Amy’s Board Game Day Adventure – by my boardgame buddy – Alan Hatcher

Amy’s Board Game Day Adventure – by my boardgame buddy – Alan Hatcher

This is my second piece for Boardgames in Blighty about my gaming experiences with the kids, who continue their adventures into the world of board games. This time we head full throttle into a whole day of board game joy; although I have to say that it was with a great deal of nervousness that Amy, age six and three quarters, and I head to the Pasteboard and Plastic Games Day at the Saltdean Scout hut.

This was also my first time at this mini convention and I had arranged to meet a few of the gaming group there. We settled in quite quickly and first up was Forbidden Island; a great game for the family and gamers alike and we had a great time at it. Amy really gets this game and you can see and hear the excitement as she’s working out what to do and tells everyone where to go to save the sinking Island. When the flood cards come up we just love the tension of watching the Island sink away. This is a favourite in our house and both the kids throw themselves into it.

Next up was Antigua, which is one of the Adlungspiele big games in a tiny box. You each play a pirate ship captain navigating you way around a sea made of cards laid out in a grid. The game utilises a role selection mechanism that allows your ship card to move, explore the cards (if you turn over a card and find an Island you get to take treasure), attack another ship, recruit pirates or swap the roles around. The cards have a threefold purpose, they have a picture of a pirate with a coloured border to the card which donates its role, a number for treasure, and a number of cannon balls to donate its attack value. This is another game that the family and friends like, plays quickly and has loads of interaction; particularly if you do all the pirate voices. We get a lot of mileage out of the Adlungspiele games and they go past largely unnoticed on Boardgameek.com; if you want to drive yourself really mad, in a good way, try Spot but I’ll save that for another review.

The highlight of the day was the raffle because Amy got second choice at the prizes, to a round of applause from the crowd, which made her day. She chose a copy of Dungeon Quest, an old D&D basic role playing game with a huge map board. I never thought I’d find my self running a D&D game for a 6 and 9 year old but we have had great fun with it at home… my poor wife. Amy is very proud of her win and shows everyone her game when they come round.

In the afternoon we played Fresco again. Amy really enjoyed this, the collection of the cubes and the mechanism that determines order by what time you get out of bed. Colourful components and good game play.

Overall a great day and Amy amazed me by her patience and engagement with the games. Everyone was very welcoming and she was the only child at the day so she did great; considering we were there for five hours. I think the lesson for me is that our kids are capable of engaging with good games for long periods if they are the right games played in the right way. Admittedly Amy is very into her games but I think kids are capable of learning quite complex games if they engage with the theme and it can be a great learning experience they aren’t even aware they are having.

Alan

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