Board Game Fanatic, and Father of Two
, Meng is an Australian who became hooked on board games at high school, with such classics as Talisman and Diplomacy. Years later, he rekindled his interest while living in the United States, both immersing himself in the local gaming scene and also taking advantage of mail-order to expand his collection to some 300 items. After returning to Australia in 2008, and with little time left after work, study and travel, the majority of his gaming nowadays is with his two young children. Hoping one day in the distant future to teach them to play a rollicking game of Die Macher, in the meantime he provides more age-appropriate fare and tries to discuss some life lessons along the way.
Meng goes by the handle meng
on Board Game Geek.
Most children dream of being a fireman when they grow up, but why wait? Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a cooperative game about rescuing victims from a burning building. As with other cooperative games, success depends on a clear division of responsibilities, as well as a touch of good fortune. Played in a supportive environment, this game will help build your little geek’s self-confidence and communication skills. Continue reading →
What melding game should you play if you find regular playing cards too boring and Mahjong tiles too expensive? The answer is Rummikub: a simple game in which young children and casual gamers can compete on an equal footing. Gamer geeks, though, will lament the lack of depth and theme. Continue reading →
Help, my Lord! The Castle Fortaan has fallen to the despicable Goblin King! He and his minions now control the castle and all of its riches! If you and your brave heroic friends would dare to reclaim the castle, I can promise you legendary fame and fortune! Go now and rid us of this goblin plague! Arm yourself with cunning, skill, and weapons of great might! The road will be long and dangerous, but a hero craves such things! Continue reading →
Agricola (Latin for “farmer”), designed by Uwe Rosenberg and published in English by Z-Man Games in 2008 (following the runaway success of the German edition published the previous year), is a thrill-a-minute worker placement game about farming. Okay, I admit that the theme itself is not the most exciting one, but if your little geek can play this game, then your child has the makings of a true Gamer Geek. And that is truly exciting! Continue reading →
The most appealing aspect of this game is it’s a dungeon crawler that does not require a Dungeon Master (a player who controls the monsters and dungeon events). We have always enjoyed fully cooperative games like this, taking care to play at a leisurely pace and ensure that all players are contributors rather than spectators. I have played this three times so far with my little geeks and continue to be impressed with the quick set up and play. Always a bonus to be able to start playing 5 minutes after opening the box, not including time required for rules explanation. Continue reading →
My children (5 and 7-years-old) clamored to play Spinnengift und Krötenschleim over and over. They were especially tickled to talk about the stinky mushroom and the mouse droppings (also known as rat poo). If certain items were discovered to be close to my side of the table, they would tell me delightedly that I must have been eating these disgusting condiments. Continue reading →
Despite being forewarned, I was surprised how quickly my little geeks grasped the concept of this game. It is easy to understand, rather more difficult to explain. The first time we played, I won quite comfortably, not by any means a walkover though. Subsequently, I have struggled to keep up with my 7-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter is not far behind. Continue reading →
GMT Games is one of my favorite publishers, more renowned for board wargames, but venturing into very different territory on occasion. In this case, the two designers are respected wargame designers. While the comic theme is a significant departure from their previous titles, the designers’ background is still evident here, with key game concepts such as hex stacking limits, pinning units, movement points and terrain costs. Continue reading →
Despite the unpromising start, we had a fantastic experience that first time, diving into the game within 5 minutes of opening the box. Even though we committed several rules errors – entirely my fault, sloppy reading – that did not seem to affect play balance or enjoyment, so the game is robust from that perspective. Player choices are limited, but we all had a great time. Continue reading →
An oldie but a goodie, still going strong after 10 years. Carcassonne, in one form or another, deserves a place on every Parent Geek’s shelf. But is there enough to scratch the gamer geek itch? READ ON! Continue reading →
A children’s game about marriage and relationships? Not exactly. Samarkand: Routes to Riches is a “train game” in camel’s clothing, with low complexity and short playing time. A good choice for younger school-aged children with enough to keep adult gamers interested. Expand your trading routes across the Orient…at least it’s not the Mediterranean! Continue reading →
Not just Yahtzee in space, Alien Frontiers will suit your school-aged geeks ready to move into moderately complex games. Too long for a filler and not meaty enough for a square meal, you will find that the game provides complexity without being out of reach or terribly difficult. While the most hardcore of Gamers will find it slightly light, for the vast majority the game is just right! Continue reading →