Kids’ Games Lightning Round Reviews by Kim

Em’s Intro, or: Games and Kids–I only understand one.

The pandemic sucks for everyone. Mostly, I am lucky in terms of degrees of sucking; I miss my friends, it’s hard to stay focused, and I grapple with anxiety about The World—overall, this is a pretty easy list of “hardships” compared to most. I think being a boardgamer with a boardgaming husband and a large collection of games has been a huge help. We have a variety of adventures we can play out at our dining room table. If I want a distraction, I’ve got a distraction.

There are many people I admire and appreciate through COVID, but I think people with children—especially people juggling jobs and children—are pretty much superheroes. I honestly don’t know how any of you are managing. Then again, most of my friends have responded, “We’re not.”

I feel so bad for people with frustrated, bored, and scared kids who miss their friends and have resorted to tearing each other’s hair out! But what could I do? Then it struck me! What do I know? BOARD GAMES! I hopped on the Internet to order games for my friend Kim’s kids who are six and eight. And then I realized: What don’t I know? KIDS! I had no clue what games work for six- and eight-year-olds. I did some research but still struggled to know what games would work best. Ultimately, I settled on Dixit, Fly Swatter, and Rhino Hero.

I am so excited that Kim was gracious enough to write up a few quick reviews of how her kids, Sabina and Cecil, reacted to these games! Thanks, Kim!

Kim’s Lightning Reviews


Dixit. Asmodee Games, 2008. Jean-Louis Roubira, Designer. Marie Cardouat, Artist.

Review: 7+ (depending who plays)

Dixit is an Apples to Apples derivative with an artistically creative twist. Parents with younger kids might find the game appealing because there is no reading! You just look at the beautiful pictures and describe whatever comes to mind. Just be warned- with a kid’s reduced literary/ cultural references, you might get bored by kids’ limited suite of clues. The adder packs look beautiful- it is tempting to order two more packs to fill the box with its convenient “extra space”. If we weren’t trapped indoors by Covid and raging forest fires, we’d invite adults over to test whether the broader artist variation lends itself to a wilder game night.

And they’re off!

Fly Swatter

Fly Swatter. ABACUSSPIELE, 2004. Christian Heuser, Designer. Georg von Westphalen, Artist.

Review: 7.5

Fly Swatter is gin rummy meets slap jack with adorable paddles. My youngest (6) struggled until we decided to play open hand. This way he still got the joy of smacking cards while I attempted to teach him how to make sets. If your kids are new to grouping cards into sets, a good starter game might be the classic game Set. My only complaint is the card coloring and bug characters are not distinct enough for my eyes so its hard to tell many colors apart. And thus my excuse for losing.

Rhino Hero

Rhino Hero. HABA, 2011. Scott Frisco & Stephen Strumpf, Designers. Thies Schwartz, Artist.

Review: 9

Rhino Hero is a light-weight and cleverly designed Jenga-style game where you stack creased playing cards into an apartment looking tower until they all crash down. As claimed on the box, Rhino Hero is appropriate for all ages. You might feel silly making a card tower at the age of 43- but don’t let the kiddos have all the fun! Advanced level won’t be mastered immediately.  Lately I’ve been catching the kids just building the tower by themselves. My older one (8) starting making slo-mo videos of the apartment tower crashing.

Rhino Hero to the rescue!

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