SNAP Review – Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones
You are the wizard’s new apprentices and must find the long-lost Moon Stones! With the help of a trusty Moon Cat, you will solve mysteries, help characters, and learn about the Kingdom of Summer and the Winter Empire.
This is a SNAP review for Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones.
Quest for the Moon Stones is an app-driven board game from Lucky Duck Kids. It was designed by David Cicurel, modeled on his Chronicles of Crime series (which we’ve previously reviewed). The box says it’s best for ages 7 and up, and that a quest should take 30-45 minutes to play – and we’ve gout our 7-year-old here to help us review it!
I think it’s really good. And when you look into the iPad (or whatever you’re using), the art is identical to the cards.
I mostly love the art. The character and item cards set the tone for this kid-friendly fantasy adventure. It’s whimsical and full of detail, and you quickly find out that even the sternest, meanest-looking creatures aren’t truly scary; they just need a little love.
My only complaint is that the 3D scenes aren’t really 3D, they’re more like being wrapped in a 360 degree painting, with the characters superimposed on it.
So, how do you play Quest for the Moon Stones? You’ll need the game board and cards, but also the mobile app. Once you’ve downloaded it, it doesn’t need an internet connection.
Open up the app and pick the quest you’re going to do – it will tell you which side of the board to use, as well as a location and some background information to get you started. (All of this is done through text and just a few images, so reading is fairly important here.)
Scan the QR code for the location and find yourself transported to a 3D rendering in the app! This is that 360 degree picture we talked about. You’ll look for characters and items in that location and you tell other players what you see there. Then you can all search for cards that represent those characters and items; pull them out and lay them out on the board. Don’t worry, the app will hint at what you’re looking for, too.
You’re speaking with Nils: “I saw two people and one object at the lake!”
You can then ask those people questions about items or other known characters – maybe you’ll find some more information! Sometimes, you’ll even be able to give a character an item they want, or a location will give you an option to use items in a special way. For example, a lantern might allow you to light up an area. We filled a bucket with water in our last mission.
If you want to go to a new location, say “goodbye” if you’re talking to somebody, then scan the location you want to go to on the board.
When you fulfill your quest goals, a character will ask you a series of questions about the mission you just did. Scan cards that you have to answer those questions the best you can. Then find out the complete story, and get your next Moon Stone.
When we first heard about this game, we had already played Chronicles of Crime, so we were really excited about this technology.
We expected it to be a family game with a little-kid emphasis. App-driven play should allow for younger kids to feel more immersed in the story. Players get to make decisions to drive the story forward, repeat conversations, or explore a location over again.
I also knew this hybrid approach would be super cool and exciting for our kids to examine 3D scenes.
We were surprised at how well Quest for the Moon Stones “fits” as a kid-focused implementation of the play system introduced in Chronicles of Crime.
Scanning QR codes has been made really kid-friendly. You can set the app to auto-scan or require a “press and hold” on the screen, making it harder to scan the wrong card by accident.
I also love that there’s no time pressure. Elliot has plenty of time to look around in the scenes and try to find whatever he wants. And we can sit there and talk about new strategies that we want to do.
The game tries to balance storytelling with allowing players to make their own observations. Sometimes, the next step is very obvious, even for a young kid – but sometimes it’s not!
Have we been stuck before?
“eh, you don’t say”
Thankfully, your trusty Moon Cat friend Nils is always available to give hints when you scan their QR code.
There’s a lot of reading here. That’s not a problem for our kids, but struggling readers will benefit from having an adult to help them through the larger blocks of text.
But, we can definitely say from our experience that kids can play with adults, no problem!
Our 7-year-old Elliot, has really enjoyed Quest for the Moon Stones. He’s played it with a parent, with his older brother, and with his grandma. The story is engaging enough for adults and older kids that they won’t get bored (although they might wish it went a little faster – that’s part of playing games with family sometimes).
We recommend Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones for families with kids in this 6-8 range. They’re going to find it very engaging. Older kids by themselves are not going to love it, and younger kids are going to struggle. 6-8 is the perfect age range for this game.
You can have adults do some of the reading and kids do a lot of the control of the app.
So we ask our 7-year-old: Elliot, what should we rate Quest for the Moon Stones?
4 out of 5 Moon Stones of course!
The Family Gamers received a copy of Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones from Lucky Duck Kids for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones
Age Range: 7+ (6-8 is the sweet spot)
Number of Players: 1-4
Playtime: 30-45 minutes