A hungry intergalactic space whale has wandered upon planet WOW! It has vacuumed up all the animals from the Zoo for Endangered Alien Animals. In this co-op game, our young players will assemble a team of superdupers to venture into the whale’s bowels and rescue the animals by matching various, age-appropriate patterns between alien cards.
My kids love co-op games, but with a pre-schooler, kindergartner, 3rd-grader, and their friends, we find that complex games bore the young players and basic games bore the older players. With this co-op game, I’ve provided three levels of difficulty: picture-pattern-matching for pre-K, letter-matching for K-2, and rhyming-word matching for 3rd-grade and up. Players will choose their own level of difficulty and can switch to easier patterns at anytime should they get fatigued.
My younger players also tend to resist rules being forced on them, so I’ve provided several gimmicks to trick them into–uhhh–take ownership of the game by allowing them to put as large a board as they want out and as many animals as they want for a challenge. Players draw their characters on the player mats, color in the space whale, and provide their own action figures as player-tokens.
For printing, I recommend cheap paper and don’t worry about the components getting crumpled. This is a print, play, and pitch (to the recycle bin) game. You can get the PDFs to print from at the below google drive link. Print off one copy of each file and cut out the tokens to start playing. Word files are also provided for anyone to modify this game and make it their own. The game is licensed creative commons, non-commercial, attribution.