Our family loves to play board games. They are fun and an educational experience. Playing games help kids learn how to follow rules, how to play fairly, and how to use good strategy.
One of our favorite recent purchases is Rise of Augustus Board Game. The theme, which is a little thin, is that you are trying to control territories and senators so that you can rise in power under Augustus.
The senators and territories are represented by cards. Each card has a number of symbols on it (between 2 and 7 symbols) and is worth a certain number of points. The card may also give you a point bonus or a special ability.
You have 3 of these cards, and you try to complete them by filling in the symbols on the card. One player draws a symbol out of a bag of tokens. If you have this symbol on a card, you can set a marker on it (the markers look like Roman soldiers). If you fill in all of the symbols on the card, you score points for it and choose a new card from a set of 5.
The game is over when someone completes 7 cards.
Some people have likened this game to Bingo because you draw tokens out of a bag and each player marks off those symbols on their cards. However this game has depth and strategy to it, unlike Bingo, which is completely luck.
One feature of the game that adds strategy is that there are different numbers of each token in the bag. For example there is only 1 dagger, but there are 6 double sword tokens. So when you are choosing your new card, you can pick an easy card to complete, or risk picking a card with a higher point value or great special ability.
There are also bonuses that you can earn by completing certain combinations of cards.
Playing with kids:
Our 3 oldest (ages 6, 7, and 8) are able to follow the rules, play the game, and even apply some good strategies. All 3 of them have won the game at least once. Gideon, our 4 year old, likes to be the “town crier”, which is what you call the person who draws the tokens. He knows when to draw tokens, when to restock the bag, and all of the names for the symbols. Plus he entertains us by using his “announcing voice” as he calls out what he has drawn.
It is a great family game: easy to play, but has enough strategy to be interesting.