Board, Not Bored

Board, Not Bored: Children’s Games

You may have noticed some new boxes on the AHPL shelves at the start of the year: we have many board games available to check out! To get you acquainted with the large selection of games we have to offer, every month we will highlight 5 games from the collection. This month, we take a look at the Children’s Games.

What classifies a game as a “children’s game”? Children’s games are games designed specifically for a young age group. Often, these games are less-complex versions of existing board games that fall in the family genre. These games are perfect for introducing younger family members to the world of board games or for beginners of any age looking to try out a less-complex version of a popular game.

The first game we’re looking at is a junior version of the popular game Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride: First Journey takes all the basic elements of Ticket to Ride and scales them down, while scaling up the pieces. You play with large, colorful trains and an adorably-illustrated map as your board. Instead of conquering the world, you’re simply connecting the east and west coasts of America. The mechanics of this game are engaging enough that you can easily play it with more than just children and everyone will still have lots of fun.

Per BoardGameGeek, “In general, players collect train cards, claim routes on the map, and try to connect the cities shown on their tickets. In more detail, the game board shows a map of the United States with certain cities being connect by colored paths. Each player starts with four colored train cards in hand and two tickets; each ticket shows two cities, and you’re trying to connect those two cities with a contiguous path of your trains in order to complete the ticket. If you connect one of the West Coast cities to one of the East Coast cities with a path of your trains, you immediately claim a Coast-to-Coast ticket. The first player to complete six tickets wins! Alternatively, if someone has placed all twenty of their trains on the game board, then whoever has completed the most tickets wins!”

Braintopia Kids! also takes the principles of a game for older players and makes it attainable for a younger audience. This is a semi-educational game, testing younger players’ mental strengths through various challenges. Since this game is geared to ages 6+ it will be a bit too easy for players older than 12 and it may frustrate younger players to play with them. This game would be perfect to have children play against each other while older individuals play one of the Braintopia games geared toward a higher age bracket.

Per BoardGameGeek, “Braintopia Kids is a follow-up to the fast-paced brain bender that tests your mental focus, flexibility, and speed, but geared toward younger players. Comprised of eight different types of challenges, up to six players race through a deck of cards, fighting to keep up with the ever- changing mini-games, and attempt to solve the puzzles faster than their opponents. Collect brain tokens by beating a single Touch challenge or claiming a pair of cards from any of the other seven games: Maze, Odd one out, Coordination, Duplicates, Frequency, and Reasoning. The first player to collect four brain tokens wins!”

Outfoxed! is a game that is entirely unique to the children’s genre, with no adult counterpart. Players are detective chickens who slowly reveal clues throughout gameplay to guess at who stole a pie. The illustrations on the cards and box are downright adorable, sure to bring a smile to many faces. The game mechanics are similar to a slower and easier version of Clue. Although this is for ages 5+ it is still enjoyable to play as an adult alongside some children, as age gives you no real advantage. The game can move much slower with fewer players, so it’s recommended to play with at least 3 or 4 players.

Per BoardGameGeek, “Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing, and now it’s a chicken chase to crack the case! In Outfoxed, you move around the board to gather clues, then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects. You have to work together quickly because the guilty fox is high-tailing it towards the exit! Will you halt the hungry hooligan before it flies the coop — or will you be outfoxed?”

Wig Out! is part of the children’s card game sub-genre, many of which borrow basic mechanics from popular card games such as Go Fish or Old Maid and pair them with silly names and illustrations. Wig Out! assimilates the basic mechanics of Go Fish, so you race to match pairs of wigs to remove them from your hand. The game is more fun with as many players as possible, so grab 6 friends of any age and have fun looking at all the wacky wigs.

Per BoardGameGeek, “Flip your wig for this fast and frenzied card game that will put your frizzy in a tizzy! Race against your opponents to get rid of cards by matching all kinds of colorful hairstyles. Put together a pair of pigtails. Combine a couple of cornrows. Match a mullet or some Mohawks. The first player out of cards is a cut above the rest! The second edition of Wig Out! contains 70 cards instead of 60, giving players fourteen bewigged participants to match during the game.”

Zeus on the Loose is another children’s card game, this one taking its rules and gameplay from Tens Solitaire. Admittedly, they add more rules and overall make the game much more enjoyable since you’re playing against other people and not just by yourself. The recommended ages for this game are 8-years-old and up, but if you have a younger player who can easily add single digits together they would have no trouble playing. If you’re a fan of solitaire or mythology, you’ll enjoy this game.

Per BoardGameGeek, “Catch Zeus if you can! The great Greek god has bolted from Mount Olympus and it’s up to you to nab this dashing deity. Play cards strategically, adding numbers as you climb up the mythic mountain. Grab Zeus when the total reaches a multiple of 10. Better yet, summon the strength of Apollo, Poseidon, or all-powerful Hera to bring Zeus within your grasp. Reach the top of Mount Olympus with Zeus in hand and you’re a mortal among the gods. To play is human. To win, divine!”

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