: Operation Rescue Kit [Average Rating:5.73 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#37

Quote:
As well, there are new organs to remove - oops, excuse me. The game calls them "Funatomy." (I had my gall bladder removed last year - and at NO POINT would I call it "funatomy.") Anyhoo - we now have "texters thumb" and "video controller wrist" and a particularly insidious/difficult piece called "belly button fluff." The only classic piece that's gone is the rubber band - instead, you've now got a "twisted knee" piece that must be manipulated down a winding track to a place large enough to remove (near the foot). This is good, as my friends were always having to hunt down a new rubber band for their game.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/37-operation-rescue...
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68. Board Game: Blackrock Castle [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:8447]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#88

Quote:
There's a theme - of sorts - about knights venturing into a haunted castle to retrieve paintings of their ancestors while trying to avoid the traps. But it's really a memory game - as you can see, each set of four spaces has one corner that "collapses" when a pawn is placed on it. If you move across that space, your turn is over & you are returned to the previous space.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/88-blackrock-castle...
 
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69. Board Game: Castle Keep [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:5972]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#35

Quote:
One warning - 3 & 4 player games can drag a bit if players aren't playing quickly. Especially with 4 players, you can end up playing "King of the Mountain" as the other three players work to pull down the leader's castle. However, the game has a built-in way to slow this behavior with the "destroy one castle" victory condition - it doesn't make sense to weaken an opponent too much if another player can then eliminate them & win.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/35-castle-keep.html
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70. Board Game: 13 Dead End Drive [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:5533]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#77

Quote:
Yes, I realize that the manufacturer suggests this is a game for 9 year olds... I also realize that setting up the board & various traps requires an engineering degree. That doesn't change the fact that this bluffing game is well-suited for younger elementary kids with the pitch perfect mixture of mechanical silliness & easy game play.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/07/77-13-dead-end-driv...
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71. Board Game: Gumball Rally [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:7372]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#42

Quote:
I need to start out this entry with a disclaimer: the designer of Gumball Rally, Ted Cheatham, is a personal friend. He was one of the founders of Gulf Games... and it's because of his friendship that I got invited to attend.

But that just explains why I was willing to try Gumball Rally... and not why I like it as much as I do. The reasons I like it are as follows:

* it plays well with 5-8 players... there aren't a lot of games (kid games or otherwise) that fall into that category
* it plays quickly & cleanly
* it works really well with mixed audiences of kids & adults... or with all kids if you have an adult to "run" the game
* there are opportunities for clever play... but no real way to target another player


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/43-gumball-rally.ht...
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72. Board Game: Rabatz auf dem Riesenrad [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#20

Quote:
The literal translation of the title is "Rats on a Ferris Wheel" which sounds more like the title of one of my wife's nightmares (playing in a double feature with "You Took Off Your Energy Mask & You Were Cameron Diaz") rather than a delightful game system for the smallest gamers in your house.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/04/20-rabatz-auf-dem-r...
 
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73. Board Game: Cranium Hullabaloo [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:7836]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#69

Quote:
If you're looking for a game to teach the competitive spirit to your children, you're in the wrong place. OTOH, if you want a Twister-like game for the preschool set with a delightful sense of whimsy, have I got a game for you.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/08/69-hullabaloo.html
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74. Board Game: Scene It? Disney [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:8786]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#31

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Note: we play that you roll the dice, do the activity (My Play, All Play, trivia question, action card), then get to roll again for movement only if you answer correctly... then it is the next players' turn. This keeps pawns moving (no one is stuck at the start), shortens playing time, and keeps any one player from dominating the game with a string of turns. I recommend this method for all of the various Scene-It? games.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/03/31-scene-it-disney....
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75. Board Game: Knuckling Knights [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:8445]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#91

Quote:
Take one cardboard dice tower-like castle with a cardboard drawbridge (door)... add lots of little knights (pawns)... roll the dice & let the knights fall out onto a landscape with holes in it - and there you have Rumpel Ritter. If your child can count to three, they can play.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/91-rumpel-ritter.ht...
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