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Board Games with "D&D feel" for kids

Mercurius

Legend
I know, I know, there's a dedicated forum for board games etc, but bear with me! I took a look there and it seemed like I could easily post something and no one would see it for days, and secondly I want something with a "D&D feel" - so I figured I could get away with posting it here!

My daughters are age 6 and 9 and I'd like to get a board game for the three of us (maybe my wife too) to play. I don't it to be too difficult, to involve complex rules and lots of reading, but I want it to have some of the magic of the D&D experience: finding treasure, accomplishing tasks, fighting monsters, etc. I'm thinking Wrath of Ashardalon etc might be too much, but I've considered that. Preferrably it would be something that could be played again and again. Heroquest comes to mind - anything more modern games like that? Unicorns and/or mermaids are a plus!

Any recommendations? Thanks!
 

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MerricB

Eternal Optimist
There aren't all that many fantasy adventure board-games out there, and some are too complex for your purposes (Mage Knight, for instance, despite being brilliant is far too complex for what you need).

Talisman would likely be my first choice. It's not a particularly complex game - basically roll & move, with simple abilities and combat. (Each side rolls 1d6 and adds their Strength, highest wins). Spells are more complex, but not terribly so, and you could always remove the more difficult ones. The expansions add complexity and variety.

Wrath of Ashardalon and similar games are more complex, but not terribly so, but the mechanics are complex enough that I'd worry at a 6-year old's comprehension, but as fully co-operative games, you could help your kids with the game.

Descent gives you the DM + Players idea, and is of middling complexity, but is likely too complex for a 6-year old.

Cheers!
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
Didn't WotC republish Dungeon! recently?* I haven't played it yet, but I've wanted to; it looks dirt-simple and seems to capture the basic dungeon-crawling idea. Additionally, since it's new and published by WotC, there's a chance you could find it in bookstores rather than paying FLGS prices for a hobby boardgame like Talisman.

*EDIT: They did. Link added.
 

Nefzyflin

Explorer
I know, I know, there's a dedicated forum for board games etc, but bear with me! I took a look there and it seemed like I could easily post something and no one would see it for days, and secondly I want something with a "D&D feel" - so I figured I could get away with posting it here!

My daughters are age 6 and 9 and I'd like to get a board game for the three of us (maybe my wife too) to play. I don't it to be too difficult, to involve complex rules and lots of reading, but I want it to have some of the magic of the D&D experience: finding treasure, accomplishing tasks, fighting monsters, etc. I'm thinking Wrath of Ashardalon etc might be too much, but I've considered that. Preferrably it would be something that could be played again and again. Heroquest comes to mind - anything more modern games like that? Unicorns and/or mermaids are a plus!

Any recommendations? Thanks!

The Dungeon board game from WotC is pretty basic. Took me maybe 15 minutes or so to read the rules. Recomended age is 8+

Hope that helps.

Nef

Woops... To late. :D
 

mips42

Explorer
Also, Descent is very 3e-ish. My group and I would play it if more than 2 people were missing just to get our fantasy groove on.
 

SilverfireSage

First Post
Small World is pretty excellent, as well as Lords of Waterdeep, although those are both a little bit more large scale. Descent is the ultimate dungeon crawling boardgame, and I've found is much more accessible and just plain fun than the 4E board games like Castle Ravenloft. Munchkin is a great cardgame that subverts a lot of the D&D tropes with a quick pace and quirky cards. Unfortunately, many of these types of games are going to lean towards the more difficult side, but I would definitely take a look at Descent.
 

HEEGZ

First Post
There are three excellent D&D boardgames like you have described. I own all three and have played them with my kids aged 3, 5, an 8.

Castle Ravenloft
Wrath of Ashardalon
Legend of Drizzt

And WOTC is publishing a fourth one around March or so...
 

My seven year old has been playing Dungeon since he was six and loves it. We swapped the boring cardboard standees out with Reaper Bones minis and the game has been a regular go-to for our family ever since. (I also replaced the boring ivory dice with cooler ones from Chessex.)
 


Mercurius

Legend
Thanks all, some great suggestions. I guess I'm going back and forth between Dungeon and Talisman, leading more towards Talisman. It looks prettier, plus maybe not as "combat only." But I might get both.

Descent looks awesome but is probably a couple years away.
[MENTION=28334]Lidgar[/MENTION], we've got Labyrinth - good fun.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
It is a bit on the basic side, but you can sometimes find a cheap copy of Lego Heroica. It is good for younger kids in the 6+ range.
 


Mishihari Lord

First Post
Thanks, but those are both woefully out of production! Kind of expensive and/or hard to get.

I picked them both up on ebay pretty cheap a few years ago, as I'd lost the ones from my childhood. Of course my original copy of Mystic Woods then immediately appeared in the game cabinet somehow.

Edit: Checked ebay and WOW! $550 for Fantasy Forest. I'm sorely tempted to sell my extra copy before the kids wreck it.
 
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I know, I know, there's a dedicated forum for board games etc, but bear with me! I took a look there and it seemed like I could easily post something and no one would see it for days, and secondly I want something with a "D&D feel" - so I figured I could get away with posting it here!

My daughters are age 6 and 9 and I'd like to get a board game for the three of us (maybe my wife too) to play. I don't it to be too difficult, to involve complex rules and lots of reading, but I want it to have some of the magic of the D&D experience: finding treasure, accomplishing tasks, fighting monsters, etc. I'm thinking Wrath of Ashardalon etc might be too much, but I've considered that. Preferrably it would be something that could be played again and again. Heroquest comes to mind - anything more modern games like that? Unicorns and/or mermaids are a plus!

Any recommendations? Thanks!

Hero Kids (RPG aimed at ages 5-10)

With a little reading help, Talisman.

Cadamir, also needing a bit of reading. Not quite to the D&D feel for some, but it's a hexcrawl exploration, with single character, character growth, random encounters, and treasures to be found.

Thanks all, some great suggestions. I guess I'm going back and forth between Dungeon and Talisman, leading more towards Talisman. It looks prettier, plus maybe not as "combat only." But I might get both.

Talisman is almost all combat... Spirit Combat or Melee Combat, but usually described in rules as combat.
 
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Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
I played Milton Bradley's Hero Quest and the Legend of Drizzt boardgame with my 6 year old daughter. She much preferred and grasped Hero Quest over the Drizzt game. (It warmed my heart when she made her very first character, Add the dwarf.) My friend played Mice and Mystics (http://www.plaidhatgames.com/games/mice-and-mystics) with his young kids and they enjoyed the game and especially the theme. I bought it for my daughters for Christmas--I'll let you know how they like it in about a week!
 
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Wrathamon

Explorer
Surprising Talisman is a bit hard for kids under 10 imo. I tried and they get bored way to easy. Talisman can drag at the end game for them. Also there are lots of fiddly tracking going on.

The basic mechanics are super easy in Talisman, roll a six sider! but I think the D&D board games are much easier to keep the kids engaged, shorter in play and easier to track upgrades. Just pick scenarios that aren't too hard.

Descent is great, (but can get fiddly with the upgrades) and can be hard if you (playing the overlord) are tough on them.

Dungeon is the best to start with.
 

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