Ho hum, I’ve just not got around to updating this blog for rather a long time now, and in particular I have been sitting on this post for ages. But as it was intended to be a 2011 award, I guess I’d better at least post it while the year is still current.
Okay, so we had our two final games together in a head-to-head game-off: Ghost Party and Enchanted Forest…
It was decided to play ghost party first and, as usual, the game was a lot of fun. Miss B insisted on coming up with names for all the characters at the party, and there was lots of squeaky excitement every time Hugo the ghost moved — and particularly when he caught someone (“my human friend is having a ride”).
Enchanted forest took rather longer to play. B loves the theme, and generally has fun with the mechanic, but seems to have trouble with the way it can take a long time to gather enough information to visit the king, and can get frustrated with forgetting where things are. As can I, to be perfectly honest.
So, based on this play-through, I would choose Ghost Party as the winner. But then again, it is not my choice. Over to Miss B to choose the winner of the 2011 Golden Thingummy Award…
And the winner is…
So, it’s been a little while but I’ve finally got around to writing this up. Anyway, back at the awards selection process, Miss B chose two pairs of the candidate games to play back-to back for comparison, and so here we have the semi-final round…
I’ve said it before: I like Loot. We both have fun playing this using the full ruleset and with the help of Miss B’s card holder device it now plays pretty smoothly with me only occasionally having to advise her on appropriate cards to play. However, Ghost Party is some stiff opposition. We still drop any requirements for exact die rolls and don’t bother scoring, and with that set up this is an all-round fun way to spend 10 minutes or so. I think going into this match-up I always knew which Miss B would choose: Ghost Party. “Because that game is the best I’ve ever played. It doesn’t even matter if you get caught on the stairs.” The judge has spoken.
I figured this would be a closer run one. Enchanted Forest is a damn good family game with kids often outstripping their parents in memory skills, a good set of mechanics and a charming theme; we played this with 2 dice, 2 treasures at a time, no exact numbers required, and magic being an unlimited teleport. Shave a Sheep has the advantage of being much quicker to play and having goofy Lego sheep and wolf figures. Win all round. After playing, the decision went to Enchanted Forest, “Even though it’s longer. I don’t mind if I guess wrong.”
So, entering the grand final we have Ghost Party and Enchanted Forest. I know which I would vote for, but I don’t make the final decision. In an attempt to spin this out a little longer, the final result and the announcement of the 2011 Golden Thingummy Award will be covered in a later post. Can you stand the suspense…?
We had a few friends (and a couple of friends-of-friends) come to visit for an afternoon over the weekend with the intention of playing either some games or some folk tunes as the mood took us, and in the event this turned into quite a serious games day, with tables on the go in two rooms. This was Miss B’s first experience of “grown-up” social gaming and I’m very pleased with how it all went.
I completely neglected to take any photos, so this post will go unadorned. It must be said, though, that my photographic skills fall somewhat short of professional standard to say the least (as you’ll know from previous posts), so you’re not missing out much.
Miss B kicked off with a couple of rounds of Ghost Party without the messing about with scoring, then on to a mildly simplified Enchanted forest. Next up was Giro Galoppo, which was a hoot for the rest of us, but a few turns in Miss B heard a game of Uno starting up in the other room and decided to switch her loyalties. Then she rejoined the crowd in the dining room for a round of Ave Caesar.
All in all this seemed to go really well. Aside from the switch from Giro Galoppo to Uno, Miss B maintained an admirable focus most of the time. Yeah, she slowed play down quite a lot at times, but everyone was very helpful and accommodating (so huge thanks to everyone for that) so she ended up telling me how much fun she had had.
And, of course, one of the key success metrics related to young children is whether or not things end in tears at any point. Well, I don’t think B won any games, but I don’t remember any tears at all until we reached bedtime. I hope we can do something like this again soon.
Ooh, it’s been a bit of a long time since I last posted, so I figure it’s time to get back to it. This time it’s something a bit different as Miss B and I have decided to give an award to our favourite game of those we have played.
So we dug out the twelve games that we have tested and reviewed so far and spread them out on the floor to provide a pleasingly varied selection. We then decided on how we would judge the competition (or at least I decided, and Miss B agreed that it would be fine).
First, the full range would be reduced to a shortlist of four nominees: Miss B would choose two games and I would choose the other two. Then we would play two of these games and decide which we thought was best (by which I mean Miss B would decide), followed by the other two, which would result in two finalists to be played off head-to-head in a winner-takes-all gamestravaganza.
After a bit of a discussion, Miss B made her selections: Ghost Party “because I like Hugo chasing all the people around to get into rooms” and Enchanted Forest because “I like finding fairy tales”. Yup, two good choices there.
As for my choices, I considered my place here to choose a couple of games that I think we have had a lot of fun or value out of that I think might give B’s games a bit of a run in the playoffs. So I chose Loot, which I enjoy playing even for just the two of us, and which has introduced some good card gaming principles to the mix, and Shave a Sheep which, though it wouldn’t be high up my personal chart, has provided a lot of fun and entertainment for all of us and I’m sure it will continue to do so.
Watch this space to find out which game gets the award. We’re still looking for a good name for it, by the way.
Enchanted Forest is quite a nice family game: you run around the woods looking under trees for fairytale treasures, trying to remember where they are, and periodically stuffing the other players by bouncing them back to the start or switching the quest card at the castle. In fact, this is one game that Miss B’s Mummy will quite happily play. And in fact, Mummy was available, so we had a nice game for three.
Our simplifications for this were that we rolled one die to move instead of two (so fewer options available), didn’t require exact rolls to get anywhere, had no bouncing other players (if you landed on someone, you just moved on to the next free space), we had two turned up quest items at a time, and once a treasure had been correctly located, its tree was removed from the board. Actually the latter rule was only introduced after Miss B (and me too, if truth be told!) forgot that a particular tree had already had its treasure removed, so kept going back to it. We also ruled that you could guess the location of two treasures (one per turn) while at the castle and then you had to go back to the village, and played until all the treasures had been found then counted up who had the most.
The whole thing went pretty well, though it did take quite a long to play, so I was quite impressed that this held Miss B’s attention throughout. She got a little upset about being beaten to some of the treasures, and had difficulty remembering what was where, but went for most of the game without much help.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 4¼): “I liked it but I think the maze game would be easier.” The other option for a game this session was Labyrinth, hence the comment. When pressed, Miss B said she liked finding the treasures under the trees, but it was really difficult remembering where they were. I can sympathise with that!
The game: Enchanted Forest (Ravensburger), 2 to 6 players, age 8+.