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Lots of little games for every occasion

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Diana Doert / DER SPIEGEL

"Unlock! Kids: Chaos in the Park«

The amusement park is the scene of two adventures. First we try to find out Rotbeard's secret, and as soon as we succeed, Chaos-Kathi has released the zombies. Great!

You start with an entrance ticket to the park. With this we get the first clues, keys and maps. The two tricky cases are solved with the help of combinations and clues that can be found on the face-up cards. For example, if you find a hidden number on a card, you can search the back of the deck for a matching card. If you find what you are looking for, you can uncover them, and continue with the puzzles.

In addition to the hidden numbers, there are also keys that, together with the right combination, also lead to new puzzle cards. In this way, you puzzle your way through history. Those who track down many stars are particularly successful.

Who is it for?

The superbly structured stories are designed for primary school children and all those who would like to be. If you have played the enclosed tutorial together with an older person, you can also get along well on your own, because you don't have to be able to read. But it can happen that the adults want to play along again, that's how much fun the "Chaos in the Park" is.

Space Cow; 1–4 players; from 6 years old; Authors: Cyril Demaegd, Marie Fort and Wilfried Fort

Want to roll a bet? Every year, the armadillos, quaint armadillos, meet for a competition. Whoever gets rid of all ten cards in his hand first wins.

At the beginning, all players are given ten cards depicting armadillos with card values from 1 to 20. In addition, there are two armadillo chips for each player, which can be used to change the card value of a card.

When it's your turn, you can first choose three of the six dice. There are two blue dice with values one to three, two orange with values four to six, and two red dice with values seven to nine. Once you have rolled the dice, you announce the total value out loud. If you have a hand card that matches this value, you can discard it. If the value of the card doesn't quite fit, you can hand in one or two chips to adjust it and get rid of the card after all. If you give up three chips, you even get rid of any hand card. The other players are also allowed to discard a card, but those who can't do so draw an Armadillo chip instead.

The round ends as soon as a player runs out of cards. For their remaining cards, the remaining players each receive a minus point. Whoever has the fewest lousy after three rounds wins the Armadillo rolling.

Who is it for?

A game for all those who are already familiar with the number range up to 20. Since you can play it with up to six armadillos, it's a great nightcap game at the end of a children's birthday party or family weekend.

Amigo; 2–6 players; from 8 years old; Author: Rudi Biber

»Similo: Wild Animals«

In the »Similo« series, there are already various theme decks. From fairy tales and myths to Halloween and Harry Potter, there is a lot to it. Wild Animals works best with younger players.

A player draws one of the 24 animal cards face down and remembers it. Then this card is shuffled with eleven other cards and randomly laid out face up in a 3×4 grid. The person who knows the animal they are looking for must now try over five rounds to give tips to the other players using only the remaining animal cards and without speaking, so that they can find out the identity of the target card.

In this case, the player in question lays out a card face up in each round. If the person places the card vertically, it means that the depicted animal is similar to the card they are looking for in at least one aspect. Maybe it also has a coat or is dangerous, maybe it has wings or a tail like the animal you are looking for. If the map is laid out horizontally, it means that this animal differs in one point from the animal you are looking for.

The players are now allowed to consult and then have to decide which animal cards they want to exclude and turn over. If only one card has to be turned over in the first round, there are already two in the second round, three in the third, until only two cards remain in the last round. If everyone manages to determine the correct target card together, the game is won. However, if the target card is incorrectly turned over in one of the rounds, everyone loses.

Who is it for?

Cooperative judges of all ages. If you understand what makes others tick, you have an advantage. Excitement is guaranteed, because in every round everyone is worried about whether the wrong card will be turned over.

HeidelBÄR Games; from 2 players; from 7 years old; Authors: Martino Chiacchiera, Hjalmar Hach, Pierluca Zizzi

»Triggs«

In »Triggs«, all players want the same thing: to get rid of their cards. But before that, they have to tick off the rows of numbers on their game sheets.

At the beginning, the players each receive five hand cards, a hand from the game block and a pen. The total of 108 cards are printed with numbers from one to twelve. It is important to get rid of them. Whoever is on the move is allowed to perform one of three actions:

• play a card from the draw pile,

• discard any number of cards of the same number, or

• Tick numerical values on your own game sheet.

In the latter turn, however, you have to discard the matching cards, but you can also combine two cards to reach the required value. For example, you can tick two nines if you put a nine, a five and a four. Whoever ticks all the squares first and has no more cards in his hand wins.

Who is it for?

A cozy game, for those who like to chat while playing. No hustle and bustle, no big tactics, just nice games to yourself.

