The Brothers Grimm are known around the world for their popular German folk tales of Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel and Snow White. One of their lesser known tales is The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids. The story is a lovely tale of how a wolf tricked his way into a house of seven goat kids and ate six of them while their mother was away. When the mother returned, the one kid who managed to hide away from the wolf tells his mother what happened and the mother goat opens up the sleeping wolf’s stomach and all six children spring out unharmed. They fill the wolf’s stomach with rocks and when it tries to take a drink from the river, he falls in and drowns. This ‘uplifting’ and ‘heartfelt’ story, not one I’d read to my kids every night, is the basis for the game Hide the Kids! published by Asmodee Games. This hide and seek kid’s game puts one person in the role of the wolf trying to find the other players hidden kids. The goat kids will hide under, behind and in different items in the house. Will this game find a great hiding spot or just be eating by the wolf? Read on.
Hide the Kids! is a 2-8 player hide and seek game recommended for kids ages 4+ and plays in about 20 minutes.
Hide the Kids! starts with one player becoming the wolf, who then puts the little wolf puppet on one of their fingers (I’m not kidding). The other players get a small wooden piece that has a young goat on it. Each round, the kid players will hide their figures from the wolf players view. The can place them behind, in, and under one of the seven different pieces of furniture in the room. The wolf then gets two attempts to find as many kids as possible. If the wolf player was able to find seven kids before one of the kids hides successfully for seven rounds, the wolf wins. The other players all win if the opposite happens.
A lot of components come with this game and they are all top notch, something I would expect from a game by Asmodee. The kid player tokens are very thick wooden pieces that will hold up very well over time. Each one is designed with a different outfit, which wasn’t necessary, but allows for some more diversity than just wearing a different colored clothes.
I really love the fact that this game comes with a small wolf finger puppet. Both my three and one year old kids think it’s the best component of the game. The different furniture pieces all have small little details on the artwork that make the simple cardboard pieces very pleasant to look at. All of them work well to immerse kids and adults into the theme of the game.
How to Play:
After the wolf player is decided, whoever wants to do it, the other players set up the seven furniture pieces on the table within reach of the wolf player. The wolf player covers/shuts their eyes and slowly counts down from 10. During this countdown, the other players hide their kid pieces from view of the wolf under, within or behind some of the furniture. The goat players can hide as many as of the kids as they want in each location. The wolf player then gets two chances to find the hidden kids by lifting up the furniture and seeing if there is someone hiding there. For each kid the wolf finds that round, they get a token with the kid side flipped up. Each kid player gets a token flipped to the stone side if they are not found at the end of the round. There are a few locations that if a kid manages to hide successfully, can cause the wolf to lose a kid token (in the clock) or gain two stone tokens (under the tub). Rounds continue until the game ends when either one of the kids gains seven stone tokens or the wolf has found seven kids.
I think the only true way to talk about the experience of a game that is designed for younger children is to go right to the source. My three year old daughter gave her opinion of the game to me and I have added some context to her deep analysis of the game. In short, she likes it a lot. She doesn’t enjoy playing the wolf so much though. She tried it once and didn’t like it because she found it “hard to find the kids” and was mad when she couldn’t. She always has a good time hiding the kids under the furniture. She mentioned she thought it was funny when I couldn’t find any of the little goats that she had hidden from sight. She also loved the little “wolfie” that came with the game and likes playing with it and the little kid pieces outside of the game.
From my daughter’s point of view, the game is great. But what does Dad think of it? Well, I like it. The game is a very simple game for kids to learn. It didn’t take more than a quick explanation for her to understand how to play the game. The components are also really amazing for this game. The artwork on the different pieces and the wolf puppet go a long way to immerse yourself in the game and peak a kid’s interest.
We normally don’t play with the victory conditions in the rules. We tend to just hide and try to be found. It’s more of the experience and joy that come out of the game that my daughter enjoys. We have played with the full rules and found that the game to be balanced for each side. I like how the game is designed. It is very quick to play and allows for the kid players to do whatever they want to confuse the wolf player where they are hiding. My wife is very good at this and tends to make a lot of noise try to confuse me. It works.
I do think the game gets a little chaotic as it gets to the higher player counts. There is isn’t a ton of hiding room with some of the pieces of furniture and that makes things a little difficult to complete your move in the time limit. The game is still fun to play at that number, just more difficult to conceal locations for the kid players. I find that four or five hidden kids is optimal for game play. I think the game will work best with kids under the age of ten. Around the upper ages, kids will want more strategy and less luck in a game and might not find this the most fun game out there. Despite that, the game is a fun one to play with young and older kids that the adults won’t mind playing either.
My wife and I have had a lot of fun playing Hide the Kids! with our oldest daughter. The game isn’t very deep and requires no set strategies to win, but it’s not meant to be that. My daughter loves playing Hide the Kids! with us and finds joy in trying to outsmart her parents. The game is very easy to learn for kids and has great components that will keep kids interested throughout. Hide the Kids! is a game I can easily recommend.
If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, it’s about $24
Final Score: 4 Stars – An easy to learn kids game thats really appropriate and fun for young children.
• Gets chaotic at higher player counts