Retrofix Games' Top Picks:
Great Games for Kids

Your guide to picking the perfect game for kids and family play.

The explosive popularity of board games has brought with it a diverse and rich selection for the younger gamers among us.  Engaging play, thoughtful design, and tactile components offer the chance to capture the imagination (and attention) of children, and offers families a chance to engage in some playtime - unplugged - around the kitchen table.

Challenging dexterity games such as Shaky Manor still exist, and 13 Dead End Drive is still as popular as ever, but many tabletop games aimed at children now offer something deeper than simple entertainment value.  Educational, social, team-building and problem-solving opportunities are now a staple of modern children's board game design.  As Dorothy might have said, we're not in Candy Land any more.

We've put together a small list of some of our most popular and engaging games as a starting point for anyone looking to spend some quality time with the younger generation of game enthusiasts.  Our list focuses on titles for the under-10 crowd that families can enjoy as well, and touches on a broad range of game genres and themes.  We specifically looked for games that offer something more than just entertainment...but shhh...don't tell the kids!

Animal Upon Animal

Players: 2-4

Age: 4+
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Stack up the fun with Animal Upon Animal from HABA! One of HABA's most popular games, this game is a winner of the Major Fun! Award and recipient of the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval. Players race each other to be the first to place all of their animals upon the animal pile before any of the other players. A roll of the die tells the players how many animals can be placed or whether they can add to the alligator base. This game fosters hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.


Buy Animal Upon Animal

Spot It!

Players: 2-8

Age: 7+
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Test your observational skills and hone your reflexes with the award-winning gameplay of Spot It!, a game of lightning-fast choices for a group of two to eight players. The game functions on a simple mechanic of fifty-five circular cards, each of which features a number of symbols and has exactly one of those symbols in common with every other card in the deck. With five distinct mini-games, you can be sure that Spot It! will be different every time you play, and because its always your turn, there`s never any downtime!


Buy Spot It!

Quiddler Junior

Players: 1-6

Age: 6+
Playing Time: 40 minutes

This Junior Edition of the award-winning, short word game that`s big on fun features simplified cards and rules, and Point Chips for easy scoring!

Quiddler Junior keeps all the elements that make QUIDDLER a top-seller and includes features to help young readers compete! The cards are designed to help kids learn early words and improve vocabulary. Easy to learn and fun for the whole family! It's not only entertaining, but a terrific way to improve language skills.

Buy Quiddler Jr


Players: 2

Age: 9+
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Hive is a strategic game that is not restricted by a board and can be played on any flat surface.  The game is made up of twenty-two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of creatures, each with a unique way of moving.

The soldier ants battle to keep control of the outside of the hive, whilst the Beetles climb up to dominate the top. Spiders moving into holding positions as the Grass Hoppers jump in for the kill. Keeping one eye on the hive and the other on your opponents reserves, the tension builds as one wrong move will see your Queen Bee quickly engulfed .... game over!

Buy Hive


Players: 2-4

Age: 7+
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Stake your claim and protect your territory with Blokus game! There's just one rule: each piece you play must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners! It takes less than a minute to learn but has depth to challenge your whole family.

Each player gets a set of 21 pieces - red, blue, green, or yellow - then takes turns placing them on the board. The goal is to fit the most pieces on the board. The game ends when no one can place any more pieces. Everyone counts the squares in their unplayed pieces and the player with the lowest score wins! Easy to learn and great for families, Blokus is the fast-paced strategy game that delivers ""One Rule, Endless Possibilities!""

Buy Blokus

Catan Junior

Players: 2-4

Age: 6+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Explore the Seas in Catan: Junior! Catan: Junior takes place on a ring of islands where 2 to 4 fledgling swashbucklers build hideouts, and the mysterious Spooky Island, where the Ghost Captain lives. Each island generates a specific resource - wood, goats, rum or swords - and players can acquire gold. Each player starts with two pirate hideouts, then builds ships in order to expand their network. The more hideouts you build, the more resources you may receive. Just watch out for the dreaded Ghost Captain! Be the first player to control seven pirate hideouts and you win!

Buy Catan Junior

Magic Maze

Players: 1-8

Age: 8+
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Recently stripped of your possessions, your group of down-on-their-luck adventurers has nary a copper piece between you. Your only option if you’re to resume your dungeon-delving activities is to sack the local mall of valuables and supplies.

Magic Maze is a real-time, co-operative game. Each player can control any of the 4 Hero pawns whenever he wants in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which other players do not have access: move north, explore a new area, ride an escalator… all of this requires rigorous co-operation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes wisely, and complete your mission before the sand timer runs out.

Moreover, you will only be allowed to communicate for short periods during the game. The rest of the time, you must play without giving any visual or audio cues to each other.

Buy Magic Maze

No Thank You, Evil!

Players: 2-5

Age: 5+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Make-believe, adventure, and storytelling-for the whole family! Explore Dragonsnot Falls, Castle Karaoke, Muttropolis, or the Dark Park and use your character's special skills, companions, and equipment to overcome obstacles (like fighting a barbaric yawp, winning over Middlin, the Medium Bad Wolf, or beating a dinomatron at a race) as you solve mysteries, confront bad guys, and finish your adventure!

Scalable rules adapt easily to the abilities and interests of kids from five on up, so everyone can play together. How will your adventure play out? Your options are limited only by your creativity-it's all up to you!

Buy No Thank You, Evil!

Zombie Kidz Evolution

Players: 2-4

Age: 7+
Playing Time: 5-15 minutes
Zombie Kidz Evolution is the first "legacy"-style game for kids, with basic gameplay similar to the 2013 title Zombie Kidz — but things will quickly evolve!

In the game, the young players are at school when zombies start to attack, infiltrating the entryways, then barring the way to classrooms. Players move through rooms and entryways to eliminate zombies and keep the zombie reserve full. If a zombie must enter the school but none are available, then the school has been overrun and the players lose. To win the game, players need to lock each of the four entryways as apparently the custodian has abandoned the post and given up the school for lost.

As players get better, they can complete missions, track their development through a trophy-sticker system reminiscent of video games, and open envelopes that contain new material for the game, upping the challenge they face while also providing them with new powers and new heroes as well.

Buy Zombie Kidz Evolution

Ticket To Ride: First Journey

Players: 2-4

Age: 6+
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes
Players of all ages can now venture across America by train in Alan R. Moons Ticket to Ride: First Journey. With a brand new map and simplified rules, First Journey is the perfect way to introduce new players to the game of cross-country travel. Just like in Ticket to Ride, players collect train cards, claim routes, and try to connect cities coast-to-coast. In First Journey, though, routes are shorter, train cards are drawn straight from the deck, and the game ends when one player completes six tickets, claiming the Golden Ticket as their prize. Climb aboard, travelers, your incredible First Journey awaits!

Buy Ticket to Ride: First Journey


To learn more about any of these games, get in touch or stop by one of our two locations in Missoula.

About Retrofix Games

Retrofix Games is Montana’s source for board games, dice, miniatures, game events, trading card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, RPG's like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Pathfinder, and more. We have a huge selection of games and host in-store game demos and nightly game events. From casual gamers to experienced pros, we offer something for everyone! Check out our gaming events calendar or stop by our game shop to say hello!