Friday, 8 January 2016

We're Going On a Bear Hunt, Room on the Broom and Go Go Dragons

Oh no! Sticky mud!
This Christmas, we introduced our daughter to board gaming, with the help of her grandparents. I bought her one game, they bought her two.

First up, we played We're Going on a Bear Hunt, the game of the children's classic from former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen. It's a reasonably simple chase game with a twist: Roll the die, move around the board, sometimes skip a go or draw a card which may allow you to roll again. The twist is that once a player wakes up the bear they start rolling two dice while the bear rolls one die to chase after them.

Room on the Broom is likewise based on a children's classic, and is a combination chase and set-collecting game, with an exciting sort of overlapping Moebius loop course and a dragon podding around trying to catch you. The course has two rings and you cross from one to the other each circuit, which actually confused the hell out of Arya. She also found the spinner a little more challenging than the dice. The set collecting just baffled her; the idea that she would just take the top card instead of sorting out the one she needed was clearly alien to her, and when I didn't get the card I needed to beat her, she went through the deck and found it for me, which made me very happy.

Finally, Go, Go Dragons is a race game. A scatter of discs on the table have dragon footprints face up and dragon faces in one of four colours face down. Turn up a disc, move the dragon shown one space forward. Each player 'supports' one dragon, and is supposed to wave their card excitedly when they move. As the last-place dragon reaches each line of the course, another disc is flipped and that dragon goes back a step. It says it's for older children than the other two games, but in a lot of ways is simpler.

The games are all pretty simple, but they delight Arya, which is lovely to see. She's a little wobbly on counting out her moves, but that will come in time.