234 – Children’s Books as Games – The Family Gamers Podcast

children's books

Episode 234

Children’s Books as Games

This week, we’re talking about games inspired by children’s books – games that actually exist, and games we’d like to see!

234 Fact – Jacob Bigelow was born 234 years ago, on February 27, 1787. He’s best known as a botanist, and his botanical illustrations are still used today.

Sponsor message – Time for another listener question. Where do you start when wanting to buy a house? If you want to talk through your specific situation and how to achieve your goals set up a time to talk at firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers today.

What We’ve Been Playing

Orbital Velocity (www.orbitalvelocitygame.com) – an educational game that is educational first and a game second, but we’re enjoying it quite a bit. Very nicely put together.

Space Explorers (25th Century Games)

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner (25th Century Games) – SNAP review included in this podcast.

Decktective: Bloody-red roses (dV Giochi) – much more game-like than other escape-room / one-time games that we’ve played.

Pandemic Legacy 0 (Z-man Games)

Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games)

Kombo Klash (Hub Games) – we have already played this a lot; and the kids are playing it without us, too! Already highly recommended (coming out in April).

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

SNAP review – Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Steal chickens from the coop – and from each other! Elliot helps us review this silly game that’s not TOO silly.

Watch the video or read the transcript for this SNAP review.

Welcome to the Family Gamers Community!

We say hello to new members in our community.

Children’s Books as Games

Inspired by Little Big Thumbs “3 Books we Want to be Games” and our Facebook community post, let’s talk about books that we’d like to see as games, and a few that already have game implementations.

Anitra would love to see a game based on Make Way for Ducklings. Some kind of path-finding game for little kids? (Nick suggests Ducks in Tow by First Fish – seems like too much for younger kids though.)

A game does exist for The Princess and the Goblin, a very early “modern” fairy tale for children.

Naturally, Nick Martinelli wants a Transformers game.

… but how about Harold and the Purple Crayon? Maybe using Untold as a system to allow for the same sort of free-form storytelling that the Harold books exemplify.

We’d love to see anything like Mo Willems Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! in game form. (Mo Willems did a three-week series of videos called LUNCH DOODLES last March and April, which really inspired our kids.) There are some great activity books, but no games.

We found out that there is a Goodnight Moon matching & memory game which looks good for toddlers.

Wouldn’t it be great to see an epic Narnia game?

Some games that exist based on children’s books:

Goodnight Moon matching/memory game – looks like a nice calm way to wind down, much like the book.

The Princess and the Goblin (more interesting than the book, in our opinion. More on that in our interview with Dennis Hoyle of Bellwether Games. )

The Color Monster (which Chrissy Wissler reviewed for us.) Both the book and the game are all about identifying your feelings.

Press Here: The Game (based on the book Press Here). The game uses color/pattern matching, which is quite a bit different from the book, but both are good for early preschool. No reading, introduces a tiny bit of strategy.

Mouse Guard – there is a full-fledged RPG based on this series of books.

A few more books we’d love to see turn into games:

Redwall series by Brian Jacques – there’s so much material there.

Likewise, the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland.

Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks. Slightly less of the epic-fantasy feel than his Shannara series, but a much smaller world, easier to fit into a game… and a little bit silly at times. (Our favorite is the first in the series: Magic Kingdom for Sale – SOLD!)

We’d both love to see If You Give a Mouse a Cookie game. But should it be a Rube Goldberg engine builder? Or a pick up and delivery game?

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One comment

  • Don’t know if you’ve seen them, but Mo Willems has a couple of larger activity books that are worth the investment if your kids are the right age and want something to do. I think one is “Don’t Let the Pigeon Complete This Activity Book” (or something like that). Got that for my youngest a couple of years ago and she loved it.