I have two boys, ages 8 and 5. My older son has really begun to develop an enjoyment for board games since I introduced him to a few titles like Forbidden Island and Castle Panic. He gets the rules after a few play-throughs and he’s even managing to whip me pretty consistently with King of Tokyo. But my 5-year-old… alas… we’re just not finding too many games right now that grab his attention and give him a real sense of satisfaction when he wins. To be fair, he’s often got the attention span of a chair, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped looking.
Of the two games from GenCon 2015 that I brought home for my 5-year-old, he still manages to pull one out on a weekly basis. It’s called Me Want Cookies!, and it’s a cute little concentration-style game from Iello Games. The objects is to be the first monster (player) to collect and eat five desserts. Little monsters beat their big monster parents by rolling a die to determine which dessert starts the beginning of a wind-y, twist-y path. Monsters follow that path and try to be the first to grab the dessert token that matches the dessert at the end of the path they are following. Complicating matters is the fact that there are multiple lines that cross and loop back and confuse monsters. (There are two sets of cards — cards with less complicated twists and turns for beginner monsters and cards with stars on the back and more complex paths for the professional monsters.)
Tucked into the box are five Monster cards — my little boy has his favorite that he always wants to play. The single six-sided die has images of six different desserts, one for each face, that you roll to get the game going — cookie, cupcake, piece of pie, donut, ice cream cone, and piece of candy. There are also 34 game cards that will be divided (white lines for beginner, red for advanced) up before shuffling and placed face-down.
Three cards are drawn, revealed, and placed side-by-side. Your little monster rolls the die — let’s say a cupcake is rolled. You look on the first card (from the left) and find the cupcake. Follow the line that extends from the cupcake and find the dessert at the end of that line. That dessert then becomes the dessert to look for on the second (middle) card. Follow the path to the end dessert and then find that one on the third and final card. Follow it and when you reach the last dessert (on the third card) reach out and grab that dessert token to win it. Take that third card, remove it, push the two remaining cards to the right and flip another card over that becomes the first card in the race.
The game mechanics are easy, and my 5-year-old has explained the rules to his older brother and a few friends without error. When we first started playing, he would use his pointer finger hovering over the cards to follow a path, but after a few games he quickly figured out how to use just his eyes to trace the paths and not give away the possible solution to an opponent. Now he flips the cards, rolls the die, and he’s off and running. I’m amazed at his accuracy, too. He’s just as fast at following the lines now as I am, and the game often comes down to a tie at four desserts each and who can grab the fifth and final dessert to win the game.
My son pulls the game out at least once a week, which makes me smile. It’s a game where he not only understands the rules, but he can also win fair against his big brother. (He’s pretty smart, and he’s quickly figuring out when we let him win… and he doesn’t like it. He wants to win on his own, and I get that.) The game is for ages 5 and up, so Iello nailed it with that detail. The cards and tokens are colorful and eye-catching, and the simplicity of the rules has made the game a winner for my little boy. And that means it’s a winner for me, too.
Note: I received a review copy of the game at GenCon 2015. Me Want Cookies! is out now.