I love to play games. I have always loved them. I come from a game-playing family. We were very into trivia and word games. The best part was the way we played them. We were in teams. It made every game more fun. That is not why we did it though, it was a modification so I could play with the rest of the family. I have a reading disability and if we would have played the “right way” I couldn’t have play. There are a lot of reasons you may want to modify a game; not the right number of people, the amount of time you have to play the game, the age range you are playing with. I want to tell you some ways that you can modify games.
First things first, know the game pretty well before you try to modify it. You want to make the game more inclusive not more confusing. A simply way to make some games shorter to remove some cards but if you don’t know the game well enough you could remove a card you need to win the game.
For everyone’s sanity, when you modify a game make sure you tell the people you are playing with that this is a different way to play it, ‘Our family rules’. That way when they are playing with other people they know it is ok that it’s different. This has happened so many times playing game with a group of kids. Everyone knows how to play in a little different way and it turns into everyone saying the other person is cheating. If they know it is the way ‘our family’ plays they may be more open to learning another way, teach others how they play or they may come up with another way to play with their friends.
Now let’s get into ways to do the modifying...
Teams: The easiest is to play in teams. Match people up so all team members have some strengths. It is not fun being the dead weight on a team.
Remove cards: If the length of the game is determined by when a deck runs out take some out. There are other games where cards tell you how many spaces you move around a board. Some games you can take a few of the lower cards out to speed the game up. DON’T DO THIS WITH THE GAME SORRY. Trust me you can get stuck so close to home but never get there.
Time delay/extensions: Taking away time limits is another way to even the playing field a little. You can have it where some players have more/less time than others. During the game Spot It I will sometimes have older kids look at the floor for 5 seconds before they can search the card if they are playing a younger kid.
When you are playing games with your family you may find different ways to modify to make your game nights unforgettable. The most important thing you can do to have a great game night is have fun together. Twenty years from now your kid may not remember how to play Castle Panic but if you have fun together they will never forget the experience.