As fathers and geeks, we play a lot of games. We play them with our kids, with our families, and with our friends. And while the dynamics of the group might change and the game difficulty shift from complex to simplistic depending on the group we play with, we always play for the same reasons. We play to have fun, to be challenged, to learn, to teach, and to socialize.
The Father Geek Staff, Meng, Brian, and Cyrus, have compiled their top 5 games they have played with their kids and family during 2010 in hopes that you might want to try these games yourself.
Note: If a specific game does not have a review associated with it, rest assured it is coming soon. 🙂
This is the game my son is most likely to beat me at. As one of my gaming buddies tells me, “You must really suck at Zooloretto if you’re getting beaten by a five year old!” I am sure that’s true too, but when it comes to games, my son plays above his age. Read the review!
Are magnets and kids ever a bad combination? Although I have yet to play this with my boys, I know that they will display exuberant joy with any game involving strong magnets. Read the review!
|Reverse Charades (Cyrus)
There is simply nothing more entertaining than watching a 6 and 3 year old act out an erupting volcano. I am personally tired of the old-school version of Charades and wouldn’t recommend playing it with little kids as they might have problems with some of the words. This version of the classic, however, allows for the kids and adults to play at the same time. A great game and a great time. Read the review!
We use cards from two boxed versions of this classic game, namely, Kids on Stage and Green Alligators: Rings & Things. It is interesting to see how they cope with the challenge of communicating without words. Of the two, my daughter is the better mime artist, although she will sometimes resort to drawing an outline of the object to be guessed. My son often deliberately withholds clues to make it more difficult to guess the answer!
The only kids game I have played from 2010 that involves even a modicum of decision making. Kids have to visualize an optimal path from dice with various colors on the faces, yet the game is very simple for my young boys. Read the review!
Great illustrations and a great game that really shows how creative and imaginative my children are. Any age group can play this together as all that is necessary is an imagination and the most basic of listening skills. You can easily play teams, too, allowing you and your little geeks to play side-by-side to victory! Read the review!
|San Juan (Meng)
It is interesting to watch my son grapple with the multiple paths to victory. He seems to understand that pursuing a strategy (rather than constructing buildings “at random”) is best, but he has not quite grasped the game in its entirety yet. Read the review!
|Puzzle Quest (Brian)
Admittedly, this is a video game, but a good one and well worth mentioning. A simple bejeweled type game overlaid with a basic RPG-like character advancement system. I picked this up for a buck in the Steam holiday sale and my son loves to watch me match the gems. He gets real excited when I make all the blue disappear for some reason.
|Sorry! Sliders (Cyrus)
This game continues to be fun to play and stays fresh because of the many different board game configuration options available to the players. Plus, my little geeks love smashing their pawns into mine, causing my pawns to go flying off somewhere on the carpet. They giggle, evilly. Read the review!
|Portobello Market (Meng)
This was a surprise post-Christmas acquisition that hit the table 3 times before the new year, and another 3 times since. In one two-player game, my wife and son worked together as my joint opponent and I engaged in an animated but intelligent discussion on the best strategy. I still won, but I was impressed by his thinking and his communication skills on that occasion. Read the review!
One of a rare few kids games that my son can play that involves actual thinking. At 3 years old, he is not very good at it, but I do see the progressive learning, so that is rewarding. Read the review!
|Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Eye Found It! (Cyrus)
A very easy game to teach and play for younger kids and the first kids game I have ever played where the players are actually expected to work together. I wasn’t expecting much from this game and found myself not only pleasantly surprised, but amazed by how much fun it was to play as an adult.
|Forbidden Island (Meng)
Our best find of 2010, a cooperative game with excellent replay value. Our games have blossomed into mature discussions about the most efficient way to achieve the goals, and working smoothly as a team rather than going for personal glory. Read the review!
|Candy Land (Brian)
Yeah, not a great game I know, but it’s a classic. I really enjoy watching my 2 year old son learn his colors while being very excited about the candy depicted goodness. When it comes to playing games with a toddler, one cannot be choosy. Read the review!
|Order’s Up! (Cyrus)
This game continues to be a delight as it is fast to play and lets my little geeks ring a very loud bell. Repeatedly. Paying attention to detail is a must in this game, but don’t let that turn you off this little gem. You’ll find your kids completely focused as they race to be the first to ring the bell. Read the review!
This is our top 5, what’s yours? Did you play any games you really loved in 2010? If so, tell us about them! We might want to play them, too.