Column: Three games that shaped my later love for board games

Growing up, I played many, many card games. My dad loved them and taught me and my sister every card game he knew using a regular 52-cards deck. As Rowdy is no fan of the traditional Dutch card games, my frequency of playing those games dropped drastically. We do play the modern card games, like Race for the Galaxy or Dominion, but if you would ask me where we keep playing cards I have no idea. Card games are a big part of why I love games this much. It brings back very warm family memories. Mesmerizing about my early years of playing games, three board games pop up in my head.


Gute Freunde

Spiel des Jahres Children’s Game winner 1989. My mom does know her board games, clearly. Beautiful wooden water lilies, coins and frogs. Dice with only three numbers (very interesting when you’re playing as a 4-years-old). Gute Freunde is a big part of my childhood memories. I always played this with my sister. About the only time we would call ourselves ‘good friends’, having A LOT of sister-sister arguments.


Hare and Tortoise

Not only another Spiel des Jahres winner, but the first ever winner in 1979 is Hare and Tortoise (Haas en Schildpad). Plant a seed early and 30 years later you find yourself having 200+ board games in your house…

So Hare and Tortoise was another game we played a lot. Recently I played it again and the mechanisms were actually quite interesting, still. But the game can take a while to finish. And, looking back, I don’t think we finished this game a lot. I do remember the carrots. And fights between me and my sister. But we did ‘play’ it. And when I found out my mom gave it to charity, I bought myself another copy, just to have it in my collection as well as in my memories.

BGG image


A totally different game than the first two, but one that can’t be left out. Why? Because for me it shows the creativity of my dad in introducing games to us. He made up ‘Children’s Risk’. Some easy rules to get familiar with the concepts. We had so much fun.
Off course we hope that Esben, our son, will inherit our love of games. As this example proves, it doesn’t take a big investment to get children into gaming. Imagination and creativity will hopefully do the job!


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2 gedachten over “Column: Three games that shaped my later love for board games

  • 23 december 2016 om 19:17

    I honestly can’t remember anything but being taught the Risk dice-mechanism. So my father would probably tell a story around that


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