zwischenzug (ZVI-shen-tsoog) — noun

A chess tactic in which a player, instead of playing the expected move, first interpolates another move, changing the situation to the player's advantage (such as gaining material or avoiding what would otherwise be a strong continuation for the opponent).

Showing posts with label other_sites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label other_sites. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Teaching Lessons

Yesterday, I got in the car and started listening to one of my favorite gaming podcasts, On Board Games.   In this particular episode, the hosts, Donald Dennis and Erik Dewey, were talking about teaching games with their guest, Giles Pritchard.  It was a pretty amazing coincidence to me, since I had an interesting teaching challenge this weekend at our gaming group.  Back in April 2011, I wrote about not being prepared to teach 7 Wonders, and I actually put it away rather than ruin the initial play experience for my gaming group.  I was teaching a new game at our monthly meeting on Sunday and once again wasn’t prepared, but in a way that caught me completely off guard.  Playing the game is one thing; scoring is another.

[As a complete aside, I really have to endorse not only the On Board Games podcast, but also Giles’ blog, Castle by Moonlight.  These are great resources for those interested in gaming at any level.]

We started off playing a couple of filler games until everyone arrived.  Afterwards I announced that I was teaching China (a fantastic game I will review soon).  I have never played the game, but I often end up teaching games that I have never played before.  It’s unavoidable, since I don’t get to other groups or conventions to play games with experienced players.  The game play is straightforward in China, literally taking only a few sentences to explain.  Normally, explaining the game play is the hard part; it can be very difficult to explain the various phases and options the player has on their turn.  Let’s use Monopoly as an example.  If you are playing strictly according to the rules, the player rolls the dice and moves their token.  From that point, they either: a) pay the owner of the property; b) buy the property; or c) do nothing.  Option a) is dictated if the property is owned.  If the player chooses option c), the property is put on auction, and there is a set of rules for that.  Of course, all of this goes out the window if the player lands on Chance, Free Parking or one of the other places on the board that have their own set of rules, too.

The scoring for Monopoly, however, is simple; there isn’t any scoring.  The winning player is the last person standing when everyone else has been eliminated.  Many games, and nearly all of the games our gaming group has played, have relatively straightforward scoring systems.  A few others are an exception, like Carcassonne, having a relative scoring element as one part of the whole score.  In Carcassonne, scoring farms is relative to how many completed cities touch that farm.  In China, nearly all of the scoring is relative.  That’s the difficulty in explaining the rules.  That’s what I wasn’t prepared for.  How much you score in a given province in China is relative to how many pieces other players put in the province.  That tension between gaining points and possibly giving away points forms the strategy.

I probably should have seen this coming.  I have trouble teaching Carcassonne precisely because of the farm scoring.  Instead, I fumbled around with an explanation of scoring on Sunday.  Fortunately, the other players were willing to play anyway, and after a first “learning game” we played a game with everyone understanding all of the rules: both game play and scoring.  It’s not that the scoring is hard to understand; it’s just hard to put into words.

In teaching the game I learned a lesson.  In the past, I would teach a game by first introducing the game’s theme or story, giving the game objective in story terms, giving the game objective in terms of the rules, and then explain what a player did on his or her turn.  Along the way, I would explain the various game components.  Explaining the scoring was simple enough that it just worked out in explaining everything else.  In China, that’s just not going to happen.  Explaining the scoring will need its own focus, and will probably need to include examples as I teach.  I will need to work a little more on my teaching technique.

It's Your Move!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Pizza Box Football

Pizza Box Football is a great game to play with kids young and old, so I posted my review on Father Geek.  This is a particularly good game for a Christmas gift, since gridiron football is ramping up for college bowl games and pro playoffs!

It's Your Move

Monday, December 3, 2012

Father Geek Article on Buying Chess Sets as Gifts

Last year I wrote this post about buying chess sets for the Holidays.  I covered the topic again over at  Father Geek.  If you read last year's post you won't find this one that different.  Whichever version you read, it makes sense to buy a child a good chess set that will last for years.

It's Your Move!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Moving along...

Today I am glad to announce that I will be joining my voice to those gentlemen at Father Geek.  This move will allow me to participate in the larger discussion of family gaming, including games for smaller children.  Going forward, I will be posting exclusively there.  Thanks to all of my loyal readers, the steadfast few, as well as all of my family members that read this primarily out of a sense of duty or guilt.

Father Geek can be found at

It's Still Your Move!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The List

My son had some friends over for a couple of hours the other week.  There were three of them, and they struggled for something to do.  They ended up playing video games, but I got the sense from the conversation that it really didn’t work very well.  I asked him why they hadn’t tried board games, and he expressed reservations about his ability to teach the games he loves.  He does tend to like games that are fairly complicated, and hard to teach.

I took a few minutes over the weekend and looked at my collection database.  I keep my inventory on BoardGameGeek, and the data can be downloaded into an Excel file.  Someone had published an Excel tool for sorting and filtering a collection, which I have personalized.  Dumping my collection download into this tool lets me find games for the right setting.  In this case, I used the filtering to flag my collection for games that are good with at least two players (He normally has only one friend over at a time), play in an hour or less and are of low complexity.  I sprinkled in a few of his favorite games, flagging those I know he could teach, even if they don’t quite fit the criteria.  I then filtered on the flag I had set, and viola!  We have a set of game that might work.  I gave him the list, and suggested he go to the “game room” (the portion of the basement where my hobby lives) and look them over.  He could then mark the games he wants to learn.

[Okay, I realize that some of you can’t concentrate on reading this now due to that incredibly loud Nerd Alert that is going off in your head.  Yes, I have an Excel filtering tool for my collection.  Those of you that know me are either saying, “That’s awesome!” (Laundress Sue) or “Oh no – now I’ll have to explain why I let this guy near my kids!” Those of you who don’t know me are trying to see if I have another blog games and OCD. (What did you think this is?)  Breathe deeply.  Ready?]

My son was actually glad to have it.  Or he was buttering me up.  Not really sure, but I digress.  Another version of the list can be found here.  My question to you is, “How many of these games have you played?  Heard of?”  There is another world out there waiting to entertain you, and it doesn’t exist in Vegas or on riverboats.  It can be in your house, at your calling, ready to build friends, families and memories.

It’s Your Turn

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chess Sets for Gifts

One of my last posts was my buying guide for holiday gifts.  I suggested that the dedicated chess player is so focused that buying chess items for him or her is more likely to fail then succeed.  However, that's not true of the starting chess player.

This year's Chess Club at school has a lot of new kids in it.  I am so glad my wife is there as the librarian, so that she can use her classroom management skills to my benefit.  In the interest of crowd control, she has taken all of the new members and is walking them through a short introductory course in the game which will finish soon.  This is mandatory, even if you know how to play.  Meanwhile, I have the veterans, who are starting their chess ladder.  I will go into this another time, though I talked about it briefly in a post from last year.

With all of these new kids, I know there will be a few Christmas Lists that have chess sets on them.  Wednesday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, so jolly old St. Nick picked up all of those lists as he stopped by and dropped off tangerines and candy (at least at our house!).  So, where should Santa go if he needs a few more chess sets then he has ready?  I will give you two ideas:

The Chess House is a great place to find a chess set.  I have personally purchased from there, and the transaction was quick and easy.  I would buy their   Quality Regulation Tournament Chess Set Combo .  This set has several advantages: 1) this set (or one VERY similar) is the set used in the school, so children are used to it; 2) this set is a regulation tournament set, so it can be used in official events; 3) it transports easily; 4) it's nearly indestructible.

Similar sets can be found at the US Chess Federation's online store. Their are more options here, with different styles of bags, combinations that include chess clocks, and some that include the book How to Beat Your Dad at Chess.  Always popular.

The US Chess Federation (USCF) is the governing body for chess in the United States.  While you're there, consider getting a gift membership for your little chess player.  It will be well worth it.

I will apologize to my overseas friends; this post is very US-centric.  However, I am sure there are scholastic memberships available in your part of the world too, so the advise still holds.  Regardless of where your live, support your little chess enthusiast and your school's chess program!  There are studies that show how beneficial chess is to young minds, and there are measured results.

It's Your Move!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Good Holiday Gift Guide

My colleague Trent Howell published his gift guide, which also has some great suggestions:

The Board Game Family >> Game Gift Guide 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Tens

It's sort of a gaming tradition to publish top ten lists at the end of each year.  I published mine today, with links to my reviews and to BoardGameGeek.  They can be found by clicking:

Top Ten Lists

or by selecting the tab towards the top of the page.

It's Your Move!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dracula meets Frankenstein

Almost.  As it turns out, I was hoping our monthly group would get to play both Fury of Dracula and Fearsome Floors this month, but it didn’t work out.  We only managed to get in the former, which is one of my all-time favorites.  Rather than give a full review, I am going to give two mini reviews of these games.

Image by Brian (ColtsFan76)
Fury of Dracula’s storyline has its roots in the original novel.  In this game, Dracula has come back from the grave (again) some years later, seeking once again to establish his vampire brood.  He also has sought revenge against those who brought him down in the novel, turning two of them into his minions (Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris).  The remaining members of that group have reformed to bring down the Count again: Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. John Seward, Mina Harker and Lord Godalming (aka Arthur Holmwood).  The game sets one player as Dracula, moving in secret throughout Europe as the four other characters hunt  for him, attempting to attack and kill him.  Dracula is more powerful at night than during the day, loses life when travelling by sea, and card play provides information to the hunters as well as arming them against Dracula and his accomplices.  This game is one of the most thematic games I own, and like so many other thematic games, the card play adds much to the theme by interrupting the normal flow of the game.  It is worthy to note that all five characters are in the game regardless of how many players are playing, leaving a good game for anywhere from two to five players.  (This is accomplished by players playing more than one role if necessary.)  It also means that it is a good game for someone to show up late to, or leave early from, with his or her character is picked up by another player.

That said, this is NOT a casual game.  In fact, I believe it is more complex than many of my other games.  The hunter roles are somewhat complicated, particularly with the impact of the cards, but they have each other to rely on.  Dracula is on his own, and is doing things in secret, so the potential is there for a completely screwed up game.  As it takes two to three hours to play, this can lead to a very frustrating evening.  This game is published by Fantasy Flight, and is typical of their style: very high Awesomeness Factor, but very complex.

(For those of you have been reading along, I never did paint the figures for this game.  My artistic skills are at the “paint by numbers” level, so I am incredibly nervous about trying to paint them.)

Promotional Image from publisher
I haven’t played Fearsome Floors at all, but that’s not going to stop me from reviewing it.  I have read the rules, and I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  In this game, the players have been imprisoned by an evil lord while trying to rescue a damsel in distress.  Now, they are poised for a massive breakout, but must avoid the monster that guards the exit.  Players have three or four disks each which represent their characters; the number of disks depends on the number of players.  The movement mechanics are simple, and the monster moves by its own rules.  As such, kids under ten could definitely play this, although they probably won’t play well.  The art is cartoon-ish, and isn’t really scary at all.  This is a good game for all players.  The one warning I have heard repeated  is that it can bog down in analysis paralysis, since the monster's movements can be figured out with enough thought.  The key is to play this as a light race game.  This game claims to take an hour to play, and can handle up to seven players, so it will fit most families and casual groups.

Below will be links to other reviews on this topic, including these games.  Personally, I am pretty selective about horror themed games, as well as movies, so Fearsome Floors is probably one of the very few “family horror games” I would play.  Other perspectives would be good.
The monster can be configured to look like the Frankenstein Monster -- or other horrors! (Image by Jesper Amstrup)

Okay, now that you have made it this far, I am going to add a few things about the Dracula and Frankenstein novels.  Dracula is in my top five novels of all time, and Frankenstein is also well worth reading.  They can be downloaded from Amazon or B&N to an e-reader for free, as they are in the public domain; they can also be downloaded as PDFs from the Gutenberg Project.  Similarly, LibriVox, a public domain audio book source, also has them.  I am currently listening to their dramatized version of Dracula as I drive around town, and it is excellent.  Do yourself a favor and read at least Dracula if not both novels.

 It's Your Move!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Publisher Profile: Rio Grande Games

Our third stop for publishers is Rio Grande Games (RGG).  A look at this company in comparison to the other publishers profiled reveals that RGG is the most prolific of the three.  RGG takes a different strategy when it comes to publishing games; they primarily bring established games from Europe to the United States rather than bring a new game to market.  This approach has shown itself in the number of Spiel des Jahres (SdJ) winners that RGG has published, including Dominion, Carcassonne, Zooloretto, Thurn and Taxis and Niagara to name a few.  Of BoardGameGeek’s (BGG) Top 100, Rio Grande Games has 25 titles!

The number of (SdJ) winners makes sense when you think about RGG’s focus on family games.  The first few sentences on their website say it all:

Rio Grande Games is dedicated to bringing you the best in family entertainment. We offer the best family strategy games available! We have games for younger children to play with their older siblings and parents, games for their older siblings to play with their friends, and games for teens and parents to play with each other or when they get together for social occasions.

PR was #1 on BGG for years! (Promo image)
With this focus and with the focus of this blog being so similar, it would be easy to think that RGG is the publisher most commonly found in our family’s game collection.  We do have nine of their games.  Even if we throw out Hasbro, who makes a lot of the kid’s games we own, there are a couple of other companies that are represented more on our shelves.  Fantasy Flight Games, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, is one of them.  Z-man Games is the other.  Fantasy Flight has more theme, which my boy and I love, and Z-man produces a lot of inexpensive card games, which skews things in their direction.  However, I enjoy every Rio Grande Game that we own and have played; I can’t say that about every company!

As one thinks about it, this all makes sense.  RGG has focused on publishing European (largely German) boardgames for the US market, which makes the games very family friendly.  This style of game, often called a Eurogame within hobby circles, tends to be a little less thematic, with a focus on keeping everyone in the game until the end, and with both mid-game and end of game scoring.  Great stuff for casual gaming as we discuss here at Zwischenzug.

The games are all made with excellent components.  The artwork is pleasing to the eye, if not eye popping.  RGG publishes very few games that last more than 90 minutes and most play in an hour or less.  All of these are great games for a casual night of play.

In fact, buying a Rio Grande game is nearly guaranteed to give you a game that is designed around a family.  However, it is not a guarantee of a great game.  It’s true that buying an SdJ winner will give you a great game.  Nonetheless, with as prolific as RGG is, they have published a few stinkers too.  It’s just the law of averages; no one “bats a thousand” as they say in baseball.

This is a MUST HAVE game!
What does this mean to the casual and family game player?  Beyond the SdJ winners, which are all excellent, the key issue to buying a good Rio Grande game is where you buy your games from.  If you buy from a brick and mortar game store, just ask.  As much as I find many store employees lacking in knowledge, they will probably be able to help here.  If you buy at a store like Barnes and Noble, they will only have the better Rio Grande games physically in the store.  If you buy online, things are a little more dicey, but you will be fine if you buy the most popular RGG games at Amazon or the like.  This is a publisher that has enough sales for those to be meaningful statistics. 

Personally, I would have to recommend Carcassonne.  Everyone I have ever introduced the game to has loved it.  It is one of my personal favorites.  After chess, it is the game which I have played the most.  It’s probably due for a full review, so I will stop at that.  Ah, the list of games for me grows longer.  For you, well…

It’s Your Move!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Funagain Games Free Shipping Starting at $70

Some people may have known this, but I just discovered it.  Funagain Games has lowered their free shipping threshold to $70.  This is an excellent online store with a great reputation.

Time to put together an order!

It's Your Move!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Publisher Profile: Fantasy Flight Games

Wednesday I posted a link to Fantasy Flight’s announcement of some new Star Wars games.  It started me thinking about the personalities of the different game publishers, and what it means for the family and casual gamer.  While it’s not a sure fire way to tell whether or not the game will suit your tastes, it might help.  I thought I might dedicate a few posts to looking some of the game publishers and the common characteristics of their games.

The mere mention of Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) immediately brings one thing to my mind: Awesomeness Factor.  FFG spends a lot of effort on the artwork and production of their games, which is particularly important because FFG publishes a lot of heavily thematic games: games that tell a story as they play out.  A look at the top 100 (out of 53,000) games on BoardGameGeek will show fifteen are FFG titles.  Only Rio Grande Games has more.  Of those fifteen, eleven are fantasy themed and three are science fiction themed.  Many times these games have specific tie-ins (Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica) or are set in a common fictional universe such as Terrinoth, a world that sets the backdrop for the games Runebound, Runewars, Decent and others.

This attention to production plays out in several different ways.  First of all, the artwork is top notch.  Secondly, all of the game components are well made.  Cards, typically a good indicator of the production quality, are always of the highest quality.  Many FFG titles come with miniatures, and though they are a monochrome plastic, many people take the time to paint their minis in keeping with the other artwork.  (I haven’t done this – yet!  I have bought some paints and brushes though.)  The attention to detail and thematic art helps the players feel as though they are in the story.  If that’s an important part of your fun, this company is hard to beat.

Painted Fury of Dracula minis by Kevin Duffy

The downside to FFG titles is that they are often complicated.  The simple reason for this is that stories are complicated.  If you are trying to create a game that feels like you are in the middle of the fight against Sauron, it’s not going to be simple.  After all, Tolkien told the story of the Lord of the Rings in three volumes.  This certainly isn’t true of every single game, but the more thematic (and in FFG’s case, the more popular) games are all pretty involved.  FFG takes a lot of flak about their rule books, and the fact that they aren’t particularly well written.  Personally, I think the level of clarity isn’t as good as some other companies' games, but I do think they are in line given the level of game complexity.   Fortunately, FFG is very good about publishing FAQs and other clarifying material on their website.

Excellent artwork and card construction are an FFG hallmark (Photo by Matti Luostarinen)

A couple of months ago, I would have said the second thing to come to mind about FFG was customer service, which was so far above “top notch” that it redefined the term.  However, their customer service department, which consisted of one person, recently resigned to pursue other opportunities in life.  (Thaad, you will be missed.)  We will see how well they do with her gone.

For the family or casual gamer, I am sorry to say that FFG productions are probably not what you are looking for in gaming.  They do publish games that are more casual, but generally the level of complexity might well be higher than is fun.  The rules take some getting used to.  We recently purchased Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and I read the rules three times before I started to understand what was going on.  Even then, I went to BoardGameGeek and looked at the FAQ's to finish my education.  It’s a game designed to include solitaire play, so Saturday morning I hope to actually play the game.  I am sure I will end up reading the rules again afterwards, and seeing all of the things I did wrong. 

The practical upshot for the family or casual gamer is this:  make sure you do your homework before buying a Fantasy Flight game.  While the kids will probably get into the story line, think twice.  Read reviews, including comments made on BoardGameGeek.  Feel free to drop me a line and I will answer as best I can.  If you do purchase it, and it is more than you are “game” for, let me know.  Who knows, maybe your close enough that I can come teach it.  Or, you could send it to me to decipher…

It’s Your Move!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reviewed by Another Gamer -- Board Game Reviews by Josh: Abalone Review

This past winter I mentioned that Abalone was played on a Scout outing. I didn't give it a full review, but overall I think it's a good 2-player game. It is very easy to learn and play, even for kids down to about seven years old.

Josh Edwards is a well respected reviewer on the web, here is his review:

Board Game Reviews by Josh: Abalone Review

It's Your Move!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Growing and Maintaining an Ideally Sized Game Collection | The Opinionated Gamers

This is an interesting post about growing and maintaining the size of your collection on the Opinionated Gamers website. My limiting factor is space; I don't think I will have room for anything over 250 games...

Growing and Maintaining an Ideally Sized Game Collection | The Opinionated Gamers

It's Your Move!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I am asking too much...

I have been listening to the Ludology Podcast to and from work.  There are several podcasts that I listen to regularly; this particular one is more of a once-in-a-while type of thing.  The topic was family games, and it ventured into a discussion on the developmental stages of children and what games work well at those stages.  I came to realize something in this podcast -- I am asking too much from my chess club kids.  Simply put, chess offers too many decisions with too many options that impact too many moves down the road for these kids, particularly the younger ones, to grasp.  I thought starting at 4th grade would allow for more cognitive ability, but I was wrong.  Some of the junior high kids should start to get it, but the younger ones, no.

I guess that really means I am a chess teacher, and not a chess coach.

It's Your Move!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Invest your most precious commodity - Time

For the first part of this week I am at Scout Camp.   In my absence, I have asked follow game blogger Trent Howell to post his thoughts as a guest.  A little about Trent...

Trent Howell and family believe that every family should spend more time together playing games. Like most families, Trent and his wife try to find balance among all the activities pulling family members in different directions. By making it a priority to sit down and play games together, they’re able to reconnect with one another in a fun way that strengthens everyone involved. And to encourage other families around the world to enjoy the benefits of spending more face-to-face time with their families, they created The Board Game Family.

Through The Board Game Family, the 6 members of the Howell family share their love of games by publishing video reviews of fun family board games and card games as well as writing articles related to the benefits of family game time. But unlike other reviewers, The Board Game Family reviews come mostly from the children. It’s the kids that describe in the video reviews why they like to play the game.

Trent hopes that by sharing their enjoyment of games with others, more families will be encouraged to strengthen their own family relationships - and will have fun along the way. So check out to see what games might be good for your family’s game table.

If you were asked about any recent investments you’ve made, your mind might immediately turn to stocks, bonds, businesses, real estate, precious metals or some other large monetary purchase. Most likely no one would be surprised by that type of answer because that’s what we’re conditioned to think of.

Yet when asked at the end of one’s life what they wished they had done more of, most people don’t typically say money. What they wish is that they had spent more time with their family members.

But is it really "spending" time at all?
When we think about money, "spend" typically means we’ve passed our money on to someone else - we no longer have it. But when we "spend" time with those we love, we aren’t losing it at all. Instead we seem to be filled even more.

And that sounds a lot more like "investing" than "spending".

Time = Money?
You may have heard the phrase "time is money." However one of the biggest differences between money and time is that we can find ways to get more money. But no matter how talented we are, we just can’t find ways to increase the amount of time we have each day.

In a very real sense, our time is much more valuable than money. Yet we frequently hear stories of parents who buy things for their kids to make up for the lack of time they spend with them. They spend money because it’s easier than spending time.

But what if we can find a way to make the most of both our money and time?

Board games = great investment of Money and Time
Board games are a great way to invest both your money and your time. First, they don’t cost a lot of money. You can find a ton of great board games or card games for less than $30. Second, they don’t take a lot of time. But most important of all, they provide a fantastic return that keeps giving more and more every time you use it.

Sure we can spend $50-60 taking our family to the latest blockbuster movie. And we can have a great time and enjoy the experience together. But after those couple hours of staring at a screen are over, they’re over. But with a board game - we get to spend the time together over and over again. And in the process we’re talking to each other, seeing each other smile, and teaching values along the way.

Board games can provide a truly rich environment for investing time with your family.

Our time really is our most precious commodity.
The great thing about investing time in our family relationships is that our time spent with family can also generate our most precious memories.

Thanks to Trent for filling in for me.  Next time I (Frank), will be back, but until then

It's Your Move!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kids Games – Yes!; Movies – No!

It would make perfect sense to think a blog on casual and family gaming would include children’s games.  So, why haven’t I reviewed any?  Simply put, my son who is going on 14 years old has outgrown them, so I am really unfamiliar with any of the current crop of kid’s (under 10 years old) games.  I have reviewed Hey! That’s My Fish, but primarily because it works so well as an adult game too.  I may eventually do others, but it probably will never be a prominent feature.  My apologies.

It's a simple logo, but has lots of good info.
There are places to find out about this stuff, though.  The guys over at FatherGeek frequently cover children’s games on their blog.  However, if you are looking for a review site, rather than a blog, I would recommend KidGameRatings.  Here you can find games by age group, by name or search in various ways.  Like BoardGameGeek (BGG), it relies on user ratings, so these are real parents rating them.

Right on the front page is a short list of games that are appropriate for 2-3 year-olds, 4-5 year-olds, 6-7 year-olds, 8-9 year-olds, and kids aged 10 or more or 12 or more.  Just these lists of seven games in each age bracket make a quick birthday or Christmas list.  The last three lists are great games that really aren’t “kids” games, but also for adults.  (This is somewhat true of the 6-7 year-old list too.)  In fact, I own quite a few of them and trot them out for my game group. 

Clicking on “more” at the bottom of any of those lists brings up the search page.  In each case, it shows the same thing: all games sorted by minimum player age.  However, that’s also where it gets fun.  On this page, the viewer can put in a minimum age, a minimum rating, and a minimum number of ratings and get a more customized report.  There are headers that can be clicked for sorting, and a link is provided to each game’s BGG page. 

The actual “Search” page allows you to search for a specific game name or publisher name.  This is handy for finding out if you really want to give your child that copy of the Finding Nemo game, or if you will regret it.  Unfortunately, the database is not all-inclusive.  You won’t find Lucky Ducks, or the hint that the game goes off incessantly in the box and will drive everyone insane!

Nonetheless, the site is a wealth of information.  As fast as kids grow older (supposedly it’s at the same rate as parents, but I’m not sure I believe that!), the games they will be interested in will change quickly.  Soon it will be time to start the indoctrination  introduction to our adult gaming world.  They can play the “kid’s” games with their younger siblings or friends.

I only have one word of caution.  It was almost enough to keep me from writing about this site, but in the end, it’s not really about gaming, so I am okay with it.  This site also recommends the movie My Neighbor Totoro, which is AWFUL!  We rented it years ago, and it became a standing joke.  Really.  It ranks at the bottom with Cloverfield, which I saw last week and is easily the worst movie I have seen in the past ten years.

So read for the game reviews, but NOT the movies.

It’s Your Move!