Monday, 2 December 2013

Top Twelve Games - As Chosen By a 5 Year Old (part 2)

So here we are then - Benji's top six favourite games.

Having listened to Tom Vasel's rant recently, there are definitely 4 of these that will be causing his blood to boil. For those who aren't aware of this rant, or who Tom Vasel is, I will provide a response to his rant in a future post - but for now on with the list!

Number 6 - Castle Panic

In truth I thought that this would be a little higher on Benji's list. Like Forbidden Island, this is a fantastic cooperative game for families. We have the expansion, Wizard's Tower, which actually adds some complexity, but personally I prefer playing the basic version of the game. High on drama, lots of decisions to be made, and usually quite close finish. Like a lot of cooperative games, there is a danger of the adult becoming the alpha player, and telling the child what to do, but if you can restrain yourself, and let the child make the decisions on their turn, this is a great game to add to your collection.

Number 5 - Lords of Waterdeep
Don't let the D&D theme put you off
Now I'm surprised this is so high on the list, as Benji usually comes last when we play - however, it's my wife's favourite game, so that has possibly influenced his choice a little bit, as he often suggests playing this to keep her included.
First thing to admit - we take out the Mandatory Quest cards when we play, as they can be a bit mean, and we also keep his Intrigue cards face up so we can help him play them. On all the games on his top 12 list, this is the one that he requires the most help with, which is why I'm surprised it's in his top 5. Having said that, if you want to introduce a non-gamer to the Worker Placement style of games, it's hard to go wrong with Lords of Waterdeep.

Number 4 - Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game
Typical comic artwork on the game board
Ahh, now what child doesn't love superheroes?
This game is exactly what the title suggests it is - it's a Deck Building Game, set in the Marvel universe (for those non-comic book fans out there, think X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, Captain America etc. - no Superman or Batman will be found here).
In a deck building game, each player starts with exactly the same cards; on your turn you draw 6 cards, use them to purchase other cards, or fight the villains. As the game goes on, the cards you have will be stronger, until you can finally beat the super-villain.
This is the game that really helped to develop his reading skill, as like most children, he's determined to do everything himself.
Technically this is a semi-cooperative game, but we play it purely cooperatively. He's completely self-sufficient now, and he really loves this game. It's a fun game that the three of us can play, and the fact it helps develop both his reading and counting skills, not to mention strategic thinking and forward planning, makes it a game I'd be happy to suggest for the family setting.

Number 3 - Ticket to Ride
Look at all those trains, and not a spotter in sight!
I'm also surprised that this is so high on his list, it's another game that might be being helped by "the wife factor". Ticket to Ride is generally regarded as THE gateway game, the perfect game to introduce non-gamers to this peculiar hobby of ours. So, why am I surprised it's this high on Benji's list? Well, similar to Lords of Waterdeep, the usually requires a lot of help from mummy and daddy when he plays Ticket to Ride.
I've posted a detailed review of Ticket to Ride here so I won't go into any further details, but if you're looking at getting into the hobby, or trying to convert new gamers, or you want a game to play with your family, it's hard to go wrong with this classic.

Number 2 - 7 Wonders
I need a bigger table!
Now this was a bit of a surprise to me, I felt sure that this would be Benji's number 1 game - in fact it was, until he remembered about the game below!
7 Wonders is another game I've already reviewed, so go here to learn more about this wonderful game.
Benji now plays this completely unaided, and in fact has even won a few times. We recently added the Wonders pack to expand the game further.
This is such a versatile game, it deserves it's place on this list.

So, what game made the coveted number 1 spot? Any guesses?

Number 1 - Monopoly
That's right, now you can teach your children that spending on a card is fine!
Monopoly - the game where you give you kids money, then systematically take it all away from them, driving them into debt, until finally they are pushed into bankruptcy. Harsh, but I guess it's a way to teach them about fiscal responsibility in life......
Only kidding - if you really believed that my son would be playing Monopoly, let alone make it his favourite game, you clearly haven't been reading my blog properly.....however before we leave the topic of Monopoly, and get to the real number 1, this clip always makes me chuckle!

And finally (for real this time)....Number 1 - Heroscape (Rise of the Valkyrie)
Yep, all this stuff comes in the box!
I suppose before I go any further, it's only fair for me to point out that this game is long out of print, and will not be coming back any time soon - which is a pity as it's an absolute classic game. Everything about this game is amazing - from the way you build up the terrain using these thick plastic hex shaped tiles, to the different creatures you can play as, to the way it has basic and advanced rules for play (note, we've only played the basic rules so far).
Heroscape is a (mainly) 2 player game, and it's a game where two armies battle it out across different level terrain. The miniatures are gorgeous, the whole game is just so durable, and it's so easy to play and understand - so, why was I surprised it is number one on Benji's list.
Well, the main reason, is that we don't get to play it very often. It takes up a fair amount of space (it just fits onto our table), it take a little bit of time to set up, and mostly it's 2 player only so my wife doesn't get to join in. But the fact that as soon as Benji saw the box in the upstairs cupboard, he immediately insisted that it was his favourite game, shows how great this product is.
It's such a pity that you can only buy this second hand now, but if you're interested in a copy, keep an eye on eBay, charity shops and car boot sales. Copies usually turn up, and if you don't want it, I'll gladly take it off your hands for you.

So there you have it - my son's favourite games.
There are some I'm surprised that missed the list:- in truth, I think PitchCar might have made the list, but it's in a cupboard where we don't usually keep games, so I completely left it off the shortlist - oops!
If I'd done this 6 months ago, Sleeping Queens could well have made the list, but I think he's possibly outgrown it.
I'd also be interested if seeing if Krosmaster: Arena will replace Heroscape - we just haven't gotten it to the table enough yet.

As always, I'd be interesting in seeing you comments - any surprises of game that made the list, or games that didn't?
Any great family games I'm missing out on?

Until next time - happy gaming!

No comments:

Post a Comment