The Dark Night Rises…


“Flashlights and Fireflies”

designed by Jeff Johnston, published by Gamewright

Play hide and seek in the woods at night while trying to be the first one home in this charming kid’s game. Each round, players will “hide” by placing their player tile face down with other tiles with matching backs. Then a dice roll determines how many firefly tokens they can collect from the pool. Next, players will use firefly tokens to try and guess where the other players are hidden. If you are found, you are “frozen,” and you can’t advance on the track back home. If you aren’t found, you take one step closer to the house. Players who were “frozen” get to draw new tiles to mix in, thus making it harder to guess where they are hiding, and repeat! First player to make it back home wins…and settles in for a nice cup of warm hot chocolate waiting for everyone else to get back in.

This game is built on two fun, strategic, and easy to understand mechanics. The first, using the wood tiles to “hide” your player tile is a great way to psych out your opponents, and the second, adding more woods tiles for the frozen players works as a great catch-up mechanism. Both allow you to look your six year-old in the eye, and point to a tile, and say “you are here” and be absolutely right and feel like a big man.

One Line Verdict: Grab your flashlight and join in this fun romp in the woods with the family and kids. Older players may want to stay in the house.

Choo-Choo-Cha Boogie…Take Me Right Back to the Track, Jack!


“Ticket to Ride: First Journey”:

designed by Alan R. Moon, published by Days of Wonder

At last, a “Ticket to Ride” game designed specifically for kids! Fewer routes which all more or less connect to each other SOMEHOW, so you’re never quite cut off, yah! On your turn, draw two cards at random each time instead of choosing from face up cards, or play cards down to claim a route.   Win by earning six tickets through connecting designated cities and even earn a special ticket by connecting your line from Coast to Coast!

In the end, you have a TTR game that’s still fun, and somehow, just as cutthroat. Choose your routes carefully though because you may place all your trains and not be able to complete enough tickets to win.

One Line Verdict: All aboard for a game that adults and kids can play together…unless you hate regular “Ticket to Ride,” then just keep walking.