Take a walk on the wild (west) side with Most Wanted, a new board and card game from North Star Games. Designed for players ages 10 and up, the game uses elements of poker as players compete to move up the game board and closer to becoming the most notorious outlaw in the land.
Gameplay is a bit complicated, but everything is spelled out in both a comprehensive rulebook (included) and a video by North Star Games (below). Basically, players take turns completing an action, which can mean “robbing” a location, challenging another player to a duel, or performing “honest labor.” Once a player chooses which action to take, they play a hand of cards to determine their fate. Depending on the cards they put down, they can earn bags of money and advance ahead on the board, or get sent to jail and be forced to pay bail.
Having some previous knowledge of poker will certainly help kids pick up this game faster, but it isn’t a requirement. In fact, mastering this game first may make learning poker easier in the future.
Once kids get the hang of what makes a winning hand and the learn all the rules of the game, there is plenty of opportunity to practice strategic thinking and planning. There are deliberate tactics players can use to discard a weak hand, challenge other players who have a substantial lead, and so on.
Here’s one special hint for when kids really start getting the hang of the game — there’s hidden treasure inside the box. In this case, that hidden treasure is brand new cards and a booklet full of new ways to play the game. If you’re searching, I’d suggest looking at the very bottom of the box (that plastic insert isn’t permanent, you know).
While the game isn’t simple, Most Wanted will certainly put older kids’ brain power to the test as they race to finish first. You may not usually condone robbing banks, but this can be the exception.