Mmm! This year’s perfect kids’ board game
It’s midterm break this week, so we took advantage of the school holidays and headed to Kilkenny for a couple of days at the start of the week. Aside from a few glorious hours on Tuesday morning, we got washed out of it for our visit. So when we stumbled across Black Kat Games, (I say “stumbled” but knowing my husband the existence of a board game shop was the whole reason he suggested Kilkenny as a destination for our break!), I was eager to get in out of the rain to see if I could find anything to occupy the two kids for the afternoon.
A Reiner Knizia game called Mmm! caught my eye. Published by Pegasus Spiele, this game is for 2-4 players, takes 15-20 minutes to complete, and is suitable for age 5+. A quick scan of the back of the box indicated that it’s a cooperative game. Perfect. Although we regularly play competitive games with our six year old, I’m the first to admit that cooperative games are a much better choice at this age, so that you all win or you all lose together. Your child still gets to learn about winning and losing, but doing so as part of a team softens the sting of losing, and is easier to deal with for young kids.
Back to the game. The premise is simple. You play the part of a family of mice who want nothing more than to throw a nice dinner party. You can’t have a party without food, however, so you need to raid the pantry for cheese, bread, carrots, fish, and cucumber. All sounds easy until you learn that the pet cat is on the prowl, trying to spoil your fun.
To play, each person takes their turn to roll three dice. Each die has a symbol for cheese, bread, cucumber, carrot, and fish, as well as a big red X. When you roll a food symbol, you can choose to place the die on the corresponding foodstuff on the board, or take another chance and re-roll. You need to complete a whole food each turn to prevent the cat from moving. Fail to do this – or worse, roll a big red X – and the pesky cat will move one space closer to the pantry door. If the cat makes it all ten spaces to the pantry door before you collect all the food, you lose!
So far, we have beaten that cat once, and lost more times than I care to mention. It’s such good fun though. There’s a small element of strategy to it, easily understood by a five or six year old. And even the two year old can take part. She’s happy rolling the dice, but much prefers to play the part of the cat and move one space closer to the pantry door each time we roll a red X.
This game is out new this year, and so far the only place I’ve seen it for sale is Black Kat Games in Kilkenny. But if you can get your hands on a copy, I think you’ll find it’s the perfect winter afternoon game for any family with young kids.
I purchased the Mmm! board game myself and did not receive any compensation for writing this review. I have done so simply because I think this is a great little game that deserves to be shouted about.