Race to the Treasure!: A Great Early Introduction to Strategy Games
Have you ever played a competitive board game like Monopoly with small children? It can be very tricky to juggle the balance of teaching the rules, teaching strategy, and trying to win. And then you get to decide if you should try your hardest to win every time - or let the kids win sometimes so they aren't discouraged. Well the cure for that tricky balancing act is cooperative board games.
If you haven't heard of cooperative board games it basically means everybody wins or everybody loses. I think it's a great way to introduce board games to kids because it puts the emphasis on teamwork, having fun, and learning strategy together.
And when strategy is involved in the game, it can be tremendously useful to be able to lean heavily on suggestions from the adults, because, hey, we're all working together after all. Teamwork, of course, is a very useful skill to develop as well. And it's definitely a great change of pace to watch the kids working together on a goal.
"Race to the Treasure! definitely belongs in that elusive category of games made for kids that parents legitimately enjoy playing too."
Peaceable Kingdom is the king of cooperative board games for children. By this point we have about five of their games - and we are certainly looking to collect many more. Out of those five games, Race to the Treasure! is one of our very favorite family games - and not just from Peaceable Kingdom.
It has a soft spot in my heart because our five-year-old was legitimately very scared of it when he was three. Our son was straight terrified of flipping over an ogre card. It was awesome. He asked us to do it. He tried to peek. He tried to change his pick if he peeked an ogre. It was adorable.
Turns consist of drawing cards and revealing either a path card or an ogre card. Path cards are strategically placed down (after consulting with everybody) to first lead to three keys and then to the treasure chest. But the ogre cards lead The Ogre closer to the treasure.
Race to the Treasure! definitely belongs in that elusive category of games made for kids that parents legitimately enjoy playing too. It's well balanced and has led to a roughly equal win ratio between us and The Ogre. Our five-year-old still enjoys playing, but he's not really scared by The Ogre anymore. Perhaps our little one can take over that role.
Are you a fan of Peaceable Kingdom? Do you have any recommendations for people looking for similar games? Post below and let us know.