The Muskegon Area Gamers have about six community outreach events a year. Last month we had our second game day at the Brew House. This month we had our third Kids Gaming Gala. We have games specifically tailored for four to nine year old kids. It’s been very well received by the parents and the kids. But the real reason I do it is far more insidious: to inculcate the next generation into board gaming. BWUAHAHAHAHAH!
Anyway, here is a blog post about our festivities.
I must have passed on buying Bandu at thrift stores about a dozen times. Paul and his boy came by The Gaming Annex today, Bandu in hand. I thought Bandu was a Jenga rip off.
I was wrong.
Bandu is definitely a Jenga-like game. But you draft different shaped pieces for your opponents to build with, trying to get them to topple their structures. Players have five beans to start the game. They can spend a bean to not use the piece in question. Once a bean has been spent, it’s gone for the rest of the game.
I was surprised at how intriguing this idea was. The kids loved it too. And we are not alone. Bandu has a strong board game geek rating (6.9!). Much higher than Jenga.
I won’t make the mistake of passing on Bandu the next time I see it at a thrift store.
I specifically bought Rampage because of Kids Gaming Galas. Rampage (now called Terror in Meeple City) is an homage to the video game of the same name. Players take on the role of a monster that wreaks havoc on a city, destroying buildings, flipping vehicles and munching the residents.
We had Connor, Chase and Oliver vying for more notorious monster today. The monster sacked every building, knocked out every tooth and munched every meeple. When the dust cleared, Connor-zilla had a the most points.
3. Rhino Hero
I got a copy of Rhino Hero from a Christmas exchange a few years ago (thanks Rocky!). It’s been a solid addition for our kids gaming needs.
Not familiar with Rhino Hero? Well Rhino Hero takes the best elements of Uno and Jenga and turns these elements into a much better game. Players try to get rid of all their cards (like Uno) while not knocking over the tower (like Jenga).
The cards are used to make a house of cards.
The cards are very durable, suited for young children. The cards have icons on them such as forcing your opponent to draw another card. Some of the cards have icons on them that force your opponent to move a wooden token (the Rhino Hero) onto the structure, possibly causing the tower to collapse.
Speaking of Jenga, Addison and Carly asked me if I owned a copy. I found a travel version of Jenga in a nice canister several months ago at a thrift store. I gave them the game since I doubt Kevin or Nick Sima will play it with me.
Then the kids starting playing Jenga. I think more games of Jenga were played today than any other game. I was surprised by this. I thought the kids would be more interested in the other (designer) games.
I’ve heard that you could use Jenga instead of dice for horror based role playing games. After watching the tension build from the kids playing Jenga, I think I see the merit in this.
5. Gulo Gulo
Designers of kid’s games are a special breed. You can take any drinking game and turn it into a kid’s game. Or you take two existing kid’s games, merge them into one and voila!
Gulo Gulo is a merging of Candy Land with Jenga (again with the
There is a nest filled with different colored eggs. Players take an egg out of the nest so they can move to the next spot on the board of the matching color. But the eggs are holding up a wooden dowel. If the dowel falls because you pulled out an egg, you must start over! The game ends when someone moves to the last space.
6. Wrap Up
For those keeping score: we had a total of eleven kids over today; we bought 140 McNuggets; all of them were consumed (many by my brother). The festivities started at 11am. The last game was played around 2pm. I gave away three games (Jenga, Angry Birds and Apples to Apples).
After the kids got bored of games, we pulled out the remote control R2-D2.
I got lots of praise from the group about how fun this was. We will have another Kids Gaming Gala later in the year, probably around September or October.
See you then!
-Chris, on behalf of the Muskegon Area Gamers.