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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26. Board Game: Piraten-Abenteuer [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:6056]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#38

Quote:
I need to start this mini-review with a disclaimer - I was a consultant for the Klutz board game book where this classic Spiel des Jahres Kinderspiel winning game was finally reprinted. (It's actually one of the highlights of my work on the book - I'm proud that I'm the one who brought this game to the editor's attention.)


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/38-corsaro-irrfahrt...
 
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27. Board Game: Sherlock [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2501]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#67

Quote:
Yeah, it's probably easier to sell a game named "Sherlock" - but I'm still in love with the absolutely trippiness of "The Awkward Bag Turns On" as a game title.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/67-der-plumpsack-ge...
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28. Board Game: Jewels in the Attic [Average Rating:6.32 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#64
Quote:
It's a little difficult to describe, but it's essentially a cooperative text adventure without a lot of text. Using circle-shaped "tools", the players attempt to find the best item among them to help solve the problem - whether that be avoiding a swarm of bees or trying to get out of an overstuffed chair. The notch on the tool card is lined up with the notch on the "problem" card and a small hole in the tool card reveals a letter - which corresponds to a result on the problem card. Many times, you defeat the card & get to claim a reward (which is a more powerful tool, usually)... though sometimes the problem causes the group some trouble. (Most of the group ended up asleep on the floor at one point; another time, they were all stuck to the walls of the room they were in.)


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/64-jewels-in-attic....
 
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29. Board Game: Marrakesh [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:4413]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#36

Quote:
So, I open the box, look at the great pieces (wooden camels & chunky tiles with a draw bag), and then begin pulling out the pieces that make up the board... and I realize that I already own this game. It was published some years back by Ravensburger as Up the River - not a bad game, mind you, but not something I figured I'd be playing a lot. Having a second copy with a different theme originally seemed like a mistake.

At closer examination, however, the games are not identical... and, much as I love Ravensburger, Haba did a better job developing & publishing this game.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/36-marrakesh.html
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30. Board Game: Monster Fressen [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#51

Quote:
This is actually the fifth version of this particular game system:

* Kangaroo (1974)
* Generalowsky (date?)
* Pushover (1981)
* Die Heisse Schlacht am Kalten Buffet (1990)
* Monster Fressen (1998)

Give Alex Randolph credit - he managed to keep this baby afloat for 24 years & five different editions.

And here's why - the game play is simple to explain, there's a lovely push-your-luck dice rolling mechanic at the heart of the game, and it's just plain fun. Whether the theme is racing kangaroos, Soviet generals, odd little men riding on golems, scarfing the best food at a cold buffet or monsters sampling dinner from the kitchen, the heart of the game is the ol' "just one more roll" dilemma.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/51-monster-fressen....
 
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31. Board Game: Geisterwäldchen [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:4375]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#62

Quote:
This is the Spiderman 2/The Empire Strikes Back of kid games... a game sequel that is much better than the game that gave it a chance at existence. In this case, the game that proceeded it is the 2004 Kinderspiel-winning Geistertreppe (Ghost Stairs), which I thought was an OK memory game that was likely (among equal players) to degenerate into a kingmaker situation. (The magnetic ghost thingee, however, was nifty.)


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/62-geisterwldchen.h...
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32. Board Game: Highly Suspect [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:5035]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#41

Quote:
When playing with younger children, the Law of Unintended Consequences shows up quite a bit, as kids (and a number of adults) don't look ahead to see what will happen to all of the pieces. This isn't a bad thing, mind you - one of the key gaming (and life!) lessons we want to teach kids is the ability to look ahead to the consequences of their actions.

Kids love the sliding mechanic at the heart of this game... I think it may be the same impulse that makes little boys slide Hot Wheels down improvised ramps. They need to be 6-7 years old to understand the implications of their moves, but they can play with the game as young as 4.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/41-hchst-verdchtig....
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33. Board Game: The Secret Door [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4180]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#14

Quote:
I'm not sure my description does the game justice. It's quick to play (15 minutes or so), always tense, easy for younger children (age 4+) to join in, and it's a cooperative game as well. It is, frankly, the best of the Family Pastimes games I've played.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/05/14-secret-door.html
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34. Board Game: Duck, Duck, Bruce [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:2804]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#13

Quote:
I want to tread really carefully here... because if you read this incorrectly, you're going to hear me accusing a famous game designer of plagarism. That is decidedly NOT what I'm trying to do. But it's important to note that Kleine Fische (the original version of Duck Duck Bruce published by Goldsieber) came out in 1997 and the remarkably similar Zirkus Flohcati by Reiner Knizia came out in 1998.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/05/13-duck-duck-bruce....
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35. Board Game: Hallo Dachs! [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:5840]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#2

Quote:
First, he took most of the known gaming world by storm with his Settlers of Catan, then Klaus Teuber darn near drowned us in expansions & variations (I literally own 25 different Catan-related games & expansions myself). But in the middle of all of that, he took some time to design some really nifty kid games - and Hallo Dachs is my favorite. (For a few years, it would have topped this list.)


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/07/2-hallo-dachs.html
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36. Board Game: Dschungelrennen [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:7330]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#6

Quote:
Why, yes, it does look like you dipped a conga line of animals in bright paints... you gotta problem with that? Cuz if you do, this is probably not a game you're going to enjoy.