NSV; 2–4 players; from 8 years old; Author: Karin Hetling

»Kunterpunkt«

There's a lot going on in our spring garden. Butterflies flutter around, and also the neighbor's cat pass by. At »Kunterpunkt«, however, we only have eyes for the beetles. More precisely: for the dots on their backs.

Each player gets a pen and a sheet of paper from the game pad. Over several rounds, the players now try to profitably enter the points of the six colored dice on the beetle back and the beetle meadow. The trick: The dots on the beetles are based on the distribution of the dots on the dice. If you enter a four on a beetle, you can make a five out of it with a one. The same result is achieved by a two and a three.

The beetles are depicted in colored rows on the block, analogous to the cubes. The more beetles of a number I have in a row at the end, the more points I get. In addition to the beetle rows, you can also use the dice points on the beetle meadow, where you cross off paths to get more bonuses. Whoever has the most points after five rounds wins.

Who is it for?

»Kunterpunkt« is just the right game for all those who like to tinker and optimize. Where is the best place to enter the dice eyes, what earns the most points? Should I roll the dice again or do I go to the beetle meadow to get a few more bonuses?

Frechverlag; 1–6 players; from 9 years old; Authors: Julia Thiemann, Christoph Waage

»Black Hole Buccaneers«

Space debris at its finest. Ancient, more or less valuable artifacts of humanity, located on the edge of black holes. We collect them from »Black Hole Buccaneers« so that we can become rich and famous.

Over three rounds, we try to get hold of the best and most valuable space debris; on the other hand, we have to be careful that our ship doesn't get too heavy with all the junk, uh, the valuable treasures, and that we end up being pulled into a black hole ourselves.

Each round consists of three phases. In the first, we pick scrap metal by drafting the hand cards, i.e. always keeping one and passing the rest in a circle. We do this until there is only one card left, which we put on the current black hole.

In the second phase, the effects of the relics are dealt with, if they have appeared in this round. This can be a "rescue blanket" (the towel from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") or an "alien paddling pool" (the Stargate), but there is also "a ring" (the one with the servant and binding).

Then it is checked whether someone was too greedy and is pulled into the black hole because of overload. If this is not the case, the score is scored and you get points. In the last phase, a new black hole comes into play and the next round can start. Whoever has the most points after three rounds wins.

Who is it for?

The entertaining connoisseur game is made for people who know a little about pop culture. The cards are teeming with allusions to movies, series, books and the toy industry. So it's not surprising that during the first few rounds you're more busy getting excited about the many ideas and reading each other's cards than playing. For example, Tamagochis are referred to as the "Possessed Amulet", and a particularly valuable spaceship is called the "Trillenium Pigeon".

Pegasus; 3–6 players; from 10 years old; Author: Peter Langkjær Møller

»Cartzzle creative«

Puzzles in a different way. The small pack contains 50 cards with two different puzzles. One motif is on the front of the cards, one on the back. In »Extreme Expedition«, for example, you can explore the desert with the explorer Roald Hotfuss on one side, and his adventure takes us to the Arctic on the other side of the map.

What both motifs have in common is the principle of the game. The cards must be placed on top of and below each other in such a way that a motif is created. Once you've done that, you start again, but you have to complete a task when you put down the cards.

For example, the picture of the Arctic should first be put together in such a way that the explorer's tour can be understood. In the second task, you have to place the crucial nine digits in such a way that our explorer survives. Finally, in the last task, all 15 penguins must be visible in the finished picture.

For those who don't like expeditions, there are also other topics. For example, in the "Boundless Legend Forest" version, you can solve a cooperative task for two to four players, and in "The Children's Games" you can even solve a duel task.

Who is it for?

This game is a very nice idea for those who like to do puzzles and want to try something new. The small boxes come with a lot of puzzle and fun and are just the right souvenir for puzzle fans.

Yikes!; 1–4 players; from 8 years old; Authors: Juan Rodriguez, David Boniffacy and Florent Toscano

»Zero Hero«

If, like me, you have zero patience for puzzles, you might prefer to try a round of "Zero Hero". The goal here is to buy the best possible cards and to have collected the right sets at the end of the game. If it's your turn, you have to decide: buy tickets or take Zeronen. The latter are small, white wooden zeros that you need to buy the right cards.

At the end of the game, however, only solo cards and rows of three count. In addition, there are a few special promotions on the cards that allow you to annoy your fellow players. The winner is the one who gets the most points for the collected cards at the end.

Who is it for?

The card game, which is easy to learn, is entertaining, the luck of the game changes quickly, and often it gets really tight towards the end. If you like to collect cards and annoy the others, you are in good hands here.

Piatnik; 2–4 players; from 8 years old; Authors: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Ralf zur Linde