Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kids' Games

Last week I talked about Faery's Tale and I have talked about Witch Girls Adventures in the past.
This week I have more games for the younger crowd.

Kids, Castles & Caves

KCC is a very cute game.  It is an interesting one since it is t touch higher on the complexity scale than other "Kids" games.  That is not a complaint, but rather a nice little change.
Anyone familiar enough with any other RPG will pick this one up in about a minute.   Less than that if you eve played Basic D&D.
Classes and Races are the same thing, so you have "Wizard" "Knight" "Dwarf" and the cast of regulars, but also "Fairy" which is nice.
The classes have 3 levels each, which is plenty really since by the time the kids get to level 3 they will be ready for some more grown up games.
Everyone has something they can do every round so that is also good.
The game is simple, easy to learn and use and makes good on it's promise is something you can do with your kids in an afternoon with little to no prep time. At 28 pages it is the perfect length.

If you are a gamer and you have little ones, then this is a great way to introduce to our hobby!

An absolute steal at this price.
For under 3 bucks you get 3 complete games for kids.  
Tales from the Wood where you play creatures from The Wood.  Think Watership Down.
Lashings of Ginger Beer is about playing a kid in Idyllic England, so it might actually work best for adults.  Most similar to kids adventure tales. 
It's a Dog's LIfe is the best of the three where you play a Prairie Dog out on the American Plains with heavy American Indian/Native American influences.

All three games are simple to learn and easy to play.
These games require a bit more abstraction to play than some other kid games, but nothing a little kid with a great imagination couldn't handle.

So what is Meddling Kids? Well it is an introductory RPG for "kids of all ages" but recomended for ages 7 and up. The writing is very clear and concise and frankly one of the better "intro" games I have seen. It is designed as an intro game and is listed as "Stage 1 of the Starter System". I don't know if other stages were produced or not, but the feel here is one of "this is your first game so have some fun, and when you are ready we will have more for you". As with most starter sets there is lot the seasoned (or grizzled in my case) player can ignore, but it was still a very fun, light and fluffy read. 
The premise is simple. You create a teenage mystery-solver who belongs to a clique of other liked minded teens. Like in the TV show that this is so obviously taken from, different teens of various social standing and family incomes mix together well in a group united by their love of solving a mystery. Or maybe it's the talking dog. Or dune buggy. Or chimp. Or genie. get the idea. If you grew up in the 70s-80s then you know what I mean.

Character creation is simple. You create a background for your character, then are given points for Stats and Abilities. Pretty simple. Since we are talking about cartoons your Teen is put into an Archetype. So think Jock, Brain, Fluff, Goof and so on. 
The system is a simple one of Stat plus a roll based on Abilities plus a d6. Compare to a Target Number or resist the roll of something else.

What sets MK apart though is the use of the "Wild Card" character. This is a character, usually an animal, that hangs with the clique and is run by the GM. Not an NPC or even GMPC (though very close). The Wild Card is the one that helps in the adventure/mystery. So yeah, think Scooby Doo, or even Jabber Jaw or Captain Caveman. It is a fairly clever idea really and one of the only games I have read that encourages a GMPC like character. 

The book is small, less than 100 pages with pretty clear large fonts, so this is not a hefty tome to learn, it is a simple game that does exactly what it sets out to do and it does it rather well.

It is a great game to teach the little guys how to play using something that both parents and kids will know all about.


Matthew MacNish said...

These sound awesome. My kids might be a little old for these, but they'd probably be perfect for my nephew.

Betty Alark said...

Really like both! The first one sounds like a bit of a challenge which is always a plus!- have to exercise that muscle!

The second one sounds intriguing and mystery always grabs an audience.

I think children of those age groups will really enjoy and benefit from them!

What an excellent job you did with introducing the games!

Have a joyful day!!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Good post. You have a very attractive site. Well laid out and a pleasure on the eyes. I'm not a fan of the incredibly busy with flashing things and hyper ads.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thanks Wendy!!

I am still on your site in fact. Your book has me very interested.

Nancy Thompson said...

And to think, when I was a kid, all we did was build forts out of blankets and rope and play kickball. Still, it's great that kids have an outlet for their creativity. I used to give plays on my front porch. Pretty boring!

I'm a new follower via the A to Z Challenge. Nice to meet ya.

Lady Bluestocking said...

Totally appreciate you dropping by my site and for your comments--I'm not just saying this because you left a great comment, but I *really* do like your blog! Newest follower! Lady Bluestocking@3500WordsPerPound

Susan Oloier said...

I better not show this to my older son. He likes gaming a little too much for my taste, and he's going to want these.
I'll check them out, though. I really like your blog!

Unknown said...

I'm so drawn to RPG's--so drawn, in fact, that I've had to swear never to play. I don't have the time to be sucked in!

Have some fun for me! ;)

Maurice Mitchell said...

My son is just getting into kids games and the good ones are fun. A-Z visitor and new follower
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

Unknown said...

there are different type of games are play my kids then i suggest you, you also play with your kids this type game like animal painting, stories time and kids yoga. this type of game are generate the creativity in kids.