Today, I’m going to do a review for my readers who have young children. First Orchard is one of the few board games that starts at the age of 2. Unfortunately, by the time we had found a reasonably priced copy, my daughter had already turned 3. Regardless, it’s still a great introductory board game with with nice wooden components.
I think the basket that it comes with to hold the wooden fruit pieces used to be an actual woven basket, which made it more expensive. The version we got from Six Feet Under Games has a cardboard version of the basket and is only about $25 USD.
As someone who loves board games, one of my biggest qualms with kids’ games is that they’re so cheaply made. This isn’t the case with First Orchard, the pieces feel like you’re playing a nice Euro-style game with thick card stock and wooden pieces that have a bit of weight to them.
The rules are very easy for a toddler to understand. You roll the die and then pick up the fruit of the corresponding color to place in your basket. If the die lands on the basket icon, you get to pick any color. However, if it lands on the crow (raven) icon, the crow piece advances down the path closer to your fruit trees. If he reaches the trees before you get all of the fruit, you all lose together. On the flip side, if you get all the fruit first, you all win together.
The game is great at teaching basic board game rules. However, past the age of 2, your kids will probably get a little bored of it. Thankfully, there is also a memory style version of the game for ages 3+, which is more challenging and engaging. Overall, for a kids’ game, this is one of the most well-made ones I’ve seen.