Kate the Despot Queen

I’ve been looking for a good game to play with Kate for quite some time now. I wanted something that was good with two players, because Nik isn’t interested more often than not. I also wanted something that she could enjoy but that wouldn’t bore me to tears either. Earlier today she was keen to do something, but shot down my first three suggestions (Star Wars Battlefront on the X-box, the Pokemon TGC, and the Lord of the Rings TMG). I returned to my office once again and started scanning the shelves. “For fuck’s sake,” I thought, “I have hundreds and hundreds of games, you’d think I could find one Kate and I could both enjoy.” As I once again ran my eyes over the uppermost level of my big Ikea shelving unit, I noticed a flat folio up amongst the boxed games. I suddenly realized what it was: Mertwig’s Maze. I had picked up a copy years ago and promptly forgot about it.

I took the game downstairs and sold Kate on giving it a try. I think the fact that she could become queen if she won was a big selling point. And the basic concept of going out on adventures, besting foes, and getting treasure is one Kate is well-familiar with from watching us play all kinds of games as she grew up. I had thought several times of trying Talisman with her but I feared it would just take way too long and become an exercise in tedium. Mertwig’s Maze turned out to be perfect. It took us about an hour to play, I was able to explain the rules to her without any problems (it helps that she’s smart), and it was fun for both of us. Kate won fair and square and was delighted to become the queen. Appropriately enough, in a bit of end-of-game roleplaying her first decree seized all my belongings and kicked me out of the kingdom. Just like an absolute monarch!

I’m glad Kate was willing to give it a try and I’m doubly glad I turned up something in my collection we can both enjoy. I don’t think Kate is quite ready for Advanced Squad Leader yet…

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