What can you do with "grown-up" board game and small children? Bend the rules and play anyway!

After bending the rules of the game Werewolves, Karmaka and Carcassonne, we used The Bugs to experiment with mental planning.

The Bugs

Here is the description from the official homepage:

The Bugs are small robots living on a little planet. They live in harmony with their environment and they have created an energy network around their planet. Sometimes, some of the robots have problems and they don’t work as expected. These are the Buggy robots. They need you to repair them.

You can play with up to 4 players in a cooperative mode. You have to catch the Buggy robot (the red one) as a team. To do so, you have to create an energy network around it.

There are also different gameplays for different age groups. The first mini-game is for age 3+ and simply aims at enclosing the static Buggy robot.

Tiny The Bugs

In one of the advanced versions, the robot is moving via pattern cards: 90 degrees left, 2 moves forward, 90 degrees right etc.

We reused those cards to create a path from one point to another. We start at one point and my son chooses which cards he wants to advance toward the goal.

The whole complexity then resides in putting obstacles in his way and seeing how far in advance he can plan his path.

Again, animations, stories, using figures or vehicles and acting like the pilot is a big part of the fun.

This somehow reminds me of a social game I read about from DrTechniko: how to train your robot. I really need to try that one soon.

Here's a video of us playing a very early version of Tiny The Bug: