So Frankly...

So Frankly...

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!