Dad's Gaming Addiction
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My regular readers know by now that I include the kids in my board game reviews whenever I can. While it is true that they help me to see the games I review in a different light, they also provide you parents out there with ideas for that next birthday gift (or what have you). Most important of all, I include them because we enjoy the process of playing and reviewing games together.
So, what are the DGA Awards? Put simply, they are awards that honor games that we felt were a cut above the rest. It should be noted that we only chose from the games that we own and actually played in 2012…still, choosing from over a hundred games was no easy task.
Why am I doing the awards in September / October, you ask? Well, I decided to help out my fellow parents by giving them time to review these lists, do the research, and order what they liked in time for the Christmas holiday season…something a lot of us celebrate here in the States toward the end of the year. Don’t worry, I conveniently included a review link to each game that was mentioned and most of those reviews include an Amazon link. You’re welcome!
Vinnie’s Top Five (11 Years Old)
5. Say Anything & Say Anything Family
4. Apples to Apples (Junior Edition)
3. Those Pesky Humans!
1. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Honorable Mentions: Alien Frontiers, Tetris Link, Star Trek: The Next Generation Deck Building Game, Crappy Birthday, Last Night On Earth, Castle Panic
Carolyn’s Top Five (13 Years Old)
4. Crappy Birthday
3. Ticket to Ride
2. Apples to Apples (Junior Edition)
1. Say Anything & Say Anything Family
Honorable Mentions: Tetris Link, Lost Cities
Anthony’s Top Five (16 Years Old)
4. Serpent Stones (Preview)
3. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game & Expansions
Honorable Mentions: Skyline 3000, Khet, Castle Panic, Othello, Pandemic
Dad’s Top Ten (Not Telling!)
9. Lords of Waterdeep
7. Airlines Europe
6. Power Grid
5. Clue: The Great Museum Caper
4. Alien Frontiers
3. Star Trek Catan
2. Ticket to Ride
Honorable Mentions: Lost Cities, Tsuro of the Seas, Star Trek: Fleet Captains, Khet, Star Trek Expeditions, Tetris Link, Sunrise City, Those Pesky Humans!, Small World, Jumbulaya, Dracula, Farmageddon, Jambo, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game & Expansions, Star Trek: The Next Generation Deck Building Game
As an added bonus for you parents out there, I included a list of games in my collection that I thought were the most educational and why. Parents and teachers…take notes!
10. Tetris Link - Tetris is a great way to hone one’s ability to envision things in their mind. Players are forced to picture where their piece would end up after dropping it and then must figure out how to expand on their network while stopping others from doing the same. Blokus is similar to Tetris and encourages players to think ahead and make use of the space that they have available. Ticket to Ride, while it doesn’t involve puzzle pieces, is also a game that forces players to plan ahead in regards to their respective networks.
9. Pandemic - While this game doesn’t teach you about viruses or anything medical related, it teaches players how to work together as a team. Other cooperative games similar to this (and good alternatives if Pandemic isn’t available) are: Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Star Trek Expeditions, Castle Panic, and Forbidden Island.
8. Komodo - The educational value from this game lies from both the tile laying mechanic and the manual itself, which the latter features a section labeled “About the Animals.” Players will be figuring out how best to place tiles to house all sorts of different animals all the while learning about them. It has a great “save the animals” theme.
7. Got It! - Ah, numbers! This is a great game for kids to practice their math, either alone or in groups. It covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, order of operations, and more.
6. Word on the Street - It’s tug of war, but with letters! Both sides will be pulling letters back and forth as they come up with words that fit a particular category. This game is great for honing both vocabulary and spelling.
5. Jumbulaya - It’s sort of like Scrabble and Upwords, but on steroids. Players will be forming words by placing new letters on the board, swapping out letters, rearranging letters, or combinations thereof. Players are encouraged to form words that would be hard for their opponent to change…a good exercise in wordplay, overall.
4. You’ve Been Sentenced! - If there’s one thing today that bothers the heck out of me, it is how often people form sentences as if they were texting on their cell phone. This particular game is great for teaching kids proper sentence structure. Since the cards are random, they’ll also need to make do with the words that they’ve been given.
3. Clue: The Great Museum Caper - This game is older and hard to find, but it’s an excellent test of a player’s ability to deduce where the thief may be at any point in the game. The player playing the thief must time their moves with how the other players are moving about…it’s an overall excellent deduction game. Good alternatives are Clue: The Classic Edition, Mr. Jack in New York, and Scotland Yard.
2. Ingenious - Another brain bender. While some people may see it as just matching as many colored shapes as you can in a row, the final scoring mechanic makes this concept a lot more interesting. A player’s final score is determined by the colored shape that they have the least points for…so there’s a bit of strategy and thinking ahead involved in advancing all of your colored shapes along your scoring track as equally as possible.
1. Chess - I might be biased because I used to be a member of the United States Chess Federation, but I seriously consider this to be an excellent game for people of all ages. It hones critical thinking skills…that is…”if I do this, then that happens.” That concept encourages players to think ahead and make the least amount of mistakes in order to win. Good alternatives to this game that promote critical thinking are Hive (Carbon Edition) and Khet.
Honorable Mentions: Wits & Wagers Party (Trivia), Stratego: Fire & Ice Variant (Memory), WayWord (Spelling & Vocabulary), Beat The Parents (Trivia)
If you see your game's name mentioned above, please visit http://www.dadsgamingaddiction.com/dga-awards-2012/ and claim your award's JPG image!