Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game.
Gaming with my daughter is by far my favorite type of gaming to do. She’s eight years old and has become a staple at game night. These days there is little she doesn’t like to play, Sheriff of Nottingham, Smash Up, and 7 Wonders are among her favorites.
But like any gamer, she had to start somewhere. Understanding game mechanics takes some time. Today we are taking a look at Find My Monsters, a quick playing card game for “children, families, and big kids”, now in funding on Kickstarter. Find My Monsters is a good entry for smaller kids as both an educational tool and an introduction into gaming.
Find My Monsters is a simple deck of 32 cards. There are 8 Alfi cards, 8 Penny cards, and 16 monsters. Half of the monsters have green backgrounds which match Alfi and the others have orange backgrounds to match Penny. There are two sets of game rules, allowing you to play slightly differently depending on the age and skill level of the participating children. Game one is basically a Memory variant. For a more advanced game, players are dealt hands of cards and have play match cards from their hands to a shared row of face-up cards.
How to Play:
Game one is the simpler version of Find My Monsters. All 32 cards are shuffled and lied out face down. Players take turns flipping two cards face up. If the revealed cards are different colors, you turn them back over. If the backgrounds match, and there is one monster and one child, you collect the cards. However, if they are both monsters of a same color, you can reveal a third card to try to find the matching Alfi or Penny card. Once all cards are matched, whoever collected the most monsters wins.
Game two adds a hand management mechanic to the game. Each player is given four cards; the remaining cards become a community deck. Four cards from that deck are turned face up. Players take turns matching a card from their hand to the community row in the same method as game one – Alfi with a green monster or Penny with an orange one. However, the number in the bottom-right corner of each card represents the points earned for each match. When the deck runs out or no more matches are possible, the player with the most points is the winner.
Both versions of Find My Monsters are incredibly simple games. The Memory version is something that could be played by with children as young as two or three. Kids will learn to recognize colors as well as have to memorize locations of revealed cards.
In the more advanced game, players will have to manage their hand as well as do basic addition to track their points. The strategy is simplistic, there is never a reason not to play the highest point-value match you have available. But for a game to introduce kids into gaming, it doesn’t need much more.
The preview copy of Find My Monsters contains most of the finished artwork. The cartoony monsters will undoubtedly appeal to the 3-5 year old age range. Seeing cute monsters with cute names will be a great hook to get the kiddos interested.
Without a doubt, Find My Monsters is a good way to launch your children into gaming. There are some obvious educational tools at work here, including addition and memorization. But perhaps just as importantly, it’s a way to get your kids playing games. Teaching them to be a good winner, or loser, is just as valuable of a life skill.
If you don’t have young children, Find My Monsters isn’t for you. The game is far too simple for experienced gamers to really have anything to dig into. However, if you have kids in that three-to-five year old range, I would encourage you to check out the upcoming Kickstarter.
If you’d like to become a backer, pledges start at $15 the full game and stretch goals. Find My Monsters is scheduled to be in backers hands in July of 2015 and you have until Thursday, May 7th to become a backer. Head over today and check it out.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review.