PARENTING

Three great games for one-parent, one-child families, or just oneself

Finding fun games for two players can be a challenge. Single-player games are even harder. Here are three that either one or two can play

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 September, 2015, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 September, 2015, 2:01pm

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Game nights are a great way for family and friends to  spend time together. But for single-parent or single-child families (or even a one-on-one date night), finding fun games for two players can be a challenge. Single-player games are even harder.  Here are some games that fit into both of those categories.

Code Master  (Think Fun)  

This single-player game is  a series of increasingly complex puzzles that encourage the player to use coding and programming concepts to advance. The idea is simple: Write a program using game tokens that will get your avatar from point A to B (go forward from space 1 to space 2, follow the blue path to space 3, go back to 1, now take the red path to 4, and so on), picking up valuable crystals along the way. There’s only one solution for each level. You’ll whip through the early ones pretty easily, but by the time you get into the teens and 20s (there are a total of 60), you’ll be sweating buckets as you flex your critical thinking, logical and planning muscles. US$24.99. One player, age 8 and up. www.thinkfun.com/codemaster  

 

Puzzlets  (Digital Dream Labs)  

Like Code Master, Puzzlets has players think like a programmer, using problem-solving, logic, sequencing and other skills to advance through a series of increasingly difficult game levels. Research has found that when kids (and, presumably, adults) use their hands and mind together, they retain new information longer. It all starts with the free app (for Android and iOS only). Fire it up and on screen you’ll see an avatar and an object that the avatar needs to collect. Then, players arrange physical game tiles (forward, backward, jump and so on) in the Play Tray in a way that will accomplish that goal. The Tray relays those commands to the app. If your program works, you’re on to the next stage. If not, go back to the Tray and reprogram. Feeling collaborative? Puzzlets is a great one-on-one parent-child activity. Or you could play it by yourself. Comes with everything you need to play – except a laptop or tablet.  US$99.99  www.digitaldreamlabs.com  

Peanuts Surprise Slides Game  (Wonder Forge)  

This game is similar to Candy Land  in a number of ways. It’s  colourful, easy for preschoolers to learn and fun enough for adults to want to play with their children more than once. But one of the biggest differences (besides more recognisable, child-friendly characters on the board) is that players move through the game using a spinner instead of cards – and we all remember how cards get bent, torn, filthy and lost. Players are on a race through the seasons. As with Candy Land, there are tons of shortcuts; some move you ahead, others backwards. Unlike Candy Land, pieces of the game board can be rearranged and flipped over, creating new shortcuts and getting rid of old ones. Ages three and up.   wonderforge.com  

Tribune News Service

Armin Brott  and Samantha Feuss  are the authors of the popular parenting blogs:   mrdad.com  and  havesippywilltravel.com