As we often do on Gus & Co, we are interested in board games, in general, big games, for informed and expert audiences, and, for a change, also games intended for families, children and (grand) parents. Discover three of them today, rather recent, Go Gecko Go! , Dragon Parks and Midnight Exchange . Good discovery !
But basically, what is a (good) family game?
A good family game must at the same time be accessible, captivating, quick to set up and with beautiful and engaging material .
Finding this subtle balance between complexity and simplicity seems impossible. And yet, several family games succeed. Which is not necessarily the case with these 3 games today …
Go Gecko Go!
o Gecko Go! is a little racing game for ages 6 and up. In turn, either we place a tile on a column of water, which moves the whole column forward, a bit like the Labyrinth , I push, move, or we roll the dice and move the corresponding animal forward. The first to wait for the opposite side of the board wins the game. That’s it that’s all. Or almost.
Go Gecko Go! relies on two subtleties.
The plateau has two bridges , under which you will have to pass. And during the race, like the very good Camel Up betting game , you can climb on other animals to “hit the encrusted” and move forward with, thanks to them.
Except that. You understood the concern.
The more you climb, the more you increase the risk of getting a bridge in the muzzle and falling backwards. Will pass, will not pass? The same question that every Swiss family asks in December-January with their ski rack on the roof when entering an underground car park.
In Go Gecko Go !, you will therefore have to make 2-3 decisions: to climb, or not, and when. He was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres pour enfants in 2019 . It was The Valley of the Vikings that ended up winning the famous prize. We must believe that the selection of that year was rather… poor, because the game is, in the end, rather hollow and not too engaging .
Children have little fun there. We will play it 2, 3 times maximum, but the game does not offer enough possibilities, different sensations. Neither fun nor fresh, in the end, Go Gecko Go! fulfills more than it entertains .