What better way to start off our blog than with a list of our Club Rules Board Game Club’s favourite games! On the last day of this academic year (15/16) the year 5 and 6 pupils (aged between 9-11) were asked to vote for their favourite games they’ve played. We had over 50 pupils voting for games they’ve played within Board Game Club, our trip to our friendly local game store (FLGS) or during our fundraising event ‘Big Board Game Day’ in aid of the NSPCC.
So without further ado, here are the Top 10 games for 2016 chosen by kids!
And we kick off with Cappuccino a cute game of cup stacking from 2-4 players. Players aim to control stacks of cups on the table through moving their cup stacks onto adjacent ones that are of the same height or higher. The player who has their cup on the top of the stack is in control and the more you control the more chance you have of winning! Once there are no legal moves remaining, the players stack all their piles into a single stack and the player with the tallest stack wins.
This is a game that has only been played at our FLGS Rules of Play making this a big surprise to us at Club Rules! Perhaps it’s due to its easy to learn rules and fast paced game play. Nevertheless the minor downside to this one is set up time. It can take a while to set up ensuring all edges of the cups are adjacent and this has been a reason behind us not investing in this for the club. But clearly this is a club favourite!
9. Jungle Speed
Next on the list is Jungle Speed, a quick thinking shape and colour matching game. Player are giving a hand of cards and are turning one over each turn. Should their card match the chaos shown on another players card, they are locked in a match and the first player to grab the wooden totem in the middle of the table wins the round. The loser then collects the cards and adds them to their hand. Other special cards are included in the deck which includes first player at the table to grab the totem wins the round or even changing the rules to matching colours on cards as opposed to symbols. Play continues until one player has depleted their hand of cards and that player is declared the winner!
Not so surprising this one! Quick, easy and accessible for up to 8 players. This game creates so many funny moments that players won’t be forgetting too soon. Speed is the name of the game in this one and at times has proven that age and experience in games does not always carry in this one. At a low price point, the members of Board Game Club will always recommend this one.
8. King of Tokyo
Perhaps the reason we started our Board Game Club in the first place, King of Tokyo shows how using the Yahtzee way can be more fun and interactive in this modern classic. Players take control of giant monsters and aim to become the King of Tokyo through acquiring 20 victory points or eliminating all of the other opponents. Each turn the player rolls 6 dice up to 3 times in an attempt to attack, heal, build up energy or gain victory points. Monsters who are outside of Tokyo will attack the monster(s) in Tokyo, while the monster in Tokyo will attack everyone outside.
This was one of the first games that we showed to our Board Game Club and they fell in love with this one instantly! The club has been running for a little over a year now and this has been the game that has constantly been returning to the table. With a new second edition being released, this could be a great time to jump on board with the franchise.
7. Rhino Hero
Another stacking game?! I’m seeing a trend here.. In Rhino Hero players are attempting to build a tower block with wall and roof cards and maneuver the Rhino Hero around the tower too! Players are dealt a hand of roof cards with special abilities that they will play after they place wall cards on the roof below. Should a player happen to knock over the tower, they lose! Otherwise the player who plays all of their roof cards from their hand is the winner.
Haba is the Grand Daddy of children’s games and every game that we’ve brought to the table has proven a success. Evident here with the Board Game Clubs number 7 pick. Like the other games previously, the game is straight forward, easy to play and usually completed in 10-15 minutes. Once you’ve played it once, you’ll want to play it again and again!
The Spiel des Jahres 2016 nominee has made a big impact this year and has thoroughly deserved it’s pace in this list! In Karuba, players control 4 different coloured explorers and are attempting to navigate them to the matching coloured temple in a different area of the board. Everybody at the table begins with the same setup and are using the same road tiles to create paths for their explorers, but where you place them is where your cunning and wit needs to shine! Once all the tiles have been played or if one player manages to get all of their explorers to the temples the game ends. Players total up their treasures and gems that they have collected and the player with the highest value treasures win!
Mentioning the fact that this game was nominated for the German game of the year made this one an easy attraction. Looking into other people playing the game, the members of Board Game Club seemed disinterested, but after playing this for themselves, they could easily see why there was so much focus and brain burning going on! This is Haba’s second entrant on the list, further demonstrating their ability to produce a great game children will enjoy!
