Monday, July 27, 2009

Kid Games 100: MIA Games (Never Played)

There are a number of well-known/well-liked kid games that didn't find their way onto my Kid Games 100. Over a series of posts, I'll try to explain the logic of why I didn't include them - or, in some cases, actively excluded them. I used the top 100 games categorized on the Geek as the jumping off point for this one...

MIA Games: "I've Never Played Them"

I'm going to divide this into three types: games that I think might have had a chance if I had ever played them, games that seem unlikely even if I did get to play them, and games that make me wonder about the ability of the average board game geek to recognize kid games.

Games With a Chance
  • Das magische Labyrinthe - the winner of the Kinderspiel SdJ this year... my hope is that it will make a really great game out of the A-Mazing Labyrinth mechanic
  • Dawn Under - spectacular production (it's Zoch!) + memory game... but it's a kiddie vampire game (that's a little weird)
  • Didi Dotter - the Zoch games pretty much all deserve a play before you dismiss them... and it's part of the Chicken Family of Zoch, which is a plus.
  • Forbidden Bridge - Don't know that it could replace Fireball Island... but I'd sure like to give it a go
  • Froggy Boogie - looks cute & has a good following
  • Magic Hill - I've tried to trade for a copy of this a couple of times
  • Max - why is this Family Pastimes game so highly rated? How does it differ from Round-Up or Caves & Claws?
  • Powerpuff Girls: Villains at Large - Craig Van Ness did such a nice job with "Saving the World Before Bedtime"... I think this might good as well.
  • Schildkroetenrennen - Knizia game of turtle racing
  • Zoff im Huhnerhoff - Oh, yeah... this is Haba goodness. I just haven't had the opportunity to play it yet.
Games That Probably Don't Have a Chance
  • Battle Dome - we have Pokemon Battle Dome (which isn't the exact same thing) but the new wore off pretty quickly for this kind of game
  • Buggo - combines memory with push-your-luck... I don't have any objections but don't feel like I'm missing anything
  • Der Zerstreute Pharao - It's certainly been around a while... but I've never been convinced to "pull the trigger" and buy it
  • Dorada - sounds like a nice roll'n'move (and, typically for Rudi Hoffman, has a couple of interesting twists) but not anything that would set the world on fire
  • Fliegen klatschen - This is a Halli Galli variant, I think... I'll get into why I don't enjoy speed/recognition games with kids in another post.
  • Gopher It! - Nothing against Reinhard Staupe... but most of his kid card games leave me cold. In this case, it sounds very similar to Duck Duck Bruce or Circus Flohcati.
  • Kids of Carcassonne - What I've read doesn't particularly interest me... and I think Panda, Gorilla & Co.: Das Spiel does the same thing with a more-kid friendly theme & more interesting tactical decisions.
  • Los Mampfros - I may be reading between the lines here, but I think the deep love for this game is about playing a game about donkey poop. (Humorous note: Rudiger Dorn, darling of the "serious Euro" set, was one of the designers.)
  • Mago Magino - While I love a number of Selecta games, some of them don't have much oomph beyond their gorgeous bits... and it's Knizia, who can design some great games but usually doesn't do much of note with kid games. (Only 1 of his games ended up on the Kid Games 100... and don't get me started about Nimbali.)
  • Mandarin - yikes! it's a Chinese-themed version of Bingo...
  • Orchard - I'm a huge Haba fan... but this looks like a tricked-out cooperative version of Hi-Ho Cherry-O. Of course, I reserve the right to be wrong. :-)
  • Pirahna - cute dexterity game idea... but nothing to distance it from the rest of the Tip-It crowd
  • RPGQuest - an introduction to role-playing in board game format, pitched for ages 8-10
  • Schatz der Dragon - Knizia does not have a great history with me & kids games. This sounds a bit better - a Memory variant with some push-your-luck elements.
  • Wer war's - a computerized game referee that only speaks German? Sigh. According to Ravensburger, it's too expensive to bring over to the U.S. market.
Games That Make Me Say "Huh?"
  • Arimaa - I've never even heard of this one. It's a Chess variant that should not be categorized as a kid game.
  • Croa - Or this one. Though it is a kid game.


Anonymous said...

"Das magische Labyrinthe" looks less a relative of "Labyrinth" than a better-made "Goblin's Gold", but I haven't played it yet.

"Max" is a terrific kids' game in spite of its poor production. I've seen it described as "LotR for kids", which is about right. It has a bunch of good teaching opportunities, too. What's keeping you?

Schildkroetenrennen is genius, but I haven't tried it with young kids. It handles mixed ages well.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I'd like to try all three of those... and I'm with you on the Family Pastimes production. It'd be nice if Selecta or Haba picked up one of his games & did it right.

Imagine The Secret Door with a small metal "safe" for the three items, big chunky tiles & professional art!

Mikko said...

Schildkroetenrennen is great with adults, good with kids, I'd say.

Mago Magino is good, but if you play with just two, it needs some house rules to make it interesting. Just make witch activate on a roll of 2 as well and you have a fun game.

Kids of Carcassonne is a good one.

MommyLydia said...

Me and my two year old LOVE Orchard. We play with the grandparents too and he's always asking to play it again.

Unlike Gulo Gulo, he'll actually play this game properly. (Gulo Gulo he just wants to play with the pieces)

He really loves the puzzle and sometimes tries to cheat to get teh crow to get another piece!