There is likely a tiny human in your life that you want to introduce to gaming. Even if it’s not your own child, there’s a niece, nephew, friend’s kid or someone else that might be showing an interest in games. For many people, the traditional choice it to drop off D&D Starter Set or Player’s Handbook and teach kids the way most of us learned back in the day. If you have a younger kid in mind, or don’t want to start out an RPG session with several minutes of book flipping and math homework, there’s Color My Quest from Dice Up Games. Do designers Kristen and Tim Devine offer a much easier doorway into the wonderful world of fantasy games? Let’s play to find out.
Color My Quest is built for kids in the single digit ages to have adventures in a fantasy world. The game runs on a very stripped down adaptation of the Apocayplse World engine. There are no player movies playbooks but the game uses the dice roll structure of rolling 2d6 plus a trait with 10 as a success, 7-9 as a complicated success and 6 or less as a failure. The 7-9 roll is framed as a struggle where the player has to commit additional resources to win. This could be spending a hero point to explain what solution they come up with, asking another player to help and spend one of their hero points, or using the hero’s pet to help out, after which the pet takes a nap. Yes, every character gets a pet and the various pets to choose from are adorable.
In case the title wasn’t obvious enough, the game makes coloring an important part of the game. During session zero, players choose character art and color it, choose a pet and color that and build an adventuring map to color as well. There are a handful of adventures you can use, each of which comes with monster art to color. When I ran this game, I would cut out a picture of the monster and then give it to the player who defeated it to color. Sometimes they would color it as is, other times they would embellish how it was killed around the art.
My experience in running Color My Quest took place during a family cabin weekend. I had packed the game as a rainy day activity. Sure enough, the weather turned sour and I broke out the printed pictures to hand out to the kids stuck inside. They tackled the character creation with enthusiasm and the adults hovered to hear the kids define their characters traits and abilities. Some of them built ninjas. Others built Elsa. But making characters held everyone’s attention for a solid 30 minutes which can be quite the accomplishment for anyone.
Most of the under 5 set wandered off during the game part, but those who stayed enjoyed a fun tale of exploration and conflict. The game comes with safety tools and encourages a discussion beforehand to make sure all the kids and adults are in the right place. Kids toward the older end of things wanted a bit more violence while younger kids enjoy casting sleep spells and ice blasts to take out foes. They definitely want to play again next year and I have enough adventures to keep them going until we can graduate into a heavier game.
Color My Quest is a great light RPG for kids to get their feet wet in fantasy role-playing.
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