5. Snake Oil
A game I have used in the classroom as an activity to develop persuasion is next on the list! Snake Oil challenges players to create a new, innovative, exciting or funny product that they will attempt to sell to one player; who takes on the role of another character. These characters can include; caveman, teacher, fireman and tons more! Players choose 2 of their hand of 6 cards and combine them to create a product they believe can be sold to this character. Once you’ve chosen you need to persuade that character why they should choose your product over everyone else!
A great bit of fun that has had lots of laughs each time it comes to the table. The game can be as long or short as you wish! Playing first to 3 or 5 cards win, or whoever has the most after 10 cards. Lots of options and replay-ability with this one!
4. Tumblin’ Dice
Up next, we have Tumblin’ Dice; a dice flicking game for 2-4 players. Players take turns to flick or roll their dice down the board in an attempt to score as high a score as possible. Whatever number a player rolls is multiplied by the value of the platform where the player lands. Opponents dice can also be knocked off the board, which adds a small tactical element. Whoever has the highest total after four dice each is the winner of the game.
Who said maths couldn’t be fun?! A dexterity game that has been used as a tool to practice simple times tables up to 6 has rocked up at number 4 on this list. Another easy and fast paced game has shown up and these 9-11 year olds have not been put off by the maths involved in this one!
Now this one is stunningly high on this list. Dobble is a small card game where players are each given a card with a number of different symbols on it. A stack of cards is placed face up in the middle of the table and players attempt to match a symbol on their card, with that of the card in the top of the deck. Once a player identifies one, they shout it out, claim the card and the process is repeated. The game ends once all the cards from the deck have been claimed and the player with the most claimed cards is the winner!
Maybe it’s because Dobble is quick and you can play many rounds of it? Maybe it’s because the rules are extremely simple? Maybe it’s because the cards are circular? Maybe it’s because it comes in a tin? Or maybe it’s because it’s quite simply fun. Whatever the reason, Dobble has proven to be a short filler game that has captured the hearts of these kids.
2. Ice Cool
We really, really, really like this game, and we’re super excited it has slot in at number 2! In Ice Cool players control a penguin that is trying to get out of the classroom and collect some fishy snacks! These penguins (that are weighted and curved at the bottom like larger subbuteo players) are flicked around the rooms that are arranged using the innovative box in a box system. The game takes place over a number of rounds, equal to the number of players. During each round, one player acts as the hall monitor that is trying to obtain each other penguin’s hall pass through tagging them. While the other penguins are attempting to make their way through doorways with their matching colour fish to collect all 3 of them. The first player to collect all 3 fish, or if the hall monitor tags all other players, ends the round. Players receive point cards for each fish/hall pass they have and they go again! Once each player has had a turn as the hall monitor, the game is over and the player with the most victory points is the winner!
After seeing this at this year’s UK Games Expo, we knew that this would go down a storm! But to be voted in at number two, after just a few months of playing, surpasses any expectations we had! Not that we’re complaining! I myself am a massive advocate of this one. If you haven’t played this yet and enjoy a bit of light dexterity, this is a must buy!
Unlike Ice Cool, this was not a surprise! PitchCar is yet another dexterity game where players are given a wooden disc that represents their race car. On each turn players flick their car around the track in an attempt to be the first to cross the finish line after an agreed amount of laps. Players can bump into one another, but be sure to not knock others (or yourself) off the track!
This game has been played on a weekly basis since the very first Board Game Club session over a year ago. Since then we’ve held tournaments regularly and each time we host one it’s been a blast. The game is so accessible that I’ve played with children as young as 4 years old, to my Grandad who’s nearing 90! As well as that, the jigsaw style track pieces and variety of expansions can encourage players to create tracks that they may never play again! This has been a classic at the club and I’m sure it will remain that way for many years to come.
And that’s our list! Other honourable mentions include Animal Upon Animal, Qwirkle and Sushi Go!
Do you agree with our Board Game Club? What games should they play if they like these best? Let us know what you think and be sure to follow us to keep informed on what we have to say!!