OTOH, if you can wrap your head around the leap-froggish nature of this dicefest, you can find some opportunities for clever plays as your five man team (monkey, bear, elephant, gator, tiger) race through the jungle.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/06/6-dschungelrennen.h...
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37. Board Game: Ringel-Rangel [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#66

Quote:
I'm still not clear on the theme - there are turtles and there are beach balls and large pieces of driftwood (I guess?!) and you're trying to get the turtles safely to their nests without bumping any turtles or beach balls off the... beach?! The beach (playing board) is actually about 1/2 an inch thick - which is nice because it's obvious when a beach ball or turtle falls off the board.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/66-ringel-rangel.ht...
 
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38. Board Game: Hula Hippos [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:3007]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#26

Quote:
24 small wood chips in the shape of a mouse (or, now, a hippo) and a polished wooden ring... that's it. That's all that you find a box of Maus nach Haus (Mouse in the House - the version from Haba) or Hula Hippos (the more recent reprint by Gamewright). OK, there's rules in there, too... but that hardly counts.

And yet, Heinz Meister (he's my hero!) milks more fun out of those simple game components than many games whose boxes are stuffed full of boards & bits.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/03/26-maus-nach-haus.h...
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39. Board Game: Tante Tarantel [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5071]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#18

Quote:
Auntie Tarantula (that's how the game translates into English) is an odd blend of think-y movement decisions (the movement of your bugs is fixed at one space per turn) and wild swings of random craziness (Auntie T., on the other hand, moves at the whim of a die roll). When you add the variable point scoring chart to the game, it's difficult to play this too seriously.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/04/18-tante-tarantel.h...
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40. Board Game: Attacktix Battle Figure Game: Star Wars [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3982]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#21

Quote:
- This is the game the movie "A Christmas Story" warned you about... "you'll put your eye out" is a distinct possibility with some of the figures.
- It's really easy to lose the "bullet" pieces under furniture and in other odd crevices. We play on our kitchen floor with a couple of towels stuffed around the fridge so we don't have to chase pieces into the Place Where Dust Bunnies Go To Die.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/04/21-attacktix-battle...
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41. Board Game: Pathfinder [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4197]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#30

Quote:
Of course, after you play it (Battleship) a few times, the new wears off & you realize that the game is either a total crapshoot or a methodical exercise in working a search grid pattern. Either way, the game continues on way past the point where the fun ends...

And that's why I'm putting Pathfinder on my Kid Games 100. It has all of the good parts of Battleship (hidden goals to find, hiding things from the enemy, the tension of blundering about in the dark) with none of the boredom.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2009/03/30-pathfinder.html
 
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42. Board Game: Cranium Cariboo [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:3766]
 
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#93

Quote:
More toy than game, Cariboo is a (mostly) sturdy piece of play equipment that manages to be both educational & fun. And, if you're willing to set your brain power on "dim", it's not a bad little cooperative game.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/93-cariboo.html
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43. Board Game: Le Paresseux [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:7675]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#39

Quote:
Das Faultier (English: "The Sloth) is the anti-race game. All of the players are sloths and the goal is to the LAST player to get to the finish line. If you fall asleep on the way there, so much the better.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/39-das-faultier.htm...
 
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44. Board Game: Break the Safe [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3157]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#34

Quote:
This is probably the worst cover art of the entire Kid Games 100 - ugly computer-generated stuff that screams "Hi, we're Mattel & we decided to go cheap on the packaging!" at the top of its lungs. Which is sad, because hidden under the weak packaging is a very good cooperative game that uses an electronic timer to create truckloads of tension.

http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/12/34-break-safe.html
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45. Board Game: Thing-a-ma-Bots [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:7283]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#90

Quote:
What makes this one work is the combination of imagination & adrenaline - the silliness of the names blends really nicely with the excitement of trying to shout out the correct name.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/06/90-thing-ma-bots.ht...
 
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46. Board Game: Buddel-Wuddel [Average Rating:6.07 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#45

Quote:
Kramer & Ulrich are famous for other designs - most notably, El Grande & The Princes of Florence (two of my top ten games for adults). What we have here in this bright yellow Haba box is a mechanic from one of their "gamer" games (Die Handler) repurposed to drive a kid game about moles, gnomes, mine cars & a friendly goblin.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/45-buddel-wuddel.ht...
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47. Board Game: By Golly! [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4534]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#74

Quote:
It's a very portable memory game that works well with 2-6 players... this is one of those "I'm not sure why I like it so much but I do" kind of games.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/07/74-au-backe.html
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48. Board Game: Drops & Co. [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:7775]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#55

Quote:
It's not that Drops is chock full of strategic or tactical decisions - it's basically a dice game played out on a near-vertical board filled with mini-conveyor belts. There is some look ahead (you need to set yourself up while avoiding helping other players) - but the real attraction here is the little wooden "candies" dropping down the face of the board and into the bins.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/10/55-drops-co.html
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49. Board Game: Willy Waschbär [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:7986]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#61

Quote:
The soccer part is provided by the players as they flick any raccoon disc they wish, attempting to knock off other raccoons or food. The billiards part is making wise decisions about how the wooden discs will carrom off the board. The sumo wrestling part? We'll get to that in a minute.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/61-willy-waschbr.ht...
 
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50. Board Game: Insel der Schmuggler [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:7957]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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#58

Quote:
This is a pick up & deliver game for kids... you take a chit from the harbor your boat is in and take it to the harbor with the symbol(s) on the back of the chit. There's some rules for pushing other players as well as dumping cargo, but it's simple enough to teach in 3 minutes or so and has been a hit with adults & kids every time I've brought it out.


http://akapastorguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/58-insel-der-schmug...
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