August 23, 2013

Co-op Train Game: A Free PnP

Forever ago, when I went to LTUE, I printed this free Co-op Train Game designed by Randy Cox. It seemed like a nice way to show the kiddos I hadn't forgotten them.

Of course, no one played the game until after I returned home. Sigh. But since then, it's become one of our favorites. And one of the few kids' co-ops that I know.

The essence of the game is to move about the board, pick up goods from the green spaces, and then deliver them to the appropriate yellow locations. Everyone works as a team trying to make the deliveries before the sun marker reaches the end of the day.

The rules are straight forward and simple, yet they leave room for strategy and planning ahead. Perfect. If beating the game is too hard or too easy for the kids playing it, it's easy to adjust the difficulty by changing the number of deliveries needed to win or starting the sun marker at a different spot.

It's a PnP (print-and-play), so if you want a copy, you just need to follow the link above, print some pages, and spend some time with a pair of scissors. I pasted the game board onto a manilla folder, covered the pieces in contact paper, and raided the extra trains bag from our set of Ticket to Ride for the pieces. I wish I'd used cardstock instead of paper for the pieces -- they're somewhat see-through -- but I think I'm the only one bothered by it.

The game summary recommends ages 4-6, but it wasn't hard for a three-year-old with previous board game experience to pick up. The game can also be played solo. All around, a very well-designed, engaging game that I'm happy to play -- or that the kids can play by themselves.

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