Saturday, June 02, 2007

School Games Night the second

As forewarned by Melissa last week, we held another Family Games Night at Daughter the Elder’s School on Friday. We had twenty-five adults and thirty-five children. This year in terms of adults explaining games there was just Melissa and myself as well as contributions from Daughter the Elder. You can read about last year’s session here.

This year we were scheduled from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm, which was actually ended up being 8:30 pm. It was also designed to be a fund raiser via our friendly internet games shop in that the school will get 10% of any orders.

We took most of the games that we intended to take, although one or two have been eaten by our house. There were two specific requests, Settlers of Catan and Fish Eat Fish.

The parents and children who came brought some of their own games, which were all played.
Ticket to Ride - Märklin Edition
Fish East Fish
Trivial Pursuit - Junior
Popomatic Sorry or Ludo

These are the games we ended up bringing, including a couple of demo copies from our FIGS.
Ticket to Ride Always popular with the parents.
Von 0 auf 100
Perpetual Commotion
Make ‘n Break
Spooky Stairs sans expansion.
M is for Mouse
Apples to Apples Junior!
Halli Galli
Catch the Match
Dancing Eggs
Incan Gold played as Diamant, i.e. without the artifacts
Gulo Gulo
Piggy Back
Pick Picknic
Fish Eat Fish
The Same Game

All the above were played, these were the lonely ones
Settlers of Catan
Finstere Flure
Gopher It!

There were some stand out popular games for the night.

I started a session of Von 0 auf 100 very early on and it was played most of the night, quite often with children teaching other children how to play. It’s a lovely little racing and bluffing game. Another Haba gem.

Make ‘n Break is always popular and rightly so, it is fun and easy to learn and play.

Spooky Stairs got a lot of table time too. The cute little ghost and magnet head meeples probably help, but it an excellent variation on a roll and move game.

Piggy Back is another excellent variation on a role and move game. With hitching ride on the back of other players and a balancing mechanism to reduce the chance of runaway lucky leaders.

Apples to Apples Junior! a good one for parents and children together. The Junior edition is good for primary school children and for people outside the US it also has the advantage of being more global.

Catch the Match is realistically just a pattern matching game, but it has been designed very well and captivates both adults and children without fail.

TransAmerica Ticket to Ride may not catch the attention of the children and these games nights, but TransAmerica does.

Dancing Eggs was played a lot at night, including occasionally in a very non-standard manner with eggs flying across the room!

Fish Eat Fish is too abstract for Melissa, that or her reaction to fish may be subconsciously put her off. I like this, but she doesn’t. It was being played most of the night. It required explanation, and got a few glazed looks during the explanation but after a few turns it would invariably click with the players and they became quite enthused (both parents and children).

I still think that the more helpers the merrier is the case for this sort of event. It is billed as a Family Games Night to get the children along. I suspect an alternate way of getting games into the homes might be to run a Parent’s Family Games night, where you can teach the parents various games without the distraction of marauding children. This has its logistical difficulties, including babysitting and just how many parents would come to such an event, but it is an idea bubbling around in the back of my mind to possibly try out one day.

This post is dedicated to the memory of the red Ticket to Ride train that was sucked up by a vacuum cleaner and the card from another game that was grabbed by the baby, it was bent back into shape, but I don’t think it will ever be quite the same. They gave their best in service to games.

Mmm meeples taste like …


Gerald McD said...

Glad to hear it was another successful event. Hooray for you folks!

Smatt said...


Sounds like the family games night was a pretty good time.

I just have a quick couple of questions. How did you go about setting it up? When you were pitching it for the first time, were there any hesitations on the part of the school administration?

Thanks for the report.

Fraser said...

Do you mean set up the room, or set up the event? I am guessing the latter. Melissa did the pitching, so I will handball the question over to her :-)


Melissa said...

I think I posted about that a little last year - but I still have all the docs I gave them. We found the school were happy as long as we didn't expect them to do anything! :)