To say 2021 has been an abnormal year would be a massive, gigantic, monstrous understatement. At least from our perspective of Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Bubble, it’s been filled with a lot less fear than 2020, but we’ve tip-toed through the year with large scoops of caution. While I’ve been to many board game conventions under various banners, I was hopeful that 2021 was going to be my first with a Little Big Thumbs hat on my head. Alas, those cautious steps have kept us close to home, and away from all the excitement of new releases and relationships.
It would be around this time that we’d begin thinking about compiling a “Best of the Year” list, from the perspective of games for families with young children. However, we haven’t played nearly enough of this year’s games to give such a list any real weight. Our favourite game of the year is an easy pick – Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape from HABA (click here to watch our YouTube coverage)! We’ve also really enjoyed Blue Orange’s Wilson & Shep and The Quest Kids, but after those titles, our list of 2021 releases thins out pretty quickly. Even our most anticipated game of the year, Zombie Teenz Evolution, hasn’t seen the table time it deserves.
So rather than run down a list of favourites, we’d like to present a short list of 2021 Children’s Games that we are VERY excited to explore!
DISNEY MAD TEA PARTY
Funko Games has been on an absolute roll over the last couple years, releasing games in seemingly every genre. A handful of these games are targeted towards younger players, and the Mad Tea Party is the one that I’m most excited to see on our table! As you might gather from the photo below, this is a game about playing cards and stacking teacups, and it just looks adorable. Dexterity games tend to be genuinely enjoyable for both adults and younger players, which means it’s a prime candidate for the Little Big Thumbs video treatment.
(Photo credit: Funko Games)
As evidenced by Inspector Mouse, we’re an easy target for deduction games starring cute animals. IELLO’s line of children’s games, LOKI, are some of the most visually stunning games in the entire industry. Combine these two statements, and we’re pretty much guaranteed to fall in love with Detective Charlie! We can’t wait to get our hands on this game, and work together to solve the game’s mystery.
(Photo credit: LOKI Games)
The premise of this game is pure ridiculousness – there’s a monster in the bedroom, and it can’t help but eat everything in sight! When it eats the wrong things, it gets a sore tummy, and needs us to reach into its gut to pull out the bad food. There’s got to be a better way, Box Monster!
Mandoo Games has produced some games that my children adore, including Kushi Express. I expect Box Monster is going to be another keeper! The sheer mystery of reaching our hands into the Box Monster’s mouth is going to get this game to the table quickly, and I’m so curious to see how my girls respond to the experience!
(Photo credit: Mandoo Games)
KIDS CHRONICLES – QUEST FOR THE MOON STONES
Lucky Duck Games recently unveiled a new line of children’s games, and I’m absolutely blown away by what I’ve seen so far. Quest for the Moon Stones is the first in the Kids’ Chronicles series, which offers an app-assisted experience that I expect is absolutely going to have my little ladies mesmerized.
Managing screen time has been an ongoing theme throughout the pandemic, and having an opportunity to use our tablet as a collaborative tool is one I’m excited to share with my kids.
We’re hopeful that 2022 is going to bring us more opportunities to explore the amazing new games headed to the family gaming market. Before we rush to play all those games, we want to make sure we make time to enjoy the quality children’s games that are already on store shelves!
Once we’ve covered most of our 2021 Wishlist, keep an eye out for a Little Big Thumbs list of favourite games. Until then, keep playing games that make your own thumbs go way up!